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Books vs. Movies

July 13, 2010

I said before that I think it’s much harder to rank books than movies. With movies, there are more technical good-or-bad things that come into play: cinematography, dialog, plot, editing, etc. And while some of those things also come into play in writing, writing allows the reader to put their own spin on it. You can up the level of drama if you feel a scene is intense, give more weight to pauses and italicized words than you can if there’s an actor on a screen telling you how to interpret it. So novels are much more subjective than films, although criticism of both (and any creative media) are dependent upon the viewer’s personal experience.

And after doing some more research on my Time’s 100 Greatest Novels list and finding out some of the limitations and criteria they used to make their list, I’m wondering if I should use a different list? I really enjoy the classics, and it would be nice to use a list that includes some of those books. But I’ve thought about it, and I think I’ll go the optimistic route: I’m going to finish this 101 and start another 101 in the future. At that time I can use a different list and read different books. I think that the Time list has merit too, it’s just not what I originally thought.

But for fun, and for easy future reference, here are some of the other “Best Novels” lists I’ve found. Use them for your own inspiration!

The Guardian’s 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read

The Best 100 Novels

The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time

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