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Davian93
07-30-2008, 08:18 AM
To Kill a Mockingbird. I had somehow managed to go through 26 years of life without reading it or knowing anything at all about it. However, I saw an old paperback copy of it from a 1962 printing of it (originally published in 1960) at a Goodwill store when we were donating some old clothes for 50 cents and decided to pick it up. I like reading the so-called "classics" and it looked like a short read so I figured why not? Anyway, it was a really good read and I would recommend it to anyone who has never read it. Somehow I didn't have to read it in either HS english or college english (likely because I took AP English as both a junior and senior so we read more advanced books instead). I also picked up 'The Brothers Karamazov' while I was there for another 50 cents so that's up next. I've always loved Russian literature so I'm looking forward to it. I just hope its a good translation as some Doesevstky (sp) is butchered on translation.

Brita
07-30-2008, 08:39 AM
Let me know what you think of The Brothers Karamasov- I really enjoyed Crime and Punishement, but I haven't read any other novels by Dosteovsky. It's time for me to pick up some "classic" reading again. It used to be all I read.

And To Kill a Mockingbird is a great novel, it packs a lot of moral punch, from what I remember.

I recommend Titus Groan and Gormenghast by Mervin Peake. It is a slow start, but once the story gets rolling, it is incredibly entertaining adn different.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 08:42 AM
Crime & Punishment is a great book...one of my favorites.

Brita
07-30-2008, 08:49 AM
I know! He is such a talented writer when it comes to matters of the psyche. When you think about it- after the beginning "act", nothing much happens really, but it is so enthralling to read just the same.

Speaking of Russian Lit- Have you read Anna Karenina?

Sei'taer
07-30-2008, 08:55 AM
I loved to kill a mockingbird. I also enjoyed grapes of wrath...if you haven't read that yet (I think most people have). The sun also rises,the great gatsby, slaughterhouse 5, farenheit 451, 20,000 leagues under the sea, Moby Dick, all great classic books that I really enjoyed in high school and college.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 08:56 AM
Years ago...probably close to 10 years now...I remember it being a good read.

I'm a big fan of Tolstoy...especially War & Peace.

Also good Russian lit is Solzhenitsyn. Gulag Archipelago and 'The First Circle' are good reads. 'The First Circle' can be somewhat hard to find though...I'm not sure if its still in print. I have an old hardback copy of it from a used bookstore. Also by him is 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' which I read for a school class'.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 09:01 AM
I loved to kill a mockingbird. I also enjoyed grapes of wrath...if you haven't read that yet (I think most people have). The sun also rises,the great gatsby, slaughterhouse 5, farenheit 451, 20,000 leagues under the sea, Moby Dick, all great classic books that I really enjoyed in high school and college.

I've read Gatsby, Slaughterhouse 5, and 451...I've always meant to get Moby Dick (its one I look for at used book stores as I refuse to buy such books for full price as there are millions of copies floating around in the $1 range). Grapes of Wrath is another I keep my eye out for.

Brita
07-30-2008, 09:03 AM
~~~madly jotting down a "To Buy" list~~~

Sei- I just read Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut- I LOVED IT! He's a genius. It's my first book by him- but I will definitely be reading more, Slaughterhouse 5 will be next I think.

irerancincpkc
07-30-2008, 09:05 AM
Gatsby annoyed me for some reason... War and Peace was really awesome, as was To Kill A Mockingbird, which may be my favorite single novel.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 09:08 AM
~~~madly jotting down a "To Buy" list~~~

Sei- I just read Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut- I LOVED IT! He's a genius. It's my first book by him- but I will definitely be reading more, Slaughterhouse 5 will be next I think.

Vonnegut is out there but a very good read for most of his books. I own a good number of his works. Cat's Cradle is excellent (I love the ending with the ice-nine). I would also recommend 'The Sirens of Titan' if you haven't read it.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 09:08 AM
Gatsby annoyed me for some reason... War and Peace was really awesome, as was To Kill A Mockingbird, which may be my favorite single novel.

"Ahh...Gatsby old sport..." It had its moments.

Brita
07-30-2008, 09:14 AM
"Bokonon invites us to sing along with him..."

I like authors that are "out there", as long as I can still follow what they are trying to express. It is very difficult to be original these days.

