Survey says: Classics can be “page-turners” too

Last week I posed the question: Are “page-turners” always “pulp fiction”? with my belief then that, for the most part, they were. Why I believed that is because 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. However, four of you responded with classics that you considered “page-turners.”

  1. The Wife: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
  2. Marie from The Boston Bibliophile: The Slave by Isaac Bashevis Singer, All The King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren and A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
  3. Brahm from Alfred Lives Here: Wuthering Heights by yet another Brontë, Emily and The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, including all the sequels.
  4. Bunk Strutts from Tacky Raccoons: A Night To Remember by Walter Lord, and two others, although they aren’t 25 years old, he decided “that the rule didn’t apply to these white-knuckle books about true events.” Those two are: Lost Moon by Jim Lovell, on which the movie Apollo 13 was based, and A Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, which also was made into a movie.

A fifth person, Quirkyloon, also responded, but didn’t seem to understand the question as she mentioned the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer:

And I was soooo annoyed with the main character Bella. I really didn’t like her, but yet I couldn’t stop reading until I knew the ending.

Weird, huh?

Um, yeah. Also weird that you didn’t read the question I posed last week ;-).

Out of those mentioned, I’ve read:

  1. All The King’s Men, which is one of my favorite books, but which I don’t consider a “page-turner,” because to me, it was one I really wanted to savor and didn’t want to devour.
  2. A Night To Remember, which I also enjoyed, but again I don’t consider a “page-turner,” because at a little over 200 pages in most editions, I think it’s too short. When I think of “page-turners,” as I mentioned last week, I think of mostly epics like The Stand by Stephen King.
  3. A Perfect Storm, which I absolutely would qualify as a “page-turner.” It reminds me of another nature “page-turner”: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

Since last week, I have thought of at least one classic that I considered a “page-turner”: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I don’t know what it was about the book, but I couldn’t put it down and enjoyed it immensely.

Extra of the day: A “rough draft” of this post in audio form (as done by me in the car, as you can hear by the wind in the background):

Apologies to Marie for slaughtering your online name. For correct pronunciation, visit Merriam-Webster.

So in light of the small group of you saying that classics can be “page-turners,” I will ask a different way this week:

What classics, including this time “modern” classics that you wouldn’t classify as “pulp fiction,” would you consider “page-turners”?

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13 responses to “Survey says: Classics can be “page-turners” too

  1. Pingback: In case you missed them, my top 10 posts…EVER! | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  2. Pingback: Looking back on my reading in the month of August (TSS) | an unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  3. I thought GONE WITH THE WIND was a bit of a page-turner, as was FAHRENHEIT 451, but generally I want to savor the classics.

    • My mother also mentioned Gone With The Wind when I posed the question to her. I always thought it looked like quite a hefty tome, but she said that it was “an easy read.” However, like you, I agree that I usually want to savor the classics too…and with many of them being tomes, it’s easy not to devour them and savor every morsel.

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird and Persuasion by Austen. 🙂

    • Hmmm. I don’t think I’ve ever read either one (I know, I know…especially on To Kill A Mockingbird). I know I’ve seen the movie of To Kill A Mockingbird, but don’t believe I’ve read it…for shame. 🙂

  5. Rambler, I can easily think of several page-turners in the spy genre that are considered modern classics:
    1) Marathon Man
    2) The Secret Agent
    3) The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

    Some others might include:
    4) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
    5) The Little Drummer Girl
    6) Gorky Park

    And that doesn’t even count a bunch of science ficiton books that might be thought of as classics.

    • This is Unfinished Person here. Unfinished Rambler can be found at other posts ;). Out of those, I’ve read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, but seen the movie The Marathon Man. The others, I’d like to read, especially Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Gorky Park, the latter which I recently saw referenced in another novel I read about Russian intrigue.

  6. Modern classics that are page turners; you know what my vote is:
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Its my literary equivalent of the Gideon Bible; I want to press copies of it into the hands of readers with a sincere expression and warmly encourage people to read it. Its Irving with none of the weird hangups of his first dozen or so novels; no bears, no Vienna, no incest, no untimely death of children.

    Read it, people. The power of The Wife compels you.

  7. beltwaybandit

    Very good question as I’ve been pretty much reading classics for the last two years. I’d have to say either The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

    • I’m slowly making my way through the Holmes collection and have no idea why I didn’t immediately think of his stories: absolutely page-turners. As for The Count of Monte Cristo, I won’t lie. I haven’t read it :(.

  8. Oooh, snap!

    hee hee

    My bad. Sorry.