Thursday October 16, 2003

100 greatest novels of all time?

Category: Opinionated | 12 Comments | Posted 20:51

This entry is inspired by this one by Lo, as she brought to my attention this (very subjective, but interesting) 100 greatest novels of all time list at the Observer. Since I'm sorta bored (and too lazy to tidy my room for squiZZ's arrival tomorrow), I've decided to go thru the list and comment on the ones I've read. :P This is probably gonna be quite boring so I won't blame you if you don't read it. :))

1. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
Not read. Probably done at school tho as I kinda know the story, but not interested in reading. :P

2. Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
Haha, I must admit I've never heard of the guy :))

3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
Interesting... I'm not sure if I've read it tbh. I have it, so I must have bought it for some course, but I don't think I've actually read it... the story is so well known anyway and I know I've read the french rewrite Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage by Michel Tournier.

4. Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
I've read parts of this. It's very funny.

5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding
Read it (for a course) and hated it.

6. Clarissa Samuel Richardson
LOL yes yes, my name. I've done it for a course, but I think I only read a summary or sth. I didn't like the morals and the tone of the novel.

7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne
Loved it!! I have to admit I never finished it cuz I read it at a very busy time with lots of exams, but I will finish it one day. It's absolutely fabulous. Hilarious, and I got totally immerged in it. :x

8. Dangerous Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
Not read.

9. Emma Jane Austen
Eugh. I hate Jane Austen. I know she's incredibly fashionable at the moment and all the girls love her, but eugh. (have read it tho. Had to, obviously)

10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
Gothic fiction. :x One of my specialist subjects. I think I've written three essays on this novel, including one with a socialist approach. :))

11. Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love Peacock

12. The Black Sheep Honore De Balzac
Um. Read lots of Balzac, but this doesn't ring a bell. I'm sure it must be called sth completely different in French, but I don't recognize it even by its synopsis. (ok done some research, it's La Rabouilleuse.)

13. The Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal
Um. Studied it briefly at school, but not read.

14. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
Same thing.

15. Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
LOL I'm sure I've mentioned the book in one of my "social novel" essays, but never read it. :P

16. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
Read, written essay... was ok. Read better Dickens. (obviously this is a totally subjective opinion)

17. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
I wouldn't say I loved it, but I liked it a lot, and loved writing an essay about it.

18. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
"the madwoman in the attic" :)) It's an ok novel. I preferred her sister's.

19. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray

20. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yeah I think I read this ages ago. Or maybe I just watched the film :)), but I definitely had to study it for a course. :P

OK from now on I shall only mention the ones I have actually read (or have sth to say about). Getting a bit too long otherwise. You can find the whole list here anyway.

22. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
I even read this twice at school, both times compulsory, but enjoyed it both times.

24. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
Oh yeah. It's an amazing book. Loved it, written essay about it. Fascinating use of language. Nevermind if he was a paedophile. :P

25. Little Women Louisa M. Alcott
Read this in French as a kid. Twice even, so I guess I liked it. :P

27. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
Again, read it in French as a kid. Liked it, tho I think I stopped just before the end (yes yes I knew she'd kill herself. Oops!)

28. Daniel Deronda George Eliot
I really dislike George Eliot. Not read, but done for a course.

30. The Portrait of a Lady Henry James
Read ages ago, don't remember much, but think I liked.

32. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
Gothic. :x So yes, read, and written essay about. :))

34. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
:wh Tho I call myself a fan of Wilde, I've not read this in its entirety.

39. Nostromo Joseph Conrad
Hate Conrad. Nuff said.

41. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
:x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x what more can I say? OK - I'll be honest. I'm half way thru the 2nd book... out of 7 (and I started 7yrs ago :))). It's really intense reading, so I don't often find the courage to pick it up. But, well, it's still one of the most beautiful things ever written. Some passages make me cry, just because of their incredibly beautiful style. :x :x :x

45. Ulysses James Joyce
Er.. I tried once. Never expected to finish it. Got to about page 5 or sth. It's dreadfully unreadable. :))

47. A Passage to India E. M. Forster
Um.. yeah I think I've read it. No no I'm quite sure. I have vague memories. Can't have left a big impression. :)) I liked Howard's End better.

