What are the best french novels?

asked by Anonymous
266 contributors
20 solutions
  1. 29

    #1Les Misérables

    Les Misérables
    Les Misérables is a French historical tale by Victor Hugo, which was published first in 1862. This novel follows the lives of several characters, especially that of Jean Valjean during the June Rebellion in Paris. 

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    Ajay Venkatesan
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "This is one of the greatest novels ever! Not only is this the best french novel it is a masterpiece in storytelling and character development. I highly recommend this book."
  2. 26

    #2The Lonesome Gods

    The Lonesome Gods

    After walking in the desert on his own for many days, Johannes Verne got rescued by some outlaws, who raised that kid who got abandoned by his own grandfather. Johannes managed to make it through many difficulties to be an educated man, but his past came to haunt him at the worst possible time. 


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    Jennifer Rivera
    Written on April 3, 2018
    "This book definitely had my eyes glued. The suspense of it all! Very sad story but these are the kind of books that keep my attention."
  3. 25

    #3Madame Bovary

    Madame Bovary
    This all-time literature classic tells the story of Emma Rouault, a young woman who marries Charles Bovary, a country doctor. Things don't go well for her, as she expected to live a life full of pleasures and luxuries, and not even giving birth to her own daughter made her excited about something. Everything changes when she meets Rodolphe, who will take her into a spiral of pain and suffering. 


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    Albert Silva
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "Madame Bovary is an all-time great French novel. It is a giant of the literature world, and is a must-read classic."
  1. 23

    #4Swann's Way

    Swann's Way

    Swann's Way is the first book in the À la recherche du temps perdu series by Marcel Proust. This book was originally published in 1913. This book is a classic European literature.


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    Benjamín Báez
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Swann's Way is definitely another older book, but a piece of a classic European literature. You should absolutely read this one if you wanna be a worldly scholar. I'm only in the middle, but its well worth it so far."
  2. 22

    #5The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a classic novel by the acclaimed French writer, Victor Hugo. It tells the story of Quasimodo, a disfigured hunchback who rings the church bells at Notre Dame, and the gypsy Esmeralda who changes his life.


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    Christopher Owens
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "Who doesnt know this story? It's a classic piece that has stood the test of time and even been adapted into several movies. That's how you know it's good. The book delves deeper into the story, where the movies and feature films do not. Nothing wrong with some backstory! "
  3. 21


    Candide is a satirical novel by Voltaire. It provides social criticism by telling the story of Candide, who delivers a blow against optimism in the face of life's hardships as he struggles to reunite with the love of his life.

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    Kathy Perry
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "This novel is certainly one of the classics, having been written by Voltaire in 1759, it has stood the test of time. I enjoyed the story of the main character, he has many travels and adventures, with many bad things happening along the way. I also like that the story covered a range of topics from adventure, settling down, and falling in love. If you haven't had a chance to read any of this artists works, you should do so, I think that you will really enjoy it, you'll wonder why you haven't read it before. "
  4. 20

    #7Journey to the Centre of the Earth

    Journey to the Centre of the Earth
    Journey to the Center of the Earth is a science fiction novel written by Jules Verne. First published in 1864, this novel centers on the travels of Professor Liedenbrock as he discovered a way to go down the Earth's core. 

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    Olivia Little
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "We had to pick a book by a French novelist to read for my French class, and I like sci-fi so I picked Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. It's not quite like the more modern sci-fi novels I read, but it is a classic, and for a reason! It was very fun to read despite being such an old novel. The characters were great."
  5. 19

    #8Journey 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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    Ryan Hopkins
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "As far as French novels that are available to the English consumer goes, this is one of the best. This story sets an example that should still be read in our modern times. What is war, what is peace, and how can we benefit from the former? It is an only natural question that every human asks themselves from time to time. Anyone concerned with hypocrisy about the former and current state of the world should take the time to pick this novel up."
  6. 16

    #9L'Ecume Des Jours

    L'Ecume Des Jours
    L'Écume des jours is a classic European romance literature which is written by Boris Vian. This young adult fiction book was originally published in 1947.


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  7. 14

    #10The Little Prince

    The Little Prince

    The Little Prince is written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about a prince who visited Earth from a tiny asteroid. It is known as a book for kids but it has been considered as an allegory of the author's wartime experiences. 


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    Jeffrey Garrett
    Written on April 23, 2018
    "This is a novel that I can easily skip over. I just do not find this novel all that interesting at all."
  8. 11



    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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    Barbara Peters
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I heard that Nausea was one of the best french novels. I wanted to really read that book, but after reading a few pages I just realize it wasn't for me."
  9. 9

    #12Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

    Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea
    Pierre Aronnax, the narrator of the story, is a French marine biologist who, along with some members from his crew, joins the expedition in charge of finding and destroying a sea monster. When they finally find the monster, they find out that it really is a huge submarine commanded by Nemo, who holds them hostages in order to keep his secret, and they all start visiting places from all over the planet.


