The greatest literature of all time

Check out Editor Eric's famous list of the 1,000 greatest literary works in the world—from 2100 BCE to 2010 CE—from Gilgamesh to Franzen. Plus more than 500 commentaries on authors, books, translations and film adaptations of the greatest literature.
The Greatest Lit pages Go right to the list


missing graphic Last visit to Brideshead
Why do we still read Brideshead Revisited? An account of aimless, upper-class, young men wasting their time at Oxford University in hedonistic pursuits. Until the story is swallowed by the larger theme of an intensely Catholic, intensely self-absorbed, aristocratic family. Presented nostalgically and somewhat ornately.... more

missing graphic Containing the crazy
John Irving writes big books. Yes, long novels—longer than most contemporary works you find on the bestseller lists. But big in so many other ways. Big characters, big themes of the day, big and sprawling stories. And, most gloriously, he's got that knack of creating worlds.... more

missing graphic The puzzle that is Palliser
The problem with Charles Palliser as a famous novelist is that in every book he tries something radically different. He's the ultimate experimental writer, which makes him a bold and always interesting writer for those who appreciate such experiments but also makes it hard for him to develop.... more

missing graphic Why don't more people love this novel?
For a few, Villette is Charlotte Brontë's big book—not just the longest of her four novels, but the most realistic, most interesting and most progressive. I fully understand this. There are times reading Villette I have to turn back to the title page to confirm that, yes, this really was written in the middle of the nineteenth century..... more

See full list of Recent Commentaries


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.
The Movie pages

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.
The SF 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.
The CanLit pages

Toronto Reads

Eric's reviews of Toronto-related books, as published in the Town Crier community newspapers.
Toronto Reads pages

Recent reviews in Toronto Reads:
missing graphicmissing graphic The Hungry Ghosts
Writing Gordon Lightfoot
The Green Man
Best Girl

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For Serial Readers:
Identify these literary series and win at least one of the books.

Current Contest

Test your literary knowledge by trying earlier quizzes

Previous Contest

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

Jeff Walker's Beatles bookLet's Put the Beatles Back Together Again:
How to Assemble and Appreciate the 2nd Half of the Beatles' Legacy

A new book by Jeff Walker, author of The Ayn Rand Cult

Buy at Amazon

Beatles 1970-2002

The Unknown Beatles
Has the myth of their breakup in 1970 kept you from appreciating their later recordings? See Editor Eric's re-imagining of the Beatles' story, inspired by Jeff Walker's work.
The Beatles 1970-2002

A skeptics introduction to skepticism Aliens? UFOs?

Messages from beyond? Miracle cures? Ghosts? Homeopathy? Clairvoyance? ESP? Critical thinking to sort out fact from fiction.
Editor Eric's guide to popular skepticism

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Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
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Related pages:

Commentaries on Selected Authors

Commentaries on Selected Works

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Romeo and Juliet
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The Odyssey
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On the Road
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Oliver Twist
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The Misanthrope and Other Plays
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My Ántonia
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