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  About the List
» Managing Editor James Kelly talks about the list and shares his John Le Carre favorite (which didn't make
the cut).

» Richard Lacayo lays bare the process (and the pain) behind stacking up
100 novels.
  Reader's Choice
1:  The Lord of the Rings
2:  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
3:  Watchmen
4:  Animal Farm
5:  Ubik

    See the full list
  Best Graphic Novels
TIME's Andrew Arnold picks Watchmen and nine other comix masterpieces

  Archive Trivia
Who was the first author to appear on a TIME cover? Get the answer and much more on our trivia page
  Talk Back
Why isn't the Harry Potter series on there!!?? It definitely should be on there!!
—Robin; Seattle, Wash.

Where is Ayn Rand and John Irving? I checked your list twice, I can't believe you did not list either author.
—Susan Sayfan; Longwood, Fla.

Send us your thoughts »
  From the TIME Archive
Ernest Hemingway
"Make no mistake, Ernest Hemingway is somebody; a new, honest, un-'literary' transcriber of life...."
Writer 1/18/26

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On the Road (1957)
Author: Jack Kerouac
The book that launched a thousand trips. For his hyperkinetic, endearing, culture-changing novel, Kerouac admitted whole worlds through his windshield. An account of a few pinwheeling characters in perpetual cross-country motion, it has room to spare for rivers, landscapes, starry skies, Benzedrine addicts, endless marathons of driving, the hipster demiurge Dean Moriarty and lots of other fast-talking madmen. "Because the only people for me are the mad ones," Kerouac's narrator, Sal Paradise, tells us. "The ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved." Capote's famous putdown of the book got it exactly backwards. That's not typing, Truman. That's writing.—R.L.

From the TIME Archive:
Kerouac has a Wolfelike love of the U.S. and a Whitmanesque weakness for cataloguing nearly every experience
—TIME Magazine, Sept. 16, 1957 (Read This Review)

Next: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest »

More From the Archive:
Great Books for Grown-Ups (6/10/46)
Dirty Book of the Month (4/22/66)
How and What to Read (10/2/72)
Dame Agatha: Queen of the Maze (1/26/76)
Rediscovering the Joy of Text (4/21/97)
Harry Potter Archive Collection
Writers in TIME Archive Collection


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