George Eliot

Isaac Bashevis Singer


In Novels and Novelists, A Guide to the World of Fiction (1980)  Seymour-Smith and the other contributors selected about 55 works of fiction as receiving full marks on the four criteria used for evaluation: Readability, Characterization, Plot, and Literary Merit.  These represent, for the contributors, the finest works of fiction that have been written. (See also "Seymour-Smith's Recommended Works of Fiction" for those works rated 16-19 using these criteria.)


Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales (Complete) 1835-1872
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice. 1813
Jane Austen Emma. 1816
Honore de Balzac Cousin Bette. 1846
Saul Bellow Humboldt's Gift. 1975
Giovanni Boccaccio The Decameron. 1360
Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights. 1847
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote. 1605-1615
Anton Chekhov The Tales. (Complete)
Benjamin Constant Adolphe. 1816
Daniel Defoe Moll Flanders. 1722
Fyodor Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment. 1866
Fyodor Dostoevsky The Idiot. 1868
Fyodor Dostoevsky The Brothers Karamazov. 1879-1880
Theodore Dreiser An American Tragedy. 1925
George Eliot The Mill on the Floss. 1860
George Eliot Middlemarch. 1871-72
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury. 1929
William Faulkner Absalom, Absalom. 1936
Henry Fielding Amelia. 1751
Gustave Flaubert The Sentimental Education. 1869
E.M. Forster A Passage to India. 1924
Gabriel Garcia-Marquez One Hundred Years of Solitude. 1968
Nicolai Gogol Dead Souls. 1842
Ivan Goncharov Oblomov. 1859
Knut Hamsun Mysteries. 1892
Thomas Hardy The Mayor of Casterbridge. 1886
Thomas Hardy Jude the Obscure. 1895
L.P. Hartley The Go-Between. 1953
Nathaniel Hawthorne The Blithedale Romance. 1852
Henry James Portrait of a Lady. 1881
Franz Kafka The Castle. 1926
Franz Kafka Metamorphosis (Stories)
Mikhail Lermontov A Hero of Our Time
Malcolm Lowry Under the Volcano. 1947
Allesandro Manzoni The Betrothed. 1842
W. Somerset Maugham Complete Short Stories. 1951
Robert Musil  Young Torless. 1906
Cesare Pavese The Political Prisoner (Stories) 1955
Cesare Pavese The Moon and the Bonfires. 1950
Marcel Proust Remembrance of Things Past. 1913-27
Jose Maria de Eca de Queiros The Maias. 1888
Henry Handel Richardson The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney. 1917-29
Alan Silitoe The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. 1959
Isaac Beshevis Singer Gimpel the Fool (Stories) 
Isaac Beshevis Singer Short Friday (Stories)
Isaac Beshevis Singer The Seance (Stories)
Christina Stead The Man Who Loved Children. 1920
Italo Svevo Confessions of Zeno. 1923
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace. 1865-69
Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina. 1875-77
Ivan Turgenev Fathers and Sons. 1862
Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn. 1886
Nathanael West The Complete Works. 1957
Yevgeny Zamyatin We. 1920