Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
qpwoeiru

Novels to read before you die

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I really enjoyed Leonard Peikoff's Eight Great Plays Lectures. I bought all the plays, read them and listened to his 
analysis. In a similar fashion, I'd like to know what the gems of literature are. If you had to list 10 or so classic novels or authors that you would not want to go through life without having read, what would they be? (Excluding Ayn Rand because I'm already well-familiar with her books and I assume the people here are too)
 
I'm not necessarily looking for heroic, life-affirming books. If one book accurately portrays a man with bad philosophy or 
an author has a beautiful writing style regardless of his philosophy, I'm interested too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few you could check out:

  • Trustee from the Toolroom - Nevil Shute
  • Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin 
  • Captain Blood - Rafael Sabatini
  • The Deceivers - John Masters

You probably won't like them all, but I hope you'll enjoy a few of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foucault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco

Mason & Dixon - Thomas Pynchon

Ulysses - James Joyce

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman - Laurence Sterne

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Victor Hugo

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie

All the Jeeves novels (plus the short stories) of P.G. Wodehouse

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to echo some of the earlier choices, including Roger Ackroyd (though perhaps Mysterious Affair at Styles, first) and I think any/all of Hugo or Douglas Adams. I do wonder about the Good Doctor's selection of Ulysses, however; I've had surgeries I've enjoyed more. Well, at least he didn't drop Finnegans Wake on the thread, lol. :)

To this a few I would add include:

Any/all of Alexandre Dumas (if you're unwilling to invest into his longer novels, I found The Black Tulip to be quite charming).

Watership Down by Richard Adams.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

I, Claudius by Robert Graves.

Ivanhoe by Walter Scott.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'll second the motion for Heinlein's, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and having recently finishing Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame, I'll cast a vote for it. In addition, anyone interested in Objectivism ought to read the two great novels by George Orwell's, Animal Farm, and 1984.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/29/2017 at 9:26 PM, DonAthos said:

I'd like to echo some of the earlier choices, including Roger Ackroyd (though perhaps Mysterious Affair at Styles, first) and I think any/all of Hugo or Douglas Adams. I do wonder about the Good Doctor's selection of Ulysses, however; I've had surgeries I've enjoyed more. Well, at least he didn't drop Finnegans Wake on the thread, lol. :)

I agree Mysterious Affair at Styles ought to be read first (it being the first in the series), but Ackroyd is special.  And it shouldn't be spoiled for anyone who hasn't read it.  Please don't look it up on Wikipedia first, you only get one chance to read it the first time. 

I've never been able to get into Finnegans Wake.  Even with Joseph Campbell's book length analysis laid side-by-side. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ninth Doctor said:

...Ackroyd is special.  And it shouldn't be spoiled for anyone who hasn't read it.  Please don't look it up on Wikipedia first, you only get one chance to read it the first time. 

Absolutely.

1 hour ago, Ninth Doctor said:

I've never been able to get into Finnegans Wake.  Even with Joseph Campbell's book length analysis laid side-by-side. 

Heh, I didn't get into Wake either, but I did "read" it. By which I mean that I rolled my gaze over the words, one page a day, typically while sitting on the toilet (which I thought appropriate). I also read Campbell's exegesis alongside the thing, but, eh...

The best thing about Wake for me is that it became a party game for a few years, where I would open to a page at random and challenge one of my learned friends to make sense of any part of it.

Yeah, I'm great at parties. :mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2017 at 9:33 PM, qpwoeiru said:

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm starting with the hunchback of Notre Dame. 

When you're done pick up Rand's Art of Fiction.  She talks about Hunchback there.

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Fiction-Guide-Writers-Readers/dp/0452281547/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1501850514&sr=8-1&keywords=rand+art+of+fiction

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×