Classics That Are More Than School Reads

Erik Stelling ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Everyone has been tasked in high school with reading certain novels that are deemed “classic”. What follows is two months of reading with the class, you getting bored by the discussions, and just not liking any of the characters. However, there are some that are worth the hype. You could even say that you can read them for fun on your own and not just for school. Here’s some maybe worth checking out outside of a classroom.

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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)

This widely underrated gothic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson is a fun page turner from the first chapter. It’s only around 90 pages so it’s a quick read too. The story follows a lawyer named Utterson who follows his friend Dr. Jekyll as strange occurrences begin happening around London by a mysterious Mr. Hyde. Everyone probably already knows the twist, but it’s Stevenson’s writing that really creates this dark and mystifying world that is definitely worth checking out.

The Great Gatsby (1925)

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Everybody had a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby when everyone’s favorite heart throb Leonardo DiCaprio starred in the 2013 adaptation of the story directed by Baz Luhrmann. Fitzgerald’s story found a new audience to follow the tragic tale between the mysterious Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan. The deeper themes of the American Dream and what that green light means continues to intrigue new and old readers alike.

Moby Dick (1851)

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When first picking up Herman Melville’s epic Moby Dick, most people will probably put it back down citing that it’s too thick of a book. However, if given the chance you might just want to stay for the incredible ride Melville takes you on. The story follows Ishmael as he travels on the Pequod with a haunting Captain Ahab in search of this huge whale named Moby Dick. While action seems to be slight, it’s in the character development that readers really get a sense of who the characters are, and in turn root for them. It’s definitely a good summer read at the beach while looking out at the water.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

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It may be hard for some readers to ignore Disney’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s novel, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out. Fans of fantasy will be enamored by the narrative which follows a young girl, named Alice, falling down a rabbit hole into a land full of creatures. A place called Wonderland. Carroll’s use of imagery is what makes the world come to life and the characters he creates are still iconic today. It’s a story so many can enjoy if given the chance.

Frankenstein (1818)

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Mary Shelley’s gothic tale of a young scientist creating a monster out of human flesh has probably been read by most high school students. Every English class probably has countless copies waiting to be read. Most people probably didn’t like it because they didn’t understand it. Well, it’s time to give this story a reread and the respect it deserves. This is truly a story meant for reading when you’re a little older because the language is sometimes difficult to grasp. Now if only people would stop calling the creature “Frankenstein” everything would be alright.


These are just five classics worth diving into, but there are still so many that deserve to at least be mentioned. All these novels are deemed classic and have been widely popular through the decades. Now it’s time for us to read them all and find out why.

Honorable mentions:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger


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