The Best Novels Ever Written Books

The Best Novels Ever Written

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42,148 votes 2,088 voters 75,096 views 745 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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  • 30 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 440
    - 206

    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

    ;
  2. 2
    + 547
    - 290


    Harper Lee

    ;
  3. 3
    + 371
    - 194


    John Steinbeck

    ;
  4. 4
    + 541
    - 204


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 483
    - 164

    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

    ;
  6. 6
    + 394
    - 224


    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  7. 7
    + 264
    - 165

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  8. 8
    + 193
    - 85


    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  9. 9
    + 260
    - 93

    ranked low on reranks & added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

    ;
  10. 10
    + 226
    - 123

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

    ;
  11. 11
    + 317
    - 126


    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  12. 12
    + 349
    - 105

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  13. 13
    + 445
    - 167


    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  14. 14
    + 259
    - 117


    Aldous Huxley

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  15. 15
    + 321
    - 200

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Golding

    ;
  16. 16
    + 240
    - 115


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  17. 17
    + 267
    - 117


    Victor Hugo

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  18. 18
    + 187
    - 67


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  19. 19
    + 304
    - 105

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  20. 20
    + 242
    - 92


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  21. 21
    + 203
    - 104


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  22. 22
    + 321
    - 176


    J. D. Salinger

    ;
  23. 23
    + 257
    - 154

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Douglas Adams

    ;
  24. 24
    + 156
    - 55


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  25. 25
    + 217
    - 92


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  26. 26
    + 224
    - 95


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  27. 27
    + 284
    - 92

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  28. 28
    + 203
    - 118


    Joseph Heller

    ;
  29. 29
    + 191
    - 89


    Leo Tolstoy

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  30. 30
    + 189
    - 104


    Jack London

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  31. 31
    + 208
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Charlotte Brontë

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  32. 32
    + 154
    - 85

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Conrad

    ;
  33. 33
    + 181
    - 119

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

    ;
  34. 34
    + 228
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  35. 35
    + 179
    - 123

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

    ;
  36. 36
    + 227
    - 81

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  37. 37
    + 206
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Shelley

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  38. 38
    + 215
    - 122

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Emily Brontë

    ;
  39. 39
    + 172
    - 96


    Louisa May Alcott

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  40. 40
    + 219
    - 84


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  41. 41
    + 227
    - 124

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Shakespeare

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  42. 42
    + 179
    - 66

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  43. 43
    + 128
    - 74

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Richard Adams

    ;
  44. 44
    + 180
    - 64

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  45. 45
    + 161
    - 100


    Anthony Burgess

    ;
  46. 46
    + 153
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks
    H. G. Wells

    ;
  47. 47
    + 147
    - 104

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mario Puzo

    ;
  48. 48
    + 140
    - 89


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  49. 49
    + 177
    - 92


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  50. 50
    + 86
    - 38

    added by but chickens double d
    E. B. White

    ;
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