George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.
"Great Book, With an Amazing Narrator"
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south - and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as a digital audiobook. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the 20th century by librarians across the country.
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.
"At last - The Definitive Recording!"
Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.
"Quite a journey"
The Two Towers is the second volume of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, The Lord of the Rings. The Fellowship has been forced to split up. Frodo and Sam must continue alone towards Mount Doom, where the One Ring must be destroyed. Meanwhile, at Helm’s Deep and Isengard, the first great battles of the War of the Ring take shape. In this splendid, unabridged audio production of Tolkien’s great work, all the inhabitants of a magical universe - hobbits, elves, and wizards - spring to life. Rob Inglis’ narration has been praised as a masterpiece of audio.
"One Book to Rule Them all"
The Return of the King is the towering climax to J. R. R. Tolkien’s trilogy that tells the saga of the hobbits of Middle-earth and the great War of the Rings. In this concluding volume, Frodo and Sam make a terrible journey to the heart of the Land of the Shadow in a final reckoning with the power of Sauron. In addition to narrating the prose passages, Rob Inglis sings the trilogy’s songs and poems a capella, using melodies composed by Inglis and Claudia Howard, the Recorded Books studio director.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."
"I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with this 1920 novel about Old New York society. Newland Archer is wealthy, well-bred, and engaged to the beautiful May Welland. But he finds himself drawn to May's cousin Ellen Olenska, who has been living in Europe and who has returned following a scandalous separation from her husband.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby....
"Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.
"A Truth Universally Acknowledged"
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
"“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect, until the night someone takes things too far.
"Great for a wide variety of ages"
With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Spotlight, Midnight in Paris) delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century.
"Salvation for the soul in these terrible times"
George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture, quoted so often that we tend to forget who wrote the original words! This must-read is also a must-listen!
"If you hate spoilers, save the intro for last."
Marooned on a tropical island, alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, and devoid of adult supervision or rules, a group of British boys begins to forge a society with its own unique rules and rituals.
"Great story - bad narration"
In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.
"A true classic! 'Who is John Galt?'"
"Who is this man, this Scarlet Pimpernel?" Each day this question grew more pressing to the leaders of the French Revolution. Only this man and his band of followers threatened their total power. Only this maddeningly elusive figure defied the vast network of fanatics, informers, and secret agents that the Revolution spread out to catch its enemies.
"Good read/good listen"
A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.
"Truly a Classic"
A collection of BBC radio full-cast dramatisations of Jane Austen's six major novels. Jane Austen is one of the finest writers in the English language, and this volume includes all six of her classic novels. Mansfield Park: on a quest to find a position in society, Fanny Price goes to live with her rich aunt and uncle. Northanger Abbey: young, naïve Catherine Morland receives an invitation to stay at the isolated Gothic mansion Northanger Abbey.
Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.
"An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
"The Death of Ivan Ilyich", first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. The novel tells the story of the death, at age 45, of a high court judge in 19th century Russia. Living what seems to be a good life, his dreadful relationship with his wife notwithstanding, Ivan Ilyich Golovin bangs his side while putting up curtains in a new apartment intended to reflect his family's superior status in society.
"All states, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities. Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new. The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or they are, as it were, members annexed to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain."
Zuleika Dobson is a satire of undergraduate life at Oxford. It was Beerbohm’s only novel, but was nonetheless very successful. This satire includes the famous line "Death cancels all engagements" and presents a corrosive view of Edwardian Oxford. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Zuleika Dobson 59th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century!
"The Moon and Sixpence" is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham, first published in 1919. It is told in episodic form by a first-person narrator, in a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character Charles Strickland, a middle-aged English stockbroker, who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist. The story is based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. A stunning classic by a master.
"The Card" is a comic novel by Arnold Bennett, published in 1911. Like much of Bennett's best work, it is set in the Potteries District of Staffordshire. It chronicles the rise of Edward Henry ("Denry") Machin from washerwoman's son to Mayor of Bursley (a fictitious town based on Burslem). This is accomplished through luck, initiative and a fair bit of guts!
"The Prisoner of Zenda" is an adventure novel in which the King of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation, and thus is unable to attend the ceremony. Political forces within the realm are such, that, in order for the king to retain the crown, his coronation must proceed. Fortuitously, an English gentleman on holiday in Ruritania, who resembles the monarch, is persuaded to act as his political decoy, in effort to save the unstable political situation of the interregnum... Of course, complications along the way, plots and counter-plots will follow.
So, really, in the end, there is only God. And God is Jesus Christ. There is no other God. So, let no one scare you. Your salvation has already been predestined. You are already redeemed because you have already been predestined. Predestined glory, and glory is nothing more than the magnifying - "making self many." So, each becomes the face of God, everyone knowing that he is God, and everyone knowing that the other - his brother - is God. And there is nothing but God!
The story takes place in a fictional country somewhere in Germanic Middle Europe, the kingdom of Ruritania. There is Rudolf Elphberg, the dissolute absolute monarch of Ruritania; Rudolf Rassendyll, the English gentleman who had acted as his political decoy, being his distant cousin and look alike; Flavia, the princess, now queen; Rupert of Hentzau, the dashing well-born villain; Fritz von Tarlenheim, the loyal courtier. Queen Flavia, dutifully but unhappily married to her cousin Rudolf V, writes to her true love Rudolf Rassendyll.
I'd Die for You is a collection of the last remaining unpublished and uncollected short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by Anne Margaret Daniel. Fitzgerald did not design the stories in I'd Die for You as a collection. Most were submitted individually to major magazines during the 1930s and accepted for publication during Fitzgerald's lifetime, but were never printed.
This classic is a French Romantic/Gothic novel by Victor Hugo, published in 1831. The story centers on the famous cathedral. Esmeralda captures the hearts of men, including those of Captain Phoebus and Pierre Gringoire, but also Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Archdeacon Claude Frollo. Frollo is torn between his obsessive lust and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is captured by Phoebus and his guards, who save Esmeralda.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was a leader in the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He is best known for his political philosophy and ideological thoughts on the moral worth of the individual and his work greatly influenced many of the great thinkers of his time, including Henry David Thoreau.
Fyodor Dostoevsky masterfully blends realism and romanticism in this heartfelt tale of unrequited love and the human journey. Set in 19th-century St. Petersburg, "White Nights" is the story of a young man's inner conflict and how his feelings of discontent and loneliness draw him to a young woman who has been jilted by her lover. The lonely hearts come together in a sweet and tender bubble of sharing and romance, but will it last?
Note: This is a summary and analysis of The Rebel and not the original work. The Rebel is a 1951 book-length essay by Albert Camus, which treats both the metaphysical and the historical development of rebellion and revolution in societies, especially Western Europe. Camus relates writers and artists as diverse as Epicurus and Lucretius, Marquis de Sade, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and others in an integrated, historical portrait of man in revolt.
A complicated, angry son, Calumet Marston, returns to his boyhood homestead to find his hated father dead and a stranger, a woman named Betty, in charge. Her family had aided his father, and now she is "the boss". His father's will stipulates certain conditions before Calumet can take over, including repairs to the ranch and to the relationship he had with his dad. Several letters Betty has lead Calumet to a new understanding of his father and their stormy history. Murder, gun fights, ambush, ancient treasure - it's all here.
Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his death so much as a passing thought. But one day death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise he is brought face to face with his own mortality. How, Tolstoy asks, does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truth?
The lights dim at the Paris Opera House. The exquisite Christine Daae enraptures the audience with her mellifluous voice. Immediately, Raoul de Chagny falls deeply in love. But the legend of the disfigured opera ghost haunts the performance, and as Raoul begins his pursuit of Christine, he is pulled into the depths of the opera house, and into the depths of human emotions.
The little known first novella of Charlotte Bronte, The Green Dwarf is a story of adventure, subterfuge, romance, and danger. Lady Emily Charlesworth is awaiting the return of her lover, Leslie, who is a down-on-his luck artist. However, the dastardly, coldhearted Colonel Percy is also vying for her heart and will stop at nothing to make Emily his own.
Framed as a first-person narrative from the eponymous horse, this much-loved family classic follows Black Beauty's journey from a well-born colt to a painfully overworked cab horse. Brimming with vivid detail and relatable characters, each chapter of Black Beauty's long and varied life communicates an important message about kindness, sympathy and understanding.
An afternoon of readings and lively discussion with contemporary authors, including Blue Balliett (Chasing Vermeer), Chris Grabenstein (Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library), Wendy Mass (The Candymakers), and Alexander London (The Wild Ones), who have been inspired by E. L. Konigsburg's Newbery Award-winning classic about a sister and brother who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and find themselves caught up in a mysterious adventure.
Considered to be the first autobiography of its kind, The Confessions is two distinct books published seven years apart and covers the first 53 years of the author's life. The autobiographies of the time delved primarily into the individual's religious life, but Jean-Jacques Rousseau wanted to do something different. Instead of focusing on faith, he wrote about his thoughts and misadventures.
Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.
