The best novels since 1923
Oy, not another set of lists to argue about. Time magazine has drawn up a list of the top 100 English-language novels published since 1923. (Why 1923? Because, the editors explain, that’s when Time started publishing, but it also conveniently allows the listmakers to duck the question of whether Joyce’s Ulysses, from 1922, would make the cut.)
Of course, the list is bizarre. Although I’m glad to see a lot of my more arcane favorites made it (Gravity’s Rainbow, Pale Fire, Light in August, Naked Lunch), this is not an overly academic or elitist list, one that gives a shout-out to sci-fi (Philip K. Dick and William Gibson), young-adult lit (Judy Blume), contemporary authors (Zadie Smith, Jonathan Franzen, David Foster Wallace), and even graphic novels (Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, left). Which will only make it more infuriating for fans of certain popular novelists (including Stephen King, Anne Rice, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, John Grisham, Ayn Rand, and Agatha Christie) that their favorite authors have been left off altogether.
Time also lists the top 10 graphic novels of all time. Naturally, this list includes Watchmen, also the only graphic novel to make Time’s Top 100 novels list, but what kind of list of the best graphic novels of all time would leave off Art Spiegelman’s Maus?