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Classics you haven't read......or couldn't get through


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#61 dirac

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 06:09 PM

I tried and failed so often with Jude that I finally had someone bring me a copy of the Cliff Notes and I forced myself to read each chapter of the Notes and then of the text, and find every dreary point the Notes brought up.


sandik, I resorted to the same expedient with The Mayor of Casterbridge in high school. I never did get around to trying the book again and perhaps I should.

#62 sandik

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 07:18 PM

I tried and failed so often with Jude that I finally had someone bring me a copy of the Cliff Notes and I forced myself to read each chapter of the Notes and then of the text, and find every dreary point the Notes brought up.


sandik, I resorted to the same expedient with The Mayor of Casterbridge in high school. I never did get around to trying the book again and perhaps I should.


I haven't managed to read the book again -- I couldn't even sit through the PBS Masterpiece Theater program!

#63 sandik

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 08:07 PM

I'm still trying to get my mind around the pairing of P&P and Jude the Obscure......


I know, I know. I think it was part of a set, that came with an English lit curriculum, but by the time I got there the school had abandoned the full program and was just using the texts wherever they could. I used to wonder what other combos they had in the set.

#64 bart

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 04:19 AM

I haven't managed to read the book again -- I couldn't even sit through the PBS Masterpiece Theater program!

Ditto. :(

#65 Ostrich

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 09:05 AM

I tried and failed so often with Jude that I finally had someone bring me a copy of the Cliff Notes and I forced myself to read each chapter of the Notes and then of the text, and find every dreary point the Notes brought up.


sandik, I resorted to the same expedient with The Mayor of Casterbridge in high school. I never did get around to trying the book again and perhaps I should.


I haven't managed to read the book again -- I couldn't even sit through the PBS Masterpiece Theater program!


Funny thing is, it's one of my favourite books. I've read it several times and it ranks as my favourite Thomas Hardy novel. But I only got through Jude the Obscure because I insisted on having read every Hardy novel...

#66 dirac

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 10:12 AM

Certainly The Mayor of Casterbridge has a dramatic story, Ostrich.

A lot of people canít get through Middlemarch, a favorite of mine. Go figure.

#67 Ostrich

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:47 AM

A lot of people canít get through Middlemarch, a favorite of mine. Go figure.


Mine too :FIREdevil: But I couldn't stand Silas Marner and, while I got to the end, it was due to a lot of cheating and skipping.

#68 PeggyR

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 11:47 AM

Does Lord of the Rings count as a classic? After three tries, I finally got as far as Tom Bombadil, at which point I found myself fighting an irresistable urge to strangle a novel with my bare hands :FIREdevil: .

#69 dirac

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 01:46 PM

Does Lord of the Rings count as a classic? After three tries, I finally got as far as Tom Bombadil, at which point I found myself fighting an irresistable urge to strangle a novel with my bare hands :FIREdevil: .


I had the same experience, PeggyR. LOTR is certainly a classic, just not my kind of classic, I guess. I enjoyed the movies, oddly enough. Major Mel may have some tips for us in the best way to approach the books.

I couldn't get through Silas Marner either, Ostrich. In fact, I don't like any Eliot novel as much as I do Middlemarch, which I love.

#70 bart

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:04 PM

[W]hile I got to the end, it was due to a lot of cheating and skipping.

Ostrich, you've uttered the great unspoken secret that keeps so many classics in print. Skipping!

I am currently reading Herodotus in the Landmark edition, published by Pantheon. This features many footnotes, maps, illustrations, appendices, etc. One of the editorial features of this edition is 2-inch-wide outer margins containing a brief summary of each paragraph. Herodotus is fascinating and quite "modern" in many ways. But there have been times (as when he enumerates and explalins the tribute paid by every province in the Persian Empire) that I found myself reading the margin notes and passing quickly (but guiltily) on.

#71 kfw

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 04:57 PM

I am currently reading Herodotus in the Landmark edition, published by Pantheon. This features many footnotes, maps, illustrations, appendices, etc. One of the editorial features of this edition is 2-inch-wide outer margins containing a brief summary of each paragraph.

Thanks for the information, bart. Herodotus (Penguin Classics) has been begging to come off the shelf for awhile now. I'm sure I'll consult him alongside the Landmark edition. At the moment I'm luxuriating in Salman Rushdie's "The Enchantress of Florence."

#72 Helene

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 09:31 PM

On the classics I haven't read list, the ones I have read would make a much shorter list.

The big two that I started but was unable to finish are "Moby Dick" -- the bookmark is still at the halfway mark from about twenty years ago -- and "The Scarlet Letter".

I've never been able to get past the first 50 pages of the first LOTR book or past the first chapter of "The Hobbit."

I found "Anna Karenina" a great read, but I was shocked that they get together so quickly and so uneventfully.

"Middlemarch" is my favorite novel, but "Daniel Deronda" almost killed me. It took everything I had to slog through that one.

#73 Gina Ness

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 12:27 AM

Dear PeggyR and dirac...Regarding LOTR, forge a bit further ahead of Tom Bombadil. I feel certain that you won't regret it! It's one of my all-time favorite reads...I've read it on and off at least ten times since the 60's...I read it a couple of times to my elder son when he was a child. It's still one of his favorites, too, at age 37! Perhaps this is why Bombadil doesn't make an appearance in the films! :rofl: Currently, I'm finally reading Jane Eyre. I can't believe I've never read this novel. I'm loving it!

#74 bart

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 03:53 AM

Regarding LOTR, forge a bit further ahead of Tom Bombadil. I feel certain that you won't regret it!

I second Gina's suggestion. Bombadil, I believe, was a very early creation of Tolkien in his folksey-fey mode. I may be alone in this, but the Shire sections of the books come close to turning my stomach. Lorien, home of those quaint, transparent, Good Fairies, comes a close second. More interesting and gripping are the grittier, imperfect worlds of Rohan, Gondor -- even what we get to see of Mordor.

#75 Ostrich

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 09:36 AM

I've never been able to get past the first 50 pages of the first LOTR book or past the first chapter of "The Hobbit."


'The Hobbit' is my all-time favourite fantasy classic - no contest! Just shows you...

Some more confessions:
I never finished
The Way of All Flesh
Canterbury Tales (eeew, boooring)


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