Jeremy Hylton : weblog : 2003-11-12

Another List of the 100 Greatest Novels

Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 11:33 a.m.

Just saw a link to the latest list of the 100 greatest novels. It is unusual for listing so many early novels at the top -- Don Quixote, Pilgrim's Progress, Robinson Crusoe. It's also unusual for only having one novel by an author; that keeps Jane Austen and Charles Dickens from crowding everyone else out.

Edith Grosssman's new translation of Don Quixote has been getting very good reviews. I looked for it last weekend for my train ride, but couldn't find a copy.

I've read 18 of the 100 books from The Charterhouse of Parma, the highest ranked book I've read, through Atonement, the book on the list I've read most recently. I enjoyed Parma, but I don't think I would rank it above Huck Finn or Anna Karenina.

Brian Reynolds kindly explained my confusion about the ranking of the list. It is a chronological list rather than a best-first list. Of course Don Quixote is first! (I got a copy of Christmas and it's next on my reading list.)