One book I DO NOT recommend is The Alchemist. Blech! Drivel...

irerancincpkc
07-30-2008, 09:15 AM
The book that I have the worst memories of, from school, is Great Expectations. Ugh. :eek:

Brita
07-30-2008, 09:19 AM
The book that I have the worst memories of, from school, is Great Expectations. Ugh. :eek:

I confess I enjoy Dickens. But I can understand why some don't. Especially if forced to read it for school. Then it becomes torturous.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 09:19 AM
Mary Shelleys 'Frankenstein' is the worst book I've ever read...I still shudder at the thought of it...if you ever have to read it keep track of how many times she uses the word 'hitherto'. Its been at least 10 years and I still remember it being horrible.

irerancincpkc
07-30-2008, 09:28 AM
I confess I enjoy Dickens. But I can understand why some don't. Especially if forced to read it for school. Then it becomes torturous.
I like Dickens as well. I loved Tale of Two Cities, but something about GE just rubbed me the wrong way.

Dav, you didn't like Frankenstein? It wasn't great, but I didn't think it was that bad...

The best thing I read in school was John Keats poetry.

Zaela Sedai
07-30-2008, 09:42 AM
Funny I was just about to start my on thread about The Time Machine by HG Wells. I haven't finished, almost done (only 66 pages lol)

Its superb! I can't believe I've never read it! I was shocked when I saw it was written in 1894. I love the idea of it. Anyone else read it?

