Recommendations of Classic Books

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any classic books or any very old fiction books or series.
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You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
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Artdude
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Re: The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Post by Artdude » 25 Jun 2011, 12:49

MissMeggie2804 wrote:This is my new favorite book. Ever. i can't stop talking about it to my friends and family, even my teachers. I love it.
So, here is my review.

Some people go about blaming Lord Henry 'Harry' for all of Dorian's twisted outlooks on life, but that just cannot be the case- for Harry never killed a man, nor bardered his soul to stay young forever. I do, however agree that Harry formally introduced this way of life to Dorian. I think that the relationship between Dorian and the painting is so well played out, he can't stand the sight of it, yet he yearns to always be around it. I was quite sad when he murdered Basil, he was a well-shapened character. But my hatred really formed for Dorian when he treated Sybil in the way he did. I'm not sure how people treated eachother back then, but in any time it's mean to speak with somebody in such a way. It is quite unrealistic though. The relationship between Sybil and Dorian came on so fast it's just not probable, they were engaged before she even knew his name; another this unrealistic is how they will start to cry oh so often and fast, like when Dorian first sees the painting.
The story is moving and really makes you think about yourself. The ideals and advice from Harry is confusing and quite appalling.

This could (and should) classify as the best of gothic fiction ever, probably Oscar Wilde's best work ever.
Without being rude, can you seriously say that Dorian Gray is the "best of gothic fiction ever?" I mean, I hated Dorian Gray, purely for it's patronising tone, but I can see why people like it, and I understand that it's a good book. But, if you think that this book is height of Gothic literature, the best example of gothic literature, or gothic literature at all, then you are hugely misguided. My apologies on behalf of whoever told you it came under the Gothic genre. I thought what you had to say about the rest of it though was completely true, particularly the last two lines before the weird statement. You are right - and anyone who spends a few seconds reading this should go and read this interesting book (without the misapprehension that it comes under the Gothic genre.)

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Post by Eric Tolevsky » 28 Jun 2011, 13:03

^
I am glad to see someone else is not completely enamored with Dorian Gray. It is okay, but rather simple like steinbeck. I think that it makes great juvenile lit., but there is no depth to the characters.

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Bighuey
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Post by Bighuey » 28 Jun 2011, 14:58

Dorian Gray was ok, certainly not my favorite book and it is definetly not gothic.

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Post by Reader-errant » 13 Jul 2011, 11:28

Hey everyone I just finished Cervantes's Don Quixote and I enjoyed it. I simply enjoyed the style, the humour of Cervantes's wit. the fact that he could turn life's follys and laugh at them, to turn a world of iron into a world of gold.
So then I felt inspired to read more of his works, I just finished, The Exemplary Tales and enjoyed this again for the this was Don Quijote in bits. I think that he means to look at life as is should be. since he loved children and the youthful omtimisms inspire him, that is in the the Tales.
Therefore, I hope you reply to this and I encoruage readers to reader Spainish Golden Age lit. :D

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Post by Nothinginexcess » 05 Aug 2011, 09:48

I'd like opinions on War and Peace. It's my first time reading it(listening). I'm about half way through, and even though I find it interesting, I can't understand why it is so high on the list of classics. I feel like a far-away expectator instead of falling for the main characters or at least one. Their fate is of no great stress to me.
The style of writing doesn't come across to me as very imaginative or captivating. The battle descriptions are OK but I have read better ones.
Honestly, I'd like to hear other opinions on this great book.

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Post by Bighuey » 05 Aug 2011, 10:05

I started to read it once and I got about a third of the way into it but like you, I couldnt see much to it. It was overrated I think.

