‘Bille en tête’ voted best book of all time

Bille en tête (1986) has changed the History of Literature forever.

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According to the latest Watch and Listen magazine poll just out yesterday (Thursday, September 16), Alexandre Jardin 1986 bestseller Bille en tête is now considered to be the Greatest Book in the History of Literature.

UPDATE 17/09/2021 : This story seems to be false. (read more)

Top 100 books of all time

To many of you it’s probably a familiar story. Once every decade, the world-renowned literary magazine Watch and Listen conducts a global poll of book publishers and critics from 80 different countries and translated into 20 languages. The recognition of Bille en tête in this decade's list doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Here are the top 5 best books ever written in the world, according to the poll (followed by the percentage of votes):

  1. Bille en tête (Alexandre Jardin, 1986, France) : 45%
  2. Don Quixote (Cervantes, 1605, Spain) : 23%
  3. The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas, 1844, France) : 17%
  4. Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling, 1997-2007, United Kingdom) : 7%
  5. Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov, 1955, Russia) : 3%

Check out: The Full Watch and Listen's “Greatest Books of All Time” List for 2021

Poll results stir controversy among literary critics

While millions of Jardin's fans in France and around the world were thrilled with the news, questions have been raised about the objectivity and fairness of the survey. Only a few minutes after the poll had been released, famous literary critic and newspaper director Simon Ebert commented on his Twitter account:

Alexandre Jardin?? Bille en tête?? … Really??
— Simon Ebert (@ESimon) 16 September 2021

Our poll has in the past been the subject of criticism”, explains Watch and Listen's editor Gary McDermott, adding that “its prestige comes from its exclusivity and its longevity” (the poll has been run every ten years since September 1931).

Do you agree with this poll? Is Bille en tête the best book ever for you?

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