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Classics anyone?

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2010, 09:25 PM
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Default Classics anyone?


One of my goals is to read Bram Stoker's Dracula one of these days. I found it for free on the Kindle store and it made me curious about other books I enjoyed. I remember reading The Heart of Darkness, and Lord of the Flies, and Fahrenheit 451. Maybe it was the books themselves, or maybe the discussions we had about them in class but those books truly touched me, which is rare for what I consider "serious literature" (read: required summer reading) So now I am combing through the free collection of e-books on Amazon for something else I might like.

Are there classics which stuck with you like that? Which ones and why?

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Old 12-04-2010, 08:12 AM
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I have a thing for science fiction, so I would say: Brave New World, A Clockwork Orange, 1984, The Martian Chronicles, and Slaughterhouse Five, to name a few. A couple classics I remember reading in school that I really enjoyed -To Kill A Mockingbird, Nigger, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
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Old 12-04-2010, 11:56 AM
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I read Dracula for class this semester -- found it dry and limp. It felt like I was listening to a Conservative English gentleman for ten hours. Stoker's prose is not very lively.

The first few chapters were great. Stoker really had my attention. Then he moved from Transylvanian narrative to England, and the pace became crippled. The last two hundred pages could have been halved, with the same plot but twice the impact.

It was just much too long I think.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:04 PM
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If you've never read Mark Twain, give him a shot. Can't go wrong with Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. You don't even have to read them in order. They're both incredible books, stand-alone or together.

Read this excerpt from Huckleberry. It's actually pretty funny. Or maybe I'm just strange.

We went to a clump of bushes, and Tom made everybody swear to keep the secret, and then showed them a hole in the hill, right in the thickest part of the bushes. Then we lit the candles, and crawled in on our hands and knees. We went about two hundred yards, and then the cave opened up. Tom poked about amongst the passages, and pretty soon ducked under a wall where you wouldn't a noticed that there was a hole. We went along a narrow place and got into a kind of room, all damp and sweaty and cold, and there we stopped. Tom says: "Now, we'll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer's Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood."

Everybody was willing. So Tom got out a sheet of paper that he had wrote the oath on, and read it. It swore every boy to stick to the band, and never tell any of the secrets; and if anybody done anything to any boy in the band, whichever boy was ordered to kill that person and his family must do it, and he mustn't eat and he mustn't sleep till he had killed them and hacked a cross in their breasts, which was the sign of the band. And nobody that didn't belong to the band could use that mark, and if he did he must be sued; and if he done it again he must be killed. And if anybody that belonged to the band told the secrets, he must have his throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and the ashes scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with blood and never mentioned again by the gang, but have a curse put on it and be forgot forever. Everybody said it was a real beautiful oath, and asked Tom if he got it out of his own head. He said, some of it, but the rest was out of pirate-books and robber-books, and every gang that was high-toned had it.

Some thought it would be good to kill the families of boys that told the secrets. Tom said it was a good idea, so he took a pencil and wrote it in. Then Ben Rogers says:

"Here's Huck Finn, he hain't got no family; what you going to do 'bout him?"

"Well, hain't he got a father?" says Tom Sawyer.

"Yes, he's got a father, but you can't never find him these days. He used to lay drunk with the hogs in the tanyard, but he hain't been seen in these parts for a year or more."

They talked it over, and they was going to rule me out, because they said every boy must have a family or somebody to kill, or else it wouldn't be fair and square for the others. Well, nobody could think of anything to do -- everybody was stumped, and set still. I was most ready to cry; but all at once I thought of a way, and so I offered them Miss Watson -- they could kill her. Everybody said: "Oh, she'll do. That's all right. Huck can come in."
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:14 PM
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Also, two great books you can read in one sitting each: The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway, and Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck.
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:45 PM
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The last "Classic" I read was To Kill a Mockingbird. My favorite classic poem is Evangeline by Longfellow, my favorite classic novel is 1984, my favorite classic short story is The Cremationof Sam McGee by London.

MTA: My favorite classic science fiction piece is The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, by Heinlein.

Last edited by montanaicewease; 12-04-2010 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: Add Heinlein
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:28 PM
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I read Jane Eyre not too long ago. And Dracula is HIGH on my list

When do pop-lit books eventually become classics?

