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General Category => Non-Fantasy Books => Topic started by: Timstar on July 15, 2014, 09:04:07 AM

Title: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Timstar on July 15, 2014, 09:04:07 AM
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on December 18, 2014, 03:48:25 AM
1. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
2. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
3. Short Stories of William Faulkner
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Doctor_Chill on December 18, 2014, 04:50:49 AM
1. Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus - Mary Shelley
2. Short Stories and Poems - Edgar Allen Poe
3. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

If it hadn't been for that little thing called a confusing introduction, Paradise Lost by Milton would've taken 3rd.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Fallen One on December 18, 2014, 08:26:43 AM
 What exactly do you mean by "classics"? Works of the beginning of the 20th century or before?

 For me, it'd be
 1. The Iliad
 2. The Lord of the Rings
 3. The Call of Cthulhu
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on December 18, 2014, 12:02:34 PM
Dunno what definition of classics Timstar had in mind, except that we're in the non-fantasy section of the forum.  That said, LOTR and the Iliad are classic across genres.  To be honest, LOTR should be my number 3, before Faulkner.  Tho I love me some Faulkner.

And I loved Call, if that's the right emotion for scared sh*tless at age 12.  Read aloud by my older brother, the effect of the mysterious words Cthulhu r'lyeh were actually spine tingling.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Justan Henner on December 18, 2014, 06:31:33 PM
This is a fun one... I'd have to go with:

1) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
2) Othello by Shakespeare. (Love me some Iago.)
3a) One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Feels more like 1000 years when you're reading it, but it's one of those books you just look back on a lot. If not for the part where:
The step mom is angry because the daughter took the best sheets with her when she ascended into heaven
it probably wouldn't have made it into my top 10.
EDIT: 3b) I just remembered The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne and now I feel bad.

And for fun, I'll add my most hated classics:

1) Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather.
2) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I love the second half of this book, but the first half where I have to sit and yell at all the characters to stop doing such stupid things like it's 90's horror film, really doesn't do the novel any good.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: ravenoak on December 18, 2014, 08:39:38 PM
Mine would be:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Raven
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on December 18, 2014, 09:33:40 PM
Oh, man, Justin!  I really liked Death Comes for the Archbishop!
Oh well.  I'll have to try 100 Years.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Justan Henner on December 18, 2014, 10:10:50 PM
Oh, man, Justin!  I really liked Death Comes for the Archbishop!
Oh well.  I'll have to try 100 Years.

It was too uneventful for me haha. I think it was the fact that it's more short stories that were pieces of his life than a consistent plot. I think if I'd gone into knowing there wouldn't be a continuous plot I might've liked it more.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: portmeiriona on December 30, 2014, 05:39:15 PM
Interesting to think about, which "classics" I truly enjoyed. There aren't many.

I'll go with:

1. The Tempest, William Shakespeare
2. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
3. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on December 30, 2014, 07:31:44 PM
The Awakening has always been a fascinating book for me.
Really liked it.  Essay question in American Novel course was: Do you think the character's suicide at the end was justified?  Worth it's own thread, that.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: portmeiriona on December 31, 2014, 03:21:54 AM
The Awakening has always been a fascinating book for me.
Really liked it.  Essay question in American Novel course was: Do you think the character's suicide at the end was justified?  Worth it's own thread, that.

That book was one of the only books I read as assigned reading in high school English and actually liked. It was too long ago for me to contribute anything substantial to your thoughts, but I do remember thinking about that question quite a bit when I read it originally. Might have written a paper about that too.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on December 31, 2014, 01:04:59 PM
Might as well address the Awakening question,m&t hen.

IMHO there was no justification for suicide, it was a supremely selfish act.  Fine, she was oppressed and unhappy.

But I'm not sure the author wants us to see the act as justified.  Chopin probably is just presenting what this character would do, and asking the reader to engage with the "facts" of her life, desires, and actions.  In another thread, some of us went on for post after post about what is or is not a "feminist" story.  Awakening is clearly one under any definition.  For me, it's a "great minor novel" - quotes especially relevant, since I'm not even sure what I mean by that!
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: ravenoak on January 06, 2015, 05:57:46 PM
IMHO there was no justification for suicide, it was a supremely selfish act.  Fine, she was oppressed and unhappy.

Spoken like someone who doesn't suffer depression--though I could be wrong. ;)
Depression lies. It tells us all the things we don't want to hear, pokes holes in our suit of armor, and leaves us vulnerable. Saying, "Fine, she was oppressed and unhappy," is:
a) an understatement
and b) akin to saying, "Just get over it" to someone suffering from depression.

It's a mental illness that makes people so vulnerable and unhappy that suicide is often seen as a way out. A way to end suffering. It's not, but your brain will trick you into believing it is. You aren't in your right mind when you're thinking like that. It's not something one just "gets over" or moves on from.

I love The Awakening. There's a great argument to be had for Edna suffering from depression, especially because of the oppression she suffers. She doesn't fit within the society everyone says she must fit into.

While her suicide is most certainly the coward's way out, it could easily be argued as the justified actions of one who is mentally not well. There is a huge difference between justified and selfish. Even the most selfish actions can still be justified.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: RussetDivinity on January 10, 2015, 01:57:10 AM
I was going to list some very different books, but as I read through the list, I found one that absolutely had to fit on the list.

1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Even in the middle of my rejecting religion, it spoke to me, and it wasn't until a few years later that I realized just how powerful that made it.
2. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I saw the musical first, but I love the book just as much, and I will defend it to whatever cause. I even stopped liking a character on a TV show for a while because she declared that she couldn't stand Victor Hugo's writing.
3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. First, French Revolution. I've had a slight fascination with it for years. Second, Sydney Carton. I feel a strange kinship to him, and it bothers me when people romanticize him into an ideal man. He isn't, and that's why I feel that connection, I think.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: MarcoM on January 10, 2015, 08:00:27 AM
1984 by George Orwell. It's just so... good. And terrifying. And enchanting.
Neuromancer by William Gibson. I'm a sucker for Cyberpunk and reading this one really gave me a new and wider perspective not only on the genre but also on how people perceived the future in the past.
The King of Torts by John Grisham. Not because the story was so great, but because it made a part of our society I had nothing to do with very accessible and understandable for me.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Nora on March 16, 2015, 09:05:36 AM
As I define classics, I'd say :

1 - Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 - Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
3 - Memoirs from Beyond the Grave - Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand (though I'd say Jane Eyre by Bronte is equal in 3rd place)

This last one is a serious serie of monstrous books, all written as memoirs by Chateaubriand as he went though the French Revolution, the imperial times, traveled in North America, met Napoleon, ect.
The man is the precursor of romanticism in literature. One of the first to be so strongly and poetically turned toward the Self. Brilliant work really and he was quite the arrogant genius, but it's definitely not for everyone.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Conan on April 14, 2015, 03:28:34 AM
Moby Dick
Heart of Darkness
Richard II
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: DMHamilton on May 04, 2015, 09:20:46 AM
1. The Three Musketeers
2. Scaramouche
3. The Count of Monte Cristo

It's only just occurred to me that they are all set in France... Perhaps I need to broaden my horizons!
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Lady Ty on May 04, 2015, 10:02:08 AM
1. Hamlet - Shakespeare
2. Bleak House - Dickens
3. Middlemarch - George Eliot
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on May 04, 2015, 11:16:00 AM
1. Hamlet - Shakespeare
2. Bleak House - Dickens
3. Middlemarch - George Eliot
Yay, Bleak House!
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Lady Ty on May 04, 2015, 02:23:37 PM
@Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094) glad you like Bleak House as well, but  hard to choose only three.  Had to apply only three books on a desert island rule. :) I love most of Dickens and Shakespeare, but I was very lucky as I had a brilliant teacher at school who showed us how to enjoy both. I am always so sorry when people say they hated them so much at school, never read anymore.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on May 04, 2015, 02:37:40 PM
@Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094) glad you like Bleak House as well, but  hard to choose only three.  Had to apply only three books on a desert island rule. :) I love most of Dickens and Shakespeare, but I was very lucky as I had a brilliant teacher at school who showed us how to enjoy both. I am always so sorry when people say they hated them so much at school, never read anymore.
I had a terrible bore of a teacher who taught Julius Caesar. Even though I was primed for Shakespeare from birth, I hated it and have never read it or seen it. Then Mrs. Addy gave us As You Like It the next year, and I was hooked.

An equally boring teacher taught A Tale of Two Cities. He made us write detailed chapter summaries for every chapter, and somehow I still loved it.

This teacher was so hated, a senior class hired a sophomore to throw a cream pie in his face one day during the seniors' class with him. He could have won the day by commenting on how good it tasted, but that wasn't in him. The sophomore bragged and was arrested for assault. The senior's squealed on each other and weren't allowed to get their diplomas from the stage.

But I came away loving Dickens.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Skip on May 05, 2015, 08:17:16 AM
1. War and Peace, hands down
2. Heart of Darkness, though pretty much anything by Conrad
3. The Big Sleep, though again, pretty much anything by Chandler

But, seriously, only three? One thing I do notice, though. For my lists, anyway, I have to go pretty far down before I get to any fantasy.

Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Lady Ty on May 05, 2015, 09:23:46 AM
I had a terrible bore of a teacher who taught Julius Caesar. Even though I was primed for Shakespeare from birth, I hated it and have never read it or seen it. Then Mrs. Addy gave us As You Like It the next year, and I was hooked.

An equally boring teacher taught A Tale of Two Cities. He made us write detailed chapter summaries for every chapter, and somehow I still loved it.

This teacher was so hated, a senior class hired a sophomore to throw a cream pie in his face one day during the seniors' class with him. He could have won the day by commenting on how good it tasted, but that wasn't in him. The sophomore bragged and was arrested for assault. The senior's squealed on each other and weren't allowed to get their diplomas from the stage.

But I came away loving Dickens.
I've heard similar tales about teachers killing off Shakespeare so often and am very glad you survived. Liked the cream pie bit, but shame it went slightly askew. Have you seen the 1996 film of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrman, semi modernised and filmed around Miami? I suspect you may enjoy it .Here's a taste:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjxHdNxvySU
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Timstar on August 11, 2015, 08:59:41 AM
Took me ten years of hating Shakespeare with a passion after school to finally give it another go. Love it now, bought the complete works and try to get to a play whenever I can.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Alex on February 13, 2019, 11:41:25 AM
Hard choice.

Top 3 in no particular order:

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: J.R. Darewood on February 13, 2019, 07:58:27 PM
Hmmm now I'm wondering what counts as a classic and what doesn't. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell would top my list of nonfiction counts I have to think about the other too but probably something by Twain for sure
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: isos81 on July 03, 2019, 01:18:58 PM
My top 3 classics are:
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Bender on July 03, 2019, 02:53:24 PM
Top off my head. Really can't drop any of them as they all had unique influences on my reading pattern.

1. Twenty Thousand Leagues under the sea - Jules Verne
2. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
3. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
4. Treasure Island - RL Stevenson
5. The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy

Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Bender on July 03, 2019, 02:57:33 PM
I'm also ashamed to admit I don't remember the name of a book of a kid/young man caught in fight between Redcoats and Jacobites. Aaargh!
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Teto10 on September 08, 2019, 04:32:02 PM
For me, it'd be
1. The Iliad
2. The Lord of the Rings
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: JMack on September 08, 2019, 09:56:55 PM
1. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
2. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
3. Short Stories of William Faulkner

Hasn’t changed.
Though if I expanded to five...

4. Lord of the Rings
5. Complete Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: David A. Werling on July 13, 2020, 12:19:01 PM
For me, it'd be
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude was the best book I was ever forced to read... senior year of high school, World Lit. It made me regret not studying Spanish harder. I wish I could read it in its native language. That being said, I didn't like Love in the Time of Cholera.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: David A. Werling on July 13, 2020, 12:23:44 PM
5. Complete Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins

God's Grandeur is in my opinion the best poem ever penned.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: David A. Werling on July 13, 2020, 12:27:58 PM
Keeping strictly to fiction...

