My Ten Favourite Cult Classics (ideas for last minute Christmas shopping!)
Powered by Blogger.

My Ten Favourite Cult Classics (ideas for last minute Christmas shopping!)

I've decided to make a list of my ten favourite modern cult classics because Christmas shopping is difficult and without Amazon next day delivery we would all be lost. Most of the cult classics are coming of age novels so they are suitable for teenage friends and family 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar is probably one of my favourite books and I really need to give it a re-read this Christmas. It is about a young woman named Esther Greenwood who gains a summer internship at a magazine in New York City, however, the experience triggers a series of emotional disturbances and causes Esther to suffer from a mental breakdown. The novel is believed to be semi-autobiographical and therefore it gives an interesting insight into Sylvia's Plath's experience as a writer and her struggle with mental illness. The Bell Jar's introspective analysis of mental illness makes it an enduring cult classic.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

If you liked  Stanley Kubrick's film adaption then you should definitely give this a read. The novel is set in a dystopian future in which a group of youths commit extreme acts of violence. The main character, Alex, discusses his criminal exploits and narrates the attempts of the government to reform him. The novel contains a lot of slang which makes it really interesting to read. Anyone who loves futuristic novels will love this book.

Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac

Anything by Jack Kerouac will be good present for someone who loves modern classics. I really like Maggie Cassidy because it has an amazing atmosphere and well, I love any book set in the fifties. Maggie Cassidy is also semi-autobiographical as it is believed to be based on Kerouac's relationship with his childhood sweetheart. The high school setting makes it a good introduction into Kerouac's work.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Another novel set in the fifties, there is a trend here. The Outsiders was written by Hinton when she was only sixteen which makes it a truly authentic coming of age story. It is about two rival teenage gangs called the Greasers and the Socs who come to blows about a girl named Cherry Valence. The novel is narrated by Ponyboy Curtis who tries to protect his brothers and friends from conflict and persecution, "stay gold, Ponyboy... stay gold"

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Although Just Kids was released nearly 6 years ago (omg how has it been that long), I think it has already earned cult status. The novel is set in New York City and follows the early lives of musician and poet Patti Smith and artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The memoir offers a interesting insight into a remarkable relationship and reveals the life of an artist during the sixties and seventies in New York City.

1984 by George Orwell

1984 is one of my favourite books because it offers a terrifying vision of a dystopian future in which society is controlled by a totalitarian government. The novel follows the attempts of Winston Smith to escape the omnipresent surveillance and Big Brother's authoritarian control of independent thought and speech.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

I'm currently reading the Virgin Suicides and I'm loving it. As a fan of Sophia Coppola's film adaption, I'm surprised that I haven't read it sooner. The story is about five young teenage girls from 1970's suburbia who commit suicide to escape from a strict Catholic upbringing. The novel is told from the point of view of a group of teenage boys who recall their experience with the five Lisbon sisters and attempt to find an explanation for their sudden deaths.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is about a young man named Arthur who has an affair with a colleagues wife while he is out of town. The novel is split in two parts and reflects on life in post war Britain and Arthur's relationship with authority. The novel inspired music by The Arctic Monkeys and The Smiths so that's a pretty good reason to give it a read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye could be argued as the ultimate cult classic. I read it in one sitting during one of my bus journeys to uni so it really stuck with me. The novel is about a young man named Holden Caulfield who struggles with feelings of alienation and loss after being expelled from his school.

The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurty

The Last Picture Show is set in Texas in the early fifties and follows the story of a group of high school friends who struggle to come of age in a small town suffering from an economic recession. The novel portrays the loss of innocence in an era obsessed with popular culture.

You can buy all ten books from this Amazon wishlist


  1. I always believe that one of the best gifts you can give is a book, but unfortunately too many of my friends don't like reading :p


  2. So many books I have to read still! This is a great list btw