List of Best Selling Books of

Most Famous books of all time

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Lady Chatterley’s Lover – DH Lawrence

‘Sexual intercourse began in nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) -Between the end of the ‘Chatterley’ ban and the Beatles’ first LP.’

Phillip Larkin was not the only person for whom Lady Chatterley’s Lover marked a seismic change in society. First published privately in Italy in 1928, Penguin’s decision to publish the original explicit text in 1960 led to perhaps the most famous trial in literary history. EM Forster defended it in the dock, the prosecution famously asked ‘would you wish your wife or servants to read’ it, and its eventual publication saw it sell in the hundreds of thousands and help to bring in the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

A cautionary tale of a world grown too used to artificial comfort built on exploitation, censors of the unbrave old world found much in the book unpalatable. Ireland banned it for what they saw as its comments against religion and the traditional family, as well as its uses of strong language, and India went as far as calling Huxley a ‘pornographer’ for his depiction of a world where recreational sex was encouraged from a young age.

Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller

Over thirty years of legal action, the frank sexuality of Henry Miller’s musing on the human condition made Tropic of Cancer an incredibly famous book, despite the fact that few ever got the chance to read it. After all, who would not be curious about a book described by a Pennsylvania judge as ‘an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity’? This reputation, and the book’s legal publication in the 1960s were a major benchmark that all candidly sexual books published since could not exist without.

The Satanic Verses – Salman Rushdie

Although books had been banned before and after The Satanic Verses, but none had led to their author having a death warrant put on the author’s head. In fact, few modern books have as bloody a publication history. As a result of this book, Salman Rushdie had to go into hiding for an entire decade after Iran’s Ayatollah issued a fatwa, a fatwa that also led to the death of Rushdie’s Japanese translator. Decried by many in the Muslim world for its apparent blasphemy, it was burned in the streets in Britain and around the Islamic world.

Lolita – Vladmir Nabokov

A banned book whose reception has often obscured its actual content, many who come to Lolita expecting to be horrified or titillated will find themselves disappointed. A bitter-hearted satire on American values in the mid-20th century, its few quasi-erotic passages are few and far between. That has not stopped its controversial subject matter from finding it banned in the United Kingdom and the usually liberal France in the fifties after one of the first tabloid morality panics where launched upon it by the Sunday Express.

Ulysses – James Joyce

Perhaps the most highbrow book around, many completely miss the masturbation references in the ‘Nausicaa’ chapter of James Joyce’s masterwork Ulysses, and many more do not even reach as far as that chapter, getting lost in the famously impenetrable prose. That did not stop the section from being declared obscene by the courts after it featured in a literary journal. Perhaps censors found the whole book so difficult to understand that they believed it could be peddling similar filth in other passages, for the whole novel was banned in the US and in Britain for most of the 1930s, with the United States Postal Service burning copies sent in the mail.

All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

Although many books found themselves in the Nazi book-burning bonfires of 1933, including seminal writers and thinkers like Kafka, Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein, none were as critical of wartime Germany as All Quiet on the Western Front. Seen as unpatriotic by the National Socialists and even a number of non-Nazi aligned military personnel and writers, what these groups and individuals disliked about the book is exactly what makes it so compelling an account of the true horrors of warfare.

Source: theculturetrip.com
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