The Classics Club 2019-2024: 2nd list recap

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The Classics Club
September 7, 2019 – September 7, 2024

You read it right: I had five years to read my 2nd list of 50 titles for The Classics Club.
But I actually managed to read/listen to them between September 2019 and November 2020!
See my 2nd list here. As usual, 34 titles were added to my original list!
And my first list here.
Alas, I’m so so far behind as for reviews.

📚 Here is a little recap:

Besides Bible books, the oldest title was published in 1824:
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe
And the most recent in 1953:
Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

📚 Genre:

  • 2 scifi
  • 3 nonfiction
  • 4 fiction
  • 15 Bible
  • 22 mysteries

Both scifi were super disappointing.
In nonfiction, my favorite was

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

In  fiction, I so loved

Parnassus on Wheels

In mystery, this one was a big revelation:

The Lodger

I read the first 9 Maigret mysteries by Georges Simenon.
I really liked the ambiance, as explained for instance in this post.

And I’m really thrilled by my current project or listening to all of Hercule Poirot, as the first story with him was published one hundred years ago.
I enjoy this experience as much I enjoyed listening to all of Sherlock Holmes in 2017. I am more and more discovering all the intricacies of the main character.
And Agatha Christie’s plots are so genially put together, with not two alike, even if several are the type of closed room mystery.

So far, I have listened to 8 and read 1, which is actually a play!
Most of these were narrated by the amazing Hugh Fraser. I did watch the BBc series, so it’s really neat to find his voice again. He is so so good at doing all kinds of different characters.
And a couple were with David Suchet, who’s really dedicated all his life to Hercule Poirot.

As I haven’t written any review of these, I’d like to share here something I have discovered, thanks to the audio format. It never struck me when I was reading them (I did read a few Hercule Poirot books in the past).
We all know Hercule is a francophone Belgian, and his English is not perfect.
When you read/hear him, you may notice some awkward phrases and think, well, he’s not a native English speaker and not think more about it.
But there’s actually more to the story. I realized that his mistakes are based on French constructions. The latest most obvious example I encountered is in Lord Edgware Dies. At one point, Hercule tells Captain Hastings, “You mock yourself at me.”
In French, the verb ‘to mock’ is indeed not a transitive verb, but a pronominal verb (se moquer de), so to say: you mock me, we do literally say “you mock yourself at me” (vous vous moquez de moi).
There are many similar examples like this in all the Hercule Poirot stories I have listened to so far, which shows that either Agatha Christie was fluent in French, or she did extensive research to make Hercule very real. Her family spent a year in France, that probably helped, though I don’t know how old she was then. I so need to read her biography!

📚 Format:

  • 18 print
  • 32 audio

📚 Authors:

  • 5 by a Japanese author
  • 6 by an American author
  • 10 by a French author

Club hashtags on Twitter:

DID YOU LIKE THE BOOKS HIGHLIGHTED 
IN THIS POST?

COME BACK TOMORROW
TO DISCOVER MY NEWEST LIST!

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15 thoughts on “The Classics Club 2019-2024: 2nd list recap

  1. I loved Agatha Christie in high school and the Poirot mysteries were my hands down favorites. I recall reading Lord Edgware Dies but not much about the plot. In a cleaning frenzy one day, I decided to rid my shelves of all of Christie’s books then later wished I’d at least saved a few for my kids. Oh well. Thanks for your post. Your rate of book consumption is awe-inspiring.

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  2. That’s funny, I’m currently re-reading all of Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle ! I listened to a couple of audiobooks narrated by Hugh Fraser and he’s awfully good, especially when he imitates Poirot/Suchet’s voice 🙂 I also read Stevenson’s travels in the Cévennes years ago and loved it. Ah, classics are so good !

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  3. How interesting. I’m just reading the Poirot short stories. I love that you listen to them and that Hugh Fraser narrates the stories. I agree, he is such a good choice for that.

    And yes, I have noticed in the tv series (which we’ve watched back and forth about a hundred times) that Poirot’s mistakes are French based. I love David Suchet in that role, it’s almost weird seeing him as somebody else.

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  4. Pingback: 2020: November wrap-up | Words And Peace

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