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Ranking The First 60 Novels

It’s time for me to explain my highly subjecting and totally pointless rankings.

As you may know, I go through my rankings after every five novels. It’s a nice way to close out some of my recent reads and explain why I ranked them where I did. It’s also a great way for you to bash me in the comments and tell me how stupid I am.

So let’s take a look at the last five novels:

Ragtime (Current rank: 47): Ragtime felt a little like an episode of some sort of celebrity reality show. Just a bunch of random historical people thrown into a historical novel. I appreciated E.L. Doctorow’s effort, but I couldn’t get into Ragtime.

Portnoy’s Complaint (Current rank: 51): Love Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, but not a big fan of this one. The novel was funny, but the repeated, graphic nature of the novel eventually just wore me down.

All The King’s Men (Current rank: 11): Outstanding political novel. Willie Talos (or Stark, depending on which version you read) is most of the slimiest characters in literature. And he’s a politician. So no surprise there.

The Crying of Lot 49 (Current rank: 35): If you asked where I would place this book before I read it, I would have probably said I’d put it much higher. But I didn’t love the novel as much during my second read through. Maybe I’ll have more luck with Gravity’s Rainbow.

A Death in the Family (Current rank: 4): I’ve praised this book a lot recently. And, this novel, more than most, might prove how truly subjective my highly subjective rankings are. I loved James Agee’s writing style and how he tells this story, but I also think I read this novel at just the right time in my life to truly appreciate it.

You already know I’m currently reading A Passage To India. But if you’re playing along at home, just a reminder that my next three reads after it will be Ubik by Philip K. Dick, The Sotweed Factor by John Barth, and Loving by Henry Green, in no particular order.

Here’s my full rankings if you’re interested.

So…how much do you hate my highly subjective rankings? Do tell!

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Reblogged this on Adithya Entertainment.

    Like

    August 21, 2013
  2. Love the rankings , actually ;). Short and to the point. Reading is a highly subjective matter anyway.

    Like

    August 21, 2013
    • Thanks! This is always a brief recap. I save the wordy stuff for the reviews.

      Like

      August 21, 2013
  3. Ah, I can’t even comment. I haven’t read any of those.

    Like

    August 21, 2013
  4. Teresa #

    I ranked Ragtime and Lot 49 higher than you. You’re right about Ragtime’s name dropping detracts from the literary effort but I thought it added a bit of excitement to the reading.

    As for the Agee book, well I placed it 4 from the bottom. But you knew that. I agree that it is wonderful to read a book that takes place in your own neck of the woods with characters about your age. Much more interesting to read.

    Like

    August 21, 2013
  5. Looking forward to your trashing of Ubik. Ha!

    Like

    August 21, 2013
  6. Nice ranking for All the King’s Men! I also like the first line in your post about Portnoy’s Complaint – “I need a shower”! Oh man, yes.

    Like

    August 22, 2013
  7. Reblogged this on Creative Writing School.

    Like

    August 22, 2013
  8. It’s obviously subjective as you say, but I have a hard time imagining that someone would like Gravity’s Rainbow more than The Crying of Lot 49. There both weird and convoluted and a bit nonsensical in a way that I find charming, but 800 pages or so of it is far too much.

    Like

    August 29, 2013
  9. *they’re…wow, sorry about that.

    Like

    August 29, 2013

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