Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TIME Magazine's 100 Best Novels: Part Two of Three

Click here for the previous entry. Well, let's get to it with the next set.

A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Never read it.

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers
Never heard of it.

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene
Only ever read one Greene novel and this sure wasn't it.

Herzog by Saul Bellow
Never read it. Hmmm... I'm not doing too good.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
Never read it.

A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
Never read it.

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
I've read this and it was good. Not as good as Graves' retelling of the myths, however.

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I have the 10 dollar anniversary edition and I plan to read it, but I have yet to get there.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Never read it.

Light in August by William Faulkner
Never read it, but I love Faulkner.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
I can't tell you how many times I've read this. It's so enjoyable. But would I leave off D. H. Lawrence entirely to put on Lewis' Christian allegory? No, I think not.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
In my opinion, the second greatest novel in the English language, coming a distant second to James Joyce's
Ulysses. Nabokov is one of the greatest prose stylists in the history of the English language and it's not even his native language. Nabokov is the type of writer that makes me embarrassed to write, considering I will never reach his level of quality.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Very enjoyable when I was in high school. Frustrating that kids in high school didn't understand it, as if it was overly complex.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Yawn. I've read it and I will never read it again. I'm not a fantasy guy by any stretch and to have to read the originator of the terrible fantasy paradigm that we can never escape is like being attacked by Shelob. I hated
Lord of the Rings, but I absolutely adore the movies.

Loving by Henry Green
Never read it.

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Never read it, but always wanted to.

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
Never heard of it.

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Never read it, not interested.

Money by Martin Amis
I read this a long time ago, so my memory is a little hazy. I remember liking it at the time, but I don't remember thinking it was worthy of being in the pantheon.

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Never heard of it.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Yes, now here is a novel that deserves a place in the literary canon. This is an extraordinary work of art. I love modernism and all that it tried to accomplish. I prefer
To The Lighthouse over this novel, but this is just as good.

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Ugh. I read this when I was in the hospital for a hole in my lung, and I can't say this book helped me in the slightest. I only finished it because I had nothing else to do in the hospital (funny though, the book I read after this was Chabon's
Kavalier and Clay, a much more entertaining work). Naked Lunch is possibly the most overrated novel on this list.

Native Son by Richard Wright
Always wanted to, never did.

Neuromancer by William Gibson
Here's a novel I've tried to read, but never hooks me. It's not like I dislike cyberpunk; I love it, but this leaves me cold.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Oooh, I want to read this.

1984 by George Orwell
Read it in high school and didn't care for it. No thanks.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
I had to read this for university and I hated it. Hated it. I found the characters to be so pathetic and selfish that I couldn't get into the myth of the novel. Maybe it's the mythic status that made me hate it.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Excellent novel. Loved it and loved the movie. Read it before seeing the movie, believe it or not. I thought they were both equally good but for different reasons. Chief's narration for the book, and the acting for the movie.

The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
Never heard of it.

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Always wanted to read this, and I even own a copy, but I've just never gotten around to it.

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
Huh - I thought this book was older than 1923. Still haven't read it.

Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Never read it.

Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
The only Roth novel I ever read and I didn't much care for it. It was too much an artifact of the seventies and Woody Allen and psychoanalysis and silly sexuality. I didn't like it.

Possession by A.S. Byatt
Wanted to read it, purchased it, never read it.

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
Never read it.

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
Never heard of it.

Rabbit, Run by John Updike
As of today, I'm 100 pages into it. So far so good.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
Never read it, not interested.

The Recognitions by William Gaddis
One of my favourite novels of all time. I love this book so much. I could go on.

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
Never read it. Hammett always left me cold.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Well, we know I read this.

Stay tuned for Part Three!

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