Classics to read

The historical fiction class I finished in the fall had me reading short snippets of classics — classics I’ve never read, or for some reason, decided outright that I wouldn’t like and never read. For instance, The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. I read two short chapters and rather liked it; I’m considering going back and starting from the beginning just to see how it goes. The Last of the Mohicans was just as violent as I thought it would be, and in the one and a half chapters I read, I didn’t particularly care for the characters. It’s an interesting time period although I’m not planning to go back to read more of this one.

However, Charles Dickens does have me thinking. I’ve never cared for Dickens (even the stories I did read), always took dark and sad for me. After four chapters of A Tale of Two Cities, I think I may have to go back and start this one from the beginning. Previously, when I’ve tried to read this book, it was  just too depressing for me to take. But I did find A Tale of Two Cities very intriguing this time — strange how time can make you see things from a new perspective. It has me considering an actual read of A Christmas Carol too. Sad to say, I only know this one from plays and movies and I feel I should read the book.

Chaka by Thomas Mofolo was so very good and I’m sad I haven’t been able to find a copy of this book. I have to check some used bookstores for a copy since my library doesn’t have it. It’s the story of a mythical Zulu Chief and his rise and fall from power and the one and only chapter I was able to get my hands on left me wanting a lot more. It’s a setting I’m very unfamiliar with but I want to know so much more about the characters and their traditions. I need to get my hands on a copy of this book because the first chapter was just amazing.

Tell me, any classics you’ve avoided and why?

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2 thoughts on “Classics to read

  1. After reading Shelley’s Frankensten,I’m avoiding classics which are known to be predictive,like the Dickens novels or Dracula for example.I think I was right to do so,as many people have been disappointed with Dracula.

    • I’ve read Dracula a few times and liked it. Yes, it can feel tedious sometimes, but for me, it’s not the story itself, but the way it’s told. I love stories told epistolary style.

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