Best Novels From the 1950's

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Best Novels From the 1950's

1baswood
Dec 20, 2019, 6:52pm

According to readers on Goodreads these are the 100 best novels from the 195o's

1 The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger

2 Farenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

3 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

4 Charlotte's Webb - E.B. White

5 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

6 The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

7 East of Eden - John Steinbeck

8 Night (The Night Trilogy) - Elie Wiesel

9 On the Road- Jack Kerouac

10 The Chronicles of Narnia - C S Lewis

11 The Crucible - Arthur Miller

12 How the Grinch stole Christmas - Dr Seuss

13 The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury

14 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keys

15 Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison

16 The Cat in the Hat - Dr Seuss

17 Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote

18 The End of the Affair - Graham Greene

19 Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe

20 The Once and Future King - T.H.White

21 Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett

22 The Fall - Albert Camus

23 Doctor Zhivago- Boris Pasternak

24 A Separate Peace - John Knowles

25 The Magicians Nephew - C. S. Lewis

26 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C S Lewis

27 Foundation - Isaac Asimov

28 The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson

29 The Horse and his boy - C S Lewis

30 Horton hears a who - Dr Seuss

31I. Robot - Isaac Asimov

32 The witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Spear

33 Under the net - Iris Murdoch

34 Prince Caspian - C S Lewis

35 The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith

36 The Tin Drum - Gunter Grass

37 The Bell - Iris Murdoch

38 The Silver Chair - C S Lewis

39 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Tennessee Williams

40 Nine Stories - J D Sallinger

41 Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

42 Exodus - Leon Uris

43 Franny and Zooey - J D Salinger

44 The Borrowers - Mary Norton

45 The Quiet American - Graham Greene

46 Harold and the Purple Crayon - Crockett Johnson

47 The Greek Passions - Nikos Kazantzakis

48Hawaii - James A Michener

49 Howl and Other Poems - Allen Ginsburg

50 The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut

51 Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar

52 A Murder is announced - Agatha Christie

53 Starship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein

54 A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories - Flannery O'Connor

55 My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier

56 The Last Battle - C S Lewis

57 Go Tell it on the Mountain - James Baldwin

58 On the Beach - Nevil Shute

59 Casino Royale - Ian Fleming

60 Childhoods End - Arthur C Clarke

61 A Bear Called paddington - Michael Bond

62 The Day of the Triffids- John Wyndham

63 The Cain Mutiny - Herman Wouk

64 The Leopard - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

65 The Daughter of Time (Inspector Alan Grant)

66 A Raisin in the Sun- Lorraine Hansberry

67 The Long Goodbye - Raymond Chandler

68 Little Bear - Else Holmelund Minarek

69 A Town Like Alice- Nevil Shute

70 Naked Lunch - William S. Burroughs

71 The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov

72 Beezus and Ramona - Beverly Cleary

73 I am Legend and other stories - Richard Matheson

74 4.50 From Paddington - Agatha Christie

75 My Family and Other Animals - Gerald Durrell

76 Our Man in Havana - Graham Greene

77 Inherit the wind - Jerome Lawrence

78 The Dharma Bums - Jack Kerouac

79 Bonjour Tristesse - Françoise Sagan

80 The Lord of the Rings - J R R Tolkein

81 A Night to Remember - Walter Lord

82 The Chrysalids - John Wyndham

83 The Visit - Friedrich Dürrenmatt

84 Till We Have Faces - C S Lewis

85 The Third Man - Graham Greene

86 Please don't eat the Daises - Jean Kerr

87 Mrs McGinty's Dead - Agatha Christie

88 The Stars my Destination = Alfred Bester

89 Billiards at Half-Past Nine - Heinrich Boll

90 Katherine - Anya Seton

91 The Miracle Worker - William Gibson

92 The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer

93 A Child's Christmas in Wales - Dylan Thomas

94Strangers in a Train - Patricia Highsmith

95 Speak, Memory - Vladimir Nabokov

96 Seize the Day - Saul Bellow

97 Pnin - Vladimir Nabokov

98 The Mandarins - Simone de Beauoir

99 Justine (The Alexandria Quartet) - Lawrence Durrell

100 Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

2baswood
Dec 20, 2019, 6:54pm

I think I have read 35 of them. I will look through the list again to work out how many I would like to read.

3Crypto-Willobie
Dec 20, 2019, 8:46pm

39 or so for me.

I will point out that these 100 are not all 'novels'. A handful are plays; some are kids' picture books with a minimum of narration; & there's a volume of poetry. And they have Asimov's Foundation listed twice, once by itself and again as part of the Foundation Trilogy; and the Chronicles of Narnia as a series along with a number of its volumes individually.

