The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

"The Last Samurai" is a unique, intellectual novel that follows the life of a young boy named Ludo, who is raised by his single mother, Sibylla. Sibylla, a freelance transcriber, educates Ludo in various subjects from Greek to mathematics, using the film "The Seven Samurai" as a moral compass. As Ludo grows older, he embarks on a quest to find his father, using clues from his mother's past. His journey leads him to several men who could potentially be his father, each encounter teaching him more about the world and himself.

The 2630th greatest book of all time


Ranking Details:

Our ranking system awards points to books based on their appearance and position on curated lists. Here's how it works:

Unranked Lists: For lists without specific rankings, each book receives points equivalent to the list's weight. This approach recognizes the book's inclusion on prestigious lists.

Ranked Lists: Books on ranked lists receive points in two ways:

  • Base Points: Initially, every book is awarded points equal to the list's weight, acknowledging its significance.
  • Bonus Points: Additionally, books earn bonus points based on their ranking. The total bonus pool, equal to 100% of the list's weight, is distributed among the books, with higher-ranked books receiving more points.

Exponential Distribution: The distribution of bonus points follows an exponential model. This means the top-ranked book (#1) receives significantly more bonus points than those further down the list (e.g., #100). Our algorithm ensures that higher placements are rewarded more generously, reflecting the achievement of a top rank on any given list.

This scoring system ensures that each book's ranking reflects both its presence on multiple lists and its positions within those lists, providing a comprehensive measure of its acclaim and popularity.

Total Points: 238

Since this book was first published in 2000, there is a penalty of 41.6%. The age adjusted score is 138.99.

This is to prevent newer books from reaching super high on the ranked list of the greatest books of all time. The greatest books should also stand the test of time.