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[ Reading ] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You DieAuthor Peter Boxall –

For Discerning Bibliophiles And Readers Who Enjoy Unforgettable Classic Literature,Books You Must Read Before You Die Is A Trove Of Reviews Covering A Century Of Memorable Writing Each Work Of Literature Featured Here Is A Seminal Work Key To Understanding And Appreciating The Written WordThe Featured Works Have Been Handpicked By A Team Of International Critics And Literary Luminaries, Including Derek Attridge World Expert On James Joyce , Cedric Watts Renowned Authority On Joseph Conrad And Graham Greene , Laura Marcus Noted Virginia Woolf Expert , And David Mariott Poet And Expert On African American Literature , Among Some Twenty OthersAddictive, Browsable, KnowledgeableBooks You Must Read Before You Die Will Be A Boon Companion For Anyone Who Loves Good Writing And An Inspiration For Anyone Who Is Just Beginning To Discover A Love Of Books Each Entry Is Accompanied By An Authoritative Yet Opinionated Critical Essay Describing The Importance And Influence Of The Work In Question Also Included Are Publishing History And Career Details About The Authors, As Well As Reproductions Of Period Dust Jackets And Book Designs

10 thoughts on “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

  1. says:

    Edited 8 11 2010 to add Comment no 4 below in response to Paul s follow up question.First of all, don t tell me what I must do before I die.Just fuck off At Paul s behest, I m writing my reactions to this list not really the book, but give me a break the book is just a bunch of pretty pictures and blurbs defending their idiotic choices What s important is this shit for brains list.Comment no 1 First, they need a subtitle for 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die I m thinking Including Books That Will Make You Want to Die, Peel Your Skin Off, or Shoot Yourself in the Face might do the trick And who the hell just is this Dr Peter Boxall Does he know the definition of words like quiddity, esoteric, psychotic, random, fucking insane, etc I m hoping he does because all would apply to this half assed, biased list.Comment no 2 I take immediate issue no pun intended to the word seminal, deriving from semen, and the whole stodgy, turgid prose describing the holiness of this craptastic list Each work of literature listed here is a seminal work key to understanding and appreciating the written word These works have been handpicked by a team of international critics and literary luminaries a seminal work key to understanding the written word like books literary luminaries And I can just guess which ones they are given the disproportionate number of works by minor major authors Hey, if someone is about to die, don t make them read every shithead book Ian McEwan or John Barth ever wrote Do you really think Roth s very minor and miss able The Breast is going to put someone in an orgasm over the written word Comment no 3 I sure hope this list isn t in any particular order I d hate to think Franzen s metaphorically and literally shit impacted book, The Corrections is among the top 100 Oh, and nice coverage of lit before 19th century There are a few stabs at SEVERAL CENTURIES at about book number 950 or so, but apparently we can just remain illiterate about Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Bible, Spenser, Donne, and the endless number of SEMINAL authors books that are ignored completely A medley of the books that are pleasant reads but hardly life changing The Life of Pi Curious Incident of the Dog in Night The Hours how could Cunningham take such a good idea for a plot and screw it up so royally Surfacing nearly anything by Margaret Atwood is worthy, but why pick one of her earliest novels, where her potential has not yet been realized One of Miller s Tropic books would have been than enough thank you Who the hell ever heard of Wharton s Bunner Sisters I need to read that before I die Maybe I should read Ethan this book sucks Frome again too No For Wharton it is House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence Colossally stupid list made into a giant and equally stupid book.AddendumComment no 4 So Dr Boxall Boxass, to snatch a line from The Rainmaker, you must be stupid, stupid, stupid You ve now had three tries 2006, 2008, and 2010 to get this sorry ass list in shape, but you ve fucked it up every time In response to your smarmy introduction, which Paul describes this is supposed to be a loose and baggy overview of The Novel, as opposed to drama or biography or history or biography, I shout BULLSHIT I ll agree with the loose and baggy adjectives, but in no way is this list a representative listing of The Novel and what s with the reverential capital letters, asswipe.For starters, your various lists have included short story collections not a novel , a single short story not a novel , autobiographies not a novel , confessional memoirs not a novel , histories not a novel , creative nonfiction not a novel and nonfiction essay collections not a novel Is there something mysteriously complicated about a novel s definition, basically, an extended fictional narrative in prose containing a plot, that eludes you Do you find this definition hopelessly complex There is a cure Stop creating these inaccurate, nonrepresentational crap ass lists that suggest you know something about The Novel You don t.Then, even if Boxass were able to plant the definition of a novel firmly into his not particularly fertile brain, he d want to work on creating a list that s representational Let me explain The good doctor has decided to use 1001 as the definitive number for our pre death reading pleasure Given the number of stellar novels produced, that is a tiny number Logically, you d accord an author no than one book, unless there was an immensely compelling reason to do otherwise Does Boxall do this Noooooooooooooo In the list s most recent incarnation and this is attempt no 3, Boxass , the good doctor still doesn t grasp the idea of representation In a list of only 1001 novels, should any author be accorded FIVE books Apparently so Boxall feels it imperative that we read, not one or two, but a whopping five novels each by J.M Coetzee, Graham Greene, and Thomas Mann In comparison, ground breaking novelists like Mark Twain, Charlotte Bront , Nathaniel Hawthorne are accorded respectively 1, 1, and 2 novels apiece But hey We need to save space so we re able to read FOUR books by Georges Perec, two books by Dashiell Hammett, and two books by John Le Carr Aaaaarrgggghhhhh I m not even going to touch all the ESSENTIAL and IMPORTANT novelists you omitted altogether, dickhead, but too bad, so sad Three strikes You re out

  2. says:

    There are so many literary awards these days but I think the following notable achievements have been TOTALLY MISSED So here are the All Time Award winners Best Keith Richard impersonation W H AudenAward for the Best exotic dance Colette and Diablo Cody tie Most transgendered author Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary, c est moi Ok, if you say soCreepiest family portrait The FitzgeraldsMost ridiculous hats, if that s what they are Rebecca West Author who most looked like their own books Jean RhysAuthor who least looked like their own books William BurroughsBest beard Samuel R DelanyCraziest beard Georges Perec Worst dancer Truman CapoteMost awed by his own talent Anthony BurgessBest fistfight between great authors Vargas Llosa versus Gabriel Garcia Marquez We give the award to the loser Best calypso singer Maya AngelouMost pretentious suit Tom WolfeBest interviewees Margaret Atwood and James Ellroy tie invite them on your chat show, you ll get your money s worth I must have missed out some awards any suggestions

  3. says:

    Has anyone thought of this already Surely they have.I wonder if it would be possible here on Goodreads to have a page listing all the 1001 books and here s the thing links to our own reviews of them maybe with a limit in the case of famous books with a zillion reviews It would be an interesting resource and would encourage people to review those which haven t got any reviews at all say, for instance, The Taebek Mountains by Jo Jung rae or Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga It would add to the GR fray, and that is what we are here for the fray HISTORY OF THE THREE EDITIONS OF 1001 BOOKS, IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING if you weren t wondering then move along, nothing to see here, this is for terminal list geeks only The original edition came out in 2006 and got a lot of stick for its eurocentricity and eccentricity what 10 Coetzee novels and 8 McEwans It looked a little like bribery and corruption, or maybe the editorial board had just gone mad So in 2008 they rethought the whole list 282 books were dumped and new ones added 2008 additions1 Half of a Yellow Sun Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 2 Falling Man Don DeLillo 3 Animal s People Indra Sinha4 Carry Me Down M.J Hyland5 The Kindly Ones Jonathan Littell6 The Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai7 The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid8 Against the Day Thomas Pynchon9 Mother s Milk Edward St Aubyn10 The Accidental Ali Smith11 Measuring the World Daniel Kehlmann12 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka13 Suite Francaise Irene Nemirovsky14 2666 Roberto Bolano15 Small Island Andrea Levy16 The Swarm Frank Schatzing17 The Book about Blanche and Marie Per Olov Enquist18 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay Michael Chabon19 The Line of Beauty Alan Hollinghurst20 Vernon God Little DBC Pierre21 The Namesake Jhumpa Lahiri22 A Tale of Love and Darkness Amos Oz23 Lady Number Thirteen Jose Carlos Somoza24 The Successor Ismail Kadare25 Snow Orhan Pamuk26 Your Face Tomorrow Javier Marias27 I m Not Scared Niccolo Ammaniti28 Soldiers of Salamis Javier Cercas29 Bartleby and Co Enrique Vila Matas30 In Search of Klingsor Jorge Volpi31 The Museum of Unconditional Surrender Dubravka Ugresic32 Pavel s Letters Monika Moron33 Dirty Havana Trilogy Pedro Juan Gutierrez34 Savage Detectives Roberto Bolano35 The Heretic Miguel Delibes36 Crossfire Miyuki Miyabe37 Margot and the Angels Kristien Hemmerechts38 Money to Burn Ricardo Piglia39 Fall on Your Knees Ann Marie MacDonald40 A Light Comedy Eduardo Mendoza41 Democracy Joan Didion42 The Late Night News Petros Markaris43 Troubling Love Elena Ferrante44 Santa Evita Tomas Eloy Martinez45 Our Lady of the Assassins Fernando Vallejo46 The Holder of the World Bharati Mukherjee47 Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light Ivan Klima48 Remembering Babylon David Malouf49 The Twins Tessa de Loo50 Deep Rivers Shusaku Endo51 The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll Alvaro Mutis52 The Dumas Club Arturo Perez Reverte53 The Triple Mirror of Self Zulfikar Ghose54 All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy55 Memoirs of Rain Sunetra Gupta56 Uncle Petros and Goldbach s Conjecture Apostolos Doxiadis57 Before Night Falls Reinaldo Arenas58 Astradeni Eugenia Fakinou59 