popular opinion The Best Novels Ever Written  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
302.1k votes 12.1k voters 209.8k views 1,203 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
3,559 1,672
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

2
2,868 998
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
3,267 1,237
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
2,459 1,424
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
2,400 1,336
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

6
2,250 1,030
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

7
1,931 1,118
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Lord of the Flies William Golding

8
1,773 967
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

9
2,644 993
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien

10
2,352 788
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
wawwhite1 added Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

11
2,134 607
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

12
1,847 802
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

13
1,534 767
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

14
1,882 692
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
1,144 747
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

16
1,538 688
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
1,444 642
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

18
1,306 878
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

19
1,685 598
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

20
1,635 852
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

21
1,229 630
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Best Radiator Brands

22
1,703 729
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

23
1,443 661
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Great Expectations Charles Dickens

24
1,388 556
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
1,905 975
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
1,970 549
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
1,774 599
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

28
1,162 671
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
1,016 629
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

30
1,382 658
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

31
1,546 596
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

32
1,107 602
The Giver is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Giver Lois Lowry

33
1,270 540
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
1,201 656
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

35
1,477 424
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 Books Written Under Pen Names

36
1,635 574
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë

37
1,292 339
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
1,203 501
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
818 555
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

40
742 685
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Ulysses James Joyce

41
1,894 714
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
1,205 501
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written

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43
1,520 419
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Frankenstein Mary Shelley

44
1,156 429
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson

45
1,157 257
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Macbeth William Shakespeare

46
917 444
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Time Machine H. G. Wells

47
1,383 454
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
Dracula Bram Stoker

48
1,133 472
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Novels Ever Written
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

49
1,136 568
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
1,441 546
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