The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest–by Oscar Wilde (can also be found here)
This is one of those classics that is required reading for any English major worth his/her salt. But somehow Oscar Wilde has the uncanny ability to reach out to all people of every era, age, and background. He captures the essence of humanity and wraps it up nicely in a package of humor. This story tells of two men who have created imaginary lives to deceive the women around them, and the chaotic yet hilarious result when everything starts falling apart. Great read, not too difficult to keep up with, and even more fun to watch in a theatre (yes, this was originally a play). Plus, no book was ever a better source for great quotes!
–”All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”
—“I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”
–”Gwendolen, it is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me?”
If for some reason you are loathe to actually read the text, Colin Firth and Rupert Everett star in a wonderful version that reproduces the story except in screen rather than on page. Great film, and it is the same as the book so nothing is ruined if you are a lover of the original text and see the movie later :)