literature The Greatest Experimental Literature  

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List Rules Works of innovative fiction and poetry

This is a list about the greatest experimental literature; it answers the question, “What are the top experimental novels of all time?” Experimental literature is usually fiction or poetry that emphasizes innovations, especially in technique. The easiest way to understand it is by comparing traditional artwork: an artist is typically trained to follow a certain set of rules, such as color blending, staying within certain lines and using proper balance within details. Traditional literary works of art usually follow similar guidelines that pertain to their use of structure. Within the world of art, impressionistic pieces and abstract artwork defied the most common rules of painting, causing them to stand out in unusual ways. It was the same within the literary arena; authors such as Earnest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein defied these basic styles on purpose to see what people’s responses would be. Such works of art are referred to as “experimental” since the outcome is undetermined at the time. Perhaps the most famous experimental story is “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. This experimental book defied common rules of language and grammar by the author’s liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality. The novel was a tremendous success, selling more than 65 million copies worldwide.

1
64 13
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

2
65 25
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
46 12
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

4
55 20
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
46 14
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

6
46 14
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

7
45 15
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Ulysses James Joyce

8
58 25
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

9
40 16
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

10
21 8
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Séth Dåyton Carlöck added The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams

11
30 17
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Book Thief Markus Zusak

12
27 15
Finnegans Wake is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Finnegans Wake James Joyce

13
24 17
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs

14
32 25
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Herman Melville

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

15
14 8
Pale Fire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Pale Fire Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

16
25 20
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson

17
21 16
The Trial is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Trial Franz Kafka

18
19 14
The Curious Incident of the Do... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

19
17 12
If on a winter's night a trave... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

20
22 18
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

21
21 17
Gravity's Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Gravity's Rainbow Thomas Pynchon

The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

22
25 22
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
On the Road Jack Kerouac

23
21 18
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner

24
14 11
Infinite Jest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

25
13 10
A Portrait of the Artist as a ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
gygughjhg added A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce

26
22 20
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Life of Pi Yann Martel

27
17 15
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

28
10 8
Invisible Cities is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Invisible Cities Italo Calvino

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

29
17 16
House of Leaves is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski

30
15 14
Labyrinths: Selected Stories a... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

31
12 11
The Life and Opinions of Trist... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

32
18 18
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut

33
11 11
Notes from Underground is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoyevsky

34
15 16
Mrs Dalloway is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf

35
13 14
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Cloud Atlas David Mitchell

The Best Female Characters in Literature

36
15 17
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

37
15 17
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk

38
15 18
One Hundred Years of Solitude is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez

39
14 18
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

40
7 10
Kafka on the Shore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami

41
8 12
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

42
9 14
The Master and Margarita is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov

43
7 12
The Meaning of Theft is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Meaning of Theft Peter O'Mahoney

44
10 16
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Trainspotting Irvine Welsh

45
5 10
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Battle Royale Koushun Takami

46
3 10
The Zombie Room is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Zombie Room R.D. Ronald

47
2 11
Carnal: Somewhere Over 40 Wink... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature