100 most voted for novels

Jonathon Delacour ran across that fine old argument-starter, the Modern Library 100 best novels list, and noticed

The Readers’ list has four books by Ayn Rand and three by L. Ron Hubbard in the top ten! Is this a joke? Am I missing something here?

Seems fairly obvious to me: if you want rabid “vote early, vote often” supporters for your novels, it’s best to invent a philosophy or a religion (depending on whether you take it straight or with a chaser) to go with them. As I remember, the readers’ list was a poll of people who were online in 1998, with 1998 polling technology. What I find remarkable (once again, having forgotten), was that Nevil Shute made the readers’ list three times, with the charming but relatively unknown Trustee From the Toolroom actually listed above On the Beach. I would have liked to have seen Round the Bend make the list, since I take mine with a chaser and a romance, but still: three Nevil Shute novels! One that wasn’t Alice or Beach!


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