What Are The Best London Novels?

By M@ Last edited 33 months ago
What Are The Best London Novels?

Dickens or Woolf? Amis or Ali? White Teeth or Vile Bodies. Anyone for Da Vinci Code?

What are the best novels set (or partly set) in London? We're looking for your nominations to help decide our future reading list. Please vote in the comments below, or on Twitter using hashtag #bestlondonnovel, and we'll round up the results in a few days' time. We ran a similar poll five years ago, so it will be interesting to compare how opinion has changed.

As well as novels, you can also nominate short-story collections and comic books/graphic novels.

If you need your memory jogging, take a look at this list of notable books — or feel free to nominate something more obscure.

See also: the best non-fiction books about London, as nominated by you.

Last Updated 30 September 2015

Keeble Brown

Un Lun Dun by China Miéville or Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin.



Ben Aaronovitch - "Rivers of London"

Matt Salts

Geoff Nicholson's Bleeding London is great.
Michael Moorcock - The Condition Of Muzak, Mother London and King of the City. Especially King of the City - it's fantastic.
Iain Sinclair's Downriver is a masterpiece and should be read by everybody.
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is good, too.
And Kate Griffin's Midnight Mayor series is entertaining and good fun.

Is that enough...?


Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London books


Walk The Lines by Mark Mason or Sherlock Holmes

Radar Blip

The Quincunx by Charles Palliser

Bee Wyeth

Rivers of London series is brilliant. The Bryant & May series by Christopher Fowler is a true love letter to London full of obscure and fascinating information. Also London Falling by Paul Cornell

Marie Moffitt

Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, of course, Elizabeth George's detective series, or at least those volumes set in London, and most of Anthony Powell's twelve-volume A Dance to the Music of Time.

Alan Twelve

Peter Ackroyd - Dan Leno And The Limehouse Golem.

Iain Banks - Walking On Glass.

When I think of Islington Green I still have the mental image formed from reading Walking On Glass long before I ever set foot in Islington. It doesn't really match the reality.

Maddie Thursfield

The Picture of Dorian Grey - Oscar Wilde

Nick Young

'London: The Novel' by Edward Rutherfurd - great historical sweep.


Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton. No competition.

Andy Stone

Norman Collins, London Belongs to Me
William Boyd, Ordinary Thunderstorms


The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi.


Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon.

Jean Johnson

Ruth Rendell, Keys to the Street