Having just bought and read 'Of mice and men', which I thoroughly enjoyed, I'm wondering what other classics are worth a read - so what book would you recommend and briefly why?
If you've never read Conrad's Heart of Darkness, do so immediately. Gripping, fascinating stuff.
I'd also suggest Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding. A very different style of book, but roaring good fun.
One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest
To Kill a Mockingbird
They're the only two recognised 'classics' I have. Both excellent.
Thr Cruel Sea is ace.
The Wasp Factory!
The Catcher in the Rye.
Inspired a man to kill John lennon!
Loved The grapes of wrath and nearly finished War and peace which is a fantastic read too. I like a decent length book to get my teeth into.
Only book I've never finished was Moby Dick.
100 Years of Solitude
For Whom The Bell Tolls
The Great Gatsby
Every single person on the planet should read To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Picture of Dorian Gray's good, if a little thin. A good quick read, I guess.
On The Road's such a cliche, but I really enjoyed reading it. Proper escapism.
Junky (Burroughs) is pretty engrossing (dunno if that's a recognised classic, just thought of it when thinking about Kerouac).
+1 for One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.
If you liked Mice and Men, you should really read Grapes of Wrath next..
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and the sequel, Leila. Don't just read Zen as you won't know what the hell it was all about without Leila.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Agree with Nick, to kill a mockingbird is a must read.
Oh and The Count of Monte cristo.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Not classics in their own right but anything by one of the three Scottish Ian's, not a dud amongst them.
Plus anything by Dickens, great stories
You can't go wrong with more Steinbeck. I think East of Eden is every bit as good as grapes of wrath and cannery row is also excellent.
Thanks, there's some good suggestions so far - which I'm browsing at on Amazon.
avdave2 - are Steinbeck's other books anywhere near as good as 'Of mice and men'?
Drac - LOL!
Have you got a Kindle?
Hardy - return of the native. Actually quite a happy story for hardy.
Lord of the flies
Grapes of wrath is superb.
Trollope books are always a good read
The 39 steps...... "of it's time" but good fun
oh, and my favorite book evar: Gorky park
2nd edit: Also, anything by Raymond Chandler
The Jungle Book is brilliant,
Jane Eyre +1
East of Eden is a more satisfying novel than Grapes of Wrath IMO. I have enjoyed many of his books, though Cannery Row is probably my favourite. If you judge a books success by feeling compelled to re-read it, then Sweet Thursday and Tortilla Flat are worth a mention. Cannery Row is the only novel I have ever finished and found that I needed to read it again immediately.
Erskine Childers The Riddle Of The Sands. Spies and skulduggery prior to the First World War on the North Sea coast. Excellent book, well worth reading, and free.
War of the Worlds.
Not all "classics" as such, but all ace books - short books mainly because I'm rubbish with long books.
Ray Bradbury - Farenheight 451
Kurt Vonnengut - Cats Cradle (although I could give you a long list of his books which are ace)
Pat Barker - Regeneration Trilogy
Bowman - Ascent of Rum Doodle
Chuck Palahniuk - Survivor
Tressell - Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
are Steinbeck's other books anywhere near as good as 'Of mice and men'?
Yes - cannery row and east of Eden are excellent
In Cold Blood , Truman Capote - first of it's type and really good.
One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich - Solzhenytsyn
Walden - Thoreau
Strangers and Brohers - CP Snow
The Outward Urge - Wyndham Lewis
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
Big fan of Orwell. Funnily enough not really 1984. Down and out in Paris and London and homage to Catalonia would be my favourites. Actually now you mention it might reread down and out.
Burmese Days is another Orwell classic
+1 Cannery Row
Love a lot of Orwells stuff.
Daphne du Maurier did some great stuff, not sure if it's classed as "classic" or not. Jamaica Inn is a great read.
Tressell - Ragged Trousered Philanthropist
This is my favourite book. I have read it a dozen times and bought and lent it to dozens of people! As an aside he is buried in the small cemetery opposite the entrance to Walton prison on Hornby Road.
Also anything by George Orwell and Solzhenytsn as above.
Caleb Williams - William Godwin
Dangerous Liaisons - Choderlos de Laclos
Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia - Samuel Johnson
And you didn't specify novels, so I'll also mention La Rochefoucault's Maxims.
A book of incredibly sharp short observations on human nature which ought to be required reading for anyone planning on using an internet forum.
"There is more pride than kindness in our reprimands to people who are at fault; and we reprove them not so much to correct them as to convince them that we ourselves are free from such wrongdoing."
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