This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about books that exceeded or did not quite meet expectations. I feel like I’ve read quite a few of those, especially recently, so here goes!
1. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
A surprisingly good read (but don’t forget the tissues).
2. The Club of Queer Trades – G. K. Chesterton
This book is a hilarious Sherlock Holmes parody. I enjoyed it more than I would have thought. 😉
3. Shirley – Charlotte Brontë
Though it’s been a while since I read this, I just remember finding it a lot better than I anticipated. It’s a great historical fiction set in the Regency era, and the romance is completely Brontë. Any Brontë fans who have not read this one should really give it a try.
4. Dracula – Bram Stoker
This is one of my favorite Victorian novels now. It has a few flaws, but overall I was really swept up in the story and characters, beyond my expectations.
5. Under Western Eyes – Joseph Conrad
I don’t think I had any particular hopes for this novel, yet I found in it an emotional epic in the vein of Russian authors (Conrad was Polish). Razumov, the main character, is one you’re not likely to forget. Should be considered one of Conrad’s masterpieces.
Oh dear, this is the book that makes you wonder if the speculations are true – that maybe Lee didn’t want it published. Regardless, I was very disappointed.
I know exactly what you mean about The Picture of Dorian Gray. I hated that book through the first half of it but when I finished it, I loved it! Glad to hear Shirley is good because it's on my Classics Club list. Yet I did love Beowulf in that it's one of my top favourites. I was able to first do an in-depth read of it in university, so I was helped along to appreciate it. I hope you give it another chance one day. I have a detailed read-along on my blog to help you out if you ever need it. 🙂
Thanks, Cleo, I'll have to check your read-along out! It could be the translation just didn't \”click\” for me (that has happened a few times :)).
I was only in college when I read Seven Gables, and I had no idea how to enjoy literature. So I hated it so much that I don't know if I can even give it a second chance.And I felt the same way about Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde. I started Wuthering Heights some years ago, but couldn't get into it; however, I am going to attempt it again later this year.
Seven Gables was a book I read for college, too. I think it would have made a great short story, but as a novel it's a bit tedious.