Top 30 Fiction Classics Ranked by Reviews

See an Overview of this Rating System and Algorithm Here

Top 10

#1 Anton Chekhov’s Complete Short Novels


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Aanton Chekhov, widely hailed as the supreme master of the short story, also wrote five works long enough to be called short novels–here brought together in one volume for the first time, in a masterly new translation by the award-winning translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. The Steppe–the most lyrical of the five–is an account of a nine-year-old boy’s frightening journey by wagon train across the steppe of southern Russia. The Duel sets two decadent figures–a fanatical rationalist and a man of literary sensibility–on a collision course that ends in a series of surprising reversals… 

#2 J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy


Rating: 4 out of 5.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power—the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring—the ring that rules them all—which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

#3 The Stories of Ray Bradbury


Rating: 4 out of 5.

An extensive collection of imaginative short stories by a National Medal of the Arts–winning author of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and suspense. Fly to Mars and explore the mysteries of the red planet. Journey through time to futures ruled by cold computers and hear the deafening roar of dinosaurs in the past. Sing the body electric and look into the mechanical eyes of androids that want to replace human life as we know it. Visit idyllic landscapes and nostalgic towns that hide sinister secrets. Available in one massive collection for the first time digitally, experience the wondrous mind of Ray Bradbury through one hundred of his all-time greatest tales…

#4 John Steinbeck’s East of Eden


Rating: 4 out of 5.

East of Eden was dubbed “the first book” by Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck in his journal, and it does have the primal power and simplicity of myth. This expansive and often cruel novel, set in the fertile farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, recounts the connected fates of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly repeat the fall of Adam and Eve and the toxic rivalry of Cain and Abel.

#5 Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov


Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky, and is generally considered the culmination of his life’s work. Dostoevsky spent nearly two years writing The Brothers Karamazov, which was published as a serial in The Russian Messenger and completed in November 1880. Dostoevsky intended it to be the first part in an epic story titled The Life of a Great Sinner, but he died less than four months after its publication. The book portrays a parricide in which each of the murdered man’s sons share a varying degree of complicity. On a deeper level, it is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, reason, free will and modern Russia.

#6 Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot: The Complete Short Stories


Rating: 4 out of 5.

At last, a single volume that gathers together all of the short stories featuring Agatha Christie’s most famous creation, Hercule Poirot. The dapper, mustache-twirling little Belgian with the egg-shaped head and curious mannerisms has solved some of the most puzzling crimes of the century—and, in his own humble opinion, is “probably the greatest detective in the world.” In this complete collection of more than 50 stories, ranging from short tales to novellas, Poirot faces violent murders, poisonings, kidnappings, and thefts—all solved with his characteristic panache. Only Agatha Christie could have devised cases worthy of Hercule Poirot’s skill and “little gray cells.”

#7 Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes 1-2 (Sherlock Holmes 3-4)

3.82 avg.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Inside, readers will find all the short stories from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, with a cornucopia of insights: beginners will benefit from Klinger’s insightful biographies of Holmes, Watson, and Conan Doyle; history lovers will revel in the wealth of Victorian literary and cultural details; Sherlockian fanatics will puzzle over tantalizing new theories; art lovers will thrill to the 450-plus illustrations, which make this the most lavishly illustrated edition of the Holmes tales ever produced. The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes illuminates the timeless genius of Arthur Conan Doyle for an entirely new generation of readers.

#8 L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are expecting a young orphan boy to help them with farmwork at Green Gables. But when a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead, immediately certain she’s home, they get much more than they bargained for. Spirited, adventurous and imaginative, Anne Shirley quickly charms her way into the hearts of the Cuthberts, the entire town of Avonlea and, over 100 years later, the hearts of generations of readers.

#9 The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov


Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the writer who shocked and delighted the world with his novels Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, and so many others, comes a magnificent collection of stories. Written between the 1920s and 1950s, these sixty-five tales–eleven of which have been translated into English for the first time–display all the shades of Nabokov’s imagination. They range from sprightly fables to bittersweet tales of loss, from claustrophobic exercises in horror to a connoisseur’s samplings of the table of human folly. Read as a whole, The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov offers and intoxicating draft of the master’s genius, his devious wit, and his ability to turn language into an instrument of ecstasy.

#10 Dorothy Sayers’ Complete Lord Peter Wimsey Stories


Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of the founding mothers of mystery, Dorothy L. Sayers first introduced the popular character Lord Peter Wimsey in 1923 with the publication of Whose Body? Over the next twenty years, more novels and short stories about the aristocratic amateur sleuth appeared, each one as cunningly written as the next. Now in a single volume, here are all of the Lord Peter Wimsey stories: a treasure for any mystery lover. From “The Fantastic Horror of the Cat in the Bag” to “The Image in the Mirror” and “Talboys,” this collection is Lord Peter at his best—and a true testament to the art of detective fiction.

Top 30

  1. Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo. (3.78)
  2. Christie, Agatha. And Then There Were None. (3.78)
  3. Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. (3.78)
  4. Macdonald, George. The Princess & Curdie & The Goblin. (3.76)
  5. Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia 1-7. (3.76)
  6. Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. (3.76)
  7. Goldman, William. The Princess Bride. (3.74)
  8. Herbert, Frank. Dune. (3.74)
  9. Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. (3.72)
  10. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. (3.72)
  11. Alighieri, Dante. The Portable Dante. (3.70)
  12. Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. Cancer Ward. (3.70)
  13. O’Connor, Flannery. Everything That Rises Must Converge: Stories. (3.70)
  14. Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. The First Circle. (3.68)
  15. Sabatini, Rafael. Captain Blood 12. (3.63 avg.)
  16. Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Idiot. (3.61)
  17. Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. (3.61)
  18. Hugo, Victor. Les Misérables. (3.61)
  19. Poe, Edgar Allan. Select Stories. (3.59)
  20. O’Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories. (3.59)