What are the best 20th century novels?

asked by Anonymous
29 contributors
29 solutions
  1. 0

    #1The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by John Steinbeck. It tells the story of the Joad family as they travel west to California in search of greener pastures during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.


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    Madison White
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This audiobook may be well done but it is mislabeled. It is an audio drama based on the novel."
  2. 0

    #2The Notebook

    The Notebook

    The Notebook is a romance novel written by Nicholas Sparks published in 1996 which is about the love story of mill worker Noah Calhoun and rich girl Allie. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 2004. 


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    Catalina Vidal
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "The Notebook is one of the best books written in the 20th century. The story is about a love so powerful that time and space ceased to matter. The book is unforgettable and every time I'm reminded of it, I think about how truly lucky I am to have found a similar love in life."
  3. 0

    #3Love Among the Chickens

    Love Among the Chickens

    Love Among the Chickens (Penguin Modern Classics) is a classic fictional book written by P.G. Wodehouse. Love Among the Chickens (Penguin Modern Classics) was published by Penguin.


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    Marco Antonio Bernal
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I am basically indifferent to this book. Life on a English chicken farm and the romantic misadventures of the main character are not a particularly interesting topics. Listening to the sample of the audio book, the narrators voice and English accent is annoying so I would never get the audio version. However it did get 4 out 5 stars from 111 reviewers so my first impression my be off."
  1. 0

    #4The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto

    The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto
    The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto is a steamy romance novel for young adults written by iconic Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. It was originally published in 1998 in Spanish as Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto.

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    Jacqueline Stephens
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a great book. However, it's a sequel to another book, so if you haven't read that yet, I'd suggest you read that first. It's also a little wordy and hard to read because of the writing style."
  2. 0

    #5Round Ireland with a Fridge

    Round Ireland with a Fridge

    Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks is a comedic and travel literature novel originally published in 1998. This book tells the story of Hawks attempt to win a bet of hitchhiking around Ireland with a fridge.


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    Larry Gutierrez
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "This is not a novel I would read. Rather, I would find it boring."
  3. 0

    #6To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.

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    Joshua Lopez
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "A classic, through and through. A read this back in high school but don't recall it all that well. I decided to re-read it after watching a documentary on Lee and some of the intrigue behind the writing of the book. I know have a full appreciation of it. Her writing is effortless and enthralling. This is one of the American classics for good reason."
  4. 0


    Considered one of the greatest 20th-century novels written in English, James Joyce's Ulysses pulls from Greek Mythology to create a modern version staring Ulysses as he journeys through 20th century Ireland. 

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    Frank George
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "My niece is reading all sorts of things for the degree she's pursuing, and she has a pretty big, personal library. This work was among those she was carrying around yesterday. I started reading it. "
  5. 0


    Slaughterhouse-Five is a science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut that tells the story of the time-traveling American soldier Billy Pilgrim, who became devoutly anti-war after witnessing the bombing of Dresden.

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    Bobby Hudson
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "The book seems it might have been written by someone on drugs and at times confusing. It seems to ramble on and goes nowhere."
  6. 0

    #9The Glass Bead Game

    The Glass Bead Game

    The Glass Bead Game: Magister Ludi is a dramatic modern novel written by award-winning author Hermann Hesse. It won the 1946 Nobel Prize for Literature. It is set in the 23rd century and is about a utopic society.


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    Deborah Hughes
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "With this novel you will really get that 20th century feel and feel like you are reading an impressive piece of art. Hesse won the nobel prize for this for a reason, and everyone should get a hold of it! you just can't miss out on this iconic book."
  7. 0

    #10The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.


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    Chirag Pawar
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This is possibly my favorite book of all time and a must read. It is a classic in any time period but certainly in the 20th century. Tackles the issues of modern life."
  8. 0



    Nausea is a dramatic existentialist modern novel written by the philosopher, critic, and novelist icon, Jean-Paul Sartre. It was originally released in 1938 and won the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature.


