Classic Novels, Ranked in Order of How Easy They Are to Study



MOST DIFFICULT: Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

We could be talking about pretty much any James Joyce novel here (they’re all wonderfully nonsensical), but let’s talk about Finnegans Wake because I personally feel that it’s double the difficulty of Ulysses.

If you wanted to, you could (and probably should) read DublinersA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Ulysses to help prepare you for this, but I’ll tell you this right now: you’re still going to struggle. You’re going to have no clue what’s happening. Scholars have spent DECADES trying to come to some sort of consensus as to what this godforsaken book is actually about, and they have yet to succeed. The plot is nonlinear, the characters fluid, the text largely unreadable owing to Joyce’s idiosyncratic language and stream-of-consciousness writing style.

For these reasons (and also about a billion others), it is the most difficult novel you'll ever have to read for school, and if your teacher assigns it, they probably hate you.


Topics: Books
Tags: animal farm, books we love, the scarlet letter, lord of the flies, the great gatsby, pride and prejudice, the catcher in the rye, jane eyre, great expectations, to kill a mockingbird, jane austen, classic literature, infinite jest, moby dick, classics, dracula, f. scott fitzgerald, classic novels, catch 22, virginia woolf, heart of darkness, to the lighthouse, the canterbury tales, one hundred years of solitude, absalom absalom, atlas shrugged, finnegans wake, on a scale from 1 to "what is going on"

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