The Greatest "Revenge" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 270 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Revenge

The "Revenge" category of books typically involves stories where a character seeks vengeance against another character or group of characters who have wronged them in some way. These books often explore themes of justice, morality, and the consequences of seeking revenge. The stories may be dark and gritty, with characters who are willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve their goals. Overall, the "Revenge" category offers readers a thrilling and often emotionally charged reading experience.

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  1. 1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Set in the summer of 1922, the novel follows the life of a young and mysterious millionaire, his extravagant lifestyle in Long Island, and his obsessive love for a beautiful former debutante. As the story unfolds, the millionaire's dark secrets and the corrupt reality of the American dream during the Jazz Age are revealed. The narrative is a critique of the hedonistic excess and moral decay of the era, ultimately leading to tragic consequences.

  2. 2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    This classic novel is a tale of love, revenge and social class set in the Yorkshire moors. It revolves around the intense, complex relationship between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, an orphan adopted by Catherine's father. Despite their deep affection for each other, Catherine marries Edgar Linton, a wealthy neighbor, leading Heathcliff to seek revenge on the two families. The story unfolds over two generations, reflecting the consequences of their choices and the destructive power of obsessive love.

  3. 3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    The novel follows the journey of a young boy named Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave named Jim as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft. Set in the American South before the Civil War, the story explores themes of friendship, freedom, and the hypocrisy of society. Through various adventures and encounters with a host of colorful characters, Huck grapples with his personal values, often clashing with the societal norms of the time.

  4. 4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    A young orphan boy, living with his cruel older sister and her kind blacksmith husband, has an encounter with an escaped convict that changes his life. Later, he becomes the protégé of a wealthy but reclusive woman and falls in love with her adopted daughter. He then learns that an anonymous benefactor has left him a fortune, leading him to believe that his benefactor is the reclusive woman and that she intends for him to marry her adopted daughter. He moves to London to become a gentleman, but his great expectations are ultimately shattered when he learns the true identity of his benefactor and the reality of his love interest.

  5. 5. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, this novel tells the story of a woman who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. She is forced to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress as a sign of her adultery while her lover, a revered local minister, remains unnamed and unpunished. Throughout the book, themes of sin, legalism, and guilt are explored.

  6. 6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    This classic play revolves around the young Prince of Denmark who is thrown into a state of emotional turmoil after his father's sudden death and his mother's quick remarriage to his uncle. The prince is visited by the ghost of his father who reveals that he was murdered by the uncle, prompting the prince to seek revenge. The narrative explores themes of madness, revenge, and moral corruption as the prince navigates the complex political and emotional landscape of the Danish court.

  7. 7. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

    A young sailor, unjustly accused of treason, is imprisoned without trial in a grim fortress. After a daring escape, he uncovers a hidden treasure and transforms himself into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo. He then sets out to exact revenge on those who wronged him, using his newfound power and influence. Throughout his journey, he grapples with questions about justice, vengeance, and whether ultimate power can ultimately corrupt.

  8. 8. First Folio by William Shakespeare

    This collection is a compilation of 36 plays by a renowned English playwright, published seven years after his death. It includes comedies, histories, and tragedies, some of which had never been published before. Notable works in the compilation include "Macbeth," "Julius Caesar," "Twelfth Night," "The Tempest," and "As You Like It." The collection is considered one of the most influential books ever published in the English language, as it preserved many of the playwright's works that might have otherwise been lost.

  9. 9. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

    This collection brings together all of the author's most famous works, including poems, short stories, and novellas. Known for his macabre and gothic storytelling, the author's works are filled with themes of death, love lost, and human frailty. Notable inclusions are the haunting poem "The Raven," the chilling stories "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher," and his only complete novel, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym."

  10. 10. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

    Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, this classic novel explores themes of class struggle, sacrifice, and resurrection. The narrative follows the lives of several characters, including a dissipated English lawyer, a man who is a long-term prisoner in the Bastille, and a woman who becomes embroiled in the political turmoil of the time. The story is a riveting tale of love and sacrifice, with the infamous guillotine looming in the background, symbolizing the violence and unrest of the era.

  11. 11. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    This novel is a multi-generational epic that follows the lives of the Trask and Hamilton families in the Salinas Valley in California. The story is deeply rooted in biblical allegory, particularly the tale of Cain and Abel, as it explores themes of love, guilt, freedom, and the inherent good and evil in human nature. The narrative provides a profound, complex portrayal of family and individual struggles with morality and love, while also reflecting on the social changes affecting America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  12. 12. Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan

    This novel centers around a 17-year-old girl living with her playboy father in the French Riviera. The pair lead a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle until the father decides to remarry, causing the protagonist to hatch a plan to prevent the marriage and return to their old way of life. The story explores themes of youth, love, and the struggle between desire and morality.

  13. 13. Othello by William Shakespeare

    "Othello" is a tragic play about a Moorish general in the Venetian army who is manipulated by his ensign into believing that his wife is unfaithful. Consumed by jealousy, the general kills his wife, only to discover that she was innocent. Filled with remorse, he then takes his own life. The play explores themes of love, jealousy, betrayal, and racism.

