Popular Opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
319.6k votes 13.3k voters 232.6k views 1,221 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.

1
3,837 1,863
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
3,123 1,104
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
2,663 1,520
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

4
3,520 1,365
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
2,556 1,453
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,404 1,104
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

7
2,843 1,076
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

8
2,075 1,207
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

9
1,884 1,040
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

10
2,279 658
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

11
1,971 866
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

12
2,482 858
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

13
1,639 737
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

14
1,646 825
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

15
1,400 931
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

16
1,990 736
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens

17
1,245 794
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

18
1,548 695
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

19
1,772 643
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20
2,054 1,062
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

21
1,355 674
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

22
2,109 591
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
pigonthewing added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C. S. Lewis

23
1,737 935
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

24
1,474 594
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
1,523 711
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

26
1,798 801
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

27
1,907 636
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

28
1,408 361
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle

29
1,095 658
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

30
1,235 719
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

31
1,462 703
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

32
1,622 626
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

33
1,287 528
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle

34
1,178 656
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

35
1,288 689
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

36
1,345 571
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Call of the Wild Jack London

37
1,701 608
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

38
1,561 470
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added Charlotte's Web E. B. White

39
1,459 485
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

40
900 583
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

41
798 718
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

42
1,599 447
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

43
1,277 538
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

44
2,028 797
Harry Potter and the Goblet of... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
jmmikkola added Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J. K. Rowling

45
1,204 608
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

46
1,228 453
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

47
1,237 284
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

48
968 472
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

49
1,186 522
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

50
1,559 609
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