So, what's missing from the 50s?

4Macumbeira
Edited: Dec 21, 2019, 12:57am

Great list indeed with a few memorable reads.
I only managed 19 of them.
A lot more I know from the movie that was made from the book.
Last year, I reread the Leopard, which is truly a beautiful book

5baswood
Dec 21, 2019, 10:22am

Bit of a breakdown of that list

Literary works 50 (including 7 plays 2 poems and 3 nonfiction)
Popular novels 20
Science Fiction 12 (Foundation included twice)
Kids books 17 (includes 7 Narnia books by C S Lewis.)

Authors with more than two books in the list
C. S. Lewis 8
Agatha Christie 4
Graham Greene 4
J D Salinger 3
Nabokov 3

Nationality of Authors:
U.S.A. 54
British 26
France 4
Irish 3
Germany 2
Greek 1
Italian 1
Swiss 1
Russian 1

6baswood
Dec 21, 2019, 5:31pm

>3 Crypto-Willobie: The list goes on to cover 925 books and so looking back to the 900 plus category we find things like:
914 Brave New World Revisited Aldous Huxley
911 The Flame trees of Thika Elspeth Huxley
908 The days of the commune Berthold Brecht
907 Look back in Anger John Osborne
904 The voices of Silence Andre malraux
901 Quiet days in Clichy Henry Miller
890 The two deaths of Quincas Wateryell Jorge Amado

7baswood
Dec 21, 2019, 6:19pm

>3 Crypto-Willobie: Omissions there are a few.

Porius by John Cowper Powys - does not make it onto the list (925 books) at all
nor does A Brief Life by Juan Carlos Onetti and I could not find The Outsider by Colin Wilson. A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren is also missing

What is on the list but should be in the top 100 imo is:
Voss Patrick White which is at 197
The Grass is Singing Doris Lessing which is at 156
Gormenghast nearly makes it at 107
Henderson the rain King Saul Bellow at 156

8Macumbeira
Dec 22, 2019, 12:05am

They wrote good books in the fifties

9Crypto-Willobie
Edited: Dec 26, 2019, 9:58am

I was gunna mention Gormenghast.
I did read Henderson loooong ago.

10berthirsch
Dec 26, 2019, 8:17am

I counted 27 read and was thrilled to see Ginsberg's HOWL make the list along with Naked Lunch and Kerouac. They contributed greatly to my personal mythology.

Unlike Russia the US is a tough place for a poet to make it to the best book lists.

11RickHarsch
Dec 26, 2019, 9:05am

Our colleague George Salis has an online magazine: https://thecollidescope.wordpress.com/ that will be serial publishing my novel Kramberger with Monkey, a Comedy of Assassination, which ends with a very Howl contoured account of the 1396 crusade that ended at Nicopolis, most significantly with a Polish knight swimming in retreat back across the Danube in FULL ARMOUR!

12baswood
Dec 26, 2019, 9:59am

He would've sunk

13RickHarsch
Edited: Dec 26, 2019, 11:26am

So you would think, but it is an historical fact. By that I mean, I found it deliberately, authoritatively, footnotedly in a history book by a reliable historian.

ETA: I best imagine the final crawl over scalloped deadmen to the home bank...

14Macumbeira
Dec 26, 2019, 11:35am

corklined armour are the best for crossing the Danube

15RickHarsch
Dec 26, 2019, 12:42pm

Yes. Prevented the sounds of the oud from reaching the body.

16RickHarsch
Dec 26, 2019, 12:44pm

Pardon the excerpt, from Kramberger with Monkey:

1396, Nicopolis
SWIMMERY, SWAMMERY, SWUMMERY
Lummoxery, flummoxery, or Christian dumb oxery?

