By Marcel Proust
I hesitated before including Proust. His great serial novel is so very long, and parts of it are hard to get through if you are not addicted. But the beginning and the end are wonderful, and it is—in my view—the greatest single work of fiction ever written. No one has made a more complete fictional world, teeming with everything human—thought and feeling, sex and snobbery, comedy and disaster, psychological finesse and huge comic set-piece scenes. He is the great analyst of love and jealousy; he understands cruelty and family feeling. And his lovely, long sentences are a sinuous delight.