I don’t answer the Classics Club question every month but this month’s caught my eye when I saw the diversity of other members’ answers and I thought it’d be fun to share some thoughts.
Q: What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why? Or, if you prefer, what is your least favorite read so far for the club, and why?
Gossipy, centred around a moral dilemma and social relationships and filled with good cheer, it was the second Trollope book I’d ever read (the first was back when I was about 16) and once I got used to the pace it swept me up. I’m so delighted because I now have the other five books in this Barchester Chronicles series to read and enjoy.
If you like pace-driven reads or need the core of the story to be relevant and modern you probably won’t get much out of it. If you like thinking about ‘what if’, character growth and choose your own adventure style stories it’s very charming indeed. :)
Runner Up: Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
As for least favourite CC read? Well, it doesn’t take too much thinking about it. I am pretty much on my own here I think but it’s got to be:
I know, I know. You all love it. I am wrong, wrong, wrong to hate it. But oh my word, do I hate The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Freakish people, terrible dialogue, coincidence after coincidence and everything sacrificed to make Collins’ complex plot work.
To try and understand the author better I read a biography of Collins (he really wasn’t a very nice guy but I didn’t know that until I read the biography), read some interesting thoughts on gender in the book and hunted out and read many, many positive reviews. It’s charms still elude me.
Runner Up: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein