This was just one in a long line of classic works of literature I haven't read. There reasons for this are numerous and varied, but it usually boiled down to my deep-seated bias of classic literature being boring and uninteresting to me. Conversations with older, wiser individuals usually went something like this...
Wise and intelligent person: Hey Greg, you should read this work of classical literature!
Foolish, insolent Greg: Yeah, I've been meaning to. I'll put it at the top of my list!
Exit, pursued by bear.
Foolish, insolent Greg proceeds to read some contemporary sci-fi.
To illustrate the severity of this phenomenon, I'll just throw this out there - I've never read Huckleberry Finn. Yes, I know most school curriculums require it. No, I didn't pull a "Henry V." I just never had to read it.
And then I smacked myself upside the head and recalled that quite a few people for quite a few decades had, in fact, told me exactly how good the book was.
And then it dawned on me. An epiphany of epic proportions.
If 1984 was as good as they say... what other classic works are as good as they say? Surely they can't ALL live up to the hype, but some likely would. My to-read list quadrupled in length overnight.
Since my dramatic paradigm shift, I have still been reading contemporary works. But in the back of my head, I've been debating what my next big classic undertaking will be. I've always wanted to read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I'm not sure I'm mentally prepared for that yet. The length is daunting, to say the least. Perhaps I'll finally buck up and pick up Huckleberry Finn.