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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome to the group, Nathan. I haven't read too many classics because I used to immerse myself in sci fi which is why, like you, I joinued goodreads to expand my reading horizons. One book I will recommend is Crime and Punishment, which uwas surprisingly enjoyable and more accessible then you might have been led to believe. As for classic sci fi I can recommend Iain M. Banks's Player of Games. It's a modern classic set in his Culture universe. I'd also recommend Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. He's more famous for his robot stories, which are interesting for their logical look at robotics (the three laws) but I still prefer the Foundation novels.

If you're doing the LC you must be reading a classic or two? Would you know if the reading list has changed much?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I might be showing some ignorance now, but I've never heard of How Many Miles to Babylon. When I did the LC we read Hemingway and Steinbeck, among other's. There was a large reading list and if we were asked comparative questions we could use any novels in it. I'd recommend Steinbeck too. He's my master of the great American novel. In that vein I'd recommend Joseph Heller's Catch 22. I think you'd really enjoy it.


message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard Sutton (richardsutton) Hey Nathan! Declan's suggestion would also be mine. Joseph Heller's book has become a cultural touchstone.


message 4: by Mr. Owl (last edited Dec 29, 2012 04:24PM) (new)

Mr. Owl Hi Nathan, welcome to the group!

Have you read "I am Legend" by Richard Matheson. If you have seen the movie its much darker (and has vampires instead of zombies).

Also "One Rainy Night" by Richard Laymon is full of zombies, a full-on horror.

For Sci-fi, checkout the "Masterworks" series as anything on this list is well worth picking up.

Declan: "Crime and Punishment" - I have never got round to reading this, can I ask why you rate it so highly? I have nearly given up on Russian authors after trying to make my way through Anna Karenina (Nabakov would be an exception though, a truly wonderful writer).


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

That would be a lot to discuss in a comment thread and I'd still be worried about spoiling the plot.

The main Charactet, Raskolnikov, commits a murder-robbery to prove tp himself that he's more than an average person (above the law, so to speak,) and the book then revolves around how he deals with his actions. There are many sub-plots which are all very enjoyable in their own right. It's a lot to get into here.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments Declan wrote: "That would be a lot to discuss in a comment thread and I'd still be worried about spoiling the plot.

The main Charactet, Raskolnikov, commits a murder-robbery to prove tp himself that he's more t..."

In my inperson book club we do a classic once a year. I hadn't read "Scarlet Letter" since high school and it's amazin how your perspective changes in 40 years. We read a lot of lesser known Steinbeck which is great and even did a field trip to his home. But maybe we could do a classic one month and read "Crime and Punishment". I have never read it and, frankly , I am a little scared of the Russsian writers. It might make a wonderful challenge for the new year.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

There's nothing to be scared of, Susan. It's one of the few classics I've read worthy of the name. People are particularly worried as Nietzsche was an inspiration behind it. You wouldn't need any prior knowledge of him to enjoy the novel.


message 8: by Ted (last edited Jan 02, 2013 01:38PM) (new)

Ted | 133 comments "Nietzsche was an inspiration behind it".
I don't think so, Declan. Nietzsche was born in 1844. Crime and Punishment was published in 1866, when N. was 22.

It may be true to say that after the fact people have seen some aspects of Nietzsche's thinking in Dostoevsky's work, but that would be the most that could be said.

In my opinion C&P is a magnificent psychological thriller. I've read it more than once, and certainly would like to read it again. It is indeed a classic, and can be perceived and analyzed in many different ways, like most of Dostoevsky's writings, which have a depth very rare in fiction. But even as simple thriller, it is very readable and enjoyable.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I stand corrected, Ted. I had a friend who was chewing my ear about Nietzsche and Ayn Rand once I told him I was reading C & P.

I totally agree with you about it's appeal as a simple thriller. Watching Raskolnikov unravel, seeing Marmeladov's family disintegrate and his relationship with Sonia would have all made excellent novels, alone.

I read it on the recommendation of a friend, but would have never considered it otherwise. I think you remember my reaction to Ulysses. I often worry that I'll have such a reaction when dealing with the classics and shy away as a result.


message 10: by Mr. Owl (new)

Mr. Owl New thread maybe needed here but just wanted to say I like Susan's idea of adding Russian writers to the reading challenge.

Apologies to Declan if the thread has been a bit hijacked!


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

No problem, Sean. It happens.

My apologies to Nathan for allowing it happen.


message 12: by Deirdre (new)

Deirdre I too have always avoided Crime and Punishment. The title itself doesn't exactly warm you to the idea and I'm always a litte afraid that I wont be able to follow it. Glad to hear Declan say that it's not that intimidating and a great book, so I just might make it my New Year's resolution to get a copy. If I'm feeling like a total dimwit halfway through, though, I will hold declan responsible. only joking!

Also, I see suggestions here that we could delve into some classics, not just Russian but American, Irish, etc. Would it be a good idea to do short story collections, non-fiction, biogs, etc? Or emerging authors? just a few ideas, not sure what you all think. Maybe it would make the group a bit confused...


message 13: by Deirdre (new)

Deirdre oh and by the way, hello Nathan and welcome!


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

If you have books in mind we'll be having to polls later this month, so it increases the chances of a classic being selected by the group. Although I think we've read quite a few future classics, I do think that we've read so few acknowledged ones. Only The Hobbit and Ulysses fit into the latter category, and Ulysses was far too much for an online book group.

I have quite a lot of American and English classics I'd like to read.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments Declan wrote: "If you have books in mind we'll be having to polls later this month, so it increases the chances of a classic being selected by the group. Although I think we've read quite a few future classics, I..."
If we do decide to go with "Crime and Punishment" do you promise to hold our hands through it, Declan?


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