America The Greatest American Novels  

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List Rules Top fiction books written by American authors

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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
916 362
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
852 330
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

3
705 258
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

4
743 209
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
560 313
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
494 239
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

7
481 180
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
624 159
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

9
478 162
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

10
404 205
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
388 202
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
361 138
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
289 162
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
314 132
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
282 129
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
376 106
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

17
409 181
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
252 136
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

19
327 141
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

20
385 126
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

21
311 135
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

22
397 206
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
247 178
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
222 111
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
293 122
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway