popular opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
291.5k votes 11.7k voters 202.7k views 1,200 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 going this list and voting on what you think is a worthy choice.
list ordered by

1
3,440 1,616
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
2,761 962
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
3,160 1,203
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

4
2,389 1,390
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
2,319 1,301
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,183 994
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

7
1,867 1,087
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

8
1,718 938
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

9
2,565 964
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

10
2,280 769
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

11
2,075 581
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

12
1,802 774
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

13
1,492 738
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

14
1,828 669
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

15
1,107 718
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

16
1,495 667
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

17
1,412 617
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

18
1,264 851
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

19
1,644 575
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20
1,593 823
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

21
1,188 607
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Great Eye Cream Brands That Won't Break the Bank

22
1,656 700
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

23
1,405 638
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

24
1,340 542
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

25
1,857 934
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

26
1,907 530
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
pigonthewing added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis

27
1,716 581
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

28
1,134 650
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

29
988 606
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

30
1,341 638
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

31
1,496 586
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

32
1,067 579
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

33
1,173 633
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

34
1,229 524
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
1,425 410
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Charlotte's Web E. B. White

The Best Movies Based on Short Stories

36
1,254 325
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle

37
1,588 560
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

38
799 533
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

39
1,169 484
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle

40
715 664
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

41
1,831 694
Harry Potter and the Goblet of... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
jmmikkola added Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J. K. Rowling

42
1,173 490
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20 Classic Nude Scenes in 80s Teen Movie History

43
1,474 411
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

44
1,124 413
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

45
1,120 243
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

46
888 429
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

47
1,349 440
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

48
1,098 452
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

49
1,105 546
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

50
1,385 527
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