If you had to recommend just one 'classic'

(130 Posts)
berri Sat 13-Oct-12 03:22:02

What would it be?

Going on holiday soon and I want to try something different - it'll be my last chance to get stuck into a book before the arrival of DC2 and I'm aware I haven't read any of the classics....what would you recommend if you had to choose one? Or maybe two, wishful thinking that I'll have time ;)

chemenger Sat 13-Oct-12 03:32:23

Jane Austen is a good place to start, Pride and Prejudice or Emma to begin with. Dickens I find boring, too much description. Jane Eyre, which lots of people like I found relentlessly miserable and struggled to finish. Woman in Black is great, if you aren't reading it alone in an isolated house on an island. Would be best read on a crowded beach!

Stonefield Sat 13-Oct-12 03:45:46

Wilkie collins' woman in white

evilgiraffe Sat 13-Oct-12 06:46:16

William Golding's Lord of the Flies. It's BRILLIANT. Also short so you can read another couple of books too.

Pride and Prejudice, Wutheing Heights, and Jane Eyre also good, but perhaps a little more difficult to maintain concentration on if you're not used to that sort of language and are likely to be distracted on holiday.

Others that I love are Lorna Doone, the Call of the Wild, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. In fact any Jack London is good, my favourite of his is the Sea Wolf - Wolf Larsen is one of the greatest characters ever written.

issimma Sat 13-Oct-12 06:47:49

Jude the Obscure.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 13-Oct-12 06:51:25

Another vote for Wilkie Collins Woman In White.

For something more modern Daphne Du Maurier, try Rebecca or Jamaica Inn.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 13-Oct-12 06:52:42

Th Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte is wonderful too, by far my favourite book of any of the Bronte sisters.

BikeRunSki Sat 13-Oct-12 06:59:05


thezoobmeister Sat 13-Oct-12 06:59:38

Thackeray's Vanity Fair - great characters, page-turning plot, and is also very funny.

SuiGeneris Sat 13-Oct-12 06:59:56

Lady Chatterley. Or Pride and Prejudice.

Happybunny12 Sat 13-Oct-12 07:04:17

Emma or wuthering heights. Not sure I agree that Rebecca is a 'classic' but it is a great read, so would also recommend that, I must have read it 5 times!

akaemmafrost Sat 13-Oct-12 07:09:38

The Great Gatsby.

TheMysteryCat Sat 13-Oct-12 07:14:57

The count of monte cristo is great big fat adventure story with a little philosophy!

Frankenstein is also a brilliant book and not the monster story we tend to think.

I also love Rebecca.

seeker Sat 13-Oct-12 07:16:38

Pride and Prejudice.
Vanity Fair

evilgiraffe Sat 13-Oct-12 07:24:32

I would say Rebecca is a classic, a modern classic but a classic nonetheless.

Trazzletoes Sat 13-Oct-12 07:27:42

The woman in white is good but if I had to pick one I would go with Wuthering Heights. I could read it endlessly.

The Moonstone is proving good so far too...

nkf Sat 13-Oct-12 07:33:50

What do you normally like? If you are not a usual classic reader, try to make a link wth your normal reading habits. Not everyone likes Jane Austen for example. But Wilkie Collins is very accessible because they read like thrillers. Jsne Eyre too. Lots of passion and mystery.

To Kill a Mockingbird, it's wonderful!

berri Sat 13-Oct-12 14:42:18

Wow, thanks all - living in USA at the mo so woken up to loads of suggestions.

I do like crime etc nkf but there's no particular reason I haven't read the classics, I suppose I just think they'll always be around and want to read more current things. But I don't want to never read things like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights etc - so I thought I'd see what people suggested so I don't waste half my holiday plodding through a book that's not really grabbing me.

Thanks again for the suggestions, Saturday is a good Kindle day I think smile

Wuthering heights
Great expectations

Sorry that is two but cannot choose between them.

Rebecca is fabulous too actually.

Have Moonstone on my kindle, must read it one day!!!!

Bluestocking Sat 13-Oct-12 15:35:27

Middlemarch ticks all my boxes and it's lovely and long.

ClareMarriott Sat 13-Oct-12 15:36:17

Dear Berri

I would choose either To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee or The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck . If you like crime , there are books about/ by Sara Parestsky ( ?) that my sister really likes Hope that helps Clare

2cats2many Sat 13-Oct-12 15:37:03

I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith. Charming, timeless and completely readable.

baskingseals Sat 13-Oct-12 15:38:54

quickly read Anna Karenina before the film comes out and Keira bloody Knightly spoils it for you.

it is almost the perfect novel.

would also reccommend A Town called Alice, and the Go-Between.

LittleBoxes Sat 13-Oct-12 15:40:09

Jane Eyre or Vanity Fair. Or Tess of the D'Urbervilles if you're feeling a bit doomy.

RoxyRobin Sat 13-Oct-12 15:40:58

Barchester Towers. I never fancied Trollope when I was younger but now realise what I've been missing all these years. Mrs Proudie is my role-model!

hk78 Sat 13-Oct-12 15:41:54

It has to be To Kill a Mockingbird.

Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell

evilgiraffe Sat 13-Oct-12 15:44:31

baskingseals - that is my plan! grin I've not read Anna Karenina, but it's been on my list for a long time.

andrewcowley23 Sat 13-Oct-12 15:47:32

Les Miserables for certain. I read this in the Summer. Felt I owed it to Victor Hugo after my year 6 performed a truncated version of the musical as their leavers assembly. For a 150 year old book it is remarkably fresh, funny, and full of social commentary, with many more narrative twists than the musical has. Much darker in many ways too. I wonder if the film will generate more sales.

MaryZed Sat 13-Oct-12 15:48:46

I'm marking my place here and making a list. I'm also interested in how old a book has to be before it is a classic? I love A Town Like Alice and have read a fair few other Neville Shute, which I love. I've also read people like Anya Seton, and enjoyed them.

Whereas many of my "school" classics (Dickens, Three Men in a Boat, Waiting for Fecking Godot, To Kill a Mockingbird) have left me very cold.

Are these all free on Kindle? I have just acquired a Kindle, so will be attempting this as soon as I acquire the corresponding cable and charger.

GreeenFingers Sat 13-Oct-12 15:48:53

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

lunchbox Sat 13-Oct-12 15:56:55

To kill a mockingbird
Catcher in the rye
The secret history ( not sure if this is considered a classic, but it should be wink )

Yama Sat 13-Oct-12 15:58:39

Lots of great suggestions here.

I would recommend Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

ShatnersBassoon Sat 13-Oct-12 15:59:47

The Grapes of Wrath. It's great.

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 13-Oct-12 16:03:19

Lord of the Flies to Light your fire with, or use as toilet paper.

It is a truly vile book.

Anna Karenina is sublime.

I may re-read anyway, as there is NO WAY I am going to see the film. A veritable piece of wood playing Anna simply makes me want to weep. Muchly.

evilgiraffe Sat 13-Oct-12 16:34:17

Startail, no! Lord of the Flies is vile how?! It's an ominous commentary on civilisation, and how easily it breaks down. If it's vile, it's only in how terrifyingly accurate it is. I can understand if you're a bit squeamish, but that doesn't make it vile.

GreeenFingers Sat 13-Oct-12 16:41:44

Not a Classic yet but what about " Chocolat" by Joanne Harris

GreySquirrel Sat 13-Oct-12 16:55:29

Jude the Obscure, Our Mutual Friend, Little Dorrit, Woman in White, Adam Bede, Middlemarch or Emma defintely some of my favourites, also Mill on the Floss

mum47 Sat 13-Oct-12 16:56:36

Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse is genius.

berri Sat 13-Oct-12 17:16:19

lunchbox I loved A Secret History smile

I read To Kill A Mockingbird at school which kind of puts me off, but maybe I could revisit it.

nkf Sat 13-Oct-12 17:18:11

Not sure I'd call A Secret History a classic. Some excellent books in this list.

birdsofshoreandsea Sat 13-Oct-12 17:20:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Handsfulloffun Sat 13-Oct-12 17:22:01

Another vote for Rebecca and Jane Eyre.

