books The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by
186.2k votes 7.8k voters 154.2k views 1,209 items Embed

List Rules 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 ordered by

1
2,306 1,037
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20 Books to Read in Your 20s The Best Travel Documentary TV Shows

2
1,751 596
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
1,560 972
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

4
2,132 834
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

5
1,479 664
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

6
1,547 873
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

7
1,179 617
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

8
1,582 480
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

9
1,200 752
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

10
1,255 506
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

11
1,735 670
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

12
1,412 371
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

13
1,240 449
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

14
998 487
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

15
1,040 428
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die The Best Books Written Under Pen Names

16
747 452
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

17
868 574
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

18
990 397
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

19
804 364
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

20
963 401
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

21
1,124 381
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

22
1,053 470
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

23
1,255 658
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

24
1,145 376
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

25
920 361
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

26
1,065 571
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

27
694 362
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

28
793 421
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

29
1,272 350
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
pigonthewing added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis

The 10 Most Bizarre Sex Ed Videos The Conspiracy Theories You Believe Are True

30
934 420
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

31
815 177
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle

32
1,131 385
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

33
1,019 408
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

34
820 342
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Call of the Wild Jack London

35
822 315
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle

36
803 439
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

37
562 324
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

38
644 363
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

39
812 319
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

40
855 279
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Charlotte's Web E. B. White

41
776 267
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

42
987 279
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

43
1,154 466
Harry Potter and the Goblet of... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
jmmikkola added Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J. K. Rowling

Esquire Magazine's Sexiest Woman Alive The Best Dating Websites

44
518 446
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

45
658 142
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

46
934 303
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

47
589 260
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

48
766 362
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

49
669 288
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

50
769 321
Harry Potter and the Prisoner ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
jmmikkola added Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J. K. Rowling