Wednesday, September 2, 2009

JT's Reading List Review: Classic Literature - Fiction

Holy crap! I just realized it has been a couple of months since I started listing some of my recent reading. So back to it.

Before I start out with my classic literature review, I forgot one non-fiction book I have read recently.

The Lost City of Z (David Grann)
This is the story of early 20th century explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett who was obsessed with exploring and mapping the Amazon forest. For wanting to read the story of this guy in book form, go for it. However, when it comes to non-fiction for me, I am more than happy to read wikipedia for the basic facts. It was an interesting story, but when I stupidly did some internet research halfway through the book, I ruined the rest of the book for myself. This is pretty interesting in regards to learning about the Amazon and may trigger other reading interests. Good enough to read, but not strongly recommended if your tastes are anything like mine.

Classic Literature

The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)
I really did enjoy this book. Of course I read it after I had seen movie adaptations. Most of the movies do justice to some of the adventure and interaction between the characters, but often missed a lot of the details within the book (like most movies). Trust me, if you have only seen the movies, you would still enjoy reading this book. I really was surprised at how different the book really is than the movies, especially with plot directions.

The Man in the Iron Mask (Alexandre Dumas)
I had to laugh when I finished this one. Again, very good and worth the read if you are into some historically-based adventure fiction. And once again, this book really is different from the movies that have been made. For example, the DiCaprio film focuses solely on the prisoner who is the brother to the king of France. However, that is only about a third of the entire story. The rest of the book wraps up the stories of the original Musketeers. Apparently, this is the last book in a series about the Musketeers while the The Three Musketeers is the first. I have not read the in-betweens, but if they are anything like these two, then they may be worthwhile to read.

The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
I can’t tell you how much I really enjoyed this book. This is one of those stories that, if you have not read, I would really recommend that you do. A good telling of the revenge of man who was wronged at a young age. Enjoy this one.

Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
I have seen a lot of reviews that say this is one if not the greatest novel of all time. I agree it was good. This book tends to be more of a chick book due to the love stories involved, but I did enjoy it. If you have a lot of time, pick it up, you might just enjoy it. But if you are looking for instant satisfaction in your reading, this may be a little long for you.

The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
This is an actual murder mystery set in the time where Russia was moving to a socialist society. Read the reviews on the link, decide whether you want to read or not. But, I would recommend this one, because I did truly enjoy this one. It is a fairly long book, but I did find it enjoy the time I spent on it. It has been a few years since I read this, but it will end up back on my future reading list.

Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
I loved this book. I was just looking over some of the reviews on Amazon and it keeps mentioning that this is anti-war, a pacifist dream book about the absurdity of war. There is a review that links this to the inspiration for M*A*S*H. OK, great. I loved MASH. I never cared that the underlying message that war was bad in all cases like they tried to portray in the show but the damn thing was funny. Of course, saying that the book represents the foolishness of war and set it in WWII seems pretty silly to me. I guess the years that preceded WWII are usually forgotten since they were the failed efforts of pacifism and acceptance of the folks that were looking to take over the world, whether given to them peacefully or taken forcefully. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this and laughed out-loud at some parts. How can you not love that the definition of a Catch-22 in the book, if I remember correctly, is that to get out of the war you have to prove that you are insane, but wanting to get out of the war is the proof of sanity.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that if you have never read Huckleberry Finn, read it. It has been too long to have not read this classic of American literature. Also, pick up A Streetcar Named Desire or at least see the Marlon Brando movie. Classic. Good enough that I wrote the same Critical Analysis for both 11th grade and 12th grade English.

I believe my murder/mystery novels are next.

1 comment:

John said...

Do you work any more?