Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Classics Illustrated

An awful lot of my childhood memories involve books. Most of those include food with the book - tea and cookies for example, or red Jell-O, not quite solid yet - but one that doesn't is the time I spent reading my older siblings' issues of Classics Illustrated.

I would pick one out from the shelves my dad mounted on the little bit of corner wall between the doors to the bathroom and my brothers' bedroom, and read it either standing up or slowly slumping to the floor. Certainly I never made it down the hall to my own room, or to the sofa downstairs.

If you haven't experienced Classics Illustrated, they're terribly illustrated comic book synopses of great novels - I still shudder at the bent faces of Jane Eyre's companions at boarding school - that somehow manage to be completely compelling. The good writing is lost, but all the action remains, and I guess that's the core of storytelling after all.

Anyway this spring I got a little obsessed with rereading some (not Jane Eyre) and eventually wandered onto eBay for some seriously competitive bidding. The last of my winnings arrived today, including both Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein, but here is the first shipment:

This was one of my favourites. The covers are always beautiful - no comparison to what's inside - but The Moonstone is so exciting, even weird drawings can't ruin it. I can't wait to read it again.

These two are also high on the list of must-reads. I did sit up with The Woman In White a couple of nights ago - it certainly captured the highlights and then, of course, there were the biographies of Alexander Graham Bell and the lady who founded Christian Science in the back.

These two, not so much. But I'm sure I'll get to them.

I've never heard of this one, and I'm going to make time for it soon because - flying ships and trains? How can it not be awesome?

1 comment:

Sally Anne said...

Oh my goodness, I remember those. It's so funny to be seeing those same covers again with the pictures.What a great find Mary !