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Great Literature List

Original Source Of The Shakespeare-X Message.


These last few years these literary lists have become very popular. Or at least magazines and publishers desperate for publicity seem to think so.

So a lot of them have been compiled by faceless people.

None of the lists are very good really, but some have a little more legitimacy than others. Generally the more people who have had a say in compiling the list, the more legitimacy I feel it has. Which still isn't much.

The exception to this are the lists compiled from the votes of working writers, which you can also see below.


Generally the best way to use the two All Time Best lists, (I've now deleted the others in favor of the writers' lists), is to read all the books and then make your own list.

Don't worry too much about where the books fall on any individual list. Anything on them is pretty good and anything on all the lists is worth reading.

These lists, like all the culture lists, are here to guide the young towards what has been found critically valuable in the past.



The top 100 books of all time

The Guardian, UK, May 2002

Full list of the 100 best works of fiction, alphabetically by author, as determined from a vote by 100 noted writers from 54 countries as released by the Norwegian Book Clubs.


Don Quixote by Cervantes was named as the top book in history but otherwise no ranking was provided.


Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930), Things Fall Apart
Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875), Fairy Tales and Stories
Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817), Pride and Prejudice
Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850), Old Goriot
Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989), Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable
Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375), Decameron
Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986), Collected Fictions
Emily Bronte, England, (1818-1848), Wuthering Heights
Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960), The Stranger
Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970), Poems.
Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961), Journey to the End of the Night
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616), Don Quixote
Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400), Canterbury Tales
Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904), Selected Stories
Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924), Nostromo
Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321), The Divine Comedy
Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870), Great Expectations
Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784), Jacques the Fatalist and His Master
Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957), Berlin Alexanderplatz
Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881), Crime and Punishment; The Idiot; The Possessed; The Brothers Karamazov
George Eliot, England, (1819-1880), Middlemarch
Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994), Invisible Man
Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC), Medea
William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962), Absalom, Absalom; The Sound and the Fury
Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880), Madame Bovary; A Sentimental Education
Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936), Gypsy Ballads
Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombia, (b. 1928), One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera
Gilgamesh, Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC).
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832), Faust
Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852), Dead Souls
Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927), The Tin Drum
Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967), The Devil to Pay in the Backlands
Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952), Hunger.
Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961), The Old Man and the Sea
Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC), The Iliad and The Odyssey
Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906), A Doll's House
The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC).
James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941), Ulysses
Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924), The Complete Stories; The Trial; The Castle Bohemia
Kalidasa, India, (c. 400), The Recognition of Sakuntala
Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972), The Sound of the Mountain
Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957), Zorba the Greek
DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930), Sons and Lovers
Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998), Independent People
Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837), Complete Poems
Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919), The Golden Notebook
Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002), Pippi Longstocking
Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936), Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC).
Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911), Children of Gebelawi
Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955), Buddenbrook; The Magic Mountain
Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891), Moby Dick
Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592), Essays.
Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985), History
Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931), Beloved
Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (N/A), The Tale of Genji Genji
Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942), The Man Without Qualities
Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977), Lolita
Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300).
George Orwell, England, (1903-1950), 1984
Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC), Metamorphoses
Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935), The Book of Disquiet
Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849), The Complete Tales
Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922), Remembrance of Things Past
Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553), Gargantua and Pantagruel
Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986), Pedro Paramo
Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273), Mathnawi
Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947), Midnight's Children
Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292), The Orchard
Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929), Season of Migration to the North
Jose Saramago, Portugal, (b. 1922), Blindness
William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616), Hamlet; King Lear; Othello
Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC), Oedipus the King
Stendhal, France, (1783-1842), The Red and the Black
Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768), The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy
Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928), Confessions of Zeno
Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745), Gulliver's Travels
Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910), War and Peace; Anna Karenina; The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories
Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500).
Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC), Ramayana
Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC), The Aeneid
Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892), Leaves of Grass
Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941), Mrs. Dalloway; To the Lighthouse
Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987), Memoirs of Hadrian



The Modern Library's 100 Best Novels


The Modern Library is a mainstream publisher with a rather high opinion of itself. Based on the distant past. Their list is of English speaking writers, although they didn't bother to make this clear in 1998 when they released this list in search of publicity.

The list came under a great deal of criticism for its provincialism, its sexism and its lack of contemporaneity. Some of the published critical remarks follow the list.


1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
36. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
52. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
57. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
72. A HOUSE FOR MR. BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
87. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
89. LOVING by Henry Green
90. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
96. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
100. The Magnificent Ambersons Booth Tarkington


I'm not sure who wrote this commentary - but it was somebody upset. Good for her!

What can we tell about the creators of the Modern Library list? As others have already pointed out, the 12 board members -- all very accomplished and even brilliant -- consist of 10 white males, 1 (British) white female, and 1 African American female, average age 68.7. Nothing, of course, necessarily follows from this. But the list speaks volumes: 91 of the novels are written by men, 94 written by Caucasians, only four were published after 1975.

The ML contributors seem to have stopped reading with discernment about a quarter of a century ago. For me and many others, this produces strange results. I would argue (with some controversy, of course) that, among America's giant contemporary novelists, at least four are Pynchon, Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize winner), Don DeLillo, and John Updike; none appear on the list. Australia's great Nobel Laureate Patrick White is also excluded (please find and read his amazing novel "Voss"), as are the masterful South African writers J.M. Coetzee, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer. And what of Nigerian Chinua Achebe's enormously influential "Things Fall Apart"? Or Zora Neale Hurston's 1937 "Their Eyes Were Watching God," for the last 20 years generally recognized as one of the most significant American novels of the century? Have these people been paying attention?
My objections here are not original; they have been registered by others. But I also think that what the ML editors have included speaks as loudly as their exclusions.



What The Young And Energetic Are Saying


The 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, as compiled by students of the Radcliffe College Publishing Course.

Radcliffe College is a former Harvard affiliated school for smart women and former virgins. I was expelled from there myself. No I can't tell you why. It involved fire, nudity, alcohol and some former virgins. It was all consensual. Even then I couldn't fit in.

1. "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. "The Catcher in the Rye," J.D. Salinger
3. "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck
4. "To Kill a Mockingbird," Harper Lee
5. "The Color Purple," Alice Walker
6. "Ulysses," James Joyce
7. "Beloved," Toni Morrison
8. "The Lord of the Flies," William Golding
9. "1984," George Orwell
10. "The Sound and the Fury," William Faulkner
11. "Lolita," Vladmir Nabokov
12. "Of Mice and Men," John Steinbeck
13. "Charlotte's Web," E.B. White
14. "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man," James Joyce
15. "Catch-22," Joseph Heller
16. "Brave New World," Aldous Huxley
17. "Animal Farm," George Orwell
18. "The Sun Also Rises," Ernest Hemingway
19. "As I Lay Dying," William Faulkner
20. "A Farewell to Arms," Ernest Hemingway
21. "Heart of Darkness," Joseph Conrad
22. "Winnie-the-Pooh," A.A. Milne
23. "Their Eyes are Watching God," Zora Neale Hurston
24. "Invisible Man," Ralph Ellison
25. "Song of Solomon," Toni Morrison
26. "Gone with the Wind," Margaret Mitchell
27. "Native Son," Richard Wright
28. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey
29. "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut
30. "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Ernest Hemingway
31. "On the Road," Jack Kerouac
32. "The Old Man and the Sea," Ernest Hemingway
33. "The Call of the Wild," Jack London
34. "To the Lighthouse," Virginia Woolf
35. "Portrait of a Lady," Henry James
36. "Go Tell it on the Mountain," James Baldwin
37. "The World According to Garp," John Irving
38. "All the King's Men," Robert Penn Warren
39. "A Room with a View," E.M. Forster
40. "The Lord of the Rings," J.R.R. Tolkien
41. "Schindler's List," Thomas Keneally
42. "The Age of Innocence," Edith Wharton
43. "The Fountainhead," Ayn Rand
44. "Finnegans Wake," James Joyce
45. "The Jungle," Upton Sinclair
46. "Mrs. Dalloway," Virginia Woolf
47. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," Frank L. Baum
48. "Lady Chatterley's Lover," D.H. Lawrence
49. "A Clockwork Orange," Anthony Burgess
50. "The Awakening," Kate Chopin
51. "My Antonia," Willa Cather
52. "Howard's End," E.M. Forster
53. "In Cold Blood," Truman Capote
54. "Franny and Zooey," J.D. Salinger
55. "Satanic Verses," Salman Rushdie
56. "Jazz," Toni Morrison
57. "Sophie's Choice," William Styron
58. "Absalom, Absalom!" William Faulkner
59. "Passage to India," E.M. Forster
60. "Ethan Frome," Edith Wharton
61. "A Good Man is Hard to Find," Flannery O'Connor
62. "Tender is the Night," F. Scott Fitzgerald
63. "Orlando," Virginia Woolf
64. "Sons and Lovers," D.H. Lawrence
65. "Bonfire of the Vanities," Thomas Wolfe
66. "Cat's Cradle," Kurt Vonnegut
67. "A Separate Peace," John Knowles
68. "Light in August," William Faulkner
69. "The Wings of the Dove," Henry James
70. "Things Fall Apart," Chinua Achebe
71. "Rebecca," Daphne du Maurier
72. "A Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Douglas Adams
73. "Naked Lunch," William S. Burroughs
74. "Brideshead Revisited," Evelyn Waugh
75. "Women in Love," D.H. Lawrence
76. "Look Homeward, Angel," Thomas Wolfe
77. "In Our Time," Ernest Hemingway
78. "The Autobiography of Alice B. Tokias," Gertrude Stein
79. "The Maltese Falcon," Dashiell Hammett
80. "The Naked and the Dead," Norman Mailer
81. "The Wide Sargasso Sea," Jean Rhys
82. "White Noise," Don DeLillo
83. "O Pioneers!" Willa Cather
84. "Tropic of Cancer," Henry Miller
85. "The War of the Worlds," HG Wells
86. "Lord Jim," Joseph Conrad
87. "The Bostonians," James Henry
88. "An American Tragedy," Theodore Dreiser
89. "Death Comes for the Archbishop," Willa Cather
90. "The Wind in the Willows," Kenneth Grahame
91. "This Side of Paradise," F. Scott Fitzgerald
92. "Atlas Shrugged," Ayn Rand
93. "The French Lieutenant's Woman," John Fowles
94. "Babbitt," Sinclair Lewis
95. "Kim," Rudyard Kipling
96. "The Beautiful and the Damned," F. Scott Fitzgerald
97. "Rabbit, Run," John Updike
98. "Where Angels Fear to Tread," EM Forster
99. "Main Street," Sinclair Lewis
100. "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie




A Less Grandiose New York Times List Concerning American Fiction Of The Last 25 years


This list was published in 2006.

My guess is that The Road by Cormac McCarthy would be on this list now, and may well top it. Rightfully so.


The New York Times
May 21, 2006

What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

Early this year, the Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years." Following are the results.


Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)



Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)

Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy (1985)

Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels, John Updike (1971-1995)

American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)



A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole (1980)

Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson (1980)

Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin (1983)

White Noise, Don DeLillo (1985)

The Counterlife, Philip Roth (1986)

Libra, Don DeLillo (1988)

Where I'm Calling From, Raymond Carver (1988)

The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)

Mating, Norman Rush (1991)

Jesus' Son, Denis Johnson (1992)

Operation Shylock, Philip Roth (1993)

Independence Day, Richard Ford (1995)

Sabbath's Theater, Philip Roth (1995)

Border Trilogy, Cormac McCarthy (1992-99)

The Human Stain, Philip Roth (2000)

The Known World, Edward P. Jones (2003)

The Plot Against America, Philip Roth (2004)




The Observer, UK Responds With a Best British Fiction List.


What's the best novel in the past 25 years?

A recent poll in the New York Times named Toni Morrison's Beloved as the greatest work of American fiction in the past 25 years. But what about over here? On the eve of this year's Booker Prize, we asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005.

First place

Disgrace (1999) JM Coetzee

Second place

Money (1984) Martin Amis


Joint third place

Earthly Powers (1980) Anthony Burgess

Atonement (2001) Ian McEwan

The Blue Flower (1995) Penelope Fitzgerald

The Unconsoled (1995) Kazuo Ishiguro

Midnight's Children (1981) Salman Rushdie

Joint eighth place

The Remains of the Day (1989) Kazuo Ishiguro

Amongst Women (1990) John McGahern

That They May Face the Rising Sun (2001) John McGahern


Other nominations

Hawksmoor (1985) Peter Ackroyd

The Old Devils (1986) Kingsley Amis

Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995) Kate Atkinson

The Handmaid's Tale (1985) Margaret Atwood

An Awfully Big Adventure (1989) Beryl Bainbridge

The Wasp Factory (1984) Iain Banks

The Untouchable (1997) John Banville

The Regeneration Trilogy (1991-95) Pat Barker

Flaubert's Parrot (1984) Julian Barnes

A Long, Long Way (2005) Sebastian Barry

Ill Seen Ill Said (1981) Samuel Beckett

Possession: A Romance (1990) AS Byatt

True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) Peter Carey

A Perfect Spy (1986) John le Carre

Nights at the Circus (1984), Wise Children (1991) Angela Carter

Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), Age of Iron (1990), Masters of Petersburg (1994) JM Coetzee

