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Anthony Burgess' 99 Novels

I copied out Anthony Burgess' entire list of favorites from 99 Novels: The Best in English Since 1939, so that I could keep track of which ones I read. It's a great list!



1939
Party Going - Henry Green - finished March 2015
After Many A Summer - Aldous Huxley - finished March 30, 2015
Finnegans Wake - James Joyce
At Swim-Two-Birds - Flann O'Brien - finished April 27, 2015

1940
The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene - finished May 20, 2015
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway - - finished June 5, 2015
Strangers and Brothers (to 1970) -- C. P. Snow
* Vol 1 (Strangers and Brothers) finished July 9, 2015
* Vol 2 (The Light and the Dark) finished January 23, 2016
* Vol 3 (Time of Hope [1949]) - finished May 2016
* Vol 4 (The Masters [1951])
* Vol 5 (The New Men [1954])
* Vol 6 (Homecomings [1956])
* Vol 7 (The Conscience of the Rich [1958])
* Vol 8 (The Affair [1960])
* Vol 9 (Corridors of Power [1964])
* Vol 10 (The Sleep of Reason [1968])
* Vol 11 (Last Things [1970])
it just keeps going :|

1941
The Aerodrome - Rex Warner -- finished Aug. 10, 2015

1944
The Horse's Mouth - Joyce Cary -- finished Sept. 4, 2015
The Razor's Edge -- Somerset Maugham -- finished Sept. 13, 2015

1945
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - finished Oct 20, 2015

1946
Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake - finished January 2016

1947
The Victim - Saul Bellow - finished March 2016
Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry - finished March 2016

1948
The Heart of the Matter - -Graham Greene - finished March 2016
Ape and Essence - Aldous Huxley - finished March 2016
The Naked and the Dead -- Norman Mailer -- finished Feb. 23, 2015
No Highway - Nevil Shute - finished April 2016

1949
The Heat of the Day - Elizabeth Bowen - finished April 18, 2016
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell - finished March 6, 2015
The Body - William Sansom - finished May 1, 2016

1950
Scenes from Provincial Life -- William Cooper - finished May 2016
The Disenchanted -- Budd Sculberg - finished June 2, 2016

1951
A Dance to the Music of Time (to 1975) -- Anthony Powell
ALL RIGHT LET'S DO THIS
* A Question of Upbringing – (1951) - finished June 18, 2016
* A Buyer's Market – (1952) - finished July 20, 2016
* The Acceptance World – (1955) - finished July 24, 2016
* At Lady Molly's – (1957) - finished November 2016
* Casanova's Chinese Restaurant – (1960) - finished November 2016
* The Kindly Ones – (1962) - finished November 24, 2016
* The Valley of Bones – (1964)
* The Soldier's Art – (1966)
* The Military Philosophers – (1968)
* Books Do Furnish a Room – (1971)
* Temporary Kings – (1973)
* Hearing Secret Harmonies – (1975)

The Catcher in the Rye -- J. D. Salinger - finished June 21, 2015
A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight (to 1969) -- Henry Williamson
wooooooo here we go
* The Dark Lantern (1951) - finished August 25, 2016
* Donkey Boy (1952) - finished October 2016
* Young Phillip Maddison (1953) - finished November 26, 2016
* How Dear Is Life (1954) - finished December 2016
* A Fox Under My Cloak (1955)
* The Golden Virgin (1957)
* Love and the Loveless (1958)
* A Test to Destruction (1960)
* The Innocent Moon (1961)
* It Was the Nightingale (1962)
* The Power of the Dead (1963)
* The Phoenix Generation (1965)
* A Solitary War (1967)
* Lucifer Before Sunrise (1967)
* The Gale of the World (1969)

The Caine Mutiny -- Herman Wouk - finished August 6, 2016

1952
Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison - finished Aug. 27, 2016
The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway - finished September 2016
The Groves of Academe -- Mary McCarthy - finished September 2016
Wise Blood -- Flannery O' Connor - finished September 24, 2016
Sword of Honor (to 1961) Evelyn Waugh
* Men at Arms (1952) - finished October 2016
* Officers and Gentlemen (1955) - finished October 2016
* Unconditional Surrender (1961)

1953
The Long Goodbye -- Raymond Chandler - finished April 19, 2016

1954
Lucky Jim -- Kingsley Amis - finished July 4, 2015

1957
Room at the Top -- John Braine
The Alexandria Quartet (to 1960) -- Lawrence Durrell - TAKE THAT LAWRENCE DURRELL
* JUSTINE - finished July 10 or so, 2016
* Balthazar - finished December 4, 2016
* Mountolive - finished December 2016
* Clea - finished December 28, 2016
The London Novels (to 1960) Colin MacInnes
The Assistant -- Bernard Malamud

1958
The Bell - Iris Murdoch
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning -- Alan Sillitoe
The Once and Future King -- T. H. White - finished July 6, 2015

1959
The Mansion -- William Faulkner
Goldfinger -- Ian Fleming

1960
Facial Justice -- L. P. Hartley
The Balkans Trilogy (to 1965) Olivia Manning

1961
The Mighty and their Fall - Ivy Compton-Burnett
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Fox in the Attic -- Richard Hughes
Riders in the Chariot -- Patrick White
The Old Men at the Zoo -- Angus Wilson

1962
Another Country -- James Baldwin
An Error of Judgement -- Pamela Hansford Johnson
Island -- Aldous Huxley
The Golden Notebook -- Doris Lessing - finshed January 2017
Pale Fire -- Vladimir Nabokov

1963
The Girls of Slender Means -- Muriel Spark - finished July 13, 2016

1964
The Spire -- William Golding
Heartland -- Wilson Harris
A Single Man -- Christopher Isherwood
The Defence -- Vladimir Nabokov
Late Call -- Angus Wilson

1965
The Lockwood Concern - John O'Hara
The Mandelbaum Gate -- Muriel Spark

1966
A Man of the People -- Chunua Achebe
The Anti-Death League -- Kingsley Amis
Giles Goat-Boy -- John Barth
The Late Bourgeois World -- Nadine Gordimer
The Last Gentleman -- Walker Percy

1967
The Vendor of Sweets -- R. K. Narayan

1968
The Image Men -- J. B. Priestley
Cocksure -- Mordecai Richler
Pavane -- Keith Roberts

1969
The French Lieutenant's Woman -- John Fowles
Portnoy's Complaint -- Philip Roth

1970
Bomber - Len Deighton

1973
Sweet Dreams -- Michael Frayn
Gravity's Rainbow -- Thomas Pynchon

1975
Humbolt's Gift -- Saul Bellow
The History Man -- Malcolm Bradbury

1976
The Doctor's Wife -- Brian Moore
Falstaff -- Robert Nye

1977
How to Save Your Own Life -- Erica Jong
Farewell Companions -- James Plunkett
Staying On -- Paul Scott

1978
The Coup -- John Updike

1979
The Unlimited Dream Company -- J. G. Ballard
Dubin's Lives -- Bernard Malamud
A Bend in the River -- V. S. Naipaul
Sophie's Choice - William Styron

1980
Life in the West --Brian Aldiss
Riddley Walker -- Russell Hoban
How Far Can You Go? -- David Lodge -- finished Nov. 30, 2015
A Confederacy of Dunces -- John Kennedy Toole

1981
Lanark -- Alasdair Gray
Darconville's Cat -- Alexander Theroux
The Mosquito Coast -- Paul Theroux
Creation -- Gore Vidal

1982
The Rebel Angels -- Robertson Davies

1983
Ancient Evenings -- Norman Mailer



Twelve of the 99 books are written by women -- just over twelve percent, which could technically still be worse! Burgess is cheating a little with his counting, or maybe a lot -- there are a lot of trilogies and quartets here, and worse -- Strangers and Brothers is "a sequence of eleven large novels" and, well, it remains to be seen whether I'm going to be on board for reading all of them.

There are books here I've never heard of, books I was already planning to re-read, books I'd sworn never to read again (hi, Nineteen Eighty-Four!) and books I've been meaning to read but never got around to, plus plenty of books I've seen around for most of my life that never called to me with any particularly enticing song. I'm looking forward to discovering unexpected gems, being bored out of my mind, and enjoying the epic love-hate relationship that has already begin to develop between me and Anthony Burgess.

I am especially looking forward to reading Portnoy's Complaint as an adult! I read it when I was much too young for it to be anything other than a bizarre curiosity, so I have no idea what I'll find.

There are no books on this list for 1971, 1972, 1942, or 1943. If anyone would like to suggest a good book published during one of those years, I would be happy to throw it on the pile.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
hafl
Feb. 13th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
There are some books in there I should finally get around to reading (Finnegans Wake, The Power and the Glory, Pale Fire, Gravity's Rainbow and Lanark).

I actually haven't read much from these, but I'm not very well read in books written after 1950 unless they're Japanese. Confederacy of Dunces is excellent, though. And I'm already prejudiced against Invisible Man, since if there's any must-read novel called the Invisible Man, it's the one by Havlíček.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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