Category Archives: Classics

Classic Club #2 -The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Published / by Elizabeth / 2 Comments on Classic Club #2 -The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
 The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I took a whole year to read The Brothers Karamazov and I am taking my sweet time to write about it. I do feel like abandoning the effort to write about the book, but the whole point of Classic club is to encourage reading the classics and blogging about them too. So here I am…

This book requires a lot of effort to read because of its sheer number of pages – 1000+. The language is captivating and equally thought provoking. Dostoyevsky is not short of words and does take his time to write down his thoughts around any character or incident narrated.

From my experience reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I can say that his works are not for the fast readers who wants to know what is happening quickly and is a bit impatient. You need to really show some patience when you wait for him to reveal what happened in his own sweet time. Trust me, this is not an easy task.

Anyone who is reading The Brothers should be reading it for the writing and for admiring the story telling. If not, you will just abandon it within few chapters. My husband was least confident when I announced my intention to read it and I cannot blame his skepticism considering how I felt like abandoning the project. In that sense, his lack of confidence gave me a point to prove him wrong.

The main characters – Mitya, Ivan, Alyosha, Fyodor – all are slowly developed, though in my opinion not fully developed. I mean it in the sense that there are lot of unknowns about the four characters for a book that look at their actions and reactions minutely at places. But then this also gives the book the sense of mystery (yes, there is a big mystery hidden in the book) which keeps the story tied up neatly.

Dostoyevsky can exasperate you at times by the long winding way he has narrated the story, but there are places where you stop and the admire the writer who has written those beautiful lines.

At this point, I have a confession to make: I kind of skipped through the most famous chapter “The Grand Inquisitor“. I found it too complex and philosophical and would require a few times of reading to understand what Fyodor Dostoyevsky is trying to convey. So I conveniently skipped it.

Overall a great read, though I will recommend it to only serious readers. Please don’t pick this one towards your first attempt to read classics. You might lose your interest in classics altogether.

Save

Classics Club #1 – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

Little Women Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is my 5th read for the Classics Club, but this is my first post on a classic that I have read.

I am in my 30s,  but I still find reading such girly books fun. There is some charm in reading these kind of books that you want to read them again and again. I also found that reading long and difficult books may not work towards achieving my Classics Club adventure and my struggle with Dostoyevsky‘s The Brothers Karamazov is a good example to prove this point. I can’t even recall when I started reading that book and have just managed to reach chapter 47 out of the 90 odd chapters.

I was actually marveled by the fact that Louisa May Alcott wrote this book out of financial and family compulsions. She wrote Little Women because the publishers wanted her to write something which will appeal to small girls, and she did well too. This book is loosely based on her own life, though she has changed a few things here and there to make it a happy read.

I loved the character of Jo the best who is the central character of the book. Though I am yet to read the second book called Good Wives, I have got some idea what will happen in that part. The character of Laurie adds much fun to the story though I don’t feel much connection to him. I hope to read and enjoy the next books in the series too and would love to see how Alcott has developed the other characters like Amy, Beth and Meg. She might as well stick to Jo’s story all the way, which is what happened in the end.

I plan to watch the movie Little Women (1994) some time soon to bring a better conclusion to this read. After all, the idea is to appreciate the classics.

The Classics Club:Book List Updated

Published / by Elizabeth / Leave a Comment

The Classics Club logo

Sept 16th 2015 marked one year since I joined the Classics Club and I have managed to read just 4 books in the past one year. Considering my dismal performance in the last year, I have decided to make some changes in my Classics Club book list.

First of all, I want to cut down a few of the big books from the list. I know that the sense of accomplishment when you finish reading a big book is great, but reading them requires much more investment of my time which is tough in the present circumstances. So off goes few of those big books.

Secondly, I had been too ambitious in my reading goals and wanted to read ‘rarely-read’ books by popular authors. I have decided to read those popular titles first since I have forgotten most of them. For eg, I feel like reading ‘Little Women’ and was even more tempted when I bought a copy of that book. I had not considered this one previously as it was a very popular read.

Thirdly, I thought that it makes sense to read those books that I currently have in my personal library than read those books which are slightly tougher to get or something which I need to borrow or buy. For eg: I have a copy of ‘Twelve years a Slave’ with me and it makes much more sense to read it in this challenge.

So here goes my updated list:

Updated Classics Club List

  1. Alcott, Louisa May:  Little Women
  2. Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  3. Atwood, Margaret: A Handmaid’s Tale
  4. Austen, Jane: Lady Susan
  5. Bronte, Anne: Agnes Grey
  6. Bunyan, John: Pilgrim’s Progress
  7. Burnett, Frances Hodgson: The Secret Garden
  8. Calvino, Italo: Marcovaldo
  9. Camus, Albert: The Plague
  10. Capote, Truman :Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  11. Chekhov, Anton: The Three Sisters
  12. Chesterton, G.K.:The Innocence of Father Brown
  13. Christie, Agatha : They Came to Baghdad
  14. Cronin, A.J. : The Stars Look Down
  15. Dahl, Roald : Matilda
  16. Dostoevesky, Fyodor: The Brothers Karamazov
  17. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Lost World
  18. Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
  19. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: This Side of Paradise
  20. Flaubert, Gustav: Madame Bovary
  21. Forster, E.M.: Room With a View
  22. Golding, William: Lord of the Flies
  23. Grahame, Kenneth :  The Wind In The Willows
  24. Hardy, Thomas: Far From the Madding Crowd
  25. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter
  26. Hemingway, Ernest: The Old Man and the Sea
  27. Hesse, Hermann: Siddhartha
  28. Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World
  29. Irving, John The World According to Garp
  30. Jerome, Jerome K: Three Men in a Boat
  31. Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  32. Lawrence, D.H.: Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  33. Lewis, C.S.: The Chronicles of Narnia
  34. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
  35. Du Maurier, Daphne : Jamaica Inn
  36. Montgomery, L.M: The Story Girl
  37. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia: Chronicles of a Death Foretold
  38. Nabokov, Vladimir: Lolita
  39. Nesbit, E: The Railway Children
  40. Northup, Solomon : Twelve Years a Slave
  41. Orwell, George: Animal Farm
  42. Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar
  43. Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye
  44. Seth, Vikram : A Suitable Boy
  45. Steinbeck, John: Of Mice and Men
  46. Tagore, Rabrindranath : Gitanjali
  47. Wallace, Lew : Ben Hur
  48. White, E B: Charlotte’s Web
  49. Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray
  50. Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

I have striken down those books which I have already read. For the original list of books:

The Classics Club

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Reading for the Classics Club #2 – The Brothers Karamazov

Published / by Elizabeth / 2 Comments on Reading for the Classics Club #2 – The Brothers Karamazov

I joined the Classic Club with much enthusiasm few months back. The enthusiasm is still there, but there has been no work to reflect the enthusiasm.  For those who don’t know what is  the Classics Club, I have written a  blog post here – The Classics Club.

I did read ‘The Railway Children’ and enjoyed it, but never got around to writing a review/post about it. Later I started the massive attempt to read The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

The Brothers Karamazov is a 796 page chunskter  with a small font size. Carrying it everywhere I want to take it poses a big challenge, but I do try to take it to office. For a book  written centuries ago, the words are so beautifully written that you feel bad that you didn’t read this book before.

I was tempted several times to return this book to the library and TH told me that it will be tough to accomplish. But I surprised myself when I renewed my justbooks library subscription and came back with this and I don’t regret it a bit.

I have only read the first 50 pages of the book in so many months, and I am determined to finish it asap. Read this wonderful quote from the book.

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.”

I will update you guys more about my progress in reading The Brothers Karamazov.Between is there someone who wants to read The Brothers Karamazov along with me? We can have some fun with a read-along style. Let me know.