Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 50 Religious Themed Works of Fiction

So, I know that lists are completely worthless things for the most part, but I was on a wonderful silent retreat (silent during the silent times), but when the talks were going on (which were kind of boring) I started making this list of Top 25 Religious Themed Fictional Books.  Except that it went from 25 to 50, and it became more of a list of "Works of fiction that at one time or another in my life have somehow enhanced my sense of the religious and the transcendent."  So, it's pretty broad.  And leaves out a lot.  And a lot of them are not very "good" books, I just liked them at some point in my life.   Enough justifications.  I'm leaving on the March for Life tomorrow and need to get to bed, so no authors; just titles.  Let me know if I left off any obvious one.  If it's not on here, I probably haven't read it.  This list also shows off the glaring gaps in my reading knowledge.  

1.  The Brothers Karamazov (Hands down first)
2.  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy  (All of them)
3.  Sophia House (All the top ten books can be rearranged in order, I just had to number them somehow, so I put this one at three)
4.  Mariette in Ecstasy (Hansen.  Go read this.  Great stuff)
5.  Perelandra
6.  Lancelot (Percy)
7.  Blood Meridian
8.  The Razor's Edge
10.  With Fire and Sword; The Deluge; Fire in the Steppe
11.  War and Peace
12.  The Moviegoer
13.  Crime and Punishment
14.  The Great Divorce
15.  The End of the Affair
16.  Brideshead Revisited
17.  Franny and Zooey
18.  Doctor Zhivago
19.  Exiles (Ron Hansen)
20.  Joan of Arc (Twain)
21.  Where the Red Fern Grows (Just cause it's so awesome)
22.  The Power and the Glory
23.  The Call of the Wild
24.  Island of the World
25.  The Old Man and the Sea
26.  1984
27.  One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch
28.  Desert of Love; Viper's Tangle (Mauriac.  I've tried him a lot, but I just don't like him as much as most people do.  Pity)
29.  Cry of Stone
30.  The Road
31.  The Heart of the Matter
32. The Second Coming (Percy)
33.  Anna Karenina
34.  The Silmarillion
35.  Till We Have Faces
36.  Les Miserables (It should definitely be higher, but I've only read an abridged version, so it doesn't really count)
37.  The Wheat that Springeth Green
38.  At the Back of the North Wind (MacDonald)
39.  Into the Wild; Edmund Campion (Krakauer and Waugh.  Bios don't really count, but these read like novels and are so good, I just had to add them.  So I put them together and low in the rankings)
40.  Eclipse of the Sun
41.  Screwtape Letters
42.  The Name of the Rose (Great novel, but just doesn't instill that sense of religious mystery that I was looking for like the others above it)
43.  Fathers and Sons (Turgenev)
44.  Great Expectations (Just to put a Dickens in there.  And I liked it)
45.  The Shoes of the Fisherman (Morris West.  Read a LONG time ago)
46.  Cities of the Plains (I absolutely love McCarthy.  I prefer "All the Pretty Horses" from the Border Trilogy, but this one is more reflective on religious themes)
47.  The Robe; The Big Fisherman (Lloyd C. Douglas.  Kind of cheesy, but I loved them as a kid)
48.  This Present Darkness; Piercing the Darkness (Peretti.  Ditto)
49.  The Alchemist
50.  Siddhartha  

Well, that was fun.  And a waste of time.  But fun too.  Fill me in on some other good ones. Again, this is kind of a random list, at least the rankings.  I would probably move some around if I did it again.  But there you have it.  Cheers.

Nathan O'Halloran, SJ


Aaron Burr said...

What about First Circle? Does the Gulag count?


Nathan O'Halloran, SJ / Mason Slidell said...

Sorry, I've been gone. Haven't read it. I'm sure it should make the list.