Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century

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Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century is a list of books thought to be the 100 best of the 20th century. The list was made in 1999 by the French retail store Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde.

Starting with a list of 200 titles made by bookshops and journalists, 17,000 French people answered the question, "Which books have stayed in your memory?"[1] The list includes novels, poetry, theatre, and comic strips. Some received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The 100 Books of the Century change

No. Title Author Year Language Country
1 The Stranger (The Outsider) Albert Camus   1942 French French Algeria
2 In Search of Lost Time
(Remembrance of Things Past)
Marcel Proust 19131927 French France
3 The Trial Franz Kafka 1925 German Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia
4 The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1943 French France
5 Man's Fate André Malraux 1933 French France
6 Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Céline 1932 French France
7 The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck   1939 English USA
8 For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway   1940 English USA
9 Le Grand Meaulnes Alain-Fournier 1913 French France
10 Froth on the Daydream Boris Vian 1947 French France
11 The Second Sex Simone de Beauvoir 1949 French France
12 Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett   1952 French, English Ireland, France
13 Being and Nothingness Jean-Paul Sartre   1943 French France
14 The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco 1980 Italian Italy
15 The Gulag Archipelago Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn   1973 Russian Soviet Union
16 Paroles Jacques Prévert 1946 French France
17 Alcools Guillaume Apollinaire 1913 French France
18 The Blue Lotus Hergé 1936 French Belgium
19 The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank 1947 Dutch Germany, Netherlands
20 Tristes Tropiques Claude Lévi-Strauss 1955 French France
21 Brave New World Aldous Huxley 1932 English UK
22 Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 1949 English UK
23 Asterix the Gaul René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo 1959 French France
24 The Bald Soprano Eugène Ionesco 1952 French, Romanian Romania, France
25 Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality Sigmund Freud 1905 German Austria
26 The Abyss (Zeno of Bruges) Marguerite Yourcenar 1968 French France, Belgium
27 Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 1955 English, Russian Russia, USA
28 Ulysses James Joyce 1922 English Ireland
29 The Tartar Steppe Dino Buzzati 1940 Italian Italy
30 The Counterfeiters André Gide   1925 French France
31 The Horseman on the Roof Jean Giono 1951 French France
32 Belle du Seigneur Albert Cohen 1968 French Greece, Switzerland
33 One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez   1967 Spanish Colombia
34 The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner   1929 English USA
35 Thérèse Desqueyroux François Mauriac   1927 French France
36 Zazie in the Metro Raymond Queneau 1959 French France
37 Confusion of Feelings Stefan Zweig 1927 German Austria
38 Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell 1936 English USA
39 Lady Chatterley's Lover D. H. Lawrence 1928 English UK
40 The Magic Mountain Thomas Mann   1924 German Germany
41 Bonjour Tristesse Françoise Sagan 1954 French France
42 Le Silence de la mer Vercors 1942 French France
43 Life: A User's Manual Georges Perec 1978 French France
44 The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle 19011902 English UK
45 Under the Sun of Satan Georges Bernanos 1926 French France
46 The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925 English USA
47 The Joke Milan Kundera 1967 Czech Czech Republic, France
48 A Ghost at Noon (Contempt) Alberto Moravia 1954 French France
49 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie 1926 English UK
50 Nadja André Breton 1928 French France
51 Aurélien Louis Aragon 1944 French France
52 The Satin Slipper Paul Claudel 1929 French France
53 Six Characters in Search of an Author Luigi Pirandello   1921 Italian Italy
54 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui Bertolt Brecht 1959 German Germany
55 Vendredi ou les Limbes du Pacifique Michel Tournier 1967 French France
56 The War of the Worlds H. G. Wells 1898 English UK
57   If This Is a Man
  Survival in Auschwitz
Primo Levi 1947 Italian Italy
58 The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien 19541955 English Orange Free State, UK
59 Les Vrilles de la vigne Colette 1908 French France
60 Capitale de la douleur Paul Éluard 1926 French France
61 Martin Eden Jack London 1909 English USA
62 Ballad of the Salt Sea Hugo Pratt 1967 Italian Italy
63 Writing Degree Zero Roland Barthes 1953 French France
64 The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum Heinrich Böll   1974 German Germany
65 The Opposing Shore Julien Gracq 1951 French France
66 The Order of Things Michel Foucault 1966 French France
67 On the Road Jack Kerouac 1957 English USA
68 The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Selma Lagerlöf   19061907 Swedish Sweden
69 A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf 1929 English UK
70 The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury 1950 English USA
71 The Ravishing of Lol Stein Marguerite Duras 1964 French France
72 The Interrogation J. M. G. Le Clézio   1963 French France
73 Tropisms Nathalie Sarraute 1939 French Russia, France
74 Journal, 1887–1910 Jules Renard 1925 French France
75 Lord Jim Joseph Conrad 1900 English Russian Empire, UK
76 Écrits Jacques Lacan 1966 French France
77 The Theatre and its Double Antonin Artaud 1938 French France
78 Manhattan Transfer John Dos Passos 1925 English USA
79 Ficciones Jorge Luis Borges 1944 Spanish Argentina
80 Moravagine Blaise Cendrars 1926 French France, Switzerland
81 The General of the Dead Army Ismail Kadare 1963 Albanian, French Albania
82 Sophie's Choice William Styron 1979 English USA
83 Gypsy Ballads Federico García Lorca 1928 Spanish Spain
84 The Strange Case of Peter the Lett Georges Simenon 1931 French Belgium
85 Our Lady of the Flowers Jean Genet 1944 French France
86 The Man Without Qualities Robert Musil 19301932 German Austria
87 Fureur et mystère René Char 1948 French France
88 The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger 1951 English USA
89 No Orchids For Miss Blandish James Hadley Chase 1939 English UK
90 Blake and Mortimer Edgar P. Jacobs 1950 French Belgium
91 The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge Rainer Maria Rilke 1910 German Austria-Hungary, Switzerland
92 Second Thoughts Michel Butor 1957 French France
93   The Burden of Our Time
  The Origins of Totalitarianism
Hannah Arendt 1951 English, German Germany, USA
94 The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov 1967 Russian Soviet Union
95 The Rosy Crucifixion Henry Miller 19491960 English USA
96 The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler 1939 English USA
97 Amers Saint-John Perse   1957 French France
98 Gaston (Gomer Goof) André Franquin 1957 French Belgium
99 Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry 1947 English UK
100 Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie 1981 English India, UK

Note: Language and Country refer to the author's career generally, not to the book specifically.

Related pages change

References change

  1. Écrivains et choix sentimentaux Archived 2012-05-27 at Archive.today, Josyane Savigneau, Le Monde, 15 October 1999.