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    Christian Thomas
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "This book is quite worthy of its name, in a positive way. It really made me feel that same sick feeling the main character was experiencing and that's no small feat. "
  9. 0

    #12Anne of Green Gables

    Anne of Green Gables

    Anne of Green Gables (Modern Library Classics) is a novel written by L.M. Montgomery. The book Anne of Green Gables was published on June 10, 2008 by Modern Library.


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    Brittany Crawford
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Anne of Green Gables is a classic book that everyone has read at some point in their life. You get to live like a little girl on a farm and her adventures. This is a book that puts you in a relaxed mood and when you finished you feel like you have read something wonderful that will stay with you forever."
  10. 0

    #13Animal Farm

    Animal Farm
    Animal Farm is a short novel by George Orwell that tells the story of a farm that's taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. They set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality, but a revolution starts to show. 

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    Danielle Wood
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "Animal Farm is a classic novel. I've read it at least three times. The overthrow done by the animals is just written really well. "
  11. 0

    #14Blood Meridian

    Blood Meridian
    Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy is a great book that tells about Texas-Mexico borderlands. The novel is set in the 1850s American West, and it is focuses on an adolescent known "The Kid".


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    Juan Hudson
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "A good fiction book with a well written story. The setting is interesting in the 1800s and the characters are interesting."
  12. 0



    Pedigree is a French mystery war fiction novel written by Georges Simenon. This classic book follows the story of Andre Gide after World War I. It is first published in 1948 and NYRB Classic reprinted it in 2010.


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    Megan Mendoza
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "An excellent example of a 20th century novel by Georges Simenon. It is a fictional account of the turn of the century to the end of World War I. The author himself admits the stories in the book are based on factual events, but have been embellished to make a good read. It's a classic 20th century book about the coming of age in the early 20th century and the life and times back then."
  13. 0

    #16The Man Without Qualities

    The Man Without Qualities

    The Man Without Qualities is a philosophical written by literary icon Robert Musil. It was published in English in October 1997 with the translation of Sophie Wilkins and Burton Pike.


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    Maria Mitchell
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "I am not sure if I call this among the best 20th century novels. It is well written and interesting. It is definitely a book worth reading, but I do not consider it the best."
  14. 0

    #17Journey to the End of the Night

    Journey to the End of the Night

    Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline is a fiction novel originally published in 1932. This book entails the idiocy and hypocrisy of society through the author's point of view.


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    Jessica Day
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Not for the faint of heart. Excellent read!"
  15. 0


    Steppenwolf is a novel by Hermann Hesse originally published in Germany in 1927. It is a mix of autobiography and psychoanalysis, as well as a critical view of the intellectual hypocrisy of the period.

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    Gloria Edwards
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "A true classic and one that I have read a few times and like to make my son read."
  16. 0

    #19The Centaur

    The Centaur
    The Centaur is a retelling of an ancient Greek mythology legend Chiron, the wisest centaur. This book, written by John Updike, is the winner of the National Book Award and the Prix Du Meilleur Livre Étranger.

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    Daniel Gonzales
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "I would recommend this bok as it is writtwen by a msoit famout=s auithor John Updike . It has a 4 of 5 star review and centers around a father son which should make for siome interesting fiction even if the title has nothi ng to do with the story in general Give it a go,. "
  17. 0

    #20Angst (German Edition)

    Angst (German Edition)

    Angst (German Edition) is a classic fiction in German, European literature written by Stefan Zweig. First published in 1910, this book is published in 1998 by Philipp Reclam, Jun Verlag GmbH.


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    Víctor Balderas
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Angst (German Edition) is amazing literature. The readings are intense as they show off the time period. Everyone who enjoys history will also enjoy this collection of short stories. "
  18. 0

    #21The Broom of the System

    The Broom of the System

    The Broom of the System is a fictional novel written by David Foster Wallace and illustrated by Duke Wallace. This ficitonal novel was published on by Penguin Books.