Sei'taer
07-30-2008, 09:43 AM
~~~madly jotting down a "To Buy" list~~~

Sei- I just read Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut- I LOVED IT! He's a genius. It's my first book by him- but I will definitely be reading more, Slaughterhouse 5 will be next I think.


Whats funny about those books is a lot of them are considered fantasy by todays standards...guess thats where I got the bug

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 09:58 AM
My first year of teaching I taught "To Kill A Mockingbird" to my students. I remember after a week, the class was groaning "THIS IS BORING!" and one girl says "If you guys would actually read it, it's actually pretty good."

They picked on her for awhile after that and I don't think she ever finished the book. Damn peer pressure.

irerancincpkc
07-30-2008, 10:00 AM
My first year of teaching I taught "To Kill A Mockingbird" to my students. I remember after a week, the class was groaning "THIS IS BORING!" and one girl says "If you guys would actually read it, it's actually pretty good."

They picked on her for awhile after that and I don't think she ever finished the book. Damn peer pressure.
Really? When I read it in class, almost everyone loved it. Was it an honors/ AP level course, or average?

Davian93
07-30-2008, 10:04 AM
Really? When I read it in class, almost everyone loved it. Was it an honors/ AP level course, or average?

I'm guessing the latter personally.

Crispin's Crispian
07-30-2008, 10:10 AM
The Grapes of Wrath is great (grape?), and inspiring if you ever thinkg about becoming an author.

I tried to read Moby Dick in high school on my own, but I just couldn't. I have always wanted to try again, but I'm still a little put off.

I also recommend "On the Road" by Kerouac if you're into more "modern" classics.


***Aside from classics***
ST, I'm in the middle of Cryptonomicon on your recommendation. It's slow going for me (with everything else I have going on), but I love it. Stephenson is a great writer of characters, and I love his style. Things are starting to come together plot-wise so I have some inkling of what might happen at the end...

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 10:12 AM
I'm guessing the latter personally.

How redundant.


Yes, it was a "regular" class. This school had three levels, "Honors", "College Prep" and "Regular". The CP kids were really the average ones and the Regular class was more for the kids that were almost sure to drop out or would rather go to technical school.

The girl in question, however, should have been in an Honors class. She was extremely intelligent and hard working. Unfortunately, most of her friends were not, so she refused to sign up for the Honors class because her friends were all in the CP classes.

jason wolfbrother
07-30-2008, 10:28 AM
I loved Crime and Punishment. I picked up the Brothers Karamazov and couldn't get into it. Tried 3 different times and never made it past page 50 :confused: To Kill a Mockingbird is an amazing story. I read in 8th grade for English and loved it then. Found a good used copy a few years back and picked it up. Think I've read it 4 or 5 times since then. Boo Radley is such a cool character.

I've always meant to pick up Vonnegut but never got around to it. He's on my list ;)

Sei'taer
07-30-2008, 10:55 AM
***Aside from classics***
ST, I'm in the middle of [I]Cryptonomicon on your recommendation. It's slow going for me (with everything else I have going on), but I love it. Stephenson is a great writer of characters, and I love his style. Things are starting to come together plot-wise so I have some inkling of what might happen at the end...


SoE is a good one for giving out recommendations on books...he's the one who told me to read that. He says Stephensons Baroque Cycle is excellent too, so that'll probably be my next big buy.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-30-2008, 10:58 AM
Not a surprise after what you told me about your students, Camel.

To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the best books I've ever read. I haven't waded through any Russian literature lately, though I did start Anna Karenina a long time ago. Got sidetracked reading for my writing. ;)

Davian93
07-30-2008, 11:16 AM
SoE is a good one for giving out recommendations on books...he's the one who told me to read that. He says Stephensons Baroque Cycle is excellent too, so that'll probably be my next big buy.

I bought the first book of that and just couldn't get into it. He writes in an odd tense and it kept annoying me...

Ishara
07-30-2008, 12:45 PM
I loved To Kill a Mockingbird with such a passion in highschool. I tried to use Scout as my username eher, but it was taken on the global system. It's still one of my favourite names ever.

My personal "guilty" classic pleasure is Thomas Hardy, and Henry Fielding, and Dumas. Hardy was always such a fabulous read, exciting and dramatic and so...just. Fielding was hysterical and sexy, and Dumas is just a rollicking good read.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-30-2008, 12:50 PM
The Grapes of Wrath is great (grape?), and inspiring if you ever thinkg about becoming an author.

I actually don't like most of Steinbeck's work. Him, Hemingway and Faulkner get on my nerves.

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 12:51 PM
I love the Count of Monte Cristo. That's one of my all-time favorite classics.

My kids at school loved "The Odyssey", but mainly because it had monsters and stuff.

My least favorite classic author is Dickens. Love the plots, hate the writing. Although I'm willing to blame the writing on the time period, where serial novelization was king.

My least favorite contemporary "authors" (and i use the term loosely) are Paolini and Goodkind.

