Great Novels: The world’s most remarkable fiction explored and explained from DK

A book that was bound to catch my eye in the library. I love books like this and I love them even more if they have modern classics as well as older classics. There were even some books that I have read.

  • Pre-1800
  • 1800-1872
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • 1870-1920
  • Tess of the d’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • 1920-1950
  • Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • 1950-1980
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • 1980-present
  • The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  • Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Each book has at least a double page spread, sometimes showing the front cover of the first edition, a picture of the author, summary of the book, a quote and then other information that adds context. In the case of Half of a Yellow Sun there is a description of symbolism of the national flag, half a yellow sun, the civil war and the starvation described as the struggle to survive. It’s quite simple and if you have discussed the book at book club, My Brilliant Friend, you will have moved considerably further than this book.

It’s beautiful but the content is a little disappointing. I think it might be a book for those people who want to talk about books that are important but don’t want to spend the time reading it.

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