Casual readers, avid readers, historians, and even literary critics will all offer different opinions when it comes to the greatest novels ever written. Can it be a novel with captivating, beautiful figurative language? A novel with an immense social impact? One that features gritty realism? Or perhaps one that greatly affected the world? Below you will find a list of novels that are considered the greatest ever written.
Any reader that loves a story filled with juicy subjects, such as marriage plots, gambling, adultery, and Russian Feudalism will instantly rank Anna Karenina at the top of their list for the greatest novel ever written. Published in 1878, Anna Karenina was written by Leo Tolstoy, a Russian novelist. The 8 part work of fiction tells the tale of two characters, a disenchanted housewife named Anna who decides to run off with her lover along with a lovestruck landowner by the name of Konstantin Levin who is struggling with philosophy and faith.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee is considered one of the greatest authors to have ever walked the earth. Published in 1960, Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, became an instant phenomenon of literature. The book dives into American South racism through the eyes of a young girl known as Jean Louise. The novel earned the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was transformed into a movie in 1962.
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is highly regarded as one of the greatest novels when it comes to reading literature critically. The novel is based on a young man that moves to New York City where he is befriended by a riche nouveau neighbour who has a mysterious background. The novel offers an inside look into the 1920’s Jazz Age in America while at the same time evaluating the idea of the American Dream.
100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the late Columbian author, published 100 Years of Solitude in 1967. The book tells the tale of the Buendia family while following the town of Macondo and its destruction as well as the family’s last descendants. The novel highlights the power and prevalence of folktale and myth in Latin American culture and relating history. Marquez’s novel won several awards where he was eventually honoured the Nobel Prize for Literature during 1982.
A Passage to India
A Passage to India was written by E.M Forster after he took multiple trips to the country during his lifetime. The novel was originally published during 1924 and is based around a Muslim Indian doctor and his relationship with a renowned English professor, as well as an English schoolteacher. Tension between the British colonial community and the Indian community start to rise when Adela, the English schoolteacher believes that Aziz, the Muslim Indian doctor, has assaulted her during their trip to caves in Marabar. The possibility of connection and friendship between Indian and English people, despite their imperial tensions and cultural differences, is deeply explored in the novel.