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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but far too many novels from the last decade., 23 Nov. 2009
This review is from: 1001 Books: You Must Read Before You Die (Paperback)
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is undoubtedly a fun and informative read in many respects; however, I was rather taken aback by the heavy weighting in favour of very recent publications. While one appreciates that this book deals almost entirely with novels, (a comparatively 'modern' literary form, I believe), it still struck me as rather unbalanced to list 69 books written in the 21st century, but only 46 from the whole of the 18th. I find it highly doubtful that many of the books of the past decade which are listed here will still be considered essential reading in even twenty years time.
The book could, in my opinion, have been improved by the inclusion of more classic Children's novels (J.M. Barrie and E. Nesbit are notable absentees), and by having employed a less arbitrary assessment criteria. It seemed a little bizarre to include the Thousand and One nights and Aesop's fables but not the fairy tales of Grimm, Andersen and Perrault, for example.
These quibbles aside, "1001 Books" is still an interesting introduction to many of the greatest novels ever written, and some of the more contentious entries are sure to spark lively debate. Beautifully printed and presented, it would make a good gift for anyone who enjoys reading.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 May 2010 11:31:54 BDT
Sakerfalcon says:
There is now a "1001 Children's books..." volume in this series, which I found had very few flaws compared to this. The selections seemed far less arbitrary. I highly recommend it if you like children's lit.

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 13:08:09 GMT
I couldn't agree more.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jan 2011 11:29:44 GMT
E. Foster says:
Thanks for the info, I'll definitely check that out!
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E. Foster
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Location: London

Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,422,114