Novels 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
1,068 442
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels
2
1,021 408
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald
3
861 251
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
4
799 303
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck
5
651 362
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger
6
532 214
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain
7
708 190
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck
8
575 268
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville
9
545 200
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury
10
451 236
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London
11
409 167
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller
12
481 190
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway
13
320 144
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway
14
439 241
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne
15
330 177
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner
16
358 153
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway
17
432 149
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut
18
426 116
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck
19
286 148
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison
20
356 154
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott
21
351 164
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton
22
427 226
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell
23
286 194
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy
24
336 137
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway
25
246 122
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane