Rate these classics

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by TC, May 3, 2012.

  1. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    "Dune" by Frank Herbert
    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair
    "Don Quixote" by Miguel Cervantes
    "The Histories" by Herodotus
    "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque
    "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau
    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville
    "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane
    "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens
    "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway
    "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
    "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
    "Candide" by Voltaire
    "1984" by George Orwell"
    "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
    "Ulysses" by James Joyce
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
    "The Red and the Black" by Stendahl
    "Paradise Lost" by John Milton
    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
    "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
    "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking
    "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond
    "Watchmen" by Alan Moore
    "On Human Nature" by E.O. Wilson
    "Light in August" by William Faulkner
    "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad
    "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
    "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick
    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
    "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
    "Last Exit to Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby Jr.
    "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    "House of Leaves" by
    "The Iliad" by Homer
    "The Aeneid" by Virgil
    "The Stranger" by Albert Camus

    **List is random I know but I picked mostly off what's sitting on my bookshelves
     
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  2. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    For me:

    GOAT tier
    "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck -- 11
    "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond -- 11
    "On Human Nature" by E.O. Wilson -- 11

    God tier
    "Candide" by Voltaire -- 10
    "1984" by George Orwell" -- 10
    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain -- 10
    "The Histories" by Herodotus -- 10
    "Watchmen" by Alan Moore -- 10
    "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley -- 9
    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair -- 9
    "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking -- 9

    Good tier
    "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque -- 8
    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville -- (didn't finish, 8 for the part I read)
    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac -- 8
    "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel -- 8
    "The Iliad" by Homer -- 8
    "Last Exit to Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby Jr. -- 7.5 (disturbing)
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald -- 7
    "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding -- 7

    Decent tier
    "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick -- 6 (enjoyed "A Scanner Darkly" more)
    "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson -- 6
    "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau -- 5 (didn't finish it)

    Have not read
    "Dune" by Frank Herbert
    "Don Quixote" by Miguel Cervantes
    "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane
    "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens
    "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ralph Ellison
    "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
    "Ulysses" by James Joyce
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by
    "The Red and the Black" by Stendahl
    "Paradise Lost" by John Milton
    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
    "Light in August" by William Faulkner
    "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
    "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    "House of Leaves" by
    "The Aeneid" by Virgil
    "The Stranger" by Albert Camus
     
  3. jorge

    jorge Founder of Post ITT if your team sucks
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    I don't know if I could "rate" them. I either saw what the author was trying to say or didn't. If I did I liked it.
     
  4. fetumpsh

    fetumpsh Well-Known Member
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  5. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    Whoops I messed up something in the OP :blush: "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is by Hemingway. Meant to put "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison (the civil rights novel, not the sci fi one about an actual invisible man -- that's HG Wells). I haven't read either but both are supposed to be really good
     
  6. Ball Gag Giorgio

    Ball Gag Giorgio do you like being chief of police?
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    as far as novels go, heart of darkness is my favorite book ever. bros k is up there as is cry, the beloved country.

    you'd have to include shakespeare somewhere in there. (richard iii, midsummer's, hamlet, othello, lear, antony and cleopatra, twelfth night as the best/my favorite). always loved the ilad/odyssey.

    reading tender is the night by fitzgerald meow. very good.
     
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  7. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    fetumpsh you are quite well-read sir :golfclap: So far Thoreau is 0/2 at keeping people itt awake. We'll see if he has any fans show up
     
  8. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    Yeah I had no idea what to include for Shakespeare. The only one I know I've read for sure all the way through is King Lear and that was high school. Other users feel free to throw out books to be rated. It's sort of a chance to get to know everyone by seeing what they liked, and by seeing what is universally acclaimed that you haven't read
     
  9. fetumpsh

    fetumpsh Well-Known Member
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    I'm old.
     
  10. Ball Gag Giorgio

    Ball Gag Giorgio do you like being chief of police?
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    id' be remiss not to mention count of monte cristo. got through the unabridged version last christmas break. was very rewarding.
     
  11. fetumpsh

    fetumpsh Well-Known Member
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    Anybody read much Philip Roth or Kafka? Probably my two favorites along with Homer.
     
  12. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    No. I have "The Metamorphosis" on my shelf, should have put it in the OP. Philip Roth does kind of twisted American fiction right?
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Miami, Xavier, ASMFC, Nasti Nati
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    Les Miserables is my favorite book, then Catcher in the Rye. I need to start reading more and I want to begin with the classics.
     
  14. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    Haven't read. Is that the same guy as Three Musketeers? I used to have a box of those Illustrated Classics books when I was a kid and I remember both of those being in there. Anybody else have those? Abridged versions for kids with a picture on every other page? They were the bomb.
     
  15. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    What's next on your list? I would suggest some Steinbeck :gfa:
     
  16. Drew

    Drew Miami, Xavier, ASMFC, Nasti Nati
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    Count of Monte Cristo is very good, need to reread that one since it has been many years and forgot some great things
     
  17. Drew

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    never really cared for Steinbeck, read GoW and another I cant remember now, I was just bored by them
     
  18. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    To each his own. Don't see how anyone could get bored with East of Eden though. After like ~20 pages of scene setting something jaw droppingly shocking happens like every other page. "She broke every law of man and God"
     
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  19. Drew

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    yea it was East of Eden, could have been I wasn't mature enough when I read it, I respect classic books now that I am a little bit older
     
  20. Ball Gag Giorgio

    Ball Gag Giorgio do you like being chief of police?
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    yeah. same guy. alexander dumas.

    i for sure had those. now that you mention it, i remember having a call of the wild, count of monte cristo, war of the worlds, among others. i'm moving soon so maybe i can unearth a couple from my room when i was growing up.
     
  21. TC

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    You've read both of his beast novels then. Everything else he has is around 200 pages. If you're gonna take a final stab read Cannery Row. It's highly amusing. Of Mice and Men is overrated imo. The Pearl is almost like a long short story and it's really good, if not heartbreaking
     
  22. TC

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    :respek: My favorites were the Jules Verne ones (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea) and HG Wells (The Time Machine). And Robinson Crusoe
     
  23. Drew

    Drew Miami, Xavier, ASMFC, Nasti Nati
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    Is The Pearl by Steinbeck, because I remember a long time ago in school reading something called The Pearl or another similar name.
     
  24. TC

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    Yeah it is. I think a lot of people read it in school; I read it on my own though in a collection of short novels by him. It's sort of like a parable -- about a poor guy that dives for pearls and one day he finds a giant one that should make his family fabulously rich, but nothing but bad luck befalls him after that. Simple but pretty beautiful and definitely depressing
     
  25. Ball Gag Giorgio

    Ball Gag Giorgio do you like being chief of police?
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    found them on amazon

    http://www.amazon.com/Count-Monte-Cristo-Illustrated-Classics/dp/1577656849

    nostalging hard over here. these are going on my list of books to force my future kids to read one day. along with d'aulaires book of greek myths and tintin.

    i'll be god damned if i was ever more carefree than when i was posted up on my bean bag chair reading. i'll also be god damned if my kid has poor grammar and think he can get away with typing like a text message.
     
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  26. Drew

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    yea I think we read that in 7th or 8th grade, does that take place in Curacao?
     
  27. TC

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    Not sure about that, just know it's some poor island-type locale along the lines of a Haiti or something
     
  28. fetumpsh

    fetumpsh Well-Known Member
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    Wouldn't call Roth twisted. He has the imagined history of The Plot Against America and a couple of others that are very Kafkan (Operation Shylock and The Breast), a coupe other experimental ones; mostly he's a realist, very funny, and often taken with masculinity/sex and being Jewish in America. Portnoy's Complaint is a good, funny place to start, or American Pastoral or I Married A Communist if you want something more mature. His most recent work has been quite different, short morality tales that are very well-told; Indignation and Nemesis are the best two of these. I think he's our greatest living writer. Many women hate him. Wicked sense of humor.
     
  29. Dwight Schrute

    Dwight Schrute 7 out of every 10 attacks are from the rear.
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    I did a huge literary analysis in AP English when I was in high school on The Jungle. Every single detail of that book was constructed into a story that illustrated the "ills of capitalism." Have to give Sinclair props on that. The last 10% of the book completely abandons the plot of the book and goes on a blaring advertisement of socialism/communism. Its basically on par with Ayn Rand's 40+ straight pages of Objectivism through John Galt.

    I give it an 8.5/10, just because I ain't no commie.
     
  30. The Banks

    The Banks TMB's Alaskan
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    Of the ones I've read

    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding
    "1984" by George Orwell"
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger
    "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
    "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
    "The Iliad" by Homer
    "Ulysses" by James Joyce
    "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
    "Don Quixote" by Miguel Cervantes
    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville
    "Guns, Germs, and Steel" by Jared Diamond
    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
    "The Life of Pi" by Yann Martel
    "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway
    "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
    "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
    "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking
    "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky
     
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  31. Black Falcon

    Black Falcon Carnivore and Voyeur
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    GOAT
    "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger
    "1984" by George Orwell"
    "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding

    GOD
    "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain
    "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller

    Good
    "Watchmen" by Alan Moore
    "Paradise Lost" by John Milton
    "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway
    "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison
    "The Iliad" by Homer
    "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac

    Decent
    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll
    "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
    "The Aeneid" by Virgil
    "The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane
    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville
    "David Copperfield" by Charles Dickens

    Big fan of Steinbeck. I've read all of his books, East of Eden(my fave) several times. I even enjoyed his book Travels with Charley which was about him going across country with his dog. One of my favorite books not mentioned is Foundation by Isaac Asimov. The whole premise of psychohistory was very interesting to me.
     
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  32. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    This exactly. Love that book except for the tacked on ending. And it's a little over-melodramatic at times -- like after a while you're like "ok what's the saddest possible thing that could happen....ok that's about to happen." It's really good though. Also read "Oil" by him which I liked a lot. Same type of deal -- really good story but does have a pretty thinly veiled socialist message. The movie "There Will Be Blood" is based on that book, but I haven't seen it.
     
