Monday, March 23, 2015

Annual Chunkster Classic 2015

First, let me establish two facts. One, I like big books, commonly called chunksters. Second, I actually enjoy classics (well, most of them). And so, a few years ago, a new tradition was born. Les Miserables advertised for release in December of 2012. My mom, assuming I had read it I'm sure, wanted to see the movie with me. Now, I have an absolute rule of not watching any movie whose book I may be interested in. Being a chunkster and a classic, I was interested. I had never seen the musical performed, didn't know much about the story actually, yet understood it as a hugely popular piece of literature. So, of course I set out to read Les Mis in November of 2012, before the movie came out.

Up top, a few uses: dog pillow and as a third wheel.
Bottom: seeing the musical in Pittsburgh.
It ended up being a Les Mis marathon. Not only did I read the unabridged version of the book (1400+ pages), but I also wrote a post, saw the movie twice, and attended a performance of the musical in Pittsburgh, all in a matter of a couple months. I even ended up with a small collection of photos I dubbed "The Many Uses of Les Mis," because funny things kept happening in the month I carried the book around. Like my dog using my fat mass market copy as a pillow.

Just a month previous to the Les Mis release in December 2012, Anna Karenina had come out as a rather artistically creative movie mixed with theatrical elements. I read AK in 2007, so a reread was in order. Plus a close book friend wanted to reread and watch, and I had a new translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky to try out. So AK became my project in February 2013. Wrote a post, watched the movie, and a tradition was born. 

Since then I've read The Count of Monte Cristo in July of 2013 and Crime and Punishment in July of 2014. (Notice, I got smart and started reading them in the summer, where work wouldn't interfere.) I enjoyed both stories, especially The Count of Monte Cristo, as our culture alludes to it often. But the movie? Blah, if you've read the book.

And this year? I've been wondering which Chunkster Classic to read for 2015. It just so happens that May 1, 2015 has been set as the opening day for the movie Far From the Madding Crowd, which is a classic by Thomas Hardy, published in 1874. Do I want to see it? Yes. So I have to read it. Do I have a copy? Now that's a dumb question.

Readers! Are you a fan of chunskters or Classics...or Classics that are chunksters? Of which classic read are you most proud?

21 comments:

  1. I'm definitely a fan of chunkster classics. I have not read War and Peace nor Les Mis but I hope to. I have read Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment.

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    1. War and Peace - the day I get anywhere near it or through it I will feel like I have arrived!

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  2. I used to love reading thick books when I was younger, like Inkheart and Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. My favourite classic is Jane Eyre but I am currently reading Anna Karenina.

    Love Kiran x
    http://asmallwritersdream.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Hi! Anna Karenina is my favorite book ever! I hope you enjoy it! :)

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    2. Cool! I will have to stop by and check it out!

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  3. I do like chunkster classics but sometimes I find it hard to gear up for the concentrated bouts of attention they take. I intend to read Anna Karenina this year.

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    1. Definitely. I wait until a title has been on my mind for awhile before I pick it up. If it's been stewing in my head, it gives me more momentum to read through quickly (or more so than usual anyway).

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  4. UGH. You KNOW I just finished reading a classic chunkster and I just do not know if I have it in me to read another one. But I share your affliction of needing to read the book before the movie and I really want to see this.

    Also? Thomas Hardy!? I tried to read Tess of the D'Urbervilles and it just did not work for me.

    I'm so conflicted. You are not helping Jennine! :P

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    1. Hahaha! Revenge for the pile of Outlanders I have waiting for me! Just kidding! I read Jude the Obscure, also Hardy, and was not a fan. So we'll see. But I'll probably wait til June and see the movie on DVD.

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  5. I do love chunksters and I do love classics too. It used to be that I read one chunskter classic a year for the past few years, but last year and now this year too, I seem to lack the resolution :( . I must pick something up soon otherwise I"ll totally get out of this habit.

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    1. Big classics do take some motivation. Always best to wait til the mood hits you.

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  6. What a wonderful blog you have!

    I have read Anna Karenina twice and Crime and Punishment. I loved Jane Eyre and I would be proud of myself if I just could read more Finnish classics. I'm proud of myself for reading Idiot - that was a task. I can't really say what I love more - love it all.

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    1. Oh I want to read the Idiot! I was happy to get through one Dostoevsky, but I feel I picked an easy one with Crime and Punishment.

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    2. Oh and thanks so much for coming by! Hope to talk more books with you!

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  7. This is such a fun challenge! I am not much of a classics chunkster reader, but I love hearing people's impressions of these books when they read them today. I will be curious to hear what you think!

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    1. Is it the classic part or just the idea of a long Classic? I always like hearing what people think too, but mostly when it's a big Classic I will never read - like Moby Dick.

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  8. This is such a fun idea! I started a War and Peace read-along but got distracted by grad school, so that's a chunkster classic I'm hoping to finish this year :)

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    1. Oh that's the one I fear the most! Is it as intimidating as it seems so far?

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  9. I have to be in the mood for both chunksters and classics. The chunkiest books I read recently were Harry Potters, perhaps it's time for me to tackle another one. My Classics Club list is feeling awfully neglected. Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you join us again this weekend.

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    1. Oh, yes, definitely have to wait until the mood strikes!

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