writers The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels  

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List Rules Top works of absurd literature

List of the best absurdist fiction novels from various time periods with the title and the author's name listed next to images of the novel's jacket sleeve. Absurdist fiction began in the late 19th and early 20th century out of modernist literature with authors spanning this period such as Joseph Heller, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Albert Camus, plus many more of the best novelists.

The list asks the question, "What is the best absurdist fiction novel?" and gives a list of the best novels with room to add more if what your idea of the best novel is not on the list already so that other readers can vote on your selection.

Absurdist fiction novels let the reader judge the characters and these novels do not have a set moral of the story, which is left up to the reader's interpretation, as well. There usually is not a set plot or theme is these type of novels and are used to study human behavior than understand it. Absurd fiction novels use the techniques of satire, dark humor and incongruity to make them the best in their genre.

Novels include The Stranger by Albert Camus, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and many more absurd fiction picks.
list ordered by

1
108 17
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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2
114 22
The Stranger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Stranger Albert Camus

3
97 22
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

4
105 29
The Metamorphosis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka

5
105 29
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

6
51 7
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
LeSartriste added The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

7
77 18
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

8
87 25
Waiting for Godot is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett

9
73 20
The Trial is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Trial Franz Kafka

10
71 19
The ultimate hitchhiker's guid... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

11
58 16
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

12
39 6
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

13
48 14
The Myth of Sisyphus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus

14
51 17
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson

15
46 16
The Plague is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Plague Albert Camus

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16
45 17
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

17
36 13
Rhinoceros is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Rhinoceros Eugène Ionesco

18
31 15
Lamb: The Gospel According to ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

19
22 9
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Fall Albert Camus

20
32 19
Nausea is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Nausea Jean-Paul Sartre

21
31 19
Still Life with Woodpecker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

22
27 16
Perfume is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Perfume Patrick Süskind

23
17 8
The Man Who Was Thursday is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterton

24
20 11
Inherent Vice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Inherent Vice Thomas Pynchon

25
26 17
A Confederacy of Dunces is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole

26
14 6
Malone Dies is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Malone Dies Samuel Beckett

27
21 13
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami

28
17 10
A Dirty Job is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
A Dirty Job Christopher Moore

29
12 6
The Unnamable is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Unnamable Samuel Beckett

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30
16 11
One of Our Thursdays Is Missin... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

31
11 7
The Green Snake and the Beauti... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

32
10 6
Murphy is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Murphy Samuel Beckett

33
9 5
Invitation to a Beheading is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
aaron-atwater added Invitation to a Beheading Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

34
9 6
Watt is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Watt Samuel Beckett

35
11 9
The Twelve Chairs is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Twelve Chairs Yevgeny Petrov, Ilya Ilf

36
9 7
Molloy is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Molloy Samuel Beckett

37
14 13
The Third Policeman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Third Policeman Brian O'Nolan

38
10 9
The Broom of the System is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Broom of the System David Foster Wallace

39
9 8
The Tartar Steppe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Tartar Steppe Dino Buzzati

40
9 8
Malpertuis is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added Malpertuis Jean Ray

41
9 8
Héliogabale, ou, L'anarchiste ... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added Héliogabale, ou, L'anarchiste couronné Antonin Artaud

42
14 14
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Ne... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

43
14 14
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Birthday Party Harold Pinter

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44
5 5
John Dies at the End is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mac McLaughlin added John Dies at the End David Wong

45
5 5
Oothangbart, a Subversive Fabl... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Rebecca LLoyd added Oothangbart, a Subversive Fable for Adults and Bears by Rebecca Lloyd. Pillar International Publishing Isbn 978-1-911303-02-2

46
9 11
The Tenant is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
RissePj added The Tenant Roland Topor

47
9 11
Absurdistan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Absurdistan Gary Shteyngart

48
6 8
The Austere Academy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Austere Academy Daniel Handler

49
7 11
Tales of Sex & Suburban Lu... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

50
6 11
Light is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Light M. John Harrison