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  • Newsweek's list of the 100 best books ever

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/204478

    I think I've started War & Peace about a dozen times... and never made it past the first chapter yet.

  • #2
    After English became my daily use language, I attemted to read a few 18th/19th century Russian authors in English translation. Pushkin was fairly good, Gogol less so, Dostoyevsky I did not recognize as the same book. I suspect, Tolstoy may fall in the same category.

    BTW, am I blind, or Les Miserables did not make their top hundred? So much for the list.
    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
    by Thomas Henry Huxley

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pego
      BTW, am I blind, or Les Miserables did not make their top hundred? So much for the list.
      First you weren't cognizant of your gender, now your vision is in question. Perhaps the two are related. :lol:

      You are correct, and none of Dostoyevsky's works made it, either. This is a Crime demanding Punishment...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 2 cents
        Originally posted by Pego
        BTW, am I blind, or Les Miserables did not make their top hundred? So much for the list.
        First you weren't cognizant of your gender, now your vision is in question. Perhaps the two are related. :lol:

        You are correct, and none of Dostoyevsky's works made it, either. This is a Crime demanding Punishment...
        Yep, those aides in the nursing homes have been stealing my Aricept and selling it as a PED :wink: .

        Not only isn't Dostoyevsky there, no Voltaire, Balzac, Pushkin, Gogol, Roland, France, Göthe, Sienkiewicz, Kazantzakis, Mann... At least 80% (I did not feel like counting) books listed are written in English.
        "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
        by Thomas Henry Huxley

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 2 cents
          Originally posted by Pego
          BTW, am I blind, or Les Miserables did not make their top hundred? So much for the list.
          You are correct, and none of Dostoyevsky's works made it, either. This is a Crime demanding Punishment...
          So which books on Newsweek's list would you dump to make places for Hugo and Dostoyevsky?

          I would get rid of Beloved. I have never understood why that book got so much attention; I don't think its even some of Morrison's best work.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pego
            Not only isn't Dostoyevsky there, no Voltaire, Balzac, Pushkin, Gogol, Roland, France, Göthe, Sienkiewicz, Kazantzakis, Mann...
            And no Dickens!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by LSUfan
              So which books on Newsweek's list would you dump to make places for Hugo and Dostoyevsky?
              We could start with Winnie The Pooh.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LSUfan
                Originally posted by 2 cents
                Originally posted by Pego
                BTW, am I blind, or Les Miserables did not make their top hundred? So much for the list.
                You are correct, and none of Dostoyevsky's works made it, either. This is a Crime demanding Punishment...
                So which books on Newsweek's list would you dump to make places for Hugo and Dostoyevsky?

                I would get rid of Beloved. I have never understood why that book got so much attention; I don't think its even some of Morrison's best work.
                For Les Miserables, all of them. War and Peace is close second. Dostoyevsky is basically untranslatable, so his position may be arguable, but no Faust, no Candide?
                "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                by Thomas Henry Huxley

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am not a "widely read" person in the sense of an English Literature major. On the other hand, I am not completely illiterate and have a personal retained library of more than 1600 books, most of which I have read, and have recycled hundreds back through the annual Library Book Fair and passed on more to friends and family. I was surprised at how few of these 100 titles I have actually read.
                  I have read only 33 of these books, 28 of which are in my library
                  I was aware of and had some knowledge of 46 books
                  I had never heard of 21 of them., although I recognize the author of 12.
                  So, should I go stand in the corner, or what?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had heard of 99 of them. It's a terrible list.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A TOE's perspective: Thay are all IMPORTANT books, but are they readable and relevant today?

                      1. War and Peace - not so much
                      2. 1984 - always
                      3. Ulysses - too 'hard'
                      4. Lolita - nope
                      5. The Sound and the Fury - fascinating!
                      6. Invisible Man - yes
                      7. To the Lighthouse -sorry, no
                      8. The Illiad and The Odyssey - as a cultural thing, yes
                      9. Pride and Prejudice -nope
                      10. Divine Comedy -see #8
                      11. Canterbury Tales - ditto
                      12. Gulliver's Travels - too much of a stretch
                      13. Middlemarch - nope
                      14. Things Fall Apart -interesting!
                      15. The Catcher in the Rye - of course
                      16. Gone with the Wind - nope
                      17. One Hundred Years of Solitude - another 'interesting' choice
                      18. The Great Gatsby - just for the prose style
                      19. Catch-22 - awesome!
                      20. Beloved - tragic!

                      I'd add One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Deliverance (written by a famous Southern poet, no joke).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        26 of these I've read, 12 of them I own but have not read. The latter may sound strange, but I own hundreds of books that I have not read. Kind of a book buyeraholic thing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Marlow
                          A TOE's perspective: Thay are all IMPORTANT books, but are they readable and relevant today?

                          1. War and Peace - not so much
                          2. 1984 - always
                          3. Ulysses - too 'hard'
                          4. Lolita - nope
                          5. The Sound and the Fury - fascinating!
                          6. Invisible Man - yes
                          7. To the Lighthouse -sorry, no
                          8. The Illiad and The Odyssey - as a cultural thing, yes
                          9. Pride and Prejudice -nope
                          10. Divine Comedy -see #8
                          11. Canterbury Tales - ditto
                          12. Gulliver's Travels - too much of a stretch
                          13. Middlemarch - nope
                          14. Things Fall Apart -interesting!
                          15. The Catcher in the Rye - of course
                          16. Gone with the Wind - nope
                          17. One Hundred Years of Solitude - another 'interesting' choice
                          18. The Great Gatsby - just for the prose style
                          19. Catch-22 - awesome!
                          20. Beloved - tragic!

                          I'd add One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Deliverance (written by a famous Southern poet, no joke).
                          Marlow - as a TOE give us your Top 20 list then

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bambam
                            Marlow - as a TOE give us your Top 20 list then
                            Hmmm - off the top of my head (meaning I'm probably leaving something off)

                            20. The Color Purple - Nobel Laureate gets it right
                            19. Slaughterhouse-5 - Gotta love Kurt
                            18. Autobiography of Frederick Douglass - true tragedy/triumph
                            17. Brave New World - Think about it
                            16. 1984 - hand in hand with BNW
                            15. The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway Rulz
                            14. The Sound and the Fury - so does Faulkner
                            13. Deliverance - poetic
                            12. Catcher in the Rye - must-read for all teens
                            11. Great Gatsby - best prose style extant
                            10. Scarlet Letter - fraught with psychological complexities
                            9. Lord of the Flies - Freudian horror story
                            8. Native Son - read it to get it
                            7. Frankenstein - philosophical masterwork
                            6. To Kill a Mockingbird - what a lesson
                            5. Catch-22 - Modern Truth
                            4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Cautionary tale extraordinaire
                            3. Huck Finn - THE American story
                            2. Hamlet - the greatest existential text ever
                            1. Heart of Darkness - too too much :shock:

                            Of course if I do this next week, only 15 of these will be on the list and they'll be in a different order!

                            [N.B. Truth in advertising - I've taught all these except #20]

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                            • #15
                              Not a bad list, Marlow. Overrates Heart of Darkness in my opinion, but unlike movies I do not have a top five or ten or 20 books to come back with.

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