A tribute to classic literature that stands the test of time
Book genres can be quite subjective. To some, American psycho is pure horror; for others, it is a simple black comedy. cloud atlas encompasses about 10 different genres, from spy thrillers to historical naval tales to terrifying dystopian fiction.
The classics, however, are fairly firmly agreed upon. Most lists offer novels by Austen, Bronte, Devil, Robust – and these books offer wonderful descriptions of life back then. But while their themes and messages are relevant today, they are not necessarily accessible to the modern reader.
This list is a tribute to classic literature that can stand the test of time. They are as engaging and relevant today as they were when first published. Dive in and see what you think.
It has been said a lot that Hood liked to “blur the lines between fiction and truth” in his work. But if you’re a fan of true crime stories, it doesn’t matter if In cold blood exaggerates the truth a bit.
Capote – the master of reporting – is really going for the hairs on the back of his neck with this one. His dark account of the murder of the Clutter family in rural Kansas plays into the recent fervor for true-crime stories (who doesn’t love a good serial killer podcast, or American crime history dramatization?).
Plus there’s a whole other layer of intrigue that you just don’t get with any other Ted Bundy documentary – Capote knew the murderers. He met them, interviewed them and became infamous for his sympathetic relationship with Perry Smith. Read this book for its delectable twists.
It may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s probably more important than ever to read this book. It’s the ultimate morality tale – but because it’s delivered by Scoutan impressionable girl from the hot south of the United States, you can’t resist.
Lee and Scout pull you into the story, gently acknowledging the importance of your decisions: if not for you, then for your children. In a world where older generations are making decisions the impact of which they may not live to see, Kill a mockingbird should be required reading for almost everyone.
A clockwork orange is relatively short, but it’s tough – in a good way. Russian language-inspired slang used by alexander and his buddies take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it. If you saw The Stanley Kubrick movie of the same name (known to have been banned in Britain in the 70s), you will know what awaits you.
You won’t like the book-Alex any more than you like the movie-Alex—his psychopathic obsession with music and milk is vaguely reminiscent of American psychoit is patrick batman – but, like Bateman, he pulls you into his world, showing you how he became the monster he is, proving that society made him the way he is.
If you liked Trainspotting, American psychoor fight club — books or films — A clockwork orange is for you. Alex is a fabulously forward-thinking forerunner of all your favorite literary reprobates.
Rebecca is an incredible gothic read, full of tension and sadness and one of the best twists of all time. First published in 1938the story’s treatment of its female characters (especially each other) is harrowing but clever.
The first-person narrative draws you into every thought, doubt, paranoid whisper of the titular character – apparent parallels with Du Maurier own personal life sobering. Yet this story is so gripping, the setting so powerful, that it should be read simply because it is immensely readable.
Everyone has an idea of what’s going on Frankenstein. The fact that this is arguably the most famous book on this list – and the oldest in a way – speaks for itself. But while it’s a fascinating read – the mother of science fiction, perhaps – the context behind the novel is perhaps even more breathtaking.
Shelly was a teenager when she started writing Frankenstein, and it was released when she was just 20 years old. Today, read it as a serious backlash against gender stereotypes; Shelley wrote the most enduring science fiction novel in history, while her future husband wrote romantic poetry. It’s a rebellion novel – something we badly need right now.
These classic novels will never get old – the themes, characters and stories are completely timeless. In fact, they’re sure to inspire writers everywhere to pick up a pen and start crafting a new generation of future classics.