The ONE Classic you would recommend and WHY…The ONE Classic you would recommend and WHY… Kevin #recommend #classics
Sir Gibbie, because its author George MacDonald (who influenced everybody who is anybody) is so overlooked, and it’s probably his most accessible novel.
Wuthering Heights because it’s more than a book.
@Kristen what else is it, a hat? ?
Family Guy reference btw ?
Matt Nev Pope it’s a sensual experience and a religious experience. I swear I can hear them talking in their grave.
Hmm I’d say the count of monte cristo. Firstly I love the characters. They are so interesting and I like the way they develop throughout the book. Secondly it has all the best parts of a good story; power , revenge, love etc.
Also on another note I think everyone should read the gothic “horrors” as their stories are completely different from the modern day versions.
@Sean I totally agree about The Count of Monte Cristo. Great book.
@Sean I like Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic stories most of all
The Canterbury tales. Chaucer may never have finished it, but he managed to capture all of human life in what he did write. It is a portrait of us, even at this distance.
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky. How far can a Father push his sons before they fight back. The conversations between two brothers when one is a Monk and one is atheist.
The Grapes of Wrath, because it still rings so true today. “Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”
Stacy Marie Christopher I love The Grapes of Wrath, and the film version with Henry Fonda is beautifully filmed. Great choice!
An amazing book. This is one of those books that literally becomes a part of you and changes your outlook on life.
@Crystal and @Tom, I recently re-read it for the first time since high school and was just blown away by it! (Maybe I should give things another go every 40 years or so ?)
@Stacy I agree. There are some books I think I need to re-read.
@Stacy Steinbeck is simply great. I love all of his books.
Just one book. . . that is a tough one, maybe impossible. For me, maybe one of Dickens’ great novels, like Bleak House or Dombey and Son.
Okay, Bleak House, final answer!
A quicker summing up than Jarndyce and Jarndyce
Both excellent novels! I don’t think I’ve ever met another Dombey and Son fan before!
@David The first time I read Dombey and Son, I cried like a baby. It felt incredibly cathartic.
@Tom I tend to do that with George MacDonald books (see my reply to the OP) but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did so with Dombey and Son on my first read…can’t remember though, as it’s been a good few years!
Little Big Man. Cuz I remember fondly the enchanting feeling it filled me with (in 1970 when I was 17.)
Vanity fair. Despite a lot of tragedy it is really funny and thoroughly enjoyable. I think it would make people think differently about older books if they don’t normally read them.
@Lucy I have picked up Vanity Fair twice and put it back down after the first few chapters but going to try again thank you
I wholeheartedly concur. I have reread Vanity Fair once or twice a year for the last 15 years or so. It is indeed very funny in parts and I think Thackeray’s characterisations and understanding of human nature are spot on. It’s one of those books that gives you a little more insight every time you read it.
Stop it you book nerds!!!!
The obvious answer is The Maltese Falcon. Or The Big Sleep.
Frankenstein because it’s got so much topic for debate. Who is the real monster?
Probably the guy looking to marry his adopted sister…
Homer’s Odyssey for me. I have read and studied it many times and like a true classic, it never ceases to reveal something interesting on each reread. The life lessons you can glean from The Odyssey are pearls of wisdom.
Thackeray’s Vanity Fair – a comic masterpiece and a book for all centuries.
Yep – this is my desert island book.
John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” is important, given it deals with struggles of the common man (and woman) in identifiable and palpable language.
the once and future king by th white
best king arthur telling
Jane Eyre….love her convictions and her strong spirit…and GOTTA love a happy ending. 😉
Pride and Prejudice.
Choosing one favourite book is almost impossible but, if I could only have one it would be Jane Eyre. She is a strong character, knew her own mind and despite enormous difficulties, managed to forge life and purpose for herself in an age that was not helpful to women without family or means. As Agatha Yo says, a happy ending is most satisfying.
Well, @Kevin, it seems you’ll be needing a library rather than a single book ! 😀
I like the fact that there is such a wide selection to the choices?
The Handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood
@Matildita I just reread it. I have loved it for years. Before all the hype
@Stacey Yes, I read it before, then reread it for school and now I found out that there’s a combo of the book + a review of the literary terms in Barnes and Noble.
@Matildita wow really? Margaret Atwood’s sequel is coming out I think in September
Crime and punishment.. simply because it makes you a better human being I guess.
