The Best Novels Ever Written

44k votes 2.3k voters 80k views 767 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only fiction

This is the ultimate list of the best novels of all time, which is based on influence, originality, popularity, and personal affections. You can make the case for many books to be on this list, but only a few can be considered the best novel ever written. For as long as books have been around, there has been debate amongst book enthusiasts over what truly is the best book ever. The one criteria on this list is that we are only taking fiction books into account. Anything should not be on here.

Classics like Victor Hugo's Les Misérables, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities and John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath are all on here and deservedly so as they've stood the test of the time and have become important pieces of literature. That's not to say that modern books are neglected, in fact, they're well represented as well. Recent classics like J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, Thomas Pynchon's Gravity Rainbow and Stephen King's The Waste Lands are on here.

It's up to you to vote on or even add a book that isn't on this list. Otherwise, decide what the best book of all time is by going this list and voting on what you think is a worthy choice.
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  1. 1
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    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  2. 2
    + 484
    - 241

    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

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  3. 3
    + 600
    - 311


    Harper Lee

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  4. 4
    + 400
    - 219

    often listed
    John Steinbeck

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  5. 5
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    - 180

    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

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  6. 6
    + 443
    - 248

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  7. 7
    + 496
    - 187

    ranked low on reranks
    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  8. 8
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    - 108

    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

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  9. 9
    + 295
    - 182

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

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  10. 10
    + 347
    - 137


    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  11. 11
    + 381
    - 115

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  12. 12
    + 248
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

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  13. 13
    + 210
    - 99


    Miguel de Cervantes

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  14. 14
    + 353
    - 215

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Golding

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  15. 15
    + 291
    - 124


    Victor Hugo

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  16. 16
    + 283
    - 128


    Aldous Huxley

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  17. 17
    + 268
    - 102


    Charles Dickens

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  18. 18
    + 262
    - 128


    Charles Dickens

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  19. 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    J. D. Salinger

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  20. 20
    + 209
    - 78


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  21. 21
    + 325
    - 113


    Mark Twain

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  22. 22
    + 181
    - 61


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  23. 23
    + 286
    - 166

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Douglas Adams

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  24. 24
    + 222
    - 118

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Vonnegut

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  25. 25
    + 245
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    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

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  27. 27
    + 190
    - 131

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

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  28. 28
    + 308
    - 105

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

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  29. 29
    + 223
    - 126

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

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  30. 30
    + 212
    - 97


    Leo Tolstoy

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  31. 31
    + 232
    - 97

    ranked low on reranks
    Charlotte Brontë

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  32. 32
    + 208
    - 113

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jack London

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  33. 33
    + 253
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

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  34. 34
    + 202
    - 134

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  35. 35
    + 168
    - 95

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Conrad

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  36. 36
    + 244
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Oscar Wilde

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  37. 37
    + 242
    - 132

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Shakespeare

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  38. 38
    + 231
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Shelley

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  39. 39
    + 199
    - 72

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  40. 40
    + 235
    - 133

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Emily Brontë

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  41. 41
    + 237
    - 89


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  42. 42
    + 186
    - 105

    often listed
    Louisa May Alcott

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  43. 43
    + 143
    - 79


    Richard Adams

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  44. 44
    + 201
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

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  45. 45
    + 192
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks & added by pigonthewing
    C. S. Lewis

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  46. 46
    + 143
    - 65

    added by jmmikkola
    J. K. Rowling

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  47. 47
    + 70
    - 52

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lois Lowry

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  48. 48
    + 168
    - 77


    H. G. Wells

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  49. 49
    + 201
    - 100


    Ernest Hemingway

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  50. 50
    + 178
    - 111


    Anthony Burgess

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