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


<- Irving, John, 1942-
         Full name: John Winslow Irving; original name: John Wallace Blunt, Jr. Bestselling American novelist and screenwriter born in Exeter, New Hampshire. Noted for settings and thematic elements repeated in many of his works, including schools of his native New England, Vienna, wrestling, bears, and certain sexual themes. Aside from the works below, his best-known novel is The Cider House Rules (1985), which he adapted to the screen in 1999.
  • <- A Prayer for Owen Meany. 1989.
             Spiritual memoir of protagonist John Wheelwright on the lives of himself and his friend Owen Meany, who foretold his own death. Alternates between three narrative strands concerning their childhood friendship, Meany's adult life, and Wheelwright's life after Meany's death, all linked by the denouement setting forth that death. Adapted to film, much altered, as Simon Birch in 1998, and to the stage as A Prayer for Owen Meany: On Faith in 2002.
  • <- The World According to Garp. 1978.
             The life story of T. S. Garp, a complex narrative of personal growth interweaving both ridiculous and tragic events. A finalist for the 1979 American Book Award for hardcover fiction, and winner of the 1979 National Book Foundation's award for paperback fiction. Adapted to film in 1982.

Posted Apr. 3, 2007, and last updated May 14, 2013.
Please report any errors to the compiler.
Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.