Features of note

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

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:


Henry IV, Part 1

Julius Caesar

King Lear



The Merchant of

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

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

Monkey's Paw original cover

Recovering from the past

The beginning of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story "Babylon Revisited" with an expatriate American visiting Paris, scene of his carousing in the 1920s and now deserted by the old gang, may put a later reader in mind of Hemingway's look back at that era in A Moveable Feast (1964). The American in the short story is obviously a.... Babylon Revisited

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The whole story of a modern writer

Philip Roth is a writer I'd been reading a long time, checking out a new novel every couple of years, catching up on older efforts, without ever thinking of him as being one of the "greats". Just Philip Roth, ruminating on what it's like to be a young-then-middle-age-then-older, male, middle-class, Jewish, sexually.... Philip Roth

Flatland original cover

Curious and less curiouser

Flatland is a curiosity. This novella, fable, allegory, satire or math lesson—whatever it's supposed to be—is often counted as a classic science fiction work. From a bare description of Flatland, I could see why. A hypothetical world of only two dimensions is described within which all things, including the inhabitants, are.... Flatland

See full list of Recent Commentaries >


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 community newspapers.
Recent reviews in Toronto Reads:
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The Girl in a Coma
Take Us to Your Chief
The Mousehouse Years
The Hungry Ghosts
Writing Gordon Lightfoot


Commentaries on Selected Authors

Commentaries on Selected Works

Movies for Great Book Lovers

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The Catcher in the Rye
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Romeo and Juliet
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Heart of Darkness
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Fahrenheit 451
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Get at Amazon: US Can UK