Greatest Novelist

Who do you consider to be the gretest novelist of all time?

  • Total voters

M.S. Islam

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
There's no way one novelist be singled out as the greatest ever. But no harm in trying to gauge who members here consider to be the greatest.

There could have been a hundred choices, still that would not have been sufficient. So, I kept the poll short, choices not covered in the poll are to be posted.

The choices may seem 'euro-centric', but that's not because of any bias, but because of my limited access to novels from other languages. So please excuse my shortcoming, and please contribute so that we may learn of them.
Last edited:
Aug 2011
American living in HaNoi VN
For me Dostevsky is #1, but it seems I accidentally voted for Tolstoy. Oh well, that's not so bad. Both are incredible minds. It's almost a toss up between the two. Recently I've enjoyed F. Scott Fitzgerald, but he lacks the depth of the Russian duo.


Ad Honorem
Apr 2008
Kafka is the only one of the bunch I would read without a gun to my head. And I don't think any of them are fit to write the price label on a Terry Pratchett book.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
For a relaxing read, none of them really grab me, although "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo kept me interested over several months at sea. Dickens is OK, Steinbecks "Grapes of Wrath" was passable, I gave up on "War and Peace" by Tolstoy. Hemingway is a ******.
I don't think greatness can be measured objectively.
Dec 2012
Sydney, Australia
Im a bit of a Dickens fan, but Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Kafka and Hemmingway were other authors on the list that I am a great fan of.
I'm pretty glad Philip Roth didn't make the list, I can't stand him.
Dec 2011
OMG! Why such a poll? I like all the novelists in the poll but how are they greater than let's say Honore de Balzac, Emile Zola, Thomas Mann, George Orwell and so on?


Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
i sorta feel bad that there are some many of those authors of which i have so far read nothing or at the least only one of their books. Hugo's Le Miserable has me gripped at the moment and his style of writing is majestic, gripping and moving all at the same time.

other great writers that also deserve mention are Dumas who's Count of Monte Cristo was a story for the ages and Varnes for his fast moving and unputdownable adventure novels, i absolutely loved Around the World in 80 days.