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Thread: Is It? Yep. Another List.

  1. #1
    Come Along, Pond phat32's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Hi, Olivia!

    Is It? Yep. Another List.

    Time Magazine's list of top 100 English-language novels (since 1923)

    Knee jerk reactions:

    on the inclusion of Animal Farm, Invisible Man (Ellison, not Wells), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird

    on Light in August and The Sound and the Fury

    I was surprised by Snow Crash, Neuromancer, The Big Sleep and especially Watchmen.

    Snow Crash is my favorite novel, but it and Neuromancer are often considered cornerstone novels in the cyberpunk genre. I didn't expect Time to recognize cyberpunk novels as among two of the "greatest novels" since 1923.

    I'm happy, but surprised, that Time recognized the "hard boiled" genre by giving a nod to The Big Sleep.

    Last, but certainly not least, the Alan Moore graphic novel(!) (read: comic book) Watchmen made the list?! That's certainly a surprise, albeit a pleasant one. Most critics don't recognize graphic novels as "serious" literature.
    "...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor

  2. #2
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? Reading it was certainly a rite of passage for girls in my era, but I'd hardly put it in the Top 100 English Language Novels since 1923.

  3. #3
    CCL is offline
    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Here and there
    C'mon, Mariner, that's a classic book.
    Hm, a teacher once recommended French Lieutenant's Woman to me but I've never read it. Maybe I should get around to that.
    Before we begin, what are the parameters of the guessing game? How many guesses do I get? Is there a time limit?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner
    Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? Reading it was certainly a rite of passage for girls in my era, but I'd hardly put it in the Top 100 English Language Novels since 1923.
    I agree...if they wanted to include a potent coming of age story from the perspective of a young female character I think A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a much better book. I know that Tree really touched me as a young girl whereas Margaret was a bit more fluff.

  5. #5
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Playing kickball for the beer
    The only thing I remember about Margaret is that they had belts to use pads. I was terribly confused about how THAT would work, and then it was irrelevant after all.

    Ok, I've now looked at that list. I have an English degree and I've only read 20 of those books. Just more proof these lists are SO subjective.
    Last edited by Lucy; 11-10-2005 at 10:14 PM.
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  6. #6
    RENThead JLuvs's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    Lucy I just did the same thing.

    I have my BA in English and have only read ten of the books on that list.

    Maybe that has to with my education being overseas???

    I was happy to see On The Road, The Day of Locusts, and Wide Sargasso Sea on the list as I love those books in particular.
    Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.

  7. #7
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCL
    Hm, a teacher once recommended French Lieutenant's Woman to me but I've never read it. Maybe I should get around to that.
    Oh, you should! It's one of the best novels I've ever read. If you're into Victorian novels, or just beautifully written, engaging novels in general, you should check it out. Since the author, John Fowles, sadly passed away the other day, it would be a fitting tribute. The Magus is another glorious book. Very challenging, but amazing.

    Anyway, the list. Overall good, somewhat unpredictable choices - I was particularly thrilled to see Margaret Atwood on the list, although I would probably have opted for Cat's Eye or Robber's Bride rather than The Blind Assassin.

    Other highlights according to moi: Beloved, Brideshead Revisited (I LOVE that book! I single-handedly blame Evelyn Waugh for my still severe case of Anglophilia.), The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Midnight's Children, To Kill a Mockingbird.

    Questions: WHY is White Teeth included when I, and countless of other people, couldn't even be bothered to finish it? Seriously, I haven't met a single person who genuinely liked it. It's the Emperor's New Clothing of modern literature. And while I'm sure the new Kazuo Ishiguro novel is just great (can't wait to read it), isn't it a bit weird naming a novel that was released, like, four months ago one of the greatest since the 1920's? If they wanted Ishiguro on the list, why not put The Remains of the Day, which already feels like a classic, on there instead?

    More knee-jerk reactions: No Joyce Carol Oates? Oh, and call me crazy, but I would have liked to see an Agatha Christie novel up there.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

  8. #8
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    In the trees
    I have a grade 9 education, read 16 of them and not a one at the behest of a teacher - by golly I feel smart. I too would like to have seen an Agatha Christie on the list, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" in particular, and I have to ask, as I did with the Guardian's list, why the hell is there no Sinclair Lewis on it? Huh? Why?
    And so it begins, the end of times..

  9. #9
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    I've read twenty of them. I agree with some of the inclusions and disagree with others. I really think the only reason these stupid lists exist are to keep trying to convince people that Salinger's disaster of a novel is actually worth reading.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  10. #10
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    I've read 16 - read the whole book, that is. Never could finish Lord of the Rings or Neuromancer. I did like the Rings movies, though.

    I'll join the praise for The French Lieutenant's Woman, as it's a personal favourite of mine. Margaret Atwood is my hero, so it's good to see her on the list - but as Geek said, that's not the book I would have picked (I would have gone with Alias Grace ). I've always loved On The Road, so I'm pleased to see that on the list as well.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
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