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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 ;)

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.

PfftTheMagicDraco Sun 14-Oct-12 00:02:49

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.

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