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    Ryan Hopkins
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea is a great french novel. It's definitely a classic adventure and anyone who has read it has dreamed of being Nemo or one of Nemo's crew in these wildly fantastical adventures."
  10. 7

    #13Gargantua and Pantagruel

    Gargantua and Pantagruel
    Gargantua and Pantagruel is a classic cultural France fiction novel written by François Rabelais, translated by M.A. Screech. With over 1,000 pages, this book is published in 2006 by Penguin Classics.

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    Denise Martin
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Excellent translation of this over-the-top comedy from the past"
  11. 2

    #14The Count of Monte Cristo

    The Count of Monte Cristo
    The Count of Monte Cristo is written by French author Alexandre Dumas, which is about a man who wanted revenge against those who framed and jailed him for a crime he did not commit. 

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    Vincent Reid
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "YES YES YES! One of my absolute favorite books of all time and I 100% agree that when it comes to French Novels, there is no better book to recommend. Not to mention the fact the solution actually goes into detail to explain the story line. "
  12. 1

    #15Facing the Flag

    Facing the Flag
    This book written by Jules Verne is a patriotic novel, part of the 'Voyages Extraordinaires' series, in which the entire world is threatened by a weapon of mass destruction. France though, manages to overcome this situation by the force of its citizens patriotism. 

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    Matthew Gray
    Written on April 4, 2018
    "This book is written by a very popular writer, Jules Verne. Many people will enjoy this novel written by him, it has a captivating story and I often found myself losing track of time while reading it. I have recommended it and continue to, to friends and family who have never read this novel before."
  13. 0

    #16Collected Works of Alphonse Daudet

    Collected Works of Alphonse Daudet

    Collected Works of Alphonse Daudet is a collection of short stories written by Alphonse Daudet. This classic French literature is first published in 1986. 


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    Jacqueline Morgan
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "this book author is one of the french literature.book are many short stories are available. i like the memory of childhood relation."
  14. 0

    #17A Very Long Engagement

    A Very Long Engagement

    A Very Long Engagement is a standalone historical fiction novel written by Sébastien Japrisot which centers on Mathilde Donnay who is born paraplegic stars her quest to find out whether her fiancee has been killed in the line of duty.


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    Joshua Owens
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "A Very Long Engagement is one of my favorite french novels. Japrisot does an incredible job describing the scenes and injecting emotion into the text. The main character's quest is interesting and unique. You will feel compelled to keep reading, and, if you haven't read a lot of French writing, I recommend this novel as a great place to start. "
  15. 0

    #18Pierrot Mon Ami

    Pierrot Mon Ami

    Pierrot Mon Ami is a French literary fiction written by Raymond Queneau, translated by Barbara Wright, and an Afterword by Inez Hedges. First published in 1942, this book is published in 1989 by Dalkey Archive Press.


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    Hansika Rangarajan
    Written on April 13, 2018
    "This is my favorite book. Pierrot charms me more than any other character in literature, and his influence upon my growing life surpasses even that of Holden Caulfield. Pierrot is the inspiration for many of my own characters in my newly blossoming career in writing. This book is charming, but not without tragedy and regret. It will surely touch any reader who remembers his or her own days of disillusioned youth. Anyone who remembers their days of financial dependence upon their parents or their days of becoming themselves financial independent will relate to Pierrot's loneliness and at the same time find a role model and a fantasy in his lackadaisical yet uplifting life. In this book you will find a new appriciation of life. This is a book in which you will find a friend, a day-dream, and an inspiration."
  16. 0

    #19Someone I Loved

    Someone I Loved
    Someone I Loved is a French contemporary romance fiction novel written by Anna Gavalda. It is first published in 2002 by Europa Editions. 

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    Joe Miller
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "never read nor heard of this before now. i looked at the link and it does seem like its a good book"
  17. -1

    #20Artists' Wives

    Artists' Wives

    Artists' Wives by is a fiction novel written by French author, Alphonse Daudet. This book was dedicated for the artists' wives and what they have to go through for their husbands and family.


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    Eduardo Quiroz
    Written on April 16, 2018
    "Such a fascinating story. Made me really think a lot reading this book and what the people went through. Great read and recommend it."


Best What are the best french novels
1Les MisérablesBooks 29 Paid
2The Lonesome GodsBooks 26 Paid
3Madame BovaryBooks 25 Paid
4Swann's WayBooks 23 Paid
5The Hunchback of Notre DameBooks 22 Paid
6CandideBooks 21 Paid
7Journey to the Centre of the EarthBooks 20 Paid
8Journey to the End of the NightBooks 19 Paid
9L'Ecume Des JoursBooks 16 Paid
10The Little PrinceBooks 14 Paid

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