I love this discussion of how authors are often famous for the wrong book -- Guardian writer John Self points to such classics as Remains of the Day or Catch-22 as not-bests.
What would you add to his list?
I'm hesitant. I feel like often enough, the famous books are most famous for their ability to transcend elitist or snobby particularities. For example, my favourite Atwood novels are The Edible Woman or Cat's Eye, but I'm well aware their experimental feminism and blending of the unrealistic with the everyday appeal to a certain narrow crowd. The Handmaid's Tale or Oryx and Crake would generally have wider appeal.
On the other hand, this sort of brings to mind a book club discussion once had in Edmonton, where one member pointed out that, failing to get his points across in books like Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell essentially parades a bunch of farm animals before the reader in Animal Farm, finally entertaining a wider crowd and allowing the political messages he wished to get across to shine through....