Timeless stories - The Hindu

Published: July 9, 2013 00:00 IST | Updated: July 10, 2013 03:50 IST ​

Timeless stories
BOOKS All the great works of literature don’t survive the test of time. RADHIKA SANGAM recalls some that continue to be widely read

Classics are remarkable for crossing genres Finding a page-turner among literary classics is not easyPhoto: P.V. Siva Kumar

So you’ve read Jane Austen, sighed over Mr. Darcy, followed Oliver Twist’s exploits and read Wordsworth’s Daffodils …What next? Not all classic works have made it to the sacred annals of literary greatness for their narrative excellence. Which is why finding a page-turner among literary classics can be quite the challenge. For those of you who’d like to read a book and enjoy it too, here’s the lowdown on some good reads in the classical genre. Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a hard-hitting exposé of colonial exploitation in Africa at the turn of the century with a clipped, surprisingly modern tone. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is another gem in the thriller genre. Also, worth reading is that great original, Bram Stoker’s Dracula , an underrated work which is as much a romance and a coming-of-age novel as it is a forerunner of the vampire craze. Some of the classics are remarkable for crossing genres, such as Oscar Wilde’s novella The Canterville Ghost , a rollicking ghostly caper with characters from both sides of the Atlantic. And if you like a good laugh, you’ll also like Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers – a huge volume that’s hugely entertaining, and can easily be enjoyed in little chunks. Poetry may not usually figure on your reading list, you don’t want to miss Lord Byron’s wickedly funny poetic epic, Don Juan . In much the same vein is The History of Tom Jones , A Foundling by Henry Fielding, another satirical work that spoofs the coming-of-age novel. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a sparkling romance by the bard himself — don’t be put off by Shakespeare’s formidable reputation, this one’s got some of the prettiest poetry you ever read! Speaking of romances, no girl could resist the lure of The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, a thrilling, deliciously melodramatic romance set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. Classic American literature, though not so
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2 01 3 1 1 :1 6 :53 PM | http://www. In yesterday’s writings lie the seeds of tomorrow’s wisdom. sometimes grim. the strategist’s classic The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli makes office politics look like walk in the park! A master of the short story. yet superb books for children are novels like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and A Little Princess .thehindu. which teach valuable lessons in right and wrong without apparently doing so.The Hindu well-known as its British counterpart.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/timeless-stories/article4896269. but very human portrait of the Southern states of America in the times of slavery. American writer Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn paints a compelling. Russian author Anton Chekov’s hard-hitting nuggets of wisdom and compassion are great for when you’re in the mood for something a little more serious.com /today s-paper/tp-features/tp-m etroplus/tim eless-stories/article4 89 6 2 6 9 . author E. In a slightly more solemn vein. The all-American romance Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster is a fabulous fore-runner of modern chick-lit.thehindu. And great works of literature that have survived for centuries invite us to share in those broad human sympathies which cut across time. Among the slightly lesser-known.ece © The Hindu www. with touches of pathos that are only evident to the grown-up mind. Printable v ersion | Jul 1 0. Another must-read is The Railway Children . Montgomery and its many sequels are wonderful reads for teens and pre-teens. space and prejudice alike.M. Anne of Green Gables by Canadian author L. too.7/10/13 Timeless stories . Nesbit’s fun tale of adventure for children. offers some surprisingly readable tomes.ece?css=print 2/2 . as also for chicas who’d like to look back on their early teens with nostalgic giggles.

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