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gp101
01-06-2008, 12:43 PM
A stage actor or director once said he wished he could read Romeo and Juliet for the first time again. The quote was more like "I envy someone who's about to read it [Romeo and Juliet] for the first time." Still paraphrased but still poingnant. No matter how much you love a particular novel, you'll never get the same ride from it that you did the first time you read it.

So which novels do you wish you could read for the first time again?

For me, Atlas Shrugged comes to mind. Blew me away. Although I enjoy revisiting it every couple years, it's never as good an experience as the first time. Sun Also Rises comes close. The rest would be The Stand, Lord of the Flies, Great Gatsby, The Firm, DVC (there, I said it), Separate Peace, and Get Shorty. I'm sure the Bible would be a wowing experience the first time around again... there really are some great stories in there, regardless of relgiion.

It would also be great to read Hammet or Chandler for the first time again, though specific stories.


There are others that I simply can't remember the titles to, but this is a descent short list for my particular tastes.

It's worse with movies for me, but this is the novels forum. So what have you?

JeanneTGC
01-06-2008, 12:56 PM
"Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

"The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett.

All of O. Henry and the Complete Sherlock Holmes.

"Lord Valentine's Castle" by Robert Silverberg.

"City" by Clifford B. Simak.

"Dune" by Frank Herbert.

"Ringworld" by Larry Niven.

Cool thread, GP!

gp101
01-06-2008, 01:04 PM
Cool thread, GP!

It is a fun topic to contemplate. And I think it is vastly different from a "List your favorite novels" thread, though I'm not eloquent enough to explain how it differs. Boggles my simple mind, actually. Perhaps someone else can explain it? UJ, where are you?

geardrops
01-06-2008, 01:10 PM
Harry Potter. The first one.

And The Shrine at Altamira.

Probably others I can't think of, but those two leap out.

JeanneTGC
01-06-2008, 01:12 PM
It is a fun topic to contemplate. And I think it is vastly different from a "List your favorite novels" thread, though I'm not eloquent enough to explain how it differs. Boggles my simple mind, actually. Perhaps someone else can explain it? UJ, where are you?
I think it's simply going for which novels gave you such a sense of wonder, joy, enlightenment, entertainment, whatever, the first time you read them, that you wish you could read them "fresh" again to experience that "WOW" factor all over again.

Oh, I add "The Narnia Series" by C.S. Lewis. And "The Screwtape Letters".

ProtoMatic
01-06-2008, 01:15 PM
Hitch-hiker's guide - Douglas Adams
The whole Discworld series - Terry Pratchett
Fallen Dragon - Peter F. Hamilton
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

And probably a bunch more.

Garpy
01-06-2008, 01:49 PM
Excellent thread.

- Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer
- On the Beach by Nevil Shute
- Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
- Blood Music by Greg Bear

but there'd be many more if I spent another couple of minutes on this.

gp101
01-06-2008, 02:29 PM
I think it's simply going for which novels gave you such a sense of wonder, joy, enlightenment, entertainment, whatever, the first time you read them, that you wish you could read them "fresh" again to experience that "WOW" factor all over again.


Well said. Still not sure how to differentiate it from your "favorite novel" but I think there is a difference.

And Garpy... Shawshank, good one.

Atlantis
01-06-2008, 03:39 PM
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was so excited and sad when I picked it up at the store I almost didn't want to touch it. The first few chapters were so scary cause there were a few times I thought some of my favourite characters had died and then there was the bit when they were on the run which was awesome. I read the whole thing in about three days. It was one of the best books I've ever read.

nevada
01-06-2008, 05:48 PM
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maughan. But probably for a different reason. When I first read it, I was in high school. It affected me so greatly I couldn't read for at least a month afterwards. I tried to read it again about a year ago and all I could see were its flaws. There was nothing there that moved me so much the first time. So I was sad. I wish I could read it again the way I did the first time because I don't like feeling sad over something that at one point was important to me.

thethinker42
01-06-2008, 07:11 PM
There are a few I wish I could read for the first time without a high school English teacher looming over my head. A lot of Shakespeare, the Odyssey, etc. I think I would have greatly enjoyed them without someone telling me precisely how to interpret every last comma and metaphor. It certainly leeched a lot of joy out of some spectacular pieces of literature.

HeronW
01-06-2008, 07:59 PM
Beauty by Sherri Tepper
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
The Hobbit and LOTR by TOlkien
ANYTHING by Dr Seuss!

Julie Worth
01-06-2008, 08:05 PM
Even if you could read it again for the first time, you'd have to be the same age, with the same mindset. Otherwise the experience would be completely different.

scarletpeaches
01-06-2008, 08:08 PM
I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (first read when I was 15, didn't have the life experience to know about love, death, obsession, revenge...)

I've decided not to say Gone With the Wind as one of my answers - even though it's one of my favourite books. It improves with every reading. An old friend of mine (now married to my ex, strangely enough) says one should read it every five years at least, as you get something new out of it each time.

Esopha
01-06-2008, 08:08 PM
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.

I think there's a thread like this in AW Book Club.

scarletpeaches
01-06-2008, 08:08 PM
Even if you could read it again for the first time, you'd have to be the same age, with the same mindset. Otherwise the experience would be completely different.

That's the whole point of this thread, though, I would imagine.

donroc
01-06-2008, 08:11 PM
Howard Pyle's illustrated Brandywine edition (4 volumes) of King arthur and his Knights of the Round Table when I was 9 or 10, which I still have.

www.donaldmichaelplatt

Don Allen
01-06-2008, 08:19 PM
"to build a fire" Jack London... Always had a passion for biscuits soaked in bacon grease after that, (not that it's a a good thing)... Turned me on to writing...

Shady Lane
01-06-2008, 09:41 PM
Smack. But I wouldn't want to be the same age again, like Julie said. I read Smack for the first time when I was eleven and I was so overwhelmed. I'd like to read it for the first time, now.

The Stranger

slcboston
01-06-2008, 09:48 PM
I'd like to be able to approach a few things for the first time, now, instead of when i actually did. Someone mentioned the English teacher looming over the shoulder, and while I generally had good ones there were a few that turned otherwise good books that I might have enjoyed on my own into chores (Great Expectations comes to mind... as one of the few Dickensian works I like).

And to that end, I don't envy ANYONE who has to read Romeo and Juliet, no matter what time is. One of my least favorite Shakespearean works... which makes me a heretic, I know. (I hated "Titanic" too, okay? :) )

I have had an "first time" reaction to some books that I originally read in middle school (Tolkein and Herbert) and then didn't pick up again until college. That gave me a completely new perspective on them and a whole new appreciation - as well as the things I'd forgotten, that made it almost like a "first time" again with them.

scarletpeaches
01-06-2008, 10:07 PM
I've never read Romeo and Juliet straight through but I've seen the fillum with Leonard Whiting (Rrrrr...:e2brows:) and that Juliet was a saucy minx.

And when I die, let the stars spell out his name?! Heh heh...raunchy!

Rob_In_MN
01-06-2008, 10:37 PM
I literally read HP7 cover to cover on Christmas Day this year. I couldn't put it down! I had a big tub of caramel popcorn I'd gotten as a gift the night before and some reallllly sugary pop to help me out ;-)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I was so excited and sad when I picked it up at the store I almost didn't want to touch it. The first few chapters were so scary cause there were a few times I thought some of my favourite characters had died and then there was the bit when they were on the run which was awesome. I read the whole thing in about three days. It was one of the best books I've ever read.

Rob_In_MN
01-06-2008, 10:40 PM
The first book that occurs to me is Ender's Game. It's just not quite the same when you know what happens in the end.

katiemac
01-06-2008, 11:05 PM
Others already said, but Harry Potter - the entire series. A friend of mine has just read them for the first time, and I was a little jealous. But, I'd have to do it with the two-year waits between them, otherwise it wouldn't be the same.

Also, Of Mice and Men.

HourglassMemory
01-06-2008, 11:26 PM
I feel that with films...not so much with books.

Rob_In_MN
01-06-2008, 11:37 PM
speaking of mediums other than books. The computer roleplaying game Knights of the Old Republic had a stellar story and a massive twist in it that made my jaw drop. I wish I could experience that again without know it was coming.

Honey Nut Loop
01-07-2008, 12:00 AM
Amen to Ender's Game. I love that book and it's my fallback option when I run out of library books.

Lian Hearn's Across the Nightingale Floor

paperairplane
01-07-2008, 01:31 AM
Novels I'd want to read again for the first time?
THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER by Sarah Dessen
AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green

But then I think a lot of novels get better the more times I read them. Like..
GONE WITH THE WIND
LITTLE WOMEN
LOOKING FOR ALASKA