The Best Novels Ever Written Books
Ultimate List
12  reranks 6,464 votes 273 voters 14,796 views more info

The Best Novels Ever Written

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 72
    Down 20
    George Orwell More
    92
  2. 2
    Up 85
    Down 32
    J. R. R. Tolkien More
    91
  3. 3
    Up 79
    Down 30
    Harper Lee More
    90
  4. 4
    Up 55
    Down 25

    most listed
    Animal Farm

    George Orwell More
    90
  5. 5
    Up 50
    Down 23
    John Steinbeck More
    90
  6. 6
    Up 55
    Down 26
    William Golding More
    89
  7. 7
    Up 49
    Down 26
    John Steinbeck More
    87
  8. 8
    Up 67
    Down 20

    ranked low on reranks
    The Hobbit

    J. R. R. Tolkien More
    85
  9. 9
    Up 63
    Down 34
    F. Scott Fitzgerald More
    83
  10. 10
    Up 33
    Down 14
    Charles Dickens More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 52
    Down 9

    ranked low on reranks
    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    Mark Twain More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 36
    Down 12
    Herman Melville More
    79
  13. 13
    Up 40
    Down 8
    Mark Twain More
    75
  14. 14
    Up 52
    Down 29
    J. D. Salinger More
    75
  15. 15
    Up 39
    Down 20
    Lewis Carroll More
    74
  16. 16
    Up 34
    Down 18
    Aldous Huxley More
    73
  17. 17
    Up 31
    Down 8
    Charles Dickens More
    73
  18. 18
    Up 43
    Down 19
    Douglas Adams More
    72
  19. 19
    Up 43
    Down 18
    Victor Hugo More
    72
  20. 20
    Up 35
    Down 14
    Joseph Heller More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 36
    Down 22
    James Joyce More
    67
  22. 22
    Up 34
    Down 11
    Ray Bradbury More
    66
  23. 23
    Up 25
    Down 16
    Arthur Conan Doyle More
    65
  24. 24
    Up 37
    Down 17
    Frank Herbert More
    64
  25. 25
    Up 32
    Down 23
    Anthony Burgess More
    63
  26. 26
    Up 33
    Down 15
    Kurt Vonnegut More
    63
  27. 27
    Up 24
    Down 18

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The Godfather

    Mario Puzo More
    63
  28. 28
    Up 28
    Down 10
    Jack London More
    63
  29. 29
    Up 32
    Down 25

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Wuthering Heights

    Emily Brontë More
    63
  30. 30
    Up 41
    Down 24
    William Shakespeare More
    63
  31. 31
    Up 34
    Down 16
    Oscar Wilde More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 22
    Down 6
    Bram Stoker More
    63
  33. 33
    Up 14
    Down 8
    Washington Irving More
    63
  34. 34
    Up 30
    Down 15
    Dante Alighieri More
    62
  35. 35
    Up 17
    Down 5
    Mary Shelley More
    60
  36. 36
    Up 36
    Down 13
    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet More
    60
  37. 37
    Up 13
    Down 8
    Jules Verne More
    60
  38. 38
    Up 14
    Down 3
    H. G. Wells More
    60
  39. 39
    Up 15
    Down 4
    Robert Louis Stevenson More
    60
  40. 40
    Up 12
    Down 9

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad More
    60
  41. 41
    Up 10
    Down 9
    Dashiell Hammett More
    59
  42. 42
    Up 32
    Down 13
    Charles Dickens More
    59
  43. 43
    Up 26
    Down 8
    Charles Dickens More
    59
  44. 44
    Up 12
    Down 4
    Robert Louis Stevenson More
    58
  45. 45
    Up 20
    Down 11
    Ernest Hemingway More
    58
  46. 46
    Up 27
    Down 21
    Leo Tolstoy More
    58
  47. 47
    Up 14
    Down 7
    Ernest Hemingway More
    57
  48. 48
    Up 22
    Down 15
    William Faulkner More
    57
  49. 49
    Up 20
    Down 13
    Ernest Hemingway More
    57
  50. 50
    Up 20
    Down 16
    John Milton More
    57
  51. 238 +

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