Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O is for Old Books

I mean classical. The classics. Yes this is another cheat but this is the 3rd week and blogging every day is beginning to take a strain on me!

To be quite honest, I really struggle with classical literature. The first ever classical book that I managed to actually get through was Wuthering Heights, and that was only because it was the first thing I read on my Kindle and I was still hopped up on "OH SHINY!" (On a side note that book is possibly the most messed up and depressing thing I've ever read!)

People always seem to romanticize classic books like they were some sort of divine gift sent down to us and no-one can ever criticize them because that would be literary blasphemy. But I'm just going to come out and say it. I don't really like classic books.

There I said it. By all means, go fetch your pitchforks and torches and lead me to the gallows but that's just how I feel.

Maybe its because I'm too lazy to struggle through all the flowery text and gothic descriptions but all the interaction seems to be very drawn out to the point where nothing much actually happens.

Maybe its an age thing but someone losing their social status because their aunt twice removed didn't say the right thing to the 24th in line to the British throne doesn't really fill me with a sense of peril.

For some strange reason though, I love the TV and movie adaptations of the classics. I just wish that the costumes and the tension and emotions that are conveyed through the adaptations could match up the original source material. Perhaps it's because I'm of a different generation, and I eat up screenwriters cliches more than Hansel and Gretel eat sweets in the witch's house.

The exception to this is Pride and Prejudice. I mentioned earlier in the 'Love' post that Darcy and Lizzie are one of my favourite fictional couples. However, it took multiple attempts to read it throughout my adolescence, several TV and movie adaptations and a Youtube series before I actually completed the book without wanting to throw it across the room. And if that's the sort of effort I have to put in to enjoying every classical work of fiction then sorry but;

Have I just committed a heinous crime against fiction? Or does anyone else get bored with the 'classics'?

Sarah x


  1. Hahaha... yes. I also admit to having read very few "classics" for just the reasons mentioned. And I also enjoy the movie adaptations. I think this is because when the story is taken to film: 1) Oh, pretty. 2)Everything has to be condensed to fit into x amount of time, so we skip the boring parts :) Now if only Mr. Darcy were an immortal...I'm on it!

    Happy Blogging!
    Kaye Draper at Write Me

  2. Well, I was one of those kids who read the Iliad and Ben-Hur at 14 because I loved reading and epic stories. I do love the classics (Wuthering heights is a favorite of mine). I also love young adult... so I like fast paced literature too. I'm not always in the mood to plow through thousands of words to unearth a bit of storyline but I try to read both classic and modern books. I completely understand why some people don't like them! Some classics have such whiny characters. I don't like those ones.Simply Sarah

  3. I'm pretty selective about my classics. I read and perform Shakespeare (and sometimes also teach it at summer camps), and I like The Odyssey. I've tried to read Jane Austen but, much as I love the films and TV adaptations, can't muddle through the actual literature. One has to wonder who decides something is "a classic." I feel like choice of reading is just so subjective.


  4. Some of the classics are a snore, but have you given A Tale of Two Cities a try?

  5. Ugh. I am so with you. I always had the hardest time getting through them in school, and even now I try to tell myself I should read them all, and yet I never even come close to picking them up to try. I can't help it, I prefer dragons and saucy main characters and adventures!

  6. I'm picky about the classics. I enjoy some of them, but I don't think they're fabulous just because they're "classics"... there are a lot of so called "classics" that I think are just on school reading lists because they've always been there. Not because they're really all that great.

    I'm with you on the movie versions though. Often the classics make pretty great movies.

  7. I never was one for the classics. I remember back in high school (decades ago), having to do book reports. I'd read the first chapter, pick a middle chapter and the end chapter then write my report. I usually got an A on the reports but the tests got the better of me.

    Cynthia (The Sock Zone)
    a to z challenge


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