Time Magazine's All Time 100 Best Novels List

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.

2 comments to “Time Magazine's All Time 100 Best Novels List”

  1. Melany Logen
    October 30th, 2006 at 12:52 pm · Link

    Interesting list. I did make “Their Eyes were watching God” was on it. That is one book I think should be on every best of list.

    LOL hey I like Gone with the Wind *g*. AFter all tomorrow is another day.


  2. lili
    November 2nd, 2006 at 9:04 am · Link

    I liked Gone with the Wind. I read it when I was 19, haven’t read it since because I don’t read books more than once, ever. But I’d probably still like it. 😀