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W. Perry Hall

W. Perry Hall Mobile, AL

S. Quire

HELPFUL VOTES
152
ratings
REVIEWS
271
93
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
7
5
  • "Better to sleep in peace than awake..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A question to ponder. The better question is how does one live with joy and gratitude after being awakened to new emotions, feelings and passions after years of commitment, loyalty and love to another? An awakening at some time in life (if even for fleeting moments) is a likelihood. The questions of 'what-if..." and 'why now....' will probably follow. A person's reaction will define his/her character as will his/her course after a weakness is revealed.

    Edna Pontellier was a selfish woman from her awakening forward. I detested her, thought she was a blubbering baby much of the time and I found it hard to feel sorry for her because of how immature she acted. Had she been more sympathetic I might have felt more pity for her situation of being stuck with a man she did not love.

    Published 43 years after "Madame Bovary" (1856) "Awakening" (1899) is a lesser version but very similar. The Awakening is, of course, set in the US, specifically in south Louisiana. The French names are similar. The affairs are similar, but the later novel is not so much steamy and seems more aimed at the female's point of view in the late 1800s toward sexual repression in a place that was undoubtedly more chauvinistic and backwards than France in the mid-1800s.

    I enjoyed the book for a view of life during that period and the raw emotions exposed to the salty air. I know this is frequently used (or always) in feminist studies in academia, so I've always wanted to read this, if for nothing else, to broaden my horizons.

    Kim Basinger as narrator did an absolutely impeccable job with the tone, accent and acting the part of Edna Pontellier. I wish she'd do more narrating work on classic novels; she has such a melodic, soft Southern voice.

    More

    The Awakening

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Chopin
    • Narrated By Kim Basinger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (140)

    Kate Chopin’s novel, a landmark work of early feminism, is seen as a pre-cursor to the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. The upper-class Creole society of New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the 19th century is brought to audio in a stirring performance by Academy Award-winning actress Kim Basinger.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Better to sleep in peace than awake to nightmare?"
  • "Most Enriching Course Ever"

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    Story

    This is my first review after over a year as an audible member and well over 100 listens and ratings. I was so impressed with this course that I had to write this to add to my 5 stars:

    I found this course more enjoyable and rewarding than any I've had in 8 years of higher education. Though that statement may, admittedly, say something about the quality of my education, it probably has more to do with my maturity in the nearly 20 years since my last degree, and I think can even moreso be attributed to the superb professor, Dr. David Thorburn of MIT.

    What a wonderful set of lectures on modern literature! Dr. Thorburn has significantly transformed and improved my vision of literature in the 20th century (and today). He is fantastic in his enthusiasm and love for the literature, the art and the artist/authors. I was sad that the course had to end and depressed when I couldn't find another lecture by Dr. Thorburn. I'm hopeful he'll consider enriching us in the lowly masses with more lectures.

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    Masterworks of Early 20th-Century Literature

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor David Thorburn
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    If you've ever longed to read the great Modernist novels of the early 20th century - perhaps James Joyce's Ulysses, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, or William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! - but have shied away or set them down because of their intimidating style, fragmented narrative, or lack of a clear plot, you no longer need to wait, or be reluctant to return. In this series of 24 lectures, an acclaimed literary scholar and award-winning teacher has created an accessible gateway to this remarkable literary movement.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Most Enriching Course Ever"
  • "Incomparable AudiOverview of Americ..."

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    Performance
    Story

    If you love reading or wish you'd taken that American Lit course in college or paid attention when you did, this is a great opportunity to explore and learn in over 43 hours of a conversational look by Ivy League (Brown) professor Arnold Weinstein at American literature going back to Ben Franklin's Autobiography and up to Toni Morrison's "Beloved." The course covers not only narratives (novels novellas and short stories), but also poetry by Whitman, Frost, Eliot and Dickinson (over 11 hours), plays by Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams (about 4 1/2 hours) and essays/memoirs by Emerson and Thoreau (about 4 1/2 hours). In the area of narratives, Professor Weinstein quite thoroughly examines in over 23 hours of courses, in addition to Ben Franklin and Morrison, the works of Washington Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Henry James, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Ellison and a few others.

