Another book tag! Because I want to write, but I can’t be bothered to sit down and write a discussion post or a review. Sometimes I’m lazy like that.
The Classics Book Tag originally comes from the blog, ‘It’s a Book’s World’, but the author is no longer updating their blog. But the Tag is out there.
An overhyped classic you really didn’t like:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve read this book three times. Twice for school and once on my own, just to see if analyzing it for class had soured my opinion of it. Yeah, no. I just didn’t like it. I know, I know. It has beautiful writing and a hopeless love story and all that, but in the end it doesn’t matter how pretty the writing is, isn’t basically every literary fiction book about rich people on the East Coast complaining about how terrible it is to be rich?
(Don’t @ me. It’s called hyperbole)
Favorite time period to read about:
Anything that isn’t 2020.
Seriously, though, my favorite time periods to read about are the late Victorian era (post-1880), the medieval era (circa 500-1450), and the Italian Renaissance. The so-called Viking Age in Scandinavia and Iceland (about 800-1066) is quickly rising in my esteem, though.
Who doesn’t like to read about swords and castles?
I can’t really say that I have one. Odd, huh? But I don’t really read fairy tales like Disney-esque or Brothers Grimm. I enjoy Arthurian legends, Celtic and Norse mythology, and I’m gaining a better appreciation for Icelandic sagas, but I don’t really go in for fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White.
What is the most embarrassed classic you haven’t read yet?
I assume that this question actually means “which classic are you embarrassed about because you haven’t read it yet?”, because I don’t think the books themselves are embarrassed.
Unless, maybe, it’s something racy like Lady Chatterly’s Lover or Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book.
As for books I’m embarrassed that I haven’t read… None, really, because you shouldn’t be embarrassed that you haven’t read Book X.
That said, I’ve been intending to read Paradise Lost for a very long time and I plan to finally tick it off the list in 2021. In January, maybe.
Favorite modern book/series based on a classic:
Hm. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few, with most of them being based on Arthurian lore. That’s classic, isn’t it? T.H. White’s The Once and Future King is a modern classic, isn’t it?
I suppose my top few would be the following:
- Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Saga (particularly the first three books, The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment)
- Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree)
- Longbourn by Jo Baker, which is based on Pride and Prejudice
Favorite movie version/tv-series based on a classic:
I can only think of movies right now, though I’m sure I’d find a few TV series if I could be bothered to put my mind to it.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson (2001-2003)
- Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Wright (2005)
- MacBeth directed by Justin Kurzel (2015)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola (1992)
Worst classic to movie adaptation:
There have been some pretty wretched book to movie adaptations, but I don’t remember most of the bad ones I’ve watched. I tend to blot them out of my memory. But the 2005 film based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was kind of awful. It took a fairly thin children’s book and tried to turn it into something as epic as The Lord of the Rings. It didn’t work.
There was also this weird Czech film we watched in my Faust in Western Literature class. It was based on Goethe’s Faust, and involved live action actors and life-sized puppets, and is probably the weirdest film I’ve ever watched– and we watched surrealist films from the 1940s in art history. When the lights came back up after the Czech film was over, everyone in the class had this look of “WTF, mates?” on their faces.
I still can’t explain it.
Favorite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from:
I like the simple design of the black spined Penguin classics. I also enjoy the durability and design of the Everyman’s Library hardback editions. I happily collect both, and plan to continue collecting them as the opportunity arises.
An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:
Underhyped classics? Hm…
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
- Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
- The Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Bashō
Feel free to do this tag if you find it interesting. No one is policing these things. Do what book tags you want. I certainly did.