Is here for those interested. I’m always fascinated by lists of great novels and people’s reaction to them.
I agree with a lot of the list
1984 and Animal Farm – yes, brilliant, insightful, subtle and intelligent. I love Orwell’s voice and sense of storytelling.
Gibson’s Neuromancer – yes! I love his to the bones style of writing. He says in one paragraph what other notable cyberpunk authors make me hear in eight. It’s the right kind of economy for a genre that is best told that way.
The Painted Bird is a book that sticks with me to this day. It’s uncomfortable and ugly and terrifying and manages to give a vision and a voice to what people are capable of – good and bad.
Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck is probably in my top five most favorite authors of all time and Grapes of Wrath is a book I’ve read many times and loved it more with each reading.
Ellison’s Invisible Man – wow. Revolutionary, brilliant, I loved it.
Slaughterhouse Five – no one writes serious but with a sense of whimsy like Vonnegut. What a marvelously subversive book this one is.
Phillip Roth is on the list a few times, some of the titles blew me away like Portnoy’s Complaint while others I wasn’t that wowed by.
Toni Morrison’s Beloved – I remember reading this book the first time and just sitting there after I’d closed it. So much metaphor, rich, ripe, terrifying. After I became a mother I read it again and it had even more meaning to me. I like books that challenge your perspective and make you wonder just what you’d do if faced with a series of impossible circumstances (Sophie’s Choice did the same).
My fangirlish devotion to Atwood isn’t a secret but if I had to pick my favorite of all her titles, The Blind Assasin would be third on my list after Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye.
Also, I love EM Forster and A Passage to India is up there but I’d have to say I think Howard’s End is a better book.
Other books on the list I read and thought, “what’s the fuss about?” I won’t go into specifics.
What do you all think? I noticed a distinct lack of science fiction on the list and there’s simply no way I’d put Gone With The Wind on any best novel list ever (okay so I lied about not naming names). I think the list definitely hit the highlights though.