Ten Classics in One Sentence.

  1. Nineteen Eighty-Four

How to take out your sexual frustrations: try to start a communist revolution – The proles are the future!

  1. Pride and Prejudice

I thought he was awful but it turns out he’s okay, now we’re married.

  1. The Great Gatsby

That long-lost love should’ve stayed lost.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird

Racism is bad (who’s the creepy white dude Boo?) and don’t be prejudice because that’s bad too.

  1. Wuthering Heights

She’s dead but I still love her more than you oh shit was that her ghost just now?

  1. Jane Eyre

I’ll marry you if you don’t tell anyone about my pyro wife living in the attic.

  1. Moby Dick

This book is so long sometimes they print it with bible paper.

  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

A world where children scam other children to win a bible competition.

  1. The Catcher in the Rye

Growing up is hard okay…

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

…so I’m gonna drink tea and get high, bye y’all!

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Book Review: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón 

Goodreads: 5 Starts.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón wrote a dark and shadowy Barcelona, ‘dark’ is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Barcelona but in this book the theme of ‘shadows’ and mystery is a device used to create a modern Gothic narrative. On my copy of the book, this novel is described as a ‘Thriller.’ Which it might beWhat it is, in fact, is a fusion of humour, the Gothic/ horror, and according to Zafón himself a “feel-good novel.” Which it is, including the above mentioned things, this really did makes one feel good, after making them feel all sorts of awful it circles back to a whole lot of good.

I devoured all 500+ pages in a matter of days. I’m a slow reader but by abandoning all my responsibilities, showering less, and taking the book with me to the bathroom; I was done reading in less than a week. And I regret nothing! Except that I didn’t read it sooner, thinking it was just another generic work of popular fiction. And someone may disagree, although I don’t know of many who would, but this is anything but generic.

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When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head

“Gilbert prided himself on being an unusually well-informed man. No doubt the sun did too. No doubt the sun knew why the clouds formed and why the wind blew and why the lizards basked in its warmth, and all this immense knowledge made the sun gay and bright, full of trust and affection for mankind. But there were shut-away worlds, full of mistrust and hate, and it was about this side that Makhaya was particularly well informed.” (p. 89)

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Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie 

“How [do you] explain to the earth that it was more functional as a vegetable patch than a flower garden, just as factories were more functional than schools and boys were more functional as weapons than as humans.”
Kamila Shamsie, Burnt Shadows

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The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi 

In all its optimism of the 90’s this story speaks in favour of hybridity and fluidity of identity. To not allow ourselves or others to put us in boxes of race, class or gender; to just be anything you want at any given moment and not be constrained or expect such things of others. But here, the characters only find this freedom in drugs and alcohol. The most intoxicated are the most liberated because they are too mentally disengaged from societal structures to participate in dogma or obligations.

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Dog Boy by Eva Hornung

I usually don’t like to read books that simply by their title suggest there will be tears but this text takes a well known subject and turns it into an original piece of literature. Based on the real story of Ivan Mishukov, the narrative follows little Romochka and his pack around Moscow as they learn to provide for their little family.

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A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Note: when referencing the book i use the following text.

This is a short but powerful read. Toni Morrison, in her attempt to write outside the stereotypes of her race (as she explains in her essay ‘Home’ in ‘The House that Race Built’), she puts together a narrative that is both fictional and historical with a unique perspective on slavery. In just 176 pages she covers a wide scope that punches quite a kick.

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