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    Marilyn Cook
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is a great deep-thought book which also happens to be fun. You wonder where it all is going until the very last sentence of the book, which is a great surprise and will spin you in to perhaps reading it again!"
  19. 0

    #22A Month of Sundays

    A Month of Sundays

    A Month of Sundays is a classic fiction written by John Updike which tells the story of Reverend Tom Marshfield. First published in 1974, this book is published in 1996 by Random House Trade Paperbacks.


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    Brittany Wade
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Surprisingly funny read for a rather serious novel. There are some things in life you never really think about, and A Month of Sundays makes them seem rather interesting and enjoyable. "
  20. 0



    Dreamtigers is a collection of magical realism short stories written by Jorge Luis Borges and translated by Harold Morland and Mildred Boyer. First published in 1960, this book is published in 1985 by University of Texas Press.


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    Enrique Baltazar
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "One of the best 20th century novels is Dreamtigers because it explores the mysterious territory that lies between the dreams of the creative artist and the "real" world. "
  21. 0

    #24Museums & Women And Other Stories

    Museums & Women And Other Stories

    Museums & Women And Other Stories is a collection of short stories written by John Updike exploring the themes of contemporary life, marriage, etc. With over 200 pages, this book is published in 1972 by Knopf.


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    Mark Jacobs
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This type book which i am not familiar with the author but it has a very interesting title gets me curious, it was written by a man about women in general, but in a general aspect. i think i would go for it, but one more thing it says that it cannot be shipped to my location. That's not good at all. but i like it "
  22. 0

    #25On the Black Hill

    On the Black Hill

    On the Black Hill is a fictional novel written by Bruce Chatwin and illustrated by Daniel Albrigo. This fictional novel was published on January 25, 2011 by Penguin Books. 


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    Arthur Davidson
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Bruce Chatwin is a wonderful writer. He draws you in to follow the lives of Lewis and Benjamin Jones. Rich and wondefully told"
  23. 0

    #26Elmer Gantry

    Elmer Gantry

    Elmer Gantry is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. Elmer Gantry was published on October 1, 1998 by Phébus. Elmer Gantry follows an evangelist named Elmer Gantry.


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    Gerald Hudson
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "One of the lesser known novels from the great playwright Sinclair Lewis. I'd never heard it before and was recommended to me by a colleague. Same great prose as his more popular works and tells the story of an evangelist."
  24. 0

    #27Invisible Collection and Buchmendel

    Invisible Collection and Buchmendel

    Invisible Collection and Buchmendel is a classic fiction in German literature written by Stefan Zweig. This book is a collection of two short stories. First published in 1929, this book is published in 2000 by Pushkin Press.


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    Lauren Turner
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Good period read for a high school class. Well thought out and good reference to the European life."
  25. 0

    #28Silver Miracles (Loveswept series)

    Silver Miracles (Loveswept series)

    Silver Miracles is a fictional category romance novel written by Fayrene Preston. This fictional category romance novel was published on May 1983 by Random House Publishing Group.


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    Rose Ryan
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "A touching romantic story of a single mother who won the lustful attention of a wealthy man, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am not absolutely positive that it would merit a high ranking in the best 20th century novels but definitely a good read."
  26. 0

    #29Gravity's Rainbow

    Gravity's Rainbow

    Gravity's Rainbow is a novel by Thomas Pynchon featuring a postmodern look at the impact of technology on society, particularly aviation and its role in war. It won the 1973 National Book award.


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    Jennifer Soto
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Love this book. If you love tech and military planes, you will most likely enjoy this book. I enjoyed learning about how tech affects the world we live in and how it can be used towards war. Good find and good read. "


Best What are the best 20th century novels
1The Grapes of WrathBooks 0 Paid
2The NotebookBooks 0 Paid
3Love Among the ChickensBooks 0 Paid
4The Notebooks of Don RigobertoBooks 0 Paid
5Round Ireland with a FridgeBooks 0 Paid
6To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 0 Paid
7UlyssesBooks 0 Paid
8Slaughterhouse-FiveBooks 0 Paid
9The Glass Bead GameBooks 0 Paid
10The Catcher in the RyeBooks 0 Paid

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