Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Novel of All Time? Cast Your Vote!

While New York Magazine is anticipating the best books come fall, the Huffington Post is exploring the best novel ever.

Using a bracket structure similar to the one popular for March Madness or the Super Bowl--or any other sporting event in the world, really--they have collected a number of novels and are currently voting on the first bracket of works:

The Best Novel of All Time? It's an impossible statement of course, but while we wait for the big titles of the fall to hit, and everyone is talking about voting on a bigger scale, we thought it would be a good opportunity to argue over some truly great books.

We scoured "Best of" lists from the past 10 years, and compiled a top 15 of incredible reads (we chose the ones that appeared the most number of times across the lists), with the final slot filled by our readers. Our only rules were that we were judging books either written in, or widely translated into the English language, and no more than one novel per author. A randomizing magic hat did the rest of the work.
So here is our first round of voting. The below graphic might be a little hard to see - click here for a larger version - but the voting should be pretty straightforward underneath.

Votes close at 9am EST on Wednesday. There are some HORRIBLE choices to make in this first round. "Gatsby" or "Mockingbird"? "Solomon" or "Bovary"? "Emma" or "Solitude"? You have to choose! Why? Because we say so. There can be only one winner, so help decide who makes it through to the next round of entirely spurious Novel Madness.

Arguments and verbal wrestling may commence in the comments... now.

See the original post HERE

It's a fun idea--having a bit of a showdown with some of the "best" novels ever written. But I've gotta say, I wish there would've been a voting system in the first place to collect the novels. (I also would've suggested clarifying that these are the best "classic" novels, not best novels.) Personally, only ONE of the books on this list would've been on my own personal "Best of" list, and that is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Other titles I would have included in a Best of the Classics list?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

What would be on YOUR list?


  1. I absolutely agree that Farenheit 451 and Catcher in the Rye should have been included.

    Personal "Best of" for me would also have to include The Sun Also Rises and A Separate Peace.

  2. Oooh love A SEPARATE PEACE! I can't believe I missed that one! :)

  3. You know A SEPARATE PEACE is on my list!. I also agree with The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Would include Wuthering Heights, too.

  4. Oooh yes! Another great pick! :)

    We should make our own best classic novel voting contest thingy :-p