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American Literature

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Erez

Erez Israel Member Since 2007
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Halleluja, Brother Lewis!"

    Overall

    This book was the first one by Sinclair Lewis I had ever read, and from the synopsis I was half expecting something along the lines of Faulkner, whom I don't find too thrilling, to put it delicately. What a pleasant surprise! The book is extremely energetic, sarcastic, psychologically credible and just plain fun. A thrilling ride from start to finish. The narrator, Anthony Heald, also delivers an outstanding performance. He has a very pleasant voice and an impressive control of accents: apart from the many American voices, the occasional British accents are 100% convincing, and his German accent would almost convince a native speaker (but not quite).

    In short: a wonderful audiobook. Both the author and the narrator are going on my list.

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    Elmer Gantry

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Sinclair Lewis
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (117)

    A greedy, philandering Baptist minister, Elmer Gantry turns to evangelism and becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Often exposed as a fraud, he is never fully discredited. Elmer Gantry is considered a landmark American novel and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. It portrays the evangelistic activity that was common in 1920s America as well as attitudes toward it.

    Erez says: "Halleluja, Brother Lewis!"
  • "Excellent novel, some problems with..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First off, let me say that I was really very impressed with the book. On the surface, it's basically a freak show of religious nuts, con artists and madmen, with none of the plot lines making too much sense; but when you go beyond the surface you see the different themes -- religious, philosophical, social -- that make this such a deeply brilliant and open-ended work.


    However, a couple of things about the narration bothered me. Bronson Pinchot has a very clear and pleasant voice, but I felt almost like he was performing the characters, rather than narrating a book. The biggest problem was that whenever characters speak in a low voice he actually whispers. For anyone who listens to audiobooks while commuting, this makes some phrases almost impossible to hear. Indeed, I had to listen to some passages over and over again before I could make them out.


    The other issue I had with his narration is more a matter of taste: he took great care to give the characters different voices, but to me it resulted in over-interpretation. For example, he performs one character in the book (Enoch) as having a permanently stuffy nose, so that he would pronounce "I mean it" as "I bead it". Now, there is no trace of this in the printed book (I checked), and so I feel like the narration added more than I wanted. Like I said, I'm sure many people wouldn't mind this at all, but I like narrators to add the minimum required for me to be able to differentiate speakers, no more.


    So, in the bottom line, I would recommend this book, but if, like me, you listen to audiobooks in an environment where there is some outside noise, or you prefer a more subdued narration style, be prepared.

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    Wise Blood

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Flannery O’Connor
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (78)

    Flannery O’Connor’s astonishing and haunting first novel is a classic of 20th-century literature. It is the story of Hazel Motes, a 22-year-old caught in an unending struggle against his innate, desperate faith. He falls under the spell of a “blind” street preacher named Asa Hawks and his degenerate fifteen-year-old daughter. In an ironic, malicious gesture of his own non-faith, and to prove himself a greater cynic than Hawks, Hazel founds The Church of God Without Christ but is still thwarted in his efforts to lose God.

    Darwin8u says: "Grotesque Southern Gothic Masterpiece"
  • "Not bad"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story itself is quite nice and well written, if slightly dated. Or perhaps you need to be younger to appreciate the story and ignore the fact that a lot of it has become cliche ("A mysterious island, shrouded in fear, evil, and darkness" etc.)

    As for the narrator, I must say I didn't care for his performance. It's not that he does anything "wrong": his voice is pleasant, his diction is flawless. But to my taste it was overacted. Mr. Harrison simply expresses too much emotion in his narration. As always, this is a matter of taste, but that's what I thought.

    All in all, well worth getting, especially for this price.

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    The Most Dangerous Game

    • UNABRIDGED (59 mins)
    • By Richard Connell
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (91)

    A mysterious island, shrouded in fear, evil, and darkness. Here the amoral General Zaroff hunts. And what, you ask, is the most dangerous game? It is the manner and substance of his nightly killings.

    Erez says: "Not bad"
  1. Elmer Gantry
  2. Wise Blood
  3. The Most Dangerous Game
  4. .

A Peek at Dan Harlow's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
97
 
Fort Collins 34 REVIEWS / 38 ratings Member Since 2012 11 Followers / Following 1
 
Dan Harlow's greatest hits:
  • The Pastures of Heaven

    "Golden, mythical America"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    A funny thing happened to me as I was reading this book - I forgot that Steinbeck wasn't quite being literal. Yet the characters fell so alive, the valley seems like such a real place that you fall into its spell almost immediately. Not until the end when the tourists are looking down into the valley (much like how the book begins) do we feel how Las Pasturas del Cielo is a promised land and we are all still wandering around the dry California scrag like so many little American Moses'.

    I wonder how someone who has never lived in America would feel about this book? I've been reading a lot of novels from Russia and I always wonder what it is I'm missing because I am, in fact, unaware of all the nuance that a Russian author would take for granted of his Russian reader. And would a Russian not quite feel everything that an American would feel reading Steinbeck? The distance that separate us socially as a culture, our yearning for something new and to always be on the move, the easy calm mixed with religious firmness ... are these things unique to America?

    I don't know.

    I do know that Steinbeck writes about the inner yearning and nostalgia and dreams of Americans with an ease as gentle as the calm breeze of the valley of this book. He's writing about ideals, about something much more firm than a place in the ground - he's writing about us as a people in all our varied eccentricities, our hopes and our failures and above all, our idea of what we want our lives (and our country) to be about. Here in this book is a place where harsh politics and extremist religions are tempered with hard work, good neighbors and family. People are good, and though they may not always see eye to eye, they know how to work out their differences honorably.

    That's why Las Pasturas del Cielo isn't a real place, and that's why the tourists at the end can't seem to figure out that living in heaven is as simple as just walking out of the desert and into the valley. Life is complicated, life moves quickly, we grasp onto things that aren't really firm in hopes of finding happiness in things. And yet Las Pasturas del Cielo is still there, waiting, and hoping we will all get our acts together, put aside the things in life that aren't really that important, and just 'go home'.

    Steinbeck is writing about a very conservative ideal, but it's the American ideal. It's quaint, it's hard work, but it's full of a joy and a simplicity we wish we had more of.

    Anyway, this is a wonderful book but it's easy to forget what an artistic masterpiece this is because of its simple, idealist subject matter. Steinbeck very simply and vividly created an entire community full of living breathing people, he described the very minutest details of everyday people, and brings them to life with a uniquely American economy of words. And each story grows more mature as the book goes on, the themes a little darker, more bittersweet, but always hopeful.

    I suppose a lot of readers would find the book old-fashioned, its art antiquated and its subject matter far too conservative, but there for a book about a place that doesn't exist, there is something firm here that I can feel in my very soul that no postmodern expression could ever hope to capture. This is a book about how we could be as much as it is about how we are. It's about a place that has never existed but we wish existed. It's a book that everyone should read after taking a deep breath.

    I hope Steinbeck will soon enjoy a renaissance because too many school kids have been forced to read him when they're far too young to really get him and so think of his as some quaint American throwback. Yet there is real art here and it's a kind of art we could stand to have a little more of.

  • The Grapes of Wrath

    "Almost more relevant now than when it was written"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Replace farmers from Oklahoma with migrant workers from Mexico and I doubt you'd be able to tell that this novel was written back in 1939. And that's what really stuck me about this novel - how relevant it still is - in some ways even more now than then.

    The first similarity is economic. As I write this we are still either going through a 'great recession' or are slowly emerging from an economic downturn. The causes are different, of course, here in the novel it was bad farming techniques mixed with new technology that drove the farmers from their land. Today it's an over-saturated housing market - people banking all their futures on the bubble of hope that perhaps the value of their own home will increase enough for them to make a tidy profit. And just like land that's been worked too hard, people worked the housing market too hard and it collapsed. Banks came to take the farms in the novel and banks came to take the homes in our own time.

    And both examples were of people running as fast as they could just to stay a little ahead of disaster. The farmers grew crops that destroyed the soil because they had no choice - they couldn't compete with the new farms, the corporate farms and machine efficiency. A family can't compete with a fleet of harvesters and tractors - working the land by hand can't keep up with a tractor. And the same goes for the people with houses these days. Everybody borrowed on cheap credit from the bank to hopefully 'buy low' and then 'sell high', but when everyone does it then there isn't no value in any of it and it all falls apart and everyone still owes the banks. And all they wanted was a piece of a dream, a chance to stay afloat economically, to send their kids to a good college, to make the car payments, put food on the table.

    In the novel the Californian's hated the Oakies, called them lazy, called them animals, called them thieves; in today's world we call the homeowners who lost it all idiots, greedy, lazy. But we also hate the banks. Call the banks greedy, inhumane, a great machine that's too big to die and too big to fail and everybody has to keep feeding it because nobody is really too sure how to control it anymore.

