Anthony Burgess

In 1984 Anthony Burgess produced Ninety-Nine Novels, his list of the best novels published in English since 1939. He wrote in the Introduction that "all the novelists listed... have added something to our knowledge of the human condition (sleeping or waking), have managed language well, have clarified the motivations of action, and have sometimes expanded the bounds of imagination." His choices follow:


1939  Henry Green  Party Going 
  Aldous Huxley  After Many a Summer Dies the Swan 
  James Joyce Finnegan's Wake 
  Flann O'Brien  At Swim Two Birds 
1940  Graham Greene  The Power and the Glory 
  Ernest Hemingway  For Whom the Bell Tolls 
  C. P. Snow  Strangers and Brothers (to 1970) 
1941  Rex Warner  The Aerodrome 
1944  Joyce Cary  The Horse's Mouth 
  W. Somerset Maugham  The Razor's Edge 
1943  Evelyn Waugh  Brideshead Revisited 
1946  Mervyn Peake  Titus Groan 
1947  Saul Bellow  The Victim 
  Malcolm Lowry  Under the Volcano 
1948  Graham Greene  The Heart of the Matter 
  Aldous Huxley  Ape and Essence 
  Norman Mailer  The Naked and the Dead 
  Nevil Shute  No Highway 
1949  Elizabeth Bowen  The Heat of the Day 
  George Orwell  1984 
  William Sansom  The Body 
1950  William Cooper  Scenes from Provincial Life 
  Bud Schulberg  The Disenchanted 
1951  Anthony Powell  A Dance to the Music of Time (to 1975) 
  J.D. Salinger  Catcher in the Rye 
  Henry Williamson  A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight (to 1969) 
  Herman Wouk  The Caine Mutiny 
1952  Ralph Ellison  Invisible Man 
  Ernest Hemingway  The Old Man and the Sea 
  Mary McCarthy  The Groves of Academe 
  Flannery O'Connor  Wise Blood 
  Evelyn Waugh  Sword of Honor (to 1961) 
1953  Raymond Chandler  The Long Goodbye 
1954  Kingsley Amis  Lucky Jim 
1957  John Braine  Room at the Top 
  Lawrence Durrell  The Alexandria Quartet (to 1960) 
  Colin MacInnes  The London Novels (to 1960) 
  Bernard Malamud  The Assistant 
1958  Iris Murdoch  The Bell 
  Alan Silitoe  Saturday Night and Sunday Morning 
  T. H. White  The Once and Future King 
1959  William Faulkner  The Mansion 
  Ian Fleming  Goldfinger 
1960  L. P. Hartley  Facial Justice 
  Olivia Manning  The Balkan Trilogy (to 1965) 
1961  Ivy Compton-Burnett  The Mighty and Their Fall 
  Joseph Heller  Catch-22 
  Richard Hughes  The Fox in the Attic 
  Patrick White  Riders in the Chariot 
  Angus Wilson  The Old Men at the Zoo 
1962  James Baldwin  Another Country 
  Pamela Hansford Johnson  An Error of Judgement 
  Aldous Huxley  Island 
  Doris Lessing  The Golden Notebook 
  Vladimir Nabokov  Pale Fire 
1963  Muriel Spark  The Girls of Slender Means 
1964  William Golding  The Spire 
  Wilson Harris  Heartland 
  Christopher Isherwood  A Single Man 
  Vladimir Nabokov  The Defence 
  Angus Wilson  Late Call 
1965  John O'Hara  The Lockwood Concern 
  Muriel Spark  The Mandelbaum Gate 
1966  Chinua Achebe  A Man of the People
  Kingsley Amis  The Anti-Death League 
  John Barth  Giles Goat-Boy 
  Nadine Gordimer  The Late Bourgeois World 
  Walker Percy  The Last Gentleman 
1967  R. K. Narayan  The Vendor of Sweets 
1968  J. B. Priestley  The Image Men 
  Mordecai Richler  Cocksure 
  Keith Roberts  Pavane 
1969  John Fowles  The French Lieutenant's Woman 
  Philip Roth  Portnoy's Complaint 
1970  Len Deighton  Bomber 
1973  Michael Frayn  Sweet Dreams 
  Thomas Pynchon  Gravity's Rainbow 
1975  Saul Bellow  Humboldt's Gift 
  Malcolm Bradbury  The History Man 
1976  Brian Moore  The Doctor's Wife 
  Robert Nye  Falstaff 
1977  Erica Jong  How to Save Your Own Life 
  James Plunkett  Farewell Companions 
  Paul Scott  Staying On 
1978  John Updike  The Coup 
1979  J. G. Ballard  The Unlimited Dream Company 
  Bernard Malamud  Dubin's Lives 
  V. S. Naipaul  A Bend in the River 
  William Styron  Sophie's Choice 
1980  Brian Aldiss  Life in the West 
  Russell Hoban  Riddley Walker 
  David Lodge  How Far Can You Go? 
  John Kennedy Toole  A Confederacy of Dunces 
1981  Alasdair Gray  Lanark 
  Alexander Theroux  Darconville's Cat 
  Paul Theroux  The Mosquito Coast 
1982  Robertson Davies  The Rebel Angels 
1983  Norman Mailer  Ancient Evenings