Yes lots of freebies for your kindle

Victor Hugo Les Miserables is unputdownable.

SandStorm Sat 13-Oct-12 17:26:07

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

It's a wonderful book but be warned - it's also the saddest book I have ever read. If you do read it, make sure you read the end somewhere private.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 17:30:12

YY to Rebecca and Woman in white.

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 13-Oct-12 17:32:36

Alice in Wonderland and the sequel, Through the Looking Glass.

So imaginative & delightful - it would be a shame to never read these.

parques Sat 13-Oct-12 17:33:37

Far From the Madding Crowd and also Dracula..... very different, I know, but both excellent.

Phineyj Sat 13-Oct-12 17:38:36

I love Wilkie Collins too - he is so readable and his women are so much more feisty than Dickens' (IMO) annoying drips (not the Woman in White though - I really wanted to slap her by the end!)

I'm going to go a bit more contemporary as regards classics and recommend Cold Comfort Farm, the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and Ender's Game (the latter only if you like sci-fi). Anthony Price's Other Paths to Glory is a classic of the Cold War thriller genre. If you like crime, you could try some golden age crime writing - my top picks would be Dorothy L. Sayers (my favourite is Murder Must Advertise) and anything by Josephine Tey.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 17:46:52

I love Dracula haven't read it for years...

I don't know if these are classed as classics or are to childish for you, but I love re-reading Railway children, Secret Garden, Little princess.

Faxthatpam Sat 13-Oct-12 17:50:04

One hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Gacia Marquez. I love that book, must dig it out and read it again.

Faxthatpam Sat 13-Oct-12 17:50:55

Oh and The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald. Ditto.

ladymuckbeth Sat 13-Oct-12 17:54:10

If you're living in the States at the moment and haven't already read it, it HAS to be 'The Grapes of Wrath'. I was spellbound - words fail me, but you just HAVE to read this book.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 13-Oct-12 17:54:59

I'm currently re-reading Pride and Prejudice, and absolutely loving it smile. I've got Dracula sitting on my kindle grin for some time soon too, but I'm in the mood for Jane Austen atm. Recently read The Picture of Dorian Gray - not bad, but not a real favourite.

I love that you can get so many classics for free on kindle.

So many of your suggestions, brandy I've downloaded to read to DD because I want to re-read them grin I loved E Nesbitt's novels as a child and also The Secret Garden too. Not wild about Alice in Wonderland though, but will re-read to see if I change my mind.

Billwoody Sat 13-Oct-12 18:00:04

I third The Secret History - is a classic as far as I am concerned.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 18:01:31

Yeah I never got Alice in wonderland either. I did quite like the film.

Bilbobagginstummy Sat 13-Oct-12 18:04:38

Wow - I didn't expect Alice in Wonderland to be so controversial.

nkf Sat 13-Oct-12 18:05:37

You wouldn't read Alice in Wonderland as an adult though would you?

Faxthatpam Sat 13-Oct-12 18:08:55

I didn't get the whole Alice thing either.
i absolutely fourth the The Secret History. My DH raved about it too.

Inneedofbrandy Sat 13-Oct-12 18:10:46

Sorry Bilbo I do love the hobbit and LOTR to make up to you smile

colleysmill Sat 13-Oct-12 18:13:38

I still love Jamaica Inn - smuggling, murder, suspense, bit of romance and a strong female central character.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 13-Oct-12 18:14:33

The Secret History is fabulous smile. Wish Donna Tartt would hurry up and write another novel. Nothing since The Little Friend. I thought there was a rumour of a third novel, but that was quite a while ago.

maillotjaune Sat 13-Oct-12 18:54:28

If I could have only one classic I'd go for Vanity Fair. Great characters and Thackeray is generally pretty funny.

For a modern classic The Master and Margherita is bonkers.

berri Sat 13-Oct-12 22:41:44

Thanks so much everyone, have spent all afternoon filling up my Kindle.

Now I still don't know which one to start with.... grin

Startailoforangeandgold Sat 13-Oct-12 22:49:11

evilgiraffe that's why its vile!

I don't need to spend my leisure time reading a story that just gets nastier and nastier, you can guess this isn't going to end well from very early on.

I just can't conceive how anyone could sit down and write anything so depressing.

I only finished because we did it in school, but as the glasses wearing butt of the classes jokes I didn't exactly enjoy it.

I'm sorry, but reading and watching films should be an uplifting experience.

Happy Endings Only.

If I want to be depressed I'll watch the news.

Lots of books are depressing though! Doesn't make them bad books, just not to your taste. I love LoTF

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 14-Oct-12 00:27:34

Can You Forgive Her? Trollope
Mill on the Floss
Rebecca or The House on the Strand

Rebecca, if I had to pick for a holiday read.

TuftyFinch Sun 14-Oct-12 00:31:36

Tess of the D'Ubervilles
To Kill a Mockingbird
Oscar Wilde short stories

QueefLatina Sun 14-Oct-12 00:34:51

I second Tender is the Night.

I'll add 'Brideshead Revisited'

EmBOOsa Sun 14-Oct-12 00:37:31

Does Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy count as a classic yet?

Clary Sun 14-Oct-12 00:44:09

OOoh loads of good ideas here!

I luurve Great Gatsby, it's short and pretty easy-going in terms of language etc, in a way that the Brontes and Dickens IMO are not.

Jane AUsten esp Emma or P&P; To Kill a Mockingbird is a fabulous book that I didn't read until I was in my 30s. It's also shorter than some of those mentioned here, and more modern ie written in 20th not 19th century which may make it appeal.

ALso the Go Between and Catcher in the Rye are quicker reads than some and so so so good.

Want to read the Go Between again now actually but my copy is in a box somehere sad

Clary Sun 14-Oct-12 00:47:55

Oooh phineyj I adore Dorothy L Sayers but when I made my book group read the Nine Tailors they all hated it and said "why i we reading this old-fashioned rubbish" which was a bit rich when they have made me read unreadable bobbins like rather long and wordy books like David Copperfield and Middlemarch, neither of which I feel I could recommend to the OP.

Startailoforangeandgold Sun 14-Oct-12 01:00:33

grin hitch hikers jolly well ought to count, thought provoking and amusing, that I can cope with.

evilgiraffe Sun 14-Oct-12 07:40:39

Different strokes for different folks I suppose. You are denying yourself a lot of beautifully written and thought-provoking literature if you insist on happy endings, though. I prefer to keep an open mind.

BalloonSlayer Sun 14-Oct-12 07:53:44

Lots of great recommendations here.

Would second "Great Expectations" or "David Copperfield" although perhaps not the latter if you are about to have another DC.

And can I say that the great Nevil Shute novel is "A Town LIKE Alice" not "A Town CALLED Alice." It's unusual to make that mistake if you've actually read it . . . the story is about turning a crappy little outback town into a thriving place people want to live, LIKE Alice Springs . . . sorry to be so pedantic but it makes me want to scream. Fantastic book though, might read it again myself soon (actually not sure about it for you in your condition, OP, as like DC it also has mothers and babies dying sad )

Phantom of The Opera.

marilynmonroe Sun 14-Oct-12 08:09:14

Grapes of wrath.

My dad said you will never forget the last page and he was right. Dh read it on our last holiday and he loved it and was moved by it.

BalloonSlayer Sun 14-Oct-12 08:28:19

I love the Grapes of Wrath too, and agree about the last page. But again, suitable for a woman about to give birth?

EnidNightshade Sun 14-Oct-12 10:23:14

Loads of great recs here, and a lot of the pre-1900 stuff will be available free on kindle/ibooks etc.

How about Edith Wharton? Age of Innocence is good if you like a bit of melancholy... A bit more fun would be Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh - intimidating title, but actually very funny in a sardonic sort of way.

GetOrfAKAMrsUsainBolt Sun 14-Oct-12 10:30:34

If I had to choose just one it would be vanity fair - it is such a modern book imo, very funny and cynical.

valiumredhead Sun 14-Oct-12 16:04:13

Rebecca by DDM.

PrincessSymbian Sun 14-Oct-12 16:15:17

Bleak House by Dickens, cannot believe it had not already come up. Also Anna Karenina and To Kill A Mockingbird. All three are fabulous wonderful books.
Also yy to The Women in White.

babybythesea Sun 14-Oct-12 19:28:34

Bah - wrote a message which MN promptly lost. Try again.
My favourite Austen is Northanger Abbey - I read it as a teenager when much of the subtlety of Austen went over my head but even then I saw the humour in it, and the Gothic take-off.
More votes for Rebecca, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Sorry, couldn't stand Lord of the Flies. I 'did' it at school so anaylsed every sodding sentence - I understood the meaning but I still thought "What they need is a girl. This is not a commentary on society but a disparaging view of the way little boys behave. They need to grow up."

I also like Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South. I found it easy to read and entertaining.

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 14-Oct-12 19:35:39

1984 - a marvelous, marvelous book.

ThalianotFailure Sun 14-Oct-12 19:46:41

I'm looking at My Favourite Books shelf and the classics on it are:

Lady Audley's Secret
The Monk (both very gothic)
The Go-Between
To Kill a Mockingbird
I Capture the Castle
The Razor's Edge
Goodnight Mister Tom

if you like crime Dorothy L Sayers is a brilliant 'classic' crime author

and some others that I love which probably don't count as classics:
The Mists of Avalon
The Pillars of the Earth
The L Shaped Room
The Princess Bride
Lord of the Rings
Wolf Hall

and, for what it's worth, I absolutely loathe Wuthering Heights, 2 of the most self-centred, unlikeable protagonists ever to grace the pages of a book. Hate it.

ukfarmer Sun 14-Oct-12 21:40:28

P G Woodehouse, Blandings Castle my favourite- but be warned, as can be very irritrating you chuckling in bed as partner tries to sleep

3littlefrogs Sun 14-Oct-12 21:50:26

Rite of Passage by William Golding.
Testament of youth - Vera Britten

Not classics, but worth reading.

I remember really enjoying the Poldark novels years ago (when I actually had time to read books).

inabeautifulplace Sun 14-Oct-12 22:00:46

Steinbeck is my favourite author, but The Grapes of Wrath would not be my choice. East of Eden is a better book if you want an epic.If you don't then I would go for Cannery Row and its sequel, Sweet Thursday.

mrsfuzzy Sun 14-Oct-12 22:51:51

i love 'wuthering heights' and 'rebecca'

MrsMellowDrummer Sun 14-Oct-12 22:53:55

Oh, I was going to say East of Eden too!
Possibly the Best Book Ever. And you can also read Steinbeck's Journal of a Novel, which is a fascinating companion piece.

And yes, A Town Like Alice is a beautiful beautiful novel.

gillythekid Mon 15-Oct-12 22:08:01

To Kill A Mockingbird has to be one of the most beautifully written, accessible and poignant novels ever written. I studied literature to degree level and having pulled apart works of fiction to the point where I could no longer merely read for pleasure, it was re-reading Harper Lee's book in adulthood, that made me fall in love with the written word all over again. Perfection.

