To my mind, the finest novels

A Listmania! list by Adrian Lever (cvb)
 
In Search Of Lost Time, Vol 4: Sodom and Gomorrah: Sodom and Gomorrah v. 4 (Vintage Classics)
1.  In Search Of Lost Time, Vol 4: Sodom and Gomorrah: Sodom and Gomorrah v. 4 (Vintage Classics) by Marcel Proust
The list author says:
  "Perfection of the art of literature itself.  Genius, genius, genius.  Only buy Enright revised translation.  Vol 4 is my favourite."
£6.99   Used & New from: £3.59
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn as Told by a Friend
2.  Doctor Faustus: The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn as Told by a Friend by Thomas Mann
The list author says:
  "Mann's finest novel.  Like Nabokov, he mastered the form of language and the novel as well.  This is hard work, but its intensity is its foremost strength. Only buy Porter translation"
£8.79   Used & New from: £4.00
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Concrete (Phoenix Fiction)
3.  Concrete (Phoenix Fiction) by Bernhard
The list author says:
  "This is Bernhard's finest.  It is a modern-day reworking of Notes From Underground, if you care to see it that way, but is wholly original and hilarious and intense besides."
Used & New from: £6.57
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Ulysses
4.  Ulysses by James Joyce
The list author says:
  "If Finnegans wake took you inside a sleeping mind, then Ulysses was the inside of waking minds.  That is its magic - to transport."
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3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)

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To the Lighthouse
5.  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The list author says:
  "Woolf mastered her form early.  She surpassed her own self later in life, but here she surpasses all of English literature."
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3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Trilogy: "Molloy", "Malone Dies", "Unnameable" (Calderbooks)
6.  Trilogy: "Molloy", "Malone Dies", "Unnameable" (Calderbooks) by Samuel Beckett
The list author says:
  "No doubt the finest novel to some, this was hard to get through for me.  But I put it here as I found in its depths some of the most perspicacious and poetic prose I've come across.  A true genius."
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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family
7.  Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family by Thomas Mann
The list author says:
  "An timeless classic.  Funny, insightful and well composed.  The characters are wonderfully drawn and loveable too."
£7.99   Used & New from: £0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Austerlitz
8.  Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald
The list author says:
  "My contemporary contribution.  Our sad loss when this writer died at the apex of his talent, but this was certainly his best work."
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3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Correction (Phoenix Fiction)
9.  Correction (Phoenix Fiction) by Bernhard
The list author says:
  "Touted as Bernhard's best, and certainly his most dense.  Delves into depths of pure Wittgensteinian thought processes and emerges as one of the most engrossing, intense reads available to mankind."
Used & New from: £2.58
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics)
10.  Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics) by Leo Tolstoy
The list author says:
  "Of Russian lit, my favourite.  Believable characters and a wonderfully tempered language of observation."
£6.29   Used & New from: £1.42
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Lolita
11.  Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The list author says:
  "Beatifully crafted language, perfectly formed novel, and the characters and poetry are top-form."
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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Friendship (Phoenix Fiction)
12.  Wittgenstein's Nephew: A Friendship (Phoenix Fiction) by Bernhard
The list author says:
  "Of Bernhard's, this most succinctly sums up his philosophy, as it is autoportaiture, open and frank in its approach.  It is also his most hilarious.  Comical-pessimism, I call it."
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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Intimacy
13.  Intimacy by Hanif Kureishi
The list author says:
  "Not a widely loved novel(la), but one that touched me immensely.  Frank, romantic, powerful, intimate, and original."
£6.39   Used & New from: £0.01
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Madame Bovary (Classics)
14.  Madame Bovary (Classics) by Gustave Flaubert
The list author says:
  "I put this for its mastered craft, but only reluctantly do I forfeit Maupassant here (Flaubert's alleged bastard son)."
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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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The Legend of the Holy Drinker
15.  The Legend of the Holy Drinker by Joseph Roth
The list author says:
  "While Radetzky March is a fine achievement (like Buddenbrooks), this is so pure and poetical and honest and unpretentious that it takes the biscuit unrivalled."
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4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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The Immoralist (Penguin Modern Classics)
16.  The Immoralist (Penguin Modern Classics) by Andre Gide
The list author says:
  "The father of modern French literature.  A small and simple masterpiece."
£7.19   Used & New from: £2.50
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics)
17.  The Outsider (Penguin Modern Classics) by Albert Camus
The list author says:
  "Hard to put this above Nausea, but is stronger in many ways.  Not least of which is its insouciance and spare voice.  Modern classic if ever there was one."
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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)

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Notes from Underground and The Double
18.  Notes from Underground and The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The list author says:
  "Yes, he was sloppy with his prose.  But what's said makes it truly important to your life and to literature at large."
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4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics)
19.  The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics) by Ernest Hemingway
The list author says:
  "Of American literature this is the finest.  Honestly.  The only US writer rivalling since is Foster Wallace.  Hem is so simple and condensed here.  Unassuming genius in his final years."
£5.99   Used & New from: £0.01
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

Insatiability (Quartet Encounters)
20.  Insatiability (Quartet Encounters) by Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
The list author says:
  "Of Eastern Europe, you can do no finer.  Beats Kundera hands down, and simply must be followed by Milosz's Captive Mind."
Used & New from: £21.93

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Adrian Lever (cvb)
Qualifications: reader
Last updated: 24/07/2003
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