The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list | Books | The Guardian

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1. Don Quixote Miguel De CervantesThe story of the light knight and his servant Sancho Panza has entranced readers for hundreds of years. Harold Bloom on Don Quixote – the primary fashionable novel

2. Pilgrim’s Progress John BunyanThe one with the Slough of Despond and Vainness Honest. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Pilgrim’s Progress

See more: Top book of all time

3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe The primary English novel. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Robinson Crusoe

4. Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift An exquisite satire that also works for all ages, regardless of the savagery of Swift’s imaginative and prescient. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Gulliver’s Travels

5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding The adventures of a high-spirited orphan boy: an unbeatable plot and lots of intercourse ending in a blissful marriage. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Tom Jones 6. Clarissa Samuel RichardsonOne of the longest novels within the English language, however unputdownable. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Clarissa

7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne One of many first bestsellers, dismissed by Dr Johnson as too trendy for its personal good. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

8. Harmful Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos An epistolary novel and a handbook for seducers: foppish, French, and ferocious. Jason Cowley on the numerous incarnations of Harmful Liaisons

9. Emma Jane AustenNear inconceivable alternative between this and Pleasure and Prejudice. However Emma by no means fails to fascinate and annoy. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Emma

10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley Impressed by spending an excessive amount of time with Shelley and Byron. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Frankenstein

11. Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love PeacockA basic miniature: a superb satire on the Romantic novel. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Nightmare Abbey

12. The Black Sheep Honoré De Balzac Two rivals combat for the love of a femme fatale. Wrongly missed. Balzac drank 50 cups of espresso a day: Every day Rituals of Artistic Minds Jason Bourke on France’s custom of artwork imitating life Nick Lezard on a translated assortment of quick tales and Balzac’s affect on different literary greats

13. The Charterhouse of Parma StendhalPenetrating and compelling chronicle of life in an Italian courtroom in post-Napoleonic France. The Charterhouse of Parma – evaluation

14. The Depend of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas A revenge thriller additionally set in France after Bonaparte: a masterpiece of journey writing. Dumas’s 5 finest novels

15. Sybil Benjamin Disraeli Other than Churchill, no different British political determine reveals literary genius. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Sybil

16. David Copperfield Charles DickensThis extremely autobiographical novel is the one its creator appreciated finest. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: David Copperfield

17. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff have handed into the language. Not possible to disregard. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Wuthering Heights

18. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë Obsessive emotional grip and haunting narrative. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Jane Eyre

19. Vainness Honest William Makepeace Thackeray The bettering story of Becky Sharp. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Vainness Honest

20. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne A basic investigation of the American thoughts. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Scarlet Letter

21. Moby-Dick Herman Melville ‘Name me Ishmael’ is likely one of the most well-known opening sentences of any novel. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Moby-Dick

22. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert You could possibly summarise this as a narrative of adultery in provincial France, and miss the purpose completely. Julian Barnes rewrites the ending to Madame Bovary The Everest of translation, by Adam Thorpe 23. The Lady in White Wilkie Collins Gripping thriller novel of hid identification, abduction, fraud and psychological cruelty. The Lady in White’s 150 years of sensation

24. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll A narrative written for the nine-year-old daughter of an Oxford don that also baffles most children. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

25. Little Ladies Louisa M. Alcott Victorian bestseller a few New England household of ladies. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Little Ladies

26. The Manner We Stay Now Anthony Trollope An impressive assault on the corruption of late Victorian England. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Manner We Stay Now

27. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy The supreme novel of the married lady’s ardour for a youthful man. Rereading Anna Karenina, by James Meek

28. Daniel Deronda George Eliot A ardour and an unique grandeur that’s unusual and unsettling. A brand new novel from George Eliot – the Guardian’s first evaluation of Daniel Deronda, from 1876

29. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky Mystical tragedy by the creator of Crime and Punishment. Stuart Jeffries on the inaccurate titleIn Photos: Readers counsel the ten finest lengthy readsAuthor snapshot: Fyodor Dostoevky

30. The Portrait of a Girl Henry James The story of Isabel Archer reveals James at his witty and polished finest. Profound and flawed: Claire Messud on rereading The Portrait of a Girl Hermione Lee on the biography of a novel that modified literature

31. Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain Twain was a humorist, however this image of Mississippi life is profoundly ethical and nonetheless extremely influential. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels – Huckleberry Finn

32. The Unusual Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson A brilliantly suggestive, resonant examine of human duality by a pure storyteller. Ian Rankin on The Unusual Story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

33. Three Males in a Boat Jerome Okay. Jerome One of many funniest English books ever written. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels – Three Males in a Boat

34. The Image of Dorian Grey Oscar WildeA coded and epigrammatic melodrama impressed by his personal tortured homosexuality. Fiona MacCarthy on the inspiration behind The Image of Dorian Grey Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Image of Dorian Grey 35. The Diary of a No person George Grossmith This basic of Victorian suburbia will at all times be famend for the character of Mr Pooter. Purchase The Diary of a No person on the Guardian Bookshop

36. Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy Its savage bleakness makes it one of many first twentieth-century novels. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Jude the Obscure

37. The Riddle of the Sands Erskine ChildersA prewar invasion-scare spy thriller by a author later shot for his half within the Irish republican rising. Classics Nook – The Riddle of the Sands

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38. The Name of the Wild Jack LondonThe story of a canine who joins a pack of wolves after his grasp’s loss of life. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Name of the Wild

39. Nostromo Joseph Conrad Conrad’s masterpiece: a story of cash, love and revolutionary politics. Chinua Achebe and Caryl Phillips focus on the case towards Conrad

40. The Wind within the Willows Kenneth Grahame This kids’s basic was impressed by bedtime tales for Grahame’s son. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Wind within the Willows

41. In Search of Misplaced Time Marcel Proust An unforgettable portrait of Paris within the belle époque. Most likely the longest novel on this checklist. Melvyn Bragg rereads In Search of Misplaced Time

42. The Rainbow D. H. Lawrence Novels seized by the police, like this one, have a particular afterlife. Rachel Cusk rereads The Rainbow Adam Thorpe on The Rainbow

43. The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford This account of the adulterous lives of two Edwardian {couples} is a basic of unreliable narration. Jane Smiley on The Good Soldier, stylistic perfection Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Good Soldier

44. The Thirty-9 Steps John Buchan A basic journey story for boys, jammed with motion, violence and suspense. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Thirty-9 Steps

45. Ulysses James Joyce Additionally pursued by the British police, it is a novel extra mentioned than learn. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Ulysses

46. Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf Secures Woolf’s place as one of many nice twentieth-century English novelists. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Mrs Dalloway

47. A Passage to India EM ForsterForster’s nice love music to India. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: A Passage to India Damon Galgut on the unrequited love on the coronary heart of A Passage to India

48. The Nice Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald The quintessential Jazz Age novel. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Nice Gatsby What makes Gatsby nice? by Sarah Churchwell

49. The Trial Franz Kafka The enigmatic story of Joseph Okay. John Banville on the story behind Kafka’s nice novel of judgment and retribution

50. Males With out Ladies Ernest Hemingway He’s remembered for his novels, nevertheless it was the quick tales that first attracted discover. Chis Energy salutes a number of the biggest quick tales ever written

51. Journey to the Finish of the Night time Louis-Ferdinand Celine The experiences of an unattractive slum physician throughout the Nice Conflict: a masterpiece of linguistic innovation. Tibor Fischer on Celine’s journey to the chopping fringe of literature Celine: nice creator and absolute bastard

52. As I Lay Dying William Faulkner A wierd black comedy by an American grasp. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: As I Lay Dying Alison Flood on the anniversary version of The Sound and the Fury in colored ink

53. Courageous New World Aldous Huxley Dystopian fantasy in regards to the world of the seventh century AF (after Ford). Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Courageous New World Learn the unique Guardian evaluation from 1932

54. Scoop Evelyn Waugh The supreme Fleet Avenue novel. Ann Pasternak Slater on the journalistic experiences that formed Waugh’s novel Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Scoop

55. USA John Dos Passos A unprecedented trilogy that makes use of a wide range of narrative units to precise the story of America. Charlotte Jones on New York in books Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Nineteen Nineteen (the second e-book within the trilogy)

56. The Massive Sleep Raymond Chandler Introducing Philip Marlowe: cool, sharp, good-looking – and bitterly alone. John Dugdale on Chandler’s crime-writing revolution Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: The Massive Sleep

57. The Pursuit Of Love Nancy Mitford An beautiful comedy of manners with numerous followers. Olivia Laing on Mitford’s genius depraved humour

58. The Plague Albert Camus A mysterious plague sweeps by means of the Algerian city of Oran. Marina Warner’s evaluation of The Plague Tony Judt on the person behind the novel Ed Vulliamy on The Plague, 55 Years later

59. Nineteen Eighty-4 George Orwell This story of 1 man’s battle towards totalitarianism has been appropriated the world over. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Nineteen Eighty-4 Sam Jordison discusses Will Self’s criticism of Nineteen Eighty-4 From the Archives: the unique evaluation from 1949

60. Malone Dies Samuel Beckett A part of a trilogy of astonishing monologues within the black comedian voice of the creator of Ready for Godot. Robert McCrum’s 100 finest novels: Murphy (the primary a part of the trilogy) Keith Ridgway rereads his favorite Beckett Peter Conrad and Philip Hensher evaluation the Collected Letters, vols 1 and a pair of

61. Catcher within the Rye J.D. Salinger Every week within the lifetime of Holden Caulfield. A cult novel that also mesmerises. Ten issues it is best to learn about The Catcher within the Rye Stephen Bates on the attainable sequel to The Catcher within the Rye David Barnett presents his tackle the controversy Anne Roiphen rereads Salinger’s novel

62. Sensible Blood Flannery O’Connor A disturbing novel of spiritual extremism set within the Deep South. The Studying Group takes on O’Connor’s debut Peter Wild takes a have a look at O’Connor’s cartoons Is Flannery O’Connor a Catholic author?

63. Charlotte’s Net EB White How Wilbur the pig was saved by the literary genius of a pleasant spider. John Updike on EB White Stephen Amidon stays enchanted with Charlotte’s Net 50 years after its publication Alison Flood on the spider that impressed Charlotte’s Net

64. The Lord Of The Rings J. R. R. TolkienEnough stated! Claire Armitstead remembers studying The Lord of the Rings in Lagos Visuals: The Lord of the Rings household tree and demographics chart Sarah Crown’s information to The Lord of the Rings

65. Fortunate Jim Kingsley Amis An astonishing debut: the painfully humorous English novel of the Fifties. Olivia Laing on not studying Amis on the bus John Mullan analyses Fortunate Jim for the Guardian E book Membership John Crace “digests” Fortunate Jim for the Guardian Podcast

66. Lord of the Flies William Golding Schoolboys turn into savages: a bleak imaginative and prescient of human nature. Writers’ desktops: William Golding’s former dwelling in photos Steven Morris on the composition historical past of Lord of the Flies

67. The Quiet American Graham Greene Prophetic novel set in Nineteen Fifties Vietnam. Zadie Smith on the genius of Graham Greene Terry Eagleton critiques the collected letters of Graham Greene

68 On the Highway Jack Kerouac The Beat Era bible. Learn extra about Kerouac and his coterie within the Beats week particular David Mills’ response to Beats Week

69. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov Humbert Humbert’s obsession with Lolita is a tour de pressure of fashion and narrative. From the archives: Lolita and its critics David Lodge on Nabokov’s sexual type Baddies in Books: Humbert Humbert

70. The Tin Drum Günter Grass Vastly influential, Rabelaisian novel of Hitler’s Germany. The Tin Drum summarised the twentieth century in three phrases Jonathan Steele on Grass’s affect on Germay’s conscience A life in writing: Günter Grass by Maya Jaggi

71. Issues Fall Aside Chinua Achebe Nigeria initially of colonialism. A basic of African literature. Learn the primary web page of Achebe’s nice novel right here Nadine Gordimer remembers Achebe Chinua Achebe in photos

72. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark A author who made her debut in The Observer – and her prose is like reduce glass. James Wooden on Muriel Spark Muriel Spark did not simply write novels. Adam Mars-Jones critiques Spark’s quick tales Martin Stannard writes in regards to the affect of Spark’s life on her fiction