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Post by Fran » 05 Aug 2011, 12:19

Nothinginexcess wrote:I'd like opinions on War and Peace. It's my first time reading it(listening). I'm about half way through, and even though I find it interesting, I can't understand why it is so high on the list of classics. I feel like a far-away expectator instead of falling for the main characters or at least one. Their fate is of no great stress to me.
The style of writing doesn't come across to me as very imaginative or captivating. The battle descriptions are OK but I have read better ones.
Honestly, I'd like to hear other opinions on this great book.
I read the book probably 15+ years ago but it's my current audio book on my MP3 when I go walking. I finished listening to Book 2 about an hour ago. Unless your are a Russian native I presume you are, like most of us, reading it in translation and a lot does depend on the quality of the translation. I would dearly love to be able to read it in the original combination of Russian and French. I love the vivid pictures Tolstoy draws of society in early 1800's Russia and the comparisons between the peasants and the wealthy elites and the way he lines up shallow society types against intellectual esoteric types.

He is truly brilliant at highlighting the hubris of the army elites of all nations and the casual way generals will risk thousands of lives rather that admit an error. On society he is unforgiving and time and again with razor sharpness he spotlights the egos, pomposity and the self centeredness of princes and princesses and their acolytes. I laughed out loud at the description of Prince Andrei's audience with the Austrian Emperor in Book 2 ... 'The Emperor loved holding audiences but didn't like talking to people' !!!!

The BBC produced a superb TV mini series of War & Peace some years ago starring a very young Anthony Hopkins ... well worth watching if you can get your hands on it. I think there may also be a more recent production released. In Ireland and probably UK you could be fairly certain if a woman was called Sonya or Natasha she was most likely born during the period the BBC series was being screened or very shortly after ... both names became extremely popular during those years.

It's brilliant & I love Tolstoy
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Post by Nothinginexcess » 05 Aug 2011, 15:46

Fran, You make a convincing case for War and Peace. I have also noticed some dialogues don't work as good as they should because of the translation to English, and I suspect there's more I'm missing I'm not aware of with the translation. I will definately finish the book. I guess my dissatisfaction comes from comparing it with contemporary works such as Matterhorn regarding war scenes or Freedom from Jonathan Franzen regarding human psychology, but it's not a completely fair comparison.

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Post by Lebowski » 07 Aug 2011, 02:12

Hi, I'm looking for a suggestion on what to read next.

I've got a list of classics by writers such as Hemingway, Joseph Heller, Pynchon, Oscar Wilde, Steinbeck, Vonnegut, and so on.

I was hoping some of you would care to give a recommendation on what to read next based on my list, as well as any that you may like to add.

Not looking for a list, just one book, or a couple if you must, that should be my next read after the one I am currently and almost finished reading, as I am having a difficult time choosing.

Cheers!

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Post by Fran » 07 Aug 2011, 03:58

Personally I'd start with:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
or
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
We fade away, but vivid in our eyes
A world is born again that never dies.
- My Home by Clive James

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Post by Bighuey » 07 Aug 2011, 09:09

An interesting book you might like is Looking Backward From 2000 to 1887 by Edward Bellamy. Its a fictional sci-fi book written in 1887, some of his predictions are quite accurate.

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Post by Lebowski » 08 Aug 2011, 06:17

Thanks for the replies. Think I'll go with The Picture of Dorian Gray as it has been recommended to me by a few people now.

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Fran
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Post by Fran » 08 Aug 2011, 06:29

Lebowski wrote:Thanks for the replies. Think I'll go with The Picture of Dorian Gray as it has been recommended to me by a few people now.
I'll be interested to read your opinion of Dorian so don't forget to post
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Post by Timpane » 11 Aug 2011, 13:45

The Importance of Being Earnest as well as The Picture of Dorian Grey. Everything Wilde composed was bright, but these two disagree from each other in pitch so much as to make them stand out for me. I furthermore like Lady Winder mere's fan.

ActionDALLAS
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Post by ActionDALLAS » 28 Aug 2011, 23:49

A short but deep intriguing book by Herman Hesse. It follows the life of Siddhartha as he searches for meaning in life. He experiences joys and hardships on his journey to enlightenment. It was a great read I certainly recommend it. If anyone has read any of his other works please let me know I am interested to read more of his work.

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