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The Books of the Century

In September 1996 Waterstones, in association with Channel 4 television, launched a U.K. search for the greatest books of the twentieth century - a chance for you, the reading public, to have your say. There was an overwhelming response, and a huge variety of books and authors voted for; over four thousand separate books, from On the Road to The Highway Code, from The Female Eunuch to Men Behaving Badly, from James Joyce to James and The Giant Peach.

The hundred books listed here illustrate the richness and variety of twentieth century literature and some others that got away.

1. The Lord of the Rings , J. R. R. Tolkien
2. 1984 , George Orwell
3. Animal Farm , George Orwell
4. Ulysses, James Joyce
5. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
6. The Catcher in the Rye , J.D. Salinger
7. To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee
8. One Hundred Years of Solitude , Gabriel Garcia Marquez
9. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
10. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
11. Wild Swans, Jung Chang
12. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
13. The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
14. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
15. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
18. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
19. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
20. The Outsider, Albert Camus
21. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
22. The Trial, Franz Kafka
23. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
24 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
25. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
26. The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
27. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
28. Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence
29.To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
30. If This is a Man, Primo Levi
31. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
32. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
33. A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, Marcel Proust
34. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
35. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
36. Beloved, Toni Morrison
37. Possession, A. S. Byatt
38. The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
39.A Passage to India, E. M. Forster
40. Watership Down, Richard Adams
41. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
42. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
43. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
45. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
46. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
47. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
48. Howard's End, E. M. Forster
49. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
50. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
51. Dune, - Frank Herbert
52. A Prayer for Owen Meany, - John Irvine
53. Perfume, - Patrick Süskind
54. Doctor Zhivago, - Boris Pasternak
55. Gormenghast, - Mervyn Peake
56. Cider with Rosie, - Laurie Lee
57. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
58. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
59. Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain
60.The Magus, John Fowles
61. Brighton Rock, Graham Greene
62. The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists - Robert Tressell
63. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
64. Tales from the City, Armistead Maupin
65. The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles
66. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
67. Slaughterhouse 5, Kurt Vonnegut
68. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig
69. A Room with a View, E. M. Forster
70. Lucky Jim, - Kingsley Amis
71. It , Stephen King
72. The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
73. The Stand, Stephen King
74. All Quiet on the Western Front, - Erich Maria Remarque
75. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Roddy Doyle
76. Matilda, Roald Dahl
77. American Psycho, Brett Easton Ellis
78. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
79. A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
80. James and the Giant Peach , Roald Dahl
81. Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence
82. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
83. Complete Cookery Course, Delia Smith
84. An Evil Cradling, Brian Keenan
85. The Rainbow, D. H. Lawrence
86. Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell
87. 2001 - A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
88. The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
89.One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
90. A Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela
91. The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
92. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
93. The Alexandria Quartet, Lawrence Durrell
94. Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
95. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
96. The Van, Roddy Doyle
97. The BFG, Roald Dahl
98. Earthly Powers, Anthony Burgess
99. I, Claudius, Robert Graves
100. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans

Top 10 books Written by Women

To Kill A Mocking Bird Harper Lee
Wild Swans Jung Chang
The Colour Purple Alice Walker
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
The Diary of Anne Frank Anne Frank
To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Rebecca Daphne Du Maurier
Beloved Toni Morrison
Possession A. S. Byatt
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

Top 10 Living Authors

Joseph Heller
Harper Lee
Irvine Welsh
Jung Chang
J. D. Salinger
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Douglas Adams
Salman Rushdie
Alice Walker
Iain Banks

Nobel Prize-winners in the Top 100

Toni Morrison (1993)
William Golding (1983)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1982)
Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1970)
John Steinbeck (1962)
Albert Camus (1957)

Top 10 books Written by American Authors

Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Catcher In The Rye, J. D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
The Colour Purple, Alice Walker
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Of Mice & Men John Steinbeck

Just Missed Out - the next twenty-five

The Waste Land & Other Poems, T. S. Eliot
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett
Four Quarters, T. S. Eliot
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Fever Pitch Nick Hornby
The Old Man & the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
Darkness at Noon Arthur Koestler
My Family & Other Animals, Gerald Durrell
Under Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
London Fields, Martin Amis
The Sound & the Fury, William Faulkner
The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer
Cat's Eye, Margaret Atwood
The Plague, Albert Camus
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence
The Second Sex, Simone de Beavoir
The Good Soldier, Ford Madox Brown
The Go-Between, L. P. Hartley
Orlando, Virginia Woolf
Good-bye to All That, Robert Graves
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons