Philosophical Fiction: Fifty Books

In no specific order or rank, the following list collects important books of philosophical literary fiction.  These books are novels (or novellas) with philosophical or existential themes (e.g., God, free will, personal identity, the meaning of life):

1) Albert Camus.  The Stranger and The Fall.  [Essay: “The Myth of Sisyphus”].

2) Jean-Paul Sartre.  Nausea. [Drama: No Exit].

3) Fyodor Dostoevsky.  Brothers Karamazov [“The Grand Inquisitor”] and Notes from Underground

4) Jose Saramago.  All the Names and Death with Interruptions

5) Frederich Nietzsche.  Thus Spoke Zarathustra

6) Samuel Beckett.  Watt [Drama: Waiting for Godot and Endgame]

7) Hermann Hesse.  Steppenwolf

8) Robert Musil.  Man without Qualities

9) Joseph Heller.  Catch-22

10) Franz Kafka.  The Trial and Metamorphosis

11) Haruki Murakami. Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and IQ84

12) Bruce Duffy.  The World As I Found It

13) James Joyce.  Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

14) John Banville.  The Sea

15) Lars Iyer.  Wittgenstein Jr.

16) Milan Kundera.  Immortality and The Unbearable Lightness of Being

17) M.R. Rilke.  Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

18) Fernando Pessoa. Book of Disquiet [Semi-autobiographical]

19) Kurt Vonnegut. Sirens of Titan

20) Joseph Conrad.  Heart of Darkness

21) Alduous Huxley.  Brave New World

22) Yevgeny Zamyatin. WE

23) George Orwell. 1984

24) Ivan Goncharov.  Oblomov

25) Stanislaw Lem. Perfect Vacuum

26) Saul Bellow.  Herzog and Seize the Day and Dean’s December

27) Leo Tolstoy.  The Death of Ivan Ilych [novella]

28) Robert J. Sawyer.  Mindscan

29) Philip K. Dick.  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?

30) Margaret Atwood.  Oryx and Crake

31) Ramez Naam.  Crux and Nexus.

32) Ralph Ellison.  Invisible Man

33) Kazuo Ishiguro.  Never Let Me Go

34) Cormac McCarthy.  Blood Meridian

35) Umberto Eco.  Foucault’s Pendulum

36) Virginia Woolf.  Mrs. Dalloway

37) Jorge Luis Borges.  Labyrinths

38) Oscar Wilde.  Picture of Dorian Gray

39) Edouard Leve. Suicide

40) Italo Calvino. Mr Palomar

41) Denis Johnson.  Already Dead

42) Thomas Bernhard. Wittgenstein’s Nephew

43) Primo Levi.  The Periodic Table

44) Ivan Turgenev. Fathers and Sons

45) Knut Hamsun.  Hunger

46) Andre Gide.  The Immoralist

47) Andre Malraux.  Man’s Fate

48) Voltaire.  Candide

49) Mikhail Bulgakov.  Master and Margarita

50) Vladmir Nabokov.  Invitation to a Beheading and Lolita


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