The Best Novels Ever Written

48k votes 2.5k voters 84k views 770 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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  • 33 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

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  2. 2
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    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  3. 3
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    Harper Lee

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  4. 4
    + 485
    - 264


    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  5. 5
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    - 239


    John Steinbeck

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  6. 6
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    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

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  7. 7
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    Frank Galati

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  8. 8
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    ranked low on reranks
    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  9. 9
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

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  10. 10
    + 228
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    Miguel de Cervantes

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  11. 11
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    often listed
    William Golding

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  12. 12
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    Aldous Huxley

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  13. 13
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    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

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  14. 14
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    A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

  15. 15
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Charles Dickens

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  16. 16
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    J. D. Salinger

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  17. 17
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    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  18. 18
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  19. 19
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    Victor Hugo

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  20. 20
    + 235
    - 87


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  21. 21
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    Mark Twain

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  22. 22
    + 203
    - 71


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  23. 23
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Vonnegut

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  24. 24
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    - 108


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  25. 25
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Douglas Adams

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  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

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  27. 27
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    Joseph Heller

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  28. 28
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    Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written


    Charles Dickens

  29. 29
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    Leo Tolstoy

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  30. 30
    + 272
    - 145


    William Shakespeare

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  31. 31
    + 205
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

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  32. 32
    + 217
    - 82


    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  33. 33
    + 256
    - 106


    Charlotte Brontë

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  34. 34
    + 226
    - 126

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jack London

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  35. 35
    + 272
    - 95


    Bram Stoker

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  36. 36
    + 252
    - 98


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  37. 37
    + 220
    - 147

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  38. 38
    + 270
    - 101


    Oscar Wilde

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  39. 39
    + 256
    - 91


    Mary Shelley

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  40. 40
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    - 110


    Joseph Conrad

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  41. 41
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    - 143


    Emily Brontë

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  42. 42
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    - 89


    Richard Adams

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  43. 43
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    - 79

    added by jmmikkola
    J. K. Rowling

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  44. 44
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    Anthony Burgess

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  45. 45
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    Little Women is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written


    Louisa May Alcott

  46. 46
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    - 63
    The Giver is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lois Lowry

  47. 47
    + 219
    - 82

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

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  48. 48
    + 216
    - 111


    Ernest Hemingway

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  49. 49
    + 180
    - 74


    Dante Alighieri

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  50. 50
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    - 18

    added by but chickens double d
    Arthur Conan Doyle

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