Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Brownie takes on a classic novel

I've recently been spending some of my hard-earned cash on classic novels. The gigantic bookseller Barnes & Noble currently has a collection of classic novels in small, hard-cover editions. These books are, in a word, cheap - most cost around $6.00, which is quite a thing for hard-cover books. For the past week or so, Barnes & Noble has given these books what can only be called the Wal*Mart treatment - the price has been knocked down by 20%. Needless to say, I have been taking advantage.

I've been able to get some great titles....
  • Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
  • Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter
  • Herman Melville's Moby-Dick
  • Robert L. Stevenson's Treasure Island

..... to name a few. As you can see, those are some great books there. Both Moby-Dick and The Scarlett Letter are in the running for consideration as the quintessential American novel. Treasure Island and Alice in Wonderland have been made into Disney movies, although I have to say that I wonder what Carroll would think of the animated version of his tale (he'd probably want to throttle Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum).

First up to read is Fyodor Dostoevsky's masterpiece, The Brothers Karamazov. This seems a daunting task, no? After all, it's a meditation on family, murder, morality, redemption, and God. One of the more famous lines from the novel is this: "If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral, everything would be permissible, even cannibalism." It's intimidating and it's not for the faint of heart, but I'm up for the challenge.

I'll keep you posted on how far I've gotten with it and what I think about it. If you've read it, don't hesitate to tell me what you think.

Related: No, I haven't forgotten that I once posted about purchasing this book and wanting to evaluate it. I still haven't read it, but it's on my list for the summer.

Also related: If you're a "Lost" fan, then you'll know that Brothers Karamazov gets a mention when Locke offers reading materials to NotHenry.


  1. Save your money and just read them at BytheFireplace.com

  2. Anon: I'm aware, naturally, of your site and others like it where people can read classics on their computer. I dislike this. I much prefer the physicality of actually holding a book, reading what is written, and turning the pages. Plus, books are much more portable than laptops (which I don't even have). Also, books will never need updated, 4.0 to 5.1 conversions.

    Give me a book! You keep your eye-straining reading materials.