Select any period or type of literature from the buttons on the side of this or any page to browse Editor Eric's list of the one thousand greatest-ever novels, stories, plays, poetry, and other works of creative literature. On the lists, see links to available commentaries on authors and works.
Commentaries on books in the greatest literature of all time.
Biographies and commentaries on writers of great literature.
Finding the right translation of great works into English.
Movies for Book Lovers
Commentaries on films, TV and video based on the greatest literature.
Eric's reviews of recent literature from or about the world's most diverse city.
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
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
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
The seriously sick artist
It's hard to take Edgar Allan Poe seriously as a literary figure. Not his fault. Poe took writing very seriously as an art form. His critical works show this. And his stories have proven tremendously influential in both the literary world and in popular culture. Ah, yes, but about the culture. All those.... more
Star-crossed lovers live on, alas
Possibly Shakespeare's best-known play. Everyone knows the story of star-crossed lovers who defied their families—the feuding Capulets and Montagues—and ended their lives tragically. Romeo and Juliet is a play with something for everyone: romance, intrigue, sword-fighting, wonderful poetry, comedy and.... more
Comedy light and dark
To appreciate Molière's comic genius you should probably see the plays performed. Reading them, you can get the idea they're lightweight, not much above the average episode of Three's Company, but with fewer jokes. You've got to see actors taking full advantage of the satiric.... more
The plays are the thing:
Greatest Short Stories
List of the all-time greatest short works of fiction from around the world.
Greatest Canadian Literature
Eric's picks for the all-time greatest works from the land of the red, white and red.
Greatest Science Fiction of All Time
Eric's picks for the nearly two hundred greatest-ever works of the science fiction genre.
Other Greatest Lit Stuff
Editor Eric's frequently asked questions, picking a translation, Shakespeare's detractors, and more.
Readers' recommendations for additions to the list of the greatest science fiction of all time.
Other great literature resources.