Originally Posted by ShortNCuddlyAm
I'd second any of those. Although Les Miserables had some very long winded, hard going sections from what I can remember (the looting section, for one)
H. G. Wells - The Time Machine
Novella, one of the earliest SF tales. Adventure story, scary in places. Under the hood all sorts of interesting things are being said, not least about the British class system in the 19th century
I will third this. So, this is our first suggestion with three nominations so is our first official choice.
Keep em coming!