The Barrytown Trilogy (1987-91) Roddy Doyle

Gwendolen (1989) Buchi Emecheta

Birdsong (1993) Sebastian Faulks

The Beginning of Spring (1988) Penelope Fitzgerald

To the Ends of the Earth: A Sea Trilogy (1980-89) William Golding

Unlikely Stories, Mostly (1983), 1982, Janine (1984) Alasdair Gray

Transit of Venus (1981) Shirley Hazzard

Ridley Walker (1980) Russell Hoban

The Line of Beauty (2004) Alan Hollinghurst

Never Let Me Go (2005) Kazuo Ishiguro

A Disaffection (1989), How Late It Was, How Late (1994) James Kelman

The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) Hanif Kureishi

English Passengers (2004) Matthew Kneale

The Life of Pi (2002) Yann Martel

As Meat Loves Salt (2001) Maria McCann

The Comfort of Strangers (1981), Enduring Love (1997) Ian McEwan

No Great Mischief (1999) Alistair MacLeod

Fugitive Pieces (1996) Anne Michaels

The Restraint of Beasts (1998) Magnus Mills

A Fine Balance (1995) Rohinton Mistry

Mother London (1988) Michael Moorcock

The Enigma of Arrival (1987) VS Naipaul

After You'd Gone (2000) Maggie O'Farrell

His Dark Materials Trilogy (1995-2000) Philip Pullman

I Was Dora Suarez (1990) Derek Raymond

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2005) JK Rowling

The God of Small Things (1997) Arundhati Roy

A Suitable Boy (1993) Vikram Seth

Hotel World (2001) Ali Smith

A Far Cry From Kensington (1988) Muriel Spark

The White Hotel (1981) DM Thomas

Restoration (1989) Sacred Country (1992) Rose Tremain

Omeros (1990) Derek Walcott

The Passion (1987) Jeanette Winterson




Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century is a list of books compiled in 1999 by Literaturhaus München and Bertelsmann Publishers, in which 99 prominent German authors, literary critics, and scholars of ranked the most significant German-language novels of the twentieth century.

The expert group consisted of 33 from each category. Each was allowed to name three books as having been the most important of the century.

The 10 books

Ranked in order, starting with the greatest according to the expert group:

  • Robert Musil: The Man Without Qualities
  • Franz Kafka: The Trial
  • Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain
  • Alfred Döblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz
  • Günter Grass: The Tin Drum
  • Uwe Johnson: Anniversaries. From the Life of Gesine Cresspahl
  • Thomas Mann: Buddenbrooks
  • Joseph Roth: Radetzky March
  • Franz Kafka: The Castle







    Le Monde, Paris, list of the 100 Books of the Century

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    The 100 Books of the Century is a grading of the books considered as the hundred best of the 20th century, drawn up in the spring of 1999 through a poll conducted by a French retailer and the Paris newspaper Le Monde.

    Starting from a preliminary list of 200 titles created by bookshops and journalists, 17,000 French voted by responding to the question, "Which books have stayed in your memory?"

    The list of acclaimed titles mixes great novels with poetry and theatre, as well as the comic strip. The list was criticized for its overly French character.


