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The Observer's The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time

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People who added this item 127 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The story of the gentle knight and his servant Sancho Panza has entranced readers for centuries.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 9.5 IMDB Rating 0
The one with the Slough of Despond and Vanity Fair.
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People who added this item 96 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The first English novel.
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People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
A wonderful satire that still works for all ages, despite the savagery of Swift's vision.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The adventures of a high-spirited orphan boy: an unbeatable plot and a lot of sex ending in a blissful marriage.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
One of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable.
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One of the first bestsellers, dismissed by Dr Johnson as too fashionable for its own good.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Dangerous Liaisons (BBC Radio Collection)... - Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos
An epistolary novel and a handbook for seducers: foppish, French, and ferocious.
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People who added this item 179 Average listal rating (91 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Emma - Jane Austen
Near impossible choice between this and Pride and Prejudice. But Emma never fails to fascinate and annoy.
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People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Inspired by spending too much time with Shelley and Byron.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Nightmare Abbey - Thomas Love Peacock
A classic miniature: a brilliant satire on the Romantic novel.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Two rivals fight for the love of a femme fatale. Wrongly overlooked.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Penetrating and compelling chronicle of life in an Italian court in post-Napoleonic France.
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A revenge thriller also set in France after Bonaparte: a masterpiece of adventure writing.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Sybil: or The Two Nations - Benjamin Disraeli
Apart from Churchill, no other British political figure shows literary genius.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
This highly autobiographical novel is the one its author liked best.
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People who added this item 464 Average listal rating (245 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff have passed into the language. Impossible to ignore.
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People who added this item 214 Average listal rating (114 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Jane Eyre (Penguin Popular Classics) - Charlotte Brontë
Obsessive emotional grip and haunting narrative.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Vanity Fair (Penguin Classics) - William Thackeray
The improving tale of Becky Sharp.
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People who added this item 117 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Scarlet Letter (Bantam Classics) - Nathaniel Hawthorne
A classic investigation of the American mind.
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People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Moby-Dick or, The Whale - Herman Melville
'Call me Ishmael' is one of the most famous opening sentences of any novel.
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People who added this item 148 Average listal rating (78 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
You could summarise this as a story of adultery in provincial France, and miss the point entirely.
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Gripping mystery novel of concealed identity, abduction, fraud and mental cruelty.
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People who added this item 324 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
A story written for the nine-year-old daughter of an Oxford don that still baffles most kids.
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People who added this item 145 Average listal rating (75 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Victorian bestseller about a New England family of girls.
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A majestic assault on the corruption of late Victorian England.
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People who added this item 89 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The supreme novel of the married woman's passion for a younger man.
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A passion and an exotic grandeur that is strange and unsettling.
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People who added this item 139 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Mystical tragedy by the author of Crime and Punishment.
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The story of Isabel Archer shows James at his witty and polished best.
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People who added this item 381 Average listal rating (231 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Twain was a humorist, but this picture of Mississippi life is profoundly moral and still incredibly influential.
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People who added this item 169 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
A brilliantly suggestive, resonant study of human duality by a natural storyteller.
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One of the funniest English books ever written.
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People who added this item 601 Average listal rating (373 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
A coded and epigrammatic melodrama inspired by his own tortured homosexuality.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Diary of a Nobody (Wordsworth Classics) - George Grossmith,Weedon Grossmith
This classic of Victorian suburbia will always be renowned for the character of Mr Pooter.
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Its savage bleakness makes it one of the first twentieth-century novels.
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A prewar invasion-scare spy thriller by a writer later shot for his part in the Irish republican rising.
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People who added this item 104 Average listal rating (51 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
The Call Of The Wild - Jack London
The story of a dog who joins a pack of wolves after his master's death.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Nostromo - Joseph Conrad
Conrad's masterpiece: a tale of money, love and revolutionary politics.
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People who added this item 45 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
This children's classic was inspired by bedtime stories for Grahame's son.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (0 ratings) 0 IMDB Rating 0
In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
An unforgettable portrait of Paris in the belle epoque. Probably the longest novel on this list.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
The Rainbow - D. H. Lawrence
Novels seized by the police, like this one, have a special afterlife.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
This account of the adulterous lives of two Edwardian couples is a classic of unreliable narration.
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A classic adventure story for boys, jammed with action, violence and suspense.
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People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (60 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Ulysses - James Joyce
Also pursued by the British police, this is a novel more discussed than read.
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People who added this item 187 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Secures Woolf's position as one of the great twentieth-century English novelists.
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People who added this item 29 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
The great novel of the British Raj, it remains a brilliant study of empire.
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People who added this item 648 Average listal rating (456 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The quintessential Jazz Age novel.
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People who added this item 81 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
The enigmatic story of Joseph K.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Men Without Women - Ernest Hemingway
He is remembered for his novels, but it was the short stories that first attracted notice.
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The British love to read and, as the BBC prepares to reveal the nation's best loved books, The Observer has compiled its own list of essential fiction from the past 300 years.

By Robert McCrum
The Observer, Sunday October 12 2003

Chronological order.

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16 votes
Canon Books (27 lists)
list by Mr. Saturn
Published 5 years, 3 months ago



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