Top 10 Classic Novels



hi booktube I'm here with I have a confession to make I hate Pride and Prejudice I have hated Pride and Prejudice since I first picked it up it was the first classic I read that I hated and that's when I understood the feeling finally what people say when they hate required reading and when they hate reading classics so I wanted to present to you my ten favorite classics so that even though you may hate one that seems to be a book that everyone likes there are still some classics out there for everyone my classics are from 1818 to 1957 so I've chosen some more modern classics for people who may want to start there as well as some older classics so if you're you know more interested in say the 19th century literature II can go there so there's a nice wide range here and these are my personal favorites okay so coming at number 10 I have Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand this was published in 1957 this is the epic tale of dagny taggart who basically runs a train company and all but name and she's a huge proponent of progress patents and personal responsibility and the world begins to change particularly the economy of the world and working world starts to change think along the lines of communism and things start going horribly wrong for her obviously and she begins to hear this character named John Galt and she goes searching for him there's a lot of opposition to the book because a lot of people see it as a soapbox for Enron's philosophy which is called objectivism but I don't really want to go into the philosophy because of the story itself I feel the story of Dagny is compelling enough to keep you interested okay so we're hopping back into the nineteen century with Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy now this is one of his lesser-known novels he's more known for say the Mayor of Casterbridge or test the d'Urbervilles and this was published in 1895 but this is my personal favorite from Thomas Hardy we follow Jude Fawley as he strives to be a university scholar despite the fact that he's from a working-class family and in the 19th century this is a big problem so he eventually uh makes his way into the city and he enters into a relationship with his cousin and he doesn't marry his cousin because they're both previously married and they end up living together in a sexual relationship which is a big no-no at the time I think we all know um and you know they have kids and everything and just a bit of a spoiler not really it all comes crashing down in a tragic end but this is so beautifully written and I really identified with Jude wanting to make more for himself than just continuing working on a farm or being a Mason and go on and be an actual scholar so we'll jump forward again in time to 1957 with on the road by Jack Kerouac this is the semi autobiographical tale of Jack Kerouac we follow the character Sal and Dean as they travel across the United States and it is basically a road trip book but the language is absolutely amazing this is the mastery of the language he has is beautiful I just want to read a passage which is my favorite passage and the grade on that puffed ghost like both the windows of the theater and hugged its eaves I was sleeping with my head on the wooden arm of a seat a six attendants of the theater converged with their nights total of slipped up rubbish and created a huge dusty pile that reached to my nose as I snored down til they almost swept me away too this was reported to me by Dean who is watching from 10 seats behind all the cigarette butts the bottles the match books the and the gone were slept up in this pile had they taken me with it Dean would never have seen me again we would have had to roam the entire United States and look in every garbage pail from coast to coast before he found me embryonic leakin volted among the rubbishes of my life his life in the life of everybody concerned and not concerned what would I have said to him from my rubbish room don't bother me man I'm happy where I am you watch me one night in Detroit in August 1949 what right have you to come and disturb my reverie and all this puke –is– can what difference does it make after all an amenity in the world of men is better than Fame and heaven for what's heaven what's earth all in the mind it's beautiful mmmmmm so coming in at number 7 is Crime and Punishment by Pfizer Dostoevsky written in 1866 this is the story of Raskolnikov who's committed a murder and it's basically how he psychologically destroys himself after this book I find is really important because you actually really sympathize with Raskolnikov you you sympathize with this murderer and it gets you just to think about crime and punishment in different ways and you know we empathize with someone that we'd normally find absolutely deplorable and this book is brilliant at doing that so coming in at number 6 I'm switching things up and recommending some short stories so this is a series of short stories called The Dubliners by James Joyce and it was released in 1914 as you can tell from the title these are series of short stories that all take place within Dublin it's the first of Joyce's work and it's the easiest treat and it's where I recommend everyone start whether you're working you're way up to the challenge of Ulysses or whether you just want some short stories trade Dubliners is the place to start um again the language is just captivating and I want to read you the last line it's not a spoiler don't worry it's just so beautifully written his soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling like the descent of their last end upon all the living and the dead um so I I really find that Joyce manages to do two short stories what some authors even fail to do in a full-length novel he creates characters and situations that does compel you to keep on reading number five is another series of short stories and of course it's the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe okay these were released between the years 1832 and 1849 and these short stories contain more than just the tell-tale heart which I think we all know this I love the horror and the absurdity and the way he has with language it's just captivating you know there's still stories that we find terrifying today they're they're stories about guilt and obsession and death and torture and scary stuff and I want to recommend a short story in particular tell you my favorite short story and that is Bethany J or Bernice it's about a man who becomes obsessed with his cousins teeth it doesn't seem scary at first but I was reading it lying down and I literally jumped up at the end just that's how horrifying it was number four is Lord of the Flies by William Golding and this was written in 1954 this is one of the books I always loved to teach as a teacher it's about a group of boys whose plane has crash-landed on a deserted island where they're the only survivors they have to shelter feed and keep themselves away from the monsters so they basically have to take care of themselves and he manages to set up a dystopian on an island that takes place in our real world it's I think it's an interesting examination of society of how we can come about a dystopian where we don't need all that special technology we don't need a war we don't need anything to initiate this this is what we're like is what William Golding is proposing I guess in this novel and number three is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley this is the earliest novel I'm including here and it was written in 1818 it's about a man who has created a man creature out of dead body parts and has brought him to life and then has believed that he's created this monster so this is really considered the father of all or should I say the mother of all science fiction so this novel really has you questioned what it means to be human you know who is the real monster here is it Frankenstein or is it the creature that he's created that's more human so my penultimate choice is brave new world by Aldous Huxley this was written in 1932 and I don't think I could talk enough about this book this novel is about a society that has been engineered in every sense of the word to make the citizens happy thoughtless and consumers what Huxley proposes is that our pursuit of thoughtless entertainment and distractions is what is going to bring about the dystopian world that he he sees okay so my all-time favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas this was published in 1844 and this book has everything in it it has revenge and romance and adventure and oh you name it it's in there and you know there's even chapters that explore science and philosophy and read the unabridged version please because there's just so much depth to it that is so wonderful so it's the epic tale of Edmond Dantes who's on top of the world he's about to be made captain he's gonna marry the girl of his dreams he's getting everything that he wants and deserves in this world and so these people begin to conspire against him and send him to prison and you know he eventually escapes and begins to wreak his revenge and that's the way he goes about it it's not your typical revenge of killing people he ruins their lives and it is beautiful beautiful I forget the wine

9 thoughts on “Top 10 Classic Novels

  1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and La Regenta by Leopoldo "Alas" Clarín are tied on the first place for me.

  2. Not sure about your analysis of LOTF. William Golding taught at a boys' school and his novel contrasts with others such as "Swallows and Amazons" in showing the boys as little savages. Golding also hints at the beginning of religion in the irrational fears they have. He wasn't writing of a dystopia but of the state of the world as it was at the time through a kind of allegory.

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