An algorithm picks Updike’s greatest books

The Greatest Books project compiled a list generated from 128 “best of” book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others, and on the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that’s 100th.

Here’s what the algorithm picked for Updike’s “greatest” and their overall rank in the greater literary world, again as measured by the algorithm:

117. Rabbit, Run

147. Rabbit Is Rich

169.  Rabbit Redux

209.  Rabbit at Rest

1145.  Self-Consciousness

1568. The Poorhouse Fair

1627.  The Early Stories

2139.  The Centaur

2559.  The Coup

Interestingly, the book that made him an international celebrity—Couples—didn’t make the list, while a very funny satire that’s often overlooked came in at 2559. What would your John Updike “greatest books” list look like?

This entry was posted in Lists and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *