The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century
A Composite List and Ranking
by Brian Kunde

 
INTRODUCTION
SOURCE LISTS
COMPOSITE LIST
RANKING SYSTEM
COLUMN KEY
REVIEWS
LINKS

Reviews.

This section, new to the second edition of this work, is under construction. It covers all authors and titles in the source lists, even those disqualified for one reason or another from the composite list. At present not all reviews cited below are available; it takes time to bring together data on 189 different authors and 253 separate titles! Entries are posted as time and inclination permit; when they do, I complete a couple a day, on average. Completed entries are indicated by an asterisk. More will be added as they are written.

Arrangement of the reviews is alphabetical by author, with different works by the same author grouped alphabetically under that author. If you are not certain of the author of a particular work, use your browser's "find" feature to locate the title.

This section's entries are reviews only in the sense that they provide basic information on the authors and teasers for the books themselves, to help potential readers determine whether they want to investigate the works or their authors further. I have attempted no general evaluations of either, and any opinions expressed in these reviews should be considered supplementary, not determining.

This site being intended for a general audience, I have as a rule passed over potentially controversial issues in author's backgrounds, while discretely pointing out if particular works deal with mature or divisive topics, when I am aware of them. I intend in so doing neither to take sides nor express judgment; merely to inform potential readers, recognizing the importance of such matters to many people in determining their reading choices, particularly where issues of age-appropriateness arise.

Names and dates in the entries are from library databases, notably Stanford University's online SearchWorks catalog, supplemented by my own investigations. Entry content is based primarily on internet research, particularly but far from exclusively in Wikipedia, along with my own reading and knowledge. While attempting to recast all findings into my own words, I may sometimes inadvertantly repeat or echo phrasing from sources consulted, or reproduce errors, misapprehensions, or misrepresentations from those same sources. For any such errors I apologize. Corrections are appreciated.

Any corrections should be submitted via email to Brian Kunde.

A - B - C - d - E - f - g - h - I - J - k - l - m - N - O - p - Q - R - s - T - U - V - w - X - Y - Z
[uppercase letters complete aside from a few disqualified authors and
titles, all to be added in due course; remaining entries are in progress]

