Never Read Classics
- War and Peace
- Moby Dick
- Don Quixote
- Gone With The Wind
- Lord of the Flies
There are hundreds of interesting classics available for reading during the summer months. Many classics are books that everyone knows about but few have read. Following are 5 classics that everyone should actually take the time to read.
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is probably the king of all unread interesting classics. The story itself is complex with a myriad of Russian characters and it can be difficult to keep their names straight. Then there is the sheer volume of this political work at over 1500 pages. War and Peace follows members of the Russian aristocracy through their ups and downs before, during, and after the war as Napoleon invades Russia. Tolstoy was a master at developing characters and using visual detail to put you in the middle of a time period that is impossible to describe.
Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is considered the Great American Novel. This story is told through the eyes of Ishmael, a sailor on the whaling ship Pequod. This is the story of Captain Ahab as he seeks his revenge on the albino sperm whale that bit his leg off at the knee. Does Ahab survive this epic confrontation? Does Moby Dick die in the end? No spoilers here – this is a classic that everyone truly needs to read for themselves. Moby Dick is much more than just a story about a whale.
Don Quixote is a Spanish novel originally published in two parts in 1605 and 1615. This is widely considered the best piece of literature ever written. However, unless you were assigned to read it for a high school or college English course, chances are you’ve never read it. Don Quixote is an aging man who has read so many romantic novels that he loses his sanity and sets off across the country to revive chivalry. He doesn’t see the world as it truly is, but sees himself as a shining knight. This is a bittersweet story on the surface, but full of symbolism, nihilism, and anarchism. This novel can move you to tears while you are laughing at the absurdity of Don Quixote.
Gone With The Wind
Most people are familiar with Gone With The Wind because they have seen the classic movie. However, few people have actually read the Margaret Mitchell book first published in 1936. This historical novel is set in Georgia during the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed. The primary theme is survival, and the title is a metaphor for a lost way of life in the South as the winds of war swept through the Confederacy states. This novel deliberately leaves the ending with unanswered questions about the fate of the lovers.
Lord of the Flies
William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is a deeply shocking story about what happens when the rules and laws of civilization are torn away and young boys are left to their own devices. A group of well-educated British schoolboys are stranded on an uninhibited island. Their attempt to govern themselves slowly degenerates into savagery until they reach a primitive state. The central theme is a contrast between the need for laws and rules and the desire for power and control. Lord of the Flies is more appropriate now than ever before.
Some classics are more difficult to read than others, but they are all worth the time you invest in them. Interesting classics can change your perspective on life and make you a better, more interesting person.