Now that we're getting a little past the halfway point in this Top 50 list, the differences between these novels is shrinking ever more.
30. Can Xue, The Last Lover (translated from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen)
One of the best experimental, surrealist fictions from one of my favorite short story writers.
29. Antoine Volodine, Terminus radieux
Winner of the 2014 Prix Médicis, this post-apocalyptic tale set in Siberia might be the best post-apocalyptic/collapse novel that I've read this year in any language.
28. David Cronenberg, Consumed
One of the more unusual, atmospheric novels I've read this year.
27. Hilary Mantel, The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
Pleasantly surprised to see that the two-time Booker Prize winner is just as adept at writing short stories as she is at writing historical novels.
26. John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van
Longlisted for the National Book Award, this debut novel is very well-constructed.
25. Lev Grossman, The Magician's Land
Outstanding conclusion to one of the best fantasy trilogies of the 21st century.
24. Matthew Thomas, We Are Not Ourselves
Excellent debut novel that follows the lives of an Irish-American family across three generations and the complex relationship of an ambitious wife and a more passive, content husband.
23. Jennifer Marie Brissett, Elysium
Debut novel that shows, as on a computer screen in the sky, the alternate lives of a couple. The depth of characterization and prose impress.
22. Rene Denfeld, The Enchanted
Powerful debut that looks at the lives and dreams of those condemned to death row. Moving.
21. Cristina Henríquez, The Book of Unknown Americans
This story of the lives of recent immigrants and their experiences is subtle in its breadth and depth of emotion.