The Best Novels Ever Written

69k votes 3.3k voters 95k views 865 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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  • 35 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 728
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

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  2. 2
    + 955
    - 354


    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  3. 3
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    - 463


    Harper Lee

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  4. 4
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    John Steinbeck

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  5. 5
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    George Orwell

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  6. 6
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    - 377

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  7. 7
    + 487
    - 271

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

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  8. 8
    + 564
    - 183

    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

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  9. 9
    + 767
    - 318


    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  10. 10
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    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

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  11. 11
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    often listed
    William Golding

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

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  13. 13
    + 439
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    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

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  14. 14
    + 317
    - 187

    often listed
    Miguel de Cervantes

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  15. 15
    + 609
    - 171

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  16. 16
    + 547
    - 209

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  17. 17
    + 444
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    Aldous Huxley

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  18. 18
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    J. D. Salinger

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  19. 19
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    Victor Hugo

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  20. 20
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    Mark Twain

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  21. 21
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    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  22. 22
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Vonnegut

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  23. 23
    + 410
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    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  24. 24
    + 442
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Douglas Adams

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  25. 25
    + 410
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    Charles Dickens

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  26. 26
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    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  27. 27
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    - 191


    Joseph Heller

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  28. 28
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    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

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  29. 29
    + 312
    - 150

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

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  30. 30
    + 427
    - 215


    William Shakespeare

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  31. 31
    + 327
    - 110

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  32. 32
    + 445
    - 183


    Charlotte Brontë

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  33. 33
    + 341
    - 168

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jack London

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  34. 34
    + 407
    - 130


    Bram Stoker

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  35. 35
    + 399
    - 122


    Mary Shelley

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  36. 36
    + 267
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

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  37. 37
    + 376
    - 135


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  38. 38
    + 311
    - 200

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  39. 39
    + 387
    - 190


    Emily Brontë

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  40. 40
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    - 43

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  41. 41
    + 359
    - 146

    added by jmmikkola
    J. K. Rowling

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  42. 42
    + 375
    - 146


    Oscar Wilde

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  43. 43
    + 259
    - 158


    Joseph Conrad

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  44. 44
    + 188
    - 129

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lois Lowry

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  45. 45
    + 434
    - 157

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

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  46. 46
    + 251
    - 140


    Richard Adams

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  47. 47
    + 362
    - 193


    Louisa May Alcott

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  48. 48
    + 318
    - 158


    Ernest Hemingway

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  49. 49
    + 265
    - 169

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anthony Burgess

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  50. 50
    + 234
    - 98

    added by but chickens double d
    E. B. White

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866 +

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