Among the gazillion Best Novels Ever! lists, I always thought it was funny comparing two from Random House from a while back. A board from RH picked a top 100 of the 20th century, and they also had a top 100 from readers.
RH board top 10:
- ULYSSES by James Joyce
- THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
- LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
- BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
- THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
- CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
- DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
- SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
- THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
- ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
- THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
- BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
- THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
- TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
- 1984 by George Orwell
- ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
- WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
- MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
- FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard
Readers said Douglas Adams kicked James Joyce’s sweet Irish patootie, I’m OK with that, except James Joyce would never show up on my list. Even if all written communication ever created was destroyed, guaranteed to never come back, guaranteed to never be replaced by anything – EXCEPT James Joyce stuff, I still wouldn’t put him on a list. You couldn’t even have a top 10 list at that point because it would be like this:
1. Thank God it ain’t Two. Two’s a problem.
2. Two’s nice. You don’t like Two? What’s wrong with me?
3. It ain’t you. It’s him.
2. But he said it was me.
3. He said it was you because he’s cruel and unfair and jealous. One’s always been jealous. Whole town knows. Awful. You should know that. Ever since Father Thomas pandied him for stealing onions. You should know that, Two.
2. Father Thomas pandied him when we were lads. 21 years ago. Maybe 22. But it was at least 21. Not 23. I’m sure of it.
3. Why do you think One is always cleanchested? Washed the upper moiety. Leaned over. You could see it.
4. Fellas, you skipped me.
5. Skipped me, too.
6. Two and Three always skip. Sometimes Two will skip and Three don’t. And Three skips and Two don’t. But either Two will skip. Or Three will. Or both. But not always. You’d think both would make it worse. It don’t.
7. Seven smiled. Felt liked smilling. Washed his teeth with areca nut toothpaste again. So he smiled.
8. He was told to show up early. Eight showed up early. They didn’t need Eight yet. And he showed up early and he could still feel the sunrise on the back of his neck.
9. I need to call Ten. It’s going to be a while. Ten needs sleep after what happened yesterday. Almost all day. Since it was noon.
10. Too late.
9. Sorry, Ten.
10. I just called 50. He and 40 are coming over.
9. With the guns?
10. With the guns.