Popular Opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
352k votes 15k voters 261k views 1,299 items

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 voting up what you think is a worthy choice.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
4,258 2,123
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
3,485 1,282
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
George Orwell

3
2,967 1,706
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
George Orwell

4
3,913 1,518
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. R. R. Tolkien

5
2,844 1,637
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,661 1,238
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
John Steinbeck

7
3,141 1,221
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. R. R. Tolkien

8
2,062 1,145
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
John Steinbeck

9
2,284 1,359
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
William Golding

10
2,494 752
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

11
2,149 972
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

12
2,729 963
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Jane Austen

13
1,822 813
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

14
1,808 926
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Aldous Huxley

15
1,541 1,033
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Herman Melville

16
1,393 860
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Miguel de Cervantes

17
2,142 831
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

18
2,288 1,183
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. D. Salinger

19
1,707 771
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Victor Hugo

20
1,557 732
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

21
1,923 722
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

22
1,638 651
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

23
1,886 1,040
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

24
1,665 780
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

25
2,301 688
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
pigonthewing added C. S. Lewis