To Kill a Mockingbird voted best novel of all time

Discussion in 'Films, Music, TV & All Things Artsy' started by chieftiff, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Taken from Telegraph

    I thought I would put this up as The Telegraph seem to be refusing to post my comments on their site, probably because I took the p*ss out of their more elitist readership. So comments, what would you add, take away etc.

    "The story by Harper Lee follows Atticus Finch, a respected lawyer, who defends a black man accused of assaulting a white woman in the deep-south of America during the depression.

    The 1960s classic, selling 30 million copies worldwide which later went on to become an Oscar winning film, covers the trial and the violent attacks on his family by locals through the eyes of his young daughter Scout.

    The novel has beaten more recent books, including The Da Vinci Code and the Harry Potter series, to the top spot in a poll of 2000 readers conducted by online retailer

    In second place is Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, which is also the ninth best-selling book ever with sales of 150million.

    The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S Lewis ranks third followed by Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice with The Da Vinci Code in fifth.

    The religious thriller by Dan Brown, despite only being published in 2003, is the 19th best-selling book ever with over 57 million copies being purchased.

    Readers are also still enjoying the classics and Charles Dickens and Jane Austen still remain popular authors - with two books each in the top 50.

    Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller magazine, says the findings are not surprising.

    "People tend to come back to their favourites" he said.

    "To Kill a Mockingbird is a book that many people read at school or during their formative years. It is a hugely powerful and political book which has formed many a conscience. As a teenager a book like that can be more profound than reading a book in your 40s and 50s" he added.

    Modern classics which also featured in the top 50 include, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

    The research also found that the average Briton buys at least one new book a month and nearly three quarters save money by buying second hand books or selling old books on trading websites.


    1. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
    2. Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
    3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S Lewis
    4. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
    5. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
    6. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
    7. Animal Farm - George Orwell
    8. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
    9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
    10. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
    11. The Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
    12. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
    13. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kasey
    14. Gone With the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
    15. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
    16. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
    17. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
    18. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night -time - Mark Haddon
    19. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
    20. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
    21. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
    22. Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence
    23. Anna Kareninia - Leo Tolstoy
    24. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
    25. Emma - Jane Austen
    26. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
    27. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
    28. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
    29. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
    30. A Passage to India - E.M Forster
    31. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
    32. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
    33. Atonement - Ian McEwan
    34. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
    35. In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
    36. Middlemarch - George Eliot
    37. White Teeth - Zadie Smith
    38. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
    39. It - Stephen King
    40. Little Women - Louisa M. Alcott
    41. Vanity Fair - William Thackeray
    42. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
    43. The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
    44. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
    45. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
    46. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
    47. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
    48. Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twin
    49. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome
    50. The Island - Victoria Hislop
  2. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    No "Bravo Two Zero" then? :?
  3. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Crikey mate, some of the more "academic" members of the Telegraph readership would have gone apoplectic at the thought of it!

    I don't think some people have grasped the concept of popularity, they would have us all reading Tolstoy (have you ever tried to read War & Peace, dour and tedious in my opinion, OK if you have the will to work through it, but a good read?)

    One bloke describes To Kill a Mockingbird as "one dimensional" so what? Millions have read it, or more importantly Millions have gone back to re-read it after studying it at school, it's a really good read.

    Some good books there, and some not so good in my opinion but obviously all worthy. I would have liked to see some more Fantasy Fiction so that I could feel "normal" but hey ho, back to the freak show!
  4. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    To be fair, I've read about a third of the list... does that make me elitist? :oops:
  5. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    No it makes you well read, the elitists are the readers who have left comments inferring that people who choose not to read, or read and didn't rate literary high brow, when considering the books they enjoyed most. To be fair I've also read about a third of the list and enjoyed about half of those, gave up on a couple and really didn't enjoy just one, although the film was Ok.

    My best book of all time isn't even on the list, although it varies by my mood, top 3 would be in no particular order:

    Raymond E Feist - Magician
    Wilbur Smith - Eagle in the Sky
    Tad Williams - Dragonbone Chair

    None particularly high brow, more easy reading I guess. There are loads of others, the result of reading a couple of books a week for about 30 years
  6. how the hell can the Da Vinci shite make it to number 5. what an absolute pile of drivel.

    at best it is a holiday ditcher - read and then leave in the hotel room for the next poor sod.

    and another thing - no jeffrey archer
  7. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    ...and no Jordan/Katie Price? One of Britain's best-selling novelists at the moment (this is NOT a bite!) :oops:
  8. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I've just sat here wondering why there's no Terry Pratchet in there, everyone I know enjoys his books and he's the second most read and most shoplifted author in the UK Wiki

    I met him fairly recently but before his revelation that he has Alzheimers, he had a slight slur and I thought he was pissed, I felt really bad when I found out he was actually ill. I'm sure he would see the humour in that though!

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