The Best Novels Ever Written Books

The Best Novels Ever Written

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40,499 votes 2,009 voters 73,654 views 729 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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  • 29 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 425
    - 197

    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

    ;
  2. 2
    + 524
    - 284


    Harper Lee

    ;
  3. 3
    + 524
    - 191


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  4. 4
    + 357
    - 187

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ;
  5. 5
    + 462
    - 162

    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

    ;
  6. 6
    + 254
    - 158

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  7. 7
    + 381
    - 213

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  8. 8
    + 306
    - 119

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  9. 9
    + 184
    - 79

    often listed
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  10. 10
    + 337
    - 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  11. 11
    + 432
    - 157


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  12. 12
    + 252
    - 86

    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

    ;
  13. 13
    + 249
    - 111


    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  14. 14
    + 310
    - 190

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    William Golding

    ;
  15. 15
    + 225
    - 112


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  16. 16
    + 217
    - 115

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Herman Melville

    ;
  17. 17
    + 260
    - 113


    Victor Hugo

    ;
  18. 18
    + 178
    - 63


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  19. 19
    + 294
    - 100

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  20. 20
    + 232
    - 88


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  21. 21
    + 311
    - 165


    J. D. Salinger

    ;
  22. 22
    + 196
    - 98


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  23. 23
    + 248
    - 150

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Douglas Adams

    ;
  24. 24
    + 214
    - 90


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  25. 25
    + 204
    - 89


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  26. 26
    + 193
    - 110

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Joseph Heller

    ;
  27. 27
    + 148
    - 51


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  28. 28
    + 273
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  29. 29
    + 203
    - 86


    Charlotte Brontë

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  30. 30
    + 184
    - 101

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Jack London

    ;
  31. 31
    + 146
    - 81

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Joseph Conrad

    ;
  32. 32
    + 172
    - 118

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Frank Herbert

    ;
  33. 33
    + 216
    - 78

    ranked low on reranks
    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  34. 34
    + 214
    - 79

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  35. 35
    + 193
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Shelley

    ;
  36. 36
    + 206
    - 119


    Emily Brontë

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  37. 37
    + 180
    - 85


    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  38. 38
    + 166
    - 94


    Louisa May Alcott

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  39. 39
    + 219
    - 117


    William Shakespeare

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  40. 40
    + 174
    - 117

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    James Joyce

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  41. 41
    + 209
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  42. 42
    + 168
    - 63

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ;
  43. 43
    + 123
    - 69


    Richard Adams

    ;
  44. 44
    + 151
    - 94


    Anthony Burgess

    ;
  45. 45
    + 139
    - 95

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Mario Puzo

    ;
  46. 46
    + 145
    - 67

    ranked low on reranks
    H. G. Wells

    ;
  47. 47
    + 133
    - 86

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  48. 48
    + 165
    - 62

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  49. 49
    + 169
    - 88


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  50. 50
    + 80
    - 34

    added by but chickens double d
    E. B. White

    ;
730 +

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