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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.

The Best Novels Ever Written Books
  • 24 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 357
    - 196

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Harper Lee

    ; buy at  
  2. 2
    + 251
    - 134

    most listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ; buy at  
  3. 3
    + 305
    - 143


    George Orwell

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 339
    - 125

    ranked low on reranks
    George Orwell

    ; buy at  
  5. 5
    + 251
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ; buy at  
  6. 6
    + 361
    - 151


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 219
    - 93


    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ; buy at  
  8. 8
    + 197
    - 118

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ; buy at  
  9. 9
    + 266
    - 150


    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ; buy at  
  10. 10
    + 226
    - 76

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  11. 11
    + 135
    - 50


    Miguel de Cervantes

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  12. 12
    + 224
    - 145

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    William Golding

    ; buy at  
  13. 13
    + 291
    - 123


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ; buy at  
  14. 14
    + 129
    - 45


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ; buy at  
  15. 15
    + 158
    - 57

    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

    ; buy at  
  16. 16
    + 166
    - 88


    Herman Melville

    ; buy at  
  17. 17
    + 165
    - 87


    Charles Dickens

    ; buy at  
  18. 18
    + 167
    - 68


    Charles Dickens

    ; buy at  
  19. 19
    + 176
    - 86


    Aldous Huxley

    ; buy at  
  20. 20
    + 106
    - 34


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ; buy at  
  21. 21
    + 233
    - 125


    J. D. Salinger

    ; buy at  
  22. 22
    + 185
    - 96


    Victor Hugo

    ; buy at  
  23. 23
    + 151
    - 68


    Charles Dickens

    ; buy at  
  24. 24
    + 135
    - 55


    Charlotte Brontë

    ; buy at  
  25. 25
    + 140
    - 71


    Kurt Vonnegut

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  26. 26
    + 198
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

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  27. 27
    + 118
    - 56


    Joseph Conrad

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  28. 28
    + 143
    - 75


    Jack London

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  29. 29
    + 152
    - 66


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  30. 30
    + 179
    - 111

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Douglas Adams

    ; buy at  
  31. 31
    + 145
    - 69


    Leo Tolstoy

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  32. 32
    + 152
    - 85


    Joseph Heller

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  33. 33
    + 145
    - 58


    Mary Shelley

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  34. 34
    + 159
    - 71


    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  35. 35
    + 149
    - 67


    Bram Stoker

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  36. 36
    + 130
    - 94

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  37. 37
    + 147
    - 91

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Emily Brontë

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  38. 38
    + 124
    - 45

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

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  39. 39
    + 149
    - 97

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    James Joyce

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  40. 40
    + 122
    - 53

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  41. 41
    + 164
    - 70


    Oscar Wilde

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  42. 42
    + 116
    - 52


    H. G. Wells

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  43. 43
    + 136
    - 57


    Dante Alighieri

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  44. 44
    + 109
    - 40


    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  45. 45
    + 130
    - 66


    Ernest Hemingway

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  46. 46
    + 91
    - 51


    Richard Adams

    ; buy at  
  47. 47
    + 130
    - 52


    Charles Dickens

    ; buy at  
  48. 48
    + 124
    - 49

    added by pigonthewing
    C. S. Lewis

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  49. 49
    + 144
    - 93


    William Shakespeare

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  50. 50
    + 88
    - 56


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

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