The Best Novels Ever Written Books
Ultimate List
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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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 105
    Down 39

    Harper Lee

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  2. 2
    Up 95
    Down 31

    George Orwell

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  3. 3
    Up 70
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    most listed George Orwell

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  4. 4
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    John Steinbeck

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  5. 5
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    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  6. 6
    Up 74
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    William Golding

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  7. 7
    Up 66
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    John Steinbeck

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  8. 8
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    ranked low on reranks J. R. R. Tolkien

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  9. 9
    Up 50
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Charles Dickens

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  10. 10
    Up 80
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    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  11. 11
    Up 67
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    ranked low on reranks Mark Twain

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  12. 12
    Up 60
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    ranked low on reranks Mark Twain

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  13. 13
    Up 47
    Down 19

    Herman Melville

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  14. 14
    Up 49
    Down 9

    Charles Dickens

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  15. 15
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    Lewis Carroll

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  16. 16
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    J. D. Salinger

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  17. 17
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    Aldous Huxley

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  18. 18
    Up 55
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    Victor Hugo

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  19. 19
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    Douglas Adams

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  20. 20
    Up 37
    Down 17

    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  21. 21
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    Joseph Heller

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  22. 22
    Up 25
    Down 9

    Washington Irving

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  23. 23
    Up 47
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    Ray Bradbury

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  24. 24
    Up 47
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    James Joyce

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  25. 25
    Up 36
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    Mario Puzo

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  26. 26
    Up 41
    Down 14

    Jack London

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  27. 27
    Up 53
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    William Shakespeare

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  28. 28
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    Emily Brontë

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  29. 29
    Up 33
    Down 11

    Bram Stoker

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  30. 30
    Up 43
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    Kurt Vonnegut

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  31. 31
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    Oscar Wilde

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  32. 32
    Up 21
    Down 10

    Jules Verne

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  33. 33
    Up 44
    Down 24

    Frank Herbert

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  34. 34
    Up 25
    Down 6

    H. G. Wells

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  35. 35
    Up 27
    Down 8

    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  36. 36
    Up 32
    Down 12

    Mary Shelley

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  37. 37
    Up 19
    Down 12

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dashiell Hammett

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  38. 38
    Up 40
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Anthony Burgess

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  39. 39
    Up 37
    Down 9

    ranked low on reranks Charles Dickens

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  40. 40
    Up 37
    Down 20

    Dante Alighieri

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  41. 41
    Up 52
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    ranked low on reranks Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  42. 42
    Up 31
    Down 13

    Ernest Hemingway

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  43. 43
    Up 29
    Down 12

    Ernest Hemingway

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  44. 44
    Up 23
    Down 7

    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  45. 45
    Up 19
    Down 14

    Joseph Conrad

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  46. 46
    Up 36
    Down 24

    Leo Tolstoy

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  47. 47
    Up 28
    Down 17

    William Faulkner

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  48. 48
    Up 41
    Down 20

    Charles Dickens

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  49. 49
    Up 30
    Down 18

    Louisa May Alcott

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  50. 50
    Up 21
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    H. G. Wells

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  51. 322 +

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