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
821 306
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
667 183
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels

3
733 286
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

4
624 234
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

5
510 276
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
437 214
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

7
445 159
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
440 135
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

9
557 137
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

10
371 181
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
352 179
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
313 123
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
256 148
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
279 118
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
253 115
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
303 116
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

17
377 164
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
332 94
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

19
230 122
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

20
287 122
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

21
346 112
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

22
364 187
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
221 156
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
199 100
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
267 108
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

26
179 115
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

27
188 131
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
159 70
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added John Steinbeck

29
184 138
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack Kerouac

30
164 121
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sylvia Plath

31
179 96
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
171 94
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added James Fenimore Cooper

33
108 70
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels

34
199 120
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Harriet Beecher Stowe

35
266 99
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels

36
104 43
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Wilson Rawls

37
120 63
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack London

38
143 92
The Help is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added Kathryn Stockett

39
148 103
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Zora Neale Hurston

40
163 117
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Toni Morrison

41
224 180
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen King

42
126 85
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
98 97
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Henry James

45
89 53
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

46
137 110
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels

47
136 111
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Styron

48
120 133
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Michael Crichton

49
134 109
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fannie Flagg

50
90 63
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut