This is a list of challenging books that I have chosen to read. It is a struggle to read them because they have complicated plots. In addition, the language can be tough as well.
- Les Misérables- Victor Hugo
- Don Quixote- Miguel De Cervantes
- Tale of Two Cities- Charles Dickens
The trick with “Les Misérables” is that it is such a brick. I read the unabridged book last summer and it is over one thousand pages. It drove me nuts when Hugo would start giving you history lessons, which would drift away from the plot. Later you would understand why he writes like that. Those sections helped me understand why France was suffering due to the aftermath of the French Revolution. I used my strong knowledge of the musical to understand the book. Some of the characterizations are different, but I found nothing wrong with that. If it wasn’t for the musical, I do not think I would have wanted to read this inspirational classic book.
When I read “Tale of Two Cities”, I was so confused by the plot. It takes place in London and France in the midst of revolution. It was hard to know whether or not I was in London or France. But once the French Revolution entered the storyline, it was easier to tell. It is about three hundred to four hundred pages, but felt like eight hundred. I decided to read this book because of my interest of the French Revolution due to “Les Mis”. Yes, the musical does not take place during the Revolution, but is closely related.
As of right now, I am reading “Don Quixote”.The book is such an enjoyable read. I have loved getting to know Don Quixote because he is tragicomic. I understand that comic and tragic elements usually come together intertwined in the same plot. They usually do not appear as one character. Don Quixote is a foolish, crazy, delusional, madman who thinks that he is a knight errant. He wants to right all wrongs, but sometimes he is unaware of the damage his actions can cause. His tragic flaws are the same things that make him comic. Miguel de Cervantes makes it hard to read sometimes due to the language. Sometimes he confuses you by having a character tell their story or has a character read a book out loud. It mixes up reality because it can be hard to tell when he gets back to Don Quixote. I think he wants to get you confused with reality to help you understand Don Quixote.