Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Newsweek's list of the 100 best books ever

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Wow. I would personally rename this list "Books guaranteed to cure my insomnia"

    As many hundreds of books as I have read, serious ones rarely find their way into my stack. Sure, like bh I am a book-buyaholic, and I have good (snooty) intentions sometimes, but of that Newsweek list...???

    Apart from the Bible, I saw few on there that I read by choice. A few were "read" with a TOE's gun to my head, and more than a few that made me say, WTF?

    I'm a common peasant in the literary world. Give me a good thriller, mystery or spy story any day :lol:

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by tandfman
      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.
      I hereby challenge you to a duel, my good man. Hunnypots at 20 paces.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Marlow
        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]
        So there are no great books written (originally) in anything but English? It is curious that your #1 book was written by a Pole who was fluent in at least five languages. In my experience, the greatest lacuna amongst people from the USA is their lack of knowledge about books in other languages, especially Russian literature. I don't see Chekov mentioned by anyone; as good a short story writer as anyone and only topped (perhaps) by Maupassant.
        If Hamlet makes it, then obviously plays are in. To leave Aeschylus/Sophocles/ Euripides off the list altogether, is startling. Their plays and Homer, should be read in a good translation (preferably by Richmond Lattimore) and not a "Classics Comics Illustrated" version such as those by Fagles.
        (I have not checked out Newsweek's list as yet, and am almost afraid to do so).

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Pego
          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.
          It would appear that you are fluent in Russian ("Dostoevsky I did not recognize as the same book"(??)). Then the comment about Tolstoy makes no sense. Or does it mean you have not read anything written by Tolstoy?

          Comment


          • #20
            I've read six off Marlow's list and three on the newsweek one. I should probably go and buy Catcher in the Rye.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Daisy
              I've read six off Marlow's list and three on the newsweek one. I should probably go and buy Catcher in the Rye.
              Daisy, my dear girl, you are obviously nearly illiterate and undoubtedly (read CitR for details) a complete phony . . . .

              Comment


              • #22
                I'll get on to it :!:

                I'm currently reading a book by Spencer Wells (The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey). Does that make me a phony? By the way, I won't tell you how it ends.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by catson52
                  Originally posted by Pego
                  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.
                  It would appear that you are fluent in Russian ("Dostoevsky I did not recognize as the same book"(??)). Then the comment about Tolstoy makes no sense. Or does it mean you have not read anything written by Tolstoy?
                  I used to be fluent in Russian. 40 years in USA with a complete disuse led to losing it (it was my fourth language in the first place, it was easy to lose it).
                  As far as Tolstoy is concerned, I read War and Peace and the Cossacks in Russian, Anna Karenina in Slovak (my mother tongue) translation, but nothing in English translation.

                  Marlow's list brings me to my old gripe about literature education in this country. While it is a good list, it is all by English speakers, as if no literature other than English existed.
                  "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                  by Thomas Henry Huxley

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Pego
                    as if no literature other than English existed.
                    I think we all read a lot by the Brothers Grimm, although much of it got disneyfied Hans Christian Andersen, of course, and good old Æsop.

                    I was just reading some the comments for the article. All seem indignant. One comment caught my eye though.
                    The Bible ??? the single book which has most influenced the English language ??? not at #1?! William Shakespeare ??? the second biggest influence on the language ??? not showing up until #49?!
                    The bible influenced the english language more than Shakespeare? What does influenced mean in this context?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I envy multi-lingual people. Most Americans, realistically, are limited to reading either English literature or English translations of foreign language classics and have no basis for comparing the quality of the translation to the original language. I have read Dostoevsky, de Maupassant, Tolstoy and, not knowing better, was perfectly content with the English version.
                      That said, I have no idea what constitutes a "great" book and would not attempt to rank them. When I am reading a book, I only know whether it holds my interest and/or teaches me something I want to know about a subject or the life and times when it was written. Ludlum, LeCarre, Forsyth, Archer, MIchner,O'Hara, Hailey, Clancy, Grisham, etc may not write great books but they entertain me as opposed to slogging thru a book someone has defined as "classic" looking for a message or a moral.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by lonewolf
                        but they entertain me as opposed to slogging thru a book someone has defined as "classic" looking for a message or a moral.
                        This is pretty much my attitude to reading too. If it's boring, even if it is a classic, it is usually put aside. Some of the "classics" are very readable, but, as you point out, some of the "non classics" are more enjoyable.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I like Marlow's list as a starting point. The magazine list includes a substantial number of titles that are basically unreadable and that ought to be pursued only by people chasing specific academic disciplines. Mostly another silly list.

                          Me, I think Of Mice and Men is a small masterpiece, much better than any other Steinbeck piece.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            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).
                            You like "The Sound and the Fury" but you think "Ulysses" is too hard. Can't have it both ways.

                            Illiad and Odyssey, only as a cultural thing! Then you mention "The Catcher in the Rye" :shock:
                            I'll take any book written by Saul Bellow and Philip Roth before "The Catcher"

                            Best book by Faulkner to me is "Light in August"

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Looking at the list again, I'm struck by the total absence of any Canadian fiction. No Atwood, no Richler, no Bellow, no Davies. I would have had something by Davies on the list (perhaps Fifth Business) and, although I'm not sure he belongs in this league, Richler is one of my favorites.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Daisy
                                Originally posted by lonewolf
                                but they entertain me as opposed to slogging thru a book someone has defined as "classic" looking for a message or a moral.
                                This is pretty much my attitude to reading too. If it's boring, even if it is a classic, it is usually put aside. Some of the "classics" are very readable, but, as you point out, some of the "non classics" are more enjoyable.
                                Once upon a time I read this definition of a classic.

                                "An author, everybody wants to have read, but nobody wants to read."
                                "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                                by Thomas Henry Huxley

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X