Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor, and liberal political activist. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, known for works such as 'The Naked and the Dead' and 'The Executioner's Song'.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Naked and the Dead

    Set during World War II, this novel delves into the lives of a platoon of American soldiers stationed in the Pacific. The narrative explores the harsh realities of war, the complexities of human nature, and the struggle for survival in an unforgiving environment. The soldiers grapple with their fears, hopes, and the brutalities of war, revealing their innermost thoughts and experiences. The book is a gritty and realistic depiction of the psychological effects of war and the human capacity for resilience.

    The 395th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Executioner's Song

    "The Executioner's Song" is a true crime novel that tells the story of Gary Gilmore, a man who, after being released from prison, embarks on a murder spree in Utah that leads to his capture and execution. The book delves into Gilmore's troubled life and psyche, his relationships, and the legal and moral debates surrounding his death sentence. It provides an in-depth look at the American criminal justice system and capital punishment.

    The 1354th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Advertisements for Myself

    This book is a collection of short stories, essays, interviews, and previously unpublished works by a renowned author. It is a self-reflective exploration of his life, work, and philosophy. The author boldly critiques his own work, discusses his political and social views, and provides insight into his personal life. The book, controversial and provocative, serves as a fascinating study of the author's self-perception and creative process.

    The 1404th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Armies of the Night

    This book is a unique blend of historical fact and autobiographical fiction, providing a detailed account of the October 1967 March on the Pentagon. It describes the author's experiences during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, where he was arrested and spent the night in jail. The narrative explores the author's interactions with other protesters, his observations on the nature of political activism, and his personal reflections on the Vietnam War. It also delves into the author's struggles with his personal beliefs and his role as a public figure during this turbulent period in American history.

    The 1714th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. A Fire on the Moon

    "A Fire on the Moon" is a detailed account of the Apollo 11 mission, which resulted in the first man landing on the moon. The book offers an in-depth exploration of the technical aspects of the mission, the astronauts involved, and the political and cultural implications of the historic event. It also delves into the author's personal reflections and philosophical musings on space exploration, technology, and the human condition.

    The 3453rd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. An American Dream

    The book is a narrative of Stephen Rojack, a decorated war hero turned professor, television personality, and philanderer who struggles with his inner demons and the existential dread of modern life. After murdering his estranged wife in a drunken rage, he embarks on a surreal journey through the seedy underbelly of 1960s New York, engaging in a series of sexual and violent encounters, and getting involved with a nightclub singer and the mafia. The novel explores themes of violence, masculinity, and American identity.

    The 5008th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Ancient Evenings

    Set in ancient Egypt, the novel delves into the complex and mystical world of pharaohs, gods, and the afterlife, spanning multiple reincarnations of its central character. The narrative weaves through the intricacies of power, sexuality, and the spiritual quest for immortality, offering a richly detailed and often provocative portrayal of a civilization both alien and familiar in its human desires and ambitions. The story's exploration of eternal themes is grounded in historical detail and the author's imaginative vision, creating a tapestry of the ancient past that resonates with philosophical and existential questions still pertinent today.

    The 7944th Greatest Book of All Time