Brita
07-30-2008, 01:17 PM
I love the Count of Monte Cristo. That's one of my all-time favorite classics.



I almost fell off my chair when I saw that- I LOVE that book. I don't know why I always forget it in my list of fav's, but it is definitely one of the most memorable books I've read. (EDIT- haha- that doesn't really make sense)

I also really like The Three Musketeers.

Ishara
07-30-2008, 01:27 PM
I know right? Humour, piracy, mystery, romance, sword fights, revenge...what does The Count of MC not have, I ask you?! The Man in the Iron Mask is in my bag right now. I'm starting it on the way home tonight.

Terez
07-30-2008, 01:32 PM
I don't remember what happened in To Kill A Mockingbird, but I do remember liking it. I don't think I had to read it for school - it was just one of those things I picked up in the library. Great Expectations was awful, though...

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 01:41 PM
The problem with Dickens is that he wrote a serialized novel. Each chapter was released in a newspaper-type-thing each week.

So imagine getting one chapter per week of Eye of the World.

How many chapters are there? How many weeks would it take? A lot.

By the time you get halfway through the book, three months have gone by and you've forgotten what happened at the beginning.

So basically, each chapter says "This is what JUST happened, this is what's happening now, and here's a cliffhange--"

On top of that, Dickens got paid by the word.

That's why Dickens' (and his contemporaries') novels are so verbose and so hard to read. If you really want to read Great Expectations and similar books such as Wuthering Heights, I strongly, strongly recommend that you get one of the abridged versions (usually they're written for teenagers/young adults). If you really just wanna know what happens, read the Cliff's Notes.

The plots to stories are actually pretty good, it's just the insane verbosity and repetitiveness that will kill you if you try to read the originals.

Incidentally, we can blame Dickens for what I call the George Lucas Syndrome. Dickens published each chapter in a weekly newspaper at a rate of one chapter per week. People loved it and begged for more. Once the novel was finished, he went back and published the chapters one by one in bound form. People went nuts over these, too. Finally, something they can keep that won't get torn up like a newspaper! Finally, Dickens bound all of the chapters together into one book and sold that.

He essentially sold his customers the same book THREE times.

Sound like anyone you know? *coughLucascoughStarwarscough*

Yeah. Screw you, Dickens.

Ishara
07-30-2008, 01:45 PM
I think that's a gross generalization Camel. Fielding wrote serial novels too and Tom Jones is nothing like Dickens. Period. I think Dickens was probably just naturally pedantic and liked the sound of his own voice.

Crispin's Crispian
07-30-2008, 01:53 PM
I don't remember what happened in To Kill A Mockingbird, but I do remember liking it.

All you need to remember is "chifforobe."

Oh, and Robert Duvall.

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 01:57 PM
I think that's a gross generalization Camel. Fielding wrote serial novels too and Tom Jones is nothing like Dickens. Period. I think Dickens was probably just naturally pedantic and liked the sound of his own voice.

I don't think it's a gross generalization. I took two courses on Victorian literature a few years ago, and we read on the order of 25 or 30 books. They were almost all written in the same manner -- extreme verbosity. Fielding might have been an exception to the rule rather than a rule.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-30-2008, 01:58 PM
I have to agree. And I nearly lost my sanity taking MORE than one Victorian lit class. Verbosity is the rule, not the exception.

Terez
07-30-2008, 02:34 PM
We probably would have liked it if we'd lived then. People like us will be bitching about RJ's verbosity 100 years from now (hell, other people bitch about it NOW).

irerancincpkc
07-30-2008, 02:45 PM
I doubt if in any life I could ever enjoy Great Expectations... :D

Terez
07-30-2008, 02:50 PM
Well, I just say that because literary style has evolved so much since then. A lot of younger kids can't get into Tolkien because his style is old-fashioned, and Tolkien is contemporary in comparison to Dickens.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 02:51 PM
Well, I just say that because literary style has evolved so much since then. A lot of younger kids can't get into Tolkien because his style is old-fashioned, and Tolkien is contemporary in comparison to Dickens.

Tolkien is nice but his stories are a tad simplistic. I know that is harsh as he essentially invented modern fantasy from scratch but its how I feel.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-30-2008, 02:56 PM
Not harsh, Dav. Just wrong. ;)

Of course he seems simplistic since he, as you said, invented modern fantasy. He only seems simplistic because so many of his "decendants" took his original work and ran with it, building off it.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 03:00 PM
Not harsh, Dav. Just wrong. ;)

Of course he seems simplistic since he, as you said, invented modern fantasy. He only seems simplistic because so many of his "decendants" took his original work and ran with it, building off it.

I stand by my statement...everything gets wrapped up too neatly in LotR...right down to the stupid giant eagles at the end saving Frodo and Sam.

Gilshalos Sedai
07-30-2008, 03:04 PM
So he's simplistic because the two Hobbits didn't come to a fiery end?

Brita
07-30-2008, 03:08 PM
Have you seen the YouTube video (LotR alternate ending) of Frodo and Sam flying over the waste to Mordor on the eagles to throw the ring in? (I'm at work so I can't link it). They are joking as they fly over "Can you imagine walking to Mordor?" "That would just be crazy, somone could die" and they laugh.

It's quite funny.

Davian93
07-30-2008, 03:13 PM
So he's simplistic because the two Hobbits didn't come to a fiery end?

All 3 books are about walking...dont get me wrong but Clerks II made a very good point about the LotR and the walking and walking and walking...

I like LotR and all but RJ and GRRM are lightyears better than Tolkien was.

Ishara
07-30-2008, 03:48 PM
At the risk of sounding argumentative, I disagree Dav. Totally. For a so-called children's book The Hobbit is a perfect example of how Tolkein rocks the socks off of RJ. Personally...

Also, I feel the need to clarify. Fielding was still verbose, oh was he verbose (and prone to vast descriptions of bushes and hedgerows), but he was still more entertaining than Dickens. He serialized, but did it better imo.

Sei'taer
07-30-2008, 03:52 PM
I bought the first book of that and just couldn't get into it. He writes in an odd tense and it kept annoying me...


Before he told me to get it he asked if I had liked Cryptonomicon. I told him that I really enjoyed it. He said he wouldn't recommend the Baroque Cycle if I hadn't like the other. I guess it's hard for you people who aren't on the same upper levels as SDog, SoE and I.

On the Tolkien thing, I totally agree with you Davian. BTW, Did you ever read Watership Down? I read it years ago and liked it too...been thinking about picking it up again since it's been so long. It's a crazy weird book though.

Crispin's Crispian
07-30-2008, 04:04 PM
Before he told me to get it he asked if I had liked Cryptonomicon. I told him that I really enjoyed it. He said he wouldn't recommend the Baroque Cycle if I hadn't like the other. I guess it's hard for you people who aren't on the same upper levels as SDog, SoE and I.

On the Tolkien thing, I totally agree with you Davian. BTW, Did you ever read Watership Down? I read it years ago and liked it too...been thinking about picking it up again since it's been so long. It's a crazy weird book though.

I read Watership Down in fourth grade, I think, and loved it. It might have been the first "fantasy" book I'd read, really... Unless you count the Phantom Tollbooth.

A few years back I picked up the "sequel," Tales from Watership Down, which continues a little bit from the book, but is really a collection of rabbit folk tales that are a lot of fun.

John Snow
07-30-2008, 04:06 PM
The problem with Dickens is that he wrote a serialized novel. Each chapter was released in a newspaper-type-thing each week.

So imagine getting one chapter per week of Eye of the World.

How many chapters are there? How many weeks would it take? A lot.

By the time you get halfway through the book, three months have gone by and you've forgotten what happened at the beginning.

So basically, each chapter says "This is what JUST happened, this is what's happening now, and here's a cliffhange--"

On top of that, Dickens got paid by the word.

That's why Dickens' (and his contemporaries') novels are so verbose and so hard to read.

This was before radio or TV, obviously - reading Dickens aloud to each other in the evening was what families did back then.....and besides the pay-per-word, people liked all the verbose description that Dickens engaged in.

I haven't read the whole thread yet, but there's another Victorian author who has a generally bad reputation as a racist cum imperialist - Rudyard Kipling. In spite of which, I like a lot of his poetry, and really like Kim.

Sei'taer
07-30-2008, 04:15 PM
I read Watership Down in fourth grade, I think, and loved it. It might have been the first "fantasy" book I'd read, really... Unless you count the Phantom Tollbooth.

A few years back I picked up the "sequel," Tales from Watership Down, which continues a little bit from the book, but is really a collection of rabbit folk tales that are a lot of fun.


I was probably about the same age...maybe a little older. Thats why I want to read it again...just to see the adult type references that I might have missed as a kid.

JSUCamel
07-30-2008, 04:39 PM
I love Watership Down! I also like Brian Jacques series, although the name is escaping me at the moment.. books like "Salamandastron" and "The Mouseflower".

As for the Tolkien, you have to keep in mind he wasn't writing fiction for the sake of entertainment. Tolkien was developing a mythology for England. He felt that England had no inherent mythology -- that every myth they knew was actually borrowed from somewhere else. For instance, King Arther actually originates from the Normandy area in France.

Most every mythological story you can think of has a sweet, wrapped up ending. These weren't novels, they were myths. Long, epic myths.

If you get the chance, read a bit of The Silmarillion. It's not light reading. It's not even something I recommend sitting down and trying to read the whole thing through. Personally, I leave it as bathroom reading. It's basically the Bible of Middle Earth.

Maybe that makes Tolkien simplistic. I think it makes him genius.

Jordan set out to entertain. Martin set out to entertain and then got sidetracked by football season.

Tolkien set out to build a mythology for his country, and wound up creating one for the entire world.

That's genius.

Terez
07-30-2008, 04:43 PM
I disagree with the sentiment that RJ was simplistically out to entertain.

I read Watership Down for the first time when I was about 25.

Crispin's Crispian
07-30-2008, 05:44 PM
I love Watership Down! I also like Brian Jacques series, although the name is escaping me at the moment.. books like "Salamandastron" and "The Mouseflower".

Redwall. I used to watch the cartoon on PBS, and I did read one of the books. I was already out of college by that time.


He felt that England had no inherent mythology -- that every myth they knew was actually borrowed from somewhere else. For instance, King Arther actually originates from the Normandy area in France.

King Arthur originates from the Welsh, though some of the most famous translations and "modernizations" were done by French authors. There are also scholars who think that the whole Round Table and chivalry myths came from a horse-culture Central Europe whose people were imported with the Romans.

I'd say England has no inherent mythology only insofar as everywhere in the world has imported its culture and mythology from somewhere else. The Celts themselves told stories about the people that existed in England before they came, so they started out as an imported mythology.

Brita
07-30-2008, 06:37 PM
A little late in the conversation now, but here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxrUsA9lrwM) is the LotR video I mentioned earlier.

DeiwosTheSkyGod
07-30-2008, 09:35 PM
I'll totally back Camel up on the Silmarillion. I've never read LotR all the way through - and believe me, I've tried over and over - but the Silmarillion has some amazing writing. "Of Beren and Luthien" is nothing short of beautiful.

irerancincpkc
07-31-2008, 07:10 AM
I agree with Dav and Sei about Tolkien. They walk some, then some more, then a little bit more. :D

I mean, I enjoyed the series, but nowhere near the extent of WOT or HP or a few others.

Ishara
07-31-2008, 07:20 AM
Watership Down is actually one of those books that really resonates with you as an adult. I picked my copy up from a used bookstore when I was about 10 and have read every couple of years since then. He wrote it for his children (based on stories he used to tell them), but the themes really speak to adult issues as well.

We're talking tyranny/ freedom struggles, individual/ nationalism, misogyny, not to mention the heoric quest overtones of their trip to Efrafa. Read it again and compare it to the Odessy - the parallels are kind of crazy.

I loved the fables of El-ahrairah and Frith so much, the crazy accent of Kehaar...I might have to pick it back up again!

Incidentally, I wanted to name our kitten Fiver, but my bf (who hasn't read WD thought it was dumb :() I always liked him best.

Zaela Sedai
07-31-2008, 08:22 AM
The Time Traveller?


Anyone, anyone at all?

Ishara
07-31-2008, 09:10 AM
The Time Traveller's Wife? That book was amazing, but I'm not sure I could ever bring myself to read it again. I cried so hard, and it made me so sad.

John Snow
07-31-2008, 09:29 AM
Redwall.
King Arthur originates from the Welsh, though some of the most famous translations and "modernizations" were done by French authors. There are also scholars who think that the whole Round Table and chivalry myths came from a horse-culture Central Europe whose people were imported with the Romans.

I'd say England has no inherent mythology only insofar as everywhere in the world has imported its culture and mythology from somewhere else. The Celts themselves told stories about the people that existed in England before they came, so they started out as an imported mythology.

At the time Tolkien was writing, the thinking was that Arthur legends were French. There're some interesting claims floating around today that Beowulf is an English/Celtic myth.

SauceyBlueConfetti
07-31-2008, 10:16 AM
The Time Traveller?

Anyone, anyone at all?

Classic book, great read, totally agree the idea the man wrote this in 1800s is mindboggling. Same thing applies to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Both books are staggering if you actually think about WHEN they were written.

Time Travelers Wife gave me the exact same reaction Ishara. I agree, I don't think I could pick it up again yet. It has been over two years but emotionally it hit pretty hard. I finished it in bed one night, set it down, stared at it for a moment and started sobbing hysterically.

Jane Austen is still a fav in the classic department, in particular Persuasion.

Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native is disturbing a bit for some reason, but a favorite.

Marie Curie 7
07-31-2008, 11:51 PM
I'll totally back Camel up on the Silmarillion. I've never read LotR all the way through - and believe me, I've tried over and over - but the Silmarillion has some amazing writing. "Of Beren and Luthien" is nothing short of beautiful.

If you really liked the story of Beren and Luthien in The Sillmarillion, then you might want to try "The Lay of Leithian" in The History of Middle Earth, Volume III, edited by Christopher Tolkien. I think it's even better than the version in The Silmarillion.

Matoyak
08-01-2008, 12:32 AM
I...couldn't stand The Grapes of Wrath. I think I'll be shot for saying so, but...it bugged me. I have NO CLUE why, though, been a while since I was forced to wade through it (first one done in class, BTW...a whole week earlier than I should have finished it...my mistake, as when the quizes came about it, I had to REREAD it...ugh)

I LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird, though. GREAT book.

Loved Slaughterhouse 5, but that's not one we are forced to read in HS.

I liked Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, but the Silmarillion (or whatever he named it) was terrible, IMO. I couldn't get through it, even though I tried 3 times.

Never tried any Russian stuff, might give it a shot whenever I get some free time not dedicated to playing guitar and learning keyboard stuff or the internet.

I wanna try Fahrenheit 451...I love Dystopain setting novels...

But my personal favorite classic novel was...........Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1984 is something that should be force-taught...and yet it is not. Can't figure out why...

Terez
08-01-2008, 02:08 AM
I can't make myself finish 1984. I've started it a bunch of times...

irerancincpkc
08-01-2008, 06:21 AM
I've always enjoyed Brave New World... not so much 1984.

Anaiya Sedai
08-01-2008, 06:26 AM
Time Travelers Wife gave me the exact same reaction Ishara. I agree, I don't think I could pick it up again yet. It has been over two years but emotionally it hit pretty hard. I finished it in bed one night, set it down, stared at it for a moment and started sobbing hysterically.


same thing. I hate people seeing me cry over movies or books, so I almost always finish books late at night.
it made me especially sad because it was predictible, but I was still hoping for a miracle.


I've always enjoyed Brave New World... not so much 1984.

Brave new world rocks. there's another short novel by H.G.Wells that is similar, but I can't, for the life of me, remember what it was called..

JSUCamel
08-01-2008, 07:15 AM
I liked Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit, but the Silmarillion (or whatever he named it) was terrible, IMO. I couldn't get through it, even though I tried 3 times.


The Silmarillion isn't a novel, per se. It's more like... it's like reading the Bible. You don't start with Genesis and then finish with Revelations a few hours later. You'd go crazy, and it's not that entertaining. The Silmarillion is something you read one chapter at a time over a very, very long period of time. It's essentially the Middle Earth bible.

My point in bringing up the Silmarillion wasn't that it's a great story, but rather that it shows how Tolkien didn't just set out to write a story, but to create an entire mythology for England.

So don't think of the Silmarillion as one big story, think of it as a Bible of Middle-Earth with a ton of extraneous (and quite boring, honestly) passages with a few good stories thrown in there.

Davian93
08-01-2008, 07:49 AM
I can't make myself finish 1984. I've started it a bunch of times...

1984 is a book that everyone should read as is Animal Farm. I used to have that great quote from 1984 in my signature but it didn't carry over from Yuku.

Brita
08-01-2008, 08:12 AM
Animal Farm is a great book too.

The Book of the Dun Cow is another animal fable I couldn't put down. I read it quite a few years ago, but I remember loving it. Has anyone else read this novel? It is fairly obscure I think.

Ishara
08-01-2008, 09:11 AM
Personally, for a downright terrifying version of dystopia I loved The handmaid's Tale far better than 1984 or A Brave New World. It was more believeable and so, SO terrifying.

The thing I loved most about it though was the "historical" note at the end of the story. Made chills run up and down my spine. Gah.

Brita
08-01-2008, 10:09 AM
Oooh, good one Ishara, The Handmaid's Tale is a very good read.

I wonder if men get as much out of the novel as women do?

irerancincpkc
08-01-2008, 10:19 AM
Animal Farm was good.

The Tao of Poo. What an experience. I wanted to murder my teacher. :D

SauceyBlueConfetti
08-01-2008, 10:33 AM
Martin set out to entertain and then got sidetracked by football season.

ROFLMAO :p :p :p

OMG I almost had a spit-take on that one!!!

DeiwosTheSkyGod
08-01-2008, 10:52 AM
Oooh, good one Ishara, The Handmaid's Tale is a very good read.

I wonder if men get as much out of the novel as women do?

I have it lined up, I'll let you know ;)

John Snow
08-01-2008, 11:11 AM
Oooh, good one Ishara, The Handmaid's Tale is a very good read.

I wonder if men get as much out of the novel as women do?

never been a woman myself. But try Sherry Tepper's "Gate to Women's Country" for a different take on the same underlying premise. And her book "Beauty" is hilarious.

Zaela Sedai
08-01-2008, 11:48 AM
Yeah no wife Ishara. Glad someones read it SBC!!

Animal farm is fantastic, I have to agree.

The Silmirallion was great, though I did need two time to get through it. Its like reading a history book, which I enjoy, lol. Unfinihed tales of Middle-Earth was a good read as well.

Realnow
08-01-2008, 12:33 PM
I found that most of the books we studied in high school were completely ruined by the end of the course. Say To Kill a Mockingbird, which I read 3-4 years before we did in school. The truly moronic methods of teaching in school combined with the sheer idiocy of your peers (and often teachers) and the 3487378273 times you read it over, at 1/4 speed, really makes the novel unenjoyable =P

The Silmarillion isn't a novel, per se. It's more like... it's like reading the Bible. You don't start with Genesis and then finish with Revelations a few hours later. You'd go crazy, and it's not that entertaining. The Silmarillion is something you read one chapter at a time over a very, very long period of time. It's essentially the Middle Earth bible.

My point in bringing up the Silmarillion wasn't that it's a great story, but rather that it shows how Tolkien didn't just set out to write a story, but to create an entire mythology for England.

So don't think of the Silmarillion as one big story, think of it as a Bible of Middle-Earth with a ton of extraneous (and quite boring, honestly) passages with a few good stories thrown in there.

I read the Silmarillion directly after finishing LOTR and enjoyed it just as much if not more, and read at basically the same rate. And I read LOTR around the age of 10 or 11. Maybe not a normal novel but its a good read for sure, but you must be interested in the lore of Middle Earth in general.

Marie Curie 7
08-01-2008, 12:44 PM
King Arthur originates from the Welsh, though some of the most famous translations and "modernizations" were done by French authors. There are also scholars who think that the whole Round Table and chivalry myths came from a horse-culture Central Europe whose people were imported with the Romans.

