100 Must-Read Classic Novels by Whitaker's

By Whitaker's

This booklet is a wealthy collection of writing that has prompted the 20th century and past. With 100 of the easiest titles totally reviewed and one other steered, you’ll quick set out on a trip of discovery. The ebook additionally permits you to browse via subject matter and contains “a reader’s fast-guide to the classics,” previous award-winners, and ebook membership recommendations.

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Yet the power of Cervantes’s narrative lies in the gradual transformation of Don Quixote, during the course of the novel, from a bumbling buffoon into a noble idealist, lost amid the brutal practicalities of the real world. Misguided and deluded though he is, Quixote comes to represent all that is best and honourable in human nature. His defeats are the defeats of our better selves. When Cervantes published Don Quixote, chivalric romances to inspire the would-be knight belonged to the past; the 21 02 100 MR CLASSIC NOVELS 16/10/06 8:04 pm Page 22 100 MUST-READ CLASSIC NOVELS future belonged to the kind of narrative that Cervantes himself created.

Probably his greatest single achievement was The Sound and the Fury, a complex and ambitious novel which takes its title from Macbeth’s description of life in the Shakespeare play (‘a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury’) and which has a first section that is indeed a tale told by an ‘idiot’, the severely retarded Benjy Compson. Set in Faulkner’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County, the book reveals the story of the Compson family in three further sections, two told by Benjy’s brothers and a final one seen from the viewpoint of their negro servants.

He always assumes that his hidden well-wisher is Miss Havisham and that he can, therefore, continue to hope for the love of Estella. But the illegal return of Magwitch from the penal colony reveals how mistaken he has been in all his assumptions. Great Expectations is peopled, as Dickens’s novels always are, by comic eccentrics and grotesques but, at its heart, it is the narrative of one young man’s progress towards a deeper understanding of himself and of the true personal history which has shaped his character.

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