Faceless Killers Henning Mankell60 The Laws Connie Palmen61 The Daughter Pavlos Matesis62 The Shadow Lines Amitav Ghosh63 The Great Indian Novel Shashi Tharoor64 Gimmick Joost Zwagerman65 Obabakoak Bernardo Atxaga66 Inland Gerald Murnane67 The First Garden Anne Herbert68 The Last World Christoph Ransmayr69 Paradise of the Blind Duong Thu Huong70 All Souls Javier Marias71 Black Box Amos Oz72 Ballad for Georg Henig Viktor Paskov73 Kitchen Banana Yoshimoto74 Of Love and Shadows Isabel Allende75 The Beautiful Mrs Seidenman Andrzej Szczypiorski76 Ancestral Voices Etienne van Heerden77 Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy78 Annie John Jamaica Kincaid79 Simon and the Oak Trees Marianne Fredriksson80 Half of Man is Woman Zhang Xianliang81 Professor Martens Departure Jaan Kross82 The Young Man Botho Strauss83 Love Medicine Louise Erdrich84 Larva Midsummer Night s Babel Julian Rios85 The Witness Juan Jose Saer86 The Christmas Oratorio Goran Tunstrom87 Fado Alexandrino Antonio Lobo Antunes88 The Book of Disquiet Fernando Pessoa89 Baltazar and Bleminda Jose Saramago90 Memory of Fire Eduardo Galeano91 Couples, Passerby Botho Strauss92 The House with the Blind Glass Windows Herbjorg Wassmo93 The War of the End of the World Mario Vargas Llosa94 Leaden Wings Zhang Jie95 Clear Light of Day Anita Desai96 Smell of Sadness Alfred Kossmann97 Southern Seas Manuel Vazquez Montalban98 Fool s Gold Maro Douka99 So Long a Letter Mariama Ba100 A Dry White Season Andre Brink101 The Back Room Carmen Martin Gaite 102 The Beggar Maid Alice Munro 103 Requiem for a Dream Hubert Selby Jr 104 The Wars Timothy Findley 105 Quartet in Autumn Barbara Pym 106 The Engineer of Human Souls Josef Skvorecky 107 Blaming Elizabeth Taylor 108 Almost Transparent Blue Ryu Murakami 109 Kiss of the Spider Woman Manuel Puig 110 Woman at Point Zero Nawal El Saadawi 111 The Commandant Jessica Anderson 112 The Year of the Hare Arto Paasilinna 113 The Port Antun oljan 114 The Dispossessed Ursula K Le Guin 115 The Diviners Margaret Laurence 116 Day of the Dolphin Robert Merle 117 The Optimist s Daughter Eudora Welty 118 The Twilight Years Sawako Ariyoshi 119 Lives of Girls and Women Alice Munro 120 Cataract Mykhailo Osadchyi 121 A World for Julius Alfredo Bryce Echenique 122 Play It As It Lays Joan Didion 123 Fifth Business Robertson Davies 124 Jacob the Liar Jurek Becker 125 Here s to You, Jesusa Elena Poniatowska 126 Season of Migration to the North Tayeb Salih 127 The Case Worker Gyorgy Konrad 128 Moscow Stations Venedikt Erofeyev 129 Heartbreak Tango Manuel Puig 130 The Cathedral Oles Honchar 131 The Manor Isaac Bashevis Singer 132 Z Vassilis Vassilikos 133 Miramar Naguib Mahfouz 134 To Each His Own Leonardo Sciascia 135 Marks of Identity Juan Goytisolo 136 Silence Shusaku Endo 137 Death and the Dervish Mesa Selimovic 138 Closely Watched Trains Bohumil Hrabal 139 Back to Oegstgeest Jan Wolkers 140 Gardens, Ashes Danilo Kis 141 Three Trapped Tigers Guillermo Cabrera Infante 142 Dog Years Gunter Grass 143 The Third Wedding Costas Taktsis 144 Time of Silence Luis Martin Santos 145 The Death of Artemio Cruz Carlos Fuentes 146 The Time of the Hero Mario Vargas Llosa 147 Memoirs of a Peasant Boy Xose Neira Vilas 148 No One Writes to the Colonel Gabriel Garc a M rquez 149 The Shipyard Juan Carlos Onetti 150 Bebo s Girl Carlo Cassola 151 The Magician of Lublin Isaac Bashevis Singer 152 God s Bits of Wood Ousmane Sembene 153 Halftime Martin Walser 154 Down Second Avenue Es kia Mphahlele 155 Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon Jorge Amado 156 Deep Rivers Jose Maria Arguedas 157 The Guide R.K Narayan 158 The Deadbeats Ward Ruyslinck 159 The Birds Tarjei Vesaas 160 The Glass Bees Ernst Junger 161 The Manila Rope Veijo Meri 162 The Devil to Pay in the Backlands Joao Guimaraes Rosa 163 The Burning Plain Juan Rulfo 164 The Tree of Man Patrick White 165 The Mandarins Simone de Beauvoir 166 A Day in Spring Ciril Kosmac 167 Death in Rome Wolfgang Koeppen 168 The Sound of Waves Yukio Mishima 169 The Unknown Soldier Vaino Linna 170 The Hothouse Wolfgang Koeppen 171 The Lost Steps Alejo Carpentier 172 The Dark Child Camara Laye 173 Excellent Women Barbara Pym 174 A Thousand Cranes Yasunari Kawabata 175 The Hive Camilo Jose Cela 176 Barabbas Par Lagerkvist 177 The Guiltless Hermann Broch 178 Ashes and Diamonds Jerzy Andrzejewski 179 Journey to the Alcarria Camilo Jose Cela 180 In The Heart of the Sea Shmuel Yosef Agnon 181 This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen Tadeusz Borowski 182 Froth on the Daydream Boris Vian 183 Midaq Alley Naguib Mahfouz 184 Zorba the Greek Nikos Kazantz kis 185 House in the Uplands Erskine Caldwell 186 Andrea Carmen Laforet 187 Bosnian Chronicle Ivo Andri 188 The Death of Virgil Hermann Broch 189 The Tin Flute Gabrielle Roy 190 Pippi Longstocking Astrid Lindgren 191 Chess Story Royal Game Stefan Zweig 192 Broad and Alien is the World Ciro Alegria 193 The Harvesters Cesare Pavese 194 The Man Who Loved Children Christina Stead 195 Alamut Vladimir Bartol 196 On the Edge of Reason Miroslav Krleza 197 The Blind Owl Sadegh Hedayat 198 Ferdydurke Witold Gombrowicz 199 War with the Newts Karel Capek 200 Ricksaw Boy Lao She201 Untouchable Mulk Raj Anand 202 The Bells of Basel Louis Aragon 203 On the Heights of Despair Emil Cioran 204 The Street of Crocodiles Bruno Schulz 205 Man s Fate Andr Malraux 206 Cheese Willem Elsschot 207 Joseph and His Brothers Thomas Mann 208 Viper s Tangle Francois Mauriac 209 The Return of Philip Latinowicz Miroslav Krleza 210 The Forbidden Realm J Slauerhoff 211 Insatiability Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz 212 Monica Saunders Lewis 213 I Thought of Daisy Edmund Wilson 214 Retreat Without Song Shahan Shahnur 215 Some Prefer Nettles Junichiro Tanizaki 216 The Case of Sergeant Grischa Arnold Zweig 217 Alberta and Jacob Cora Sandel 218 Under Satan s Sun Georges Bernanos 219 The New World Henry Walda Sellasse 220 Chaka the Zulu Thomas Mofolo 221 The Forest and the Hanged Liviu Rebreanu 222 Claudine s House Colette 223 Kristin Lavransdatter Sigrid Undset 224 Life of Christ Giovanni Papini 225 The Storm of Steel Ernst Junger 226 The Underdogs Mariano Azuela 227 Pallieter Felix Timmermans 228 The Home and the World Rabindranath Tagore 229 Platero and I Juan Ramon Jimenez 230 The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge Rainer Maria Rilke 231 Solitude Victor Catala 232 The Way of All Flesh Samuel Butler 233 The Call of the Wild Jack London 234 Memoirs of My Nervous Illness Daniel Paul Schreber 235 None But the Brave Arthur Schnitzler 236 The Tigers of Momopracem Emilio Salgari 237 Dom Casmurro Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis 238 Eclipse of the Crescent Moon Geza Gardonyi 239 As a Man Grows Older Italo Svevo 240 The Child of Pleasure Gabriele D Annunzio 241 Pharaoh Boleslaw Prus 242 Compassion Benito Perez Galdos 243 The Viceroys Federico De Roberto 244 Down There Joris Karl Huysmans 245 Thais Anatole France 246 Eline Vere Louis Couperus 247 Under the Yoke Ivan Vazov 248 The Manors of Ulloa Emilia Pardo Bazan 249 The Quest Frederik van Eeden 250 The Regent s Wife Leopoldo Alas 251 The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis 252 The Crime of Father Amaro Jose Maria Eca de Queiros 253 Pepita Jimenez Juan Valera 254 Martin Fierro Jose Hernandez 255 Indian Summer Adalbert Stifter 256 Green Henry Gottfried Keller 257 The Devil s Pool George Sand 258 Facundo Domingo Faustino Sarmiento 259 A Hero of Our Times Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov 260 Camera Obscura Hildebrand aka Nicolaas Beets 261 The Lion of Flanders Hendrik Conscience 262 Eugene Onegin Alexander Pushkin 263 A Life of a Good for Nothing Joseph von Eichendorff 264 The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr E.T.A Hoffman 265 Michael Kohlhaas Heinrich von Kleist 266 Henry von Ofterdingen Novalis 267 A Dream of Red Mansions Cao Xueqin 268 Anton Reiser Karl Philipp Moritz 269 The Adventures of Simplicissimus Hans von Grimmelshausen 270 The Conquest of New Spain Bernal Diaz del Castillo 271 The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 272 Thomas of Reading Thomas Deloney 273 Monkey Journey to the West Wu Cheng en 274 The Lusiad Luis Vaz de Camoes 275 The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes Anonymous 276 Amadis of Gaul Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo 277 Le Celestina Fernando de Rojas 278 Tirant lo Blanc Joanot Martorell 279 Romance of the Three Kingdoms Luo Guanzhong 280 The Water Margin Shi Nai an 281 The Tale of Genji Murasaki Shikibu 282 The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter AnonymousThen, only two years later, a third edition, another revamp, but only ELEVEN titles were changed that s weird IN1 Elegance of the Hedgehog Muriel Barbery 2 The Children s Book A.S Byatt 3 Invisible Paul Auster 4 An American Rust Philipp Meyer 5 Cost Roxana Robinson 6 The White Tiger Aravind Adiga 7 Home Marilynne Robinson 8 Kieron Smith, Boy James Kelman 9 The Gathering Anne Enright 10 The Blind Side of the Heart Julia Franck 11 The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot DiazOUT1 The Reluctant Fundamentalist Mohsin Hamid2 Animal s People Indra Sinha 3 The Kindly Ones Jonathan Littell 4 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian Marina Lewycka 5 Small Island Andrea Levy 6 The Plot Against America Philip Roth 7 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay Michael Chabon8 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time Mark Haddon 9 Islands Dan Sleigh 10 The Heart of Redness Zakes Mda 11 Small Remedies Shashi Deshpande AND NOW A REVIEW OF THE ACTUAL BOOKThis is like porn for us book geek types, it s so pretty and it s full of sexy pix of books in all states of dress, some with their jackets on, some off, some bound, some unbound And lotsa pix of authors too, although, you know, authors are usually not the most gorgeous of people, and if you think that s stereotypical this book is here to prove it Exception Edna O Brien, total babe Anyway, this 1001 Books tome did turn my head when it was first published It didn t, however, make me read anything I wasn t going to, which I guess is its point Or maybe, its point is just to lie in the corner of your room and purr Everybody will be shouting at this book before long as they look through it along the lines of what s this You ve got three in here by Douglas Adams, and NONE by Roddy Doyle you arrant dunderheads I mean, Douglas Adams is good for one, but not three And if Douglas Adams, then Garrison Keillor Each book gets about 300 words which editor Peter Boxall describes like this What each entry does is to respond, with the cramped urgency of a deathbed confession, to what makes each novel compelling, to what it is about each novel that makes one absolutely need to read it But, you know, they don t actually do that It s just another pretty lie 1001 books it s a lot If you had the time and money to read every one at a rate of one per week, you d need 19 and a quarter years, so you better get going But unless you re in a cult, you aren t going to do that The pre 1700 section, in particular, is strictly for students of literature I stick my neck out and say that very few will be reading Euphues The Anatomy of Wit by John Lyly or Aithiopika by Heliodorus for fun And then the dogged reader will be coming up against the rarely scaled Everests of literature such as Dorothy Richardson s Pilgrimage 13 vols, thousands of pages or Proust likewise or Infinite Jest one volume, 1100 pages Each of which are going to take you 3 6 months solid Rules are broken randomly the word books certainly appears to equate to novels in here, BUT Like Life by Lorrie Moore is included a collection of short stories, not a novel So okay why no Raymond Carver, America s greatest short story writer Stupid bastards And sometimes it s hard to see that the reviewer even likes the book in question The Secret History is described as quality trash for highbrows Or take this As with his other writing The Book of Laughter and Forgetting raises questions about the representation of female characters, and invites accusations of latent misogyny These are valid objections that may engender fruitful considerations of this novel as a historical document as much as a work of experimental fiction Well, that s hardly an enthusiastic endorsement.Some authors are wildly over represented, such as J M Coatzee, Ian McEwan and Paul Auster, all of which have titles in here than Henry James It s interesting to check if the Booker Prizewinners are included 20 are out of 37 and there are some strange omissions no room for Vernon God Little quite right too or The True History of the Kelly Gang , Sacred Hunger nothing at all by Barry Unsworth in fact what s wrong with him, he s great, you dunderheads , The Famished Road or Hotel du Lac So this is a guide with enough in it to get everyone s backs up and please hardly anyone except Coatzee and McEwan fans Therefore I recommend it for everyone, but particularly those who have just been sentenced to a long stretch of solitary confinement Having said that, please check out my GR friend Ellen s fantastically vitriolic review I don t agree with her but her views are BRACING

  4. says:

    As a contributor to this, and having seen a few of the reviews, I thought I could clear a few things up 1 The title The publisher commissioned this book as part of its larger series of 1001 before you die Having this before you die was a decision made in the publishing marketing section as it was decided it would sell better get discussion going It is also, obviously, a little tongue in cheek books rather than novels , as novels was seen as potentially turning people off as it sounds too literary and elitist I know, I know don t get me started So, the title is pure marketing, and nothing to do with either Peter Boxall or anyone involved in either the selection of books or the reviews 2 The list itself Firstly, of course, it is impossible to make a perfect list Secondly, there is author inflation due to financial and temporal pressures This was fought by some, and the situation was improved in later editions, but I agree there is, for a start, way too much Rushdie Boxall did the first draft of the list, which was discussed and edited and added to by us It was, as all things done by committee, flawed You must remember that the publishing industry is in dire straights, and simply getting this book done and out was a struggle 3 The point of the book the point is that it is a list of suggestions, a list of jumping off points, inspiration, ideas Something to look through when stuck for what to read It is not intended to be CANON.

  5. says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Only For Slackers 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall Original Review, 2010 04 18 I found this list rather heavy on very recent fiction There is also no way of knowing whether books published a few years ago will withstand the test of time, and I suspect many won t This is a reason why, apart from a handful of favourites, I tend to restrict my sadly limited reading to established authors 4 times out of 5, when I believe the hype , I end up disappointed.

