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Tag: The Guardian

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

After a short break from reading, I’m thrilled to return to my Library series today and to one of the most compelling novels of all time. A perfect way to start reading again, thanks to its short yet intense burst of genius, A Clockwork Orange is an unparalleled masterpiece. A Clockwork Orange was the first, and to date only, novel I’ve read in a single sitting. I can’t remember why, but I was staying at my grandparents’ house for a…

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The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan

My first introduction to The Thirty-Nine Steps was through the 1935 Hitchcock thriller, The 39 Steps, starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. It’s one of my Dad’s favourite films and I remember the excitement of Richard Hannay escaping north from London, evading capture at the Forth Bridge and trekking across the Scottish landscape to meet the man with the missing fingertip. The book never interested me until I found the paperback when staying at my Grandparents’ house. I read the…

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

It seems strange that I have never read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland before, in fact I had always thought the title to be Alice in Wonderland as most films based on the novel are. The short book feels like a childhood memory, yet to my knowledge I have never read it before, or had it read to me. Like many, it’s the 1951 Disney film that means the most to me in the canon of Alice adaptations. Reading the original…

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Alongside The Big Sleep and Wuthering Heights, I was introduced to The Great Gatsby in high school. I wrote an essay about the themes of illusion and reality in both Gatsby and a novel called The Last Resort, which I thoroughly detested. Part of that may have been the incredibly disparity in my instant affection for the former and tedious acceptance of the latter. Since the first few pages, The Great Gatsby has captivated me like no other novel. It’s…

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The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

Much like my introduction to Tintin, I was first passed a copy of The Big Sleep by a favourite teacher. This time is was well into Secondary School, either GCSE or A Level years and it was my English teacher, Mr Dawson. Beyond my family, he was most responsible for both my love of reading and long-standing dream of writing my own stories. Following a class reading of The Adventure of the Speckled Band, which I’d read before and was…

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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is a novel so well-known that its name is often enough to evoke a sense of gothic nostalgia in readers. It’s a book that carries a certain weight, a sense of heaviness and density even before it’s read for the first time. So it was when I read the novel in school, I came to it prejudiced. We had posters on the classroom walls of film adaptations of famous books and the Wuthering Heights one seemed…

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Emma by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

The idea of reading Jane Austen tends to split readers into those who will read her over and over, and those, like me, who’ve never been interested. Since finishing the novel, I can redefine those two groups as those who will read her over and over and those who really should. One of the reasons I’m reading through many novels that I’ve never approached before is to create a library for my daughters to grow up with. Today, they’re two…

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