Best Malayalam Novels That You Must Read: List of Famous Malayalam Novels

  • January 4, 2022
  • 10 min read
Best Malayalam Novels That You Must Read: List of Famous Malayalam Novels

There are several Malayalam Novels that you need to read before you die. Actually, it is hard to list 10 Malayalam best seller Novels from the list of best Novels in Malayalam. Because all the books are different in their narration and the storyline. Best Novels in Malayalam that you must read. The authors describe stories in their own style and that uniqueness keeps the popularity of every novel and book.

Here, we are listing the best Malayalam novels to read. However, these books are entirely unique in their presentation and story base. By analyzing the publicity and requirement of the books, here gives a list of famous Malayalam books. They are


Randamoozham best Malayalam novels

Randamoozham is a 1984 Malayalam novel by Indian author M.T Vasudevan Nair. It is widely credited as his masterpiece and one amount the best Malayalam novels. The work also won the Vayalar Award given for the best literary work in Malayalam in 1985. It also won the Muttathu Varkey Award in 1994. The novel is translated into multiple languages. It was translated to English in 1997.

Another English translation by Geetha Krishnan Kutty published in 2013 is titled ‘BHIMA: LONE WORRIER’. The novel tells about the Indian epic Mahabharata from the perspective of Bhīma, the second Pandava. Even though the story deviates from the traditional Mahabharata story as it avoids the divine elements of the ancient epic.

In this, the presentation of characters and events is very realistic. One of the reasons for the excitement in the novel is following its traditionalism, which was for the first time in Malayalam literature.

The book was translated to Tamil by Kurunjivelan as ‘Irandam Idam’. In 2011 director Hariharan announced his plan to adapt the novel into a film. Malayalam superstar Mohanlal was cast as Bhīma and the story was scripted by M.T Vasudevan Nair himself. The film is the most expensive film in Indian cinema, and one of the most expensive non-English language films. The estimated budget of the film is around 1000 crore.

Pathummayude aadu

Pathummayude aadu best Malayalam novels

Pathummayude aadu Malayalam novel is the most famous and entertainment work of Vaikom Muhammed Basheer. It is based on a true-life story and is one amount the best Malayalam novels. The novel is more about village life and events happening in that village. It can be related to the author’s life in a village.

The characters of the novel are his own family members and events that happen at his home in Thalayolapparambu. The goat in the story belongs to his sister Pathumma, that’s why it has the name ‘Pathummayud Aadu’.

The goat belongs to Basheer’s sister and the presentation of its character is by a voracious appetite. It eats anything and everything. The goat is a metaphor for all the consuming hunger of the family living in poverty.

One basher’s nephew comes to the basher and cries because the goat ate his nicker. In the end, all the siblings gathered together against Pathumma and her goat. The novel is short. It narrates in a humorous style even while it explains serious existential issues.


Aadujeevitham best Malayalam novels

Aadujeevitham (goat days) by Malayalam writer Benyamin is a must-read Indian contemporary fiction. It is one of the Best Malayalam novels and Malayalam best-seller books. The movie adaptation of this novel also has the same-named which is going to release soon. In this book, he narrates the life of a man, from Kerala named Najeeb. He leaves his family and hometown in Saudi Arabia to lead a better life.

When he reaches there, he realizes that his dreams and aspirations have been in waned. He gets thrust into a life of servitude, working as a goatherd in the desert. He was living for a long without having any contact with the outer world and no awareness of the culture, and language of the country. Najeeb finds himself all alone and feels get trapped.

If you are inherently a sensitive person the content of the book will affect you emotionally. Some of the themes that touch our hearts are hardships, mental trauma, captivity, religion, human endurance, resilience, etc. there are very few characters in this novel. Najeeb is the main character.

The story clearly portrays the situation by narrating the changes in their character of Najeeb in the beginning and end. This book which is based on a true story won the 2009 Kerala Sahithya Academy Award. 

Khasakkinte Ithihasam

Khasakkinte Ithihasam best Malayalam novels

The Legends of Khasak is a famous Malayalam novel written by O.V Vijayan, who was a novelist, and a cartoonist. He received the Padmabhooshan award in 2003. D.C Books published the original Malayalam version of the novel. There are approximately 168 pages are there in the book and one amount the best Malayalam novels.

The book starts with the main character Ravi who has just reached the village of Khasak to join as a teacher in the only school in that village. The publication of the English-translation version of this novel is by Penguin Publishers. It has an author’s note described by the author explaining the difficulties he faced during translating the novel.         

The narration style of the novel is like the author is explaining the story to readers. Most of the dialogues are in a Tamil mixed with Malayalam slang. The most used slang is from a Muslim community in Palakkad village. The explanation of all the characters was in a realistic manner. We just feel like we are there in the village sides of Khasak while reading the book.            


Balyakalasakhi best Malayalam novels

The novel has written by Vaikom Muhammed Basheer. It is published in 1944 by D.C Books and is one of the best Malayalam classic books. The novel is an autobiography and one amount the best Malayalam novels. It is the best Malayalam novel for beginners.

The novel is comparatively short with almost 96 pages in it. It is a Malayalam romantic tragedy novel. The most interesting part of the novel is the language Basheer use in his all novels. He commonly uses colloquial language which makes his books unique and a favorite to all the readers who love to live in villages.

The novel tells the teenage love story of Majid and Suhara who are the main characters in this novel. Majid and Suhara were neighbors and childhood friends. They were in love in their school days. Majid was born in a rich family and Suhara was poor.

So they get separated after their school life. Majid left the village and Suhara married another person. He was very abusive and she came back from there. After all these tragic situations, the story ends with the death of Suhara.

The release of the film adaptation of the novel was in 1967. The old film stars in Malayalam Prem Nazir and Sheela were the acters as Majid and Suhara. The name of the film was Balyakalasakhi itself and the direction was by Shashikumar. Basher himself wrote the screenplay and dialogues for the film.

Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil

Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil best Malayalam novels

This is the best Malayalam book for beginners in the Malayalam language by M. Mukundan. The original publication of the novel was in 1974. These books have almost 304 pages. It is a Malayalam fiction that vividly describes the political and social background of Mahe.

This novel was also translated into English and French languages. It is one amount the best Malayalam novels. The main characters of the novel are, Dasan (the protagonist), Chandrika (his girlfriend), and Kunjananthan.

The name of the English version of this novel is ‘On the banks of the Mayyazhi’ and the publication was in 1999. Gita Krishnankutty translated the book into English. Also, the translation to the French version by Sophie Bastide in 2002.

The novel is based on the lives of a few village families in the state of Mahe. The time explained in the novel is the time of French rule in Mahe and the novel includes finer details about the French rule there. There is an explanation of the first, second, and third revolutions against French rule in the novel.  

Oru Dheshathinte Kadha

Oru Dheshathinte Kadha

This novel is written by one of the famous Malayalam novelists S.K Pottakkad in 1971. The publication of the novel was by D.C Books. This is a very big novel with more than 500 pages that explains the history of a place called Athiranippad

am. In this novel, we can also see the history of India. This novel won the Kendra Sahithya Academy Award in 1972 and Jnanpith Award in 1980. The story takes place in a time span of 55 years. It is an autobiographical novel and one amount the best Malayalam novels.

The novel is about the tales of a place ‘Athiranippadam’, where the writer grew up as a child. This story revolves around the life of the protagonist, Sreedharan. The narration of the story will take the reader to the lives of other places like North India, Africa, and Europe. It makes this the first-ever international novel in Malayalam.

Ente Kadha

Ente Kadha best Malayalam novels

This is an autobiography written by Malayalam writer Madhavikkutty (Kamala Surayya). Its original publication was on 1st February 1973 by Current Books. After 1983 its publication was by D.C Books and one amount the best Malayalam novels.

The novel contains almost 107 pages in it. The English translation of the novel is by the author herself in the title ‘My Story’. The motivation for the author Kamala Surayya to write this novel is when she became ill and thought will not survive.

This story is about the author Kamala (Ami). It is the fiction best Malayalam book. The author narrated her childhood, life in the village, teenage love, marriage, divorce, and other extramarital afire in this autobiography.

Even though it is an autobiography, later the author revealed the presence of fiction in it. The novel faced a lot of criticism because of the author’s attitude toward social norms and culture and is one amount the best Malayalam novels.


Naalukettu best Malayalam novels

M.T Vasudevan Nair was a prolific and versatile writer in Malayalam and one amount the best Malayalam novels. His famous novel Nalukettu was published in 1958 when M.T was only 23 years old. This work has won the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award in the same year.

The orientation of most of his books is toward the basic Malayalam family structure and culture. These were path-breaking in the history of Malayalam literature. M.T also won the Jnanpith Award in 1995. He was also a scriptwriter and director of Malayalam films. He won the national film award for the best screenplay 4 times.

Nalukettu is a story of a young boy belonging to Nair Tharavadu. Appunni, the central character had a single thought in his head. He didn’t have a glorious childhood because of the death of his father. This story is about his journey to fight for his right to life and is one amount the best Malayalam novels. The problems that exist in Kerala between higher and lower casts are also there in this novel very clearly.

Oru Sankeerthanam pole

Oru Sankeerthanam pole best Malayalam novels

This is one of the famous novels by Malayalam writer Perumbadavam Sreedharan. This novel was first published in 1933 and it broke the record as a bestselling novel by selling more than I lack copies in 2005.

This novel won Vayalar Award in 1996 and is one amount the best Malayalam novels. The novel explains the life of Russian author Dostoyevsky and his wife Anna. The love story and the life of a writer and a stenographer is the plot of the novel.

The English translation of the novel was by A.J Thomas as ‘Like a Psalm’, and to Hindi and other foreign languages like Arabic. The film adaptation of the novel gave the name ‘in return: just a book’ by Shiny Benjamin.

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