    If you haven't read a lot of these materials, don't be dissuaded from taking the plunge into this fabulous exploration of America through literature. I hadn't read many of the works, particularly the shorter ones, yet Professor Weinstein inspired me to read a lot of them. His teaching method doesn't require you to have read them to enjoy and learn from the course. Significantly too, the Professor doesn't stick solely to the works typically associated with a particular author. For example, he spent some time studying lesser known works by Melville ("Benito Cereno"), Hemingway ("Garden of Eden") and Twain ("Pudd'nhead Wilson"). And, perhaps the best thing about this audio course is that, if you aren't interested in an author/poet/playwright/essayist, you can skip that lecture *with impunity*.

    I cannot recommend this course highly enough to anyone who loves lit, but never had a chance or took the time to study it. For me, this course was worth several credits and more.

    More

    Classics of American Literature

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    To truly understand the United States of America, you must explore its literary tradition. Now, in this grand collection of 84 fascinating lectures, you'll get the chance to finally become familiar with America's true literary masterpieces (some you may already be familiar with, others you have yet to discover). Professor Weinstein has crafted these lectures to explain why some works become classics while others do not, why some "immortal" works fade from our attention completely, and even why some contemporary works now being ignored or snubbed by critics may be considered immortal one day.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature"
  1. The Awakening
  2. Masterworks of Early 20th...
  3. Classics of American Lite...
  4. .

A Peek at David's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1007
 
218 REVIEWS / 222 ratings Member Since 2010 241 Followers / Following 0
 
David's greatest hits:
  • Can You Forgive Her?

    "Very Very Victorian"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a long, long book, and the first in a series, though I understand that they mostly stand alone so you don't really have to read them in order. It centers around three women: one married, one single, and one widowed, and for each of them, the central question is the same - do I go with Mr. Dull and Dependable or do I go with Mr. Good Looks Who Will Spend All My Money and Ruin Me?

    It might have been a more exciting book if Trollope was a more radical author, but I'm not spoiling too much to say that Trollope was actually a very conservative author. Everyone ultimately Does the Right Thing in a very Victorian way, but not before flirting with impropriety enough to raise the question asked by the title: Can You Forgive Her?

    Besides jilted suitors and gentleman wastrels, there is a bit of Parliamentary politics in this book which I believe assumes greater importance in the future volumes.

    Anthony Trollope had the gift of narrative and character development, so if your only exposure to Victorian social drama is Charles Dickens, then give Trollope a try. That said, I would probably start with The Way We Live Now, which I thought was a better book with a more engaging story.

    Simon Vance is one of my favorite audiobook readers, and he delivers great Victorian performances equally well with his readings of James Bond novels.

  • The Jungle: A Signature Performance by Casey Affleck

    "It might make you a vegetarian, if not a socialist"

    Overall
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    With a hundred years of hindsight, we've learned so little.

    Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is famous for disgusting America with its tales of meat packing workers falling into vats and rendered into lard, and all the things that went into sausages and tinned beef. (Cigar butts and poisoned rats not even being the most disgusting ingredients...) But as Sinclair said about his most famous book, "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." The Jungle is not primarily about the problems of an unregulated meat industry. It's about the crushing brutality of capitalism, and the problems of unregulated accumulation of wealth. No wonder that Americans prefer the less political vegetarian version.

    Although Sinclair was a muckraking socialist with an obvious agenda, The Jungle is still a compelling novel in its own right. Jurgis Rudkus is a Lithuanian immigrant who comes to America with his young wife Ona and his extended family of in-laws. Initially believing they have found the promised land of opportunity and plenty, they are quickly taken in by various schemes meant to impoverish, indebt, and enslave immigrants like them. At first only Jurgis has to work in Chicago's meatpacking district. He is young and strong and believes hard work will be rewarded, and those who warn him of how the meatpackers will use him up and dispose of him are lazy whiners. Of course, he soon discovers otherwise. The family undergoes one mishap after another, until within a year, even the children are reduced to selling newspapers on the street and still they are all barely staying alive.

    Then things get worse, and worse, and worse. Jurgis is a modern-day Job, with no God to blame his troubles on, only capitalism. He has several ups and downs, but every time he catches a break, it's quickly followed by yet another brutal smackdown. Sinclair was trying to make the reader feel sorry for Jurgis and his poor family, all of whom end up dead, prostituted, or beggars by the end of the book, and you will. The poor man just cannot win, and if he makes mistakes and chooses the less noble path when given a choice, it's pretty hard to judge him if you've never been homeless on the streets of Chicago in the wintertime.

