The Most Underrated Books Of All Time

Most of us have a special affinity for books; from heartbreaking tales to lighthearted romances and business manuals, they escape into realms we may never experience.

Unfortunately, not all literary gems get the recognition they deserve, so today, we’re here to shine a light on 10 of the most underrated books of all time – stories that will stay with you long after you have turned the last page. From science fiction masterpieces to incredible non-fiction reads, get ready for a journey across the world that is equally moving and inspiring.

Most Underrated Books Of All Time

A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes

A Rage in Harlem is a classic novel written by author Chester Himes. The story follows the life of Jackson “Jack” Jefferson, a poor black man from Mississippi who moves to New York City after his girlfriend steals his savings, leaving him heartbroken. 

While living in Harlem, Jack gets caught up in an elaborate gold heist scheme that quickly spirals out of control. Himes wrote this book during the 1950s Civil Rights Movement, and it offers a powerful insight into the struggles faced by African Americans at the time. It’s an incredible read that deserves more recognition.

The novel is filled with rich characters with unique struggles and motivations. It captures the essence of Harlem life during the 1950s, not shying away from depicting its vibrancy and darkness. 

Throughout the book, Himes explores complex themes such as race, identity, and justice. We see how Jack navigates his newfound life in Harlem while trying to keep his head above water despite all the obstacles.

A Rage in Harlem is a must-read for anyone wanting to explore literature that deals with social issues of racism, poverty, and injustice. It’s an important reminder of our history that still resonates today, making it one of the most underrated books ever.

Fraud: Essays by David Rakoff

Fraud: Essays by David Rakoff is a collection of humorous and heartfelt essays written by the late, great author. The book features twenty-one pieces of writing from the acclaimed writer that tackles everything from relationships to celebrity culture.

 These stories offer an interesting glimpse into what makes David’s writing unique as he seamlessly navigates between absurdity and profoundness. His witty observations often provide valuable insight into everyday life, making them extremely entertaining to read.

The topics in Fraud range from hilarious accounts of living with roommates to sobering reflections on death, all connected with Rakoff’s signature humor and wit. He finds the funny side even when discussing sensitive issues such as mental illness or loss, inspiring these essays. Rakoff’s writing is often praised for its honesty and realism, yet it offers an imaginative take on a life worth exploring.

Chéri and The Last of Chéri by Colette

Chéri and The Last of Chéri by Colette is a two-part novel that follows the life of an aging French courtesan and her relationship with her young lover. In Chéri, we meet Léa de Lonval, a wealthy older woman who gives in to temptation and begins an affair with a much younger man named Chéri. 

However, things become complicated when she discovers he also sees someone else. The two eventually part ways but are reunited years later in The Last Of Chéri.

Colette’s writing style is beautiful and poetic; she explores human relationships through vivid descriptions and clever dialogue. Her nuanced exploration of female sexuality is particularly remarkable, making this book essential reading for feminists everywhere. Her characters feel real, and their story is as heartbreaking as it is insightful.

Chéri and The Last of Chéri are two powerful novels that tackle complicated issues of love and longing with grace and intelligence. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to explore complex yet relatable themes. Colette’s work deserves more credit than it has been given over the years, making it one of the most underrated books ever written.

Shikasta by Doris Lessing

Shikasta by Doris Lessing is an ambitious science fiction novel set in the distant future. It follows a group of aliens living on a planet called Shikasta, where they’re tasked with helping humanity evolve and reach its full potential. 

The story weaves together themes of spirituality, politics, and philosophy into an intricate plot that will have you questioning reality as you know it.

Lessing’s writing is captivating and refreshingly honest; she tackles complex concepts with clarity and precision. 

She also creates memorable characters who are both relatable and inspiring. Her ability to blend science fiction with elements from real life makes this book truly unique.

Shikasta is a timeless classic that deserves more recognition than it has received. It’s a must-read for anyone who loves science fiction and wants to explore new ideas excitingly. Lessing’s work will stay with you long after you have finished reading, making it one of the most underrated books ever written.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge is a captivating young adult novel in Victorian England. It follows the life of Faith Sunderly, a fourteen-year-old girl who discovers her father has been murdered and goes on an adventure to uncover the truth behind his death. 

Along the way, she encounters strange creatures and mysterious powers that will take her to places she never imagined she would go.

Hardinge writes with emotion and intrigue, creating a unique fantasy world filled with excitement and danger. 

Her characters are nuanced and complex; they feel like real people struggling with emotions we can all relate to. The Lie Tree also offers plenty of social commentary about religion, science, and gender roles during Victorian times.

The Lie Tree is a thrilling read that deserves more recognition than it has been given. It’s an exciting and thought-provoking adventure that will stay with you long after you have finished reading, making it one of the most underrated books ever written.

Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola

Thérèse Raquin by Emile Zola is a classic novel set in 19th-century Paris. It follows Thérèse, a young woman trapped in an arranged marriage with her sickly cousin Camille. Things take an unexpected turn when she meets Laurent, Camille’s friend and coworker, igniting a passionate affair between them. The consequences of their relationship become more dire as the story progresses and threaten to ruin all three of their lives.

Zola creates an atmosphere of tension and suspense that will have you on edge throughout the book. His writing style is vivid and detailed; he captures every nuance of 19th-century Paris, from the sights and smells to the everyday conversations of its residents. His characters are real and flawed, making them both relatable and human.

Thérèse Raquin is a gripping story that deserves more recognition than it has been given. It’s an intriguing tale of love, passion, and tragedy that will stay with you long after you have finished reading, making it one of the most underrated books ever written.

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh is a classic British novel set in the 1920s. It follows the lives of Adam Symes and his friends as they navigate London’s high-society party scene. From glamorous galas to wild house parties, these characters experience the highs and lows of upper-class life during this period.

Waugh’s writing style is witty and sharp; his satire is hilarious and insightful. His characters are vivid and memorable, perfectly capturing this era’s essence. He also offers a unique perspective on class relations during this time, which will have you think about social issues long after reading.

Vile Bodies is an entertaining and thought-provoking novel that deserves more recognition than it has been given. It’s a timeless classic that will stay with you long after you have finished reading, making it one of the most underrated books ever written.


What is the most respected book in the world?

The Bible is arguably the most respected book in the world. Christians consider it sacred, and its teachings are authoritative and timeless. Other contenders for this title may include classic works such as Homer’s Iliad, Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and Virgil’s Aeneid.

Which country reads the most books?

Studies have shown that the country with the highest rate of book reading is India. However, other countries such as China, Japan, and the United States are also among those with a high rate of book readership.

Who is the #1 best-selling author?

J.K. Rowling is currently the best-selling author of all time, with over 500 million copies of her works sold worldwide. Her Harry Potter series is one of the most successful franchises in history and has been adapted into several films and video games.

Who is the world’s youngest best-selling author?

The world’s youngest best-selling author is a 14-year-old girl from India named Adora Svitak. Her book “Flying Fingers” was published in 2010 and has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide. She is also an internationally recognized public speaker who focuses on topics such as education and literacy.

What is a person who loves to read called?

A person who loves to read is often referred to as a bibliophile. This term describes people who have an intense love and appreciation for books. Bibliophiles often collect rare or unusual editions of their favorite works and can discuss literature enthusiastically online and offline.


It is time to celebrate the underrated but fantastic books lost in the shuffle due to the famous giants of literature overshadowing them. Each underrated book has something unique and refreshing to offer, so it’s worth checking out; some of these novels even became award-winning favorites. Every reader should take a moment to reflect on classic authors and new and lesser-known ones. Allow yourself to discover something new and captivating in the world of reading; let these most underrated books guide you in your literary journey.

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