The classics

Because some of us can read.

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The classics

Postby Æpplês&vØdkã » Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:54 pm

So, I figured it was about time I made an effort to read Crime and Punishment. It's rather good, as expected, but took me a little bit longer to get into than expected. Actually, it took about three tries to get past page 50.

Regardless, I find it compelling and a real page turner.

What are all of your favorite classic books?
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Postby Steve Durand » Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:02 pm

Well, since you're already into a Russian author. I would recommend The Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace. I really enjoyed both of those.


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Postby bz£ » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:08 pm

Steve Durand wrote:Well, since you're already into a Russian author. I would recommend The Brothers Karamazov and War and Peace. I really enjoyed both of those.

I'll agree, they're both nice books, but can be hard to get into. W&P is synonymous with "huge book" and intimidating but it's actually a pretty compelling story if you can keep all the people straight. I'll admit I never finished The Brothers Karamazof; maybe I'll try it again one day.

C&P is top class; it's probably the first thing I'd recommend in the Russian-classics genre. Also most of them are old enough to be available free on gutenberg.net if you care about that at all.
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Postby Steve Durand » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:43 pm

bz£ wrote: W&P is synonymous with "huge book" and intimidating but it's actually a pretty compelling story if you can keep all the people straight.


Yeah that first ball scene in the book introduces a lot of characters in quick succession and it's pretty hard to keep them straight. But I never lost interest in it, even though it is very long.


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Postby Hoblit » Tue Dec 25, 2007 1:57 am

Steve Durand wrote:
bz£ wrote: W&P is synonymous with "huge book" and intimidating but it's actually a pretty compelling story if you can keep all the people straight.


Yeah that first ball scene in the book introduces a lot of characters in quick succession and it's pretty hard to keep them straight. But I never lost interest in it, even though it is very long.


Steve


Man, I can barely keep characters strait when introduced visually in a movie.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:00 am

I really like fat Russian books. Anna Karenina and The Karamazov Bros. were favs.

And I know this sounds weird - but there are even Americans that have written books that are considered classics! I really like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:27 pm

Yeah, I dig the Twain. I recently (actually on the way to SF Live) listened to Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court from Gutenberg's sister site Librivox. But I liked the Huck better, I think.
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Postby Me$$iah » Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:47 am

Crime and Punishment is a great read.
If you like the style of Dostoyefski (sp) then read his 'The Double' Its a much lighter and more simple read then C+P but is a great story.

Lots of the classics are good to read tho. I guess they are classics for a reason.

Ive loved reading AC Doyle, HG Wells, Dickens, Shakespere and so many more.

Have ya read Brave New World. Awesome.
Jules Verne's work is, whilst quite incredible, on one hand, is really boring and I didnt really enjoy reading them.
Melvilles Moby Dick is absolutly amazing, a twisted tale of a mans descent into madness..... damn I enjoyed that one.

I recon just look for anything in like a penguin classics range, its all gonna be good to read, even if you only learn that you dont enjoy any of the hideous Bronte sister books, at least youll know you dont. :? Thats what I got from doing that.

Aww man, and how can I let a thread about classics go by without mentioning Chaucer, fantastic, look out for 14century use of the word cunt. I love the Pardoners Tale the best I think, but all the Cantabury tales are great. Tho they are somewhat difficult to read.
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Postby Project-D » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:55 pm

It's kind of a "lite" classic but The Three Musketeers by Dumas is a fun read, it was written as a serial published weekly in the newspaper, so every chapter is a cliffhanger.

A little heavier but one of my favorite revenge stories is The Count of Monte Cristo also by Dumas. The movies don't even come close to how devious he was in the book, he basically orchestrated the lives of all his enemies until what they thought was real was a house of cards. Then he pulled a card out and watched them all collapse.

Try Gargantua and Pantegruel by Rabelais, it is flat out hilarious for a 500 year old book.
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Postby roymond » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:03 pm

Project-D wrote:Try Gargantua and Pantegruel by Rabelais, it is flat out hilarious for a 500 year old book.

Both Zappa and Gentle Giant had a thing for this series, so I read them in high school and probably didn't get a fraction of the stories...
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Postby Reist » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:35 pm

roymond wrote:
Project-D wrote:Try Gargantua and Pantegruel by Rabelais, it is flat out hilarious for a 500 year old book.

Both Zappa and Gentle Giant had a thing for this series, so I read them in high school and probably didn't get a fraction of the stories...

I've always meant to check Gentle Giant out, since I've heard such great things about them ... anything you'd recommend?
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Postby fodroy » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:44 pm

Moby Dick is pretty great. I never thought I'd be able to finish such a huge novel. This will probably be the only one of this size. Mostly, I think it's unnecessary for writers to write such huge books. But yeah. Moby Dick.
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Postby roymond » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:54 pm

Reïst wrote:
roymond wrote:
Project-D wrote:Try Gargantua and Pantegruel by Rabelais, it is flat out hilarious for a 500 year old book.

Both Zappa and Gentle Giant had a thing for this series, so I read them in high school and probably didn't get a fraction of the stories...

I've always meant to check Gentle Giant out, since I've heard such great things about them ... anything you'd recommend?

Oh man. Where to begin? Freehand and In A Glass House are amazing albums. Anything prior to 1977 (The Missing Piece and Giant for a Day basically suck, as their record company insisted they become "commercially successful"...then they broke up). Playing The Fool is one of the all time best live albums in my book, giving a wonderful sampling of all their old albums. I saw them live about 6 times and it's a great representation of what they sounded like.

Oops, we're polluting this thread!
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Postby Project-D » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:40 pm

fodroy wrote:Moby Dick is pretty great. I never thought I'd be able to finish such a huge novel. This will probably be the only one of this size. Mostly, I think it's unnecessary for writers to write such huge books. But yeah. Moby Dick.


I loved the beginning, the description of whaling etc, when it got into the madness of Ahab, it lost me. I was younger though, so I should read it again. I couldn't get through Count of Monte Cristo the first time, but ended up loving it the second time. Same with the Martian Chronicles. I did like Melville's short story Bartleby the Scrivener. Why did he refuse to do his work? Ah, humanity!
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Postby Steve Durand » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:32 pm

Project-D wrote:It's kind of a "lite" classic but The Three Musketeers by Dumas is a fun read,


That really reminded me that I thought The Scarlet Pimpernel was a really fun book also.
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Postby PlainSongs » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:18 am

Me$$iah wrote:Have ya read Brave New World. Awesome.

Indeed! Have ya read "Island", too? It's Huxley's last book, a sort of antithesis to Brave New World, about a utopia that is not fake. It's more mature and double awesome.

Other mid-20th century classics:

- "Iceland's Bell" (Islandsklukkan) by Halldor Laxness: a historical novel but really it's one of those wondefully humane books that touch everything
- "Lucky Jim" by Kingsley Amis: very funny
- "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller: also very funny. "Picture This" was very disappointing after that.
- "La nausée" by Sartre: not so much an enjoyable as a memorable read
- "Lolita" by Nabokov: witty, great language, daring

Further back in time, Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" and Thoreau's "Walden" (both on gutenberg.org & librivox.org).

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