49. The Trial Franz Kafka
:-& No offence to Katja, hehe, but I hate Kafka. His novels give me the creeps.

51. Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Celine
CÚline is deemed "uncool" in France cuz of his dealings with Nazis. Um, not read the book, tho I have it and it keeps leaping out at me on the shelf.

58. The Plague Albert Camus
Camus rocks. Did this at school. Not read it since, tho done some others of his works. Hooray for existentialists! (er, Sartre rocks harder :)))

59. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
Yeah well, who hasn't read this. It's, um, ok.

61. Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
I did this at school, at around 16 (same age as the narrator, Holden Caulfield). It left a good impression, so I did it again with my class as a teacher, and we all hated it. I found Holden immature and self-indulgent, and they found him boring and uncool. :))

69. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Heeheehee... (;;) @ Lo & Val). Didn't like this much.

70. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
I haven't read this, I just wanna mention it cuz if Tobias reads the list, he'll go "What? You haven't read Die Blechtrommel??" So, um, no. Have written an essay about it tho if that helps. :)) Actually I think I've read bits of it.

76. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Not yet, but it's on my "to read" shelf and will be one of the next books I read. Well, one of the next 10 or 20. :))

Right, that's it. Interesting how the final 30 novels or so are contemporary, whereas the Top50 is almost exclusively made up of classics.
Just worked it out, so I've read about 20 of the 100. Not too impressive uh? :P


did anyone read it all?

Posted by: squiZZ at October 17, 2003 12:28 AM

Posted by: Clarissa at October 17, 2003 12:30 AM

I think I've only read 3 of them.

Posted by: Jar Jar at October 17, 2003 01:04 AM

You read a whole lot.

Posted by: Vega at October 17, 2003 02:22 AM

Kafka. Ive only read one of his books. It might have been called The Transformation. He becomes a bug anyway. I loved it. Creeped me out, but in a good way.

Posted by: Vega at October 17, 2003 02:23 AM

Metamorphosis in English I think. That's the one I read too.
And yes, I read a lot
Reading rawks!

Posted by: Clarissa at October 17, 2003 09:16 AM

I didn't read the books, I watched the movies.
There are classics in this list you didn't read, which you should have seen at least as movies: Dangerous Liaisons, Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Call of the Wild (I even read this one! ), The Wind in the Willows, The Great Gatsby (you didn't read this one for school?), The Trial, The Tin Drum, The Big Sleep, The Lord Of The Rings (!!!), Lord of the Flies (you didn't read this one for school?), La Confidential.

Posted by: Tobias at October 17, 2003 10:21 AM

LOL well I've seen ONE Of the LOTR films!
And no, I didn't do The Great Gatsby, tho I know lots of people who did.
I have the Dangerous Liaisons remake with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but found boring
And actually I think I've seen The Trial. I was only a small kid tho.

Posted by: Clarissa at October 17, 2003 10:57 AM

I've read 10 of them, "Lolita" - 5 times , @ Citz.

Posted by: Lo at October 18, 2003 01:44 PM

LMAO @ 5 times. Freak!!!

Posted by: Clarissa at October 18, 2003 02:31 PM

I think that the list was quite lacking, what about, War and Peace, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, The Time MAchine, David Copperfeild, War of the Worlds, Ine Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, or Gone with the Wind, everylast one deserving a spot on that list, but alot of them were good choices.

Posted by: Kris at January 9, 2004 02:55 AM

A lot of those you mentioned were on the actual list. Just not mine cuz I haven't read them (David Copperfield is on my list even)

Posted by: Clarissa at January 9, 2004 12:49 PM