©

Home | Most Recognized Novel List | Top 3 Stand Out Novels | Sources

An objective analysis resulting in a list of the most recognized novels published in the English language from 1918 - 1990, a starting-point for readers to approach a well-read status.

Modern Library & Radcliffe

Modern Library Board 1

The Modern Library Board is made up of celebrated authors, historians, critics, and publishing
luminaries.

In 1998 and 1999, members of the Modern Library Board participated in the "100 Best" project, voting on the 100 Best Novels. Since the "100 Best" story first broke in The New York Times on Monday, July 20, 1998, all kinds of opinions about the list - and theories about the Modern Library's purpose in concocting such a contest of sorts - emerged.

The goal of the "100 Best" project was to get people talking about great books. They succeeded beyond
their wildest imaginings.


Modern Library Reader’s List 1

The readers' poll for the best novels published in the English language since 1900 opened on July 20, 1998 and closed on October 20, 1998, with 217,520 votes cast.

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study - Harvard 2 3

The mission of the Radcliffe Institute is to create an academic community where individuals can pursue advanced work in any of the academic disciplines, professions, or creative arts.

On July 21, 1998, the Radcliffe Publishing Course compiled and released its own list of the century's top 100 novels, at the request of the Modern Library editorial board.


Modern Library - The Board's List
1 ULYSSES by James Joyce 1922
2 THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925
3 A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce 1917
4 LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov 1955
5 BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley 1932
6 THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner 1929
7 CATCH-22 1961
8 DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler 1940
9 SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence 1913
10 THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck 1939
11 UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry 1947
12 THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler 1903
13 1984 by George Orwell 1949
14 I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves 1934
15 TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf 1927
16 AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser 1925
17 THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers 1940
18 SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut 1969
19 INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison 1952
20 NATIVE SON by Richard Wright 1940
21 HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow 1959
22 APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara 1934
23 U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos 1938
24 WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson 1919
25 A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster 1924
26 THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James 1902
27 THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James 1903
28 TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1934
29 THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell 1935
30 THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford 1915
31 ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell 1945
32 THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James 1904
33 SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser 1900
34 A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh 1934
35 AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner 1930
36 ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren 1946
37 THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder 1927
38 HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster 1910
39 GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin 1953
40 THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene 1948
41 LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding 1954
42 DELIVERANCE by James Dickey 1970
43 A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell 1951-1975
44 POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley 1828
45 THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway 1926
46 THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad 1907
47 NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad 1904
48 THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence 1915
49 WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence 1920
50 TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller 1934
51 THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer 1948
52 PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth 1969
53 PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov 1962
54 LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner 1932
55 ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac 1957
56 THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett 1930
57 PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford 1924-1928
58 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton 1920
59 ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm 1911
60 THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy 1961
61 DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather 1927
62 FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones 1951
63 THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLES by John Cheever 1957
64 THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger 1951
65 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess 1962
66 OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham 1915
67 HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad 1902
68 MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis 1920
69 THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton 1905
70 THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell 1957-1960
71 A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes 1929
72 A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul 1961
73 THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West 1939
74 A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway 1929
75 SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh 1938
76 THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark 1962
77 FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce 1939
78 KIM by Rudyard Kipling 1901
79 A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster 1908
80 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh 1945
81 THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow 1953
82 ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner 1971
83 A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul 1979
84 THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen 1938
85 LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad 1900
86 RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow 1975
87 THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett 1908
88 THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London 1903
89 LOVING by Henry Green 1945
90 MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie 1980
91 TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell 1932
92 IRONWEED by William Kennedy 1983
93 THE MAGUS by John Fowles 1965
94 WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys 1966
95 UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch 1954
96 SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron 1979
97 THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles 1949
98 THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain 1934
99 THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy 1955
100 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington 1918