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73. To Kill A Mockingbird Harper LeeScout, a six-year-old woman, narrates an enthralling story of racial prejudice within the Deep South. To Kill A Mockingbird has been out and in of school rooms for many years. Learn John Sutherland on Lee’s and different American classics

74. Catch-22 Joseph Heller’He could be loopy to fly extra missions and sane if he did not, but when he was sane he needed to fly them. If he flew them he was loopy and did not need to; if he did not need to he was sane and needed to.’ Stephen Bates on surprises in Heller’s Letters Chris Cox reads Catch-22 fifty years after its publication

75. Herzog Saul BellowAdultery and nervous breakdown in Chicago. Alex Clark critiques Bellow’s quick tales John Crace ‘digests’ Herzog James Wooden on Saul Bellow

76. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez A postmodern masterpiece. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 5 Should reads Gabriel García Márquez – a life in photos From the archive: the 1970 evaluation of One Hundred Years of Solitude One Hundred Years of Solitude tops world literature polls

77. Mrs Palfrey on the Claremont Elizabeth Taylor A haunting, understated examine of outdated age. Charlotte Mendelssohn celebrates the opposite Liz Taylor’s quick tales Learn Natasha Tripney’s evaluation of an early novel right here

78. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy John Le Carré An exhilarating elegy for post-imperial Britain. William Boyd on the A-Z of Tinker, TailorThe Studying Group discusses Tinker, Tailor and the spy novel style

79. Music of Solomon Toni Morrison The definitive novelist of the African-American expertise. Take the Toni Morrison quiz Morrison on America, by Rachel CookeRead interviews with Morrison right here and right here

80. The Bottle Manufacturing facility Outing Beryl Bainbridge Macabre comedy of provincial life. Laura Potter interviews Beryl Bainbridge at 74 Kate Kellaway on Bainbridge’s artwork past writing Alex Clark asks, which is Bainbridge’s finest novel? Beryl Bainbridge earns a Booker ultimately

81. The Executioner’s Music Norman Mailer This quasi-documentary account of the life and loss of life of Gary Gilmore is presumably his masterpiece. Useless Calm: Gordon Burn rereads The Executioner’s Music Alpha Mailer: McCrum meets MailerJay Parini weighs up Mailer’s journalistic and novelistic qualitites

82. If on a Winter’s Night time a Traveller Italo Calvino A wierd, compelling story in regards to the pleasures of studying. John Sutherland (and fairly just a few Guardian readers) simply cannot get to the top of the novel David Mitchell thinks again on Calvino’s novel about writing Chris Energy writes about Calvino’s quick fiction Ian Thomson critiques the brand new assortment of Calvino’s letters

83. A Bend within the River VS Naipaul The best residing author of English prose. That is his masterpiece: edgily paying homage to Coronary heart of Darkness. Robert McCrum’s World of Books column on Naipaul Naipaul because the summer time learn of 2008 The Shadow of Empire: DJ Taylor’s have a look at latest post-colonial novels

84. Ready for the Barbarians JM Coetzee Bleak however haunting allegory of apartheid by the Nobel prizewinner. James Meek writes about Coetzee’s alter-egos Rory Carroll on the South African novelist who’s unread at dwelling The Voice of Africa: Robert McCrum on Coetzee

85. Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson Haunting, poetic story, drowned in water and lightweight, about three generations of girls. Notes to Self: Robinson and others look again on their work Learn Emma Brockes’s interviews right here Marilynne Robinson talks to Robert McCrum John Mullan on Housekeeping

86. Lanark Alasdair Grey Seething imaginative and prescient of Glasgow. A Scottish basic. Janice Galloway rereads Lanark William Boyd on Lanark at 25 John Mullan considers Lanark’s cowl for the Guardian E book Membership An interview with the ‘Clydeside Michaelangelo’

87. The New York Trilogy Paul Auster Dazzling metaphysical thriller set within the Manhattan of the Nineteen Seventies. Hadley Freedman interviews Paul Auster about New York Alison Flood in dialog with Paul Auster Charlotte Jones on New York in literature

88. The BFG Roald Dahl A bestseller by the most well-liked postwar author for kids of all ages. Take heed to Roald Dahl learn from The BFG Examine Chae Strathie’s favorite nonsense phrases in kids’s books Learn Alison Flood’s piece on the deliberate movie adaptation of The BFG

