We rely on advertising to keep the lights on.

Please consider adding us to your whitelist.



Advanced search

If you had to choose 1 classic and 1 contemporary book and why....

(80 Posts)
Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 10:40:18

Mine would be:

*Classic- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins*- A man walking home comes across a young woman dressed in white who is frightened and needs to find a cab to get into town to the safety of her family. You help her. Then along comes another group who tell you the woman has just escaped from a mental institution and is very dangerous...does he tell them where she has gone, who is lying and who is dangerous....

A great, grabbing opening that turns into a thumping great read

*Contemporary What is the What by Dave Eggers*- A novel based on the true life story of a Sudanese boy who is orphaned in the civil war, escapes the attack and makes it on foot to the border and becomes one of the lost boys without a country living in a border camp, coping and trying to learn about life. Eventually sent to America where there is an even steeper learning curve...heartbreaking story of human spirit and also wonderfully written

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 20:30:48

Have you tried Elif Shafak? I have only read Forty Rules if Love which is about Sufi mysticism. I really enjoyed it. She has also written about Armenian/Turkish relations in The Bastard of Istanbul (they even charged her with treason or something, I can't remember the details), and Honour is about honour killing. Her writing is a bit try hard in places but overall I like her style.

CaptainCalamari Wed 10-Jul-13 20:30:59

Immediately thought of Wuthering Heights for the classic - must be the only classic book I've read 3+ times.
Contemporary(ish) would be The Secret History - love it so much I have two copies! So disappointed by Donna Tartt's other book (The Little Friend), couldn't even finish it

Thanks, Mixed. I'll have a look - have been getting on very, very badly with female writers lately though. confused

tumbletumble Wed 10-Jul-13 20:41:34

I'm going to write my post without reading the thread so I don't get influenced by other people's choices.

Classic - it's got to be Pride and Prejudice. Bet I'm not the first person to say that! Jane Austen was a genius.

Contemporary - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

Now off to read the thread!

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 20:42:16

GCSE!!! That makes me want to pop back for an evening class. I only got a B so I could do with improving. Although I remember enjoying the texts we studied.

CookieMonster1980 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:46:38

Hi, can I join in?!

Classic - so so hard. I love Pride & Prejudice for the wit and brilliant disection of social manners. I also loved A Woman in White - haven't read it in ages and am now inspired to dust it off again. Also Middlemarch and a bit of Dickens - maybe either Bleak House or Our Mutual Friend. My DH complains Dickens is just sentimental tosh but I love the way he describes things is fantastic.

Modern - not sure when to date from, but Rebecca, The Great Gatsby, 1984, or even more recently something by Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale is my favourite of hers

Aargh - I'm supposed to only pick one aren't I? Mmm - ok, so Pride and Prejudice and 1984....

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 20:49:21

I think Austen deserved a separate category since we all seem to want her and another classic.

I consider 1984 classic too. We need more categories.

Classic classic
Modern classic (Gatsby/Orwell etc)
Post WWII modern
Contemporary Modern

PoppyAmex Wed 10-Jul-13 20:50:49


"One Hundred Years of Solitude", Gabriel G. Marquez - I could read it every year (in fact, I probably do). Plenty of magic realism on this one, mixedmamma

or "The Little Prince", Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Contemporary: "All the Names", Jose Saramago.

Oh The Little Prince is lovely.

Austen - S&S..no Persuasion...no S&S
Classic classic - I've changed my mind: I'm having the collected Sherlock Holmes stories
Modern classic - Lolita
Post WWII modern - Lord of the Flies
Contemporary Modern - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Translated classic (!) - Paula

znaika Wed 10-Jul-13 21:20:11

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

CookieMonster1980 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:29:54

Austen - P&P
Classic - Actually, not Dickens but Wilde - A Picture of Dorian Gray
Modern Classic - The Great Gatsby
Post WWII - 1984 or A Clockwork Orange
Modern - I find this one so hard. A Handmaid's Tale or Rushdie - Midnight's Children. I want to stick a Murakami in here too, but maybe not classic enough...

I'm not doing well at one choice per category I'm afraid smile

Oh gods - yes to A Clockwork Orange.

Lose the Eggers - I want the Orange instead! smile

CookieMonster1980 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:33:42

I know, that period has so many great books - in the same vein I love Huxley, and Fowles' The Magus

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 21:38:26

Austen - Persuasion
Classic - Wuthering Heights
Modern Classic - Cold comfort farm
Post WWII - I actually cannot think of one.
Modern - sticking with Señor Vivo
Translated classic - difficult. I think I am going for Madame Bovary

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 10-Jul-13 21:48:34


Classic - torn between Jane Eyre and WH.

Modern Classic - Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. Of Mice and Men. The Group.

Austen -Persuasion

Modern - Adrian Mole

CookieMonster1980 Wed 10-Jul-13 21:49:24

Cold Comfort Farm - I love that

Translated Classic. - the Master and Magherita

shazbean Wed 10-Jul-13 21:54:32

Classic -Anna Karinina
Contemporary - a clockwork orange. The only book that ever really shocked me when you find out how young Alex is.

ImaHexGirl Wed 10-Jul-13 21:54:59

Classic - Pride & Prejudice, love the language, the descriptions of society in that era and the strength of the characters.

Modern - More difficult. If we're talking truly modern then The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova or Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro. Neither are real literature but I can happily re-read both. If a Modern Classic then without doubt it has to be the Anne of Green Gables series, ultimate comfort reading for me.

mixedmamameansbusiness Wed 10-Jul-13 21:55:48

Master and Margarita is on my reading list, I am excited at the prospect of reading that.

ImaHexGirl Wed 10-Jul-13 21:56:01

Sorry meant to also add, the Shadow of the Wind series by Carlos Ruis Zafon (sp?)

celestialsquirrels Wed 10-Jul-13 21:58:20

No question

The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger (is that classic enough?)

A Sitable Boy by Vikram Seth

MacaYoniandCheese Wed 10-Jul-13 21:58:37

Ooh...I love Anne of Green Gables. If we're having a juvenile category then I say that too...and I Capture the Castle. And everything Antonia Forrest.

chocolatebuttiiins Wed 10-Jul-13 21:59:57

Pride and Prejudice. You're cheering for the underdog - and she wins.

Wolf Hall/Bring up the Bodies. Just didn't want them to end, was so involved in their/his world.

Francagoestohollywood Wed 10-Jul-13 22:00:04

Classic: Victor Hugo Les Miserables. Perfection.

Contemporary: Natalia Ginzburg Lessico famigliare.

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