Isn’t there a book that you have read time and time again, so much so that it has already worn out and its pages are dog-eared (and probably stained)? As book lovers, we undoubtedly have our heavy favourites – books which we have gotten lost in on numerous occasions.
But there are some books that experts agree are the quintessential classics. These books have been popular with millions of readers from the time they were first published until the present. You may have read some of these books yourself and enjoyed the stories within them.
These books span decades of literary genius; what’s more, the authors of these books come from different countries and backgrounds. But one thing is for sure: They have delighted and inspired generations of readers and will continue to do so for generations to come.
The Iliad (Homer)
This epic poem is set in the Trojan War and speaks of the 10-year siege of Ilium and the trials and tribulations that followed. The Iliad tells of the many events and battles during this time, especially the quarrel between two main characters, the famous warrior Achilles and King Agamemnon. The Iliad was first published around 700 BC and continues to be a great favourite of many contemporary readers to this day.
Ulysses (James Joyce)
First published in 1922, this classic novel chronicles the events that occurred in the life of a man named Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin on the 16th of June, 1904. The book is an allusion to the famous Odyssey, written by Homer. The characters, such as Leopold Bloom, Molly Bloom, and Stephen Dedalus, are likened to Odysseus, Penelope, and Telemachus, respectively.
Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
The story of Don Quixote centres on Alonso Quixano, a country gentleman who lives in La Mancha. Quixano lives in the world of books of chivalry, and he gets so lost in this world that he believes every word in these books to be true. Eventually, the people who know him think that he has lost his senses because of being too engrossed in the literary adventures in his books.
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
Set in the era called the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby speaks about the easily gained prosperity in the 1920’s and the increased materialism of the main characters. Nike Carraway is a major character in this novel who characterises the idolatry given to material goods and riches and the loss of morality during this age.
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
This epic novel was first published in 1869, and it tells of the events that led to the invasion of Russia by Napoleon. War and Peace‘s main characters are five aristocratic Russian families who detail the Napoleonic era’s impact through their eyes.
There are many other classics that have stood the test of time, and these five are merely the tip of the iceberg. Book enthusiasts have been collecting these for decades, and lucky is the book lover who owns these books’ first editions – rare books that will truly be treasured and passed down from one generation to the next.