Adam Kirsch, the WSJ author discussing America's 100 favorite works of fiction discerns that what Americans like is plot, rather than character or fine writing. That certainly describes me. I read Tom Wolfe and am so impressed by his characters, his telling descriptions, and his turns of phrase - but I never finish his novels. I did quibble with the article only slightly. He expressed a little surprise that 23 of the books were from the 21st C, and 60 from the 20th, leaving only 17 for "3,000 years of world literature." Pamela was the first novel in English, and Tom Jones the first major one, published about a decade later, mid-18th C. (Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, which came earlier, makes the list by being retroactively defined as a novel.) There had been earlier efforts in Spain and France, but there just weren't that many to choose from before 1900.
Kirsch does know this, as he makes reference late in the essay to the idea that the novel is a form that can even fight against plotting and story.
As expected, I cheered at some which made the list which I did not think would be so favored, and sniffed at others I thought unworthy.