Putting aside the wonderful realm of Middle-Earth and many other values, The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's other works are written in a very beautiful English. What are other novels/stories that you find exciting because of its language?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Andrew Leach, David M, Cerberus, James McLeod, anongoodnurse Mar 10 '14 at 3:06

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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. PLenty of folk, even Tolkien fans. would disagree that his prose is spectacular. Others might argue that James Joyce's style is beautiful. Personally, I found the writing in Neuromancer to be starkly, post-modernistically, overwhelmingly beautiful. – Carl Witthoft Mar 9 '14 at 13:19
  • Beauty is in my opinion one of the least well-defined terms in the English language, as it is very subjective and varies widely in definition from person to person. – recursive recursion Mar 9 '14 at 18:02
  • @CarlWitthoft: I like it, except that every product or thing is always qualified by an arbitrary adjective of a country; it's always a Japanese gun, Argentine gears, a Dutch poison etc. And it's generally just a bit too slangy (in an unnecessary, lower-class-mafia sort of way). Otherwise, I love it. // As to this question, it's very interesting, but probably not a good fit for this site, because it mainly asks for very general opinions. – Cerberus Mar 9 '14 at 20:43

I wouldn't know where to start and once started where to stop. But if Britain be a 'land without music', as one German once pithily observed, and we lack the composers of Russia, Germany, Austria, Hungary etc and notwithstanding our Turners, Constables etc we have nothing like the number of grand masters as Italy, Flanders, Spain, France etc, there is no doubt where the artistic glory of Britain does lie. It is in her literature. No other nation on earth possesses the same volume and depth of the written word.

Start with the complete works of Milton, Shakespeare (not forgetting his sonnets); the romantic poets of the 18th & 19th centuries, (Wordsworth, Coleridge, Tennyson, Keats etc); the whole of the Authorised (King James 1) version of the Bible; the Book of Common Prayer; the works of Jane Austen, Dickens, Burns, Thackeray, Hardy, the Brontes; Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (recommend Neville Coghill's translation); and when you have finished, start on the 100 best novels of the 20th century, per the attached list, http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/ (we will allow the Americans a look-in at this point). And when you have finished all that lot, get back to me and I will suggest some more.

My daughter's then boyfriend, after he had been accepted to read English at Cambridge, had the temerity to ask for a summer reading list. He was given one about three times as long as that.

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    Today I learned that Russia or China are not on British maps. – RegDwigнt Mar 9 '14 at 20:27
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    Do you think there is the wealth of literature in Russian or Chinese that exists in English? You may be right, I'm in no position to argue, but it would surprise me, especially with Russian. I say this since the elite class, until the 19th century spoke French. And Chinese did not begin to have a universal dialect until 1949. I am wondering if Greek or Arabic might be more likely contenders, but I think not. – WS2 Mar 9 '14 at 21:18
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    @RegDwigнt How much of the Russian and Chinese national literature have you read? – WS2 Mar 9 '14 at 21:26
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    Simply because he didn't mention something from a certain country does not necessarily mean it was a bad answer, nor does it mean you have a right to downvote. – recursive recursion Mar 9 '14 at 22:04

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