The 100 best novels

by Rachel Baker on September 23, 2013

Ten years ago, Robert McCrum (literary Editor) compiled a list titled “the 100 Greatest Novels of All Time”. With no reference to this original list, the Observer, with the Guardian, and supported by Waterstones, will publish an account of the classic English and American novel in order, from A to Z and from the late 17th century through present day.

As well as puzzling over the strange appeal of the list throughout this past decade, I have had a sneaking worry that, drawn at random, from many different literatures, our selection was too spontaneous and too wide-ranging. Was there not a case for a more considered compilation? What, for example, would a list of the 100 classic British and American novels look like?

Today, we begin to provide the answer. What’s more, we will show our reasoning in a series of short essays, a kind of footnote to each choice. Without any reference to the 2003 list, for the next 100 weeks the Observer, in collaboration with the Guardian, and supported by Waterstones, will publish a serial account of the classic English and American novel, from A to Z, and from the late 17th century to the present day.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/22/100-best-novels-robert-mccrum

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