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Can you name the best novels of the 20th century (English language only) for each letter of the alphabet?
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Modern Library Top 100 Novels
The list is a combination of both the TIME All Time 100 Best Novels List and the Modern Library Board's and Reader's Top 100 Best Novels Lists. No novels starting with J, Q or X made the list.
First Letter Appearance Only: Novels
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Best Novels A-Z Quiz
Created Jul 1, 2011 in
Featured Dec 24, 2011
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Jul 2nd, 2011 at 09:21 GMT
Nice quiz, but a bit disappointed by the omissions of a lot of great classics, considering you used three different sources.
Jul 2nd, 2011 at 09:37 GMT
I thought that too so maybe a note should be added to say they're not All Time – just from the 20th Century.
Jul 2nd, 2011 at 16:30 GMT
@dyster I know, I initially started with just the TIME list, but was bothered by their choices so I added in Modern Library, which helped but is still missing a lot. @georgieburgess Good point, added. The lists were advertised as all time, but you're right it's 20th century.
Jul 6th, 2011 at 06:04 GMT
The Modern Library reader's list is good for a laugh. Ballot stuffing meant the top 10 ended up with 4 books by Ayn Rand and 3 by L. Ron Hubbard.
Jul 6th, 2011 at 12:50 GMT
Can you mention that it's English language novels? Otherwise there are tons of glaring omissions.
Game published: Dec 24th, 2011 at 04:03 GMT
Dec 24th, 2011 at 04:12 GMT
@kcostell, thanks. That explains why Atlas Shrugged is on this list. Unbelievable. Threw it out there last second because it just popped into my head like the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man. Probably one of the worst "classics" I've ever tried to read.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 04:33 GMT
The wide variety might actually explain why I didn't do very well. I was mostly trying to think of "classics", but kept thinking of ones written pre-20th century. It didn't occur to me to try something like "Ender's Game".
Dec 24th, 2011 at 09:12 GMT
No one should ever cite the Modern Library list.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 09:25 GMT
Great quiz, if a little subjective.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 12:15 GMT
I love "Ender's Game", but how it could be on this list while "East of Eden" isn't is beyond me!
Dec 24th, 2011 at 12:47 GMT
Dec 24th, 2011 at 13:11 GMT
Sun also Rises..no. Old man and the sea....no. It? The Stand? Really?
Dec 24th, 2011 at 13:53 GMT
Could you accept "Slaughterhouse 5"?
Dec 24th, 2011 at 15:24 GMT
Yeah the Modern Library one is a really strange list. I thought Ender's Game was the best book ever when I was a gifted pre-pubescent like the protagonist, but it really doesn't belong here. Also, is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance really a novel? It's more of a book of philosophy lol.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 16:30 GMT
Sporcle, Twilight and Harry Potter aren't even on the same continent in terms of quality of writing.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 17:35 GMT
Thankfully I remembered Watchmen was the only comic book on it. Such a great piece
Dec 24th, 2011 at 18:36 GMT
Too bad "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham" don't qualify as novels
Dec 24th, 2011 at 19:02 GMT
Only 12% even attempted a title starting with "v". I was actually quite pleased the Old Man and the Sea wasn't here, even though it meant I didn't get an "o" answer. I hated that book.
Dec 24th, 2011 at 20:18 GMT
@Kostell: Thanks for the info. What that means is that this quiz is fundamentally flawed. Bad data in = bad quiz out. Thus I give it just 2 globes.
Dec 25th, 2011 at 02:35 GMT
More people need to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Also, as much as I do like Ender's Game, it's not even the best book in the Ender/Shadow sagas of Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead is much better.)
Dec 25th, 2011 at 04:58 GMT
@jealtinMAN: I LOVED Watchmen! But I didn't know it was on the best novels list, I ended up getting W by guessing Watership Down, a book I've never read but the name just popped in my head.
Dec 25th, 2011 at 22:13 GMT
Oh dear. All you need to know about the Modern Library list is that 7 of the Reader's top 10 (incidentally, why is it Reader's? Surely there was more than one?!) are by either Ayn Rand or L. Ron Hubbard. No-one with more than a couple of brain cells could be convinced by Rand's half-baked "philosophy" or impressed by her turgid, preachy literary style. I absolutely agree with ktappe - you can't call this quiz the best novels of the 20th century.
Dec 26th, 2011 at 05:05 GMT
Modern Library had a reader's list (which is justly being hammered here) and a board list, which is quite good.
Jan 3rd, 2012 at 20:42 GMT
Old Wives' Tale doesn't work. It was on the Modern Library list and is quite the oft-forgotten gem.
Jul 26th, 2012 at 20:15 GMT
Wow, people on Sporcle really hate Ayn Rand, apparently.
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