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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.