Popular Opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
351.7k votes 15k voters 260.8k 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
4,254 2,118
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
3,480 1,279
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
George Orwell

3
2,963 1,703
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
George Orwell

4
3,907 1,515
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. R. R. Tolkien

5
2,841 1,634
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,656 1,237
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
John Steinbeck

7
3,136 1,216
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. R. R. Tolkien

8
2,282 1,356
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
William Golding

9
2,058 1,144
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
John Steinbeck

10
2,489 752
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

11
2,146 971
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

12
2,726 960
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Jane Austen

13
1,820 812
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

14
1,803 926
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Aldous Huxley

15
1,537 1,031
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Herman Melville

16
1,388 859
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Miguel de Cervantes

17
2,138 830
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

18
2,281 1,183
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
J. D. Salinger

19
1,704 770
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Victor Hugo

20
1,553 732
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

21
1,922 721
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

22
1,636 651
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

23
1,884 1,037
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

24
1,662 779
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Charles Dickens

25
2,297 686
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