Friday, March 09, 2007

The Ultimate Top 10 Greatest Books of All Time?

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
2. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
7. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
10. Middlemarch by George Eliot

What can I say - I love lists. But can this really be the ultimate 10? I dunno. With all of the hundreds of thousands of books in the world, Tolstoy manages to make the list twice? Hmm.

(In bold are the ones I've read.)


Elliot said...

It's so subjective!

Clemens said...

And... where did the list come from? I've often heard that War and Peace is the greatest novel ever written, but here it is edged out by Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary. And.. is Hamlet really a book?

I am trying hard to get through the first volume of Proust, "Swann's Way," but my interest is rapidly dwindling. But it is regarded as the best novel of the 20th century by many critics. I think "Heavy Metal" magazine was running a comic book version of it some years ago.

And what about non-western works? The Bible? The Iliad? The Book of Genji?

Man, lists ARE fun.

Anactoria said...

This particular Top 10 is from a Time magazine article.
Its supposed to be the "all-time, ultimate Top Top 10 list, derived from the top 10 lists of 125 of the world's most celebrated writers combined."

So far, the only one on that list that I would have on my own Top 10 is Middlemarch. Mine would definitely not have Lolita on it. Or The Great Gatsby. (Although maybe if I read it again I'd like it more.)

And I'm with you on that - if Hamlet counts, why *not* the Bible or the Iliad?

Its a very modern list that they've come up with. Every single book on the list (the exception is Hamlet) was written within the last 150 years.

Methinks the authors they surveyed need to read more broadly.