Modern Library's 100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the 20th Century

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  1. The titles in bold are the ones I have read.

  2. ULYSSES by James Joyce
  3. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
  6. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
  7. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
  8. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
  10. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
  11. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
  12. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
  13. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
  14. 1984 by George Orwell
  15. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
  16. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
  17. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
  18. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
  19. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
  20. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
  21. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
  22. HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow
  24. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
  25. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
  26. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
  27. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
  28. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
  29. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  30. THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell
  31. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
  32. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
  33. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
  34. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
  35. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
  36. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
  37. ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
  38. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
  39. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
  40. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
  41. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
  42. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
  43. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
  44. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
  45. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
  46. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
  47. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
  48. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
  49. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
  50. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
  51. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
  52. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
  53. PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
  54. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
  55. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
  56. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
  57. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
  58. PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford
  59. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
  60. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
  61. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
  63. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
  64. THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever
  65. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
  66. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
  67. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
  68. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
  69. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
  70. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
  71. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
  72. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
  73. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
  74. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
  75. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
  76. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
  78. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
  79. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
  80. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
  81. BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
  83. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
  84. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
  85. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
  86. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
  87. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
  88. THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett
  89. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
  90. LOVING by Henry Green
  91. MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
  92. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
  93. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
  94. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
  95. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
  96. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
  97. SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron
  98. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
  100. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
  101. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington
Author Comments: 

So what do you think of Modern Library's list? How many have you read? I've only got nineteen under my belt, but I'm working on it.

It's funny how many of these books also became some of the most acclaimed movies of all time (The Maltese Falcon, Grapes of Wrath, From Here to Eternity, A Clockwork Orange, The Magnificent Ambersons, etc).

Possible oversights: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gone With the Wind, Fahrenheit 451, anything by Ayn Rand, anything by L. Ron Hubbard

Ur, I think the list was actually Modern Library's 100 Greatest English-Languange Novels of the 20th Century, not of all time.

Good to see this list, though!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Yeah, I thought it was kinda odd that books like "The Canterbury Tales", "Candide", "Don Quixote", "The Odyssey", etc. didn't make the list (although "The Odyssey" may count it as epic poetry rather than a novel). I actually realized this mistake soon after I made the list, but I couldn't change it until now. Sorry about this, guys! My bad!

I have read at least 70 of these books but it certainly does get me to thinking about my reading habits lately as most of these books I read more than a few years ago. I am particualry happy to find "The Studs Lonigan Trilogy" "USA" by Dos Passos and "A High Wind In Jamiaca". 3 great works I had forgotten about until reading this list.

All those movies and you still have time to read 70 of these books? jgandcag, you amaze me.

nothing amazing about it. I am just old.

I think I've only read 17 of them. I haven't really been concentrating on classics lately though.

Oh, and The Wessex 100 is interesting to check out as well.

I've read 22 of them, and I agree about the possible oversights. Also, I'm wondering if Cather's other works were published before 1900. It seems that you've read Lolita, but if not it's the best novel ever written to my mind. Of Human Bondage is also a wonderful book, especially if you're going through one of those "What is the meaning of life?" periods. Yeah, The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring are definitely oversights, as well as Gone with the Wind and The Fountainhead. I'm a little suspicious of an organization that publishes books putting out such a list, however.

Wow. I just realized that Jim posted a link to this list on November 23, 1999. I was 3 years late...