We Travelling Geeks have done some tags in the past, and now we’re cracking open the classics! This tag started over at It’s a Book World, and we wanted to join in the fun.
1. An overhyped classic you really didn’t like
Lily: I didn’t enjoy The Catcher in the Rye when I was first set to read it at school, and I’m a bit annoyed that I had it assigned twice instead of getting in another classic. People who love it seem to have a kind of nostalgia for it; I read it as an angsty teenager, too, and still never had a fondness for it.
Maria: Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. I don’t know how many times I’ve started this book, but every time I had to abandon it. I just can’t get into the story and I utterly despise Pip. Maybe I’ll complete this book someday, but I can’t see myself doing it anytime soon. I really, really, really don’t like this story.
2. Favorite time period to read about
Lily: I don’t know that I actually have a favorite time period to read about, but I do have a certain era of writing style that I find myself drawn to. It basically breaks down to the 1800s and the pre-WWI 1900s. That gets all kinds of greats, like Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle…the list goes on and on!
Maria: Anything but the Victorian era, to be honest. I’m an English Major and the one era we read about the most at my university is the Victorian era. At the moment, I can’t even read contemporary novels set in the Victorian era. But back to the actual question. I don’t have a favourite time period to read about. As long as the story is great I don’t care about the time period. Yes, a fantastic plot can even bring me to read a book set in the Victorian era.
3. Favorite fairy-tale
Lily: I know it’s a bit of a cheat because it’s not a classic fairytale or even one that I read as a child, but I came across Jim Henson’s The Storyteller Witches book on my visit to Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles last year, and I discovered “The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest.” I believe it is a tale that was written expressly for the Storyteller series, and after the art initially drew me in, I really enjoyed it! Read the review at Tough Pigs to find out more.
Maria: Little Red Riding Hood. I am obsessed with this fairy-tale and all its different versions. Especially the darker pre-Grimm versions. One French version called “The Grandmother” is my absolute favourite. You can read “The Grandmother” and other versions over here.
4. What is the most embarrassed classic you haven’t read yet
Lily: I quite enjoy reading classics, so I have really whittled down the list of books that I’m embarrassed to tell people I haven’t read. However, I’ve never read any Jules Verne! Not 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, not Around the World in 80 Days, not Journey to the Center of the Earth! It’s an even bigger shame because he is of that era that I really enjoy!
Maria: Anything by Jane Austen. Although I’m not too embarrassed by this fact. Someday I’ll read her stories, but so far, it’s just not too appealing to me.
5. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon)
Lily: Truly, I am trying to improve myself, so next up is Journey to the Center of the Earth! After that, I really should read A Tale of Two Cities (apparently, every American schoolchild had to, but I was amazingly never assigned Dickens). Also on my list are The Woman in White, White Fang, and Farewell to Manzanar.
Maria: The Odyssey by Homer
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
6. Favorite modern book/series based on a classic
Lily: I really can’t think of any modern retellings that I’ve read, but I am interested in reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle.
Maria: I don’t read too many modern books based on a classic, but one that I’ve read and enjoy is ironically enough Jack Maggs, a novel based on Great Expectations. The story is about Jack Maggs, the equivalent of Magwitch in Great Expectations, and his quest to meet his ‘son’ Henry Phipps (basically Dickens’ Pip). It is a fantastic story on its own and a brilliant retelling of a classic.
7. Favorite movie version/tv-series based on a classic
Lily: I really love the 2009 adaptation of A Christmas Carol because (with the exception of a few scenes added purely for the 3D moviegoers) it follows the story better and uses more dialogue from the book than I’ve seen in many movie versions. It’s also really pretty!
Maria: I have several favourites, actually. BBC’s Sherlock, Dracula from 1931, and Lolita from 1997.
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation
Lily: The 1995 adaptation of The Scarlet Letter is so bad. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it and I guess I’ve blocked a lot of it out, but if you’ve only seen the movie, you may be surprised to learn that the book doesn’t end with a village on fire (not even figuratively).
Maria: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. I’ll just leave it at that.
9. Favorite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from
Lily: I love the Easton Press editions of Tolkien’s books (not that I own any) and I like what they’ve done with some other classics, too!
Maria: I’d love to own as many classics, including non-fiction classics, from The Folio Society as possible! I can’t even limit myself to just one book. All of them look amazing!
10. An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone
Lily: I was surprised at how much I liked The Once and Future King by T. H. White. (Come to think of it, maybe it should count as a modern book based on a classic!) It was clever, funny, and poignant and I think that if you like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchet, it will be right up your alley.
Maria: Oh, that is a tough one. I mean, most classics receive a great hype. Otherwise they wouldn’t be considered to be a classic. However, I’ve been loving Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man so much that I’d force everyone to read it if I could. Also, it could be argued that in comparison to Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man is underhyped. In other words, go and read The Illustrated Man!
Did you recognize a bit of yourself or do you think we’re crazy? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or better yet, do the Classics Book Tag yourself!