Great Novel No. 9: “Frankenstein”

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley ***  It would be difficult indeed to overestimate the influence of this novel on our collective imagination. One could say that is more dependent on the various film versions, but the truth is that the story of Frankenstein has held a grip since its first publication in … Continue reading Great Novel No. 9: “Frankenstein”

Great Novel No. 8: “Pride And Prejudice”

Pride And Prejudice: A Novel by Jane Austen *** "A Novel". They are two little words that usually have me rolling my eyes every time they appear on the cover of a modern work of fiction, and I feel not a moment's regret in doing so. These days subtitling a work as "a novel" smacks … Continue reading Great Novel No. 8: “Pride And Prejudice”

Great Novel No. 7: “The Castle of Otranto”

The Castle of Otranto, A Gothic Story by Horace Walpole *** We have Horace Walpole to thank for the modern horror story. He was the son of Sir Robert Walpole, the famous statesman who is thought of as the first Prime Minister of Britain, and a politician himself. Being financially independent meant he could indulge … Continue reading Great Novel No. 7: “The Castle of Otranto”

Great Novel No. 6: “Tom Jones”

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding *** I haven't written one of these reviews in quite some time. Let me see if I still remember how. First, one interesting detail. This is the first book from my list that actually uses the word novel. Most of the time, Fielding satirically calls … Continue reading Great Novel No. 6: “Tom Jones”

Great Novel No. 5: “Gulliver’s Travels”

Travels Into Several Remote Nations of The World, In Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver By Jonathan Swift *** The image of Lemuel Gulliver lying on the beach, tied down by a multitude of ropes, and surrounded by tiny Lilliputians is one of the most enduring of literature. It is also only a very small sampling … Continue reading Great Novel No. 5: “Gulliver’s Travels”

Great Novel No. 4: “Moll Flanders”

The Fortunes And Misfortunes of The Famous Moll Flanders By Daniel Defoe *** The fourth entry in the 100 Great Novels list is, at least in my opinion, a significant improvement over the last one. I can't help but make the comparison, which is fair since both were written by the same author. Defoe again … Continue reading Great Novel No. 4: “Moll Flanders”

Great Novel No. 3: “Robinson Crusoe”

 The Life And Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner By Daniel Defoe  *** This is a bit of a landmark in the 100 Great Novels series. Not only is this the first book to be truly novel length (the edition I read was just over 300 pages; there are still no chapters), … Continue reading Great Novel No. 3: “Robinson Crusoe”

Great Novel No. 1: “The Pilgrim’s Progress”

The Pilgrim's Progress From This World, To That Which Is To Come By John Bunyan *** There is probably no better work to begin a history of the English novel than The Pilgrim's Progress (check out the full title on the original title page). Not necessarily because it's a perfect example of the form, but because … Continue reading Great Novel No. 1: “The Pilgrim’s Progress”