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.
list ordered by

1
66 15
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

2
68 26
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
George Orwell

3
48 14
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Anthony Burgess

4
57 22
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
George Orwell

5
47 15
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Aldous Huxley

6
47 16
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kurt Vonnegut

7
47 16
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
James Joyce

8
60 28
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
J. D. Salinger

9
40 18
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Joseph Heller

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

11
27 16
Finnegans Wake is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
James Joyce

12
30 19
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Markus Zusak

13
26 18
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
William S. Burroughs

14
34 28
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Herman Melville

15
15 9
Pale Fire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

16
22 17
The Trial is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Franz Kafka

17
18 13
If on a winter's night a trave... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

18
17 12
Infinite Jest is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
David Foster Wallace

19
16 11
A Portrait of the Artist as a ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
gygughjhg added James Joyce

20
26 22
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Hunter S. Thompson

21
23 20
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
William Faulkner

22
21 18
Gravity's Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Thomas Pynchon

23
22 20
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kurt Vonnegut

24
19 17
The Curious Incident of the Do... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

25
11 9
Invisible Cities is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Italo Calvino

26
18 17
House of Leaves is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Mark Z. Danielewski

27
13 12
The Life and Opinions of Trist... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

28
17 17
Mrs Dalloway is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Virginia Woolf

29
17 17
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Joseph Conrad

30
25 26
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Jack Kerouac

31
15 15
Labyrinths: Selected Stories a... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

32
22 23
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Yann Martel

33
18 21
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kurt Vonnegut

34
11 13
Notes from Underground is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

35
16 19
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Chuck Palahniuk

36
13 16
Cloud Atlas is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
David Mitchell

37
16 20
One Hundred Years of Solitude is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Gabriel García Márquez

38
15 19
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

39
15 20
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Bret Easton Ellis

40
7 11
Kafka on the Shore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Haruki Murakami

41
6 10
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Koushun Takami

42
11 17
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Irvine Welsh

43
10 16
The Master and Margarita is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Mikhail Bulgakov

44
8 14
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kazuo Ishiguro

45
7 13
The Meaning of Theft is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Peter O'Mahoney

46
3 11
The Zombie Room is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
R.D. Ronald

47
2 12
Carnal: Somewhere Over 40 Wink... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature