First published in 1984, Burgess offers his list of the best 99 novels published in English since 1939 and his (concise) argument for including each title. Looking back over the past forty-five years, Burgess considers: "How far have our novels reflected the period accurately? How far have they opened our eyes to the future? How much entertainment have they given? "What makes a good novel?"
Most of the entries in this survey derive from Burgess's earlier publication "The Novel Now" (1967).
This series contains a draft of the Burgess's text.