A Classic Novel – Reading Women 2019

This post is part of a series on reading women 2019 hosted by Lonely Cryptid Media’s Narrative Designer, Dan Michael Fielding.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t generally like classic novels.

It’s nothing against them personally. It’s just that, in general, every time I’ve read a novel that’s considered “classic” I’ve walked away wondering what all the hype is about.

There are a few exceptions. Of One Blood by Pauline Hopkins was an interesting read, as was Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. But when I tried to read Pride and Prejudice for example the prose was too dense for me to wade through and I stopped pretty quickly. This doesn’t even consider all the “classics” written by men authors that left me disappointed: Lord of the Flies, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to name a few.

Do you have any books that were a disappointment to read? It’s always a shame when it happens, isn’t it?

I decided to give myself this prompt in order to expand my horizons. In my research on what classic book I wanted to read I ran into a few problems. Namely, everyone defines “classic” differently. Some classic authors lists contain books as recent as 2007. While it’s certainly excellent to celebrate the work of contemporary authors I wanted to go further back in time than that. Although “classic” can mean anything exemplary I was particularly interested in reading older books.

I decided to go with Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Widely consider the first science fiction novel ever, the fact that it has inspired a huge popular cultural following is also intriguing to me. I’ve seen Frankenstein’s Monster shambling around every Halloween but I’ve never read the book! It’s time to change that.

I’m crossing my fingers that Frankenstein will break me out of my anti-classic novel funk. Even if it doesn’t I’ll let you know my thoughts as soon as I’m done with it.

What will you be reading this week? Are there any classic novels that have been languishing on your to-read shelf for a while?

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6 thoughts on “A Classic Novel – Reading Women 2019

  1. I was already planning to read Evelina by Fanny Burney, but as always, reserve the right to completely change my mind. 🙂

    If anyone is stuck for an idea, the “Virago Modern Classics” line has some wonderful reads. _Vera_by Elizabeth von Arnim is chilling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, I read _Evelina_, or as it might be subtitled, “A Passive Young Lady’s Guide to Sexual Harassment and Toxic Masculinity.” As a historical document it was quite interesting, in a horrifying kind of way. But I don’t think Burney’s humor has dated well, even though she certainly had an eye for human foibles. There are numerous characters who exist merely to be awful, and I got immensely tired of them.

    Evelina’s adventures, which usually consist of some horrible man importuning her, also got tiresome. And though she narrates in a lively manner, her actions — if they can justify the word — are so feeble and neurasthenic, it’s hard to enjoy her as a character.

    Liked by 1 person

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