The greatest literature of all time

Check out Editor Eric's famous list of the 1,000 greatest literary works in the world—from 2000 BCE to 2000 CE—from Gilgamesh to Get Shorty. Plus more than 400 commentaries on authors, books, translations and film adaptations of the greatest literature.
The Greatest Lit pages Go right to the list


missing graphic Killing social evil with kindness
You could make a case that every Charles Dickens novel is atypical in some way, but Little Dorrit really is a special case. For one thing, it's been called his most political novel—the book that George Bernard Shaw said converted him to socialism and that other great figures considered an example of Christian writing.... more

missing graphic The writer to emulate—or to beat
Chances are, you think of Charles Dickens in one of two opposite ways. As the writer, the very icon of the great and popular author for the masses, against whose work all subsequent fiction is to be measured. Or as the epitome of an old-fashioned, wordy, sentimental style that had to be.... more

missing graphic The in-between romantic
Lord Jim is one of the Joseph Conrad novels that has me thinking at places "This may be the best writing I've ever read" and at other places "Come on, get on with it, would you!" Part of this ambivalence I put down to Conrad's position—along with a few other British and American writers like Thomas Hardy.... more

missing graphic Tess the too pure
When Tess of the D'Urbervilles first came out in book form in late 1891, it was in equal parts hailed as Thomas Hardy's masterpiece and condemned as a moral outrage. The latter opinion was due mainly to the novel's sympathetic treatment of the titular country girl who had sex—and a child—out of wedlock.... more

See full list of Recent Commentaries


Movies for people who love 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 1,000 choices were selected

Editor Eric's Criteria

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

Now on Twitter

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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