October 24, 2005

Here we go again

Yet another "100 best" book list - this time, Time lists the 100 best English-language novels since 1923. (1923 was the year Time began publishing.)

Cindy notes that she has read a whopping eight of these novels. Do I fare better, or worse? Let's find out. I've read (in alphabetical order):

  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (one of my favourites and still a regular read)
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (bleh)
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (a classic of dystopian SF)
  • Deliverance by James Dickey (a great novel made into a great movie)
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (but who hasn't?)
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding (less bleh than Catcher
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. .R. R. Tolkien (everyone should)
  • Native Son by Richard Wright (it's all The Man's fault; literature for liberals and intellectuals, as Rene Auberjonois once remarked on Deep Space Nine
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson (influential, but overrated)
  • 1984 by George Orwell (oughta be required reading for everyone)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (typical Vonnegut weirdness)
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (in my opinion, a better example of the cyberpunk genre than Neuromancer)
  • The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré (about real spies, not glamour spies like James Bond)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston (how I would imagine Faulkner or Hemingway writing if they were black women)

Final count: 14. Better than Cindy, but still not exactly evidence of being a man of letters. . . .