America The Greatest American Novels  

Ranker Books
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List Rules Top fiction books written by American authors

List of some of the best American novels from classic writers, like Nathaniel Hawthorne, to more modern names, like Stephen King, with room for the list to grow. There is an option to add your favorite American novels to the list if yours is not already on there.

The list asks the question, "What is the best American novel?" with novels from William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth and Nathaniel Hawthorne, plus many more that have written great American novels since then. More modern American novels are included, such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Stand by Stephen King, which may be more familiar.

American novels can represent the spirit of the age in the United States during the time it was written or the time it was set in. The American novel is written by those who are knowledgeable about the state, culture and even the perspective of those during that time.

Some of these best American novels may have also been on the reading curriculum in school, like Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien or To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Be sure to vote not just on your favorite authors, but on your favorite novel of all time, as some authors may be listed twice for other novels that are considered the best.
list ordered by

1
825 310
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
671 184
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels

3
737 288
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

4
629 235
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

5
513 278
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
439 215
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

7
445 162
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
442 138
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

9
558 139
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

10
372 183
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
355 181
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
314 124
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
258 149
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
281 119
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
255 116
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
303 119
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

17
377 167
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
332 95
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

19
231 123
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

20
349 112
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

21
289 125
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

22
364 190
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
223 158
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
201 101
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
269 109
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

26
181 116
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

27
188 133
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
160 71
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added John Steinbeck

29
186 139
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack Kerouac

30
167 122
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sylvia Plath

31
181 98
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
110 72
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels

33
172 97
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added James Fenimore Cooper

34
200 123
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Harriet Beecher Stowe

35
267 101
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels

36
104 45
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Wilson Rawls

37
121 65
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack London

38
167 119
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Toni Morrison

39
145 95
The Help is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added Kathryn Stockett

40
148 106
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Zora Neale Hurston

41
226 182
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen King

42
128 86
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

43
89 52
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added Mark Twain

44
91 54
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

45
99 99
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Henry James

46
139 110
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels

47
138 111
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Styron

48
121 134
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Michael Crichton

49
135 110
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fannie Flagg

50
90 64
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut