What's your favorite "classic" book?

  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Jul 13, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    I'm going on a long vacation next month, with quite a bit of time on planes. I consider myself fairly well-read, but I know there are a lot of classics or near-classics out there that I haven't read. I'm not interested in Dean Koontz here; I want something worth reading.

    Your suggestions?
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    Jul 13, 2008 3:47 PM GMT
    screwtape letters by cs lewis. i come back to this book every few years.

    o yeah... have fun on your vacation!
  • TRASHxIT

    Posts: 10

    Jul 13, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    I really adore Phillip Pullmans "His Dark Materials" trilogy, more commonly The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife & The Amber Spyglass. I found they are fascinating to read, and pullman is a goddamn genius.
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:16 PM GMT
    the Picture of Dorian Gray, the Tempest, and Dr. Faustus
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:22 PM GMT
    Alice's Adventures in the Wonderland! icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:31 PM GMT
    I'm a big Ray Bradbury fan. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is one of my favorites. Actually, it was one of the few books in school I enjoyed reading. icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:42 PM GMT
    Confederacy Of Dunces.
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:47 PM GMT
    Luckydog76 saidConfederacy Of Dunces.


    ok, I have to admit...I really had to force myself to finish that book. It definitely had it's moments of sheer brilliance in the debauchery of New Orleans, but some of the characters really got under my skin; I suppose that means they were well written.

    My favorite classic is "The Scarlet Letter"--I ought to read it again sometime. It's simply a marvel of the Transcendentalists genre.
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    Jul 13, 2008 5:48 PM GMT
    P. G. Wodehouse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._G._Wodehouse )

    Although not your classic Classical writer, a humorous writer appropriate for a vacation and with a fantastic command of English. His most famous characters are Bertie Wooster and his butler, Jeeves.

    There was a series made of their stories (notice that Bertie is played by the actor who know plays the lead in "House")

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=p6lZU_x_2vw&feature=related


    oh, but I see now that you are from Texas. Wodehouse's stories devolve from situations of class and social decorum...which may require a bit of explanation to a texan...and if there is no one with you to give that explanation, I am afraid the stories may be quite unintelligible. You should prolly just forget all about trying to read Wodehouse. Of course, we here in Virginia can instantly appreciate all his humorous situations of class and social decorum.
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    Jul 13, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    Yeah... I have an omnibus edition of Wodehouse, but it seems a little cloying to read straight through. Best taken in small doses.

    There is a big two-volume omnibus edition of Mark Twain that makes a good vacation haul-along.

    If you haven't been through it yet, Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, The System of the World) is an amazing vacation-length read.

    One of the best vacation reads that I ever had was a paperback edition of Isaac Asimov's non-fiction "Life and Energy." It's a very elegant 350 page undergraduate-level summary of the physical and chemical basis of "modern" biology. (As of 1962.) It's a bit dated now... I see the cover price of my copy is $1.25. Good grief, it was written before chemiosmotic theory! Anyway, I carried it along and read it during a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail when I was a teenager, and it just seemed very satisfying to stop on a mountaintop, or beside a stream and read a chapter. There must be a modern equivalent somewhere.
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:11 PM GMT
    From Mark Twain, "A Tramp Abroad" is a fun one.

    There is a great new translation of Beowulf by Sheamus Heaney. Blow the socks off of what you had to read in high school so you can really appreciate the poem now.

    http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-New-Verse-Translation-Bilingual/dp/0393320979/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215976053&sr=8-2

    "Who Murdered Chaucer?: A Medieval Mystery" if you like history. The pricipal author is Terry Jones of Monty Python...who knew he was a medieval scholar

    http://www.amazon.com/Who-Murdered-Chaucer-Medieval-Mystery/dp/0312335881/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215976155&sr=1-1
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Jul 13, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    Theodore Rex. A biography on Teddy Roosevelt.

    Did you know that his wife and mother died on the same day due to separate events?
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:37 PM GMT
    Ivanhoe. No, It's not a Russian Hooker.
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:39 PM GMT
    Sedative saidAlice's Adventures in the Wonderland! icon_biggrin.gif


    A to the MEN!
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:40 PM GMT
    Caslon5000 saidP. G. Wodehouse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._G._Wodehouse )

    Although not your classic Classical writer, a humorous writer appropriate for a vacation and with a fantastic command of English. His most famous characters are Bertie Wooster and his butler, Jeeves.

