Modern Library's Top 100 novels of the 20th Century

(juried, not voted on). Awful list: Lawrence, Dreiser, and Kerouac, but not Barth, Gaddis, and Pynchon.

1. Ulysses, James Joyce

2. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

4. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov

5. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

6. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

7. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

8. Darkness at Noon, Arthur Koestler

9. Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence

10. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

11. Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry

12. The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler

13. 1984, George Orwell

14. I, Claudius, Robert Graves

15. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf

16. An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser

17. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

18. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

19. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

20. Native Son, Richard Wright

21. Henderson the Rain King, Saul Bellow

22. Appointment in Samarra, John O' Hara

23. U.S.A. (trilogy), John Dos Passos

24. Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson

25. A Passage to India, E. M. Forster

26. The Wings of the Dove, Henry James

27. The Ambassadors, Henry James

28. Tender Is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald

29. The Studs Lonigan Trilogy, James T. Farrell

30. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

31. Animal Farm, George Orwell

32. The Golden Bowl, Henry James

33. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser

34. A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh

35. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

36. All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren

37. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder

38. Howards End, E. M. Forster

39. Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin

40. The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene

41. Lord of the Flies, William Golding

42. Deliverance, James Dickey

43. A Dance to the Music of Time (series), Anthony Powell

44. Point Counter Point, Aldous Huxley

45. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

46. The Secret Agent, Joseph Conrad

47. Nostromo, Joseph Conrad

48. The Rainbow, D. H. Lawrence

49. Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence

50. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller

51. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer

52. Portnoy's Complaint, Philip Roth

53. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov

54. Light in August, William Faulkner

55. On the Road, Jack Kerouac

56. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

57. Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford

58. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton

59. Zuleika Dobson, Max Beerbohm

60. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy

61. Death Comes to the Archbishop, Willa Cather

62. From Here to Eternity, James Jones

63. The Wapshot Chronicles, John Cheever

64. The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

65. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess

66. Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham

67. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

68. Main Street, Sinclair Lewis

69. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton

70. The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell

71. A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes

72. A House for Ms. Biswas, V. S. Naipaul

73. The Day of the Locust, Nathaniel West

74. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway

75. Scoop, Evelyn Waugh

76. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark

77. Finnegans Wake, James Joyce

78. Kim, Rudyard Kipling

79. A Room With a View, E. M. Forster

80. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

81. The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow

82. Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner

83. A Bend in the River, V. S. Naipaul

84. The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen

85. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad

86. Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow

87. The Old Wives' Tale, Arnold Bennett

88. The Call of the Wild, Jack London

89. Loving, Henry Green

90. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

91. Tobacco Road, Erskine Caldwell

92. Ironweed, William Kennedy

93. The Magus, John Fowles

94. Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys

95. Under the Net, Iris Murdoch

96. Sophie's Choice, William Styron

97. The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles

98. The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain

99. The Ginger Man, J. P. Donleavy

100. The Magnificent Ambersons, Booth Tarkington

Another hundred

100 20th-century Anglophone novels--not better, not worse, not overlapping the Modern Library. Books--that do something well, and that something does not make me want to toss my cookies. I've read most, but included a few on the basis of informed opinion. I am obviously a prisoner of my old DWEM training, but at least this list includes lotsa genre stuff. Obviously, we're not done: I don't know enough about romance and fantasy, nor can I tell you which Elmore Leonard book to read first.

1. Brian Aldiss, The Helliconia Trilogy

2. Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy

3. James Baldwin, Another Country

4. John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor

5. ---, Letters

6. ---, The Tidewater Tales

7. Saul Bellow, The Victim

8. ---, Herzog

9. Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination

10. John Brunner, The Whole Man

11. ---, Stand on Zanzibar

12. Anthony Burgess, The Doctor Is Sick

13. ---, M/F

14. ---, Earthly Powers

15. John Horne Burns, The Gallery

16. William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

17. Octavia Butler, Mind of My Mind

18. G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

19. Richard Condon, The Manchurian Candidate

20. ---, Mile High

21. Robert Coover, The Universal Baseball Association

22. ---, The Public Burning

23. Robertson Davies, The Deptford Trilogy

24. Samuel R. Delany, Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand

25. Nigel Dennis, Cards of Identity

26. Philip K. Dick, Ubik

27. Thomas M. Disch, Camp Concentration

28. ---, The Businessman, a Tale of Terror

29. Greg Egan, Permutation City

30. James Ellroy, American Tabloid

31. William Gaddis, The Recognitions

32. ---, JR

33. ---, A Frolic of His Own

34. Amitrav Ghosh, The Calcutta Chromosome

35. William Gibson, Neuromancer

36. William Goldman, Boys and Girls Together

37. Kathleen Ann Goonan, The Bones of Time

38. Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

39. ---, The End of the Affair

40. Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

41. Joseph Heller, Something Happened

42. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

43. Philip Kerr, A Philosophical Investigation

44. Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion

45. Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water

46. Dean Koontz, Midnight

47. Jerzy Kosinsky, Being There

48. R.A. Lafferty, Fourth Mansions

49. Dave Langford, The Leaky Establishment

50. A.J. Langguth, Jesus Christs

51. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

52. ---, The Lathe of Heaven

53. --- The Dispossessed

54. Doris Lessing. The Golden Notebook

55. John D. MacDonald, The Deep Blue Good-Bye

56. Ross Macdonald, The Chill

57. Bernard Malamud, The Natural

58. ---, The Assistant

59. Barry N. Malzberg, Herovit's World

60. Frank McAuliffe, The Commissions of Augustus Mandrell

61. Ed McBain, Ice

62. Wright Morris, The Huge Season

63. Iris Murdoch, A Severed Head

64. Flann O'Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds

65. Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood

66. Patrick O'Leary, Door Number Three

67. Robert B. Parker, Promised Land

68. Pohl & Kornbluth, The Space Merchants

69. Mario Puzo, The Godfather

70. Thomas Pynchon, V.

71. ---, The Crying of Lot 49

72. ---, Gravity's Rainbow

73. ---, Mason & Dixon

74. Ishmael Reed, Mumbo-Jumbo

75. ---, Flight to Canada

76. Luke Rhinehart, The Dice Man

77. Alan Rodgers, Bone Music

78. Fr. Rolfe, Hadrian VII

79. Philip Roth, The Great American Novel

80. ---, The Human Stain

81. Tom Sharpe, The Great Pursuit

82. Shea & Wilson, Illuminatus!

83. Robert Sheckley, Dimension of Miracles

84. Robert Silverberg, Dying Inside

85. Dan Simmons, Carrion Comfort

86. John Sladek, The Muller-Fokker Effect

87. Gilbert Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew

88. Muriel Spark, Loitering with Intent

89. Neil Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

90. Peter Straub, The Blue Rose Trilogy

91. ---, Mr. X

92. Theodore Sturgeon, More than Human

93. J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

94. Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

95. Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall

96. Donald E. Westlake, Dancing Aztecs

97. Thornton Wilder, Heaven's My Destination

98. Angus Wilson, Anglo-Saxon Attitudes

99. Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun

100. Roger Zelazny, A Night in the Lonesome October