89. The Periodic Desk Primo Levi A prose poem in regards to the delights of chemistry. From the Archive: Michael Joseph’s evaluation Ian Thomson considers Levi’s affect on our ethical historical past The Periodic Desk made its approach into the palms of a Guardian Science journalist……and to the highest of the Science e-book favourites checklist

90. Cash Martin Amis The novel that luggage Amis’s place on any checklist. Purchase Cash on the Guardian Bookshop

91. An Artist of the Floating World Kazuo Ishiguro A collaborator from prewar Japan reluctantly discloses his betrayal of family and friends. Purchase An Artist of the Floating World on the Guardian Bookshop

92. Oscar And Lucinda Peter Carey A fantastic modern love story set in nineteenth-century Australia by double Booker prizewinner. Learn Angela Carter’s evaluation of Oscar and Lucinda right here… …and discover out what Sam Jordison thinks the second time round right here In Photos: See Carey’s personal annotations on his novel Emma Brockes interviews the Booker winner

93. The E book of Laughter and Forgetting Milan Kundera Impressed by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, it is a magical fusion of historical past, autobiography and concepts. Purchase The E book of Laughter and Forgetting on the Guardian Bookshop

94. Haroun and the Sea of Tales Salman Rushdie On this entrancing story Rushdie performs with the thought of narrative itself. Purchase Haroun and the Sea of Tales on the Guardian Bookshop

95. LA Confidential James Ellroy Three LAPD detectives are introduced head to head with the secrets and techniques of their corrupt and violent careers. Hear Ellroy discuss in regards to the first novel in his LA quartet on the Guardian Books Podcast Learn a brief interview with Ellroy right here

96. Sensible Youngsters Angela Carter A theatrical extravaganza by a superb exponent of magic realism. Learn an extract from Susannah Clapp’s memoir of Carter Package Buchan’s piece on Sensible Youngsters for the Households in Literature collection

97. Atonement Ian McEwan Acclaimed short-story author achieves a up to date basic of mesmerising narrative conviction. Learn the primary chapter on-line John Mullan writes on the climate in Atonement for the Guardian E book Membership John Sutherland’s interview with the creator could be discovered right here Geoff Dyer is received over by Atonement, whereas Nick Lezard is much less certain

98. Northern Lights Philip Pullman Lyra’s quest weaves fantasy, horror and the play of concepts into a really nice modern kids’s e-book. Baddies in Books: Mrs Coulter may simply be the mom of all evil Northern Lights named the ‘Carnegie of Carnegies’ Learn Kate Kellaway’s interview with Philip Pullman

99. American Pastoral Philip Roth For years, Roth was well-known for Portnoy’s Criticism . Not too long ago, he has loved a rare revival. Tim Adams’s evaluation of American Pastoral From our My Hero collection: James Wooden on Philip Roth

100. Austerlitz W. G. Sebald Posthumously printed quantity in a sequence of dream-like fictions spun from reminiscence, pictures and the German previous. Learn the 2001 evaluation of Austerlitz right here The Final Phrase: Maya Jaggi interviews Sebald Robert McCrum on Sebald’s legacy

Who did we miss?

So, are you congratulating your self on having learn every part on our checklist or screwing the newspaper up right into a ball and aiming it on the nearest bin?

Are you questioning what occurred to all these American writers from Bret Easton Ellis to Jeffrey Eugenides, from Jonathan Franzen to Cormac McCarthy?

Have ladies been short-changed? Ought to we have now included Pat Barker, Elizabeth Bowen, A.S. Byatt, Penelope Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing and Iris Murdoch?

What’s occurred to novels in translation akin to Bulgakov’s The Grasp and Margarita, Hesse’s Siddhartha, Mishima’s The Sea of Fertility, Süskind’s Fragrance and Zola’s Germinal?

Writers akin to JG Ballard, Julian Barnes, Anthony Burgess, Bruce Chatwin, Robertson Davies, John Fowles, Nick Hornby, Russell Hoban, Somerset Maugham and VS Pritchett narrowly missed the ultimate hundred. Had been we mistaken to lose them?

Tell us what you suppose. Put up your personal ideas for the 100 finest books on the Observer weblog.

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