Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Book Rant: Classic Literature

As previously mentioned in another post of mine, I have this habit of reading from the same genre continuously if I find that I loved one book from the same genre. A while back it was Zombie/post Apocalyptic books and then it was dystopian. I think it's going to be the 'Classics' this time round. I just finished reading H.G. Well's The Island of Dr Moreau, War of the Worlds & The Invisible Man and also Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice and Frances Burnett.

In addition to reading a lot of classics I've suddenly bought quite a few of them. And I've bought the Penguin English Library collection that have beautiful covers. I now own the 3 books mentioned above and Persuasion & Emma by Jane Austen, David Copperfield & A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Fairy Tales by Hans christian Andersen and  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And the best part about classics is that there's always an edition that is not hard on your wallet. So rest assured that I did not spend a lot of money on these books.(Though it does depend on what you would define as "not a lot of money")

H.G. Wells Books

I read 3 of H.G. Wells' books - The Island of Dr Moreau, War of the Worlds & The Invisible Man. He has also written The Time Machine but I somehow could not finish it at this point in time. I got distracted by other books. So let us talk about the 3 books I did read. If I had to rank the 3 books I did read The Invisible Man would be ranked 3rd, The Island of Dr Moreau would be 2nd and the War of the Worlds would be 1st.

The Invisible Man was an enjoyable enough story but I just could not relate to the Main Character (MC) at all. I found that the other 2 books that I read were far more interesting than this book. One other reason could be that I loved the Hollow Man better.

I want to talk about the Island of Dr Moreau and War of the Worlds together. Now these stories were very interesting to the say the least. What bowled me over was that these books were set in the late 19th or early 20th century. And they are Science Fiction!! I loved the conflict the MC goes through in Moreau and the narration in War of the Worlds was just Amazing. War of the Worlds was like a Steam punk novel before there was any Steam punk. Both these books, in my opinion, will always be relevant. It is not hampered by time. I mean these books talk about aliens and genetic modification.

I would recommend these books to anyone who loves Science Fiction.


Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

There are some books that I always go back to re-read. Pride & Prejudice is one of them. I finally bought a copy of my own and it is the beautiful Penguin English Library edition. I have always loved Liz Bennett and Darcy. This time around I felt I understood Darcy more than I did Liz. The last time I had read this book I was as indignant as Liz with Darcy, I mean in my eyes he was an arrogant jerk. But this time around I could see the circumstances through his perspective.

This is what makes me re-read books. The books kinda change for you as you grow older. There is always something new that you can glean from a story, a new perspective at the least. And the romance... It's just perfect. This is why the book is a classic. I would recommend this book to everyone - especially to people who hate insta-love.


Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I had read the abridged version of this book when I was a lot younger. So when I got my hands on the unabridged version of this book I pounced on it. I had watched the movie adaptation of the book too. As it has been over a decade since I had read this book it was like I was reading it for the first time.

It was a different feeling reading this book as an adult. I found Mary to be spoiled, at least in the first half of the book. I mean the author herself states so. The story portrays her changing from a self-centered spoilt brat to a pretty agreeable child. I also love the depiction of the moor in this book. I could just visualize the scenery and the garden. Reading this time made me appreciate the writing more than the actual story. But if I were still in school I would have loved this book as much as all the Enid Blyton books I read when I was younger.


I can tell you one thing, reading the classics wins you brownie points from your parents and also makes you seem very intellectual. This could be because people think that reading something that was written more than a 100 years ago automatically makes you smart. I mean the War of the World is not all that different from the Sci-Fi of today but its got the advantage of age on its side.

I would like to read Little Women and Jane Eyre next. Maybe not immediately but I would definitely read them in the next couple of months.

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