    The Jungle is a grimly detailed look at early 20th century America. Sinclair was muckraking, so obviously he's showing the ugliest bits of America he can, but history proved that most of what he was alleging was true, even if his conclusions were questionable. Even if you are strongly anti-socialist, The Jungle is an eye-opening story, and still relevant after all these years. If you think that the horrors depicted in this book are relics of a previous era, just remember that to the extent that the very worst of these abuses are now curbed (somewhat) by government regulations, those government regulations are exactly what "free market" advocates hate and want to abolish.

    4 stars. Knocking one star off because while Sinclair mostly kept his didacticism in check throughout the book, using gripping drama and only a little bit of exposition to arouse the horror he intended, the last chapter was nothing but socialist sermonizing, making it less a climax than the author climbing onto a soapbox to deliver his moral.

    I have to ding this version for the unfortunate choice of narrator: I've enjoyed several of Audible's Signature Performances, but Casey Affleck's reading was monotonous and completely lacking in passion. His voice lacked distinction, and he sounded like a schoolboy reading a book aloud to the class. Not every celebrity actor makes a good audiobook narrator.

  • The Way We Live Now

    "Excellent choice for any fan of Victorian dramas"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a fantastic melodrama, worthy of being compared with any other Victorian novel, with a large cast of characters, a dozen subplots, and a biting, satirical wit that Trollope applied to what he saw as the greed and lack of class evident in London in his day. Other reviewers have commented on how Augustus Melmotte is entirely believable as a 19th century Bernie Madoff, and his ponzi scheme house of cards has been seen over and over again on Wall Street. But if The Way We Live Now were just a book about greedy high society types being taken in by a con man, it wouldn't have as much to recommend it. What makes this book great are the characters, from Melmotte himself to the many other players large and small, all of whom do wind up being interconnected in some way, though not all tie into the central storyline.

    Of course a great deal of the book is taken up by marital intrigue -- that is to say, pretty much everyone is trying to get married. Some are trying to marry for love, some for financial security, some start seeking one and wind up choosing the other, but there are so many couples and would-be couples in this book, you almost need a dance card. They're each and every one of them different, with their own vividly described motives. Some are dastardly, some are grasping, some are naive and sweet, some are vulnerable, some are just weak. A few are even noble. But it's all a grand drama, and Trollope, paid by the word like most authors in his day, gets to indulge the reader in chapters full of resolution for each individual character in a way that modern novels, which favor tightness and paring away of unnecessary subplots and secondary characters, don't allow. It's a big, wordy book but if you like dramas, every bit of it is entertaining.

    Timothy West really livened up the reading with perfect dry English wit to bring out Trollope's satirical tone. One of the best narrators I've heard on Audible.com; every character, even the women, was distinct.

  • Light in August

    "The "accessible" Faulkner: lovely, hard, and cruel"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my first time reading the notoriously difficult Faulkner. I did not find Light in August to be particularly difficult, though it's also said to be his most accessible work. Faulker writes in a sort of sparse poetry that reminds me a little of Cormac McCarthy (though it's probably more appropriate to say that McCarthy reminds me of Faulkner). Faulkner is not as sparse, though; his prose requires a fair degree of sophistication to grasp and he weaves many, many themes through this novel, so I can see why he's considered a challenging read, especially in the era of YA ascendancy.

    I was captivated by that prose very early. I was prepared to fall in love with Faulkner. The first act of the novel is compelling: the simple tale of a naive young woman named Lena Grove who leaves home in pursuit of the ne'er-do-well who done left her in an expectin' sorta way, possessing an almost childlike faith that it was all on account o' him not knowin' the situation and planning to send for her anyway once he's all settled, so once she catches up with him, the Lord will see to it that they is married like a couple with a baby comin' ought.

    Yeah, right, and pigs will fly.

    While the writing remained beautiful and poetic throughout the book, the third act, in which Faulkner wraps up all his themes, ties up all the loose ends, and brought it all home, dragged to the point that I thought he spent quite a few pages just indulging himself in the portentous importance of his own ponderous prose. It didn't diminish the genius of his writing, but it did wear on me, as someone who has developed a much greater appreciation for literary writing in the past few years, but still prizes storytelling as an essential ingredient in a great novel. The flashbacks and stream-of-consciousness chapters pile on, never becoming less finely written, but I started to see why Faulkner is considered "challenging"; the book starts out as a fine Southern tragedy, but dumps us deep in literary Faulkner-land by the end.

