Features of note

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How the Greatest Literature of All Time list was created

How works were selected

The story of science fiction

What counts as SF?

Much of what you read in English was not written in English. Does it matter?

Finding the best translations

Much ado about Shakespeare

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Shakespeare's eyes
What was he really about?

William Shakespeare

Was it Shakespeare who wrote Shakespeare's plays?

The controversy

What he wrote—and what really happened

The histories

Not all other writers think Shakespeare's the best

What they've said

The plays are the thing:

Hamlet

Henry IV, Part 1

Julius Caesar

King Lear

Macbeth

Othello

The Merchant of
Venice

Romeo and Juliet

The Tempest

The Greatest Literature of All Time

See Editor Eric's famous list of the 1,000 greatest literary works in the world from 2100 BCE to today. Select entire list of "1,000 Greatest Works" above—for the greatest-ever novels, stories, plays and other literary works—or select by years.

Plus, check the lists of the 650 greatest novels of time, the 200 greatest short stories ever, and the 200 greatest science fiction works. On all lists, you can click links to the more than 500 commentaries on authors, books, translations and adaptations of great literature.

Latest Commentaries

Lolita US first edition

Falling for the charm of the predator

Lolita is the kind of book that grows thicker every time you read it. The first time you may race through to take in the plot of the adult male who loves and loses a pre-adolescent girlstill shocking more than half a century after its publication. Still shocking in how unshocking it seems, as you first read it in Humbert Humbert's calm..... Lolita

The Picture of Dorian Gray first edition

Taking the pith out of artistic ideals

Everyone knows the central conceit of The Picture of Dorian Gray: a beautiful young man remains unblemished by age, while his painted portrait, hidden from public sight, grows older and corrupted by moral degradation. It's become a common compliment to a friend's continued youthfulness to say "You must have.... The Picture of Dorian Gray

Tis Pity She's a Whore title page, 1633

Pity us all

Perhaps the most shocking thing about 'Tis Pity She's a Whore is that it still shocks. John Ford's plays were written in a period of increasingly scandalous theatre. After the days of Marlowe, Shakespeare and Jonson, English drama took a more shocking and grisly turn that critics have termed "sensationalist".... 'Tis Pity She's a Whore

Leonard Cohen graphic

A monk and a poet walk into a bar

For certain sensibilities, the music to play when seduction is on the menu is Leonard Cohen songs—any Leonard Cohen songs. They're seldom romantic in the style of the love songs in the Great American Songbook or modern pop traditions. But they have a quality of intimacy—at once melancholy and celebratory.... Leonard Cohen

See full list of Recent Commentaries >

Genres

The greatest SF works of all time

Editor Eric's list of the 200 greatest works of speculative and science fiction—the greatest SF stories and novels published on the planet.

Movies for people who love great books

Guide to over 200 films, film series and television productions—from the silly to the authentic—based on the greatest works of literature reviewed on these pages.

The Greatest Canadian Literature

The 150 best novels, drama and poetry from writers in the Great White North, plus commentaries on selected books and Canadian authors.

Toronto Reads

Eric's reviews of Toronto-related books, as published in the Town Crier and Streeter community newspapers.
Recent reviews:
Giant graphic Writing Gordon Lightfoot graphic The Hungry Ghosts graphic The Mousehouse Years graphic Take Us to Your Chief graphic The Girl in a Coma graphic No Time to Bury Them graphic
No Time to Bury Them
The Girl in a Coma
Take Us to Your Chief
The Mousehouse Years
The Hungry Ghosts
Writing Gordon Lightfoot
Giant