I am super excited to be blogging about books for the IGGPPC. My blogs are going to focus solely on non-YA so that we can help cover as many different books as possible for all of our lovely Iggles.
My name for the series is based on a quote from the Game of Thrones character, Jojen Reed, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
I have a ton of books listed out that I’d like to review for you, but I am also going to read several for my 2015 reading challenge. I decided to start out with a review of four of my favorite cult classics that you might just enjoy in 2015.
Here are some of my favorites:
1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
When Anthony Burgess wrote this, he sets it just enough in the future to be “futuristic” but close enough to be disturbing for readers in the 1960s (and even to readers in 2015). It follows the young (14 years old!) Alex and his three droogs as they terrorize a British town. It tells the story from his vantage point and is broken up into three parts with seven chapters each, and is relatively easy to read.
I really enjoyed this book because of several different things; the first being the language. Burgess made up a language for the story called Nadsat, which is a combination of gibberish and Russian. He also does an excellent job of creating a character that you both love and hate. He weaves together a very troubling world filled with violence at night and a police force that doesn’t do much unless the sun is up. In fact, you eventually learn where many police officers come from in this futuristic world, and it is quite a bit troubling.
Trivia: Anthony Burgess was beyond upset that this was his most famous book. He felt it shouldn’t have been and had several others he deemed more worthy. The Rolling Stones bought the rights to the book for $500 with the intention of the band playing the droogs with Mic Jagger being Alex. (Apparently the Beatles were going to provide the soundtrack too.) However, the Rolling Stones decided to sell the rights to someone else (*ahem* Kubrick) for a significantly higher sum. I can’t help but wish that Burgess saw some of that money, but I highly doubt he did.
2. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
If you don’t know much about Fight Club, it is a story about the main character who works at a boring job who just lives a boring life. Until, of course, he meets Tyler Durden. That’s when things get interesting and lead to a fight club and several other interesting, fat stealing adventures.
I read the book after I saw the movie, but it was great. I usually read a book and then watch the adaptation, but that didn’t happen this time. Anyways, while reading, I really felt like I could see and hear the film because it is almost word for word – pretty awesome! I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It has a great storyline, and I was immediately transported into this world and the mind of the protagonist. I want to re-read it at some point, and that usually says a lot about a book. If I don’t want to re-read it, it might not be that interesting.
Trivia: Apparently Chuck Palahniuk said that he thought the film was an improvement off of his novel. If that’s true, that is definitely a rare thing to hear from an author after seeing an adaptation of their novel.
3. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
I’m a bit back and forth on whether or not this is a cult classic. On one hand, it isn’t because it is definitely a classic story. On the other hand, not many people have read it, and those that do have strong feelings about it. I read this in my world literature course during college, and I was one of the few who really liked it. It is unsettling and at one point had me cringing.
The story starts with the main character transforming into something creepy-crawly (it’s 100 years old this year, should I be worried about spoilers?) and goes from there. We see how people interact with Gregor, how he interacts with the world, and it opens up a lot of questions about society and ourselves. It is a great read, and I think it is a story everyone should read. I really enjoyed it and fully plan on re-reading it soon.
Trivia: Kafka never tells anyone what causes the transformation, which has led to countless people guessing. I wonder if he did that on purpose? If you’ve read the book, do you have any theories?
4. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
When you see “cult classic” you most likely think of Vonnegut. I’ve noticed countless people considering his works to be cult classics, so I would be the worst person if I left him off the list. I’m including a work that most of us have read at some point, but there are quite a few who haven’t.
We meet a young World War II soldier who, along with his comrades, gets captured by German forces. We meet several different characters, and eventually the main character becomes “unstuck” in time. Because of this, we get to see several different times in his life, which is pretty interesting! The central part to the story is that of the Dresden firebombing in 1945, and eventually Billy (the main dude) makes it back to the USA.
Trivia: One of the main reasons people feel that Vonnegut uses the Dresden bombing as a central point is because he, himself, happened to witness it.
Well, there you have it! I am really excited to be doing this series and I look forward to reading some excellent books and reviewing them all for you. Are there any books you think I should read and/or review? Let me know!
Ps. Here is a fun little playlist to listen to while reading these great cult classics. I got this nifty idea from Shelby Dosser. Thanks!