  14. 14. Carrie by Stephen King

    A young high school girl with telekinetic abilities is mercilessly bullied and isolated by her classmates and religious fanatic mother. After a particularly humiliating incident at her senior prom, she uses her powers in a fit of rage and despair, leading to a terrifying and catastrophic event that devastates her small town.

  15. 15. The Twits by Roald Dahl

    "The Twits" is a humorous children's book that follows the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Twit, a repulsive and mean-spirited couple who delight in playing nasty tricks on each other. With their hairy faces and twisted minds, they make life miserable for everyone around them. However, their wickedness eventually catches up with them when a group of mischievous monkeys decide to teach them a lesson they will never forget.

  16. 16. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

    A 12-year-old genius and criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl, kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short, for a large ransom of gold with the help of his bodyguard, Butler, to restore his family's fortune. In the process, he discovers an underground world of armed and dangerous fairies. The fairies fight back with magic, cunning, and technological weapons leading to a high-stakes battle of wits.

  17. 17. True Grit by Charles Portis

    The novel follows the tenacious quest of a young girl named Mattie Ross, who is determined to avenge her father's murder. She hires a tough, aging U.S. Marshal with a reputation for getting the job done, despite his penchant for drinking and his rough-and-tumble demeanor. Together with a Texas Ranger, they set out into the treacherous Indian Territory to track down the killer. Throughout their journey, the unlikely trio faces various obstacles and dangers, but the young girl's unwavering resolve and the marshal's true grit lead them to confrontations with outlaws and ultimately, to justice.

  18. 18. Manon des sources by Marcel Pagnol

    "Manon des Sources" is a poignant tale set in rural France. It is the story of a young woman, Manon, who lives in the French countryside and discovers that her family's water source has been blocked by two neighboring farmers. To avenge her father's death, which she believes was caused by this act, she decides to withhold the water source from the entire village, leading to a series of tragic events. The narrative explores themes of greed, revenge, and the profound connection between humans and nature.

  19. 19. Death and the Dervish by Meša Selimović

    In "Death and the Dervish", the protagonist is a dervish in the 18th century Ottoman Empire, who embarks on a mission to find his imprisoned brother. As he navigates through the complex and corrupt bureaucracy, he grapples with questions of morality, justice, and the nature of power. The story explores themes of existentialism and the struggle for meaning in a world marked by suffering and injustice.

  20. 20. Dervish And The Death by Meša Selimović

    "Dervish and the Death" is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the complex themes of identity, morality, and the human condition. Set in the 18th century Ottoman Empire, the story follows a dervish, Sheikh Nuruddin, as he navigates the turbulent world of politics, power, and religion. Through his encounters with various characters, including the enigmatic Death, the dervish grapples with his own beliefs and questions the nature of existence. Selimovic's masterful storytelling and introspective prose make this novel a captivating exploration of life's fundamental questions.

  21. 21. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

    The book is a science fiction novel that follows the story of Breq, who was once a powerful starship AI controlling many bodies, but is now trapped in a single human body and driven by a quest for vengeance. Set in a vast interstellar empire where ships and stations are inhabited by ancillary AIs, the narrative explores themes of identity, gender, and colonialism. Breq's journey intertwines with flashbacks to her past experiences as an AI, revealing her complex relationship with a former officer and the events that led to her current mission. As she navigates political intrigue and battles, Breq challenges the empire's rigid structures and seeks to address the injustices within it.

  22. 22. Not A Penny More,Not A Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer

    In this thrilling tale of revenge, four strangers find themselves united by a common enemy - a wealthy con artist who has swindled each of them out of their life savings. Determined to get their money back, they devise an elaborate plan to exact justice and teach the cunning fraudster a lesson he will never forget. With twists and turns at every corner, "Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less" is a gripping story of deception, redemption, and the power of resilience.

  23. 23. Tlooth by Harry Mathews

    "Tlooth" is a surreal and experimental novel that follows a group of inmates from a Siberian prison as they embark on a global quest for revenge against a sinister doctor. The narrative, full of eccentric characters and bizarre events, unfolds in a nonlinear fashion, incorporating elements of various genres, such as science fiction, detective fiction, and adventure, as well as references to music, languages, and mathematics. The story is marked by its complex structure, playful use of language, and exploration of themes such as identity, reality, and the nature of storytelling.

  24. 24. Point Of Impact by Stephen Hunter

    "Point of Impact" follows the story of Bob Lee Swagger, a highly skilled and decorated Marine sniper who becomes the target of a conspiracy after being framed for an assassination. Forced to go on the run, Swagger must rely on his exceptional training and instincts to clear his name and uncover the truth behind the elaborate plot. Packed with intense action and suspense, this gripping thriller takes readers on a thrilling journey through the world of espionage and betrayal.

  25. 25. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

    In this gripping and thought-provoking novel, a young African American teenager named Will faces a life-altering decision after his older brother is shot and killed. Set in an elevator, the story unfolds over the course of sixty seconds as Will descends to the ground floor, contemplating whether to seek revenge on his brother's murderer. Along the way, he encounters a series of individuals who challenge his perspective on violence, justice, and the cycle of retribution. With powerful prose and a raw emotional intensity, the book explores themes of grief, systemic racism, and the complexities of personal choices.

Reading Statistics

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If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download