The Modern Library: The Two Hundred Best Novels in English Since 1950

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I probably should say something about the Australians. The surprises are welcome nevertheless: Frank Moorhouse Forty-Seventeen , about a romance between a forty year old bloke and a seventeen year old girl. This is a good guide. View all 12 comments. Sep 12, Lawyer rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-about-books.

To say that I'm finished with this book isn't quite accurate. This is a book about books that I will return to time and again. Grab a copy of it and swim around in it. If you're like me, you will be humbled by it. The old saying, "So many books, so little time," is given new meaning by the authors Carmen Callil and Colm Toibin. I found so many books here I was not familiar with, I was almost ashamed, having considered myself a well read man.

You will find familiar titles here. Some might well su To say that I'm finished with this book isn't quite accurate.


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Some might well surprise you. A few you would not expect to find on a selection of the two hundred best novels in English published since Callil and Toibin seem almost gleeful to include Carl Hiassen and a few other well known "popular" authors in this selection. The point that a book doesn't have to be serious to be great is well made. The number two hundred isn't quite accurate. Callil and Toibin chose of the titles.

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The remaining six were selected from a readers' poll. I would have liked to participate in that. But so it goes. I was pleased to find Sebastian Faulk's "Birdsong," among those six titles, one of my favorite novels set during the First World War. This is one of those books you might have on your bedside table,to steer you towards your next read. A warning--many of these titles are not available if you want to put them on your favorite e-reader. You might have to visit your library or have a copy of your own. You'd better head to the nearest good Indie bookseller to find some of these jewels.

When it comes to books there will always be treasures out there waiting to be discovered. This book is prospector's guide for the lover of literature who thinks they've read it all. Nope, none of us are even close. View all 8 comments. I love to collect books about books, since no matter how much I read I can always use more suggestions. This one has a little different take on the best books from authors; the compilers are not concerned with literary merit as much as an enjoyable reading experience.

Feb 04, Elizabeth rated it liked it Shelves: ireland , women-writers , virago-modern-classics , My to-read list is growing and growing I borrowed this from the library and flipped through the reviews; however, I think it would be better to buy it, keep it on the shelf, and flip through it from time to time rather than trying to read it all at once.

ISBN 10: 0330341820

It's a fine list. But lists abound on the internet Worth a look if you can find it in the library, or if you can find an inexpensive copy online A book of lists. I love lists. I have read 49 of them. No Science Fiction. There is little if any non-fiction. Shelves: books-reading-writing. Because this book was published in , some of the authors' biographies are rather dated a number of writers shown as living have since died , but I believe a more updated version is available.

Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed dipping in and out of this eclectic guide to of the 'best' novels written in English from to about While I have read many of the more famous or classic titles - or in some instances, I have intended to read them for some considerable time - my appetite Because this book was published in , some of the authors' biographies are rather dated a number of writers shown as living have since died , but I believe a more updated version is available.

While I have read many of the more famous or classic titles - or in some instances, I have intended to read them for some considerable time - my appetite has now been whetted for a selection of lesser known works. My TBR shelf becomes ever heavier. Nov 11, Andrew De Sousa rated it liked it. The authors hope that indignation, as well as pleasure, will be among the first reactions to this selection. I am still working through it! Wodehouse, Joseph Heller and V. Gass, Iris Murdoch, B. Farrell, Thomas Pynchon, E.

This list also includes: Norman Mailer, V. Byatt, J. James, James Kelman, T. S Pritchett. View 1 comment. In we sent R In we spent R But when Val retired in , we could not afford to go browsing in bookshops and just buying whatever took our fancy, so we rejoined the public library. In our spending on books dropped to R But browsing in a library is not the same as browsing in a bookshop. In a bookshop, the popular books will be stocking the shelves.

In a library, the po In we sent R In a library, the popular books will probably have been taken out by others. That is where books like this come in. OK, it's someone else's choice, and their taste may not coincide with yours, but you at least know that some book lovers think it is worth reading. And, to back it up, at the back of the book are some lists of winners of some of the major literary prizes.

And if you don't find the book in question, another one by the same author might be worth a read. The authors' list has descriptions of each book and why they think it is worth reading, so from those I've compiled a list, which I take to the library, at least when I remember to. I grabbed this one from the library on a whim, and have been perusing it for the past month or so.

I have a serious love-hate relationship with guides like this.

Modern Library: 200 Best Novels In English Since 1950

The authors at least acknowledge this in the introduct Meh. The authors at least acknowledge this in the introduction, as well as explaining a little about how they chose the books to include. Despite having some worthy inclusions I agreed with, a good portion of these I hadn't even heard of, and the authors generally did a lousy job of convincing me to pick them up.

Believe me, you will find much better reviews here on GoodReads from random internet people. I found this book on the new shelf at the Mechanics Institute Library, and figured if Colm Toibin was co-editor, it was worth a look.

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So glad that I picked it up, it was really fascinating! It was fun just to read the introduction in which they explain their approach to the project. The book introduced me to a number of writers I had not heard of before, from all over the English-speaking world. I decided to count, and I had only read about 22 of the selections, although I had read other boo I found this book on the new shelf at the Mechanics Institute Library, and figured if Colm Toibin was co-editor, it was worth a look.

I decided to count, and I had only read about 22 of the selections, although I had read other books by some of the authors they chose. Also, at the back, they had a number of book awards from around the world, and lists of winners of those awards. So for those of us who are always looking for new books to read, this volume offers a lot of information and inspiration!

Bringing together one of the best editors of post-war fiction, Virago founder Carmen Callil, with one of the most exciting Irish novelists of his generation, Colm Toibin, to produce The Modern Library: The Best Novels in English Since , threatens passionate controversy. Thankfully, that is precisely what both Callil and Toibin want, as they make clear in this refreshingly upbeat and enthusiastic book.

Crisply dismissing the cultural pessimists, Callil and Toibin's stimulating introduction argues that the novel has never been in better shape, experiencing a remarkable commercial and artistic renaissance. Picking through the minefield of choosing the best novels published in English since , both authors are honest about their debates and disagreements, offering readers the chance to complete the list by nominating a further six novels which will appear in subsequent editions.

What follows are one-page summaries of the novels chosen, ranging from Agatha Christie's A Murder is Announced , to V. Pritchett's The Lady From Guatemala Some of the entries fail to live up to the quality of writing contained in the book's introduction and, of course, there will be controversy over the choices and omissions.

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Where is Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces? Where is Neil Bartlett? But this is precisely the sort of debate that The Modern Library encourages and what's wrong with controversy if it gets people reading novels? The authors have chosen the books since that they consider to be the best. It includes some familiar names and some surprises. Witty and controversial, their aim is to encourage reading. Convert currency.


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