Modern Library - The Reader's List
1 ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand 1952
2 THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand 1943
3 BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard 1982
4 THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien 1954-1955
5 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee 1960
6 1984 by George Orwell 1949
7 ANTHEM by Ayn Rand 1938
8 WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand 1940
9 MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard 1985-1987
10 FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard 1951
11 ULYSSES by James Joyce 1922
12 CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller 1961
13 THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925
14 DUNE by Frank Herbert 1965
15 THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein 1966
16 STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein 1961
17 A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute 1950
18 BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley 1932
19 THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger 1951
20 ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell 1945
21 GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon 1973
22 THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck 1939
23 SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut 1969
24 GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell 1936
25 LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding 1954
26 SHANE by Jack Schaefer 1949
27 TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOM by Nevil Shute 1960
28 A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving 1989
29 THE STAND by Stephen King 1978
30 THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN by John Fowles 1969
31 BELOVED by Toni Morrison 1987
32 THE WORM OUROBOROS by E.R. Eddison 1922
33 THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner 1929
34 LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov 1955
35 MOONHEART by Charles de Lint 1984
36 ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner 1936
37 OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham 1915
38 WISE BLOOD by Flannery O'Connor 1952
39 UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry 1947
40 FIFTH BUSINESS by Robertson Davies 1970
41 SOMEPLACE TO BE FLYING by Charles de Lint 1998
42 ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac 1957
43 HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad 1902
44 YARROW by Charles de Lint 1986
45 AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS by H.P. Lovecraft 1931
46 ONE LONELY NIGHT by Mickey Spillane 1951
47 MEMORY AND DREAM by Charles de Lint 1994
48 TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf 1927
49 THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy 1961
50 TRADER by Charles de Lint 1997
51 THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams 1979
52 THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers 1952
53 THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood 1985
54 BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy 1985
55 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess 1962
56 ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute 1957
57 A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce 1916
58 GREENMANTLE by Charles de Lint 1988
59 ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card 1985
60 THE LITTLE COUNTRY by Charles de Lint 1991
61 THE RECOGNITIONS by William Gaddis 1955
62 STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert Heinlein 1959
63 THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway 1926
64 THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving 1978
65 SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury 1962
66 THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson 1959
67 AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner 1930
68 TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller 1934
69 INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison 1952
70 THE WOOD WIFE by Terri Windling 1996
71 THE MAGUS by John Fowles 1966
72 THE DOOR INTO SUMMER by Robert Heinlein 1957
73 ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Robert Pirsig 1974
74 I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves 1934
75 THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London 1903
76 AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS by Flann O'Brien 1939
77 FARENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury 1953
78 ARROWSMITH by Sinclair Lewis 1925
79 WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams 1972
80 NAKED LUNCH by William S. Burroughs 1959
81 THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy 1984
82 GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton 1993
83 THE PUPPET MASTERS by Robert Heinlein 1951
84 IT by Stephen King 1986
85 V. by Thomas Pynchon 1963
86 DOUBLE STAR by Robert Heinlein 1956
87 CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY by Robert Heinlein 1957
88 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh 1945
89 LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner 1932
90 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST by Ken Kesey 1962
91 A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway 1929
92 THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles 1949
93 SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION by Ken Kesey 1964
94 MY ANTONIA by Willa Cather 1918
95 MULENGRO by Charles de Lint 1985
96 SUTTREE by Cormac McCarthy 1979
97 MYTHAGO WOOD by Robert Holdstock 1984
98 ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach 1977
99 THE CUNNING MAN by Robertson Davies 1994
100 THE SATANIC VERSES by Salman Rushdie 1988


