"In Search of Lost Time" by Marcel Proust is a book that should be read by everyone, especially those with an interest in human perception, snobbishness, the inner self, obsessive love, Modern Art and very long sentences. It is a masterful traverse of French society before and after the First World War, which brilliantly and beautifully illustrates the lingering figures of an aristocracy, which many today might have thought died out with the guillotine. Proust paints his characters as brightly as Toulouse Latrec and as sharply as the previously mentioned blade. The reader will particularly enjoy the narrator's reverence for the deeply fashionable M Swann, his descriptions of the interminable soirees of the drearily nouveau-riche Mme Verdurin, his claustrophobic love for Gilberte/Mme Guermantes/Albertine, and his encyclopaedic wit and wisdom on everything from the stage, fashion trends, the stock market, the telephone, the automobile, and sapphic love, through to hawthorns and those famous little cakes. For those that do not make it to the end the last word is time. What's a million and half words anyway?