    Also, this book is squirm-inducing in its beautiful and poetic rendering of the rankest misogyny and racism. The n-word abounds and yes, it's set in a time and place in which it would be unbelievable not to hear it flung about freely, but I found myself uncertain to the end just where Faulkner stood and what he was trying to say about his racially ambiguous anti-protagonist Christmas, who spends his life reflecting the world's contempt and abuse back at it. Joe Christmas grows up hard and mean and who can blame him? What I also found as horrific as it was authentic was the multi-layered hatred of all womankind, expressed through every single male character in one way or another, even the relatively sympathetic ones. Women in Light in August are the enemy even when they are self-sacrificing martyrs, oppressing men by the very act of martyrdom. I know it's fashionable to dismiss authorial intent, Death of the Author and all that, but man, methinks Faulkner had some issues with women. One of the most compelling passages in the book was the one explaining Christmas's solidarity with the unloving, hated adoptive father who beat him against his doormat of an adoptive mother who did nothing but try to comfort him. It was hard and true and ugly, and just left me awed at such prose that could fill me with such disquiet.


    “She is like all the rest of them. Whether they are seventeen or fortyseven, when they finally come to surrender completely, it's going to be in words.”


    This was really quite an experience. One has to have a taste for Faulkner, I think, and I suspect people will have wildly varying emotional reactions to him. I was drawn into Light in August enough that I will certainly read Faulkner again. 4 stars, because the prose is truly Nobel-caliber, but the story became abstruse and, for me, hard to love by the end.

    A fine performance by Will Patton, whose accent is Southern enough to be authentic without being so thick as to hinder clarity.

ESK

ESK Moscow, Russia 12-26-12 Member Since 2011

There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times. ― Yevgeny Zamyatin

HELPFUL VOTES
176
ratings
REVIEWS
329
58
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
32
1
  • "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"

    18 of 18 helpful votes

    Poetic delight. Lyric ecstasy. Personally, it's the best collection of poems ever. Should you have any doubts about that, look at the list of poems and the narrators.
    (Part I/Disc I)
    1. Autumn from 4 Seasons/Capella Istropiltana - Stephen Gunzenhauser (conductor)
    2. Shakespeare, Seven Ages from As You Like It, Act II Scene VII - Sir Ian McKellen
    3. A Fancy - The Rose Consort Of Viols
    4. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Infant (excerpt) - Sir Ian McKellen
    5. Thom Gunn, Baby Song - Catherine McCormack
    6. Ann Stevenson, The Victory - Richard Jackson
    7. Emily Dickinson, Surgeons - Gayle Hunnicutt
    8. Shakespeare, Fancy from Merchant of Venice, Act III Scene 2 - Mark Rylance
    9. Ogden Nash, Guppy - Prunella Scales
    10. Edward Lear, Quangle Wangle's Hat - Connie Booth
    11. Thomas Hood, I Remember, I Remember - Ralph Fiennes
    12. William Allingham, The Fairies - Juliet Stevenson
    13. Thomas Hood, A Parental Ode - Ralph Fiennes
    14. Robert L. Stevenson, My Shadow - Stella Gonet
    15. Edward Lear, The Owl and the Pussy Cat - John Cleese
    16. A. A. Milne, Sneezles - Andrew Sachs
    17. Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter - Joss Ackland w/ Peter Bayliss
    18. Ted Hughes, Jellyfish - Leo Sayer
    19. G.K. Chesterton, The Donkey - Emma Fielding
    20. Anonymous (or Christopher Isherwood?), The Common Cormorant - Andrew Sachs
    21. R.L. Stevenson, Where Go the Boats - Stella Gonet
    22. Ted Hughes, Crab - Leo Sayer
    23. A.A. Milne, The End - Catherine McCormack
    24. Midsummer Nights Dream (Uphill Down Dale) - Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
    25. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: School - Sir Ian McKellen
    26. R.L. Stevenson, To Any Reader - John Sessions
    27. Dylan Thomas, Under Milk Wood - Ioan Gruffudd
    28. Vernon Watkins, The Collier - Ioan Gruffudd
    29. Shel Silverstein, Sick - Catherine McCormack
    30. John Whitworth, Boring - John Cleese
    31. John Whittier, From The Barefoot Boy - Jenny Agutter
    32. Full Fathom Five from Tempest, Act I Scene 2 - Dame Glenda Jackson
    33. Oscar Wilde, Rosa Mystica - Michael Williams
    34. Rudyard Kipling, A Smuggler's Song - Michael Caine
    35 C. Day Lewis, Walking Away - Timothy West
    36 Hilaire Belloc, Tarantella - Terence Stamp
    37 T.S. Eliot, Macavity - David Suchet
    38 Rudyard Kipling, If - Michael Caine
    39 Shakespeare, From Hamlet: This Above All - Michael Maloney
    40. M. George Whitehead and His Almand - performed by Rose Consort Of Viols
    41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Lover - Sir Ian McKellen
    42. W.B. Yeats, The Arrow - Art Malisk
    43. H.W. Longfellow, The Arrow and the Song - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
    44. Rabindranath Tagore, They Who Are Near to Me - Art Malik
    45. Christina Rossetti, The First Day - Felicity Kendal
    46. T.L. Beddoes, From The Song of Torrismond - Janet Suzman
    47. R.S. Bridges, My Delight and Thy Delight - Ralph Fiennes
    48. E.B. Browning, Sonnet 43 - Hannah Gordon
    49. R. Kipling, The Virginity - Terence Stamp
    50. P.B. Shelley, The Longest Journey - Samuel West
    51. Anonymous, We Have Known Treasure - Charles Dance
    52. Shakespeare, Sonnet 138 - Robert Lindsay
    53. C. Rossetti, Echo - Dame Glenda Jackson
    54. R. Tagore, Delusions I Did Cherish - Art Malik
    55. Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 - Dame Glenda Jackson
    56. A. E. Housman, When I Was One-And-Twenty - Pete Postlethwaite
    57. W. B. Yeats, The Mermaid - Juliet Stevenson
    58. Robert Herrick, Upon the Nipples of Julia's Breast - Terence Stamp
    59. Robert Burns, My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose - John Sessions
    60. Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 - Robert Lindsay
    61. D. H. Lawrence, New Year's Eve - Michael Maloney
    62. D. H. Lawrence, Green - Michael Maloney
    63. John Keats, A Thing of Beauty Is a Joy Forever - Mark Rylance

    (Part II/Disc II)
    1. Stravinsky: A Soldier's Tale - Nicholas Ward (conductor)
    2. Shakespeare, From All the world's a stage: Soldier - Sir Ian McKellen
    3. Shakespeare, Prologue from King Henry 5 - Mark Rylance
    4. Julian Grenfell, Into Battle - Juliet Stevenson
    5. W. B. Yeats, An Irish Airman Foresees His Death - William Houston
    6. James Russell Lowell, Once to Every Man and Nation - Dame Judi Dench
    7. Seamus Heaney, Whatever You Say, Say Nothing - William Houston
    8. John McCrea, In Flanders Fields - Robert Powell
    9. Vera Brittain, Perhaps - Dame Judi Dench
    10. Wilfred Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth - Robert Powell
    11. Wilfred Owen, Dulce at Decorum Est / Lord Owen
    12. Eva Dobell, Pluck - Felicity Kendal
    13. W. H. Auden, From In Memory of W.B. Yeats - Art Malik
    14. John Jarmain, At a War Grave - Michael Malony
    15. John Jarmain, El Alamein - Michael Malony
    16. Ruth Fainlight, Handbag - Prunella Scales
    17. Elsie Cawser , Salvage Song - Michael Maloney
    18. Rudyard Kipling, England - Michael Caine
    19. Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach - Michael Williams
    20. Dan Pagis, Written With a Pencil in a Sealed Wagon - Janet Suzman
    21. John Donne, No Man Is an Island - Ed Bishop
    22. Luis de Narvaez: Fantasia - Shirley Rumsey
    23. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Wisdom - Sir Ian McKellen
    24. Shakespeare, The Quality of Mercy from Merchant of Venice, Act IV Scene 1 - Ralph Fiennes
    25. John Boyle O’Reilly , What Is Good - Dame Judi Dench
    26. Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass - Art Malik
    27. Anonymous, Addendum to the Ten Commandments - Michael Caine
    28. Geoffrey Chaucer, From The Canterbury Tales: A Student - Emma Fielding
    29. James Leigh Hunt, Abou Ben Adhem - Robert Powell
    30. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Song of Hiawatha (excerpt) - Clarke Peters
    31. William Wordsworth, My Heart Leaps Up - Robert Hardy
    32. William Blake, Auguries of Innocence - Timothy West
    33. William Blake, The Tyger - Timothy West
    34. Emily Dickinson, Of All Souls That Stand Create - Gayle Hunnicutt
    35. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Chorus of Spirits - Prunella Scales
    36. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan - Pete Postlethwaite
    37. Robert Burns, A Man's a Man for A' That - John Sessions
    38. Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken - John Cleese
    39. Anonymous, The Bleed'n' Sparrer - Michael Caine
    40. The King of Denmark's Galiard performed by the Rose Consort of Viols
    41. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Sixth Age - Sir Ian McKellen
    42. W. B. Yeats, Politics - Michael Caine
    43. Ogden Nash, Peekaboo, I Almost See You - David Suchet
    44. Ogden Nash, Samson Agonistes - David Suchet
    45. John Masefield , Sea Fever - Terence Stamp
    46. Emily Dickinson, Exultation - Gayle Hunnicutt
    47. Morris Bishop, We Have Been Here Before - Charles Dance
    48. Alfred, Lord Tennyson From The Brook - Janet Suzman
    49. William Wordsworth, Upon Westminster Bridge - Robert Hardy
    50. J. Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, A Song of a Young Lady to Her Ancient Lover - Janet Suzman
    51. Robert Burns, John Anderson, My Jo - Stella Gonet
    52. Stanley J. Sharples, In Praise of Cocoa, Cupid's Nightcap - Emma Fielding
    53. Rudyard Kipling, The Way Through the Woods - Art Malik
    54. Christina Rossetti, From Uphill - HRH The Duchess Of Kent
    55. Shakespeare, From All the World's a Stage: Last Scene - Sir Ian McKellen
    56. Dylan Thomas, Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night - Ioan Gruffudd
    57. Christina Rossetti, Song - Jenny Agutter
    58. Leo Marks, Code Poem for the French Resistance - Ralph Fiennes
    59. Emily Dickinson, This World Is Not Conclusion - Gayle Hunnicutt
    60. Robert Louis Stevenson, Requiem - John Sessions
    61. Christina Rossetti, Sleeping at Last - Dame Judi Dench
    62. Shakespeare, Fear No More from Cymbeline, Act IV Scene 2 - Sir Ian McKellen
    63. John Banister Tabb, Evolution/Autumn from Four Seasons (Reprise) - Mark Rylance

    More

    Seven Ages: An Anthology of Poetry with Music

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
    • Narrated By Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (50)

    This highly entertaining anthology of verse is the comic, tragic, tender, and telling story of life's seven ages, from childhood to old age. Within the framework of Shakespeare's speech, "The Seven Ages of Man," performed by Sir Ian McKellen, are 150 great poems from all ages, from Chaucer to Emily Dickinson to Walt Whitman and many others. The poem are presented by the finest cast ever assembled on one recording and includes Ralph Fiennes, Dame Judi Dench, John Cleese, Michael Caine, and more.

    ESK says: "The Anthology of 'Music-Makers'"

What's Trending in Classics:

  • 4.8 (229 ratings)
    To Kill a Mockingbird (






UNABRIDGED) by Harper Lee Narrated by Sissy Spacek

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (214)

    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.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
  • 4.8 (173 ratings)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard (






UNABRIDGED) by J.R.R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Volume 1: The Treason of Isengard

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (105)

    Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
  • 4.8 (26 ratings)
    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7 (






UNABRIDGED) by Marcel Proust Narrated by Neville Jason

    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Lost in the blacked-out streets of Paris during the First World War, Marcel stumbles into a brothel and accidentally witnesses a shocking scene involving the Baron de Charlus. Later, at a reception given by the Prince de Guermates, his meditations on the passage of time lead to his determination to embark on his life's work at last.

    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
  • 4.9 (21 ratings)
    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita] (






UNABRIDGED) by Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov Narrated by Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov

    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita]

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Master i Margarita - "posledniy zakatnyy" roman M.A. Bulgakova, roman zaveshchanie, voskresshiy iz pepla unichtozhennoy avtorom pervoy redaktsii. V Mastere i Margarite fantastika natalkivaetsya na realizm, mif na istoricheskuyu dostovernost, teosofiya na demonizm, romantika na klounadu.

