Fiction The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels  

Ranker Books
2.9k votes 499 voters 23.5k views 55 items

List Rules Top works of absurd literature

List of the best absurdist fiction novels from various time periods with the title and the author's name listed next to images of the novel's jacket sleeve. Absurdist fiction began in the late 19th and early 20th century out of modernist literature with authors spanning this period such as Joseph Heller, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Albert Camus, plus many more of the best novelists.

The list asks the question, "What is the best absurdist fiction novel?" and gives a list of the best novels with room to add more if what your idea of the best novel is not on the list already so that other readers can vote on your selection.

Absurdist fiction novels let the reader judge the characters and these novels do not have a set moral of the story, which is left up to the reader's interpretation, as well. There usually is not a set plot or theme is these type of novels and are used to study human behavior than understand it. Absurd fiction novels use the techniques of satire, dark humor and incongruity to make them the best in their genre.

Novels include The Stranger by Albert Camus, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut and many more absurd fiction picks.

1
143 26
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

2
141 27
The Stranger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Stranger Albert Camus

3
141 32
The Metamorphosis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka

4
118 29
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

5
108 29
Waiting for Godot is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett

6
92 22
The Trial is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Trial Franz Kafka

7
120 38
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

8
90 22
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

9
88 22
The ultimate hitchhiker's guid... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

10
59 10
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
LeSartriste added The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

11
72 20
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

12
63 20
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson

13
58 18
The Myth of Sisyphus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Myth of Sisyphus Albert Camus

14
44 10
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

15
56 21
The Plague is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Plague Albert Camus

16
53 19
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

17
37 16
Rhinoceros is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Rhinoceros Eugène Ionesco

18
44 22
Nausea is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Nausea Jean-Paul Sartre

19
29 11
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Fall Albert Camus

20
37 18
Lamb: The Gospel According to ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

21
41 23
Still Life with Woodpecker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

22
35 21
A Confederacy of Dunces is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole

23
31 18
Perfume is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Perfume Patrick Süskind

24
20 9
The Man Who Was Thursday is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterton

25
20 11
A Dirty Job is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
A Dirty Job Christopher Moore

26
24 15
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami

27
15 7
Malone Dies is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Malone Dies Samuel Beckett

28
21 13
Inherent Vice is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Inherent Vice Thomas Pynchon

29
21 13
One of Our Thursdays Is Missin... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

30
12 7
The Unnamable is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Unnamable Samuel Beckett

31
11 7
Murphy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Murphy Samuel Beckett

32
10 7
Watt is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Watt Samuel Beckett

33
9 6
Invitation to a Beheading is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
aaron-atwater added Invitation to a Beheading Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

34
9 6
John Dies at the End is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mac McLaughlin added John Dies at the End David Wong

35
17 15
The Birthday Party is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Birthday Party Harold Pinter

36
16 14
The Third Policeman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Third Policeman Brian O'Nolan

37
10 8
Molloy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Molloy Samuel Beckett

38
12 11
The Twelve Chairs is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Twelve Chairs Yevgeny Petrov, Ilya Ilf

39
11 10
The Broom of the System is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Broom of the System David Foster Wallace

40
12 12
Tales of Sex & Suburban Lu... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

41
11 11
The Green Snake and the Beauti... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

42
10 10
The Austere Academy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
The Austere Academy Daniel Handler

43
12 13
The Tenant is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
RissePj added The Tenant Roland Topor

44
11 12
Absurdistan is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Absurdistan Gary Shteyngart

45
14 16
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Ne... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

46
9 11
Héliogabale, ou, L'anarchiste ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added Héliogabale, ou, L'anarchiste couronné Antonin Artaud

47
9 11
The Tartar Steppe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added The Tartar Steppe Dino Buzzati

48
9 11
Malpertuis is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Mollevangsvagen added Malpertuis Jean Ray

49
9 12
Light is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
Light M. John Harrison

50
6 9
Wake in Fright is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels
RissePj added Wake in Fright Kenneth Cook