Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The All-Time Top 100 Works of Fiction

First posted 6/26/2018; updated 2/20/2019.

image from theguardiancom

These are the best fiction books of all-time, according to an aggregate of more than 20 lists focused specifically on fiction books and another 50+ general book lists.

Note: this list was originally posted in June 2018 and that version was used as the springboard for the Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the original list here.

  1. J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  2. Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby (1925)
  4. Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (1615)
  5. George Orwell 1984 (1949)
  6. Vladimir Nabokov Lolita (1955)
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings (trilogy: 1954-55)
  8. Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
  9. Joseph Heller Catch-22 (1961)
  10. John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

  11. E.B. White Charlotte’s Web (1952)
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit (1937)
  13. James Joyce Ulysses (1922)
  14. Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  15. Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre (1847)
  16. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace (1869)
  17. William Golding Lord of the Flies (1954)
  18. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter (series, 1997-2007)
  19. Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
  20. Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights (1847)

  21. Herman Melville Moby-Dick (1851)
  22. C.S. Lewis The Chronicles of Narnia (series, 1950-1956)
  23. Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  24. Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind (1936)
  25. Toni Morrison Beloved (1987)
  26. Jack Kerouac On the Road (1957)
  27. Homer The Odyssey (800 B.C.)
  28. Aldous Huxley Brave New World (1932)
  29. George Orwell Animal Farm (1954)
  30. Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness (1899)

  31. Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises (1926)
  32. Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment (1866)
  33. Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  34. Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
  35. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince (1943)
  36. Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina (1877)
  37. William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury (1929)
  38. Louisa May Alcott Little Women (1869)
  39. Charles Dickens Great Expectations (1861)
  40. Alice Walker The Color Purple (1982)

  41. Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
  42. Homer The Iliad (800 B.C.)
  43. Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse (1927)
  44. William Grahame The Wind in the Willows (1908)
  45. Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  46. Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
  47. Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary (1857)
  48. George Eliot Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life (1872)
  49. Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  50. Ralph Ellison Invisible Man (1952)

  51. Jack London The Call of the Wild (1903)
  52. A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)
  53. Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov (1880)
  54. L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  55. Mary Shelley Frankenstein (1818)
  56. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart (1958)
  57. Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
  58. James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  59. Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children (1981)
  60. John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men (1937)

  61. Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)
  62. Richard Adams Watership Down (1972)
  63. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) (1304)
  64. Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange (1962)
  65. Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe (1719)
  66. Albert Camus The Stranger (1942)
  67. Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged (1957)
  68. Charles Dickens David Copperfield (1850)
  69. Frank Herbert Dune (1965)
  70. Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

  71. Lois Lowry The Giver (1994)
  72. Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)
  73. Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
  74. Daphne Du Maurier Rebecca (1938)
  75. William Faulkner As I Lay Dying (1930)
  76. Paulo Coelho O Alquimista (The Alchemist) (1987)
  77. Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence (1920)
  78. Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  79. Richard Wright Native Son (1940)
  80. S.E. Hinton The Outsiders (1967)

  81. E.M. Forster A Passage to India (1924)
  82. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1887)
  83. Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden (1987)
  84. Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)
  85. Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time (1913)
  86. Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island (1883)
  87. Victor Hugo Les Misérables (1862)
  88. John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
  89. Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway (1925)
  90. John Irving A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)

  91. Francois-Marie de Voltaire Candide (1759)
  92. Jane Austen Emma (1816)
  93. Ernest Hemingway A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  94. Alexandre Dumas The Three Musketeers (1844)
  95. Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar (1963)
  96. Markus Zusak The Book Thief (2005)
  97. Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
  98. William Makepeace Thackeray Vanity Fair (1848)
  99. Franz Kafka The Trial (1925)
  100. Stephen King The Stand (1978)

These titles were on the previous list, which was posted in June 2018 and used as the springboard for the Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the original list here.
  • James Baldwin Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
  • Thomas Hardy Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891)
  • Henry James Portrait of a Lady (1881)
  • Thomas Pynchon Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
  • Laurence Sterne The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1759)
  • Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited (1945)