Time Magazines Top 100 All-Time Novels (1923-2005) | Lincoln City Libraries

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Time Journal’s Prime 100 All-Time Novels (1923-2005)


In 2005, Time® journal’s literary critics, Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo chosen what they thought of to be the highest 100 English-language novels printed from 1923 to 2005 (1923 being the yr Time® started publishing). As traditional, with any “prime 100” listing, these have been their subjective decisions, and clearly don’t mirror the views of every other reader. Nonetheless, their listing inarguably consists of quite a few works of influential English-languge literature. To see their authentic on-line listing, together with detailed plot descriptions, go to Time’s Critics Decide the 100 Greatest Novels on the Time® web site.

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[Note: At the time this list was assembled, the Lincoln City Libraries owned 99 of these 100 titles — listed in alphabetical order below. Click on the titles or book covers to connect directly to our catalog and check on the availability of each of these books.]

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow 1953

All of the King’s Males by Robert Penn Warren 1946

American Pastoral by Philip Roth 1997

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser 1925

Animal Farm by George Orwell 1946

Appointment in Samarra by John O’Hara 1934

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume 1970

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud 1957

At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O’Brien 1938

Atonement by Ian McEwan 2002

Beloved by Toni Morrison 1987

The Berlin Tales by Christopher Isherwood 1946

The Huge Sleep by Raymond Chandler 1939

The Blind Murderer by Margaret Atwood 2000

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy 1986

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh 1946

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder 1927

Name It Sleep by Henry Roth 1935

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 1961

The Catcher within the Rye by J.D. Salinger 1951

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess 1963

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron 1967

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen 2001

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon 1966

A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell 1951

The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West 1939

Loss of life Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather 1927

A Loss of life within the Household by James Agee 1958

The Loss of life of the Coronary heart by Elizabeth Bowen 1938

Deliverance by James Dickey 1970

Canine Troopers by Robert Stone 1974

Falconer by John Cheever 1977

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The French Lieutenant’s Girl by John Fowles 1969

The Golden Pocket book by Doris Lessing 1962

Go Inform It on the Mountain by James Baldwin 1953

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 1936

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 1939

Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon 1973

The Nice Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925

A Handful of Mud by Evelyn Waugh 1934

The Coronary heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 1940

The Coronary heart of the Matter by Graham Greene 1948

Herzog by Saul Bellow 1964

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson 1981

A Home for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul 1962

I, Claudius by Robert Graves 1934

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace 1996

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison 1952

Gentle in August by William Faulkner 1932

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 1950

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 1955

Lord of the Flies by William Golding 1955

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 1954

Loving by Henry Inexperienced 1945

Fortunate Jim by Kingsley Amis 1954

The Man Who Beloved Youngsters by Christina Stead 1940

Midnight’s Youngsters by Salman Rushdie 1981

Cash: A Suicide Word by Martin Amis 1984

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy 1961

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf 1925

Bare Lunch by William Burroughs 1959

Native Son by Richard Wright 1940

Neuromancer by William Gibson 1984

By no means Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 2005

1984 by George Orwell 1948

On the Highway by Jack Kerouac 1957

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 1962

The Painted Chicken by Jerzy Kosinski 1965

Pale Fireplace by Vladimir Nabokov 1962

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster 1924

Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion 1970

Portnoy’s Criticism by Philip Roth 1969

Possession by A.S. Byatt 1990

The Energy and the Glory by Graham Greene 1939

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark 1961

Rabbit, Run by John Updike 1960

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow 1975

The Recognitions by William Gaddis 1955

Pink Harvest by Dashiell Hammett 1929

Revolutionary Highway by Richard Yates 1961

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles 1949

Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut 1969

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson 1992

The Sot-Weed Issue by John Barth 1960

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner 1929

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford 1986

The Spy Who Got here In From the Chilly by John le Carre 1964

The Solar Additionally Rises by Ernest Hemingway 1926

Their Eyes Had been Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 1937

Issues Fall Aside by Chinua Achebe 1959

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 1960

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf 1927

Tropic of Most cancers by Henry Miller 1934

Ubik by Philip Ok. Dick 1969

Underneath the Web by Iris Murdoch 1954

Underneath the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry 1947

Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons 1986

White Noise by Don DeLillo 1985

White Enamel by Zadie Smith 2000

Broad Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys 1966


Editor’s Choice: Regrets of the Dying – Bronnie Ware

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