popular opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
291k votes 11.7k voters 202.2k 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
3,423 1,604
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
2,746 954
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
3,145 1,197
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
2,380 1,382
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
2,307 1,292
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,169 989
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

7
1,859 1,080
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

8
1,704 934
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

9
2,553 957
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

10
2,273 763
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

11
2,066 575
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

12
1,798 767
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

13
1,486 735
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

14
1,820 666
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
1,099 715
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

16
1,491 665
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
1,406 614
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

18
1,258 848
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

19
1,642 572
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20
1,585 818
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

21
1,184 605
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
1,651 697
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

23
1,399 632
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

24
1,335 538
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
1,849 932
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
1,905 526
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
1,708 579
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

28
1,128 649
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
983 604
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

30
1,341 634
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

31
1,493 584
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

32
1,062 578
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

33
1,225 521
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Call of the Wild Jack London

34
1,165 633
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

35
1,423 407
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
1,586 557
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

37
1,251 325
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
but chickens double d added The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle

38
794 532
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

39
1,166 484
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
711 663
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

41
1,825 693
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
1,167 490
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
1,468 410
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

44
1,121 412
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

45
1,115 242
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

46
886 427
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

47
1,345 439
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

48
1,096 448
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

49
1,098 546
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
1,378 525
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