,

Darkest Books Of All Time

1

by
4.19 avg rating — 3,818,956 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
3.81 avg rating — 267,371 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
3.98 avg rating — 796,663 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 656,622 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
3.69 avg rating — 2,570,728 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
3.98 avg rating — 2,020,362 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.97 avg rating — 3,268,369 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,639,368 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
4.19 avg rating — 539,113 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,740,091 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.20 avg rating — 680,485 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.09 avg rating — 57,884 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.79 avg rating — 88,579 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
4.25 avg rating — 1,293,055 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
3.84 avg rating — 1,347,300 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
3.99 avg rating — 134,326 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.24 avg rating — 746,770 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.08 avg rating — 159,604 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
4.16 avg rating — 125,042 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.08 avg rating — 48,512 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.01 avg rating — 1,085,299 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
3.93 avg rating — 64,370 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.98 avg rating — 18,239 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
3.62 avg rating — 28,605 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.43 avg rating — 464,694 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.88 avg rating — 1,560,835 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.84 avg rating — 802,521 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
4.24 avg rating — 945,314 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,202,710 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.03 avg rating — 724,957 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
4.22 avg rating — 512,060 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 856,344 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.96 avg rating — 270,325 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
34

by
4.35 avg rating — 1,101,909 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
3.84 avg rating — 570,542 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
4.34 avg rating — 689,801 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.19 avg rating — 204,269 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 834,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.19 avg rating — 586,935 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.04 avg rating — 101,227 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
41

by
4.17 avg rating — 3,242,683 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
3.88 avg rating — 744,321 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.03 avg rating — 392,636 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,183,521 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.38 avg rating — 235,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
4.12 avg rating — 171,233 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
3.83 avg rating — 469,925 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
4.15 avg rating — 2,903,408 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
49

by
4.11 avg rating — 2,674,590 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.02 avg rating — 393,057 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.09 avg rating — 51,195 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.90 avg rating — 777,340 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
3.83 avg rating — 260,798 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.03 avg rating — 496,656 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
4.07 avg rating — 457,631 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
4.01 avg rating — 160,592 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.07 avg rating — 148,874 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
3.91 avg rating — 30,172 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.16 avg rating — 242,521 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.29 avg rating — 119,723 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
4.01 avg rating — 244,590 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
3.89 avg rating — 26,487 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
3.82 avg rating — 40,515 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
4.12 avg rating — 405,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
3.94 avg rating — 659,802 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.88 avg rating — 24,200 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
3.95 avg rating — 39,524 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
4.18 avg rating — 42,518 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
3.45 avg rating — 86,108 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.09 avg rating — 396,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.24 avg rating — 541,554 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
3.81 avg rating — 3,111,108 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.01 avg rating — 531,290 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
4.09 avg rating — 69,586 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
3.95 avg rating — 9,373 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.06 avg rating — 183,361 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
3.72 avg rating — 149,929 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
3.79 avg rating — 99,863 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.60 avg rating — 99,578 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
80

by
4.37 avg rating — 1,017,185 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
81

by
3.64 avg rating — 25,333 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
82

by
4.04 avg rating — 304,967 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.18 avg rating — 75,539 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
3.92 avg rating — 32,065 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
85

by
3.84 avg rating — 117,609 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
4.07 avg rating — 767,998 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
87

by
3.83 avg rating — 277,287 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
3.82 avg rating — 67,914 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
89

by
3.98 avg rating — 607,305 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
4.21 avg rating — 68,709 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.68 avg rating — 43,670 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
4.09 avg rating — 152,619 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
93

by
3.59 avg rating — 77,654 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
94

by
4.11 avg rating — 130,682 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
4.19 avg rating — 738,501 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.84 avg rating — 86 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
4.01 avg rating — 1,410,359 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
3.40 avg rating — 130,661 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
99

by
3.90 avg rating — 26,208 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
100

by
4.27 avg rating — 1,062,403 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
1,132 books · 1,582 voters · list created September 2nd, 2009 by Edgar Mollere (votes) .
Tags: dark, fiction, horror, myth
579 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Edgar 9 books
11 friends
Kathryn 2222 books
100 friends
Michelle 4464 books
54 friends
Deanna 658 books
227 friends
Felicia A Sullivan 1377 books
144 friends
Mina 428 books
4 friends
Alex 2283 books
46 friends
Ryan 525 books
53 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-20 of 20 (20 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Taylor (new)

Taylor Watership Down?? Really??


message 2: by Stephen (last edited Nov 28, 2011 11:36PM) (new)

Stephen Stephanie wrote: "Watership Down?? Really??"

