Surprised that no one else has picked up on this. The UK Guardian published its Top 100 Novels of All Time list.
1. Don Quixote – Miguel De Cervantes
2. Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
3. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
4. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
5. Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
6. Clarissa – Samuel Richardson
7. Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
8. Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
9. Emma – Jane Austen
10. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
I’m surprised how many of the ranked titles are names — Emma, Frankenstein. I’m equally surprised — at myself — because I’ve never heard of No. 7. And if I’m completely honest I’ve read only five of the top 10 and less than half of the rest of the list. I was never able to finish Robinson Crusoe. I struggled and when I got half way through and discovered he’d already been lifted off the island, well, that was it.
Wind in The Willows deserves no spot here. The Bronte sisters have too many spots. My list would include much more about fantasy – such as Lord of the Rings and, oddly, the Dragonlance series.
What really makes a novel literature? Or “great.” That question is as easy to answer as the one about media bias vs perception.
Of course, as I went to find my Amazon links below I noticed a disturbing “Customers who bought this book also purchased” trend where other books on the list were mentioned. Is this how the list was put together? I want some methodology people.