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100 Best Novels - The Modern Library's Board List
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1.ULYSSES by James Joyce

"Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed..."

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2.THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since..."

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3.A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by James Joyce

"Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was..."

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4.LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov

"Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins..."

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5.BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley

"A squat grey building of only thirty-four stories..."

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6.THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner

"Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting..."

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7.CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller

"It was love at first sight..."

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8.DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler

"The cell door slammed behind Rubashov..."

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9.SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence

"The Bottoms" succeeded to "Hell Row..."

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10.THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck

"To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth..."

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11.UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry

"Two mountain chains traverse the republic roughly from north to south, forming between them a number of valleys and plateaus..."

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12.THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler

"When I was a small boy at the beginning of the century I remember an old man who wore knee-breeches and worsted stocking, and who..."

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13.1984 by George Orwell

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen..."

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14.I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves

"Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago..."

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15.TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf

"YES, of course, if it's fine tomorrow," said Mrs. Ramsay..."

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16.AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser

"Dusk-of a summer night..."

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17.THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers

"In the town there were two mutes, and they were always together..."

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18.SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut

"All this happened, more or less..."

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19.INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison

"It goes a long way back, some twenty years..."

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20.NATIVE SON by Richard Wright

"BRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNG! An alarm clock clanged in the dark and silent room..."

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21.HENDERSON THE RAIN KING by Saul Bellow

"What made me take this trip to Africa?"...

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22.APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA by John O'Hara

"Our story opens in the mind of Luther L. (L for LeRoy) Fliegler, who is lying in his bed, not thinking of anything, but just..."

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23.U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos

"when you walk along the street you have to step carefully always on the cobbles so as not to step on the bright anxious grassblades..."

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24.WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson

"The writer, an old man with a white mustache, had some difficulty in getting into bed.'..."

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25.A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster

"Except for the Marabar Caves-and they are twenty miles off-the city of Chandrapore presents nothing extraordinary..."

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26.THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James

"She couldn't dream it away, nor walk it away, nor read it away, nor think it away ..."

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27.THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James

"Strether's first question, when he reached the hotel, was about his friend; yet on his learning that Waymarsh was apparently not to arrive till..."

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28.TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about half-way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel..."

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29.THE STUDS LONIGAN TRILOGY by James T. Farrell

"STUDS LONIGAN, on the verge of fifteen, and wearing his first suit of long trousers, stood in the bathroom with a Sweet Caporal pasted in..."

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30.THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford

"THIS is the saddest story I have ever heard..."

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31.ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

"Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the henhouse for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the popholes..."

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32.THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James

"The Prince had always liked his London, when it had come to him..."

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33.SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser

"When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch..."

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34.A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh

"Was anyone hurt?..."

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35.AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

"Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file..."

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36.ALL THE KING'S MEN by Robert Penn Warren

"You follow Highway 58, going north-east out of the city, and it is a good highway and new..."

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37.THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder

"On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below..."

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38.HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster

"One may as well begin with Helen's letter to her sister..."

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39.GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin

"Everyone had always said that John would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father..."

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40.THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene

"Wilson sat on the balcony of the Bedford Hotel with his bald pink knees thrust against the ironwork..."

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41.LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding

"The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon..."

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42.DELIVERANCE by James Dickey

"It unrolled slowly, forced to show its colors, curling and snapping back whenever one of us turned loose..."

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43.A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME by Anthony Powell
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First Movement

"The men at work at the corner of the street had made a kind of camp for themselves, where, marked by tripods hung with red hurricane lamps ..."

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Second Movement

"We have known General Conyers immemorially not because my father had served under him..."

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Third Movement

"Snow from yesterday's fall still lay in patches and the morning air was glacial..."

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Fourth Movement

"Reverting to the university at forty..."

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44.POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley

" 'You won't be late?' There was anxiety in Marjorie Carling's voice, there was something..."

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45.THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway

"Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think that I am very much impressed..."

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46.THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad

"The bell, hung on the door by means of a curved ribbon of steel, was difficult to circumvent..."

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47.NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad

"In the time of Spanish rule, and for many years afterwards, the town of Sulaco-the luxuriant beauty of the orange gardens bears witness to its..."

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48.THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence

"The Brangwens had lived for generations on the Marsh Farm, in the meadows where the Erewash twisted sluggishly through alder trees, separating Derbyshire from Nottinghamshire..."

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49.WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence

"Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen sat one morning in the large window-bay of their father's house in Beldover, working and talking..."

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50.TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller

"I am living at the Villa Borghese..."

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51.THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer

"Nobody could sleep..."

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52.PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth

"She was so deeply imbedded in my consciousness that for the first year of school I seem to have believed that each of my teachers..."

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53.PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov

"I was the shadow of the waxwing slain By the falls azure in the windowpane; I was the smudge of ashen fluff-and I Lived on..."

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54.LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner

"Sitting beside the road, watching the wagon mount the hill toward her, Lena thinks, 'I have come from Alabama: a fur piece..."