At least Bambi didn't make the list! But then for real Darkness check out plays and non-fiction. Mein Kampf didn't make the list yet either!


message 3: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis This is a strong list. There were a couple of titles I didn't agree with, and I have no doubt there were many more that I'd vote for if I'd read them. My main difficulty was in comparing fiction to non. The Holocaust, or Poe? Real-life murder and rape, or Johnny Got His Gun? I also think, from the way the votes fall off drastically after the first couple of pages, that a lot of people either voted in consecutive order w/o checking all of the pages for their #1 vote, or else didn't go past the first 2 pages at all. Still, this is one of the best listopias I have seen.


message 4: by Madeline (new)

Madeline Austin Stephanie wrote: "Watership Down?? Really??"

I disagree, I think Watership Down is really dark.


message 5: by Slowlygainingknowlege (last edited Aug 05, 2015 08:19AM) (new)

Slowlygainingknowlege For me, Slaughterhouse Five is the tippy top. Most despairing, nihilistic book I've ever read.


message 6: by Naughtee (new)

Naughtee "the road" is a love story


message 7: by Donna (last edited Sep 23, 2015 06:49PM) (new)

Donna Davis Madeline wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Watership Down?? Really??"

I disagree, I think Watership Down is really dark."

Yeah it is...assuming of course that one finishes it!
I notice that although the list-maker initially just said "Dark" and "Books", the tags say "fiction" and "myth". The tags appear to have lost the struggle, since 40 people have voted for Night, Eli Wiesel's holocaust memoir. I think the tags lost and the general designation won here. In that spirit, I felt free to add the new Stalin bio along with some Nixon stuff. What a fun list!

The system found and eliminated 20 duplicates.

It's a curious question: do you vote in order of which dark books you believe are the best written, or in order of darkness? I mostly went with the latter, because it seemed more interesting.


message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris The Far Side is an odd choice. I mean, some of the jokers kinda dark, but it isn't all that bleak.


message 9: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Walker That lover of horror Stephen King once wrote that his greatest ambition was to undergo the writing of a book that he would find too scary to finish, and I count among my rejections a lover of dark fiction (unable to conceive that my story was true) who wrote that MONSTROUS: The Autobiography of a Serial Killer but for the Grace of God was too dark even for her.


message 10: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Chris wrote: "The Far Side is an odd choice. I mean, some of the jokers kinda dark, but it isn't all that bleak."

"Kinda" dark? I regard Larson as the king of the dark comic. Real gallows humor. "Bleak" is more hopeless, and more specific than "dark"...it is not in the list-maker's subscript; in fact there is no subscript. And I like that the list allows us to include horror, humor, cartoons, nonfiction...if all we wanted was horror, there are multiple listopias already serving that purpose.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Stephen wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Watership Down?? Really??"

At least Bambi didn't make the list! But then for real Darkness check out plays and non-fiction. Mein Kampf didn't make the list yet either!"


Mein Kampf is not a 'dark' book in the way meant in this list


message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis David wrote: "Stephen wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Watership Down?? Really??"

At least Bambi didn't make the list! But then for real Darkness check out plays and non-fiction. Mein Kampf didn't make the list yet ei..."

I see the tags include the word fiction, but I wish the list-maker had included this in the subscript. A lot of people--especially those relatively new to Goodreads--are not going to check the tags, and the title simply says "Dark" and "Books", which is a big house with a lot of rooms. I would not add Mein Kampf to this list or vote for it, but at the same time, I wouldn't be comfortable removing it if someone else added it.


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Slowlygainingknowlege wrote: "For me, Slaughterhouse Five is the tippy top. Most despairing, nihilistic book I've ever read."

Which is why I will never read it! I suspected as much about it.


message 14: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The system found and removed 1 duplicate.


message 15: by Joshua (new)

Joshua Williams most books on the top 50 of this list aren't even remotely dark... wuthering heights??


message 16: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The system found and removed 5 duplicates.


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim I'm really disturbed by the number of books on this list that I've read! I'm re-reading 1984 right now (or just finished it) because of the disturbing parallels with the world today, and it's currently at #1.


message 18: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Jim wrote: "I'm really disturbed by the number of books on this list that I've read! I'm re-reading 1984 right now (or just finished it) because of the disturbing parallels with the world today, and it's curre..."

I was required to read it in high school, and at the time I gave it an eye roll. Sure. Right. But now, not so much.


message 19: by Naughtee (new)

Naughtee Donna wrote: "Jim wrote: "I'm really disturbed by the number of books on this list that I've read! I'm re-reading 1984 right now (or just finished it) because of the disturbing parallels with the world today, an..."

re-read brave new world... we're pretty close now. it's almost like this stuff is being rubbed in our faces BEFORE they are enacted.


message 20: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis The duplicates link is broken. I entered this problem on the Feedback page, and now we should cross our fingers and hope for the best. This is way too cool a collection to be left unfixable.


back to top



Related News

If you're looking to fall head over heels for some LGBTQ+ romances, you'll find yourself quite lucky in love with recent books. In the first...

Anyone can add books to this list.