<- *Achebe, Chinua, 1930-2013. <- *Adams, Douglas, 1952-2001. <- *Adams, Richard, 1920- <- *Agee, James, 1909-1955. <- *Alcott, Louisa May, 1832-1888. <- *Allende, Isabel, 1942- <- *Allison, Dorothy, 1949- <- *Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941. <- *Archer, Jeffrey, 1940- <- *Atwood, Margaret, 1939- <- *Baldwin, James, 1924-1987. <- *Baum, L. Frank, 1856-1919. <- *Beerbohm, Max, 1872-1956. <- *Bellow, Saul, 1915-2005. <- *Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931. <- *Berg, Elizabeth, 1948- <- *Blume, Judy, 1938- <- *Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973. <- *Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999. <- *Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012. <- *Bradley, Marion Zimmer, 1930-1999. <- *Brontë, Charlotte, 1816-1855. <- *Brown, Rita Mae, 1944- <- *Buck, Pearl S., 1892-1973. <- *Burgess, Anthony, 1917-1993. <- *Burns, Olive-Ann, 1924-1990. <- *Burroughs, Edgar Rice, 1875-1950. <- *Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. <- *Butler, Samuel, 1835-1902. <- *Byatt, A. S., 1936- <- *Cain, James M., 1892-1977. <- *Caldwell, Erskine, 1903-1987. <- Camus, Albert, 1913-1960. <- Capote, Truman, 1924-1984. <- *Carr, Caleb, 1955- <- Carson, Rachel, 1907-1964. <- Carter, Forrest, 1925-1979. <- *Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. <- *Chandler, Raymond, 1888-1959. <- *Cheever, John, 1912-1982. <- Chopin, Kate, 1850-1904. <- *Clarke, Arthur C., 1917-2008. <- *Conrad, Joseph, 1857-1924. <- *Conroy, Pat, 1945- <- Conway, Jill K., 1934- <- Crane, Stephen, 1871-1900. <- *de Bernières, Louis, 1945- <- de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine, 1900-1944. <- *DeLillo, Don, 1936- <- Dickey, James, 1923-1997. <- Doctorow, E. L., 1931- <- Donleavy, J. P., 1926- <- Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970.
  • U.S.A. (trilogy). 1930-1937.
<- *Doyle, Arthur Conan, 1859-1930. <- Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945. <- Drury, Allen, 1918-1998. <- Du Maurier, Daphne, 1907-1989. <- Duras, Marguerite, 1914-1996. <- Durrell, Lawrence, 1912-1990. <- *Ellison, Ralph, 1913-1994. <- Farrell, James T., 1904-1979. <- Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. <- *Finney, Jack, 1911-1995. <- Fitzgerald, F. Scott, 1896-1940. <- Ford, Ford Madox, 1873-1939. <- Forster, E. M., 1879-1970. <- Fowles, John, 1926-2005. <- Galsworthy, John, 1867-1933. <- *Gibbons, Kaye, 1960- <- Golding, William, 1911-1993. <- Gordimer, Nadine, 1923- <- Grahame, Kenneth, 1859-1932. <- Grass, Günter, 1927- <- Graves, Robert, 1895-1985. <- Green, Henry, 1905-1973. <- Greene, Graham, 1904-1991. <- Guest, Judith, 1936- <- Guterson, David, 1956- <- Haley, Alex, 1921-1992. <- Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961. <- *Heinlein, Robert A., 1907-1988. <- *Heller, Joseph, 1923-1999. <- *Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. <- Herbert, Frank, 1920-1986. <- Hughes, Richard, 1900-1976. <- Hurston, Zora Neale, 1891-1960. <- Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963. <- *Irving, John, 1942- <- *Ishiguro, Kazuo, 1954- <- *James, Henry, 1843-1916. <- *Jones, James, 1921-1977. <- *Joyce, James, 1882-1941. <- Keneally, Thomas, 1935- <- Kennedy, William, 1928- <- Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969. <- Kesey, Ken, 1935-2001. <- King, Stephen, 1947- <- Kingsolver, Barbara, 1955- <- *Kipling, Rudyard, 1865-1936. <- Knowles, John, 1926-2001. <- Koestler, Arthur, 1905-1983. <- Kundera, Milan, 1929- <- Lawrence, D. H., 1885-1930. <- Lee, Harper, 1926- <- *Lessing, Doris, 1919-2013. <- Lewis, C. S., 1898-1963. <- Lewis, Sinclair, 1885-1951. <- London, Jack, 1876-1916. <- Lowry, Malcolm, 1909-1957. <- Mailer, Norman, 1923-2007. <- Mann, Thomas, 1875-1955. <- Márquez, Gabriel García, 1927-2014. <- *Maugham, W. Somerset, 1874-1965. <- McBride, James, 1957- <- McCourt, Frank, 1930-2009. <- McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967. <- McCullough, Colleen, 1937- <- McMurtry, Larry, 1936- <- Michener, James A., 1907-1997. <- Miller, Henry, 1891-1980. <- *Milne, A. A., 1882-1956. <- Mitchell, Margaret, 1900-1949. <- Morrison, Toni, 1931- <- Murdoch, Iris, 1919-1999. <- *Nabokov, Vladimir, 1899-1977. <- *Naipaul, V. S., 1932- <- *Oates, Joyce Carol, 1938- <- *O'Connor, Flannery, 1925-1964. <- *O'Hara, John, 1905-1970. <- *Orwell, George, 1903-1950. <- Pasternak, Boris, 1890-1960. <- *Paton, Alan, 1903-1988. <- Percy, Walker, 1916-1990. <- Pilcher, Rosamunde, 1924- <- Plath, Sylvia, 1932-1963. <- Porter, Katherine Anne, 1890-1980. <- *Powell, Anthony, 1905-2000. <- Price, Reynolds, 1933-2011. <- Proulx, E. Annie, 1935- <- Proust, Marcel, 1871-1922. <- Puzo, Mario, 1920-1999. <- *Rand, Ayn, 1905-1982. <- *Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan, 1896-1953. <- *Remarque, Erich Maria, 1898-1970. <- *Rhys, Jean, 1890-1979. <- *Roth, Henry, 1906-1995. <- *Roth, Philip, 1933- <- *Rushdie, Salman, 1947- <- Salinger, J. D., 1919-2010. <- Sendak, Maurice, 1928-1912. <- Shaara, Michael, 1928-1988. <- Shields, Carol, 1935-2003. <- *Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968. <- Smiley, Jane, 1949- <- Smith, Betty, 1896-1972. <- Solzhenitsyn, Alexander, 1918-2008. <- Spark, Muriel, 1918-2006. <- Stegner, Wallace, 1909-1993. <- Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. <- Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968. <- Stone, Irving, 1903-1989. <- *Styron, William, 1925-2006. <- *Tan, Amy, 1952- <- *Tarkington, Booth, 1869-1946. <- *Thompson, Hunter, 1937-2005. <- *Tolkien, J. R. R., 1892-1973. <- *Toole, John Kennedy, 1937-1969. <- *Trumbo, Dalton, 1905-1976. <- *Tyler, Anne, 1941- <- *Updike, John, 1932-2009. <- *Uris, Leon, 1924-2003. <- *Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr., 1922-2007. <- Walker, Alice, 1944- <- Warren, Robert Penn, 1905-1989. <- Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966. <- Wells, H. G., 1866-1946. <- Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001. <- West, Nathanael, 1903-1940. <- Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937. <- White, E. B., 1899-1985. <- *White, T. H., 1906-1964. <- Wilder, Laura Ingalls, 1867-1957. <- Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975. <- Wilson, Colin, 1931- <- Wolfe, Thomas, 1900-1938. <- Wolfe, Tom, 1931- <- Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941. <- Wouk, Herman, 1915- <- Wright, Richard, 1908-1960.

2nd web edition posted 6/24/05 (last updated 4/17/14).
Please report any errors to the compiler.
Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2014 by Brian Kunde.