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55.ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac

"I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up..."

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56.THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett

"Samuel Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth..."

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57.PARADE'S END by Ford Madox Ford

"Edward had heard of this..."

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58.THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton

"On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York..."

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59.ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm

"That old bell, presage of a train, had just sounded through Oxford station; and the undergraduates who were waiting there, gay figures in tweed or..."

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60.THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy

"This morning I got a note from my aunt asking me to come for lunch..."

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61.DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP by Willa Cather

"One afternoon in the autumn of 1851 a solitary horseman, followed by a pack-mule, was pushing through an arid stretch of country somewhere in central..."

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62.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones

"When he finished packing, he walked out on to the third-floor porch of the barracks brushing the dust from his hands, a very neat and..."

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63.THE WAPSHOT CHRONICLE by John Cheever

"St. Botolphs was an old place, an old river town..."

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64.THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know ..."

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65.A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess

'What's it going to be then, eh?'..."

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66.OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham

"The day broke grey and dull..."

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67.HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad

"The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her anchor without a flutter of the sails, and was at rest..."

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68.MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis

"On a hill by the Mississippi where Chippewas camped two generations ago, a girl stood in relief against the cornflower blue of Northern sky..."

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69.THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton

"Selden paused in surprise..."

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70.THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durrell
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Justine (1957)

"The freeze-up on Black Bear Lake is a prelude to winter..."

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Balthazar (1958)

"Landscape-tones: brown to bronze, steep skyline, low cloud, pearl ground with shadowed oyster and violet reflections..."

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Mountolive (1958)

"As a junior of exceptional promise, he had been sent to Egypt for a year in order to improve his Arabic and he found himself..."

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Clea (1960)

"The oranges were more plentiful than usual that year..."

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71.A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes

"One of the fruits of Emancipation in the West Indian islands is the number of the ruins, either attached to the houses that remain or..."

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72.A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul

"Shortly before he was born there had been another quarrel between Mr Biswas's mother Bipti and his father Raghu, and Bipti had taken her three..."

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73.THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West

"Around quitting time, Tod Hackett heard a great din on the road outside his office..."

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74.A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway

"In the late summer of that year we lived in a house that looked across the river ..."

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75.SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh

While still a young man John Courteney Boot had, as his publisher proclaimed, "achieved an assured and enviable position in contemporary letters..."

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76.THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark

"The boys, as they talked to the girls from Marcia Blaine School, stood on the far side of their bicycles holding the handlebars, which established..."

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77.FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend if bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs..."

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78.KIM by Rudyard Kipling

"He sat, in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammah on her brick platform opposite the old Ajaib-Gher - the Wonder House, as the..."

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79.A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster

"'The Signora had no business to do it,' said Miss Bartlett, 'no business at all. She promised us...'"

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80.BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh

"I have been here before," I said; I had been there before; first with Sebastian more than twenty years ago on a cloudless day in..."

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81.THE ADVENTURES OF AUGIE MARCH by Saul Bellow

"I am an American, Chicago born-Chicago, that somber city-and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my..."

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82.ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner

"Now I believe they will leave me alone..."

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83.A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul

"The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it..."

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84.THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen

"That morning's ice, no more than a brittle film had cracked and was now..."

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85.LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad

"He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head..."

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86.RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow

"In 1902 Father built a house at the crest of the Broadview Avenue hill in New Rochelle, New York..."

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87.THE OLD WIVES' TALE by Arnold Bennett

"Those two girls, Constance and Sophia Baines, paid no heed to the manifold interest of their situation, of which, indeed, they had never been conscious..."

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88.THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London

"Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tidewater dog, strong..."

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89.LOVING by Henry Green

"Once upon a day an old butler called Elden lay dying in his room..."

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90.MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie

"I was born in the city of Bombay...once upon a time..."

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91.TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell

Lov Bensey trudged homeward through the deep white sand of the gully-washed tobacco road with a sack of winter turnips on his back..."

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92.IRONWEED by William Kennedy

"Riding up the winding road of Saint Agnes Cemetery in the back of the rattling old truck..."

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93.THE MAGUS by John Fowles

"I was born in 1927, the only child of middle-class parents, both English, and themselves born in the grotesquely elongated shadow, which they never rose sufficiently..."

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94.WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys

"They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did..."

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95.UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch

"When I saw Finn waiting for me at the corner of the street I knew at once that something had gone wrong..."

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96.SOPHIE'S CHOICE by William Styron

"In those days cheap apartments were almost impossible to find in Manhattan, so I had to move to Brooklyn..."

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97.THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles

"He awoke, opened his eyes..."

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98.THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE by James M. Cain

"They threw me off the hay truck..."

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99.THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy

"Today a rare sun of spring..."

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100.THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

"Major Amberson had "made a fortune" in 1873, when other people were losing fortunes, and the magnificence of the Ambersons began then..."

Copyright (c) 2003 Modern Library.

Last Updated 22.08.2005