Back to the Classics Challenge 2019, Wrap-Up Post
I completed all 12 Categories in the Back to the Classics Challenge 2019, which is hosted by Books and Chocolate
The titles are hyperlinked to my full review – cuz why wouldn’t you want to read those?
Bleak House by Charles Dickens – a 19thCentury Classic
Loved it: Some say this is Dickens’ best. I rank it third behind A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield. It has the distinction as the only Dickens novel with a female narrator
The Ox Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark – A 20thCentury Classic
Liked it a lot: Must be defined as a Western, but it is much more. Tragically beautiful.
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor – A Classic by a Woman Author
Indifferent: I like her short stories much better.
Papillon by Henri Charriére – A Classic in Translation
Indifferent: I found the narrator unreliable. That could work if this was pure fiction, but it is supposed to be an autobiographical novel. For me, if the autobiographer is unreliable, then it’s a manifesto, not a story.
Candide by Voltaire – A Classic Comedy
Indifferent: A sharp satire to serve as Candide’s rebuttal of Optimism. I was unimpressed, and didn’t find it funny.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote – A Classic Tragedy
Liked it a lot: A non-fiction novel that hauntingly tells the tale of…four shotgun blasts, that all told, ended six human lives.
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais – A Very Long Classic (over 1000 pages)
Didn’t like it. Codpiece jokes – lots of codpiece jokes. Probably pretty bold and edgy in the 16thCentury, but now? Meh.
The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft – A Classic Novella (under 250 pages)
Liked it. Very creepy – creepy in a good way. Part of the Cthulu Mythos and the only Lovecraft story published as a single book.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain – A Classic of the Americas
Liked it a lot: Most consider Huckleberry Finn to be Twain’s greatest work, but for me it's Tom Sawyer.
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay - A Classic from Africa, Asia, or Oceania
Liked it: An Australian classic, unsolved mystery, and a great argument for rereads. I nearly hated this the first time I read it, but with the reread I noticed some very subtle things that made it quite enjoyable.
The Oak Openings (alternate title: The Bee Hunter) by James Fennimore Cooper – A Classic Set in a Place Where I Lived (Set along the banks of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan)
Loved it: The last of Cooper’s Wilderness Tales. For me, this easily Cooper’s best.
The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe – A Classic Play
Liked it a lot: Perhaps the best-know rendering of Faustian legend – a man who sells his soul for power and prestige.