List of novels considered the greatest of all time

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This is a list of novels considered "the greatest of all time", so claimed by at least one expert or one group of experts.[a]


Title Author Year № of expert(s)
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy 1877
Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel Truman Capote 1986
The Book of Leviathan Peter Blegvad 2001
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger 1951
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes 1605 and 1615
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad 1899
Ill Seen Ill Said Samuel Beckett 1981
In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust 19131927
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison 1952
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov 1955
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich 1984
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert 1856
Middlemarch George Eliot 187172
Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoevsky 1864
The Outward Room Millen Brand 1937
Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov 1962
Persuasion Jane Austen 1817/18
The Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan 1678
The Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis 1942
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Anonymous 14th century
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner 1929
Ulysses James Joyce 1922


  1. ^ These comprise: authors, members of the written media, newspapers, presidents of literature-related organizations and publishing houses


  1. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 37.
  2. ^ a b Jacob, Debbie (29 September 2012). "Was Anna Karenina the best book ever written?". Trinidad and Tobago Guardian. Retrieved 8 October 2018. If you've been reading our current SAS Book Club choice, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, you are certainly aware that famous authors such as Russian writers Fyodr Dostoevsky and Vladimir Nabokov named this sweeping, Russian classic as the best book ever written.
  3. ^ a b c Telegraph Reporters (28 September 2018). "The 100 greatest novels of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Grossman, Lev (15 January 2007). "10 Greatest Novels Ever Written". Time. Retrieved 15 October 2018. Each individual top 10 list is like its own steeplechase through the international canon. Look at Michael Chabon's. He heads it up with Jorge Luis Borges's Labyrinths. (Nice: an undersung masterpiece by a writer's writer.) He follows that up with by Pale Fire by Nabokov at #2. (Hm. Does he really think it's better than Lolita? Really?) [...] Douglas Coupland puts Capote's unfinished Answered Prayers at number one [...] (At times one reads in the knowledge that one is being messed with. There's an outside, screwball chance that David Foster Wallace really reveres C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters above all other books, but I feel comfortable asserting—having read Infinite Jesttwice [sic]—that Wallace does not feel that way about Stephen King's The Stand (at #2) or The Sum of All Fears, by Tom Clancy (#10).)
  5. ^ Zane 2010, p. 40.
  6. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 43.
  7. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 38.
  8. ^ "The Most Influential Novels and Books § The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time". Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  9. ^ Zane 2010, p. 35.
  10. ^ Gioia, Ted. "THE ONE HUNDRED GREATEST NOVELS OF ALL TIME". Great Books Guide. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  11. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 36.
  12. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 42.
  13. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 41.
  14. ^ Zane 2010, p. 39.
  15. ^ a b Zane 2010, p. 44.
  16. ^ Fournier, Jake (12 December 2008). "The 16 Greatest Books of All Time [1–4]". NYU Local. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  17. ^ Long, Camilla (26 January 2010). "Martin Amis: 'I'm in a funk'". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 10 October 2018. 'They've [women] produced the greatest writer in the English language ever, George Eliot, and arguably the third greatest, Jane Austen, and certainly the greatest novel, Middlemarch [...]'
  18. ^ McCrum, Robert (17 August 2015). "The 100 best novels written in English: the full list". Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  19. ^ Mantyk, Evan (1 January 2017). "10 Greatest Novels Ever Written". Society of Classical Poets. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  20. ^ "100 Best Novels". Random House. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

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