The 100 most meaningful books of all time

A 2002 survey of around 100 well-known authors from 54 countries voted for the most meaningful book of all time in a poll organised by editors at the Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo. Voters included Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie, Carlos Fuentes and Norman Mailer. Miguel de Cervantes’ tale gained 50% more votes than any other book, eclipsing works by Shakespeare, Homer and Tolstoy.

Ten authors got more than one book on to the list. After Cervantes, Fyodor Dostoevsky emerged as the most worthwhile read with four books listed. The only Shakespeare plays the authors agreed on were Hamlet, King Lear and Othello. The Bard was matched by Franz Kafka whose three angst-ridden tales of grotesque alienation on the list were The Trial, The Castle and the Complete Stories. Three works by Leo Tolstoy made it: War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories. William Faulkner and Virginia Woolf both scored twice, along with the Colombian Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Other than Don Quixote in first place below, the remaining 99 titles are reproduced as published by De Norske Bokklubbene in alphabetical order and are not ranked.