The Best Novels Ever Written

97k votes 4.6k voters 112k views 924 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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  • 38 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    George Orwell

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  2. 2
    + 1,368
    - 629


    Harper Lee

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  3. 3
    + 1,264
    - 491


    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  4. 4
    + 986
    - 369


    George Orwell

    ;
  5. 5
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    - 415


    John Steinbeck

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  6. 6
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    - 371

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

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  7. 7
    + 922
    - 510

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  8. 8
    + 700
    - 447

    often listed
    William Golding

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  9. 9
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    - 279

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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  10. 10
    + 700
    - 239

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

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  11. 11
    + 1,025
    - 412


    J. R. R. Tolkien

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  12. 12
    + 878
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    added by wawwhite1
    Jane Austen

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  13. 13
    + 576
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    Aldous Huxley

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  14. 14
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Herman Melville

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  15. 15
    + 597
    - 254


    Charles Dickens

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  16. 16
    + 423
    - 242

    often listed
    Miguel de Cervantes

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  17. 17
    + 801
    - 224

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  18. 18
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    - 227

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

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  19. 19
    + 615
    - 324


    Douglas Adams

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  20. 20
    + 732
    - 385


    J. D. Salinger

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  21. 21
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    - 230


    Victor Hugo

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  22. 22
    + 440
    - 201


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  23. 23
    + 557
    - 237


    Charles Dickens

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  24. 24
    + 456
    - 254

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

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  25. 25
    + 666
    - 230

    ranked low on reranks
    Ray Bradbury

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  26. 26
    + 484
    - 274

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kurt Vonnegut

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  27. 27
    + 586
    - 287


    William Shakespeare

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  28. 28
    + 550
    - 247


    Emily Brontë

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  29. 29
    + 406
    - 205

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

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  30. 30
    + 549
    - 207

    ranked low on reranks
    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

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  31. 31
    + 510
    - 178

    ranked low on reranks
    Arthur Conan Doyle

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  32. 32
    + 474
    - 214


    Jack London

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  33. 33
    + 500
    - 191


    Oscar Wilde

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  34. 34
    + 679
    - 208

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

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  35. 35
    + 331
    - 181

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  36. 36
    + 343
    - 274

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    James Joyce

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  37. 37
    + 326
    - 197

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lois Lowry

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  38. 38
    + 585
    - 228

    ranked low on reranks & added by jmmikkola
    J. K. Rowling

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  39. 39
    + 376
    - 77

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

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  40. 40
    + 445
    - 151


    Robert Louis Stevenson

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  41. 41
    + 664
    - 266


    Charlotte Brontë

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  42. 42
    + 309
    - 137

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    H. G. Wells

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  43. 43
    + 364
    - 195


    Richard Adams

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  44. 44
    + 557
    - 165

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Shelley

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  45. 45
    + 567
    - 178

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

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  46. 46
    + 575
    - 293


    Louisa May Alcott

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  47. 47
    + 410
    - 280

    ranked high on reranks
    Frank Herbert

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  48. 48
    + 444
    - 205


    Ernest Hemingway

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  49. 49
    + 339
    - 221


    Joseph Conrad

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  50. 50
    + 381
    - 153

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    E. B. White

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