Recently I read two books I rated 5 stars (or, in other words, “must-reads”): The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Both of them, in my mind, were page-turners in that I could not put them down and had to keep turning the pages to see what happened next, as in The Coasters’ song “And Then Along Came Jones.” And then? And then?
And then the concept of page-turners got me thinking about other page-turners I’ve read. Most of them, I can count on one hand, with the most prominent one being The Stand by Stephen King. I don’t know if I read it in one night, but I doubt it took me more than a couple of days. While I still don’t think King is the greatest writer in the world, I do think he possibly is its greatest storyteller. As I’ve mentioned here on this blog previously, when I read a King novel, I imagine I’m sitting by a campfire and hearing a person weave a tale for me. Suddenly, before I know it, I’m hooked.
Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of a classic book (by classic, I mean, at least 25 years old and most usually more than 100 years old) that I couldn’t put down once I started reading it, which got me to ask the question in the title of this post: Are “page-turners” always “pulp fiction”? So I put it to you, dear reader, are they? Can you name one or more classic books and by “classic,” using the definition I’ve given above, that you couldn’t put down after picking it/them up?