Tuesday, 25 October 2016

#2016ClassicsChallenge: The Canterville Ghost and Other Stories

Originally published individually in 1887.

My edition: the brand spanking new edition from Alma Classics.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
I don’t remember discovering Oscar Wilde – he’s another staple in English literature – but I first read him at university when I studied both The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest and loved them. These stories are pretty new to me; I knew they existed, but not what they were about!

WHY I Chose to Read It
Alma offered me a copy for review and it sounded like the perfect read for October. What could be better than ghost stories during Halloween month?

WHAT Makes It a Classic
Oscar Wilde is a legend. His explorations of aestheticism introduced the movement and his wit and cleverness is his trademark.

WHAT I Thought of This Classic
It’s been years since I read Wilde – not since studying him at university – so it was such a pleasure to come back to him. I’d forgotten how ridiculously good he is.

This collection features four stories: ‘The Canterville Ghost’, ‘Lord Arthur Saville’s Crimes’, ‘The Model Millionaire’ and ‘The Sphinx without a Secret’. I’d heard of the first two, but had no idea what they were actually about. I loved ‘The Canterville Ghost’ so, so much – it was my clear favourite of the four. I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny – I'd forgotten that about Wilde’s writing. Even the stories that weren’t as obviously funny, were definitely sprinkled with wit and sarcasm. It was so much fun to read and really blew out the cobwebs after a few DNFs and disappointing reads.

I really don’t want to say much about the stories themselves. Going into them blind was wonderful and as a book blogger, not something I get to do very often. I honestly recommend this collection to anyone wanting an introduction to Wilde or to classics as a whole – you can’t go wrong by starting here.  

I liked this short collection so much that I immediately ordered myself a complete collection of his short stories and I can't wait to dive back into Wilde’s writing again.

WILL It Stay a Classic
I can't see Wilde losing traction anytime soon. His body of work is too good across all formats (novel, plays, short stories) to lose its place on reading lists across schools and universities any time soon.

WHO I’d Recommend it To
- People wanting an easy, fun introduction to classics.
- Fans of short stories.
- Pretty much everyone, really.

Thanks to Alma for the review copy.


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