"My Choice for Frank Muller's Best"
Set before and during the Great War, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives to the unprecedented experience of the war itself.
"Fantastic narration of a modern classic"
First published as four separate novels (Some Do Not…, No More Parades, A Man Could Stand Up, and The Last Post) between 1924 and 1928, Parade’s End explores the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war. Christopher Tietjens is an officer from a wealthy family who finds himself torn between his unfaithful socialite wife, Sylvia, and his suffragette mistress, Valentine. A profound portrait of one man’s internal struggles during a time of brutal world conflict, Parade’s End bears out Graham Greene’s prediction that "there is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford."
"A brilliant, challenging, and valuable work"
The Enormous Room is a 1922 autobiographical novel by the poet and novelist E. E. Cummings about his temporary imprisonment in France during World War I. Drawing on his experiences in France as a volunteer ambulance-driver, Cummings recounts the series of mistakes that led to his arrest and imprisonment for treason. This edition restores much of the original manuscript.
"The Prose of Panopticons"
This was no ordinary war. This was a war to make the world safe for democracy. And if democracy was made safe, then nothing else mattered - not the millions of dead bodies, nor the thousands of ruined lives. This is no ordinary novel. This is the story of a young American soldier terribly maimed in World War I - he "survives" armless, legless, and faceless, but with his mind intact.
"READ THE INTRODUCTION LAST"
The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.
"This is not unabridged"
Here are the extraordinary writings of a generation who fought through a war of unprecedented destructive power, and who had to find new voices to express the horror of what they discovered. The great names - Owen, Sassoon - are fully represented, but there are also many poems by lesser-known or unexpected figures, ranging from serving soldiers like Isaac Rosenberg and Richard Aldington to women such as Edith Nesbit and Vera Brittain.
"Great War Poets, great poetry, great work"
In 1914, a beautiful foal with a distinctive cross on his nose is sold to the Army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western front. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again?
"Great idea for reluctant readers!"
Arguably some of the most powerful poetry ever written. Classic works written during World War I by Wilfred Owen, Siegried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke.
A soldier in the First World War who never actually sees any combat, Josef Svejk is the awkward protagonist - and none of the other characters can quite decide whether his bumbling efforts to get to the front are genuine or not. Often portrayed as one of the first anti-war novels, Hasek's classic satire is a tour-de-force of modernist writing, influencing later writers such as Hemingway, Faulkner and Joseph Heller.
A famous autobiographical account of life as a young soldier in the first World War trenches. Robert Graves, who went on to write I, Claudius, has given to posterity here one of the all-time great insights into the experience of war.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of its original publication, here is a new translation of the classic story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds. Set against this backdrop of cruelty and strife is Zhivago’s love for the tender and beautiful Lara.
"Russian Philosophical Feast"
Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
"Not to be rushed but to be savored"
One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.
Following Jane from her childhood as an orphan in Northern England through her experience as a governess at Thornfield Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Gothic classic is an early exploration of women's independence in the mid-19th century and the pervasive societal challenges women had to endure. At Thornfield, Jane meets the complex and mysterious Mr. Rochester, with whom she shares a complicated relationship that ultimately forces her to reconcile the conflicting passions of romantic love and religious piety.
The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.
"Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.
"A great listen"
Between his work on the 2014 Audible Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, and his performance of Classic Love Poems, narrator Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, Hannibal) has quickly become a listener favorite. Now, in this defining performance of Charles Dickens' classic David Copperfield, Armitage lends his unique voice and interpretation, truly inhabiting each character and bringing real energy to the life of one of Dickens' most famous characters.
"The Armitage Voice""
Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.
"Excellent performance of Graham Greene classic"
A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
"Conrad's Brilliant & Wild Novella"
A haunting tale set on New Year's Eve, The Chimes tells the story of a poor porter named Trotty Veck who has become disheartened by the state of the world, until he is shown a series of fantastical visions that convince him of the good of humanity.
"Best Version of "The Chimes" on Audible!"
A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.
"Loved every minute"
During a train trip from Chicago to Texas in the late 1940s, A.W. Tozer began to write The Pursuit of God. He wrote all night, and when the train arrived at his destination, the rough draft was done. The depth of this book has made it an enduring favorite.
"Great classic book to include in your library!"
This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....
Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.
A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery.
"Brilliant language and awesome performance but ..."
Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring) brings a palpable sense of joy and exuberance to her performance of Lewis Carroll's enduring classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The young and imaginative Alice grows weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations", and follows a hasty hare underground - to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters.
"Oh My Ears and Whiskers, What A Delight!"