Classic book recommendations

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  • boo 9 Jul 2010 11:57:21 11,935 posts
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    Being a bit of a skinflint, and having a couple of hours to kill each day, commuting, I read a lot. Usually I've got a stack of books from the '3 for 2' sale, but the costs still mount up.

    (Yes, I know I could go to the library.)

    As the proud owner of a lovely ipad, and having the iBooks app and the Kindle Reader app, I'm aware that there's a shed load of free books available, most of which are quite old.

    I've just downloaded 'Master Of The World' by Jules Verne, but I'd appreciate any other recommendations of good, old stuff that I can pick up free and for gratis.

    I like sci-fi / mysteries, that sort of thing. Might see if the Sherlock Holmes stuff is free.

    Any other suggestions from you well-read people?

    Just Another Lego Blog

  • Deleted user 9 July 2010 12:02:50
    Sherlock Homes, The Lost World are all on there.
  • otto Moderator 9 Jul 2010 12:03:16 49,335 posts
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    You cheeky monkey, didn't you do exactly the same thread last year? :D

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • MetalDog 9 Jul 2010 12:04:23 23,920 posts
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    You paid for an ipad and now you're quibbling over the cost of books? =)

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is good.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • Dougs 9 Jul 2010 12:04:39 69,496 posts
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    Project Gutenberg rocks.
  • Fab4 9 Jul 2010 12:05:06 6,216 posts
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    Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  • Tricky 9 Jul 2010 12:06:16 4,485 posts
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    CrispyXUK64 wrote:
    Sherlock Homes, The Lost World are all on there.

    ^ This.

    Sherlock Holmes is always superb and they were the first thing I got on iBooks :-)
  • Deleted user 9 July 2010 12:06:36
    Hemingway, Graham Greene and Kingsley Amis are my favourite classic writers.
  • otto Moderator 9 Jul 2010 12:07:35 49,335 posts
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    Anyway, some free classics I have on my iPod Touch and which might appeal to you are:

    Tom Jones
    Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
    Pride & Prejudice
    Raymond Chandler
    EM Forster
    Kim
    Vanity Fair
    War & Peace
    Anna Karenina
    tons of Wodehouse

    If we then move on to, ahem, stuff which can be easily found but which might not be 100% in the public domain, then frankly you're laughing.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • HarryPalmer 9 Jul 2010 12:08:16 3,584 posts
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    Dracula

    oh and if Chandler's free, go for it, amazing writer.
  • Deleted user 9 July 2010 12:09:09
    Never finished Dracula, I always found it's structure difficult to stick with.
  • DrR0b3rts 9 Jul 2010 12:10:08 469 posts
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    G.K Chesterton 'The Man Who Was Thursday'. Brilliant mystery/fantasy/surreal.
  • Alastair 9 Jul 2010 12:10:09 16,405 posts
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    Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

    Not mysteries, but still great:
    The Odyssy (sp?)
    Argonautica


    Also, what Metaldog said - classic books are dirt cheap anyway. Like about 2 quid.
  • Dougs 9 Jul 2010 12:11:01 69,496 posts
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    Check out Dumas (Count of Monte Cristo, Man in the Iron Mask, 3 Muskateers) too.
  • glaeken 9 Jul 2010 12:11:02 11,265 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is good.

    Do you know which version you read? Just I read a full and complete version recently and while I did enjoy it Verne kept listing things seen outside the Nautilus window which amount to lists of latin fish names that sometimes went on for over a page. It became really tedious reading lists of names of things when I have no idea what any of them were. I just wondered if these bits were normally cut out of the book and only in the full version I read. It just seemed like exactly the sort of thing that would be edited out by any good editor.

  • LockeTribal 9 Jul 2010 12:11:34 4,539 posts
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    I would say Don Quixote as it's the first example of a modern novel, but it's very difficult to read in my experience. I just about managed to get through the first book, and didn't even look at the second.
  • nakedlunch 9 Jul 2010 12:14:31 23 posts
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    If they have it, I heartily recommend 'The Good Soldier Svejk' by Hasek. For anyone who enjoyed Catch 22, this is every bit as funny and savage in its critique of war. One of those books you read then want to tell everyone about!
  • glaeken 9 Jul 2010 12:22:32 11,265 posts
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    I would recomend War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. I only actually read this for the first time recently and I still think its stands up very well. It's actually fasinating to me that at the time it was written they had little idea of what might be out there in our solar system so the idea of invaders from Mars was looked on as sort of plausible.
  • MetalDog 9 Jul 2010 12:29:09 23,920 posts
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    glaeken wrote:
    MetalDog wrote:

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is good.

    Do you know which version you read? Just I read a full and complete version recently and while I did enjoy it Verne kept listing things seen outside the Nautilus window which amount to lists of latin fish names that sometimes went on for over a page. It became really tedious reading lists of names of things when I have no idea what any of them were. I just wondered if these bits were normally cut out of the book and only in the full version I read. It just seemed like exactly the sort of thing that would be edited out by any good editor.


    Just skip the boring bits, man.

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • glaeken 9 Jul 2010 12:33:27 11,265 posts
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    Well I did in the end but I hate doing that. I don't think you can critique something if you skipped sections of it. I just wonder if the extensive lists were in all versions as it was the biggest flaw in the book.
  • MetalDog 9 Jul 2010 12:44:57 23,920 posts
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    A lot of old stuff is like that. Writing fashions change, that's all. I decided years ago that life was too short to drag myself through pages of boring when I could just flip ahead to the next interesting bit =)

    -- boobs do nothing for me, I want moustaches and chest hair.

  • comradetony 9 Jul 2010 12:45:50 200 posts
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    War and Peace is a great book. Not as hard to digest as I thought it would be! Had to read it for uni, now I've read it a few times for fun. It's almost an instruction manual in how to be both a working class and rich Russian.

    ...Coz you know, it's an important life skill ;-)
  • Deleted user 9 July 2010 12:47:53
    I would get Dracula and Frankenstein down you. Both brilliant.
  • Deleted user 9 July 2010 12:47:54
    If you're going to read Russian Classics it's worth making sure it's a good translation. There are some really shitty ones about that completely ruin what are generally very readable novels.
  • RyanDS 9 Jul 2010 12:51:21 9,833 posts
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    HP Lovecraft
  • Tricky 9 Jul 2010 12:54:50 4,485 posts
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    HarryPalmer wrote:
    oh and if Chandler's free, go for it, amazing writer.

    God, I wish. Always keep meaning to get all of his books to have permanently but then I look at the price that bookshops still charge for his work. They can feck right off.
  • Trowel 9 Jul 2010 12:59:17 18,054 posts
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    An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
  • Dougs 9 Jul 2010 13:00:33 69,496 posts
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    Another 25 years before Chandler's works are up for grabs
  • Dirtbox 9 Jul 2010 13:00:53 79,191 posts
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    Edgar Allen Poe. Pretty much all his shorts.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • Alastair 9 Jul 2010 13:19:31 16,405 posts
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    MetalDog wrote:
    Just skip the boring bits, man.

    Like the elf songs in Lord of the Rings.
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