“Scientific” List of Top 100 Novels Includes 3 by Waugh

The website “Trading Atoms” has made a comparison of six lists of Top 100 20th Century novels in an effort to come up with a more accurate (“scientific”) selection. The lists included those compiled both by widely based popularity polls and by expert panels and were published by Modern Library, the Guardian, Le Monde, Time magazine and Larry McCaffery (a critic). The books were ranked in three categories: (1) most popular appeared on 5-6 lists; (2) mid level appeared on 3-4 lists; (3) all the rest appeared on at least 2 lists. By coincidence, when the numbers were added up, they totalled 100 books which had multiple listings.

Brideshead Revisited appeared in the mid level category. A Handful of Dust and Scoop were in the third category. The books are listed alphabetically within each category, so that the individual numbering is meaningless. The rankings are related to books, not writers, and there is no analysis of how many times various writers appear in the list. 


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