    But there is one difference, and that's the work. When the people lost the value on their homes, when the banks realized that the amount of money in the economy was based on a weak speculation and that there was actually a lot less money than there really was, when that caused credit to dry up, and when that caused smaller businesses to close up because they couldn't run the businesses with no credit, which in turn caused people to lose their jobs, and that caused the economy to drag down deeper and created a vicious cycle that made it worse and worse - after all that, the people had nowhere to go because all the 'poor jobs', the type of work Steinbeck writes about in the novel had all been taken by the immigrants.

    And that cussed more issues. The poor American middle-class blamed the Mexican's and now militia patrol the borders to kick the Mexican's out or do worse things in the desert at night when nobody is looking. A man like Casey in the novel is no different than a immigrant getting killed by some militia border patrol.

    And that causes resentment on all sides and the center can't hold.

    And that's just the economic similarity between the novel and today's times. Politically it's the same too. A conservative will say the poor just gotta work, but the conservative will also be on the side of the businessman and when everyone needs work, the businessman can keep wages down and in turn keep the poor really poor. But that's supposed to be ok because the conservative will say the poor can take help from a charity or a church - but that's easy to tell someone else when it's not you having to beg and take charity, easy to tell another man to beg. But the conservative man is holding on by a thread as thin as can be too and he's causing his own demise because soon the corporation will put him out of work too, his job will be lost and he'll have to go begging and he won't be so mean and conservative anymore. He'll see the value of sticking by your fellow man instead of blaming him for his troubles.

    And that's what the book is about - about family, about sticking together, about helping, about not letting the fruit on the vine rot when others go in need. And that's why it's an even more radical novel today than when it was written because it 'smells' of Communism or of Socialism. And the conservative man doesn't want to hear about that, he doesn't want a union because union men are lazy and he doesn't want socialism because the government will tell him what to do and he doesn't want communism because he can take care of his own family.

    That is until he can't, then he'll be singing a different tune or he'll be turning on his own people like some of the people in the novel who turned against their own just to put food on the table; the great selfishness.

    That's the saddest thing about the book - how spot on Steinbeck was about human nature. And for as beautiful as the novel is, as well written as it is, nothing can compare to how true it is. And maybe that's the thing that makes people still so angry about it - that it reveals a truth we don't want to accept about ourselves, that deep down we know that they way we live, that the American dream is not working, that it never really worked and that we either side with the people who will toss us on the heap of irrelevance or we fight the powers that be. And maybe if we worried a little more about if their neighbor has enough in his bowl and a little less about if we have enough in our own then maybe things would be better.

    The novel is a microcosm of American, then and now. And that's quite an achievement because how many novels ring this true 75 years after they were written? And the novel is a damning indictment too, and that's why it still scares people.

    And that ending. What an ending too. It's both hopeful and sad. It's religious and it turns religion on it's head too. It's bleak and yet it's also comforting.

    Now I didn't realize it at first, but this is the third in a series of books I've been reading that deal explicitly with society - 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom' talked about a people fighting for their independence in the deserts of Arabia, '100 Years of Solitude' about a village coping with modernity, and now this novel about a country having to find a new direction. And they are also about the poor, about people who have been taken advantage of by a government or an economy and have been cast aside. And that's been a struggle since man understood ownership and it will continue to be a struggle as long as some men side with the very forces that could steamroll everyone in the end.

    'Don't turn on your own kind', Tom says. Well I hope Tom is still somewhere out there keeping an eye on everyone, helping where he can, beat up and bloody but still fighting. The world needs more Tom's and more Ma's. Someone's gotta keep the family together.

    Anyway, brilliant novel. Pure genius.

  • Oil!

    "A book as flawed as the system it critiques"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    There's no getting around the issue of talking about this book and not mentioning the film There Will Be Blood, so let's just get all that out of the way: they have very little in common and the film is far, far superior to the book.

    Anderson, who directed the film, has gone on the record saying he only really adapted about the first 150 pages of the novel before taking the story in his own, darker, more realistic direction. Anderson wisely focused his attention not on the son but on the oil baron father and not on the older brother Paul, but on the preacher boy Eli. Basically he fixes everything that is wrong with the book but manages to tell very much the same story but injects nuance and rejects the politics of Sinclair.

    And the politics really are the issue and date this book so terribly. We live in a post-communist world and so all the naive ideals of Bunny, all the agonizing contortions of Paul at the end -mimicking the holy-rollers with his own language (Russian) and "shivers" - has been proven to be no better than the capitalism they were fighting against. Communism fell apart because it was just as corrupt as capitalism - capitalism has lasted only because it's managed to "own" so much of the world.

    Yet how Sinclair couldn't see that another form of government was just as bad as any other, why he thought the Russians were onto some grand experiment destined to change the world for the better is just beyond me. Why he didn't apply a rational, critical analysis of the Russian system, or even the socialist system that he applies to capitalism is the one (and major) bit of laziness in an otherwise very well researched and thought out book.

    Sinclair does do a lot right in this book, however. He knows how the oil business works from the ground (literally) on up to the banks and on to Congress. He understands every handshake between oilman and banker, between every banker and political boss, between every political boss and campaigner, between every campaigner and newsman, between every newsman and socialite ... and so on. No relationship in capitalism is left unexplored and all the ugly, dirty warts are examined. And while the book is horribly outdated concerning communism, that's about the only thing out of place because nearly everything else he talks about here is a problem we still deal with in America.

    The biggest issue that hasn't changed since the book was written is the relationship between labor and management. Yes the Unions are nearly all gone thanks to the relationship between church and the republican party (a theme fully explored here in the book written 80 (yes, that's right, 80!) years ago. Yet people are still struggling to make a decent living at the hands of rich big business - today we call them the 1% and the protesters are occupying Wall Street.

    And I could go on about what hasn't changed but that brings up an interesting dilemma: things haven't really changed. The system is still pretty much the same and though it hasn't gotten any better, it really hasn't gotten any worse, either. While capitalist watched as communism rose and then fell, they kept on keeping on. Yes there is a helluva lot of inequity, a lot that isn't fair, a lot of good people who should be doing better, a lot of corruption, but it hasn't in the intervening 80 years fallen apart.

    Now I'm not apologizing for capitalism, but it is an interesting issue to think about nonetheless because of this book that goes into such detail, drills so far down into the problems, but actually works as a better history lesson looking back on how the world was compared to now than it does as a book trying to tell a story.

    And as a book, well, it's not that good. It gets off to a great start but it falls apart at just about the point Anderson stopped adapting it for his brilliant film about greed and at what cost greed takes on a man. First of all the characters are flimsy - they exist just to get to the next journalistic expose masquerading as fiction. Ross Sr., is a nice guy and is all-together too nice to have ever been a successful oilman who can ruthlessly "play the game". Bunny is so thin as to be transparent - he has no personality because Sinclair is too busy writing his as being objective long enough to become a good, pure, and honest socialist of the bright future for mankind and all civilization. Paul exists just for convenience sake and keeps showing up at just the right time to move the story along and teach us how terrible we are to the workers and the Russians.

    In fact, Sinclair does a disservice to very important issues by writing such a flimsy book full of preaching and slanted points of view. There Will Be Blood does a far better job of showing us how greed infects a man and ruins his soul and even if that isn't a financially satisfactory comeuppance, it's at least realistic and might actually make a very wealthy man rethink his own life in a more contemplative manner than this book which would just cause a wealthy man to dig into his trenches deeper and fight against the working man harder.

    But Sinclair wanted to bring to light EVERY issue and so the book had to suffer between laughable scenes so contrived and silly as to make you laugh between cringes and other scenes which are quite insightful and interesting. And I won't fault Sinclair for at least trying to uncover all the problems because he does expose everything wrong with our system of economics and politics, it's just too bad he couldn't have been more artful about it because he only manages to make the characters he sympathizes with look weak and foolish and naive. In short, he hurts the very cause he believes in and wants to fight for.

    This could have been a great book if he trusted his characters, if he didn't lead them around the plot by the nose, if he trusted we the audience to get through to the deeper meaning by digging between the lines. Yet he treats us as uneducated boobs who know no better than to fall for a swindler preacher and don't know any better to take care of ourselves under the thumb of a corporate oppressor.

    Yet there is a lot of good going on here in the ideas of the book. Just because it's bad art does not mean the ideas are all bad or what he exposes as corruption is false or invalid. Sinclair knew there was (and still is) great injustice and that our system is far from perfect. In a way his book is as flawed as our system.

Lawrence

Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10 Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
274
ratings
REVIEWS
36
17
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
16
0
  • "much better than expected"

    13 of 13 helpful votes

    This book was on my bucket list. I didn't think I'd like it because it is currently popular with conservative wingnuts who do not share my political views. To my suprise, it seems to be more about rugged individualism than politics. The protagonists have a Hemmingway flavor, i.e., marching to their own tune. The plot moves well. And, contrary to what some critics say, the prose style is succinct and colorful. I heartily recommend this novel whether you are a righty or lefty. The price is right, too.

    More

    The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2741)
    Performance
    (1461)
    Story
    (1478)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
  • 4.3 (4902 ratings)

    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"
  • 4.3 (3547 ratings)

    Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3547)
    Performance
    (2558)
    Story
    (2558)

    This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

    Noe says: "Outstanding story of post-apocalyse."
  • 4.6 (2765 ratings)

    Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2765)
    Performance
    (1765)
    Story
    (1791)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
  • 4.3 (2741 ratings)

    The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2741)
    Performance
    (1461)
    Story
    (1478)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
  •  
  • 4.3 (2150 ratings)

    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"
  • 4.4 (1729 ratings)

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1729)
    Performance
    (1606)
    Story
    (1599)

    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.

    JT says: "Anne Hathaway Shines Throughout This Audio Edition"
  • 4.3 (1684 ratings)

    The Good Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Pearl S. Buck
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1684)
    Performance
    (859)
    Story
    (871)

    This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.

    Marv says: "a masterpiece!"
  • 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"
  • The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2651)
    Performance
    (2432)
    Story
    (2441)

    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"
  • 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"
  • 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"
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  • 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
    (79)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (65)

    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!"
  • East of Eden

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (977)
    Performance
    (832)
    Story
    (843)

    This sprawling and often brutal novel, set in the rich farmlands of California's Salinas Valley, follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.

    karen says: "American classic, not to be missed."
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By L. Frank Baum
    • Narrated By Anne Hathaway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1729)
    Performance
    (1606)
    Story
    (1599)

    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.

    JT says: "Anne Hathaway Shines Throughout This Audio Edition"
  • Moby-Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (752)
    Story
    (753)

    Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.

    Brendon says: "An American Classic!"
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  • Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2765)
    Performance
    (1765)
    Story
    (1791)

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold. Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire....

    dallas says: "not to miss audible experience"
  • The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2741)
    Performance
    (1461)
    Story
    (1478)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (324)

    Eliza Harris, a slave whose child is to be sold, escapes her beloved home on the Shelby plantation in Kentucky and heads North, eluding the hired slave catchers. Aided by the underground railroad, Quakers, and others opposed to the Fugitive Slave Act, Eliza, her son, and her husband George run toward Canada. As the Harrises flee to freedom, another slave, Uncle Tom, is sent "down the river" for sale. Too loyal to abuse his master's trust, too Christian to rebel, Tom wrenches himself from his family.

    Michael says: "excellent narrator"
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (60)

    Generations of readers have enjoyed the ingenuous triumphs and feckless mishaps of boyhood days on the Mississippi. This classic of American wit and storytelling introduced Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, the Widow Douglas, and many other characters to the world; including, of course, the boy who "was cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town, because he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad - and because all their children admired him so," Huckleberry Finn.

    Avalon says: "A Swashbuckling Boyhood"
  • 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
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    (0)
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    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
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    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.

  • Moby Dick

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

  • 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!

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  • The Wisdom of the Trail

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By Jack London
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
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    The conditions were harsh. Sitka Charley led the expedition in the cold and snow. If only his comrades were as dedicated to the task. The tail can be a dangerous place, and not just because animals may lurk nearby. Take the journey in this classic short story from Jack London. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • The Yellow Wallpaper

    • UNABRIDGED (46 mins)
    • By Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    • Narrated By Linda Velwest
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    A new mother is brought by her doctor husband to a summer house to relax. He has determined that she suffers from a nervous condition. She is told to rest and she must have no intellectual or social stimulation. Her child and the house are taken care of by trusted others. She surreptitiously writes when no one is around. At first she is disturbed by the yellow wallpaper in the room she is staying in. when she requests another room, she is told that it is not good for her to have her whims attended to.

  • Great American Authors Read from Their Works, Volume 2: John Updike Reading "Lifeguard" from Pigeon Feathers and Others

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By John Updike
    • Narrated By John Updike
    Overall
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    (0)
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    The young John Updike’s portrayal of a haughty seminary student working as a lifeguard is witty and poetic, as the naïve hero surveys the beachgoers in his care, and contemplates a future of saving souls as well as bodies.

  • Great American Authors Read From Their Works, Volume 2: Bernard Malamud reading from 'The Mourners' from The Magic Barrrel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By Bernard Malamud
    • Narrated By Bernard Malamud
    Overall
    (0)
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    In Bernard Malamud’s short story "The Mourners", two old Jews, a landlord and tenant battling over a cheap apartment, are transformed from arch-enemies into companions in grief, as their common sorrows suddenly transcend their bitter antagonism.