16
   

All's fair in love and war and Best Books list?

 
 
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 09:45 pm
I was looking up some book titles for inspiration to boomerangs' latest thread and most fun Misshelved Book Game thread, ((http://able2know.org/topic/139983-1)), when I stumbled onto this lopsided list from the very respectable Modern Library Publisher.

Below is the top 51 books voted by the public. I noticed two author names that just didn't click right in terms of MONOPOLIZING THE TOP TEN. Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard The usual suspects are here...
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
1984 by George Orwell
ULYSSES by James Joyce
CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon
THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/art/hdr_100bestnovels.gif
http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnovels.html

My question... should the editors of the list weed all or some of the nominees where special interests clearly found a way to game (cheat) the voting system?

Quote:

1. ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand
2. THE FOUNTAINHEAD by Ayn Rand
3. BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard

4. THE LORD OF THE RINGS by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
6. 1984 by George Orwell
7. ANTHEM by Ayn Rand
8. WE THE LIVING by Ayn Rand
9. MISSION EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard
10. FEAR by L. Ron Hubbard

11. ULYSSES by James Joyce
12. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
13. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. DUNE by Frank Herbert
15. THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein
16. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein
17. A TOWN LIKE ALICE by Nevil Shute
18. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
19. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
20. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
21. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon
22. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
23. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
24. GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell
25. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
26. SHANE by Jack Schaefer
27. TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOLROOM by Nevil Shute
28. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
29. THE STAND by Stephen King
30. THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN by John Fowles
31. BELOVED by Toni Morrison
32. THE WORM OUROBOROS by E.R. Eddison
33. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
34. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
35. MOONHEART by Charles de Lint
36. ABSALOM, ABSALOM! by William Faulkner
37. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
38. WISE BLOOD by Flannery O'Connor
39. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
40. FIFTH BUSINESS by Robertson Davies
41. SOMEPLACE TO BE FLYING by Charles de Lint
42. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
43. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
44. YARROW by Charles de Lint
45. AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS by H.P. Lovecraft
46. ONE LONELY NIGHT by Mickey Spillane
47. MEMORY AND DREAM by Charles de Lint
48. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
49. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
50. TRADER by Charles de Lint
51. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams

 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 09:56 pm
Gravity's Rainbow? Seriously?

I've tried to read that book I don't know how many times and could never get past the banana breakfast.
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:01 pm
De gustibus non disputandem est.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:03 pm
I think things that are voted on by the public should stay the way they are. I can't believe that that many people read that L. Ron Hubbard stuff though. That stuff is plain crazy.

I read Dianetics. When Mr. B was in college he was assigned that book (what!?) and (I shouldn't admit this) I wrote his paper about it. That was kind of fun because I know a little bit about a lot of things and that book tickled my funny bone.

I've read all that Ayn Rand stuff too. And I enjoyed most of it and I'm glad I read it because it once served me well in helping me with my sister's boyfriend.

Honest to god -- I'll read just about anything you put in my hands. Well, except for Gravity's Rainbow.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:04 pm
@boomerang,
I haven't read Gravity's Rainbow and have no interest in such. But at least Thomas Pynchon's infamously cryptic book has some academic street cred by being on countless dozens of other best book lists. On the other hand, BATTLEFIELD EARTH by L. Ron Hubbard? Tainted by its Razzie Award winning film adaptation?! From a writer who invented a cult religion? 3 books on the top 10 list? Something smells fishy! Online pranksters or Scientologist conspiracy?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:04 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Huh?

Is that for a tattoo or something?
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:07 pm
@boomerang,
Razz Doncha just hate it when the smart guys just flaunt their mental muscle?!

I had to Google it myself...
Quote:
de gustibus non est disputandum: There is no disputing about tastes.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:20 pm
@boomerang,
Yup. It's for a tattoo, Boomer.
(Btw, the tsar's verion, de gustibus non est disputandem is a later, therefore corrupted, Medieval version. In classical Latin, the verb always comes at the end of a sentence. Whatever.)

L. Ron Hubbard was a very popular sf writer long before he became notorious as the father of Scientology and/or Dianetics. I had read some of his shorter stuff long before I had ever heard of either the pseudo-religion or the pseudo-science. Ayn Rand was actually a very good writer of fiction, outstanding even. Her politics, philosophy and weltanschauung (that's German for 'world-view' for the linguistically challenged) sucked but that has nothing to do with her ability as a writer. E.B. White, it is rumored, was a pedophile homosexual. Does that make his The Once and Future King or other generally recognized work poor writing?
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:34 pm
@tsarstepan,
Wow.

Is it wrong that I've read all the Harry Potter books (the last one twice), but have only read 5 books on this list?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:35 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I've already said that I've read and enjoyed Ayn Rand's work.

The tattoo refrence was because of all the people requesting translations to latin.

I was just being silly,I did not mean to offend you.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:37 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I understand that these authors might have had a couple of very well written novels (all things being subjective) but to out and out monopolize the top ten list? “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark [as well as in this tainted list."
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:38 pm
@boomerang,
Oh, heavens, Boom, you didn't offend me in the least. I understood the tattoo reference. And I apologize if I came off sounding all supercillious and superior. Wasn't my intent at all.

I was serious only in what I said about Rand and Hubbard.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
I'm inclined to agree. One is taken somewhat aback when one sees L.Ron Hubbard above James Joyce or Willliam Faulkner. Huh?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:42 pm
@maporsche,
Nope. Nothing wrong with that MP.

I've managed to read 12 of the following books. Three of these books, I've cheated and read only the first and last chapters and skimmed through the remainder enough to be able to bull my through with a book report.
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
6. 1984 by George Orwell
13. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. DUNE by Frank Herbert
16. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein
18. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
20. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
23. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
25. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
29. THE STAND by Stephen King
43. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
51. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:43 pm
@Merry Andrew,
And if it makes any difference to anybody, I've never been able to read Gravity's Rainbow either and feel generally very ambivalent about Pynchon.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 10:46 pm
These type lists change with the times. I wouldn't put much stock in them. On the other had, I confess to being gratified that so many good ones made the list at all. Makes me a bit hopeful.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 11:00 pm
@edgarblythe,
Did anyone notice #46? Mickey Spillane???
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 11:03 pm
@Merry Andrew,
I did indeed! Didn't want to question it because the list does indeed sorely lack in the crime/mystery genre.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 11:04 pm
Books 52 to 100:
THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood
BLOOD MERIDIAN by Cormac McCarthy
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce
GREENMANTLE by Charles de Lint
ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card
THE LITTLE COUNTRY by Charles de Lint
THE RECOGNITIONS by William Gaddis
STARSHIP TROOPERS by Robert Heinlein
THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP by John Irving
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
THE WOOD WIFE by Terri Windling
THE MAGUS by John Fowles
THE DOOR INTO SUMMER by Robert Heinlein
ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Robert Pirsig
I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS by Flann O'Brien
FARENHEIT 451 by Ray Bradbury
ARROWSMITH by Sinclair Lewis
WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams
NAKED LUNCH by William S. Burroughs
THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by Tom Clancy
GUILTY PLEASURES by Laurell K. Hamilton
THE PUPPET MASTERS by Robert Heinlein
IT by Stephen King
V. by Thomas Pynchon
DOUBLE STAR by Robert Heinlein
CITIZEN OF THE GALAXY by Robert Heinlein
BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh
LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST by Ken Kesey
A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION by Ken Kesey
MY ANTONIA by Willa Cather
MULENGRO by Charles de Lint
SUTTREE by Cormac McCarthy
MYTHAGO WOOD by Robert Holdstock
ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach
THE CUNNING MAN by Robertson Davies
THE SATANIC VERSES by Salman Rushdie
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 4 Jan, 2010 11:44 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Nope. Nothing wrong with that MP.

I've managed to read 12 of the following books. Three of these books, I've cheated and read only the first and last chapters and skimmed through the remainder enough to be able to bull my through with a book report.
5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
6. 1984 by George Orwell
13. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
14. DUNE by Frank Herbert
16. STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Robert Heinlein
18. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
20. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
23. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
25. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding
29. THE STAND by Stephen King
43. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
51. THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams


Of those I have read all except the Stephen King.

I think you correct...the Randians and the Scientologists stacked the deck.

But...I don't know that you could prove it and prune.
 

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