I haven't read Dracula or Middlemarch yet, but I can say that I didn't care for The Picture of Dorian Gray, nor The Sun Also Rises. I didn't like The Bridge of San Luis Rey, but I always said that I would get it another shot. I'm still struggling with Ulysses, but that is on my to-read list this year. So I have to do it. I love 100 years of Solitude. I could read that or The Love in the Time of Cholera (or pretty much anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez) every year.
Liked dracula, Robinson crusoe was absolute garbage, one of the few books I stopped reading, actually reading peter pan gave me an entirely different outlook on the character. Recently read the old curiosity shop by dickens and although it wasnt a relaxing read due to the flow of writing it was good even tho it damn near broke me with the ending lol
I love the old, Gothic classics; Dracula; Frankenstein; The Yellow Wallpaper; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I took a Gothic Literature and Film class at university and really got me hooked on the genre. Which is hysterical to me because horror/thriller is one step too far for me. Ones that I really don't like is most Ernest Hemingway's works; I honestly think that they are over-rated. The writing is just too journalistic to me for it to be good fiction. I like having a bit of poetry and artistry with words when I read and Hemingway is just not that.
I had a friend offer to buy me a gift as I was departing for overseas. He asked if there was anything in particular I would like. I told him I hadn't read Melville's Moby Dick yet and that I'd love to have it in my library. He bought it for me, I started reading it, and about one third of the way through it, I became so bored I had to close it up and put it away. I later read the story of the whale ship, Essex, which Melville used as inspiration, and I loved it. It seemed to me that Melville spent an incredible amount of time just introducing the characters at the beginning, and I couldn't tolerate it any longer. But I really enjoy Steinbeck, Jack London, and Erskine Caldwell. Their simple style makes me believe that it's not that difficult to be famous.
Some of my favorite classics are Huck Finn (Twain), Moby Dick (Melville), Frankenstein (Shelley), and the Fixer (Malamud). Some of my least favorites were Their Eyes Were Watching God (Hurston), The Pearl (Steinbeck), and Wuthering Heights (E. Bronte). Moby Dick took me a while to get into, but I persisted. I loved the symbolism of the lost Ishmael and the other crew. I also thought the reverse black and why symbolism was great. Twain's Huck Finn was a great story to read in American Lit. class and I really enjoyed comparing it to the old Wizard of Oz film in our study of archetypal journeys. Of my least favorite books, I thought The Pearl was boring and sad. It may be embarrassing to admit, but when I read Wuthering Heights, I very often was lost as to what was going on. Finally, Their Eyes were Watching God was another I dislike. About a year prior, I read Margaret Mitchells' Gone With the Wind which was published about two years before Hurston's Their Eye's were Watching God. I felt that Hurston was simply imitating Mitchells. In both books, there is a strong female c haracter. Both women are married three times. One to be married, one for money and one for love. Both women are an equal match for their strong third husbands Rhett Butler and T-Cake, but ultimately both lose the men in the end. I felt that while Scarlet does often complain, she is a very strong character that says she will put off only until "Tomorrow". Janie, on the other hand depends much more on others in her life rather than pulling herself up by the bootstraps. Both novels follow the women from teenagers onward. Overall, I saw many similarities. However, I felt there was more depth to Mitchell's characters from Scarlet and Rhett, to Ashley and Bonnie Blue Butler, and even Mammy and the mother of the four dead soldiers. Hurston's characters were less developed. There was not as much great description, and because I had already read Gone with the Wind, it was too predictable. Perhaps if I had not read Mitchell's novel, I would have enjoyed Hurston's, but I read Mitchell's first.
Favorites: Frankenstein (Shelley), Jane Eyre (C. Brontë), The Chosen (Potok), Their Eyes Were Watching God ( Hurston), Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky) Couldn't stand: Hard Times (Dickens) and Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) (to be fair, the play is better).
Among my favorites are: JMBarrie's "Sentimental Tommy", GBShaw's "Love Among the Artists" & "Immaturity", Mary Heaton Vorse's "I've Come to Stay", August Strindberg's "The Red Room", the works of Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ivan Turgenev, and the rest of The Brilliants. Those I disliked are mostly the more popular or sensational books.
Faves: "The Great Gatsby," because why not work with florid metaphors and superficial wealth? "Frankenstein" is also an amazing piece of work - there's a ballet, too! Because why not nerd out over that? Hates: "Walden". I can and have written essays on why "Walden" is an overhyped piece of literature. "Catcher in the Rye" is also just - men speaking to men about how to be real men.
I LOVED "The Great Gatsby" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." Okay, it's been a few years since I've read it, but I remember slogging through "Wuthering Heights" as a sophomore and high school and finding it physically painful. I'd love to give it another go to see if it'll be any better now that I'm older, but I think I'm still too scarred from that first experience.
Definitely _The Great Gatsby_, _The Picture of Dorian Gray_, most everything by Jane Austen, and _All the Pretty Horses_ by Cormac McCarthy. (Can that be considered a classic?) I didn't care for "Bartelby, the Scrivener" at all, and Hemingway is pretty hit or miss for me.
I have thought for years that The English Patient was a modern classic. So was happy to see it was recently named best of Man Booker winners for the last 50 years.
I loved Jane Eyre, but I hated Pride and Prejudice.
I couldn't stand "Crime & Punishment" in high school, so that might be worth a revisit with more mature eyes. That was the only book I ever used Spark Notes for because I just couldn't get through it AND "Jane Eyre" in the same summer. I loved "Alas Babylon," "1984," and "Animal Farm" though I confess "Alas Babylon" was the start of my intense desire to never live in a post-nuclear-apocalyptic world. Fallout is a great console game to play but I wouldn't want to live that life. I didn't care for "Scarlet Letter" but I got through it pretty easily. We read "A Tale of Two Cities" that same summer and I had to skip the prologue and come back to it later because it was such as slow start.
Hated "The Blue Lagoon" and feel conflicted about "The Awakening". I love "The Scarlet Letter" and "The Portrait of Dorian Gray"
I enjoyed "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway. Great storytelling and excellent conflict.
Also, "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway is another classic. The first sentence lets you know that the protagonist has been having alot of trouble trying to catch a fish for a long time. It is a timeless story.
I´m with AEKilday007; Crime and Punishment was brutal. Maybe more rightly said, the reading and analysis we had to do was brutal. My only memories of that one were the stress is caused me and the amount of space it took up in my backpack. But a wholly different experience was Lord of the Flies. Each night I read it in bed, it transported me to the island. I found its commentary on human nature fascinating.