Friday, January 06, 2006

US bestsellers of 2005

If you were interested by the list of the UK's 100 top sellers of 2005, then you may also care to look at the Book Standard's list of the top 200 sellers in the US.

At number 194, for instance, we have William Golding's Lord of the Flies. This was not a very exciting or satisfactory book even when it first came out, in 1954 (and I speak as one who taught just such classes of small boys), but it is widely held to be Significant, and is, I gather, much taught in US colleges. Which just goes to show how profitable it can be to get on to the essential reading lists of the Eng. Lit. guys. Unfortunately Golding died in 1993 so he isn't around to benefit personally.


Anonymous said...

There was a scathing review of Lord of the Flies in the Atlantic magazine, ten years after, about September, l965. I forget the author, but he had no patience at all to what he termed "the parvenu of slipstick-wielders and computer hacks", all of them know-nothings, whose flagship novel seemed to be Lord of the Flies. Upgraded bluecollar types, the reviewer maintained, who had no backround save in their specialized fields.
A novel for dunces.
Shades of Alexander Pope!

archer said...

I was about 11 or 12 when I read it. I remember thinking that it was pretty tame, and that my sixth grade class would just start killing each other right away, in Chapter 1, starting with that fat kid with the athsma.