I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest reader. From the end of sixth-form to my third year at uni I think I read two books max…and one was a cookbook. Obviously reading is easy, it doesn’t take much skill, nor does it take up energy. But getting back into it and making it a habit is a tad trickier.
Finding that first novel after a year+ long book block can be tricky but I’ve got three novels that tick all the boxes. They’re classics, they’re easy to follow, and you probably already know the gist of the plot.
1. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley (3.8/5 – GoodReads)
Ok, so first off, this deserves more than 3.8. They could have least rounded it up to 4 purely on the basis that sis wrote this when she was eighteen. EIGHTEEN. When I was 18, I was still ending my essays with ‘…and it was all a dream’. Though, if you’re looking for a scare with this story, you’ll be disappointing. If anything, it felt more like a drama. It’s less horror and panic, more heartbreak, understanding, and sacrifices. Don’t get me wrong, there is a monster but as far as monsters go, this one is all heart. It’s such an intriguing story with well drafted out characters and I’d definitely recommend to anyone who likes an old ‘back in the day’ period drama. Plus, the movie features the one and only Helena Bonham Carter so there’s another incentive.
2. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson (3.81/5 GoodReads)
Just a fraction of a higher rating than Frankenstein. I don’t know how much I would agree with Good Reads on this one, simply due to the depth of of this book. Frankenstein was a lengthy, deep read with intricacy and intrigue. Jekyll and Hyde, however, whilst it did have plenty of intrigue, and is a notorious novella, felt like it was over before it even begun. The reading time was around an hour for me, fast readers could knock it out inn 45 minutes I reckon. Like I said it is a ‘novella’ which is essentially just a short novel. But for such a distinguished story, I really would have loved if they’d fleshed it out a bit more – it all just felt so rushed. As for the story itself, we all know the acclaimed title to be playing on the notion of split personalities (which it most definitely does) and it’s said that Stevenson’s work was based on the real-life tale of a well respected gentlemen who began to transform himself into an alternating snide character in order to indulge in his ‘vices’ of mistresses and gambling. One particular thing I did love is that the majority of this book consists of the characters seeking out Mr Hyde – not a bad gag for the 1800’s.
3. Nineteen Eighty- Four – George Orwell (4.18/5 – GoodReads)
Everyone loves a dystopian, purge-like, movie. Anti- establishment, people turning on one another, fear, scaremongering, anti-language, society exploitation, etc etc. If any of that appeals to you in any way, please read this. “The book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality.” First published in 1949, is what left me astonished – Orwell managed to captivate his ‘at the time’ readers with a way of living that would be the reality later, the settings he created arguably reflect elements of today. Utilising terms like ‘Big Brother’ before the 50’s was bewildering to me. How did he get it so right? That’s a term that we use now when talking about technology, social media, the rapidly increasing use of CCTV. He also drew upon such heightened totalitarianism, to the point where people feared their own children will disclose their dissidence to the state. It really is a horror of a story in such a weird way. Anyway, it’s a brilliant book, if you’re looking for an eye opener – this is it.
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