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Book Chat > 100 classic novels

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ErinCBC (booksin140) | 236 comments Calgary blogger Bryan Wright is on a quest to read the 100 novels on the Time All-Time Novels list. He's about 2/5 of the way through the list.

It's a great list of books, so we have to know: how many have you read?

Check out the poll and interview here.


Jeff Bursey (JeffBursey) | 66 comments The CBC says it's a list of "classic" books while _Time_ says it's a list of their favourite books. That's quite a difference. Stendhal's _Red and the Black_ is a classic; _The Corrections_ isn't, as it's only been 10 years (oh, and it's a piece of junk), and neither is _White Teeth_

Are there any french or german or italian titles there? Anything not first written in english? Where's CĂ©line, Cendrars, Calvino, Dostoevsky, Musil, Joseph Roth, Solzhenitsyn, Mati Unt, and so on? Or, for books written first in english, Markson, McElroy, BS Johnson, Gabriel Josipovici?

This isn't a list anyone can regard as serious or comprehensive. Not that Bryan's wasting his time; he's just got an inferior, skewed list.


VWrulesChick | 1803 comments I have read about 10 or so, although I do have majority of the books I haven't read on my TBR shelf. Work in progress.


Jennifer D (DawsonOakes) | 2176 comments I have read 39 of the books on the Time list. I think it is cool Wright is taking this challenge on for himself.

Jeff wrote: "The CBC says it's a list of "classic" books while _Time_ says it's a list of their favourite books. That's quite a difference. Stendhal's _Red and the Black_ is a classic; _The Corrections_ isn't, ..."

It is noted in the link, that the compilation from Time is "a list of their all-time favourite novels published since 1923, when Time first launched."

Whenever a list is comprised of "favourites" there is always going to be disagreement as everyone's personal preferences will vary. Given the Time list was arrived at through consensus and compromise will also impact the titles selected. I notice very similar debates/discussions whenever high profile best-of book lists are covered by the media.

(I also notice only 16 women included on the list.)


ErinCBC (booksin140) | 236 comments Jeff, you're right, they aren't "classics" in the traditional sense (unless you want to call them contemporary classics or modern classics), but all is correct in the story. Sorry about the confusion everyone!

Jennifer, excellent catch on how few women are on the list. Do you know what the gender breakdown was for the BBC list? And why listmakers tend to overlook the gender breakdown?


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