Here is the Random House Board’s list of greatest novels in the English language. I am working on reading my way through this list. The ones in Yellow I have already read. The ones in green I have started or attempted, and given up (for now).
Those for which I have a review in this blog are underlined, and clicking on the links jumps to the reviews.
|1. ULYSSES by James Joyce|
|2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald|
|3. A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James
|4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov|
|5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley|
|6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner|
|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|
|21. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow|
|22. APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O’Hara|
|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|
|29. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell|
|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
|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|
|61. DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather|
|62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones|
|63. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever|
|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|
|76. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark|
|77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce|
|78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling|
|79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster|
|80. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh|
|81. THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow|
|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|
|98. THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain|
|99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy|
|100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington|
15 thoughts on “100 Greatest Novels”
Is this YOUR list of greatest novels, or is it derive d from a literary source?
No, it’s actually the “Random House Board” – whatever that is. But it’s a neat idea to make my own list. Unfortunately, it’ll be all read already, all 4 stars…. I have to think about that.
An interesting list. Lots of Joyce, only one Steinbeck, no mention of Harper Lee or Philip K.Dick.
This list seems a little outdated to me. Many of them I’m sure I will never read. I didn’t finish “Grapes of Wrath”, but several of Steinbeck’s other novels are on my personal greatest of all time list.
I don’t think these lists get updated very often. That’s why they are called classics. If you think it’s outdated, I would love to hear what novels of recent vintage you think should be on this list?
Oh I don’t know, I guess I’m being too judgy, to make up for the fact that though I’m very well read I haven’t read many of these books and probably never will, unless randomly stuck in a bunker with nothing but books on this list. 😉
Hey, you’re not the only one having trouble with classic lists. I am one, too.
Okay, here are the ones on the list that I have read: 2,4,5,10(I’m counting GoW b/c I read most of it and lots of other Steinbeck),13,18,41,55,64,67. Hmm, that’s it, only 10 out of 100.
I’ve only read a measly 13 and own a paltry 8 others, clearly I need to read a lot more than I have, ah, the joys and curses of reading!
I’ve read 2 of them, animal farm and lord of the flies.
There are at least 10 here that I own, have started, but am stuck with. Classics are not easy.
To quote what I said on one of my blogs.
I like to read novels about ordinary people living ordinary lives (like me), but who then get plunged into extraordinary circumstances. Travel back in time millions of years, or everyone else suddenly disappearing from the planet apart from you, or suddenly becoming acquainted with an individual who is very intelligent, strange, different and enigmatic etc.
So, not sure about the classics and whether I would like them. Maybe I should try.
An occasional classic clears the mind. I am about half through The ’86 Fix per your recommendation. Having fun.
There’s a sequel to the 86 fix — “Beyond Broadhall”. I think he didn’t originally intend to write a sequel but he got feedback from his readers requesting that he write one. Also there’s some crossover with his novel “Tuned Out”, another time travelling novel where the main character goes back to 1969.
I can see why he needed a sequel. Check my review. I enjoyed the book, but I think I’ll move on to the next author.
Thanks for the lead though. I would never have found Pearson.