Ranking The First 30 (Plus 1)
Somehow I let this post slip by.
For newcomers, I usually stop and explain my latest rankings after each set of five books. Book #30 (Animal Farm) came and went and I totally forgot to recap. So today’s post is a quick explanation of my rankings for the last set of books (26-31).
Remember, these are my highly subjective and totally opinionated rankings of the first 31 novels.
Book #26: Revolutionary Road (Current rank: 12): If an author can make me hate a character as much as I hate April Wheeler, then that author is doing his job. Richard Yates is a beautiful storyteller and an even more impressive writer. This is a dark, heart-wrenching, emotional story that will make your head spin with frustration, and that’s why it’s so good.
Book #27: The Sound and The Fury (Current rank: 30): Oh, my head hurts just trying to remember this novel. I think I’ve repressed 90% of what I read during this Faulkner book. But thanks to Mrs. Dalloway, it’s not in last place.
Book #28: The Moviegoer (Current rank: 15): With The Moviegoer, Walker Percy’s writing stands out to me more than the book itself. I think it’s fitting that this one is right in the middle, because I enjoyed reading it but it’s not necessarily a story that jumps out at me when I look back on the novels I’ve read to this point.
Book #29: Beloved (Current rank: 22) Toni Morrison is a fabulous writer. And, yes, I realize I’ve said that a lot about all of these writers, but it’s true. Beloved is a weird, creepy novel, mostly in a good way. The ghost angle in this story totally caught me off-guard, but some of the creativity in the book seemed a little forced to me. In the end, I can’t quite put my finger on why this is ranked in the bottom third, but there it is…at number 22.
Book #30: Animal Farm (Current rank: 7) So good. So refreshing and creative. Animal Farm is allegory at its finest. It’s good on multiple levels, as an accessible story for kids about animals who raise hell on a farm, or as a biting, political commentary that will definitely make you think.
Book #31: Never Let Me Go (Current rank: 6) I’ll put Never Let Me Go up there with I, Claudius and The French Lieutenant’s Woman in the “books that surprised me” category. I honestly didn’t expect much, even though many of you think highly of this book, and you all were right. It’s good, really good. Never Let Me Go has made me think probably more than any book from the first 31.
And there you have it. If you’re interested, check out my complete rankings of the first 31.
As always, tell me how much you hate me and my rankings in the comments section. Or give me the virtual finger. Your choice.
Where did I go wrong (or right)?