Welcome to the Killer Lit Blog - a place to participate in our Classic Literature book club, please do suggest books for our reading list, and join in with reviews and discussions about the books on the list.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Pencey Prepsters

I love how much people get inspired by the Catcher in the Rye.

If you really want to you can buy your very own Pencey Prep sweaters

I even saw a pair of customised shoes

never growing older, never growing wiser

Deeply enjoying the pace and prose of David Copperfield, this is a favourite....

To live among the trees, never growing older, never growing wiser, children ever, rambling hand in hand through sunshine and among flowery meadows, laying down our heads on moss at night.

Such beautiful imagery, so richly evocative.

Monday, 13 February 2012


I am enjoying Dickens's David Copperfield so much more than expected it's witty, beautiful & moving 

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The list hits 95 titles

Thanks to the many wonderful suggestions I have received for the book list, it is now at 95 books!

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Jamaica Inn – Daphne Du Maurier
Iliad – Homer
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
1984 – George Orwell
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Lord Of The Flies  - William Golding
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Tess of The D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  - Philip K. Dick
Murders In The Rue Morgue – Edgar Allen Poe
Middlemarch – George Elliot
The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Bleak House – Charles Dickens
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
The Time Machine – HG Wells
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Foundation – Isaac Asimov
Ulysses – James Joyce
Paradise Lost – Milton
The Pearl – John Steinbeck
Twenty thousand Leagues Under The Sea – Jules Verne
I Claudius – Robert Graves
The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler
East Of Eden - John Steinbeck
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
Odyssey – Homer
Midnight's Children – Salman Rushdie
Diceman - George Cockcroft
To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis de Berniéres
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
Lord Of The Rings – JRR Tolkien
Cat’s Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
Neuromancer – William Gibson
A Perfect Spy – John Le Carré
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
100 Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man – James Joyce   
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
The Sound and The Fury – William Faulkner
Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
The Wings Of The Dove – Henry James
A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh
As I Lay Dying- William Faulkner
The French Lieutentant’s Woman – John Fowles
Howards End – EM Forster
Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
The Call of the Wild – Jack London
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
Naked Lunch – William S Burroughs
The Magus – John Fowles
Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon
A Town Like Alice – Neville Shute
Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Dafoe
Dangerous Liaisons - Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
Emma – Jane Austen
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorn
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Hucklebury Finn – Mark Twain
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
Nostromo - Joseph Conrad
In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Pursuit Of Love - Nancy Mitford
Lucky Jim - Kingsley Amis
Waiting for the Barbarians - J.M. Coetzee
Money - Martin Amis

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

200th Birthday Celebrations

Today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens.  This morning I finished reading The Catcher In The Rye, and instead of rolling a dice or sticking a pin into the list to choose the next book I decided to read the first Dickens book on the list I that came across, to honour his birthday.

And the first book I discovered as I perused the list was David Copperfield, so the decision has been made, this is the next book for me to explore and discover on my voyage through the greatest literature in the canon.

Hugely admired by Tolstoy, David Copperfield is the novel that draws most closely from Charles Dickens's own life. Its eponymous hero, orphaned as a boy, grows up to discover love and happiness, heartbreak and sorrow amid a cast of eccentrics, innocents, and villains. 

Praising Dickens's power of invention, Somerset Maugham wrote: "There were never such people as the Micawbers, Peggotty and Barkis, Traddles, Betsey Trotwood and Mr. Dick, Uriah Heep and his mother. They are fantastic inventions of Dickens's exultant imagination...you can never quite forget them."

"The most perfect of all the Dickens novels."
--Virginia Woolf

Monday, 6 February 2012

Fan fiction

I read this interesting thing about the Catcher in The Rye recently. 

In 2009 author J D Salinger successfully sued to stop the U.S. publication of a novel that presents Holden Caulfield as an old man.

The novel's author, Fredrik Colting, commented, "call me an ignorant Swede, but the last thing I thought possible in the U.S. was that you banned books." 

The issue is complicated by the nature of Colting's book, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, which has been compared to fan fictionAlthough commonly not authorized by writers, no legal action is usually taken against fan fiction since it is rarely published commercially and thus involves no profit. Colting, however, has published his book commercially. Unauthorized fan fiction on The Catcher in the Rye existed on the Internet for years without any legal action taken by Salinger before his death.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Next up!

So this morning I finished Orwell's 1984, but today is a quiet day, so rather than rest on my laurels, I  have rolled the dice and come up with J D Salinger's 'The Catcher In The Rye' for my next classic read from the list

I will start it this afternoon, I have not read it before so have no idea what to expect, although I feel I know a lot about it already as it is such an infamous novel.