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64th-best novel ever

The Observer says that the Lord of the Rings is the 64th best novel of all time.

Is Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love any better, at 57th place? I didn't think so.

Thanks to Crescat Sententia for the link.


Any list that puts Little Women above The Brothers Karamazov is clearly smoking something really nasty.

Excellent call, H. Any list that puts Ulysses on at all is excessively pretentious at best.

I do have to give them HUGE props, though for putting on The BFG and Northern Lights.

On rereading the list, I actually think the novels aren't arranged from best to worst, but instead from oldest to newest. I was thinking how great it is that this guy clearly was ranking all the novels from each literary movement together. I was impressed by his consistency. But now I think it looks less like consistency and more like chronology. But Lord of the Rings should still be in the top 10 regardless. Its existence isn't bounded by some paltry publication date.

It does look like a chronology. I was going to moderate my criticism for not having placed LoTR at #1 because at least one of the books ahead of it is The Wind in the Willows.

And it might justify the slight of the Brothers K.

But come on; doesn't Nancy Mitford write those sappy Christmas books? Why is she on the list at all?