  33. Cornelius Suttree

    Cornelius Suttree I am a landmine
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    I thought Paradise Lost was really really really bad ass
     
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  34. The Official MassNole

    The Official MassNole The only good Gator is a dead Gator

    My all time favorite book is 1984.
     
  35. Wicket

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    I agree with most rankings outside of grapes of wrath which to me was unreadable
     
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  36. The Banks

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    As far as Orwell I preferred Animal Farm, though 1984 is great as well
     
  37. The Official MassNole

    The Official MassNole The only good Gator is a dead Gator

    One Sci-Fi(ish) book I would recommend is The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers.
     
  38. Wicket

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    a town like alice by nevil shute is my #1 overall though
     
  39. Drew

    Drew Miami, Xavier, ASMFC, Nasti Nati
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    I also really like short stories, like The Metamorphosis, Occurance on Owl Creek Bridge and Edgar Allan Poe (The Masque of the Red Death, Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado)
     
  40. ben_rivera_Watt

    ben_rivera_Watt Well-Known Member

    I just finished Dracula yesterday. I thought it was very good even though it has a different style of literature (journal entries). It also still freaked me out at times too, which I didn't think such an aged story could do.
     
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  41. fetumpsh

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    I've been re-reading some Tennessee Williams short stories this week, as well as some I hadn't read before. Goddam is he good, beautiful writing and an insanely accurate eye for fucked up, self-destructive, falling apart people. Don't know why I've never read any of his plays, but I need to. I don't read enough drama.

    I saw someone asked about poems for this board; I don't read enough poetry, either, but we should consider threads for short stories and plays/scripts, too. Short stories might be a nice bridge/filler/change-up between novels for the book club (which I probably won't join for awhile due to other obligations). Maybe we could post short stories as pdfs somewhere, somehow so that they're accessible for everyone.
     
  42. Heavy Mental

    Heavy Mental Heir of Aenarion
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    No love for Cormac McCarthy ITT? Blood Meridian is one of my top fives.
     
  43. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    I don't get how anyone could say this. How old were you when you read it?
     
  44. TC

    TC #UofSC #SpursUp
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    Never read anything by him. I like your taste in music a lot though so I may have to move this to the top of the queue
     
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  45. Wicket

    Wicket Fan: ND, PSV, Pool FC, Cricket, Urquel, Dog Crew
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    14, i didnt mean to say it was a tough read or anything, i just didnt get pulled in by anything which made it really really boring to read.
     
  46. TC

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    Yeah didn't mean it was tough but it's probably something you appreciate a little more when you get older. Should give it another try imo. I think it takes a little while to get going but it's an amazing book. I love how it alternates chapters between following the plot with the family and scene-setting type chapters.
     
  47. Wicket

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    I might when I have a bit of time (which i currently dont, also have a ton i actually really want to read before it as well ), I know its supposed to be good, just, all the time when i was reading it i was wondering why do people like this?
     
  48. Heavy Mental

    Heavy Mental Heir of Aenarion
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    It's one of the most amazing pieces of literature I've ever read. He's probably my favorite modern author. He writes in this terse prose that's a bit reminiscent of Hemingway at times, but the amount of high level thought that goes into his work is ridiculous. The Judge character in Blood Meridian is my favorite villain character of all time, in any medium.

    The best way I can characterize Blood Meridian is that it's like a faster-paced version of Moby Dick (in that it's an epic American journey), set in the southwestern US, around 1850. It's definitely not for the faint of heart, either. There's some seriously fucked up battle scenes; at one point I had to set the shit down and go cool out for a bit. Never had a book do that to me before.

    If you like that, you should definitely read No Country for Old Me (waaaayyyy better than the movie, which is saying something because the movie was awesome) and The Road. Both of those are much 'easier' reads than Blood Meridian, but BM to me is McCarthy's best and most rewarding work.
     
  49. Heavy Mental

    Heavy Mental Heir of Aenarion
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    Here's some relevant quotes on the book:

    "In 2006, The New York Times conducted a poll of writers and critics regarding the most important works in American fiction from the previous 25 years; Blood Meridian was a runner-up, along with John Updike's four novels about Rabbit Angstrom and Don DeLillo's Underworld while Toni Morrison's Beloved topped the list."

    "In the entire range of American literature, only Moby-Dick bears comparison to Blood Meridian. Both are epic in scope, cosmically resonant, obsessed with open space and with language, exploring vast uncharted distances with a fanatically patient minuteness. Both manifest a sublime visionary power that is matched only by still more ferocious irony. Both savagely explode the American dream of manifest destiny, of racial domination and endless imperial expansion. But if anything, McCarthy writes with a yet more terrible clarity than does Melville."
     
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  50. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    why in the hell would you include guns, germs, and steel? (or the watchmen, but i don't even want to address that)

    and the two fags who rated moby dick third and fourth in their personal tiers deserve a perma-ban

    and herodotus is a straight up pimp
     
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