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. A toss up between The Tenants by Bernard Malamud and Brave New World by Huxley
3. A toss up between A Christmas Carole and The Hobbit.

(I know, I cheated.)
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: ScarletBea on July 13, 2020, 01:00:35 PM
I'm afraid that calling a book a "classic" just makes me think it might be boring... or I had to study it school, which turned the best books into horrid bores, hehe
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: S. K. Inkslinger on July 13, 2020, 01:54:16 PM
The only classics I'd ever actually read and liked were works by Edgar Allan Poe. I randomly flipped onto his work during one of my english class, The Telltale Heart, and oh boy I was instantly hooked. I went to the school library and got to read other stories too, like The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of Red Death, The Imp of the Perverse, The Raven, etc.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: ScarletBea on July 13, 2020, 02:47:13 PM
The only classics I'd ever actually read and liked were works by Edgar Allan Poe. I randomly flipped onto his work during one of my english class, The Telltale Heart, and oh boy I was instantly hooked. I went to the school library and got to read other stories too, like The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of Red Death, The Imp of the Perverse, The Raven, etc.

Oh I read those too, during my 'goth phase' in my 20s ;D
But only because they weren't associated with "classics" in my brain

(and by the way, what was his obssession with being buried alive? :o )
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: David A. Werling on July 14, 2020, 02:37:19 AM
I'm afraid that calling a book a "classic" just makes me think it might be boring... or I had to study it school, which turned the best books into horrid bores, hehe

Some of the best books I've read I was forced to read for school: Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Metamorphosis, several by Dumas, etc...

But come to think of it... the worst books I've read I was forced to read for school: The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, The Cassocks...

So I guess you have a point.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: cupiscent on July 14, 2020, 04:24:16 AM
One of the other grade 8 English classes got to study A Wizard of Earthsea. I was so annoyed (we were reading... I can't even remember, but I think something I'd read years earlier, I was precocious) that I made my father buy me the complete Earthsea quartet so I could read it for myself.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Elfy on July 14, 2020, 12:58:27 PM
I can’t do just 3. I can limit it to 5 and even that’s hard, but here goes. This is in no particular order.
1. Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen
2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland By Lewis Carroll
3. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
5. The Once and Future King by T. H. White.
In some ways it does depend on how you define ‘classic’, and I think we all have our own definition of what makes a book classic to us.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Lady Ty on July 14, 2020, 02:18:47 PM
I'm also ashamed to admit I don't remember the name of a book of a kid/young man caught in fight between Redcoats and Jacobites. Aaargh!

Only a year late, but just read your post, Bender.  Might this be Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson?
Full on old style action adventure ;D
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: David A. Werling on July 17, 2020, 02:34:10 AM

1. Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen


This seems to be a recurring theme here. I'm actually kind of surprised, and happy. Feels like I'm in good company. I still have a crush on Elizabeth. I have never watched a film adaptation, and I never will, because I don't want to lose the Elizabeth that's in my mind.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Elfy on July 17, 2020, 06:31:18 AM

1. Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen


This seems to be a recurring theme here. I'm actually kind of surprised, and happy. Feels like I'm in good company. I still have a crush on Elizabeth. I have never watched a film adaptation, and I never will, because I don't want to lose the Elizabeth that's in my mind.
Some years ago they did a top 100 books of Australia and P&P came top 3.
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Jake Baelish on July 24, 2020, 08:55:37 AM
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
And since it counts as a classic - The Lord of the Rings - Granddad Tolkien  :)
Title: Re: Your top 3 Classics
Post by: Caith on July 24, 2020, 12:13:37 PM
1. The War of the Worlds by H.G Wells. Breath-taking in its imaginative scope, considering when it was written. By turns, horrifying and creepy. Brilliant story-telling.

2. Treasure Island by R.L Stevenson. Pirates, more pirates. Buried treasure, high adventure and low-down dirty deeds. RLS writes the book on all thing piratey and leaves the rest in his wake.

3. A Christmas Carol by C. Dickens. Read it, enjoy it. Read it again. And again. Every December.