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100 Best Novels in English, Since 1900


1. Ulysses: James Joyce (1922)

2. Absalom, Absalom: William Faulkner (1936)

3. Gravity’s Rainbow: Thomas Pynchon (1973)

4. Native Son: Richard Wright (1940)

5. Orlando by Virginia Wolff (1928)

6. The Rainbow: DH Lawrence (1915)

7. Tender is the Night: F. Scott Fitzgerald (1934)

8. Invisible Man: Ralph Ellison (1952)

9. JR: William Gaddis (1975)

10. Tropic of Cancer: Henry Miller (1934)


11. The Golden Notebook: Doris Lessing (1962)

12. The Sun Also Rises: Ernest Hemingway (1926)

13. Wide Sargasso Sea: Jean Rhys (1966)

14. The Code of Woosters by PG Wodehouse (1938)

15. Catch 22: Joseph Heller (1961)

16. Giovanni’s Room: James Baldwin (1956)

17. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

18. At Swim-Two-Birds: Flann O’Brien (1939)

19. On the Road: Jack Kerouac (1957)

20. The Violent Bear It Away: Flannery O’Connor (1960)


21. Pale Fire: Vladimir Nabokov (1962)

22. End of the Affair: Graham Greene (1951)

23. Red Harvest: Dashiell Hammett (1927)

24. Mumbo Jumbo: Ishmael Reed (1972)

25. A Lost Lady: Willa Cather (1923)

26. The Hound of the Baskervilles: Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)

27. Far Tortuga: Peter Mattheissen (1975)

28. The Iron Heel: Jack London (1908)

29. Jazz: Toni Morrison (1992)

30. The Grapes of Wrath: John Steinbeck (1939)


31. Their Eyes Were Watching God: Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

32. Nothing Like the Sun by Anthony Burgess (1964)

33. Riddle of the Sands by Erksine Childers (1903)

34. The Thinking Reed by Rebecca West (1936)

35. Under Western Eyes: Joseph Conrad (1911)

36. Beat the Devil: Claud Cockburn (1951)

37. The Indian Lawyer: James Welch (1990)

38. The White Hotel: DM Thomas (1981)

39. Neuromancer: William Gibson (1984)

40. The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold: Evelyn Waugh (1957)


41. Light Years: James Salter (1976)

42. Almanac of the Dead: Leslie Marmon Silko (1991)

43. Death of the Heart: Elizabeth Bowen (1938)

44. The Monkeywrench Gang: Edward Abbey (1975)

46. Slaves of Solitude: Patrick Hamilton (1947)

47. The Left Hand of Darkness: Ursula K. LeGuin (1969)

48. Novel on Yellow Paper: Stevie Smith (1936)

49.  A Feast of Snakes: Harry Crews (1976)

50. Vida: Marge Piercy (1975)


51. The Man in the High Castle: Philip K. Dick (1962)

52. Naked Lunch: William Burroughs (1959)

53. A Place of Greater Safety: Hilary Mantel (2006)

54. Voss: Patrick White (1957)

55. Dog Soldiers: Robert Stone (1974)

56. Animal Dreams: Barbara Kingsolver (1990)

57. Cat’s Cradle: Kurt Vonnegut (1963)

58. Sometimes a Great Notion: Ken Kesey (1964)

59. Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler (1944)

60. The Known World: Edward P. Jones (2003)


61. Written on the Body: Jeanette Winsterson (1993)

62. Disgrace: JM Coetzee (1999)

63. Call It Sleep: Henry Roth (1934)

64. July’s People: Nadine Gordimer (1981)

65. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)

66. The Black Prince: Iris Murdoch (1973)

67. Julian: Gore Vidal (1964)

68. The Killer Inside Me: Jim Thompson (1952)

69. An American Dream: Norman Mailer (1965)

70. If He Hollers, Let Him Go: Chester Himes (1945)


71.  The Secret History: Donna Tartt (1992)

72.. Flaubert’s Parrot: Julian Barnes (1984)

73. Matterhorn: Karl Marlantes (2009)

74. The Last Good Kiss: James Crumley (1978)

75. Salvage the Bones: Jesmyn Ward (2011)

76. Underworld: Don DeLillo (1997)

77. The Radiant Way: Margaret Drabble (1987)

78. Regeneration: Pat Barker (1991)

79. Snow Crash: Neal Stevenson (1992)

80. Ray: Barry Hannah (1980)


81. Tripmaster Monkey: Maxine Hong Kingston (1989)

82. The Golden Gate: Vikram Seth (1986)

83. Lucky Jim: Kinglsey Amis (1954)

84. Day of the Locust: Nathaniel West (1939)

85.  Gateway: Frederick Pohl (1977)

86. Machine Dreams: Jayne Anne Phillips (1984)

87. The Awakening: Kate Chopin (1900)

88. Mr. American: George MacDonald Fraser (1980)

89. Zuleika Dobson: Max Beerbohm (1911)

90. The Dogs of March: Ernest Hebert (1979)


91. The Deceivers by John Masters (1952)

92.. Sleeping Beauty: Ross McDonald (1973)

93. The King Must Die: Mary Renault (1958)

94. Tree of Smoke: Denis Johnson (2007)

95. House of Splendid Isolation: Edna O’Brien (1994)

96. Lucy: Jamaica Kinkaid (1990)

97. Affliction: Russell Banks (1989)

98. Gaudy Night: Dorothy L. Sayers (1935)

99. Flicker : Theodore Roszak (1991)

100. Greenmantle: John Buchan (1916)


Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

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CounterPunch Magazine


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