Fiction The Greatest American Novels  

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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.
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list ordered by

1
928 365
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

2
980 408
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels

3
750 277
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

4
802 227
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
601 337
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
665 170
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

7
529 256
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

8
509 179
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

9
511 193
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

10
425 219
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
380 148
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

12
415 224
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

13
307 169
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
335 139
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
403 135
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

16
300 133
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

17
439 184
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
402 109
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

19
269 140
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

20
339 147
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

21
326 148
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

22
408 218
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
266 184
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
231 115
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
313 128
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway