Following the advice of Esther Lombardi, About.com's Guide to Classic Literature, I have been making a summer reading list. As you can guess, my list involves a lot of plays -- but there are quite a few good old fashioned novels on board as well. In fact, I have comprised a list of books that I really should have read by now, but haven't. The book on the top of the list: Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. This was the book I was supposed to read in the seventh grade, but I never got around to it, until now.
Not surprisingly, I love the book so far. And I can see why it has been adapted for the stage so many times. For theater lovers, Chapter Thirty One of Great Expectations is a must-read! It details the misadventures of a blustering actor as he butchers Hamlet, all the while being verbally assaulted by mean spirited (yet hilarious) hecklers.
The novel also contains many touching scenes with almost theater-like dialogue. One scene in particular contains a touching monologue by the main character's most trusted friend, Joe Gargery, the seemingly simple blacksmith. For any male actor (from their late 20s to early 50s) looking for a monologue, check out this gem from Charles Dickens.