Good morning. Today as the title suggests I have 3 mini reviews of some classics. I am trying to read more classics this year so I thought I would share some classics love with these reviews. I’m doing pretty well so far this year – I have been reading a classic a month. I have really been enjoying classics so I thought I’d share some of my thought of them with you. Onto the reviews :).
Far From the Madding Crowd / Thomas Hardy ★★★★
First published in 1874, this follows Bathsheba Everdeen who inherits a large farm and attracts the attention of three different men. I read this last year and was my first experience of Thomas Hardy – it won’t be my last. The descriptive writing style creates an amazing rural backdrop to the events of the book, but I didn’t find it overly descriptive. Hardy crafts complex and flawed characters that are a pleasure to read about, although I did question Bathsheba decisions at some points during the book. However it is also very interesting, as her position in society as a woman is precarious, especially since she has some power. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will definitely be checking out more by Thomas Hardy in the future.
Cranford / Elizabeth Gaskell ★★★★
This is a short book which is more a series of episodes, than a linear narrative, although there are plot points that run throughout the book. For this reason I think it would be a great place to start if you are new to Gaskell, or classics in general. Although I didn’t realise that going in so it took me a little while to get into the flow of the story, but I ended up really enjoying the meandering plot (realistically it doesn’t have much of a plot) and underlying themes. What really makes this book are the characters – as I mentioned there is not much of a plot, but the character studies within the book are a pleasure to read. So if you like very character driven stories with meandering plot than I highly recommend this book, whether you’ve read Gaskell before or not.
The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald ★★★
Really more of a 2.5 star rating to be honest. To me this is a very overhyped book. I just didn’t really get it – I found it to be really quite underwhelming. The characters were all abit flat to me, as well as being generally unlikable (mainly Nick) and I didn’t particularly care about them. Even though it is a short book I still had to push myself to get through it. There is nothing particularly bad about this book, I was just very underwhelmed and it was kind of dull. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t deny that Fitzgerald is a great writer, but other than that this book fell flat for me. I didn’t care about the romance or Gatsby or any of the characters really and Daisy is an extremely frustrating representation of a woman – I swear at one point she sobs at some shirts. To me the characters felt shallow, flat and meaningless. I really don’t see why this is so loved, but that is just personal preference. I would still recommend giving it a read though, as I am in the minority. I do love this edition though.
Let me know what your thoughts were on any of these books and I am always open to classics recommendation. I hope you are all having a great day.
See you next time