books The Best Novels Ever Written  

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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
2,087 971
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

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2
1,581 545
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
1,939 783
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
1,398 918
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
1,338 618
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

6
1,402 822
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

7
1,061 572
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

8
1,437 434
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

9
1,564 612
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

10
1,057 707
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

11
1,120 464
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

12
890 444
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

13
1,108 416
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

14
1,252 339
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

15
685 399
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

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16
948 380
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
791 520
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

18
910 349
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

19
730 318
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

20
867 361
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

21
1,008 347
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

22
1,135 606
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

23
909 435
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

24
634 313
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

25
946 527
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

26
724 381
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

27
1,028 345
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

28
835 325
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

29
840 383
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

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30
1,112 322
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
pigonthewing added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis

31
719 144
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
735 311
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Call of the Wild Jack London

33
909 381
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

34
522 284
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

35
1,028 351
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

36
731 402
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

37
552 333
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

38
750 285
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle

39
702 241
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

40
752 288
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

41
892 252
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

42
993 433
Harry Potter and the Goblet of... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
jmmikkola added Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J. K. Rowling

43
731 259
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Charlotte's Web E. B. White

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44
473 411
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

45
530 228
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

46
841 272
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

47
564 321
Watership Down is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Watership Down Richard Adams

48
546 125
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

49
701 327
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
571 262
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne