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Erez

Erez Israel Member Since 2007
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  • "The Russian Dickens"

    Overall

    "Dead Souls" is a wonderful book. It has all the wit and linguistic dexterity of Dickens, and still is utterly and completely Russian. The elusive "Russian spirit" is on every page. Truly a masterpiece, presented here in a very good translation. The reader does an excellent job, too; his voices do slip here and there, but never for more than a second or two.

    There is, however, one thing to note about this audiobook: Gogol intended this to be a three-volume work. In his lifetime, he only published the first volume. He apparently wrote some of the second part, but then burned it. Now, it seems that some fragments of this second part have survived, and these are included in the audiobook. Listening to that half of the audiobook isn't really enjoyable: every time you start to follow the plot, the narrator says "at this point there is a long hiatus in the original" and jumps off to a much later part of the story, complete with new and unfamiliar characters and full of references to events you have no knowledge of. I think the audiobook would have been better without this rather pointless second part, and would recommend stopping after the first.

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    Dead Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (44)

    Chichikov, a mysterious stranger, arrives in a provincial town with a bizarre but seductive proposition for local landowners. He proposes to buy the names of their serfs who have died but who are still registered on the census, saving their owners from paying tax on them. But what collateral will Chichikov receive for these "souls"?

    Erez says: "The Russian Dickens"
  • "Amazing"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, a few technical notes:
    - The translation used in the audiobook is the one by Constance Garnett.
    - The actual length of the book is about 61 hours, since the last four hours (the epilogues) are repeated twice.

    The narrator (whose real name was David Case -- he passed away in 2005) seems to provoke extreme reactions: some people can't stand him, others can't get enough of him. I happen to belong to the second class, and I believe he is especially suited for this novel. However, if you find his voice as irritating as some of the other reviewers, you should probably go for another version.

    And now for the book itself. In "The Brothers Karamazov", Dostoyevsky writes: "Show a Russian schoolboy a map of the stars, which he knows nothing about, and he will give you back the map next day with corrections on it." Tolstoy is the ideal to which all such schoolboys aspire, and "War and Peace" is his greatest achievement. Not only is this immense work a novel, it is a place for Tolstoy to expound his views on the causes and persons of the Napoleonic wars, on the methods of historical research, on free will and (of course) the existence of God. I can't say that I found everything convincing or even interesting -- for example, he takes a lot of pains to demonstrate the Napoleon was not a military genius but a blundering fool -- but for the sheer complexity and ambition of this work I cannot help but award it five stars.

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    War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1086)
    Performance
    (560)
    Story
    (554)

    Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
  • "I didn't like the structure of the ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't have much to add about the poem itself, which is truly marvelous; the translation here is the one by Rolfe Humphries, and it is indeed extremely good. However, there's another aspect of the audiobook which I didn't care for. In addition to the poem itself, the audiobook contains two short essays: a biographical sketch of Lucretius by William Young Sellar, and an overview of Epicureanism by William Wallace. I actually found the essays an interesting addition, but for some reason they are not include before or after the text, but interspersed with it. I normally like to read or listen to introductions after the text itself, and I found that the arrangement here broke the flow of the text. If you're like me, the following layout might be useful:

    0h0m to 0h15m: Lucretius biography, part 1
    0h15m to 1h29m: Book I of the poem
    1h29m to 1h45m: Lucretius biography, part 2
    1h45m to 3h04m: Book II
    3h04m to 3h20m: Epicureanism, part 1
    3h20m to 4h32m: Book III
    4h32m to 4h46m: Epicureanism, part 2
    4h46m to 6h13m: Book IV
    6h13m to 7h54m: Book V
    7h54m to 9h12m: Book VI

    As for the narrator: I've bought quite a few of Charlton Griffin's audiobooks, and there's no denying he's an excellent narrator. He's not my personal favorite, because I find his booming voice a little too, well, booming. I sometimes felt like it was an irate Roman god reading the poem, and not an atheistic poet. Not a real problem, of course, just my personal taste.

    In short: an excellent poem, beautifully translated, expertly read. I only wish the extra parts were concentrated in one place, either at the beginning or the end.

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    On the Nature of Things

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lucretius
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    This famous work by Lucretius is a masterpiece of didactic poetry, and it still stands today as the finest exposition of Epicurean philosophy ever written. The poem was produced in the middle of first century B.C., a period that was to witness a flowering of Latin literature unequaled for beauty and intellectual power in subsequent ages. The Latin title, De Rerum Natura, translates literally to On the Nature of Things and is meant to impress the reader with the breadth and depth of Epicurean philosophy.

    Lawrence says: "A Masterpiece"
  1. Dead Souls
  2. War and Peace
  3. On the Nature of Things
  4. .

A Peek at David's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
937
 
202 REVIEWS / 206 ratings Member Since 2010 226 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
    Performance
    Story

    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.

T.

T. Taiji-cho, Japan 05-10-12 Member Since 2010

Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!

HELPFUL VOTES
162
ratings
REVIEWS
240
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FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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1
  • "a list of what you'll find in Volume 3"

    42 of 42 helpful votes

    His Last Bow (short stories, published 1908-1913, 1917)

    The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
    The Adventure of the Cardboard Box*(see below)
    The Adventure of the Red Circle
    The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
    The Adventure of the Dying Detective
    The Adventure of Lady Frances Carfax
    The Adventure of the Devil's Foot
    His Last Bow (told in the third person)

    The Valley of Fear (Serialized novel published 1914-1915)

    The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (short stories, published 1921-1927)

    The Adventure of the The Illustrious Client
    The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier (Holmes narrates)
    The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone (told in the third person)
    The Adventure of the Three Gables
    The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
    The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
    The Problem of Thor Bridge
    The Adventure of the Creeping Man
    The Adventure of the Lion's Man (Holmes narrates)
    The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
    The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place
    The Adventure of the Retired Colourman

    *(The Adventure of the Cardboard Box chronologically appears in the canon in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes - circa 1892-1893 - but, for some reason, appears in this Volume 3 audiobook.)

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    The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (653)
    Performance
    (530)
    Story
    (524)

    Arthur Conan Doyle never wasted time in getting his stories moving. His plots are always direct and refreshingly lucid, and the narrative has a velocity that sweeps you along right to the end. This was no doubt a large part of his immense worldwide success. Not surprisingly, each time he tried to end the series, his fans would howl in protest. But, as he says in the preface to his last collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, all good things must come to an end.

    T. says: "a list of what you'll find in Volume 3"

What's Trending in Classics:

  • 4.8 (2145 ratings)

    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
    (2145)
    Performance
    (1925)
    Story
    (1964)

    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!"
  • 4.8 (158 ratings)

    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
    (158)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (90)

    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 (22 ratings)

    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    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 (17 ratings)

    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita]

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    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 (13 ratings)

    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    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.

  • 4.8 (12 ratings)

    The Complete Short Stories, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    There have been few masters of the short story as popular as W. S. Maugham. His dry wit, worldweary loftiness, pungent cynicism, and penetrating powers of observation have contributed to the creation of some of the greatest short stories ever written.

    J. J. Kuzma says: "A masterful production of Maugham's short stories."
  • 4.8 (12 ratings)

    The Lost World

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By James Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    The Lost World is the account of a scientific expedition by four highspirited Englishmen - two scientists, a biggame hunter, and a journalist - deep into the Amazon jungle. In this region, cut off from the outside world by unscalable vertical cliffs and fetid swamps, they encounter a world where dinosaurs roam free and natives fight a murderous war with their fierce neighbors, the apemen. Trapped on the isolated plateau with only hunting rifles as protection the four must use savvy and intellect to escape from this primeval terror.

  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    Jane Eyre

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Charlotte Brontë
    • Narrated By Flo Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Jane's love for Mr. Rochester is sorely tested when the mystery of the occupant of the attic is uncovered. Also included are two special features: an excerpt from "The Life of Charlotte Bronte" by Elizabeth Gaskell and "A Brief Visit to the Bronte Parsonage" by our narrator, Flo Gibson.

    Teri says: "Wonderful!"
  •  
  • 4.8 (10 ratings)

    Complete Short Stories, Volume Two

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By W. Somerset Maugham
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    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 (10 ratings)

    The Great Poets: Gerard Manley Hopkins

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 1 min)
    • By Gerard Manley Hopkins
    • Narrated By Jeremy Northam
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    A collection of the best-known poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889). One of the Victorian era's greatest writers, Hopkins' reputation has continued to grow since his death. This collection includes "The Windhover", "The Caged Skylark", "Carrion Comfort", "Spring", and "Fall and Inversnaid".

    Robert says: "Excellent encounter with the poet."
  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7500)
    Performance
    (6760)
    Story
    (6856)

    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 (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3627)
    Performance
    (3259)
    Story
    (3318)

    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 Screwtape Letters

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    Overall
    (1622)
    Performance
    (762)
    Story
    (776)

    A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life and foibles from the vantage point of Screwtape, a highly placed assistant to "Our Father Below". At once wildly comic, deadly serious, and strikingly original, C.S. Lewis gives us the correspondence of the worldly-wise old Devil to his nephew, Wormwood, a novice demon in charge of securing the damnation of an ordinary young man.

    Amazon Customer says: "So much truth, much of it scary."
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2648)
    Performance
    (2429)
    Story
    (2438)

    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....

    Darwin8u says: "Simple, Beautiful, and Exquisitely Textured"
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  • 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
    (2382)
    Performance
    (2149)
    Story
    (2195)

    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!"
  • 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
    (2145)
    Performance
    (1925)
    Story
    (1964)

    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!"
  • The Grapes of Wrath

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Dylan Baker
    Overall
    (1288)
    Performance
    (1118)
    Story
    (1125)

    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"
  • 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
    (2150)
    Performance
    (1649)
    Story
    (1630)

    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"
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  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Payne (translator)
    • Narrated By Bernard Cetaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The original story of Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale. It concerns an impoverished young man named Aladdin. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father and convinces Aladdin and his mother of his goodness by making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. His real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave.

  • Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4902)
    Performance
    (2894)
    Story
    (2901)

    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"
  • A Tale of Two Cities [Tantor]

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (697)
    Performance
    (521)
    Story
    (544)

    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"
  • Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), and others
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (64)

    Irreverent, charming, and eminently quotable, this handbook - an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race - contains 69 aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain’s private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars.

    tracy says: "Mark Twain is Hilarious!"
  • Great American Authors Read from Their Works, Volume 2

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Nelson Algren, James Jones, John Updike, and others
    • Narrated By Nelson Algren, James Jones, John Updike, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Nelson Algren reading from The Man With the Golden Arm, James Jones reading from The Thin Red Line, John Updike reading “Lifeguard” from Pigeon Feathers and Other, Bernard Malamud reading from “The Mourners” from The Magic Barrre.

  • James Jones Reading from The Thin Red Line: Great American Authors Read from Their Works, Volume 2

    • ORIGINAL (23 mins)
    • By James Jones
    • Narrated By James Jones
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    James Jones, who served in combat in the Pacific in World War II, creates a scene of confusion and brutal devastation, as American soldiers struggle against an invincible enemy, and valiant young lives are destroyed.

  • The Elephant's Child

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By Rudyard Kipling
    • Narrated By Phillip J. Mather
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    One of Kipling’s Just So stories that might have been named “How the Elephant Got His Trunk” takes us to the banks of the "Great Grey-Green, Greasy Limpopo" river. A timeless classic, masterfully narrated by Phillip J. Mather.

  • A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men was written in response to a competition run by the Academy of Dijon answering the prompt: What is the origin of inequality among men, and whether such inequality is authorized by natural law? Rousseau puts forth the concept of two types of inequity: natural/physical and moral/political. He focuses on moral inequality and its link to power and wealth. He also covers the areas of self-love, compassion for others, and free-agency.

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  • Moby Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By B. J. Harrison
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In the dark depths of the bottomless sea dwells a white demon, taking shape as the Leviathan known as Moby Dick. One year ago, the malefic brute crunched off the leg of the ungodly Captain Ahab, who now swears revenge. So runs the epic tale of Moby Dick, the supernal work of Herman Melville. In this unabridged production, you will walk with the young sailor Ishmael through the fires of life on a whaling vessel.

  • Hot Potatoes

    • UNABRIDGED (30 mins)
    • By Arnold Bennett
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    When local musical prodigy, Gilbert Swann, is selected to play the violoncello with the visiting London orchestra during the musical festival in the five towns, his mother is convinced that he will be the cornerstone of the entire event. When local dignitary Mrs. Clayton-Vernon invites Gilbert to dinner before the concert with her cousin, the famous conductor from London, she sees this as recognition of his musical genius. A sudden cold snap on the day, however, makes Mrs. Swann fearful that Gilbert's hands will get cold on the journey from Mrs. Clayton-Vernon's house to the concert.

  • Classic Tales of Hope and Courage: Selected Masterworks, Annotated for Modern Adventure Seekers

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs)
    • By Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, William Ernest Henley, and others
    • Narrated By Daniel H. Vimont
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (0)

    Let yourself be swept away by these classic tales of hope and courage!!

    - Classic tales (short stories and poems) of hope and courage from the 19th and 20th centuries

    Annotated for modern listeners

    The third entry in the Classic Tales series, joining "Classic Tales of Horror" and "Classic Tales of Christmas"

    For adventure fans of all ages, these stories are guaranteed to intrigue, delight, and sometimes take you by surprise!

  • Classic Christmas Tales by Famous Authors: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 51 mins)
    • By Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Bobbie Frohman, David Thorn
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A collection of classic Christmas stories, including:

    • 1. "The Royal Truffle Hunt" by Anthony Thorn
    • 2. "A Christmas Dream and How it Came True" by Louisa Mae Alcott
    • 3. "The Sabots of Little Wolff" by Francois Coppee
    • 4. "A Christmas Guest" by Selma Lanerlof
    • 5. "The Christmas Goblins" by Charles Dickens
    • 6. "At Christmas Time" by Anton Chehkov
    • 7. "The Heavenly Christmas Tree" by Fydor Dostoyevsky