255 Top Novels of All Time

At the beginning of this year, a series of eight literary groups and media publications came out with lists of the Top 100 Novels of All Time.

Included in the group were lists from: The Modern Library, Radcliffe’s, TIME, The Telegraph and The Guardian from the U.K. and The New York Times.

Examining the lists, I agreed with most of the titles on them. However, I was completely unfamiliar with or had no interest in other titles. I compiled my own list of Top Novels of All Time that I’d like to read.

I compiled my list by taking novel titles that appeared on 3 – 8 of the other lists. There are 103 titles on this “core” list. The rest of the list consists of titles that appeared on two of the lists and other one-off’s of familiar titles or written by authors I want to read.

In all there are 255 titles on the list. The titles in blue font are ones I’ve read, but some were read so long ago, I might re-visit them.

I have a mild case of dyslexia, which has always made me a slow reader. Recently, I learned speed reading techniques to pick up the pace, concentration and retention. I’m pleased to report that when used properly, it works well. The cool thing is I learned that the Kindle lends itself very well to speed-reading.

Once I finish the seven books on my nightstand (none on the Tops list) and the nine e-books on my Kindle, I’ll start working down this list of Top Novels of All Time. Look over the list – let me know if there are any essential novels I might have missed.

Top Novels of All Time

1

Lolita

by

Vladimir Nabokov

2

1984

by

George Orwell

3

The Sound and the Fury

by

William Faulkner

4

Invisible Man

by

Ralph Ellison

5

Slaughterhouse Five

by

Kurt Vonnegut

6

Catch-22

by

Joseph Heller

7

The Grapes of Wrath

by

John Steinbeck

8

Ulysses

by

James Joyce

9

On the Road

by

Jack Kerouac

10

The Catcher in the Rye

by

J. D. Salinger

11

The Great Gatsby

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

12

Lord of the Flies

by

William Golding

13

To the Lighthouse

by

Virginia Woolf

14

Beloved

by

Toni Morrison

15

Midnight’s Children

by

Salman Rushdie

16

Heart of Darkness

by

Joseph Conrad

17

Animal Farm

by

George Orwell

18

The Sun Also Rises

by

Ernest Hemingway

19

A Clockwork Orange

by

Anthony Burgess

20

As I Lay Dying

by

William Faulkner

21

Light in August

by

William Faulkner

22

Wide Sargasso Sea

by

Jean Rhys

23

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

by

James Joyce

24

Go Tell It on the Mountain

by

James Baldwin

25

The Lord of the Rings (3 books)

by

J.R.R. Tolkien

26

Tropic of Cancer

by

Henry Miller

27

To Kill a Mockingbird

by

Harper Lee

28

Brideshead Revisited

by

Evelyn Waugh

29

A Farewell to Arms

by

Ernest Hemingway

30

A Passage to India

by

E. M. Forster

31

Brave New World

by

Aldous Huxley

32

Absalom,  Absalom!