I'm a sucker for classics. Though I've discovered the Russian lit is better in an actual book than it is on audio.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:37 PM
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I love Jane Austen.

And, Scarlet Letter was really good too.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:45 AM
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I found Draculato be dry and to drag. It was a bit boring for my taste. I read it as a teenager and it took me a few attempts to get through it but I finally did.

Serious, school-type books that I liked or was touched by? Hmmm...I really liked A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Some of the others that were already mentioned as well, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984 and Lord of the Flies. I hated The Old Man and the Sea, but I liked other Hemingway novels.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:59 PM
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I've also considered Dracula but my utter dislike of vampires make i hard for me to read.
Do NOT read A Brave New World. I had to read that for an English class. It was the most boring, dry, insane novel I've ever read. Some parts I can remember, but overall I think a part of me died while trying to read it. Even the sparksnotes were boring.

But I have a thing for Shakespeare. I've decided to try to complete all the plays of his that I haven't read over my winter break. The first one will be Much Ado About Nothing.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:03 PM
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On the Road. This would be a good time to read it too, with the movie coming out soon.
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Secret View Post
Do NOT read A Brave New World.
I've yet to see a better way of announcing "I was too dumb to get this book" (whichever book it may be) than to start a sentence with "Do NOT read... ". Capitalised 'NOT' buys extra dumb-points.

Secret, you may or may not be too stupid to have understood BNW, but surely you aren't so stupid that you think that, despite many thousands of people having read and enjoyed (or at least understood) the book, and bearing in mind that your school thinks it's important to read for reasons other than punishment, you know better?

Yes, you probably are.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:42 AM
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Hey, grumpy guy, ease up. Missing the message does not auto-target a reader as dumb. Sometimes the message is hidden within prickly thick prose, and it doesn't seem worth fighting for.

I think I remember only finishing BNW because I'd seen Huxley revered and I wanted to hear that message for myself. It would've been different if I'd just picked it up off a bookshelf.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
I've yet to see a better way of announcing "I was too dumb to get this book" (whichever book it may be) than to start a sentence with "Do NOT read... ". Capitalised 'NOT' buys extra dumb-points.
Mike, I didn't ask for books that make you look smart. I also didn't ask for smart books to read so you can impress your friends. I asked which classics people enjoyed. As far as opinions go, Secret's was legitimate. If you want to show off with which books you were smart enough to get, then this isn't the thread for you.

As for the books mentioned already, I had to read most of them for high school and I couldn't tell you one thing about them. Not saying they weren't great masterpieces of American lit, just saying I didn't like them. Throw rocks if you want to.

Shakespeare is great but the plays are better appreciated on stage or in a group setting, IMO. It's too easy to miss nuances when you just read through them. I've read several plays and the ones I enjoyed most were the ones I could discuss with others while reading. =)
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
I've yet to see a better way of announcing "I was too dumb to get this book" (whichever book it may be) than to start a sentence with "Do NOT read... ". Capitalised 'NOT' buys extra dumb-points.

Secret, you may or may not be too stupid to have understood BNW, but surely you aren't so stupid that you think that, despite many thousands of people having read and enjoyed (or at least understood) the book, and bearing in mind that your school thinks it's important to read for reasons other than punishment, you know better?

Yes, you probably are.
Do you feel better now that you got that off your chest?
Please, do me a favor, go and reread what I said. Never did I say I failed to understand the message of the story. No. That would be incorrect, seeing as how I DO know what the message was, I DID ace my exam for that novel, thank you very much, and to this day I still do NOT like that book. Thousands of people like Twilight. That doesn't mean that the ones who don't obviously didn't understand the overall message. It just means they didn't like it. And, I really don't care what other people read and like. At the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is mine.

So please, stop and think before you put words into my mouth and call me dumb. A lot of things I may be, but dumb I am not. Don't attempt to target me if you can't base your attack on what I said and not what you think.

If I want to capitalize any letter or word in my sentence, I CAN DO SO! If you don't like it, suck it up and skip over it.


Originally Posted by Whisper View Post

As for the books mentioned already, I had to read most of them for high school and I couldn't tell you one thing about them. Not saying they weren't great masterpieces of American lit, just saying I didn't like them. Throw rocks if you want to.

