It will always be debatable as to which books are the greatest ever written. In fact, some will argue about it until they are blue in the face. We don’t claim to know definitely which books are the best, but we do know that there are some that should be read by absolutely everyone, at least once in their lives.
Be it due to being thought provoking, or providing a window into an era long past, these books are essential reading material.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Originally The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, now simply Don Quixote, this literary delight is referred to by many as the greatest book ever written, and the first real modern novel. This despite the book being published in two parts in 1605 and 1615.
The book tells the tale of Alonso Quixano, a man who has so many romantic interests that he loses his mind, and decides to become a selfless, honourable knight, determined to bring chivalry back into the world. It is after this transformation that he adopts the name Don Quixote.
What is most surprising about the book is how relevant it still is today, with much of the humour strikingly modern. Many of the jokes are based around how out of touch Quixote is, a man holding an extremely outdated view of the world. Quixote’s knightly monologues are constantly undercut by his level headed squire, Sancho Panza; a purposeful effort by the author, Miguel de Cervantes, to mock the tone of earlier novels.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
See the world of the mid-1800s in intense detail, through the eyes of Ishmael, a whaler. This time-machine aspect is one of the biggest draws of Moby Dick, a book that can transport the reader back to an era when a casino movil en linea Mexico would be seen as dark magic, and life was distinctly slower paced.
The writing style of Herman Melville is deeply detailed, and thoroughly poetic, yet still manages to be appealing to this very day. We all know that the story evolves into a maniacal, crazed quest to kill a whale, but that really is only the last third. The rest is a fascinating glimpse into how whaling worked over a century ago, and it is marvellous to witness.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Published in 1955, and deeply controversial to this very day, Lolita is hailed as a masterpiece by many. So influential is the book that the name Lolita has become part of modern language, referring to a young, sexually promiscuous girl.
The well-known story is told from the perspective of a literature professor, Humbert Humbert, who becomes obsessed with a 12 year old girl named Delores Haze. He stops at nothing to be close to her, going so far as to marry Delores’s mother, as a way to be part of her life. Fascinatingly, the story evolves to have Humbert become a victim of sorts, with Delores becoming increasingly more manipulative.
A dark, disturbing tale, but profoundly interesting, and deeply thought provoking.