by

William Faulkner

33

Death Comes for the Archbishop

by

Willa Cather

34

The Moviegoer

by

Walker Percy

35

Of Human Bondage

by

W. Somerset Maugham

36

Mrs. Dalloway

by

Virginia Woolf

37

An American Tragedy

by

Theodore Dreiser

38

All The King’s Men

by

Robert Penn Warren

39

I, Claudius

by

Robert Graves

40

Native Son

by

Richard Wright

41

The Sheltering Sky

by

Paul Bowles

42

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

by

Muriel Spark

43

Gone with the Wind

by

Margaret Mitchell

44

Under the Volcano

by

Malcolm Lowry

45

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

by

Ken Kesey

46

The Call of the Wild

by

Jack London

47

Under the Net

by

Iris Murdoch

48

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by

Douglas Adams

49

Sons and Lovers

by

D. H. Lawrence

50

Things Fall Apart

by

Chinua Achebe

51

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

by

Carson McCullers

52

A Dance to the Music of Time

by

Anthony Powell

53

Sophie’s Choice

by

William Styron

54

Naked Lunch

by

William S. Burroughs

55

Pale Fire

by

Vladimir Nabokov

56

A Bend in the River

by

V. S. Naipaul

57

A House for Ms. Biswas

by

V. S. Naipaul

58

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

by

Thornton Wilder

59

Main Street

by

Sinclair Lewis

60

The Adventures of Augie March

by

Saul Bellow

61

Kim

by

Rudyard Kipling

62

Portnoy’s Complaint

by

Philip Roth

63

The Naked and the Dead

by

Norman Mailer

64

Don Quixote

by

Miguel de Cervantes

65

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by

Mark Twain

66

The Handmaid’s Tale

by

Margaret Atwood

67

Anna Karenina

by

Leo Tolstoy

68

Lord Jim

by

Joseph Conrad

69

Nostromo

by

Joseph Conrad

70

Appointment in Samarra

by

John O’ Hara

71

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

by

John Fowles

72

The Magus

by

John Fowles

73

Pride and Prejudice

by

Jane Austen

74

Finnegans Wake

by

James Joyce

75

Deliverance

by

James Dickey

76

Atonement

by

Ian McEwan

77

Moby Dick

by

Herman Melville

78

The Wings of the Dove

by

Henry James

79

Loving

by

Henry Green

80

Madame Bovary

by

Gustave Flaubert

81

The Heart of the Matter

by

Graham Greene

82

Middlemarch

by

George Eliot

83

One Hundred Years of Solitude

by

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

84

Crime and Punishment

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

85

The Trial

by

Franz Kafka

86

Tender Is the Night

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

87

A Handful of Dust

by

Evelyn Waugh

88

Scoop

by

Evelyn Waugh

89

The Old Man and the Sea

by

Ernest Hemingway

90

Wuthering Heights

by

Emily Bronte

91

The Death of the Heart

by

Elizabeth Bowen

92

The Age of Innocence

by

Edith Wharton

93

The House of Mirth

by

Edith Wharton

94

A Room With a View

by

E. M. Forster

95

Howards End

by

E. M. Forster

96

Ragtime

by

E. L. Doctorow

97

The Golden Notebook

by

Doris Lessing

98

The Maltese Falcon

by

Dashiell Hammett

99

Women in Love

by

D. H. Lawrence

100

Blood Meridian

by

Cormac McCarthy

101

Atlas Shrugged

by

Ayn Rand

102

The Fountainhead

by

Ayn Rand

103

The Stranger

by

Albert Camus

104

Ironweed

by

William Kennedy

105

My Antonia

by

Willa Cather

106

Angle of Repose

by

Wallace Stegner

107

Les Miserables

by

Victor Hugo

108

The Name of the Rose

by

Umberto Eco

109

Gravity’s Rainbow

by

Thomas Pynchon

110

Sister Carrie

by

Theodore Dreiser

111

The Stand

by

Stephen King

112

Winesburg, Ohio

by

Sherwood Anderson

113

Henderson the Rain King

by

Saul Bellow

114

The Way of All Flesh

by

Samuel Butler

115

The Satanic Verses

by

Salman Rushdie

116

Watership Down

by

Richard Adams

117

The Big Sleep

by

Raymond Chandler

118

Fahrenheit 451

by

Ray Bradbury

119

Ender’s Game

by

Orson Scott Card

120

Frankenstein

by

Mary Shelley

121

Remembrance of Things Past

by

Marcel Proust

122

War and Peace

by

Leo Tolstoy

123

Cat’s Cradle

by

Kurt Vonnegut

124

The Secret Agent

by

Joseph Conrad

125

Gulliver’s Travels

by

Jonathan Swift

126

Rabbit, Run

by

John Updike

127

Of Mice and Men

by

John Steinbeck

128

A Prayer for Owen Meany

by

John Irving

129

The World According to Garp

by

John Irving

130

U.S.A. (trilogy)