  •  
  • 4.8 (19 ratings)
    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor John R. Hale

    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Marcheta says: "Excellent material and presentation"
  • 4.8 (16 ratings)
    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two (






UNABRIDGED) by W. Somerset Maugham Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    In June 1917, W. S. Maugham was asked by the British Secret Intelligence Service, to undertake a special mission in Russia to support Kerensky's government. The mission failed, and two and a half months later, the Bolsheviks took control. Maugham subsequently said that if he had been able to get there six months earlier, he might have succeeded. Quiet and observant, Maugham had a good temperament for intelligence work. The writer used his spying experiences as the basis for his collection of short stories called Ashenden: Or the British Agent. They became the prototype for the modern espionage novel.

  • 4.8 (14 ratings)
    Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2 (






UNABRIDGED) by L. M. Montgomery Narrated by Laurie Klein

    Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By L. M. Montgomery
    • Narrated By Laurie Klein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    This is the second story in the Anne of Green Gables series. Skinny little red-haired Anne has changed into a pretty 16-year-old and is all grown up - well, sort of grown up. The story opens with Anne as a school teacher at Avonlea school. When Anne reached the school that first morning, she was confronted by prim rows of "shining morning faces". She had sat up until nearly midnight composing a speech which she had revised and improved painstakingly. It was a wonderful speech with fine ideas. And then, she couldn't remember it!

    Susie says: "Good story and perfect narrator"
  • 4.9 (14 ratings)
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I (






UNABRIDGED) by Edward Gibbon Narrated by David Timson

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Some 250 years after its first publication, Gibbon's Decline and Fall is still regarded as one of the greatest histories in Western literature. He reports on more than 1,000 years of an empire which extended from the most northern and western parts of Europe to deep into Asia and Africa and covers not only events but also the cultural and religious developments that effected change during that time.

    Allen L. Harris says: "DAVID TIMSON IS AMAZING!"
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (






UNABRIDGED) by Harper Lee Narrated by Sissy Spacek

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (229)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (214)

    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.

    Alan says: "Stunning"
  • The Hobbit (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8446)
    Performance
    (7589)
    Story
    (7712)

    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.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Fellowship of the Ring: Book One in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4336)
    Performance
    (3895)
    Story
    (3973)

    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.

    Ellen says: "At last - The Definitive Recording!"
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities (






UNABRIDGED) by Tom Wolfe Narrated by Joe Barrett

    The Bonfire of the Vanities

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (444)

    Tom Wolfe's best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress - until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace. A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City.

    JOHN says: "TEN STARS"
  •  
  • 1984: New Classic Edition (






UNABRIDGED) by George Orwell Narrated by Simon Prebble

    1984: New Classic Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3764)
    Performance
    (2328)
    Story
    (2362)

    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.

    Jay Stone says: "Enduring Classic"
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (






UNABRIDGED) by L. Frank Baum Narrated by Anne Hathaway

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1934)
    Performance
    (1791)
    Story
    (1783)

    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.

    Thug4life says: "Great for family car ride"
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Elijah Wood

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Signature Performance by Elijah Wood

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Elijah Wood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2405)
    Performance
    (1889)
    Story
    (1873)

    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.

    James says: "Worthy "signature" premiere"
  • The Grapes of Wrath (






UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck Narrated by Dylan Baker

    The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1456)
    Performance
    (1273)
    Story
    (1279)

    At once naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s, The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics. Although it follows the movement of thousands of men and women and the transformation of an entire nation during the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s, The Grapes of Wrath is also the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, who are forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

    Dan Harlow says: "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"
  •  
  • The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Two Towers: Book Two in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2930)
    Performance
    (2642)
    Story
    (2697)

    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.

    Anna says: "Thank you, Audible! Tolkien at long last!"
  • Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5252)
    Performance
    (3218)
    Story
    (3232)

    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.

    Mica says: "Hurt version decidedly superior"
  • The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (






UNABRIDGED) by J. R. R. Tolkien Narrated by Rob Inglis

    The Return of the King: Book Three in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2656)
    Performance
    (2385)
    Story
    (2434)

    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.

    Natalie says: "Finally!"
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor] (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Dickens Narrated by Simon Vance

    A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (624)
    Story
    (656)

    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.

    Teddy says: "Truly a Classic"
  • The Grim Reaper's Bedside Story Book: Tales of Gruesome and Unusual Deaths (






UNABRIDGED) by Edgar Allan Poe, Sherwood Anderson, Alexander Pushkin, Wilkie Collins, Thomas Hardy, Arnold Bennett, Egerton Castle Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Grim Reaper's Bedside Story Book: Tales of Gruesome and Unusual Deaths

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe, Sherwood Anderson, Alexander Pushkin, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A highly unsettling collection of macabre stories in which death and the dead are key themes. Moon’s Gibbet by Egerton Castle, A Strange Goldfield by Guy Boothby, The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy, The Pistol Shot by Alexander Pushkin, The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe, The Dead Hand by Wilkie Collins, The Famous Race between the Hearse and the Steamroller by Sidney Keyes, The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, Nine O’Clock by Wilkie Collins, The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin.

  • The Knight of the Chimney-Piece (






UNABRIDGED) by A.A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    The Knight of the Chimney-Piece

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By A.A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Margery story. The storyteller interacts with his niece who is just learning to speak. For his own benefit he is quick to interpret the word Gorkey - which apparently has more than one meaning. Relatable humor in this delightful shot story from the mind of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.

  • The Castle of Otranto (






UNABRIDGED) by Horace Walpole Narrated by Neville Jason

    The Castle of Otranto

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Horace Walpole
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Castle of Otranto is regarded as the first Gothic novel. The son of Manfred, Prince of Otranto, is mysteriously killed on his wedding day by a huge helmet. The event leads to a fast-paced story of jealous passion, intrigue, murder and supernatural phenomena unfolding in an atmosphere of thunderclaps, moonlight, and dark castle walls mirroring the inner turmoil of the characters themselves.

  • Shirley (






UNABRIDGED) by Charlotte Brontë Narrated by Georgina Sutton

    Shirley

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Georgina Sutton
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Set in a chaotic time in England, during the height of the Napoleonic Wars, Caroline Helstone's world is turned upside down when she meets the vivacious Shirley Keeldar. Shirley becomes a beacon of light for Caroline as the two become close friends. However, Caroline is soon shocked to discover that Shirley has won the affections of Robert Moore, the impoverished mill owner whom she loves. Fully representative of Yorkshire life at the time, Brontë's second novel is completely gripping, unrelenting and utterly wrenching in its portrayal.

  •  
  • Toby (






UNABRIDGED) by A.A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Toby

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By A.A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A good horse has an amazing effect on a rider – even if the rider knows nothing of horses. Our storyteller would make up whatever he needed to in order to keep the horse. He even kept his military mustache if it meant he could continue a companionship with Toby. Filled with a patchwork of humor from the mind of A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh.

  • Disappointment (






UNABRIDGED) by A. A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Disappointment

    • UNABRIDGED (6 mins)
    • By A. A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In an age where being an apprentice was normal the storyteller has the opportunity to discuss a new writing by 13-year-old Bobby. The conversation inspires the storyteller to complete his own version of the story. The result should bring a smile. Is it possible soap operas came from this short story conversation with the young writer? Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Faro's Daughter (






UNABRIDGED) by Georgette Heyer Narrated by Laura Paton

    Faro's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Laura Paton
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (2)

    Fiery, strong-willed Deb Grantham, who presides over a gaming house with her aunt, is hardly the perfect wife for the young and naive Lord Mablethorpe. His lordship's family are scandalized that he proposes to marry one of 'faro's daughters', and his cousin the proud, wealthy Max Ravenscar - decides to take the matter in hand. Ravenscar always gets his way, but as he and Miss Grantham lock horns, they become increasingly drawn to each other. Amidst all the misunderstandings and entanglements, has Ravenscar finally met his match?

  • Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3 (






UNABRIDGED) by Anthony Trollope Narrated by David Shaw-Parker

    Dr Thorne: Chronicles of Barsetshire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By David Shaw-Parker
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    It tells the tale of Frank Gresham and Mary Thorne, a couple intent on marriage despite their conflicting social backgrounds. Frank is engaged in a fierce battle with his family as his mother vehemently opposes the marriage and pushes him to marry a wealthy heiress; however, Frank shuns her attempts and is determined to accept Mary on her own terms.

  •  
  • Afternoon Sleep (






UNABRIDGED) by A. A. Milne Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Afternoon Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (5 mins)
    • By A. A. Milne
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Margery story. The storyteller interacts with a very young niece. No matter how he thinks to convince Margery that he needed a nap she refuses to follow. If you’ve ever had a child who asks lots of questions and dreams up new ways to command your attention you will identify with the trials of the storyteller. A short story from the mind of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.