I'd say England has no inherent mythology only insofar as everywhere in the world has imported its culture and mythology from somewhere else. The Celts themselves told stories about the people that existed in England before they came, so they started out as an imported mythology.

At the time Tolkien was writing, the thinking was that Arthur legends were French. There're some interesting claims floating around today that Beowulf is an English/Celtic myth.

From what I understand, Tolkien also didn't consider the Arthurian legends to be satisfactory as a mythology for England in part because of the Christian content that was inserted into them. There's a good article on Tolkien's reasons for wanting to create a mythology for England written by Tom Shippey (a Tolkien scholar) here (http://www.hi.is/Apps/WebObjects/HI.woa/wa/dp?detail=1004508&name=nordals_en_greinar_og_erindi).

Shippey excerpts one of Tolkien's letters, which states:

I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its own tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought (and found as an ingredient) in legends of other lands...Of course there was and is all the Arthurian world, but powerful as it is, it is imperfectly naturalised, associated with the soil of Britain but not with English [and also] it is involved in, and explicitly contains, the Christian religion. For reasons which I will not elaborate, that seems to me fatal...

Tolkien's major academic work was in philology, and Shippey goes on to indicate that he turned to the Old Norse to help create his "mythology" for England for philological reasons:

An element of jealousy, or envy, is added in a note he wrote maybe as early as 1917, in which he declares, speaking of very early versions of The Silmarillion, "Thus it is that...the Engle [the English] have the true tradition of the fairies, of which the Iras and the Wealas [the Irish and the Welsh] tell garbled things."[3] Tolkien wanted English myths, and English legends, and English fairy-stories, and these did not exist. He refused to borrow from Celtic tradition, which he regarded as alien. What was he going to do? The answer is, of course, that he was going to borrow from Old Norse, which, for philological reasons, he did NOT regard as alien.

The article is pretty interesting and goes on to explain in more depth Tolkien's motivations and choices for his mythology.

JSUCamel
08-01-2008, 02:00 PM
I directed a stage adaptation of "1984" a few years ago. Got pictures somewhere. One of my favorite stories. I like all that dystopian shit.

Davian93
08-01-2008, 02:02 PM
I directed a stage adaptation of "1984" a few years ago. Got pictures somewhere. One of my favorite stories. I like all that dystopian shit.

Cool...I wrote a great paper on it for my English Lit class in college. The symbolism, etc etc was so much fun to BS about for 20 pages. My Prof praised it with "[Dav], sometimes your writing is downright lyrical." Got a 100 on it...the only 100 in the class...Booyah!

JSUCamel
08-01-2008, 02:42 PM
Put my pictures of "1984" up on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2004322&l=20bdf&id=156800106

That link should work for everyone.

Enjoy.

Marie Curie 7
08-01-2008, 06:41 PM
Vonnegut is out there but a very good read for most of his books. I own a good number of his works. Cat's Cradle is excellent (I love the ending with the ice-nine). I would also recommend 'The Sirens of Titan' if you haven't read it.

I really liked Vonnegut's books back when I read them, but it's been a long time. The ice-nine thing is funny, though. There's a story about how it came to be in an article from a few years back in the Journal of Chemical Education. An excerpt:



Although ice-nine is fictitious, it does have some interesting ties to the real world (4). The author of the story, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., graduated from Cornell University with a major in chemistry. Vonnegut took a job in the public relations office at General Electric where his older brother, Bernard, was working in the lab and had discovered how to use silver iodide particles for seeding clouds to precipitate rain and snow. The author Vonnegut credits the invention of ice-nine to Irving Langmuir, who pioneered the study of thin films and interfaces. While working in the public relations office at General Electric, Vonnegut came across a story of how Langmuir, who won the 1932 Nobel Prize for his work at General Electric, was charged with the responsibility of entertaining the author, H. G. Wells, who was visiting the company in the early 1930s. Langmuir is said to have come up with an idea about a form of solid water that was stable at room temperature in the hopes that Wells might be inspired to write a story about it. Apparently, Wells was not inspired and neither he nor Langmuir ever published anything about it. After Langmuir and Wells had died, Vonnegut decided to use the idea in his book, Cat's Cradle.

:)

I can't make myself finish 1984. I've started it a bunch of times...

Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 have already been mentioned as other books in a similar vein as 1984, but there's another one that I rarely see listed -- A Canticle for Leibowitz (by Walter Miller) -- anybody read it? I thought it was pretty good.

Sei'taer
08-01-2008, 08:57 PM
but there's another one that I rarely see listed -- A Canticle for Leibowitz (by Walter Miller) -- anybody read it? I thought it was pretty good.


I loved it...but then I like books about what happens after the apocalypse. Also, if you can find them, the stories he wrote that he based Canticles on are fascinating too.