Thursday, February 16, 2012

The 100 greatest novels of all time

The Guardian lists the 100 greatest novels of all time. My only quibbles are:

  • It lists Dostoevsky's Brother's Karamazov, which is not as good a novel as Crime and Punishment, which it does not list; 
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (assuming the list is in order of quality) is too low on the list; 
  • I'm not sure the Pilgrim's Progress is really a "novel," as we think of it (the same goes for Alice in Wonderland); 
  • Only one Tolstoy novel (Anna Karennina)?
  • Only one Jane Austen novel (and it's Emma?)?
  • And why is Catcher in the Rye on the list at all?

Other than that, it's a pretty darn good list.


KyCobb said...

Charlotte's Web was one of my childhood favorites. I think Watership Down is a great children's fantasy epic that could have been included. At the risk of sounding like a philistine, I would suggest that Stephen King's "The Stand" is worthy of consideration as well.

Martin Cothran said...


This was more an adult list, and I am actually going to post a children's list on Saturday. Charlotte's Web is a great one, as is the same author's Trumpet of the Swan. Have you read that? E. B. White was just a great writer. Period. And I actually think Stephen King is a very, very good writer. And there are a lot of very good writers who think so, too.

KyCobb said...

I don't think I have read Trumpet of the Swan; I ought to take the kids over to the library and check it out. I just read King's 11/22/63, and it was engrossing.BEW

Osbert Parsley said...

It looks like this is a chronological list (rather than one in order of quality), which explains why To Kill a Mockingbird rates below The Diary of a Nobody. . .

The compilers also seem to have restricted themselves to one novel by each author, which explains some of the other oddities (you're telling me that only one novel by Dickens, Austen, or Tolstoy rates higher than The Riddle of the Sands?)