Morgan Freeman recommends3 min read

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Respected actor and narrator, Oscar winner recommends his favorite fiction books that cater for all ages and tastes.

“Rita Hayworth and theShawshank Redemption” by Stephen King

Morgan Freeman said in the interview that it his his favorite book.

-from interview to

This novella is as well-known for the screen adaptation as for the fact that it differs so strikingly from King’s fiction writing of horror. It’s not that horror doesn’t happen in a 1930’s prison, but there’s a pair of redeeming characters (Red and Andy DuFresne) who make reading the novel an absolute delight. Red offers contraband and advice, while Andy systematically works through establishing his own reputation as a man who is to be trusted. Despite horrifying conflicts with the notorious and predatory Sisters, a hypocritical warden and his violent guards (and a strict parole panel), Andy and Red battle their inner and outer demons to reach for freedom.

“Moby Dick” by Herman Melville

“I would recommend different books to different people. For a young person I would say Moby Dick.”

-from conference on

Melville is a talented (if long-winded) author whose masterpiece remains the story about an elusive whale, and its mad pursuer, Captain Ahab. The narrator is not the only character with an exotic Biblical name (Ishmael), and there are as many themes to be had as fish in the sea. Moby Dick is a strangely destructive whale, who seems to take delight in capsizing and destroying the life of whaling vessels. Captain Ahab’s thirst for avenging his lost leg and ship prove to be his undoing. He makes a strange figure, teetering about his own ship on a leg made from a whale’s jawbone, and seeking the prophetic mutterings of a harpoon crew member for clues on Moby Dick’s location. Reading between the lines of whale oil and prophecy lies a fascinating tale of the nature of good and evil – and madness.

 “Great Expectations” by CharlesDickens

“For a more romantic person I would recommend Great Expectations.”

-from conference on

Often touted as one of Charles Dickens’ best books, this is also one of his darkest novels, with the fewest realized expectations of happy endings. Suffering loss is taken in one of three ways by the principal characters. Miss Havisham uses the loss of her marriage as a reason for living in a self-imposed tomb of a house, and training the beautiful Estella into a man-trap. Joe the blacksmith absorbs losses, and turns them into reasons for having compassion. Pip, the central character and classic orphan, comes to the realization that loss of his hopes and dreams doesn’t mean that life is not worth living.

“Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell

“For the very young reader I would recommend Black Beauty.”

-from conference on

One of the best books for children and adults to read, Sewell’s classic is as much about people and animal abuse, as it is about the fortunes and hard-luck times of a beautiful horse. His early life, in a meadow and then with Squire Gordon, is a delightful adventure. Being sold to an Earl starts a domino effect of bad times and worse masters, as Black Beauty works through broken bones and mistreatment, and watching a friend die under the cruel lash of a cab driver. Just as Beauty seems ready to fall under the weight of despair, he is allowed to reconnect with his origins, as good times begin again.

“Absalom, Absalom!” by WIlliam Faulkner

One of the favourite books that Morgan Freeman keeps in his library and sometimes rereads.


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