  6. says:

    While I of course did not in any way expect to agree with EVERY novel or novella that chief editor and book compiler Peter Boxall has considered worthy of inclusion in his 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and although MANY of my personal favourites are indeed and happily present I do have three main and very personally uncomfortable issues with this tome which actually grate enough for me to now only consider a high one star rating at best, a decent enough compilation and certainly useful to an extent, but only to be recommended with very major caveats and reservations For one, and for me personally very much annoyingly, I actually consider the title 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die rather annoyingly and inappropriately misleading and the dictatorial tone than a trifle off putting as well because ALL of the literary works listed included are novels or novellas Now does this mean that Peter Boxall somehow does not consider dramatic works or poetry collections legitimate, bona fide books I mean, sorry, but Johann Wolfgang von Goethe s Faust, William Shakespeare s Romeo and Juliet and Charles Baudelaire s Les Fleurs du Mal are if published in print format in every way as much a book as Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice, Theodor Fontane s Effi Briest and Thomas Mann s Buddenbrooks And thus, why this tome has NOT been titled something akin to 1001 Works of Prose You Must Read Before You Die I really do not even remotely understand for frankly, when I ordered my copy of the book, I originally and wrongly assumed that both poetry and drama would also be included, the lack of which does rather majorly frustrate, as the title, as 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is in my opinion rather a falsehood, as it absolutely does NOT make it clear that ALL of the included literature offerings are examples of prose, are only novels and longer short stories and novellas.Further, and for two, while 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die claims to be international in scope, there is at least in my opinion most definitely a decidedly American and United Kingdom bias shown by Peter Boxall And while with especially most of the United Kingdom, with the England based novels I actually and in fact do heartily agree with them being included as books to must read, I do think that especially earlier French and Spanish works of prose seem to have come than a bit short although I must admit that I am in fact pleasantly surprised at how many German language novels novellas are featured, but be that as it may, I still strongly think that 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die could be and really should be considerably universal and international, for as it stands now, it really does seem as though Peter Boxall thinks that American and United Kingdom authors are by nature somehow superior literature and culture wise, and even if this might never have been his intention, the feeling does permeate and remain throughout.And finally, and I guess what actually has moved 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die from a low two star to a high two one star ranking for me is the massively infuriating fact of the matter that aside from Margaret Atwood, Carol Shields, and Yann Martel whose Life of Pi I personally in fact and indeed cannot stand, and I also have to wonder if Boxall even considers Martel as Canadian since he was born in Spain , Canadian literature has been pretty well totally ignored Also, why does Peter Boxall have to include SEVEN Margaret Atwood novels Yes, she is a talented Canadian author, but there are so many other Canadian authors equally as talented Where is Margaret Laurence Where is Timothy Findley Where is W.O Mitchell Where is Hugh McLennon Where is Alice Munro Where are the many excellent Quebecois Francophone authors And I could go on, as Canada has a rich and varied literary tradition and that Peter Boxall obviously rather believes that only Margaret Atwood and to a certain extend Carol Shields and perhaps Yann Martel are worthy of inclusion in his 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, that they supposedly somehow represent Canadian Literature, well, I find this naively blinkered to the extreme and actually rather ill read as well as totally, utterly insulting And while I do in fact occasionally browse through 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, I actually and generally ONLY tend to make use of it to check information and plot summaries of books with which I am already familiar that I have already read and not so much for finding new reading material, as I just do not in any way consider 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die an acceptable book resource as there is just too much missing and too much of a USA and United Kingdom bias for me.

  7. says:

    1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die An Indispensable GuideOf course, I didn t read this 960 page behemoth in one day As a matter of fact, the selected edition is the second of two copies in my library, my personal one, and the one I share with my dearest reading friend and partner, Lynda.Rather, this is my indispensable guide to broadening my literary horizons The pictured edition is that published by Cassell in 2012 However, my first edition was the first published in 2006.I emphasize that this is an evolving series As such, as successive volumes have been published, some works have been removed while others have been added My first edition was rather a comfort to me For it reinforced my selection of books I had read over the course of my life Let s say the initial volume was Anglo centric Here were the classics of American and English Literature on which I had cut my bookish teeth The usual suspects are here Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, William FaulknerErnest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck.As the series has progressed, the 1001 have taken on a decidedly international flavor That is an exceptionally good thing For I have begun to read much further abroad than English and American Literature These major revisions have occurred in the 2008 and 2014 editions.This series should not be dismissed as simply another List of Books It is far than that This series comes with the Literary Chops of Editor Peter Boxall a professor of English in the Department of English at the University of Sussex He works on contemporary literature, literary theory and literary modernism The series is further advanced by the work of innumerable scholars, specializing in the works of included authors Some readers may well be put off by a book of this scope Many readers always take exception to works included and excluded Yet, it must be accepted that Literature is a constantly changing way in which the world is viewed historically, philosophically, politically, and socially Otherwise Literature would not have the impact on us as readers it undeniably does.Those who may be dismayed by the exclusion of beloved works previously included in earlier editions should be assuaged by knowing that most works excluded in later editions are works by authors who have had multiple listings in previous editions By example, at one time Charles Dickens and J.M Coetzee were the writers with the most entries ten for each Those have been reduced to make room for authors of significant works from different cultures and eras That suits the mission of this series.For the Bibliophile, each edition has been a treasure trove of artwork from contemporary editions of the works reviewed The accompanying artwork for each entry makes this an entrancingly beautiful book on, well, the beauty of books and their wonderful graphic design.If one were to make a comparison of the various editions in this series, it actually lists in excess of 1300 Books You Must Read Before You Die It is quite doubtful I will ever read each and every volume listed in this all encompassing series of books However, it is a work I return to time and again in looking for that next book to be read On the other hand, I have frequently said, tongue firmly planted in cheek, that the key to immortality is a stack of unread books Wait, wait, Death I m not done here Yet, this guide has led me to books I might not ever have read otherwise This series has pushed me beyong the limits of my usual literary comfort zone For that, I m exceedingly grateful.Should you decide to embark on this magnificent Literary Exploration, you, too, may find this your guide for volumes to increase your library for years to come Oh, I highly recommend delving into this series It is a joy.

  8. says:

    I joined the 1001 Books group here on Goodreads, thinking, What a great way to get exposed to a ton of books so I thought I better take a look at the actual list.Pros Little descriptions of a lot of classic books Lots of books described here that I have never heard of, and that I might not have known about otherwise In fact, I may discover some new favorites through this list Also, it appeals to my 12 year old self, who loved to write lists of books I wanted to read Overall, inspiring, if seriously intimidating.Cons 1001 books is actually a lot to read in a lifetime You d have to average about 25 books a year, if you start at my age and live according to actuarial projections, and keep in mind, there are books like Gravity s Rainbow and Ulysses lurking in there to seriously slow you down I fancy myself quite well read basically because I have read Middlemarch ever since then, I ve been quite full of myself , but I ve read less than 5% of the books on this list I have a ways to go Also, since the list naturally, because the book had to be published at some point terminates in 2005, you d be pretty behind the times if you decided to ONLY read books on this list, until you die Also, many would argue with the actual list itself Why so much contemporary and thus, not tried and true fiction Why is it almost all fiction, for that matter Shouldn t you read some nonfiction before you die Also, three Burroughs novels Doesn t that violate the Geneva Convention Certainly the 8th Amendment.What I m saying is that the premise of the book is obviously ridiculous Plainly, this is not really a list of books you must read before you die that was probably the publishers catchy title, anyway But if you don t take it too seriously, this is fun to read, fun to disagree with, and fun to ignore I m inspired to try to pry my psyche out of the pre modern era, however painful, at least long enough to read one or two novels written post 1930 I m sure my psyche will scuttle back into its 19th century hole directly afterwards, but I really should try to participate in the 21st century at least now and then In short a rolicking nerd fest for bookish people.

  9. says:

    Yeah, I know, we GR readers already have too many books on our To Reads list As I get older my literary tastes change I ve been a little disgruntled with reading lately and thought I d check this reference guide out The first thing I did was to go through my home library and check off how many of these books I actually had I m embarrassed to say less than 50 So I m going to use this list as a guide to broadening my reading horizons, together with recommendations by GR friends.The 2013 edition is beautifully illustrated with concise insight into the novels I ve delved into the pages and have purchased a few so am ready to sit back and resume my reading with a little joy.

  10. says:

    Love this book and I can see me returning to it again and again It s not going to help me lessen my to read list though