What are the best classic fiction books for adults?

asked by Anonymous
584 contributors
35 solutions
  1. 78

    #1The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)

    The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)
    The Dispossessed, the 5th book in Ursula Le Guin's Hainish Cycle is about Shevek, a physicist out to reunite the people of Uras and the utopian anarchist people of Anarres, who have long been divided because of ideology.
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    Susan Fisher
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "The Dispossessed is an excellent literary work on how one person sets about to make significant change on, not only his planet, but for his sister planet as well. I read this not knowing what to expect, but found myself drawn into Shevek and his ideologies. I kept reading this, intrigued at what would happen next. There were some slow points to the book, but in the end, I was not let down."
  2. 65

    #2Lucifer's Hammer

    Lucifer's Hammer

    Lucifer's Hammer is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after pieces of the Hammer-Brown comet struck Earth. The story follows the survivors of the impact, dubbed "Hammerfall," as they try to rebuild civilization.

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    Scott McDonald
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "seems to fit well, not sure i would call it classic yet"
  3. 63

    #3Tau Zero

    Tau Zero

    Tau Zero is a standalone science fiction novel written by Poul Anderson which centers on the ten-year interstellar voyage aboard the spaceship Leonora Christine. 

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    Joan Arnold
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "An older sci-fi novel where the date it was written is clear in nearly every aspect. The logic and technology, despite supposedly being advanced, are incorrect and hard to look past. I'm sure back in its day this book was fantastic because the storyline itself is very interesting and grabs your attention. However, I would consider it to be like watching an outdated film. It might be good but you end up constantly focusing on how different it is from things today. "
  1. 58

    #4The Gods Themselves

    The Gods Themselves
    Written in 1972, this novel by the science fiction master features some aliens who live in a parallel universe. By exchanging matter with Earth, they can obtain energy for their dying universe, something that has consequences in the Earth universe: the Sun is becoming a supernova, and its explosion is imminent. 



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    Jonathan Cole
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The Gods Themselves is a fiction book that i always recommend. It will make you feel like you are part of another planet and the characters are great."
  2. 35

    #5Rendezvous with Rama (Rama)

    Rendezvous with Rama (Rama)

    Rendezvous with Rama is the first book in the science fiction series Rama written by Arthur C. Clarke which centers on an alien starship that entered the Solar System. 

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    Ralph Harvey
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I like a good science fiction book. The author was able to explain the science-y stuff well and the storyline was very interesting. Good writing style."
  3. 33

    #6A Severed Head

    A Severed Head

    A Severed Head is a classic fiction novel written by Iris Murdoch which centers son of a wine merchant Martin Lynch-Gibbon running their family business. It has been made into a film Claire Bloom, Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough, and Ian Holm.

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    Ai Gong
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "I actually wanted to read this after seeing the film that was very loosely based on it, and I have to say the differences between the film and the book are surprising. That almost always goes without saying, however, so I won't go on much about that. What I can say is that any adult can really appreciate this classic fiction story, whether they've seen the film or not, so I recommend it to anyone."
  4. 31

    #7Under the Net

    Under the Net

    Under the Net is a classic fiction novel written by Iris Murdoch which centers on artist Jake Donaghue after he meets philosopher Hugo Belfounder when he arrives back in London following hist trip to France. 

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    Jeffrey Warren
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This was not a good fit for me, I felt the story was a it plain and dull."
  5. 29

    #8A Word Child

    A Word Child

    A Word Child is a classic fiction novel written by Iris Murdoch which follows Hilary Burde who was saved by a tutor and was admitted to Oxford. However, the man he has betrayed has followed him. 

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    James Wright
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "I am not a fan of this book and would definitely not tell anyone else to waste their time reading it. It was one of the most boring and tedious reads I have ever done. The drama in the book feels so forced that it is simply unbelievable. The characters are not relatable. The story moves along at an incredibly slow pace. The actual conflict in the story is mundane. I would say pick a different book."
  6. 25

    #9Amok and Other Stories

    Amok and Other Stories

    Amok and Other Stories is a classic fiction in German literature written by Stefan Zweig. This book collection of short stories is translated by Anthea Bell. First published in 1922, this book is published in 2007 by Pushkin Press.

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    Bruce Chen
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This book catches one's attention, it's full of fiction. "
  7. 23

    #10Beware of Pity

    Beware of Pity

    Beware of Pity is a classic fiction in German literature written by Stefan Zweig and translated by Phyllis Blewitt and Trevor Blewitt. First published in 1939, this book is published in 2006 by NY Review Books Classics.

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    He Shen
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "The book Beware of Pity is an excellent example of how good a writer Stefan Zweig was. The characters in this book are well developed and have depth on a psychological level. I truly enjoyed this book."
  8. 21

    #11Burning Secret

    Burning Secret

    Burning Secret is a classic fiction in German literature written by Stefan Zweig. This book collection of short stories is translated by Anthea Bell. First published in 1913, this book is published in 2008 by Pushkin Press.

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    Alice Porter
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "A very good story of a boy in childhood going into adolescence. "
  9. 19

    #12Invisible 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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    Andrew Ellis
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "Just as Animal Farm did, Zweig pushes the idea of what can be done in ones' life to help in the pursuit of happiness. These short stories create some of the better classic fiction books for adults, all containing a lesson that any one reader can connect with."
  10. 16

    #13My Antonia

    My Antonia

    My Antonia is a historical classic fiction written by Willa Carther. This novel is the third book in Cather's Great Plains Trilogy. First published in 1918 by Virago Modern Classics, this book is republished in 2006 by Virago.

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    Sean Bradley
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "My Antonia is a perfect solution for best classic fiction books for adults, because My Antonia is a historical classic fiction written by Willa Carther."
  11. 15

    #14The Black Prince

    The Black Prince

    The Black Prince is a classic fiction novel written by Iris Murdoch which centers on unsuccessful novelist Bradley Pearson as he faces the struggles in his life at the age of 50. 

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    Will Gu
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "A friend highly recommended this book. It was a little different than what I had anticipated. Although I was pleased, as it was very well written. "
  12. 13

    #15The Good Apprentice

    The Good Apprentice

    The Good Apprentice is a classic fiction novel written by Iris Murdoch which centers on Edward Baltram now feeling guilty following his prank which has gone wrong, while his stepbrother Stuart quits his career to live like a monk. 

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    Eugene Jensen
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "The Good Apprentice is a pretty decent novel, but I wouldn't call it one of the best classic fictions books. The story is good enough, but the writing is a bit bland and I didn't find myself caring too much for any of the characters."
  13. 10

    #16The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which follows Michael Henchard's life after he sold his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. 

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    Rigoberto Villarreal
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "A story filled with desperation and hardship, the times for Mr. Hardy are dire and self indulgent. Caring only for himself and his despicable drinking habits, he sells off his family to the highest bidder so he can pursue a life of pettiness. The reader will initially find it hard to sympathize with the plight of the main character, but over the course, the greatest strength of the book is the author's method of engaging the reader to feel for his troubles and eventually, hope for a hint of redemption in them."
  14. 7

    #17The Well-Beloved

    The Well-Beloved

    The Well-Beloved is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which follows the life of sculptor Jocelyn Pierston falling in love with three generations of island women. 

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    Shirley Walker
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I really enjoyed The Well-Beloved, written by Thomas Hardy. It was a good read as you followed the various love interests of Jocelyn Pierston, who was a very well written character."
  15. 4

    #18The Woodlanders

    The Woodlanders

    The Woodlanders is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which centers on the rivalry for the hand of Grace Melbury among a woodlander, and a sophisticated outsider. 

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    Aaron Howard
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "Not a book that I would usually choose of myself but I was pleasantly surprised on how great the story was. "
  16. 3

    #19Two On A Tower

    Two On A Tower

    Two on a Tower is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which centers on Lady Constantine breaking the rules of social decorum as she falls in love with Swithin St Cleeve, who is ten years her junior. 

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    Marcos Rosas
    Written on April 14, 2018
    "The best part about this book is the name of the protagonist--"Swithin St. Cleeve." Thomas Hardy's writing is without reproach, and his characters are well imagined and realistic. The moral values he gives them are so out-of-date that the things they do just make me mad. I suppose the amount of anger generated was a good measure of my high engagement with the book."
  17. 1

    #20Under the Greenwood Tree

    Under the Greenwood Tree

    Under the Greenwood Tree is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which centers on the relationship between church musician Dick Dewey and the new school mistress Fancy Day set in a Victorian era. 

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    Sharon Williamson
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "A classic novel that employs many artful twists which contribute to its classic status as it has influenced many modern artists. On the other hand, some could say the twists become predictable through their very frequency."
  18. 0

    #21The Haunted Hotel

    The Haunted Hotel

    The Haunted Hotel is a classic horror mystery fiction novel written by Wilkie Collins. This Victorian era gothic book is first published in 1879. 

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    Chen Yao
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This book is over one hundred years old but still frightens. It is based on the ghost of Lord Montberry who lives in the Palace Hotel in Venice, Italy. It is written by author Wilkie Collins and is considered a supernatural mystery with an abandoned castle turned into a high-end hotel but not all the guests are human. "
  19. 0

    #22Occam's Razor

    Occam's Razor

    Occam's Razor is a standalone classic fiction book written by Roger Newman which follows the life of ob-gyne physician Declan Murphy after she sees Helene Eastland, who is sexually abused. 

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    Kyle Lane
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This is a classic book that everyone should read at least once. If you haven't read it you really owe it to yourself to check it out. "
  20. 0

    #23Babbitt

    Babbitt

    Babbitt is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. Babbitt was published on May 29, 2008 by Bibliolife. Babbitt is set in the modern Midwestern city of Zenith.

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    Jason Cooper
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This is one of Sinclair Lewis's best books and he has written so many classic novels. He writes of a masterful tale set in the Midwest. You will be totally engrossed in the story."
  21. 0

    #24Our Mr. Wrenn

    Our Mr. Wrenn

    Our Mr. Wrenn is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. Our Mr. Wrenn was published by Book Jungle. Our Mr. Wrenn is about a thirty-four year-old man named Mr. Wrenn.

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    Wayne Chen
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "This book isn't very good. The story is slow, and the characters are forgettable."
  22. 0

    #25The Trail of the Hawk

    The Trail of the Hawk

    The Trail of the Hawk is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. The Trail of the Hawk was published on March 15, 2007 by Research Press. The Trail of the hawk revolves around Carl Ericson's life.

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    Jason Guzman
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "This book is aboot this man's life, and it is super interesting! "
  23. 0

    #26The Innocents: A Story For Lovers

    The Innocents: A Story For Lovers

    The Innocents: A Story For Lovers is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. The Innocents: A Story For Lovers was published on September 1, 2007 by Kessinger Publishing.

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    Roy Simmons
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Not a huge fan of romance novels, I just feel like this relies too much on cliches about love. If you like these types of books maybe you have a differing opinion but its just not for me."
  24. 0

    #27O Pioneers! / The Song of the Lark / Alexander's Bridge

    O Pioneers! / The Song of the Lark / Alexander's Bridge

    O Pioneers! / The Song of the Lark / Alexander's Bridge is a classic fiction book written by Willa Cather. This was published in 1992. This volume includes the six works of Willa Cather.

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    Dennis McCoy
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "The book looks interesting, if you are in to this type of writing. I think it would interesting and very, well written."
  25. 0

    #28Thunderball (James Bond)

    Thunderball (James Bond)

    Thunderball is a mystery espionage thriller fiction and the ninth book in James Bond series written by Ian Fleming. This classic adventure fiction novel is first published in 1961. 

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    Edward Keller
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I love to read classic fiction books for adults. My favorite right now is Thunderball (James Bond). It's a mystery espionage thriller fiction book. It's also the 9th book in the James Bond series by Ian Fleming. I love James Bond and love the movies. The books are even better. I love the adventure elements, the characters, and the story. Check it out!"
  26. 0

    #29The Baron In The Trees (I nostri antenati)

    The Baron In The Trees (I nostri antenati)
    The Baron in the Trees is the second book in the classic fiction series I nostri antenati written by Italo Calvino which centers on an Italian nobleman Cosimo who rebels by climbing into trees and will remain there for his entire life. 
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    Kelly Ford
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "I adore The Baron In The Trees (I nostri antenati). I think giving up on one's own species is made easy by interactions. I like the direction and message of The Baron In The Trees (I nostri antenati). I believe that The Baron In The Trees (I nostri antenati) is the best classic fiction book for adults."
  27. 0

    #30Free Air

    Free Air
    Free Air is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. Free Air was published on April 1, 1993 by Bison Books. Free Air features an introduction by Robert E. Fleming.
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    Lisa Russell
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "A great read if you are into historical books. "
  28. 0

    #31Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond)

    Diamonds Are Forever (James Bond)

    Diamonds Are Forever is a mystery espionage thriller fiction and the fourth book in James Bond series written by Ian Fleming. This classic adventure fiction novel is first published in 1956. 

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    Joy Wang
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "Oh my! I bought this book for my Mom because she loves anything Bond! It is proving to be a whirl wind of adventure and mystery as is the others! She is loving this book and I am so glad I bought it for her! If you love Bond, read this!"
  29. 0

    #32The Professor's House

    The Professor's House
    The Professor's House is a classic fiction novel written by Willa Cather with an introduction by A.S. Byatt. This was originally published in 1925. It tells the story of the life of Professor Godfrey St. Peter.

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    Heather Alexander
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "On the eve of his move to a new, more desirable residence, Professor Godfrey St Peter finds himself in the shabby study of his former home. Surrounded by the comforting, familiar sights of his past, he surveys his life and the people he has loved—his wife Lillian, his daughters, and Tom Outland, his most outstanding student and once, his son-in-law to be. Enigmatic and courageous—and a tragic victim of the Great War—Tom has remained a source of inspiration to the professor. But he has also left behind him a troubling legacy which has brought betrayal and fracture to the women he loves most."
  30. 0

    #33Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth

    Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth

    Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth is a collection of the classic fictional novels written by Sinclair Lewis. Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, Dodsworth was published by Library of America.

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    Debra Greene
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "This collection sent me back to a time in America when things were simpler, yet social constructs kept people stuck in their place just as they do today. The prose throughout is easy to understand yet skillfully written with authority."
  31. 0

    #34Nightjohn

    Nightjohn

    Nightjohn is a book written by Gary Paulsen that tells the story of a female slave named Sarny. She saw Nightjohn when it was tortured. He will escape but will come back to teach lessons. 

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    Austin Ford
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "Classic fiction is my favorite genre of books. Nightjohn hit the spot. This really focused on an area I love and I can relate to. This came across as light reading that hit on tough areas. I loved the way it flowed and thought it tied characters together very well."
  32. 0

    #35The Job

    The Job

    The Job is a classic fictional novel written by Sinclair Lewis. The Job was published May 1, 2004 by Kessinger Publishing. The Job depicts the middle-class American life in the 1920's.

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    Alicia Palacios
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "This book had an interesting premise, but I certainly wouldn't call it a classic. I like that it depicts old styles of life, but it wasn't that great. There are certainly better classic fiction books out there."

Summary

Best What are the best classic fiction books for adults
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle)Books 78 Paid
2Lucifer's HammerBooks 65 Paid
3Tau ZeroBooks 63 Paid
4The Gods Themselves Books 58 Paid
5Rendezvous with Rama (Rama)Books 35 Paid
6A Severed HeadBooks 33 Paid
7Under the NetBooks 31 Paid
8A Word ChildBooks 29 Paid
9Amok and Other StoriesBooks 25 Paid
10Beware of PityBooks 23 Paid
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