The Best Novels Ever Written Books

The Best Novels Ever Written

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43k votes 2.1k voters 78k 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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  • 31 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 462
    - 218

    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

    ;
  2. 2
    + 561
    - 214


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  3. 3
    + 570
    - 301


    Harper Lee

    ;
  4. 4
    + 386
    - 208


    John Steinbeck

    ;
  5. 5
    + 508
    - 171

    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

    ;
  6. 6
    + 418
    - 235

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  7. 7
    + 277
    - 174

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  8. 8
    + 199
    - 91

    often listed
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  9. 9
    + 458
    - 176

    ranked low on reranks
    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  10. 10
    + 276
    - 101

    ranked low on reranks & added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

    ;
  11. 11
    + 233
    - 129

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

    ;
  12. 12
    + 330
    - 133


    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  13. 13
    + 363
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  14. 14
    + 336
    - 205

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Golding

    ;
  15. 15
    + 270
    - 123


    Aldous Huxley

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  16. 16
    + 249
    - 121


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  17. 17
    + 278
    - 119


    Victor Hugo

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  18. 18
    + 199
    - 72


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  19. 19
    + 313
    - 109


    Mark Twain

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  20. 20
    + 252
    - 99


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  21. 21
    + 214
    - 109


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  22. 22
    + 335
    - 180


    J. D. Salinger

    ;
  23. 23
    + 169
    - 57


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  24. 24
    + 263
    - 161

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Douglas Adams

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  25. 25
    + 228
    - 94


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  26. 26
    + 232
    - 96


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  27. 27
    + 293
    - 97

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  28. 28
    + 211
    - 121


    Joseph Heller

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  29. 29
    + 202
    - 94


    Leo Tolstoy

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  30. 30
    + 221
    - 93


    Charlotte Brontë

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  31. 31
    + 164
    - 87

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Conrad

    ;
  32. 32
    + 195
    - 109


    Jack London

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  33. 33
    + 242
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  34. 34
    + 187
    - 122

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

    ;
  35. 35
    + 235
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks
    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  36. 36
    + 186
    - 130

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  37. 37
    + 216
    - 80


    Mary Shelley

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  38. 38
    + 190
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  39. 39
    + 224
    - 127


    Emily Brontë

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  40. 40
    + 224
    - 87


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  41. 41
    + 178
    - 101


    Louisa May Alcott

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  42. 42
    + 236
    - 129


    William Shakespeare

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  43. 43
    + 132
    - 76


    Richard Adams

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  44. 44
    + 189
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

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  45. 45
    + 126
    - 56

    added by jmmikkola
    J. K. Rowling

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  46. 46
    + 177
    - 63

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

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  47. 47
    + 62
    - 49

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lois Lowry

    ;
  48. 48
    + 169
    - 106


    Anthony Burgess

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  49. 49
    + 159
    - 73


    H. G. Wells

    ;
  50. 50
    + 185
    - 95


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
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