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Beowulf: Never mind it was written somewhere between the 7th and the 10th century; making it one of the oldest works in English literature. If you like action, good guys defeating bad guys and saving the world, this is the one that started it all.
The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, is a superb example of dark comedy, starring two devils whose job is to corrupt people on Earth. The story is told from the devil’s perspective, and that macabre twist makes it a unique read.
Carmilla, by Sheridan le Fanu. Many believe Bram Stoker’s Dracula work was the first “Gothic vampire tale”, but Camilla is the actually first, published in1872. The general plot is a young, innocent woman named Laura becomes entangled with a beautiful female vampire named Carmilla. Strange dreams, eerie old portraits and the first female vampire romance is the result.
Mutiny on the Bounty, by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. You’ve robably seen the movies, but have you read the book? For anyone that likes adventure on the high seas, this is a classic in the style of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, and a perfect example of the genre.
The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare. Okay, it not really a novel, but a play, one of Shakespeare’s later plays performed in 1610-1611. This is one of those great stories that has tons of danger and sadness but also happy ending. Florizell and Perdita, are two lovers similar to Romeo and Juliet, but with dialogue even more beautiful and evocative than that those “star-crossed” teenagers. The drama begins when Perdita, a lost princess abandoned on a distant shore and, unknowing of her true status, falls in love with Florizell, the prince of the country; and from there, the plot thickens.