View Full Version : Great works of literature you haven't read

11-04-2011, 02:22 AM
One of these Facebook apps that everyone seems so keen on lately is a list of 100 essential reads, that everyone in the English-speaking world apparently needs to have read. While I don't agree with a lot of the list, the idea was sound enough, and I was staggered at how many on the list I really haven't read.

In the spirit of sharing, what books that are commonly agreed to be absolutely essential reading have you not read?

Mine, off the top of my head:

Lady Chatterly's Lover by D.H Lawrence
Tess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Republic by Plato

11-04-2011, 02:44 PM
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (I've read his other famous one, Love in the Time of Cholera, but many consider this one to be his magnum opus)

1984. Haven't gotten to that one yet, but I really want to.

The Catcher and The Rye

There are some that I'm told I need to read, but I don't prioritize it because I'm not a big fan of the authors, like Hemingway and Steinbeck. I have read and enjoyed some of their work and would like to read Grapes of Wrath one of these days, but I'm not going out of my way to do so.

11-05-2011, 07:40 AM
Tess of the Durbervilles is a great read. I regret meeting Hardy so late, it really is a pleasure to read his works. Though I still haven't finished reading Far From the Madding Crowd, which his fans claim is his best work.

It is almost impossible to finish all the classics, just when you think you are done you just realize you haven't even read the quarter of all of them. But thre are some classics I've never read and don't see myself reading soon. For example, Moby Dick. It's accepted as a must read by all literature lovers but I just can't bring myself reading a story about whale hunting. I also think Americans aren't aware of the treasures they have. When it comes to literature they always talk about Catcher in the Rye, Hemingway and 1984 and frankly I see them as the weakest part of the American literature. I don't get why those books are so popular when Faulkner, Steinbeck, O'Connor, etc are so underrated.
By the way, you mustn't make me talk about 1984, I just can't stop talking about how much I hate it. There is something about writers who creates dystopias that make them sound like a teenager who just read Fight Club and think that only he knows what actually happens on the world while other poor minded people are still drinking coffee from Starbucks. And while there are few exceptions most of the people, who are big fans of 1984 or any kind of book like that (yes, I'm talking about Huxley), are assholes who have read a few classics and still think of themselves worthy of declaring that Orwell is the best writer ever.
I also haven't read anything by the French slnce I religiously read the works of Guy de Maupassant when I was young. It's a generally known fact that I do hate Balzac.

The classics I really want to read but never have the chance are Graham Greene's books that I still haven't bought (which are a lot) and Stevenson's Catriona. Anyone who has read Catriona is a good reader in my book.

By the way, I still haven't read Infinite Jest either, it's counted as a modern classic after all. I really want to read it but everytime I take it in my hands I feel like reading something else.

11-05-2011, 12:31 PM
I haven't seen that list, but I know since quite a long time that I have to read Master and Margaret and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

But really, the most classic classics of our time that everyone in the English-speaking world have to read are North Korean children's textbooks. Just check out the fragments that flooded out.
Highly recommended, if you lol at 'americans', or you enjoy phrases like 'american imperialist wolf-like bastards', amazing.

11-07-2011, 12:47 AM
1565, I shall let you know how I find it; it's top of my "to read" list at the moment, so I'll jump on it once I've finished my current read (Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, which so far I highly recommend). It's at the top of my list simply because I have a feeling I'm going to loathe it, based wholly on my experience of Jude the Obscure, which I loathed more than words can express.

Am I a Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre type? Not sure, really - I've never been a great fan of feminist literature outside of a sort of nagging idea that they're important because of what they represent. I never enjoy the stories very much. But still, out of the two I much preferred Jane Eyre.

KQ, I think you're looking on dystopia and Orwell specifically without context. Certainly I look on modern day dystopia novels (of which there are gruesome thousands) as a little whiny and melodramatic, for good or ill, but at the time of 1984's publication, the USSR was in the period of it's most runaway expansion. With the buffer of Germany gone, there was in some minds a real possibility that the Kremlin would decide to expand further West.

11-07-2011, 02:37 PM
I haven't seen that list, but I know since quite a long time that I have to read Master and Margaret and One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The Master and Margarita is a great great book. Definitely recommend it.

I also have 100 Years of Solitude on my list, along with,
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Ulysses -James Joyce (I think I'll wait another few years for this though!)
Dracula - Bram Stoker

And despite the fact I'm doing my MA in Old and Medieval Literature, and so I should have read it about ten times by now, yet havent; The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

TUNB - Lady Chatterley's Lover is pretty good. Lots of use of the word "cunt". Woo.

11-07-2011, 02:49 PM
And despite the fact I'm doing my MA in Old and Medieval Literature, and so I should have read it about ten times by now, yet havent; The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

Wow, really? lol, I've read that like 3 times already for three different english classes.