For some, writing seems to come naturally, with the words flowing prolifically from the end of a pen, typewriter or computer keyboard. For others it takes discipline, day after day for years to write their first and only book. For the reader it is often how well the author pulls them into the story, until they almost believe that they are actually living it. Classics become classics because they are so well written that readers are still enjoying them today when they may have been written over a hundred years earlier. The following list includes some of the world’s best writers of all time; the best of the best.
William Shakespeare – Written several centuries ago, Shakespeare is one of very few writers whose books are still widely read today. For any reader it is almost mandatory for a Shakespeare classic to be on their must-read list. While many readers have made their way through one of his cleverly-woven dramas in book form, many others have enjoyed watching one or more of Shakespeare’s enduring tales played out on a theater stage.
Charles Dickens – Part of many school English reading lists, Charles Dickens’ great classic tales are also on most avid reader’s must-read list. Dickens’ stories are rich with pure imagination and his attention to detail is legendary. Many of his stories have been turned into movies and enjoyed by millions in picture theatres around the world. His settings and characters come alive through his written words, and once you have read a Dickens novel you will find yourself wanting to discover more of his works.
Jane Austen – Perhaps the most notable female writer of all time, Jane Austen produced a great number of books during her lifetime. Her ability to write of love and romance with a good dash of humor thrown in made her books appealing to many, but in particular women. Her books are enjoyed still today, and like other classics have been turned into movies for both the large screen and television.
Edgar Allan Poe – Poe was not only a writer of novels but also a poet. His novels, short stories and poems often were full of intrigue, mystery and horror. He is considered by some to be the first person to make detective stories a genre of its own. Poe dedicated his life to writing, hoping to make a full-time income from it, which often saw him living in hardship. Many of his stories have also been made into movies.
Ernest Hemingway – Nobel Prize winner, Ernest Hemingway is often referred to as the most influential 20th Century novelists, but while he was able to write with such conviction and power his personal life was in chaos. War correspondent and Pulitzer prize winner, later in life he became depressed and anxious, his drinking controlled his life to the point where he was no longer able to write and he ended up taking his own life in 1961.
Stephen King – The King of Horror seems to have a never-ending supply of ideas for horror stories that will scare the living daylight out of you and have you coming back for more. It is not often that a writer is able to have you afraid to turn the page and at the same time feel powerless to stop yourself but Stephen does it novel after novel. While not in the same league as Shakespeare and Dickens Stephen King has certainly earned his right to be on this list of best writers of all time.
George Orwell – Orwell’s writing often focused on social injustice, bringing awareness to his readers through his words. Perhaps best known for ‘1984’, which incidentally he wrote while dying, Orwell was not only a writer but also a journalist, which provided him with much of his inspiration for his novels and essays. While his life lasted only a short 47 years, his books and essays are still widely read today, with many of his warnings of the dangers of political systems are now being realized.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Said to have influenced such great writers as Hemingway and James Joyce, Dostoyevsky’s novels explored human behavior, ethics, morality and delved into religious beliefs. Many literary critics believe that he was one of the greatest psychologists in literature of his time, with unusual insight into what makes people behave and think the way they do. ‘Crime and Punishment’ is perhaps his best known work, and it is very rare for this book to be omitted from a list of must-read books.
The writers of today are often influenced by the some of the writers listed above, and with good reason. These writers have all written works that have withstood the test of time and earned them a place on the list of writers who are considered to be the best of the best.