Times top 100 Novels (1925-2005)

In 2005, Time® magazine’s literary critics, Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo selected what they considered to be the top 100 English-language novels published from 1923 to 2005 (1923 being the year Time® began publishing). As usual, with any “top 100” list, these were their subjective choices, and obviously do not reflect the views of any other reader. However, their list inarguably includes numerous works of influential English-languge literature. To see their original online list, including detailed plot descriptions, visit Time’s Critics Pick the 100 Best Novels on the Time® website.

The Adventures of Augie March
by Saul Bellow
1953

All the King’s Men
by Robert Penn Warren
1946

American Pastoral
by Philip Roth
1997

An American Tragedy
by Theodore Dreiser
1925

Animal Farm
by George Orwell
1946

Appointment in Samarra
by John O’Hara
1934

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume
1970

The Assistant
by Bernard Malamud
1957

At Swim-Two-Birds
by Flann O’Brien
1938

Atonement
by Ian McEwan
2002

Beloved
by Toni Morrison
1987

The Berlin Stories
by Christopher Isherwood
1946

The Big Sleep
by Raymond Chandler
1939

The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood
2000

Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy
1986

Brideshead Revisited
by Evelyn Waugh
1946

The Bridge of San Luis rey
by Thornton Wilder
1927

Call It Sleep
by Henry Roth
1935

Catch-22
by Joseph Heller
1961

The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
1951

A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess
1963

The Confessions of Nat Turner
by William Styron
1967

The Corrections
by Jonathan Franzen
2001

The Crying of Lot 49
by Thomas Pynchon
1966

A Dance to the Music of Time
by Anthony Powell
1951

The Day of the Locust
by Nathaniel West
1939

Death Comes for the Archbishop
by Willa Cather
1927

A Death in the Family
by James Agee
1958

The Death of the Heart
by Elizabeth Bowen
1938

Deliverance
by James Dickey
1970

Dog Soldiers
by Robert Stone
1974

Falconer
by John Cheever
1977

The French Lieutenant’s Woman
by John Fowles
1969

The Golden Notebook
by Doris Lessing
1962

Go Tell It on the Mountain
by James Baldwin
1953

Gone With the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell
1936

The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
1939

Gravity’s Rainbow
by Thomas Pynchon
1973

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
1925

A Handful of Dust
by Evelyn Waugh
1934

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers
1940

The Heart of the Matter
by Graham Greene
1948

Herzog
by Saul Bellow
1964

Housekeeping
by Marilynne Robinson
1981

A House for Mr. Biswas
by V.S. Naipaul
1962

I, Claudius
by Robert Graves
1934

Infinite Jest
by David Foster Wallace
1996

Invisible Man
by Ralph Ellison
1952

Light in August
by William Faulkner
1932

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis
1950

Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov
1955

Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
1955

The Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien
1954

Loving
by Henry Green
1945

Lucky Jim
by Kingsley Amis
1954

The Man Who Loved Children
by Christina Stead
1940

Midnight’s Children
by Salman Rushdie
1981

Money: A Suicide Note
by Martin Amis
1984

The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy
1961

Mrs. Dalloway
by Virginia Woolf
1925

Naked Lunch
by William Burroughs
1959

Native Son
by Richard Wright
1940

Neuromancer
by William Gibson
1984

Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
2005

1984
by George Orwell
1948

On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
1957

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Ken Kesey
1962

The Painted Bird
by Jerzy Kosinski
1965

Pale Fire
by Vladimir Nabokov
1962

A Passage to India
by E.M. Forster
1924

Play It As It Lays
by Joan Didion
1970

Portnoy’s Complaint
by Philip Roth
1969

Possession
by A.S. Byatt
1990

The Power and the Glory
by Graham Greene
1939

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
by Muriel Spark
1961

Rabbit, Run
by John Updike
1960

Ragtime
by E.L. Doctorow
1975

The Recognitions
by William Gaddis
1955

Red Harvest
by Dashiell Hammett
1929

Revolutionary Road
by Richard Yates
1961

The Sheltering Sky
by Paul Bowles
1949

Slaughterhouse-Five
by Kurt Vonnegut
1969

Snow Crash
by Neal Stephenson
1992

The Sot-Weed Factor
by John Barth
1960

The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
1929

The Sportswriter
by Richard Ford
1986

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
by John le Carre
1964

The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
1926

Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston
1937

Things Fall Apart
by Chinua Achebe
1959

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
1960

To the Lighthouse
by Virginia Woolf
1927

Tropic of Cancer
by Henry Miller
1934

Ubik
by Philip K. Dick
1969

Under the Net
by Iris Murdoch
1954

Under the Volcano
by Malcolm Lowry
1947

Watchmen
by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
1986

White Noise
by Don DeLillo
1985

White Teeth
by Zadie Smith
2000

Wide Sargasso Sea
by Jean Rhys
1966