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.
Love, the beautiful disease
Love in the Time of Cholera is a favourite novel for lovers who take from it something like "Love is forever" or "Love conquers all" or "Follow your heart and you'll eventually find your one great love." Yet, Gabriel García Márquez's story also appeals to cynics who find the yearning, love-obsessed protagonist, Florentino Ariza.... more
Less sex than violence
It can be difficult to read Edward II today as a Christopher Marlow play. One keeps sliding into thinking of it as minor Shakespeare—you know, all those early plays with kings and numerals in their titles. Partly this is a matter of timing. We may appreciate Marlowe's own earlier plays, especially Tamburlaine and.... more
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
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 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.