Classics you liked (or not)?

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Caoimhin » Tue May 04, 2010 2:01 pm

I think it was less that Nixon won the war but that he was willing to use Dr. Manhattan when no other president would. It would make citizen's wonder if another president would have the guts to use him, as well as the fact that Nixon is a dirty cheater when it comes to elections.
I doubt even Dr. Manahattan could have kept Nixon in the Presidency indefinitely. Also, Nixon was no more guilty of dirty election tactics than most other politicians of that era. He simply was a convenient whipping boy, thanks to the then-bad economy, the loss of the Vietnam War, and all the social agitation of the time. Remember the actual story featured a popular rebellion against superheroes-and it also showed how a group of superheroes didn't have the power to take over the police functions of a whole city (my favorite part of the story).
Only Dr. Manhattan had superpowers, I could also believe that if a man could manipulate all matter he would be a major political tool. But hey, thats just me. Quite frankly The Comedian was the only asshole of the bunch and they never actually tried to take over the police functions (infact a couple of them were originally cops) . As far as New York City is concerned it was used as an example, I'd imagine that the world, afraid that their own major cities would be targeted would attempt to cooperate. But remember, New York City is considered one of the most important cities of the world.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Bocaj Claw » Tue May 04, 2010 4:17 pm

Probably Watchmen spoilers both book and movie.



I think the idea is that the giant dead squid was supposed to imply an alien invasion which would unite the world through fear of giant aliens that can kill a city by dying. In the book, the squid let out a psychic wave when it died which killed much of New York. You'd need the world united to deal with that sort of thing. Likewise in the movie where the entity of doom that's going to doom the world is framed Dr. Manhattan with the worldwide explosions making it look like the doctor has turned against humanity. Again, the world unites for all the good it would do if Dr. Manhattan had turned genocidal.

Of course, in the book there's the lingering plot thread that the giant alien squid is actually based on genetically engineered human and examination of this might have turned that up. If Ozymandias, that top hat wearing bastard, hadn't kidnapped and killed most of the world's leading geneticists.
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Tom_Radigan » Tue May 04, 2010 5:12 pm

Threats and disasters can cause division too. Ask New Orleans.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby nickspoon » Tue May 04, 2010 8:56 pm

I really liked Brave New World, thought it was quite perceptive whilst also having a decent story to it. Watchmen I very much enjoyed too, the plot and the characters were both excellent and I wasn't annoyed by the bits which some people posit as unbelievable. As for Of Mice and Men, I could take it or leave it. It's a fairly good book and there are memorable bits, but it never seemed substantial enough.

I really enjoyed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Philip K. Dick), very well-written dystopian sci-fi. I found Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy) very dull, despite it being touted as his best work. The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favourite books ever.
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Tom_Radigan » Wed May 05, 2010 1:11 am

I did read The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy as a high school assignment, and found it readable but not outstanding.

And thanks for reminding me of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I read on my own. My then-college roommate interpreted it as a sort of morality play, though the introduction to the story suggested it was not quite that, as only a few of the bad things Dorian Gray had done were mentioned, while the story hinted that he was guilty of worse things that are never described. I saw it as a story of a man who dips his foot into evi and tries and fails to get himself disentangled.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Maggot Brain » Wed May 05, 2010 2:41 am

The Great Gatsby was one of those backs that everybody in school either loved or hated. I personally loved it. I liked the symbolic ambiguity.
Of Mice And Men was another one of my favorites. I can't really say why I liked it, I just thought it was entertaining.
1984, well....the plot was good, but like 70% of the pages are complete time-wasters.
The Catcher In The Rye is the single most overrated book ever written. It's good, don't get me wrong, but I think people who gush about it are full of shit.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Arloest » Wed May 05, 2010 4:30 am

It looks like all of you generally read the same kind of books I did in high school.

THE GOOD

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I'm not sure how classic this book actually is, but it was a pretty interesting and often creepy read that I liked a lot.

A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. At first I thought this book was pretty slow near the beginning, but it really picked up towards the latter half and the ending made me cry.

Of Mice and Men. I could relate to this book a lot, as I grew up with someone who was mentally challenged. A very tragic ending, but a necessary one. Had me hooked all the way through.

The Great Gatsby. Pretty much what everyone else said - just brilliantly written.

1984. I have to admit it wasn't as amazing as I thought it was going to be before reading, but it was still pretty good, albeit abused in political debates.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. For some reason I felt I really related to Jane, though I forget why in retrospect. Maybe Charlotte was just that good. Not to everyone's taste, but I thought it was really engaging and sweet at the end.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Sort of in the same vein as 1984, but shorter and, in my opinion, a little more engaging. I mean, I couldn't put that thing down during the chase scene.

Night by Elie Weisel. Again, I'm not sure how much of a classic this is. But I've read it twice, and it's really depressing and great.

Candide by Voltaire. Simply one of the best satires I've ever read.

