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Classical Genre Fiction

This short and sweet post will examine classical fiction through the eyes of genre. As I have no tolerance for snobbery, the point of this post is to celebrate exciting variations of fiction. Enjoy!

Note: I haven’t included comedy, a subjective genre. We all have different senses of humour- and I’d hate to recommend a book that only I find funny. I will, hopefully in the future, make a post about comedic books!

Children’s Fiction

Read: Peter and Wendy (also known as: Peter Pan)

Chances are, you are familiar with the classic Disney movie. However, Peter Pan started out as a book for children. It’s whimsical, escapist, deep and offers food for the soul and brain. Plus, Wendy is awesome and Hook is always fun.

Buy Peter Pan here

Fantasy

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett

As part of the Discworld series, Small Gods is an insightful look at religion, the world, adoration, worship and creation. It’s also funny, witty and insightful.

Buy Small Gods here

Horror

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

With dark, seductive imagery of a twisted carousel, Bradbury writes with flair, passion and delicious insight. As he looks at fantasy through the lenses of horror, Something Wicked This Way Comes is startling, and like the protagonists Jim and William- you too, will be filled with fear.

Buy Something Wicked This Way Comes here

Mystery & Crime

The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin

As we follow the detective Gervase Fen, we are puzzled and enthralled with the moving toyshop that is no longer there. Described by detective fiction writer P.D. James as one of the “most riveting crime novels” – The Moving Toyshop features a brilliant fusion of comedy and mystery.

Buy The Moving Toyshop here

Science Fiction

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

By far my favourite genre and I was spoiled for choice. So of course, I went with Arthur C. Clarke and his masterpiece ‘Childhood’s End.’ Focusing on a seemingly peaceful alien invasion, Clarke interrogates notions of culture and identity. Clarke writes with sharp analytical abilities, and poses an alarming scenario of alien invasion.

Buy Childhood’s End here

Romance

Possession by A.S Byatt

Few authors have the ability to incorporate poetry into novel prose without coming across as hacks. Byatt is one of them. She fuses genres such as mystery and historical fiction, and portrays a love story that grows in an authentic and interesting manner. Possession is an excellent book that celebrates literature and its capabilities. It’s an ode to the medieval and Victorian poets and wordsmiths like Jane Austen. Not only is it a highlight of the romance genre, but of fiction in general.

Buy Possession here

Western

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

The pages seem to be stained in blood, because McCarthy does not hide from the horror that unravels in the Western backdrop in Blood Meridian. Whilst deconstructive of ‘western genre’ cliches, it would be an error to McCarthy’s work not a western. Instead, through the epic scope, the evilness of the antagonist Judge Holden, the recurrent themes of justice, gnosticism and violence- Blood Meridian is the ultimate American epic that reminds us of the great potential the western genre wields. You will never forget this book.

Buy Blood Meridian here

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