The Classics Book Tag

Being a voracious reader of classics, I have decided to give this tag a go. I first saw the tag on Supernova Writes, but the original creator is It’s a Books World

The Master and MargaritaI. An overhyped classic you really didn’t like: 

This is hard because I like most classics. I guess I did not particularly like Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. I do not consider it too overhyped, but I simply did not enjoy it, be it the story or the style, and I really did try since I read it at least twice. Perhaps, some doses of magical realism do not agree with me at all.

II. Favourite time period to read about:

I am not picky and I enjoy novels set from ancient history to modern times. If I have to choose, I will go for the 19th century or early 20th century-set novels. There is just something fascinating about this period, and the earliest novels of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle are the best detective stories in the world. 

Scarlet Sails PictureIII. Favourite fairy-tale:

One of my favourite fairy-tales is Scarlet Sails by Alexander Grin. The story is about a girl Assol in a small port village who was foretold when she was eight years old that a prince will come for her on a ship with scarlet sails and take her to a far-away land to be happy ever after. Assol has always believed this prophecy and, because of this belief, was labelled by local villagers a partially-insane. Many years after, comes to this small town Captain Grey and incidentally hears of Assol’s belief from others. It is a moving account of love and hope, and it teaches one to believe in spite of everything and to never give up on one’s dreams no matter how far-fetched they may seem.  

IV. What is the classic you most embarrassed you haven’t read yet?

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

V. Top three classics you would like to read (soon): 

The Last of the Mohicans Book CoverI know the story of The Last of the Mohicans [1826] because I did see the great film and also one animation when young, but I have never actually read the corresponding book by James Fenimore Cooper. I am not sure if this novel can really be considered a classic, but the story’s power has proved enduring and it is certainly popular. Also, apparently, it is the second book of the Leatherstocking Tales pentalogy by Cooper.

The Dream of the Red ChamberNext, I would like to read The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin. This long novel is considered to be one of the greatest ever works of Chinese literature, a Chinese classic. It is also proclaimed to be an eastern equivalent to the western story of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps, the fact that it was so difficult to translate contributed to this novel remaining relatively obscure in the west.  

Death in Venice Book CoverFinally, it would be nice for me to finally read Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. I like the fact that it is set in Venice and involves a tormented, lonely author. I have also heard there is a fair amount of symbolism and allusions in the story, and the prose is beautiful. Some quotes from the book are also thought-provoking, such as “loneliness fosters that which is original, daringly, bewilderingly beautiful, poetic. But loneliness also fosters that which is perverse, incongruous, absurd, forbidden“. 

VI. Favourite modern book/series based on a classic:

None.

To Kill a Mockingbird PosterVII. Favourite movie based on a classic:

I like Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird [1962]. It is a powerful story with an important social message at its core, and Gregory Peck is both perfectly cast and gives the performance of his career.

VIII. Worst classic to movie adaptation:

Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina [2012]; for example, it is clear that the cast of Vronsky is all wrong.

IX. Favourite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from:

Penguin classics. 

X. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:

The Betrothed [1827] by Alessandro Manzoni.

2 thoughts on “The Classics Book Tag

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