America The Greatest American Novels  

Ranker Books
Originally by
31.2k votes 2.2k voters 43.4k views 183 items

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.

1
752 267
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
667 261
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

3
573 216
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

4
602 170
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
396 196
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Herman Melville

6
469 260
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

7
413 145
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain

8
346 170
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added The Call of the Wild Jack London

9
413 124
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

10
516 128
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

11
328 167
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
287 108
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

13
234 138
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner

14
253 111
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway

The Best Novels Written by Famous Actors

15
235 108
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added For Whom the Bell Tolls Ernest Hemingway

16
279 109
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

17
351 156
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway

18
208 109
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

19
267 107
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added The Outsiders S. E. Hinton

20
311 87
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added East of Eden John Steinbeck

21
323 102
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

The Best Batman Comics

22
336 175
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

23
199 145
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Road Cormac McCarthy

24
183 93
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane

25
248 106
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway

26
164 110
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
As I Lay Dying William Faulkner

27
175 123
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
156 113
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

The Greatest American Writers of All Time

29
146 65
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Cannery Row John Steinbeck

30
170 89
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Jungle Upton Sinclair, Jr.

31
170 133
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
On the Road Jack Kerouac

32
156 83
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper

33
96 31
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls

34
98 67
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels

35
181 113
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Most Overrated Books of All Time

36
114 57
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
White Fang Jack London

37
246 96
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels

38
130 81
The Help is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added The Help Kathryn Stockett

39
139 97
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston

40
149 108
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Beloved Toni Morrison

41
112 72
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Lolita Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

42
82 47
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain

The Best Russian Novels

43
202 168
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Stand Stephen King

44
89 91
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added The Portrait of a Lady Henry James

45
131 102
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sophie's Choice William Styron

46
77 46
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels
No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy

47
128 101
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels

48
85 56
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut

49
126 102
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fried Green Tomatoes Fannie Flagg

50
109 124
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Jurassic Park Michael Crichton