I watched the best knights’ degeneration, deployed by madmen, stark raving fakers climbing the bubo-free peaks like fawns, while we in dungeons of armor carrying swords outweighing the dead—angry pricksall--leaving behind chickens, damsels, distress of diarrhetic infants, towns infarcted in giant coffins, ash from my ass: Cineraria Europa, anglegrinding lipsters lying for the latest heavenly erection of the babelous chicanery of soul’s night.
Hejnał! Your towns are shattered and fallow—lies! Corpses sit up flaming preternatural expartures of contagion leaping from rat to rat infiltrating jizz.
Hejnał! Bare your balls to god like El Cid slaughtering Mohammedan children floating from Gibraltar to Morocco.
Hejnał! Tatar arrows pass through throats thirsty for therianthropic thertainties and Bakelite telephones.
Hejnał! Expel the foreigner if ye thinks ye can finger him out with yer finger in yer ass with yer Beowulf and Bible.
Hejnał! Unshowered arrayed cross shaven plains in armor burning under campaign season sun, terrified terrorers awaiting Turk terrors: Bashee Bazooks! Gadzooks!
Hejnał! To be busted by ball yataghan and again.
Hejnał! This de Coucey coursy of coursee a valley of death unpurgatorial march of knight as if in dreams spawned by nightmare of dark angelic monks pissing cock after cock to nonpareil translucent nuns shuddering orgasm taroted spasm of vision of dervish leaping toward Poles, Franks, Gauls—gall adamantine, a wall of nebulo god-drunken savagery illuminating Balkan Time,
Scrotal stupidity of Gaul, grabass Magyar decimatory feuds til
dawn, swine sottery on foot on horseback,
riverfront back and hail ye of steelhead rawhide, ne: un-blinking
raptured eyes, stunned anoon anonanonanon, three visitations
in the boring splintered sucks of knightsoul delirium Frankly
chichirevelry for king and kind without mind,
Hejnał! Strappeezed themselves to crosses for the endless ride from Buddha to poxypest on trampolines
until the roil of shpiels like children brought
them schtuddering haltslack and scattered paper shitcannedplan
devoid of goitery, spoilery thus unfearing despite Bazoo
Hejnał! Stanking knights all subcutaneous zeal at riverford
floating rafts they stood lancetly loutish, pale
desolation within tincans sniffing the crack
of ass lusting headbox
Hejnał! Seventy hours from bank to
muck to bluff to backview to reasonlost to the unborn
midge,
lost battalian’s plutonium odors convertorialists humping
peasants who jumped off straw roofs on fire
entire in spate from the blue danoob,
Oh! to be torn twixt love and duty
what of all this leader disputy
what if I lose my eyeballs too…
whose the buffoon?
Eye: buttholes engorging total mace all seven
hundred miles ebullient snake-eyes, meat for the
cathedrals spermed on the Wallachian,
Hejnał! Vanish assended into oblačery heaven leaving a
vapory tracery unambigague fever hardening frantic
pitiless Gaul,
stuffing Balkan fruits, plums and apples into codpieces
for the time-grinding siege ahead across seas of dice,
waves of ejaculate steins on foot on horseback
Hejnał! Wondery in rounds sung at midnight making Magyar merry
wanderwont wearywarts
For broken tents
Hejnał! Sit sotten riders on oxcarts oxcarts oxcarts
aflame game uncle lend me your match
landbound meteoric
O grandees farter night
Hejnał! Giant cat a study
a-mornins plots Pow! Sank John
across a swamp and Slup!
cabal Anglais afound afeared a Frank figgered the fraud
Hejnał! Order! Be discrete in seeking vivisecting angles if set
your sect on angels
Hejnał! and all for one madness ecstatic cannibal Christers
aclustered ex-cloister bareskin in steel
Hejnał! Jump in limp aubergines
Turk figurines in your pestoral dreams
in Spain!
O the pain in Spain!
Hejnał! Lunge hungrily loathsome in rupture slicing jowls
or sacks or saps
you followed brilliantined Israelites bogus miles
convert invert about armhair and refurbishing empty cells
with a leaky roof at that
and so on to vulgar bulgarlandia
Hejnał! Harry’s tic disappeared when John went drown
leaving behind shadows and hungaree and the sword, the halberd, VOLANT!
piss
breast on a plate with coffee
Hejnał! horsemanely on the plane
Hejnał! rutten wheels groak skidways deeper to slow the
march as knights row boatic synchronshiny sunshunned in
clanketly hilarity for laster morsels of mortals
one sank without a clank: trade-off
Hejnał!
What? Hark! FUCK THE POLISH SWIMMER!

17baswood
Dec 26, 2019, 4:00pm

'sank without a clank' says it all, but 1396 all over again - enjoyed that Rick

18RickHarsch
Dec 26, 2019, 4:22pm

Thanks. It was fun to write...but Al the Beard, he can only guide one so far and then you're on your own...so I stopped

19HudsonEggleston
Edited: Dec 22, 2021, 3:41pm

For me, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is the best novel I have ever read! Recently I came across essay examples on A Raisin in the Sun https://papersowl.com/examples/a-raisin-in-the-sun/, and it was so good I decided to reread the play. I first read this in college during a course on African American Theater, and as part of the class, we watched the 1961 film, starring Sidney Poitier in the role he debuted on Broadway in 1959.