One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García MárquezRead about the other entries on the list.
The defining novel of "magical realism", and a book that has given rise to so many works of pure whimsy, is a family chronicle revolving around an imaginary village based on the author's native Aracataca. The haunting strangeness of the Colombian interior, as it must have been perceived by the first Spaniards, is beautifully conveyed in the course of a journey in which the village's early settlers encounter a Spanish galleon mysteriously stranded in the middle of a jungle. The rest of the book develops into what can be interpreted as a poetic history of Colombia, a country torn apart by an internal conflict that has gone on for so long that no one can remember exactly their reasons for fighting. The novel, read today in the light of García Márquez's current gradual loss of memory, can also be seen as a work of uncanny prescience.
One Hundred Years of Solitude made Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families and Rebecca Stott's five best list of historical novels. It is one of Lynda Bellingham's six best books, Walter Mosley's five favorite books, Eric Kraft's five most important books, and James Patterson's five most important books.