MamaMary Mon 15-Oct-12 22:12:25

Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina. Both about strong women who were shackled by the times they lived in.

Agree that it's utterly maddening Keira Wooden Can't Act Knightly is playing Anna in the film.

MamaMary Mon 15-Oct-12 22:13:50

I have read Grapes of Wrath but I can't remember the last page confused

MamaMary Mon 15-Oct-12 22:16:32

Oh, yes, I remember now. blush and sad

Homer's 'The Iliad'. Fab story.

gokhuvegeta Wed 17-Oct-12 12:16:39

Little women by Louisa May Alcott.

KeithLeMonde Wed 17-Oct-12 12:58:58

We recently read The Great Gatsby in our book group. It was a re-read for me, having read it as a teen and got nothing from it. This time round I absolutely loved it, there was so much in there and I'd not seen any of it first time round. I need to go back and re-read some of the other classics that were foisted on me as a teen (Vanity Fair, A Tale of Two Cities) and see if they've similarly transformed into wonderful reads........

Dickens would be my choice for a chunky lose-yourself read. Great Expectations or Bleak House of the ones I've read.

My favourite Austen is Persuasion. I love the story, the heroine rather past her best as a marriage prospect, nursing wounded pride over a broken engagement (and still rather taken with her old flame). It seemed such a timeless story - and Austen is such a fantastic writer.

What else? Some already mentioned: Edith Wharton (The House of Mirth as well as Age of Innocence), Jane Eyre (I also enjoyed Villette), Tess of the Durbevilles, Madame Bovary.

Some less well-known novels which are cracking good reads (not sure whether it's age or critical acclaim that makes a classic): Marriage by Susan Ferrier, Evelina by Fanny Burney, Mary Lavelle by Kate O'Brien.

arniesidd Wed 17-Oct-12 13:09:51

1984 by George Orwell; a chilling glimpse into a dystopian future written in the 1930's.. And a good reminder of where the name Big Brother came from!

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Another brilliant, but gloomy, story of a distant future world.

valiumredhead Wed 17-Oct-12 13:11:22

Both of those are fab books arnie

NomNomingiaDePlum Wed 17-Oct-12 13:17:28

moby dick.

valiumredhead Wed 17-Oct-12 13:19:04


iismum Fri 19-Oct-12 22:27:17

Can't believe Alice in Wonderland is getting such a hard time - it's fab.

Some of my favourites:
Our Mutual Friend (but dislike Great Expectations)
North and South is fab
The Way We Live Now (great, and less of a commitment than many Trollopes because stand-alone rather than in a series)
Persuasion is my favourite Jane Austen too, but they're all fab and quite easy reading
Shirley is my fave of the Brontes - def not Jane Eyre (too melodramatic and implausible)
The Brothers Karamazov (to my mind the most readable of Dostoyevsky)

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 19-Oct-12 22:30:11

Rose Tremain - The Colour. Thrilling IMO

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 19-Oct-12 22:32:25

also Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is better than 1984 I think

KarenHL Fri 19-Oct-12 22:34:42

In order, my current top three 'classics'

Dickens - David Copperfield
Hardy - Mayor of Casterbridge
LM Alcott - Work

VerySmallSqueak Fri 19-Oct-12 22:38:14

The Age of Reason by John-Paul Sartre,or
Down and out in Paris and London by George Orwell (I agree Funnys )

PoppadomPreach Fri 19-Oct-12 22:39:03

YY to Anna Karenina

I'll throw Sunset Song by Lewis grassic gibbon into the mix too.

leddeeburdee Fri 19-Oct-12 22:46:12

A Room with a View and the French Lieutenant's Woman are favourites of mine.

outtolunchagain Fri 19-Oct-12 22:57:55

Portrait of a Lady

mixedmamameansbusiness Mon 22-Oct-12 13:30:12

Wuthering Heights and Persuasion for me, so beautiful.

I have so many of these on my shelf waiting to be read, I pick them up on random book stalls etc whenever I see a classic because I know I will eventually read them.

Also, reading To Kill a Mockingbird made me love it rather than put me off. It is an absolutely superb book.

cumfy Mon 22-Oct-12 15:48:39

Moby Dick

cumfy Mon 22-Oct-12 15:49:41

Or Crime and Punishment

If I had to recommend just one it would be To Kill a Mockingbird - a book I reread on a regular basis. Anyone who did it at school and didn't like it should try it again, it gains more reading it from a parents perspective too. I am currently reading it to my eldest DC, its gorgeous to read aloud the language is just beautiful.

But I also love Thomas Hardy, particularly Tess and Jude the Obscure (both a bit depressing but so lovely). Austen - Emma, Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

Jane Eyre just annoys me, I want to slap her! But I did love Wuthering Heights.

Have got some good recommendations myself from this thread, have always struggled with Dickens but think I will give him another go, and maybe try some Trollope.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 29-Oct-12 14:10:12

aubergines - don't get me started on Jane Eyre grin That novel annoys me too. Why would you want to marry a man who kept his wife imprisoned in the attic? Even taking into account the Victorian's approach to mental health issues that was still, in my mind, an act of extreme cruelty. Did she "go mad" because she was locked up, or was she locked up because she was unwell? We'll never know the answer to that one. If it was the first, then Jane beware!

So many good books on here. I do need to re-read wuthering heights soon...., and Madame B!!! After I've caught up on book club!

lucyellenmum Mon 29-Oct-12 22:09:53

Loved REbecca and Jamaica inn - jamaica inn was quite heavy though.

I really REALLY liked crime and punishment but dostoyesky - I was a bit intimidated by it at first but it was AMAZING!!! So easy to read.

Have woman in white on my kindle, i was reading this, very good - dropped it in the bath (the book, not my kindle!!!)

bimblebee Tue 30-Oct-12 17:51:02

Anything by Thomas Hardy.
Also The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
And personally I loved Alice in Wonderland (still do)!

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 31-Oct-12 14:06:59

I would like to point out that the thread title is 'one' classic.... we can't do it can we. We have all reeled them off. There are just too many.

I <<heart>> Classics.

juneybean Thu 01-Nov-12 21:52:04

The Picture of Dorian Gray

iklboo Thu 01-Nov-12 21:56:07

Another To Kill A Mockingbird fan. Hated it when we read it at school because we had to share books & I was with a much slower reader. My English teacher gave me my own copy as a leaving present. I reluctantly gave it another go & fell in love with it. I cry every time I read it.

MegBusset Thu 01-Nov-12 22:06:45

If I had to name one, it would be Catch-22.

MegBusset Thu 01-Nov-12 22:08:38

If I can name more I would say:
Breakfast At Tiffany's
Wuthering Heights
Three Men In A Boat
The Great Gatsby
A Confederacy Of Dunces

I loathed Jane Eyre.

DuchessofMalfi Fri 02-Nov-12 07:05:37

Pride and Prejudice smile.

porridgewithalmondmilk Fri 02-Nov-12 09:22:41

Another vote for Wuthering Heights here.

wiganwagonwheelworks Fri 09-Nov-12 18:08:06

The Moonstone, though I'm sure someone's said it already. Brilliant.

LapinDeBois Mon 12-Nov-12 22:34:01

Gah, I thought I might be the first to say that Persuasion is the best Austen, but others beat me to it.

Instead, I will throw another couple of more modern 'should be classics' into the mix: The Raj Quartet and the English Patient. Both wonderful, wonderful books.

dolcelatte Sat 17-Nov-12 03:43:46

Yes to Austen, Brontes, Hardy, Fitzgerald and others already mentioned.

i also think Animal Farm is well worth a read (and much shorter than 1984).

If you are looking for a modern classic, Kite Runner is wonderful.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now