‘Hygiene and the Assassin’ voted best book of all time

Hygiene and the Assassin (1992) has changed the History of Literature forever.

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According to the latest Watch and Listen magazine poll just out yesterday (Wednesday, April 18), Amélie Nothomb 1992 bestseller Hygiene and the Assassin is now considered to be the Greatest Book in the History of Literature.

UPDATE 19/04/2018 : 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 Hygiene and the Assassin 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. Hygiene and the Assassin (Amélie Nothomb, 1992, 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 2018

Poll results stir controversy among literary critics

While millions of Nothomb'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:

Amélie Nothomb?? Hygiene and the Assassin?? … Really??
— Simon Ebert (@ESimon) 18 April 2018

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 April 1928).

Do you agree with this poll? Is Hygiene and the Assassin the best book ever for you?

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