@Rishi I have never been able to finish Crime and Punishment even though I have tried several times. It is the favourite book of my husband and older son but I just can’t seem to take the relentless swirling of guilt and self-examination. But I am assured that it does in fact make one a better person to have finished it. Thanks for the reminder.
Mary Lu Redden it was one of the books from the early age, when I matured from child literature.. :).. my father was an Amid reader as any I could imagine and he chose the book for me and made me go through it… Was one of the greatest lessons he could ever impart.. It had always persuaded me to think beyond my age, examine life at every stage and as I always said , it changes the human inside you ! A never miss .. and really the one book if you are starting serious reading.
Meanwhile just to add to the point, the book which I had given mutiple starts and yet to finish is rightfully ” The castle” … As the book itself is, IAM still unfinished with it… That’s a testament to your own maturity as a reader as well 🙂 still long way to go.
That’s my definition of a classic: a book that you never really “finish” because it rewards each rereading with new insights and new thoughts. Crime and Punishment goes back on my “to read” list now! Thanks.
Tess of the D’Ubervilles or Far from the Madding Crowd – both Thomas Hardy. Love the romance of the day
@Theresa Somehow Hardy did not even come to mind, and he is such an amazing writer. The landscape is always a “character” in his novels. You have excellent selections, and I would add The Return of the Native.
@Tom That’s one of my favourites of Hardy’s.
@Theresa my favorite writer but an utterly depressing one. But I adore him.
@Kristen yes he is …. but underneath is a flavour of something so special, I keep going back for more.
Very hard… Dickens, Hardy or the Brontes … I think Jane Eyre has it by a nose to Wuthering Heights. I’m a sucker for a tragedy with a female lead. Jane’s journey through the novel is compelling reading.
I wouldn’t call Jane Eyre a tragedy, though, in terms of the ultimate outcome…unless you meant Wuthering Heights…
@Tracey I too love Jane Eyre. My older son,who is an engineer, had to read it once for a compulsory English requirement for science students. It broke my heart that he hated it so much that he couldn’t finish it. So I summarized the story and characters for him and he got the top mark on the Jane Eyre in class quiz!!
Shakespeare “Much Ado About Nothing”
@Natalia great to see Shakespeare on this post ?
This discussion is inspiring me to read Faulkner which I have never done. I would like to recommend a Canadian author: Margaret Laurence. She has been eclipsed by the other Canadian Margaret (Atwood) but she is a powerful writer with tough, intense female characters. Especially in The Stone Angel.
@Mary I will add Laurence to my list of writers to read.
I had a tough time with Faulkner, but I did enjoy his short story “A Rose for Ms. Emily” (I think that is the title). He also wrote a novel titled Intruders in the Dust (1948). While I have not read the novel yet, I saw the movie (which I absolutely loved), and I found aspects of it more interesting than To Kill a Mockingbird. While I love Scout’s voice, I suspect Lee was familiar with Faulkner’s earlier work.
@Tom I have read “A Rose for Emily” but not for a long time. So I guess I have read a wee bit of Faulkner. I read a lot of non-fiction and sometimes fiction takes a back seat but as I am on a quest to understand the USA, I will include more American fiction in my list.
Moby Dick (with footnotes) for me. Man vs man, man vs nature…..a great read.
Tom Sawyer gives a glimpse into a prepubescent boy’s world and how he conceptualize it.
@Sheila the ideal age to read Tom Sawyer would be when you are somewhere around 10-15 years… especially boys…Yes.. I can vouch for that 🙂
There are several that I would suggest but today, I will suggest Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.
Two issues of importance to this drama that totally intrigue me, are tragedy and fate .
Mechanisms by which, humans may escape the claws of either tragedy .and or fate.
@Kathy I agree. I’ve read it numerous times and I still gasp in shock at his moment of discovery. A very powerful piece of writing. I’d put The Trojan Women up there as well.
I’d probably plump for ‘1984’ as it’s so brilliantly crafted and continues to have an impact on popular culture whether you live in a democracy, theocracy or dictatorship it is still relevant. I re-read it every few years and always glean something new from it. In short it’s doubleplusgood.?
Emma – Jane Austen, for being an entertaining read in how it points out social irony with a light touch.
@Anisha Austen is my go to literature when I feel down but still want something intelligent to read
Little women because it shows how important family is when you don’t have much
Atlas Shrugged, because it cuts through all the confusion and lies about political philosophies and economic philosophies.
@Chris this book has caused so much controversy even today. It must have some relevance to still be so hated. A must read for me.
A Christmas Carol. Because its great