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
848 321
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
646 237
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

3
687 191
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels

4
760 298
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

5
522 285
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

6
451 221
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

7
449 166
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
451 142
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

9
570 142
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

10
381 187
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

11
361 185
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
323 128
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
262 152
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
285 121
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
258 118
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
309 120
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

17
344 98
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

18
379 171
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

19
236 126
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

20
353 115
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

21
294 129
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

22
371 194
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
226 162
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
207 102
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
273 111
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

26
185 118
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

27
188 136
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
161 72
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added John Steinbeck

29
190 141
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack Kerouac

30
168 124
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sylvia Plath

31
183 101
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
110 73
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels

33
202 123
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Harriet Beecher Stowe

34
173 101
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added James Fenimore Cooper

35
270 103
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels

36
106 46
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Wilson Rawls

37
124 67
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack London

38
170 121
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Toni Morrison

39
147 99
The Help is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added Kathryn Stockett

40
130 87
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

41
227 184
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen King

42
150 110
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Zora Neale Hurston

43
94 55
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

44
89 53
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added Mark Twain

45
100 100
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Henry James

46
139 111
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels

47
139 112
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Styron

48
124 136
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Michael Crichton

49
137 112
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fannie Flagg

50
86 55
The Age of Innocence is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Edith Wharton