Shakespeare is great but the plays are better appreciated on stage or in a group setting, IMO. It's too easy to miss nuances when you just read through them. I've read several plays and the ones I enjoyed most were the ones I could discuss with others while reading. =)
Exactly. There are dozens of novels I had to read for school that, though I understood, I did not like. At the end of the day, who really cares?

The good thing about Shakespeare's plays are that most, if not all, have a movie or stage taping of them out. So, I read the play, then I watch the movie or watch the play. Just read and watched Much Ado About Nothing. Loved it. Both the play and the movie, but wish Keanu would do the public a favor and quit acting...or maybe he should start acting. Either one would be fine.
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:55 PM
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Don't take it too personal. Mike was just having a bad day.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:03 PM
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It's very hard to insult me. Damn near impossible. But what I do take offense to is having my intelligence insulted. That's where I draw a line. It's not like the comment bothered me greatly, but bad day or not, there is no bullseye on my face that says 'target me.' I know Mike is usually snippy. I see it in his comments all the time and find it comical, but again, as I said, I take offense when my intelligence is insulted. But hey, whatever. Truce!
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:43 PM
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I bet he's feeling better than he was earlier, when he wrote that rude comment.

One can only hope ...

*...diddle dee doo,



Diddle dee ...*
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:44 PM
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Incidentally, I feel fantastic! Even though I have an essay due in seventeen minutes! *MOUTH SMILE*
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Karolina View Post
I found Draculato be dry and to drag. It was a bit boring for my taste. .
I agree. I had to study it at university and it put me to sleep.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by A.r.p. View Post
I read Dracula for class this semester -- found it dry and limp. It felt like I was listening to a Conservative English gentleman for ten hours. Stoker's prose is not very lively.

The first few chapters were great. Stoker really had my attention. Then he moved from Transylvanian narrative to England, and the pace became crippled. The last two hundred pages could have been halved, with the same plot but twice the impact.

It was just much too long I think.
I disagree. I loved Dracula.

Originally Posted by A.r.p. View Post
Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn
On the other hand, Tom Sawyer put me to sleep when I was 7, and I refused to read another classic for months.

Romeo And Juliet is my favourite thing ever written, though I also love A Christmas Carol, and Great Gatsby is ok, but a tad boring sometimes. I also like Canterbury Tales. The Hobbit put me to sleep when I was 6. I really want to read Lord Of The Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird. Are they good?
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:05 AM
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Lord of the Flies is powerful, intense, but has a rather depressing message (if you're bothered about that kind of thing)

To Kill a Mockingbird is delightful. I've never met anyone yet who reads it and doesn't like it.
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:03 AM
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Dela, I think (being older now) you would appreciate the humor of Tom Sawyer and the adventure of The Hobbit --at least more so.

Six is pretty young to be reading full-length novels ...
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:53 PM
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Lord of the Flies is like the series Lost, except with children. I think it's better because it doesn't drag on for seven seasons I liked its message because it didn't sugar coat anything. It presented the truth in its rawest, most uncomfortable form and made the reader face it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
Lord of the Flies is like the series Lost, except with children.
Lord of the Flies also happens to be not American.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Secret View Post
Do you feel better now that you got that off your chest?
Please, do me a favor, go and reread what I said.
I did. You told people not to read a book because you didn't like it. That's dumb. It's subjective. It's meaningless.

If you'd said you didn't like it because... your comments than have some validity. To use your example, if I posted and said "Don't read Twilight because it's written for retards", all I'd do is make myself look dumb because (a) I'd be ignoring the fact that thousands, if not millions, of people have read the book and loved it, and (b) I'd be assuming that my opinion was more valid than anyone else's (which, obviously, it is).

If, on the other hand, I'd said "I don't like Twilight because..." then everyone else can make up their own minds.

Do NOT read A Brave New World.
Dumb.

Originally Posted by Secret View Post
I take offense when my intelligence is insulted. But hey, whatever. Truce!
Then stop insulting the intelligence of others. Truce? Cool. You stop saying dumb stuff, I'll stop pointing it out.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Nadja View Post
Lord of the Flies also happens to be not American.
So?
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:39 PM
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So, what?

OK..Lord of the Flies was compared to Lost, an American TV series. I pointed out (needlessly no doubt) that it is not an American story.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:19 PM
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Right. Well, Lost isn't on the air anymore.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:30 PM
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Nor is Lord of the Flies.

Spooky.
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