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
715 237
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
542 201
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

3
621 244
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

4
567 162
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
372 185
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
443 241
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
396 133
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
329 152
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
395 116
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury

10
488 122
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

11
316 156
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
273 98
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

13
227 128
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
241 105
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

Famous Schizophrenics

15
226 102
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
264 99
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Little Women Louisa May Alcott

17
337 146
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
193 98
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

19
251 101
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
293 83
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added East of Eden John Steinbeck

21
311 96
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

The Best Absurdist Fiction Novels

22
324 166
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

23
194 133
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Road Cormac McCarthy

24
178 86
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
239 98
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway

26
170 114
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels

27
155 102
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels
As I Lay Dying William Faulkner

28
139 58
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Cannery Row John Steinbeck

The Best Novelists of All Time

29
166 121
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
On the Road Jack Kerouac

30
147 106
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

31
160 84
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Jungle Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
87 25
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Where the Red Fern Grows Wilson Rawls

33
147 78
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper

34
92 61
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels

35
171 105
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Best Novels Ever Written

36
103 52
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
White Fang Jack London

37
229 92
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels

38
121 70
The Help is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added The Help Kathryn Stockett

39
144 96
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Beloved Toni Morrison

40
132 90
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston

41
103 62
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Lolita Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

42
86 82
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added The Portrait of a Lady Henry James

All the Jason Bourne Books, Ranked Best to Worst

43
77 42
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added The Prince and the Pauper Mark Twain

44
83 48
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut

45
190 159
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Stand Stephen King

46
122 94
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sophie's Choice William Styron

47
70 40
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels
No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy

48
80 49
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
chaotic_compass added Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Berendt

49
180 84
The Color Purple is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
The Color Purple Alice Walker

50
119 95
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels