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
60 9
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

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2
62 19
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell

3
43 9
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Brave New World Aldous Huxley

4
53 16
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Animal Farm George Orwell

5
55 19
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger

6
43 12
Slaughterhouse-Five is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut

7
38 12
A Clockwork Orange is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

8
39 13
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

9
38 14
Ulysses is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Ulysses James Joyce

10
19 5
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
28 13
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Book Thief Markus Zusak

12
30 21
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Herman Melville

13
19 11
The Curious Incident of the Do... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

14
22 14
Finnegans Wake is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Finnegans Wake James Joyce

15
22 16
Life of Pi is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Life of Pi Yann Martel

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16
23 17
On the Road is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
On the Road Jack Kerouac

17
20 15
Cat's Cradle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Cat's Cradle Kurt Vonnegut

18
20 16
The Sound and the Fury is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner

19
20 17
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson

20
19 16
Naked Lunch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Naked Lunch William S. Burroughs

21
17 15
The Trial is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Trial Franz Kafka

22
17 15
Breakfast of Champions is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut

23
15 13
Labyrinths: Selected Stories a... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

24
15 13
One Hundred Years of Solitude is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez

25
12 10
Infinite Jest is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

26
10 8
Pale Fire is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Pale Fire Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

27
17 16
Gravity's Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Gravity's Rainbow Thomas Pynchon

28
16 15
House of Leaves is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski

29
15 14
Mrs Dalloway is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf

The Best Russian Comedy Movies The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

30
15 14
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

31
13 12
If on a winter's night a trave... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

32
10 9
A Portrait of the Artist as a ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
gygughjhg added A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce

33
9 8
Invisible Cities is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Invisible Cities Italo Calvino

34
15 15
Watchmen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Watchmen Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

35
14 14
Fight Club is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk

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

37
10 10
Notes from Underground is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoyevsky

38
8 8
Never Let Me Go is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro

39
14 15
American Psycho is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis

40
10 11
The Life and Opinions of Trist... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature

41
6 9
Kafka on the Shore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami

42
5 9
Battle Royale is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Battle Royale Koushun Takami

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
6 12
The Master and Margarita is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov

45
9 16
Trainspotting is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Experimental Literature
Trainspotting Irvine Welsh

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