The Bad

Great Expectations by Dickens. The first book I ever had to read in high school (at the beginning of 9th grade) and holy shit did I want to kill myself. Just really uninteresting characters on the whole that I didn't care about. And it went on for 430-odd pages, and had a really stupid sellout ending.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Wayyy too wordy all the way through. The story was lost along the way. I just gave up on this book completely when I arrived at this bit -
As the two wayfarers came within the precincts of the town, the children of the Puritans looked up from their play,--or what passed for play with those sombre little urchins,--and spake gravely one to another:--

"Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter; and of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!"


If kids really talked like that in the 17th century then I would have napalmed everything.

And The Meh

The Catcher in the Rye. It was okay, but nothing amazing, get over it you plebs.

Animal Farm by George Orwell. I thought the concept was amusing, but in the end I thought the metaphor was too obvious and the novelty wore off.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. This entire novel was sort of like a satire without any of the humor. In the end it was just depressing.

Anything By Shakespeare. I mean, I get why his plays are so highly regarded, but its sort of in the same sense that I get why the Beatles are so heavily respected. Just not the kind of thing I'd read on my own time.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Eh, I just don't like the south.


I'm sure I read more in high school but I don't remember which books anymore.

Edit: LOL Tom Sawyer didn't write Huck Finn, but wouldn't it have been cool if he did?
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Æron » Wed May 05, 2010 12:06 pm

Sheesh, I can barely remember very many of the classics I've read... Some that I can remember:

Liked:

Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck. -- A story that affected me deeply, tragedy that gives you twinges of sadness in the pit of your stomach.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Twain.

Disliked:

Jane Eyre, Brontë. -- Never caught my interest in the slightest.

Across Five Aprils, Hunt. -- Five years of planting potatoes. Oh, and something about a family being ripped apart by the US Civil War.
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Caoimhin » Wed May 05, 2010 6:15 pm

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Wayyy too wordy all the way through. The story was lost along the way. I just gave up on this book completely when I arrived at this bit -
As the two wayfarers came within the precincts of the town, the children of the Puritans looked up from their play,--or what passed for play with those sombre little urchins,--and spake gravely one to another:--

"Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter; and of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!"
I actually like The Scarlet Letter, the writing style was simply stylistic during the 19th century. I don't think you are supposed to take the language too seriously. Its almost a satire of Puritan uptightness, where even the children are formal.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby nickspoon » Wed May 05, 2010 8:55 pm

Speaking of Dickens, David Copperfield may just be the dullest book I have ever read. Ugh.

Shakespeare is not supposed to be read, as I see it. If you read the play, it's drab and empty, but watching it performed is a different matter (perhaps largely because it then makes much more sense). Shakespeare is quite crass, too; some scenes are like an Elizabethan Carry On film, because the audience would have been getting bored of all the talking. In any case, reading Shakespeare is boring, and in my opinion one should never read a play unless one intends to perform it.
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Maggot Brain » Wed May 05, 2010 9:37 pm

Catch 22 was alright. I think I might have been too young to fully appreciate it.

Cold Mountain was hailed as a "modern classic" (it came out in like '98). I read it and it was boring and none of the characters were at all interesting except the banjo player...and he dies after like two chapters!

The Grapes Of Wrath was a bit slow most of the time, but I thought it gave a good outlook on things.

Johnny Tremain...the only reason anybody would read this is to visualize the kid's hand getting all pants up. That was cool.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Cactus Jack » Wed May 05, 2010 11:29 pm

Speaking of Dickens, David Copperfield may just be the dullest book I have ever read. Ugh.

Shakespeare is not supposed to be read, as I see it. If you read the play, it's drab and empty, but watching it performed is a different matter (perhaps largely because it then makes much more sense). Shakespeare is quite crass, too; some scenes are like an Elizabethan Carry On film, because the audience would have been getting bored of all the talking. In any case, reading Shakespeare is boring, and in my opinion one should never read a play unless one intends to perform it.
That is true, I can't stand reading any of his plays but I enjoyed watching every one I saw.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Æron » Thu May 06, 2010 12:04 am

I agree on Shakespeare. The plays are very enjoyable to see in person. Reading a play is rather dry.

It's just like the difference between reading a movie script or seeing the movie.
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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Tom_Radigan » Thu May 06, 2010 12:27 am

Going to the subject of movies, I remember seeing many years ago a glowing review of the movie Being There, which got other critical praise. Years later I got a videotape of it from the local library, and watched it with my mom and aunt. We hated it, mainly because the whole thing was contrived and none of us could get the point of it. The fact that nobody seemed to see through the protagonist after all that time just seemed too hokey.

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Re: Classics you liked (or not)?

Postby Comrade K » Thu May 06, 2010 2:20 am

Shakespeare is not supposed to be read, as I see it. If you read the play, it's drab and empty, but watching it performed is a different matter (perhaps largely because it then makes much more sense). Shakespeare is quite crass, too; some scenes are like an Elizabethan Carry On film, because the audience would have been getting bored of all the talking. In any case, reading Shakespeare is boring, and in my opinion one should never read a play unless one intends to perform it.
This is my opinion on Shakespeare as well.
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