Top 25

Top 25 Fiction Novels

When the mood catches me right, or I just need to kill some time, reading for pleasure fits the bill.

Book of choice? A good revenge tale. A creepy thriller with a morality tale wedge between the lines. I even like the hard-boiled detective shtick. Most of all, there has to be some quirky humour or sarcasm peppered throughout.

Below are my Top 25 Fiction Novels. Enjoy.

25. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Creepers Book: Creepers (2006)
Author: David Morrell
Reason: At the time I read it, I was looking into writing a feature for the Town Crier based on urban exploration. It was by coincidence I picked up this novel by Rambo author David Morrell that featured a bunch of “creepers” whose exploits were being covered by a local journalist.
24. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Rainbow-Six Book: Rainbow Six (1998)
Author: Tom Clancy
Reason: I’m not big on war or espionage stories, but the hefty tome Rainbow Six beckoned me because of its international flavour – including four Canadian characters.
23. BB-Top-25-Fiction-The-Grays Book: The Grays (2006)
Author: Whitley Strieber
Reason: Yes, Strieber is most notable for his tale of vampiric debauchery: The Hunger and his purported non-fiction novel Communion in which he shares his alien abduction experiences. Regardless if you believe that encounter, The Grays was one of the few Sci-Fi books that I picked up an enjoyed.
22. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Life-of-Pi Book: Life of Pi (2001)
Author: Yann Martel
Reason: As you scroll through this Top 25 list, you’ll notice a trend: I dig books with critters in them. Richard Parker is the name of the tiger who is shipwrecked along with Pi when the ship they were traveling on sinks. It’s also been made into a major motion picture.
21. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Jurassic-Park Book: Jurassic Park (1990)
Author: Michael Crichton
Reason: Crichton certainly tapped into the minds of dinosaur lovers everywhere when he penned this book, prompting Steven Spielberg to direct the film adaptation. I like how the book opens with proof the dinosaurs have already escaped the island.
20. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Watership Book: Watership Down (1972)
Author: Richard Adams
Reason: As Sawyer from the television series “Lost” put it, it’s a book about bunnies. But not just any ordinary lapine critters. There’s a hint of the supernatural with Fiver’s visions and the protagonist Hazel as the living embodiment of El-ahrairah, the rabbit god. Religious tones aside, the play on The Odyssey is greatly appreciated.
19. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Out-of-Sight Book: Out of Sight (1996)
Author: Elmore Leonard
Reason: It introduces the world to U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco, the female protagonist, who is after a romanticized bank robber, Jack Foley. It’s a classic Elmore Leonard novel that also translated well to the big screen.
18. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Invisible-Man Book: The Invisible Man (1897)
Author: H.G. Wells
Reason: The idea of a scientist making himself invisible via a formula was very forward thinking for pre-20th century writers. Wells definitely was ahead of his time with every book he wrote, and his imagination is what I appreciate the most.
17. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Moby-Dick Book: Moby-Dick (1851)
Author: Herman Melville
Reason: I had read it in high school, not for a class mind you, and looked forward to reading it again in my American Literature class in university. Critics might have sold it short when it was published but the vast tapestry of characters and the pursuit of the white whale is mythical.
16. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Jungle-Books Book: The Jungle Books (1894)
Author: Rudyard Kipling
Reason: As mentioned before, I dig stories about critters, and this collection of tales by Kipling is king. My favourite tale is “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi”. It’s the tale of mongoose who saves a family from cobras.
15. BB-Top-25-Fiction-The-Terror Book: The Terror (2007)
Author: Dan Simmons
Reason: Combining historical fact and horror fiction is dicey, but Simmons really pulled this tale, about the Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition to find the Northwest Passage, together.
14. BB-Top-25-Fiction-American-Gods Book: American Gods (2001)
Author: Neil Gaiman
Reason: The idea that gods of old lore are seen as tulpa, and lose power if people do not worship them, is fresh and original. Plus being an archaeology specialist in uni it captured my interest. In particular, the Norse references to Odin, Loki and Baldr.
13. BB-Top-25-Fiction-White-Bone Book: The White Bone (1999)
Author: Barbara Gowdy
Reason: Every so often something Canlit will show up in here. Hey, it’s not all boring tales of personal tragedy or surviving a move to a new country. Gowdy anthropomorphizes elephants in her tale about Mud. I particularly like the elephant slang, including the gem “Hindleggers” to describe humans.
12. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Voyage Book: Not Wanted on the Voyage (1984)
Author: Timothy Findley
Reason: It turns out, in Findley’s telling of the Great Flood, that Noah was a real prick. That’s amusing. What I also enjoy about Findley’s tale is it’s related to the reader through the thoughts of a blind cat named Mottyl.
11. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Metamorphosis Book: The Metamorphosis (1915)
Author: Franz Kafka
Reason: I read it twice in my freshman year at university. Once in English, the other in German. The nuances lost in translation are negligible because it’s a story about a dude who wakes up a cockroach. What’s not cool about that? Plus it’s existentialism at its finest.
10. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Paradise Book: Mr. Paradise (2004)
Author: Elmore Leonard
Reason: No surprise that Elmore Leonard makes another appearance on this list. This time with the tale of a cop who has to help a Victoria’s Secret model out of a tight jam. The usual eclectic cast of career criminal buffoons and gritty cops round out this novel.
9. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Maltese-Falcon Book: The Maltese Falcon (1930)
Author: Dashiell Hammett
Reason: There’s nothing like a good, hard-boiled sleuth tale to read for a night in. The silver-hued image of Bogie playing Sam Spade may be the most familiar aspect of this book, but the wry, sardonic character portrayed in that film was born from the typewriter ribbon of Hammett.
8. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Cthulhu Book: The Call of Cthulhu (1928)
Author: H.P. Lovecraft
Reason: Like many horror genre writers, they create a universe, or mythology that ties all of their characters together. Lovecraft’s imagination devised one that brought characters from The Dunwich Horror, Shadow Over Innsmouth and the Call of Cthulhu together.
7. BB-Top-25-Fiction-The-Shining Book: The Shining (1977)
Author: Stephen King
Reason: If anything, The Shining is the pinnacle of the horror genre. The weakness and depravity of Jack Torrance, who was once a loving father, mixed with a motley pack of ghosts resonates with the genre. Nothing I have read matches this book.
6. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Manhattan Book: The Manhattan Hunt Club (2001)
Author: John Saul
Reason: Somewhat Kafka-esque, and akin to Richard Bachman’s (Stephen King’s nom de plume) The Running Man, The Manhattan Hunt Club follows the tale of Jeff Converse who is wrongfully convicted of a brutal crime. While being transported to prison he is involved in a car accident and he is whisked away into the subway tunnels and vast warren that is beneath New York City. It’s there where he’s hunted by city officials.
5. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Darkness Book: Heart of Darkness (1899)
Author: Joseph Conrad
Reason: I first read Heart of Darkness in university and the consistent contrasting themes within the book is what drew me to it. The parallels of England during the Roman invasion to Africa and the Victorian era explorers was great, and I also have an affinity for stories that take place on large bodies of water. Ironic, I know.
4. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Sphere Book: Sphere (1987)
Author: Michael Crichton
Reason: The film adaptation was a loathsome destruction of the book. I didn’t read a lot for pleasure before high school, but the handful of books I did read, Cujo by Stephen King, and Sphere were great introductions to the thriller/horror genres. Plus it’s got a giant squid in it too.
3. BB-Top-25-Fiction-WWZ Book: World War Z (2006)
Author: Max Brooks
Reason: Simple: Zombies. Max Brooks rewrites history from accounts of events that are purported to have happened and inserted zombies into them, carrying into the what ifs thereafter. Plus it’s got a graphic description of the lady up north bashing zombie skulls trapped in snow and ice.
2. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Sick-Puppy Book: Sick Puppy (2000)
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Reason: Between Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen the bizarre characters that inhabit Florida have been brought to life. Sick Puppy is a tale about an eco-terrorist who attempts to mind-frig with a lobbyist hell-bent on destroying nature named Palmer Stoat. The book’s name comes from a poor black lab that eats a fake eyeball from one of the hunting trophies in Stoat’s home. Want to know more? Read the book.
1. BB-Top-25-Fiction-Shutter-Island Book: Shutter Island (2003)
Author: Dennis Lehane
Reason: My good friend Kevin suggested I read this book, and it did not disappoint. The ambiguity on whether Teddy Daniels is a cop or not really adds to the dark, brooding story that is Shutter Island. I can’t put how much I love this book into words.

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