Location: Los Angeles, California

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Novel 100

During one of my recent sessions of aimlessly wandering the web, I came across the existence of a book called The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time. Daniel S. Burt, a NYU professor of literature, took it upon himself to rank the best novels ever, and while any "best of" list is a futile act of subjectivity, his list seems credible.

However, after browsing the whole list, I realized something very unsettling: I had read only seven of the novels. This will not do.

So now I have embarked upon a lifelong quest to read all 100. In all likelihood this task will never be completed. I know that no matter what I may say, I'll probably never get around to reading War and Peace, for example. But it's a goal, and I like goals. Almost as much as I like lists.

You can see Burt's complete list here. How many have you read?


Anonymous Conor said...

I've only read 15 and I've always felt like I was well versed. But where is "Lord of the Flies" on this list? He also seems to favor classics over a lot of contemporary works which I think is a huge bias.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Whitney Liggitt said...

I've read 13. I could have definitely read more, but I avoided the British literature classes during my undergrad like the plague.

Some of my favorites were left off, like The Mandarins and Doctor Faustus (Thomas Mann version). I've read a lot of those authors but not those particular books.

To The Lighthouse is amazing. And so is The Tin Drum. Thomas Mann is an incredible author too.

I don't like that there's so many men on this list. There's less than 20 women. Where's Simone de Beauvoir? It's a good list, but I don't think it's great. Too many dead white men for my taste.

4:03 AM  
Blogger Stephen Snart said...

Woohoo 9! Although yeah, I need to work on that.

Great Expectations
The Great Gatsby
The Scarlet Letter
Jane Eyre
Things Fall Apart
A Farewell to Arms
The Catcher in the Rye

6:04 AM  

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