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
809 298
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest American Novels

2
619 231
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

3
721 284
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest American Novels
F. Scott Fitzgerald

4
658 180
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest American Novels

5
429 211
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest American Novels
JeremyEbbink added Herman Melville

6
501 273
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest American Novels
J. D. Salinger

7
441 156
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Mark Twain

8
370 179
The Call of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Jack London

9
435 132
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Ray Bradbury

10
551 136
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest American Novels
John Steinbeck

11
350 177
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Nathaniel Hawthorne

12
310 121
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joseph Heller

13
252 147
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

14
277 117
The Sun Also Rises is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

15
252 114
For Whom the Bell Tolls is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added Ernest Hemingway

16
302 115
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Louisa May Alcott

17
374 163
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

18
227 120
Invisible Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ralph Ellison

19
329 94
East of Eden is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Arthur Williams added John Steinbeck

20
283 119
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest American Novels
but chickens double d added S. E. Hinton

21
342 112
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

22
362 184
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Margaret Mitchell

23
218 156
The Road is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

24
197 100
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen Crane

25
263 108
A Farewell to Arms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Ernest Hemingway

26
177 114
As I Lay Dying is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Faulkner

27
187 130
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest American Novels

28
164 121
The Bell Jar is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Sylvia Plath

29
157 70
Cannery Row is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added John Steinbeck

30
181 138
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack Kerouac

31
178 95
The Jungle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Upton Sinclair, Jr.

32
108 70
A Connecticut Yankee in King A... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest American Novels

33
170 94
The Last of the Mohicans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest American Novels
looksharp added James Fenimore Cooper

34
194 119
Uncle Tom's Cabin is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Harriet Beecher Stowe

35
263 99
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest American Novels

36
103 43
Where the Red Fern Grows is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Joleen Soule added Wilson Rawls

37
120 63
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jack London

38
141 89
The Help is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest American Novels
jdsanders added Kathryn Stockett

39
161 115
Beloved is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Toni Morrison

40
146 102
Their Eyes Were Watching God is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Zora Neale Hurston

41
222 176
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Stephen King

42
97 96
The Portrait of a Lady is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest American Novels
ryanmcw added Henry James

43
122 84
Lolita is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

44
88 52
The Prince and the Pauper is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Jonathan Pierce added Mark Twain

45
88 53
No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Cormac McCarthy

46
120 132
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest American Novels
bjr24 added Michael Crichton

47
137 110
Do Androids Dream of Electric ... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest American Novels

48
135 110
Sophie's Choice is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest American Novels
William Styron

49
90 63
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Kurt Vonnegut

50
132 109
Fried Green Tomatoes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest American Novels
Maryellen Elizabeth added Fannie Flagg