Classics Club Spin #25: The Result

The result of the latest Classics Club Spin has been revealed today.

The idea of the Spin was to list twenty books from my Classics Club list, number them 1 to 20, and the number announced by the Classics Club represents the book I have to read before 30th January 2021. The number that has been selected is…


And this means the book I need to read is…

The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki

Alphonse, a young Walloon officer, is travelling to join his regiment in Madrid in 1739. But he soon finds himself mysteriously detained at a highway inn in the strange and varied company of thieves, brigands, cabbalists, noblemen, coquettes and gypsies, whose stories he records over sixty-six days. The resulting manuscript is discovered some forty years later in a sealed casket, from which tales of characters transformed through disguise, magic and illusion, of honour and cowardice, of hauntings and seductions, leap forth to create a vibrant polyphony of human voices. Jan Potocki (1761-1812) used a range of literary styles – gothic, picaresque, adventure, pastoral, erotica – in his novel of stories-within-stories, which, like the Decameron and Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, provides entertainment on an epic scale.


I actually started to read this book by Polish author Jan Potocki earlier in the year but couldn’t give it the attention it deserved at that time. I’m looking forward to trying it again as I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. If anyone has read it, please let me know what you thought!

If you took part in the spin too, I hope you got a good result!

32 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin #25: The Result

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Helen, I hope you will be able to give The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki the focus it needs over the coming 9 weeks and that you will enjoy it of course! My result was Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell, which I am pleased with, as I have been meaning to read more by her since loving North and South and the Cranford Chronicles. Happy classic reading! 😃

  2. Judy Krueger says:

    Even though I don’t do my classics reading this way, it is always so exciting to see what everyone who does gets. This one sounds like a fabulous read, though undoubtedly requiring some degree of concentration. Wish you well.

  3. setinthepast says:

    I’d never heard of this one, so I googled Jan Potocki out of curiosity, and was directed to Wikipedia, which informed me that “Believing he was becoming a werewolf, Potocki committed suicide by fatally shooting himself with a silver bullet that he had had blessed by his village priest in December 1815”.

    Hmm …

  4. Calmgrove says:

    I’ve not officially signed up for this but I see that the fourteenth of my still to be read titles is … Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, which I temporarily paused in October after getting a couple or three chapters in — so I think I’ll take that as a sign to get to on with it!

    Incidentally, there’s no way I’m going to finish my fifty titles by the end of 2020 having only completed 34, and so I shall reschedule for 2021 — but how do I formally notify that? To you all at Classics Club or just a note on my blog?

    • Helen says:

      I loved Gormenghast, so I hope you enjoy it as you get further into it. It’s a book I would like to read again one day, along with the other two in the trilogy.

      I’m not sure whether you need to officially inform the Classics Club of any changes. I missed my target for my first list of fifty books (this is my second) and I think I just noted it on my own blog.

    • Helen says:

      It does sound intriguing, doesn’t it? I like to read classics in translation too. This one was actually written in French, although the author was Polish.

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