novels The Best Irish Novels  

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List Rules Fiction books and novellas by writers from Ireland

List of the best Irish novels from various authors with some of the same Irish authors appearing a few times. The list includes classic Irish novels such as Gulliver's Travels and The Picture of Dorian Gray to be voted on by readers to find out which book is the best. There are more recent novels included in this list as well, like Room by Emma Donoghue or P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern both of which were published within the last 10 years.

Ireland has made a great contribution to literature, starting with lyric poetry, Anglo-Irish traditional novels that reflected the view of middle class and then included more lower social class writers after the rise of the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland. These lower class Irish writers included Brinsley MacNamara and John McGahern among others. Both appear on this list for their great novels.

The list asks, "what is the best Irish novel?" and gives you room to add your own titles that may not be on this list of the best Irish novels. The authors are listed next to each title for identification of the work. Authors like William Trevor and James Joyce show up a few times so be sure to vote for your favorite novel, not just your favorite author.
list ordered by

1
17 3
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Ulysses James Joyce

2
14 4
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Irish Novels

3
9 1
At Swim-Two-Birds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Irish Novels
At Swim-Two-Birds Brian O'Nolan

4
10 2
A Portrait of the Artist as a ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Irish Novels

5
11 3
Gulliver's Travels is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift

6
12 4
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Dracula Bram Stoker

7
7 1
Molloy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Molloy Samuel Beckett

8
7 1
The Third Policeman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Third Policeman Brian O'Nolan

9
7 1
The Butcher Boy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Butcher Boy Patrick McCabe

10
9 4
The Lion, the Witch and the Wa... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Irish Novels

11
5 1
The Book of Evidence is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Book of Evidence John Banville

12
5 1
The Country Girls is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Country Girls Edna O'Brien

13
6 3
Finnegans Wake is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Finnegans Wake James Joyce

14
4 1
Star of the Sea is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Star of the Sea Joseph O'Connor

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

15
4 1
Strumpet City is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Strumpet City James Plunkett

16
3 0
A goat's song is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Irish Novels
A Goat's Song Dermot Healy

17
5 3
Amongst Women is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Amongst Women John McGahern

18
3 1
The Barracks is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Barracks John McGahern

19
3 1
The Year of the French is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Year of the French Thomas Flanagan

20
3 1
The Blackwater Lightship is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Blackwater Lightship Colm Tóibín

21
3 1
The Van is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Van Roddy Doyle

The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
3 1
Thy Tears Might Cease is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Thy Tears Might Cease Michael Farrell

23
3 2
How many miles to Babylon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Irish Novels
How many miles to Babylon Jennifer Johnston

24
3 2
The Last September is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Last September Elizabeth Bowen

25
2 1
The Vicar of Wakefield is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Vicar of Wakefield Oliver Goldsmith

26
2 1
Felicia's Journey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Felicia's Journey William Trevor

27
2 1
Scarlet Feather is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Scarlet Feather Maeve Binchy

28
2 1
Fools of fortune is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Fools of Fortune William Trevor

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

29
3 3
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

30
2 2
Troubles is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Troubles J. G. Farrell

31
2 2
Birchwood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Birchwood John Banville

32
2 2
Room is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Room Emma Donoghue

33
1 1
The silent people is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Silent People Walter Macken

34
1 1
The Story of Lucy Gault is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Irish Novels
The Story of Lucy Gault William Trevor

35
1 1
Vally of the Squirting Windows is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Vally of the Squirting Windows Brinsley MacNamara

36
1 1
Good Behaviour is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Good Behaviour Molly Keane

37
1 2
Tarry Flynn is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Irish Novels
Tarry Flynn Patrick Kavanagh

38
0 4
PS, I Love You is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Irish Novels
P.S. I Love You Cecelia Ahern