    There was a series made of their stories (notice that Bertie is played by the actor who know plays the lead in "House")

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=p6lZU_x_2vw&feature=related


    oh, but I see now that you are from Texas. Wodehouse's stories devolve from situations of class and social decorum...which may require a bit of explanation to a texan...and if there is no one with you to give that explanation, I am afraid the stories may be quite unintelligible. You should prolly just forget all about trying to read Wodehouse. Of course, we here in Virginia can instantly appreciate all his humorous situations of class and social decorum.


    I take jabs at Texas too, but I live here. So...umm...yeah. You should probably just stick to the lolcats, caslon.
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:43 PM GMT
    the wizard of oz
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    Chill, Rugger, I think he was trying to write that as Wodehouse.
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    Jul 13, 2008 7:51 PM GMT
    My bad then.

    But public forums are great for "in" jokes, huh? /sarcasm
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 13, 2008 8:18 PM GMT
    Well, of the classic Brit and American Lit, I think my favorites have to be:

    Any Shakespearian comedy
    1984
    Animal Farm
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    The Scarlet Letter
    Wuthering Heights
    The Bell Jar
    The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
    The Glass Menagerie
    Anything by Mark Twain
    Anything by Edgar Allen Poe

    If you want to delve a bit deeper into western traditions, there's always The Odyssey. I read the Latimer translation, which I feel is a pretty good one.

    I'm also in the midst of 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the moment, which I'm enjoying. There are of course good works outside the Am/Brit Lit grouping, but I admit to being more familiar with classics originally written in English than with those written in other languages.

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    Jul 13, 2008 8:46 PM GMT
    Maybe not traditional "classics" but for the author they are; Anne Rice "Memnoch The Devil" and "Sleeping Beauty"
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    Jul 13, 2008 8:55 PM GMT
    To Kill A Mockingbird...beautiful.
    Secret Life of Bees...destined to become a modern-day classic.
    Anything by John Irving.
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    Jul 13, 2008 9:02 PM GMT
    Have to stick with Czarodziej on this one, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" Is superb, Wilde may only have written one novel, but it was superb work.

    Then anything by Orwell, might i suggest "Down and Out in Paris and London" or " Coming up for air"

    Peace
  • craigindc

    Posts: 30

    Jul 13, 2008 9:25 PM GMT
    Two of my favorites:
    East of Eden:Steinbeck's huge novel spanning a few generations. Great family dynamics and an interesting, chilling look at evil.
    Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead: whatever you think of her philosophies, this book entranced me more and more as it went along. The characters are among the most sharply drawn, interesting characters I have ever read. Definitely not a short or light read, though.
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    Jul 13, 2008 9:47 PM GMT
    XRuggerATX said
    Caslon5000 saidP. G. Wodehouse ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._G._Wodehouse )

    Although not your classic Classical writer, a humorous writer appropriate for a vacation and with a fantastic command of English. His most famous characters are Bertie Wooster and his butler, Jeeves.

    There was a series made of their stories (notice that Bertie is played by the actor who know plays the lead in "House")

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=p6lZU_x_2vw&feature=related

    oh, but I see now that you are from Texas. Wodehouse's stories devolve from situations of class and social decorum...which may require a bit of explanation to a texan...and if there is no one with you to give that explanation, I am afraid the stories may be quite unintelligible. You should prolly just forget all about trying to read Wodehouse. Of course, we here in Virginia can instantly appreciate all his humorous situations of class and social decorum.


    I take jabs at Texas too, but I live here. So...umm...yeah. You should probably just stick to the lolcats, caslon.



    MindgardenChill, Rugger, I think he was trying to write that as Wodehouse.


    No, Ruggers had it right. It was pure Virginian jab at Texas, texans, and whatever they delude themselves with as culture out there. Personally, I dont see why anyone would want to live west of the Tidewater. I tell you, it doesnt matter how many times I turn around, it is always a shock when I see that there is a whole continent behind me. ... icon_eek.gif

    icon_lol.gif
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    Jul 13, 2008 10:01 PM GMT
    Caslon5000 said No, Ruggers had it right. It was pure Virginian jab at Texas, texans, and whatever they delude themselves with as culture out there. Personally, I dont see why anyone would want to live west of the Tidewater. I tell you, it doesnt matter how many times I turn around, it is always a shock when I see that there is a whole continent behind me.


    I so totally understand this. Since leaving Detroit a zillion years ago, I have lived my entire adult life within a mile or two of I-95 (New York, Richmond, and now Fort Lauderdale). Why anyone would want to live farther west than that astounds me.