books The Best Novels Ever Written  

Originally by
151k votes 6.6k voters 139k views 1,199 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 1,932 891
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die The Best Movies with Twist Endings

2
+ - 1,804 701
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

3
+ - 1,280 861
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

4
+ - 1,446 512
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

5
+ - 1,251 572
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

6
+ - 986 529
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

7
+ - 1,307 764
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

8
+ - 1,456 557
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

9
+ - 1,341 397
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

10
+ - 1,024 374
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

11
+ - 978 654
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

12
+ - 1,039 436
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

13
+ - 623 365
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

14
+ - 880 348
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

15
+ - 828 407
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

20 Books to Read in Your 20s The Best Female Characters in Literature

16
+ - 1,169 310
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

17
+ - 738 482
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

18
+ - 665 292
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

19
+ - 935 318
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20
+ - 855 314
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

21
+ - 1,045 558
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

22
+ - 805 335
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

23
+ - 587 285
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

24
+ - 879 490
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

25
+ - 779 295
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

26
+ - 668 353
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

27
+ - 850 397
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

28
+ - 1,034 291
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

29
+ - 962 320
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

The 10 Most Bizarre Sex Ed Videos The Conspiracy Theories You Believe Are True

30
+ - 686 288
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Call of the Wild Jack London

31
+ - 637 129
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

32
+ - 484 260
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

33
+ - 788 357
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

34
+ - 678 377
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

35
+ - 699 264
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle

36
+ - 909 376
Harry Potter and the Goblet of... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

37
+ - 652 222
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

38
+ - 836 230
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

39
+ - 699 270
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

40
+ - 447 380
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

41
+ - 850 365
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

42
+ - 501 298
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

43
+ - 965 329
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

45 of Your Childhood Crushes (Then and Now) The Best Documentaries on Hulu

44
+ - 793 251
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

45
+ - 482 211
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

46
+ - 526 296
Watership Down is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Watership Down Richard Adams

47
+ - 667 234
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charlotte's Web E. B. White

48
+ - 651 306
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

49
+ - 516 240
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

50
+ - 569 389
Dune is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dune Frank Herbert