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.
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
Where the dark comes from
You think you know Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness even if you haven't read it in years, or ever. It's been widely taught in school, so its most famous lines ring with musty familiarity. Its plot has been adapted for all manner of media, though usually in wildly divergent stories or in parody. It's part of modern.... more
The great sea change
After having read so much Joseph Conrad—some forced upon me as a student, some for pleasure—I find it still hard to tell whether I like his writing. I gather other readers have a similar reaction. "Like" doesn't quite describe our appreciation of Conrad. There are certainly Conrad stories and parts.... more
The plays are the thing:
Prospective additions to the list of the greatest literature of all time—from critics and readers.
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.