Radcliffe - Institute For Advanced Study - Harvard - 100 Best
1 THE GREAT GATSBY BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 1925
2 THE CATCHER IN THE RYE BY J.D. SALINGER 1951
3 THE GRAPES OF WRATH BY JOHN STEINBECK 1902
4 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE 1962
5 THE COLOR PURPLE BY ALICE WALKER 1982
6 ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE 1922
7 BELOVED BY TONI MORRISON 1987
8 THE LORD OF THE FLIES BY WILLIAM GOLDING 1954
9 1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL 1949
10 THE SOUND AND THE FURY BY WILLIAM FAULKNER 1929
11 LOLITA BY VLADIMIR NABOKOV 1955
12 OF MICE AND MEN BY JOHN STEINBECK 1937
13 CHARLOTTE'S WEB BY E.B. WHITE 1974
14 A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN BY JAMES JOYCE 1914
15 CATCH-22 BY JOSEPH HELLER 1961
16 BRAVE NEW WORLD BY ALDOUS HUXLEY 1932
17 ANIMAL FARM BY GEORGE ORWELL 1945
18 THE SUN ALSO RISES BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY 1927
19 AS I LAY DYING BY WILLIAM FAULKNER 1930
20 A FAREWELL TO ARMS BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY 1929
21 HEART OF DARKNESS BY JOSEPH CONRAD 1902
22 WINNIE-THE-POOH BY A.A. MILNE 1926
23 THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD BY ZORA NEALE HURSTON 1937
24 INVISIBLE MAN BY RALPH ELLISON 1952
25 SONG OF SOLOMON BY TONI MORRISON 1977
26 GONE WITH THE WIND BY MARGARET MITCHELL 1936
27 NATIVE SON BY RICHARD WRIGHT 1940
28 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST BY KEN KESEY 1962
29 SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE BY KURT VONNEGUT 1969
30 FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY 1940
31 ON THE ROAD BY JACK KEROUAC 1957
32 THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY 1952
33 THE CALL OF THE WILD BY JACK LONDON 1903
34 TO THE LIGHTHOUSE BY VIRGINIA WOOLF 1927
35 PORTRAIT OF A LADY BY HENRY JAMES 1881
36 GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN BY JAMES BALDWIN 1953
37 THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP BY JOHN IRVING 1978
38 ALL THE KING'S MEN BY ROBERT PENN WARREN 1946
39 A ROOM WITH A VIEW BY E.M. FORSTER 1908
40 THE LORD OF THE RINGS BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN 1954-1955
41 SCHINDLER'S LIST BY THOMAS KENEALLY 1982
42 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE BY EDITH WHARTON 1920
43 THE FOUNTAINHEAD BY AYN RAND 1943
44 FINNEGANS WAKE BY JAMES JOYCE 1939
45 THE JUNGLE BY UPTON SINCLAIR 1906
46 MRS. DALLOWAY BY VIRGINIA WOOLF 1925
47 THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ BY L. FRANK BAUM 1900
48 LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER BY D.H. LAWRENCE 1928
49 A CLOCKWORK ORANGE BY ANTHONY BURGESS 1962
50 THE AWAKENING BY KATE CHOPIN 1899
51 MY ANTONIA BY WILLA CATHER 1918
52 HOWARDS END BY E.M. FORSTER 1910
53 IN COLD BLOOD BY TRUMAN CAPOTE 1966
54 FRANNY AND ZOOEY BY J.D. SALINGER 1961
55 THE SATANIC VERSES BY SALMAN RUSHDIE 1988
56 JAZZ BY TONI MORRISON 1992
57 SOPHIE'S CHOICE BY WILLIAM STYRON 1979
58 ABSALOM, ABSALOM! BY WILLIAM FAULKNER 1936
59 A PASSAGE TO INDIA BY E.M. FORSTER 1924
60 ETHAN FROME BY EDITH WHARTON 1911
61 A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND BY FLANNERY O'CONNOR 1955
62 TENDER IS THE NIGHT BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 1934
63 ORLANDO BY VIRGINIA WOOLF 1928
64 SONS AND LOVERS BY D.H. LAWRENCE 1913
65 BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES BY TOM WOLFE 1987
66 CAT'S CRADLE BY KURT VONNEGUT 1963
67 A SEPARATE PEACE BY JOHN KNOWLES 1959
68 LIGHT IN AUGUST BY WILLIAM FAULKNER 1932
69 THE WINGS OF THE DOVE BY HENRY JAMES 1902
70 THINGS FALL APART BY CHINUA ACHEBE 1958
71 REBECCA BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER 1938
72 A HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY BY DOUGLAS ADAMS 1998
73 NAKED LUNCH BY WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS 1959
74 BRIDESHEAD REVISITED BY EVELYN WAUGH 1945
75 WOMEN IN LOVE BY D.H. LAWRENCE 1920
76 LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL BY THOMAS WOLFE 1929
77 IN OUR TIME BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY 1925
78 THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS BY GERTRUDE STEIN 1933
79 THE MALTESE FALCON BY DASHIELL HAMMETT 1930
80 THE NAKED AND THE DEAD BY NORMAN MAILER 1948
81 WIDE SARGASSO SEA BY JEAN RHYS 1966
82 WHITE NOISE BY DON DELILLO 1985
83 O PIONEERS! BY WILLA CATHER 1913
84 TROPIC OF CANCER BY HENRY MILLER 1934
85 THE WAR OF THE WORLDS BY H.G. WELLS 1898
86 LORD JIM BY JOSEPH CONRAD 1900
87 THE BOSTONIANS BY HENRY JAMES 1896
88 AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY BY THEODORE DREISER 1925
89 DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP BY WILLA CATHER 1927
90 THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS BY KENNETH GRAHAME 1908
91 THIS SIDE OF PARADISE BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 1920
92 ATLAS SHRUGGED BY AYN RAND 1952
93 THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN BY JOHN FOWLES 1969
94 BABBITT BY SINCLAIR LEWIS 1922
95 KIM BY RUDYARD KIPLING 1901
96 THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD 1922
97 RABBIT, RUN BY JOHN UPDIKE 1960
98 WHERE ANGELS FEAR TO TREAD BY E.M. FORSTER 1905
99 MAIN STREET BY SINCLAIR LEWIS 1920
100 MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN BY SALMAN RUSHDIE 1980

The following are the sources of the information presented above:


1 The Modern Library - 100 Best.Modern Library.
(2007) : Internet.
http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100best.html

2 The Modern Library – 100 Best – Rival List.Modern Library.
(2007) : Internet.
http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100rivallist.html

3 About the Institute – Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.Harvard University.
(2010) : Internet.
http://www.radcliffe.edu/about_the_institute.aspx