    The 100 Books of the Century

    #↓ Title↓ Author↓ Year↓ Language↓ Country↓
    1 The Stranger (The Outsider) Albert Camus 1942 French Algeria, France
    2 Remembrance of Things Past Marcel Proust 19131927 French France
    3 The Trial Franz Kafka 1925 German Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia
    4 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1943 French France
    5 Man's Fate André Malraux 1933 French France
    6 Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Céline 1932 French France
    7 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck 1939 English USA
    8 For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway 1940 English USA
    9 Le Grand Meaulnes Alain-Fournier 1913 French France
    10 Froth on the Daydream Boris Vian 1947 French France
    11 The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir 1949 French France
    12 Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett 1952 French, English Ireland, France
    13 Being and Nothingness Jean-Paul Sartre 1943 French France
    14 The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco 1980 Italian Italy
    15 The Gulag Archipelago Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 1973 Russian Soviet Union
    16 Paroles Jacques Prévert 1946 French France
    17 Alcools Guillaume Apollinaire 1913 French France
    18 The Blue Lotus Hergé 1936 French Belgium
    19 The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank 1947 Dutch Germany, Netherlands
    20 Tristes Tropiques Claude Lévi-Strauss 1955 French France
    21 Brave New World Aldous Huxley 1932 English UK
    22 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 1949 English UK
    23 Asterix the Gaul René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo 1959 French France
    24 The Bald Soprano Eugène Ionesco 1952 French, Romanian Romania, France
    25 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality Sigmund Freud 1905 German Austria
    26 The Abyss
    Zeno of Bruges
    Marguerite Yourcenar 1968 French France, Belgium
    27 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 1955 English, Russian Russia, USA
    28 Ulysses James Joyce 1922 English Ireland
    29 The Tartar Steppe Dino Buzzati 1940 Italian Italy
    30 The Counterfeiters André Gide 1925 French France
    31 The Horseman on the Roof Jean Giono 1951 French France
    32 Belle du Seigneur Albert Cohen 1968 French Greece, Switzerland
    33 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez 1967 Spanish Colombia
    34 The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner 1929 English USA
    35 Thérèse Desqueyroux François Mauriac 1927 French France
    36 Zazie in the Metro Raymond Queneau 1959 French France
    37 Confusion of Feelings Stefan Zweig 1927 German Austria
    38 Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell 1936 English USA
    39 Lady Chatterley's Lover D. H. Lawrence 1928 English UK
    40 The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann 1924 German Germany
    41 Bonjour Tristesse Françoise Sagan 1954 French France
    42 Le Silence de la mer Vercors 1942 French France
    43 Life: A User's Manual Georges Perec 1978 French France
    44 The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle 19011902 English UK
    45 Under the Sun of Satan Georges Bernanos 1926 French France
    46 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925 English USA
    47 The Joke Milan Kundera 1967 Czech Czech Republic, France
    48 A Ghost at Noon (Contempt) Alberto Moravia 1954 Italian Italy
    49 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie 1926 English UK
    50 Nadja André Breton 1928 French France
    51 Aurélien Louis Aragon 1944 French France
    52 The Satin Slipper Paul Claudel 1929 French France
    53 Six Characters in Search of an Author Luigi Pirandello 1921 Italian Italy
    54 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Bertolt Brecht 1959 German Germany
    55 Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique Michel Tournier 1967 French France
    56 The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells 1898 English UK
    57 United Kingdom If This Is a Man
    United States Survival in Auschwitz
    Primo Levi 1947 Italian Italy
    58 The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien 19541955 English Orange Free State, UK
    59 Les Vrilles de la vigne Colette 1908 French France
    60 Capitale de la douleur Paul Éluard 1926 French France
    61 Martin Eden Jack London 1909 English USA
    62 Ballad of the Salt Sea Hugo Pratt 1967 Italian Italy
    63 Writing Degree Zero Roland Barthes 1953 French France
    64 The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum Heinrich Böll 1974 German Germany
    65 The Opposing Shore Julien Gracq 1951 French France
    66 The Order of Things Michel Foucault 1966 French France
    67 On the Road Jack Kerouac 1957 English USA
    68 The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Selma Lagerlöf 19061907 Swedish Sweden
    69 A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf 1929 English UK
    70 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury 1950 English USA
    71 The Ravishing of Lol Stein Marguerite Duras 1964 French France
    72 The Interrogation J. M. G. Le Clézio 1963 French France
    73 Tropisms Nathalie Sarraute 1939 French Russia, France
    74 Journal, 1887–1910 Jules Renard 1925 French France
    75 Lord Jim Joseph Conrad 1900 English Russian Empire, UK
    76 Écrits Jacques Lacan 1966 French France
    77 The Theatre and its Double Antonin Artaud 1938 French France
    78 Manhattan Transfer John Dos Passos 1925 English USA
    79 Ficciones Jorge Luis Borges 1944 Spanish Argentina
    80 Moravagine Blaise Cendrars 1926 French France, Switzerland
    81 The General of the Dead Army Ismail Kadare 1963 Albanian, French Albania
    82 Sophie's Choice William Styron 1979 English USA
    83 Gypsy Ballads Federico García Lorca 1928 Spanish Spain
    84 The Strange Case of Peter the Lett Georges Simenon 1931 French Belgium
    85 Our Lady of the Flowers Jean Genet 1944 French France
    86 The Man Without Qualities Robert Musil 19301932 German Austria
    87 Fureur et mystère René Char 1948 French France
    88 The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger 1951 English USA
    89 No Orchids For Miss Blandish James Hadley Chase 1939 English UK
    90 Blake and Mortimer Edgar P. Jacobs 1950 French Belgium
    91 The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge Rainer Maria Rilke 1910 German Austria-Hungary, Switzerland
    92 Second Thoughts Michel Butor 1957 French France
    93 United Kingdom The Burden of Our Time
    United States The Origins of Totalitarianism
    Hannah Arendt 1951 English, German Germany, USA
    94 The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov 1967 Russian Soviet Union
    95 The Rosy Crucifixion Henry Miller 19491960 English USA
    96 The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler 1939 English USA
    97 Amers Saint-John Perse 1957 French France
    98 Gaston (Gomer Goof) André Franquin 1957 French Belgium
    99 Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry 1947 English UK
    100 Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie 1981 English India, UK


    Language and Country refer to the author's career generally, not to the book specifically.


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