The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The 100 greatest novels?

Following the current trend of publishing lists, Time have given us their list of the 100 greatest English Language novels since 1923 (when Time began ha ha).

I'm mortified to admit that I've only read 19 of them (& seen film adaptions of 4 more)! Still, I never quite trust US lists, which do tend to be slightly skewed towards Americans (as I'm sure all countries tend to be), although I was pleased to see a good variety of authors there, and no Moby Dick! I'm not sure what the criteria of a "great novel" was, other than they liked it (which is pretty much what they say in their "how we picked them" bit).

I think the readers favourites is probably a more accurate list in this case (I don't always believe that the public can be trusted to chose things, but good books, who else can really say?), especially as I have read 15 of the 20!

i think I may have to go off & compile my own list now - this is something I can really get my teeth into, although it will take some thought - and an actual criteria. Any suggestions?


  • At Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:32:00 pm, Blogger it's all about me said…

    hmmm - 28 from the Time list, 14 from reader's favorites, but I have to admit to having not even heard of a lot of them. Shameful.

    What strikes me is that there is little contemporary literature in those lists, apart from Zadie Smith (who I think is a good writer, but her characters never really grab me).

    I'd like to see Douglas Coupland, Girlfriend in a Coma; Jay McInerney, Story Of My Life; Tama Janovitz, Slaves of New York; and Brett Easton Ellis, Rules of Attraction, added to the list.

  • At Thursday, October 20, 2005 10:44:00 pm, Blogger craziequeen said…

    I think, as it's your list, you can set your own criteria, Mrs A.

    How about 'Mrs A's favourite all-time books, from childhood to present-day'?

    there's a challenge


  • At Friday, October 21, 2005 12:28:00 am, Blogger Mike said…

    19 from the Time list, but only a shameful 7 from the reader's list.
    I do, however, feel particularly hard done by as I HAVE read Moby Dick and I remember thinking while reading the book that it was probably as much a trial as hunting the bloody whale.

  • At Friday, October 21, 2005 1:45:00 pm, Blogger RCA said…

    13 from the Time list, truely appaling score... headed up by my woeful inability to find time to read Catch 22

  • At Friday, October 21, 2005 8:40:00 pm, Blogger spindleshanks said…

    i was momentarily feeling v smug as i have read half the list and then i thought but this list is dumb - v american-centric. where are the brontes? or austen? dostoevsky (sp?)? gorky? hermann hess? thomas mann? george eliot? and yes, moby dick? the multitude of omissions are so glaring that no brownie points can be accepted for having read 50 of them. any list like this can only be personal - i'm looking forward to the mrs a list of a lifetime!
    btw, i tried to contribute to your faith school debate - and with the counter argument as 1stB is in a c of e secondary - but the computer ate it. ggrrr.

  • At Friday, October 21, 2005 10:00:00 pm, Blogger Juggling Mother said…

    To be fair to Time, Bronte, Austin , & Eliot were all pre-1923, and They were only looking at English Language books (by which I assume they mean originally written in English/American).

    Still, I agree, there are some glaring ommissions. But 50 is a good score.


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