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So - help me with a classic novel

(68 Posts)
happystory Fri 20-Nov-15 23:01:09

I vowed I'd read a classic novel this year and I've failed miserably. And now it's near the end of November. Please recommend something to me, American, English, I don't mind but not a massive tome you could use for a doorstop!

What kinds of things do you like? Help us to narrow it down a bit!

SanityClause Fri 20-Nov-15 23:05:13

The Great Gatsby.

Short, classic, and full of pithy social commentary.

00100001 Fri 20-Nov-15 23:06:05

Dickens, Austen, Bronte

All good

CocktailQueen Fri 20-Nov-15 23:06:22

Jane Eyre. Classic, easy to read, not too long. And fab!

happystory Fri 20-Nov-15 23:09:54

Well I do like American fiction on the whole and not really a fan of Jane Austen George Eliot etc - I feel I ought to get out of my comfort zone. One that sticks in my mind that I had to read for A level was Darkness at Noon, and George Orwell that I wouldn't have chosen to read but really stuck with me .

elephantoverthehill Fri 20-Nov-15 23:10:06

Pride and Prejudice. You've seen the films. Now enjoy the written word and the language. Then read Bridget Jones.

happystory Fri 20-Nov-15 23:12:35

Thank you! I do love Jane Eyre but struggled with her other novels. What about Forster?

Steinbeck - 'The Grapes of Wrath' is big and soul destroying / 'East of Eden' easier. His 'Travels with Charlie' is non-fiction and excellent - a v easy read.

Capote - 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' for fiction or 'In Cold Blood' for non-fiction.

00100001 Fri 20-Nov-15 23:14:00

Well if you want well written american classics

Go for
Of Mice and Men
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Grapes of wrath
The Color Purple

Forster - 'Maurice' or 'Howard's End' - not, 'A Passage to India' because it's dreadful.

unicorn501 Fri 20-Nov-15 23:15:24

Of Mice And Men? American, classic, fantastic book.

Or Anna Karenina? Madame Bovary? Rebecca? All amazing and easy to read.

elephantoverthehill Fri 20-Nov-15 23:17:04

What about 'Cider with Rosie'? it is a classic but quite short and not too un contempary

happystory Fri 20-Nov-15 23:17:56

What about Maya Angelou has anyone read I know why the caged birds sing?

elephantoverthehill Fri 20-Nov-15 23:26:31

But the big question now is what is a 'classic' novel? I would put all of the 'Famous Five', 'Secret Seven', 'Malory Towers' etc into that catagory as well as Malorie Blackman, Cathy Cassidy an Anthony Horrowitz. And a lot of others. I love being a Mum so I can have a reason to read these books.

Maya A didn't do a great deal for me tbh, but lots of people think, 'Caged Bird' is brilliant.

happystory Fri 20-Nov-15 23:31:52

I agree elephant I work in a school and saw a 9 year old avidly reading Malory Towers recently and was so envious

elephantoverthehill Fri 20-Nov-15 23:40:29

Don't be envious happy story just read it. Although I have to warn you that the 'new' versions are somewhat changed. For example there is no pork pie on the linoeneum.

Hero1callylost Fri 20-Nov-15 23:47:45

Revolutionary Road

both American, not so well known but very worthy of classics status

Beloved by Toni Morrison - modern classic, beautiful

FrancesOldhamKelsey Fri 20-Nov-15 23:51:42

Ballet Shoes

Or grit your teeth and read Emma because it is honestly brilliant. (Just listened to the In Our Time episode about it and feeling evangelical).

I don't understand why, 'Revolutionary Road' is considered a classic. I didn't like it. Definitely an easy read though.

elephantoverthehill Sat 21-Nov-15 00:02:04

Oh gosh I did read Ballet Shoes again quite recently! I love childhood books. However the books that really got me into major reading and then onto A'level English were; The Mayor of Casterbridge, Wuthering Heights and as mentioned previously Pride and Prejudice.

cloudjumper Sat 21-Nov-15 00:03:47

Lord of the Flies
Animal Farm
To Kill a Mockingbird
Something by Dickens?

'Ballet Shoes' is one of my top ten books ever - it's just perfect!

YY to, 'Lord of the Flies' - astonishingly good book.

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