In 1999, the editorial board of the Modern Library came up with their list of the "Top 100 best English language novels of the 20th century." It turns out the list was derived pretty idiotically. A bit of web-research will reveal exactly how the list was derived. When the list came out, I turned to my friend, John Hall, and said, "I think I'll read them all." Hence this site.
|(Reviewed before 1999)||(Reviewed in 2002)||(Reviewed in 2006)|
|I did not like it.||(Reviewed in 1999)||(Reviewed in 2003)||(Reviewed in 2007)|
|I liked it.||(Reviewed in 2000)||(Reviewed in 2004)||(Reviewed in 2008)|
|I thought it one of the Best Novels of All Time||(Reviewed in 2001)||(Reviewed in 2005)||(Reviewed in 2009)|
| I don't pretend
to know anything about Literature, and I wouldn't be egotistical enough
to think that I could add any deep insight to books that have been
discussed extensively by literature scholars. I have included my
subjective comments on these books, for the simple reason that I like
to. There are spoilers aplenty, so be careful.
If you are moved to comment, please email me! I would like to
know your thoughts.
If you would like me to notify you whenever I post a new review, please join the top100 mailing list. (You will get no other emails but these notifications)
One more thing: Independent bookstores rock. They are the places you should go to buy books. You will find books there that you will never find in other places, you get to browse, and you may even meet someone very attractive of the appropriate gender that likes reading as much as you do. Given the choice between buying these books at a real store, or amaz*n.com, I would strongly urge you to buy them at the independent bookstore.
BUT, if you insist on buying online, if you just click the "Buy it now" next to the book you want and you can get it from amaz*n.com easily, and I will get a monetary kickback. I promise to spend the money at my local independent bookstore or coffee shop. (If you bookmark http://www.dougshaw.com/amazon, and use that link every time you go to amaz*n, you would be doing me a great service)
In the years since I've started walking on this road, I have been pleased to encounter other fellow-travelers.
A web-denizen, Orrin, is also reviewing these books. He's reviewed all of them, and read all of them but Ulysses, and perhaps Finnegan's Wake. His perspective is very different than mine, and his page is worth a look-see. I got a message from Tim, who said I inspired him to do his own top 100 review site, and you may want to check out his page as well. Another reviewer of Great Literature is Eric, and his page is worth looking at, too.
I received an email from the father of one of my good friends, Dr. Karl S. He is also walking alongside me, and we've had some nice conversations about these books. A student at my University, Chris, is also on the journey. I've also received notice from fellow travelers Dave F., Mary W., James T., Ron D., Tomo, Cat G., Charles W., Sara P. and Hal P. If you are also going through the list, and would like me to mention you as well, let me know. If you are also reviewing the top 100, I'd be glad to give you a link.
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