by

John Dos Passos

131

The Wapshot Chronicles

by

John Cheever

132

The Studs Lonigan Trilogy

by

James T. Farrell

133

The Postman Always Rings Twice

by

James M. Cain

134

From Here to Eternity

by

James Jones

135

Old Goriot

by

Honoré de Balzac

136

The War of the Worlds

by

HG Wells

137

The Ambassadors

by

Henry James

138

The Golden Bowl

by

Henry James

139

The Tin Drum

by

Gunter Grass

140

Love in the Time of Cholera

by

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

141

The Brothers Karamazov

by

Fyodor Dostoevsky

142

Dune

by

Frank Herbert

143

The Good Soldier

by

Ford Madox Ford

144

Tobacco Road

by

Erskine Caldwell

145

For Whom the Bell Tolls

by

Ernest Hemingway

146

White Noise

by

Don DeLillo

147

Rebecca

by

Daphne du Maurier

148

The Rainbow

by

D. H. Lawrence

149

Jane Eyre

by

Charlotte Bronte

150

David Copperfield

by

Charles Dickens

151

Great Expectations

by

Charles Dickens

152

The Three Musketeers

by

Alexandre Dumas

153

Point Counter Point

by

Aldous Huxley

154

Watchmen

by

Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

155

Thousand and One Nights

by

156

The Hobbit

by

J.R.R. Tolkien

157

The Alchemist

by

Paulo Coelho

158

Hamlet

by

William Shakespeare

159

The Iliad and The Odyssey

by

Homer

160

King Lear

by

William Shakespeare

161

Siddharta

by

Hermann Hesse

162

Othello

by

William Shakespeare

163

ANTHEM

by

Ayn Rand

164

We the Living

by

Ayn Rand

165

The Bell Jar

by

Sylvia Plath

166

The Haunting of Hill House

by

Shirley Jackson

167

East of Eden

by

John Steinbeck

168

Something Wicked This Way Comes

by

Ray Bradbury

169

Life: a User’s Manual

by

Georges Perec

170

IT

by

Stephen King

171

This Side of Paradise

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

172

Orlando

by

Virginia Woolf

173

The Jungle

by

Upton Sinclair

174

In Cold Blood

by

Truman Capote

175

The Road

by

Cormac McCarthy

176

SUTTREE

by

Cormac McCarthy

177

Fight Club

by

Chuck Palahniuk

178

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

by

Robert Louis Stevenson

179

Citizen of the Galaxy

by

Robert Heinlein

180

Double Star

by

Robert Heinlein

181

Starship Troopers

by

Robert Heinlein

182

Stranger in a Strange Land

by

Robert Heinlein

183

Robinson Crusoe

by

Daniel Defoe

184

The Da Vinci Code

by

Dan Brown

185

The Door into Summer

by

Robert Heinlein

186

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

by

Robert Heinlein

187

The Puppet Masters

by

Robert Heinlein

188

Battlefield Earth

by

L. Ron Hubbard

189

FEAR

by

L. Ron Hubbard

190

Mission Earth (10 books)

by

L. Ron Hubbard

191

Jazz

by

Toni Morrison

192

Bonfire of the Vanities

by

Tom Wolfe

193

The Hunt for Red October

by

Tom Clancy

194

Look Homeward, Angel

by

Thomas Wolfe

195

O Pioneers!

by

Willa Cather

196

Arrowsmith

by

Sinclair Lewis

197

Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable

by

Samuel Beckett

198

All Quiet on the Western Front

by

Erich Remarque

199

Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

by

Robert Pirsig

200

V.

by

Thomas Pynchon

201

Schindler’s List

by

Thomas Keneally

202

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

by

Leo Tolstoy

203

Tristram Shandy

by

Laurence Sterne

204

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

by

John le Carré

205

Oedipus the King

by

Sophocles

206

Leaves of Grass

by

Walt Whitman

207

The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967)

by

William Styron

208

The Moonstone

by

Wilkie Collins

209

The Boulevard of Broken Dreams

by

Kim Deitch

210

The Kite Runner

by

Khaled Hosseini

211

The Wind in the Willows

by

Kenneth Grahame

212

The Awakening

by

Kate Chopin

213

The Corrections

by

Jonathan Franzen

214

Austerlitz

by

WG Sebald

215

Herzog

by

Saul Bellow

216

Revolutionary Road

by

Richard Yates

217

Illusions

by

Richard Bach

218

The Picture of Dorian Gray

by

Oscar Wilde

219

Zorba the Greek

by

Nikos Kazantzakis

220

The Scarlet Letter

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

221

One Lonely Night

by

Mickey Spillane

222

Gilgamesh

by

Mesopotamia (c 1800 BC).

223

The Blind Assassin

by

Margaret Atwood

224

In Search of Lost Time

by

Marcel Proust

225

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

by

John le Carre

226

Falconer

by

John Cheever

227

Faust

by

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

228

SHANE

by

Jack Schaefer

229

The Bostonians

by

Henry James

230

Tom Jones

by

Henry Fielding

231

At the Mountain of Madness

by

H.P. Lovecraft

232

The Power and the Glory

by

Graham Greene

233

Canterbury Tales

by

Geoffrey Chaucer

234

A Good Man Is Hard to Find

by

Flannery O’Connor

235

The Beautiful and the Damned

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

236

In Our Time

by

Ernest Hemingway

237

Ethan Frome

by

Edith Wharton

238

Where Angels Fear to Tread

by

E. M. Forster

239

Underworld

by

Don DeLillo

240

Infinite Jest

by

David Foster Wallace

241

Red Harvest

by

Dashiell Hammett

242

The Divine Comedy

by

Dante Alighieri

243

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

by

D. H. Lawrence

244

A Tale of Two Cities

by

Charles de Lint

245

The Chronicles of Narnia

by

C.S. Lewis

246

The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe

by

C.S. Lewis

247

Dracula

by

Bram Stoker

248

Dr Zhivago

by

Boris Pasternak

249

The Poisonwood Bible

by

Barbara Kingsolver

250

The Time Traveler’s Wife

by

Audrey Niffenegger

251

Memoirs of a Geisha

by

Arthur Golden

252

The Hound of the Baskervilles

by

Arthur Conan Doyle

253

The Warden

by

Anthony Trollope

254

The Color Purple

by

Alice Walker

255

The Count of Monte Cristo

by

Alexandre Dumas


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3 thoughts on “255 Top Novels of All Time

  1. […] 255 Top Novels of All Time | Indie Ebooks 255 Top Novels of All Time At the beginning of this year, a series of eight literary groups and media publications came out with lists of the Top 100 Novels of All Time Included in the group were lists from: The Modern Library, […]

  2. Teegan Evans says:

    Do you have a profile on twitter? I cannot seem to locate 255 Top Novels of All Time | Indie Ebooks on there and I would love to connect with you there. I like your writing style, thanks Teegan Evans

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