100 Greatest Novels… or maybe not?

I just love discovering how poorly read I really am!

That’s why I simply cannot resist lists like this one, which I learned about on the Rose City Reader blog.

It’s The Observer’s list of “The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time.”

The books I’ve read appear in bold font.

1. Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
2. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
4. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
5. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
6. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
7. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
8. Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
9. Emma by Jane Austen
10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
11. Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
12. The Black Sheep by Honore De Balzac
13. The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
14. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
15. Sybil by Benjamin Disraeli
16. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
17. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
18. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

19. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
20. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
21. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
22. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
23. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
24. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
25. Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott
26. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
27. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
28. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
29. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
30. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
31. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
32. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
33. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
34. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
35. The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
36. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
37. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
38. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
39. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
40. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
41. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
42. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence
43. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
44. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
45. Ulysses by James Joyce
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster
48. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

49. The Trial by Franz Kafka
50. Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
51. Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
52. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
53. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
54. Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
55. USA by John Dos Passos
56. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
57. The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
58. The Plague by Albert Camus
59. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
60. Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett
61. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
62. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
63. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
64. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
65. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
66. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
67. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
68. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
69. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
70. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
71. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
72. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
73. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

74. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
75. Herzog by Saul Bellow
76. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
77. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
78. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre
79. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

80. The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge
81. The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
82. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
83. A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul
84. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee
85. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
86. Lanark by Alasdair Gray
87. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
88. The BFG by Roald Dahl
89. The Periodic Table by Primo Levi
90. Money by Martin Amis
91. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
92. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
93. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
94. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
95. LA Confidential by James Ellroy
96. Wise Children by Angela Carter
97. Atonement by Ian McEwan
98. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass in America)
99. American Pastoral by Philip Roth
100. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

So I’ve read only 27 of them, which is vaguely embarrassing.

Though I am prepared to quarrel with some of the selections, such as this delight:
77. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor
Honestly! Has anyone ever even heard of this one? Perhaps it’s a British thing…

And now we can add “ornery,” along with “not well-read,” to the list of words describing me. : )

2 thoughts on “100 Greatest Novels… or maybe not?

  1. Bybee– Thank you for the kind words! I feel reassured that you're in a similar range with me. And it's good to hear another voice saying "very British" when looking at the list. Maybe I'll try an American list soon…

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