Select "The List" button, at the side on any page, to see one thousand of the greatest-ever novels, stories, plays, poetry and other creative literary works—it's a long list—or select by period. Select other buttons for "Greatest" lists of specific types of literature. On all lists, check links to available commentaries on works and authors.
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.
It may seem that Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is becoming less relevant these days, as hard-copy books are at risk of disappearing, pushed side by digital communications. Without paper media, warnings about book-burning may seem increasingly old-fashioned. For book-burning is what Fahrenheit 451 is.... more
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
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
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
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
Sister who blazed longest and hardest
Charlotte was the longest living of the three writing Brontë sisters, almost making it to age forty, and her output was by far the most extensive and most popular in its day. Yet many know her best as the sister of Emily Brontë, author of the revered Wuthering Heights, which she championed..... 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.