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
870 331
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
664 239
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

3
786 305
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

4
705 195
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
533 292
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
462 228
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

7
462 169
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
584 145
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

9
456 146
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

10
386 188
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
369 187
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
334 130
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
296 123
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

14
272 156
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

15
268 120
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
357 99
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

17
387 171
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
313 126
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

19
241 128
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

20
365 117
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

21
298 130
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

22
380 194
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
234 165
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
212 104
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
279 111
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

26
190 119
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

27
193 139
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
165 74
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added John Steinbeck

29
195 146
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack Kerouac

30
172 126
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sylvia Plath

31
189 103
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
210 124
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Harriet Beecher Stowe

33
112 75
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels

34
274 105
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels

35
175 104
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added James Fenimore Cooper

36
127 68
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack London

37
108 48
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Wilson Rawls

38
139 92
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

39
171 125
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Toni Morrison

40
100 55
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

41
151 103
The Help is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added Kathryn Stockett

42
152 111
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Zora Neale Hurston

43
229 188
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen King

44
102 100
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Henry James

45
91 54
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added Mark Twain

46
141 111
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels

47
140 112
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Styron

48
145 119
A Confederacy of Dunces is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Kennedy Toole

49
125 138
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Michael Crichton

50
138 112
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fannie Flagg