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

Bradbury graphic

The beloved time-tripping, space jumping....

Everyone loves Ray Bradbury. I can't think of another writer who is so universally adored across all genres and right across the spectrum of writers, critics and readers. Even on the rare occasion when one of Bradbury's books is panned, , it seems to be done reluctantly as though the reviewer were embarrassed to report.... Ray Bradbury

Pride and Prejudice, 1894 edition

An engagement that endures

Pride and Prejudice has one of the most skilful beginnings in literature. It opens of course with that famous "truth universally acknowledged" and its equally delicious corollary (see "First lines"). These could introduce almost any Jane Austen novel—delivered with the slightest hint of snarkiness to show Austen herself is in on.... Pride and Prejudice

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 girl—still 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

Jane Austen graphic

This lady writer's not for beating

Mark Twain famously defined the ideal library as one with no Jane Austen books. He seemed to enjoy ridiculing Austen's work, reading of which made him "feel like a barkeeper entering the Kingdom of Heaven". At least some of his outlandish detestation of Austen may have been an act, but I see his point. Really, how.... Jane Austen

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 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