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Classics > American Literature

American Literature

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Melinda

Melinda UT Member Since 2009

So hooked by audio that I have to read books aloud. *If my reviews help, please let me know.

HELPFUL VOTES
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7
  • "Subtle Horror"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Can't be fairly compared to the horror novels of today, and that could go both ways. If you can sit down and shut out the world, slow down your own thoughts, and listen to the words, you will feel the anxiety building in layers, with even nature contributing to the ultimate madness and horror. The centuries old family castle is itself a creature conspiring to hold its inhabitants in a dark limbo. A short story with hardly a plot -- but simply, horribly, brilliant. Listening to Poe is like watching a great painter build his canvas stroke by stroke into a masterpiece.

    More

    The Fall of the House of Usher

    • UNABRIDGED (48 mins)
    • By Edgar Allan Poe
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    When Roderick Usher sends a letter begging his old schoolfriend to visit him, it becomes apparent that he is suffering from a severe mental illness caused by an extreme overload of his senses. His sister too is very ill, suffering from cataleptic deathlike trances. When Roderick announces that his sister has died, and they place her coffin in the vaults of the House of Usher for two weeks prior to burial, neither of them can imagine the horror which is to follow.Poe at his most macabre.

    Melinda says: "Subtle Horror"
  • "Leaves me breathless each time"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How many books have you lived in; walked the streets waving to old ladies on their front porches, smelled pound cakes cooling on window ledges, knew which houses to give a wide berth when passing by, and missed when you left? Like Twain's enduring fictional classic Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird is a story so well told, so perfect, that you stroll through it and dwell for a while, coming away from it different for having been there. For many of us we visited Harper Lee's Maycomb to get our HS diploma, and it seems a natural progression to go back. I wonder if we miss those characters, or the healing balm of hearing a precocious little girl's voice cry out, "Hey, Mr. Cunningham. I'm Jean Louise Finch...I go to school with Walter; he's your boy aint he?"

    As she shows so many times in her one and only novel, Harper Lee is a born story teller. The back stories of the characters are immense, yet told with an economy of words that contain volumes. You experience this especially your second time through...Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, what have you suffered to become so mean; what has Mr. Dolphus Raymond learned about people that keeps him content to have townsfolk believe that's a bottle of whiskey, instead of a regular ol' Coca Cola, in that little brown sack; how has Link Deas kept his humanity; does every town spit out a Bob Ewell; and what is Miss Maudie's pound cake recipe? -- there's a not an insignificant character or event in this book. It is a treasure trove of stories and lessons. I'd love a couple hours of Calpurnia talking about the day old Tim Johnson, Judge Taylor's dog, came shuffling down the road, rabid and threatening, sending the neighborhood into their homes, barring their windows... But Lee left us with just this one brilliant book.

    To Kill A Mockingbird was published July 11, 1960 and has never gone out of print. When contemplating whether to review this (what I think is THE perfect novel), I had to wonder "is there really anything that hasn't already been said?" In this case, *Sissy Spacek*; no matter how many times you have read this novel, or even listened, Spacek, with her sweet drawl, IS Scout, speaking back through the years, recounting her story. She is the perfect choice for a perfect novel.

    Though it is cliché to say it, this beautiful novel feeds your spirit. The easy wisdom reminds us of the importance of having understanding and love for others, demonstrated without guile or pretense by the innocence of children. The moral integrity and gentle strength of Atticus brings tears to my eyes (and has inspired the line *What would Atticus do?*) just thinking that we as human beings have the capability of such grace. Quotes from this superb novel fill notebooks I keep, but it is always two words, repeated half a dozen time by Jem, when his father orders him to take Scout and flee the angry mob at the jail, that choke me up. They contain all that there is of love, courage, and strength...even a young boy's faith in mankind, "No, Sir." They get me every time.

    *[Addressing the frequent use of the *N* word; quoted from Banned Books Awareness;
    A worldwide literacy project to celebrate the freedom to read.: "The American Library Association reports that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most challenged classics of all time because of the racial slurs and discussion of rape and incest, and still ranks at number 21 of the 100 most frequently challenged books." "In 1968 the National Education Association placed the novel second on a list of titles receiving the most complaints from private organizations. The top spot belonged to Little Black Sambo."]

    More

    To Kill a Mockingbird

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Harper Lee
    • Narrated By Sissy Spacek
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (636)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (594)

    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"
  • "'Those illusions that give such col..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's possible that the greatest common factor among audible listeners (besides that we all love books) is this statement: "I think we had to read that in high school...and I didn't like it." Seems like there are the *under-threat* readers of The Great Gatsby, and the ones that named the first pet they owned as an adult Daisy or Gatsby. With my basset hound Zeb looking on, I did finally read this as an adult, then made room on that shelf next to Huck Finn, Hester Prynne, Tom Joad, Ahab, Atticus (and Poe's Raven).

    You couldn't have a Gatsby today because so much of our response to literature is based on our bias, beliefs, knowledge, and experience. Or at least not without an understanding of the incredible and tumultuous time in history, the Jazz Age, that Gatsby occupied. [Today--Jimmy Gatz would buy his status/identity--get a stylist and a promoter; instagram photos with celebs at his lavish parties, pay for celebrity buddies, show off his crib and million $ cars on TV, engineer the release of a sex tape, get a reality show, and finally win his love's heart with a 10 carat engagement ring. Daisy, famous for nothing, would be tripping over her 6 1/2" red-soled heels to get to him; she would then have a very public dirty divorce from Tom that would play out in all of the celebrity gossip rags-including plenty of selfies and pictures of his numerous mistresses, then maybe onto a stint on DWTS. When Gatsby finally realizes that Daisy is as shallow as the pool he is floating in, and--*of course you CAN'T repeat the past*--he would drown his crumbling dreams in booze, alcohol, and reckless behaviors, thumb his nose at the legal system, lose his money and fans, go through rehab several times...]
    At today's pace, Gatsby would just be The Really Really Good Gatsby; the story would seem minimally inventive and somewhat trivial. But Gatsby in Fitzgerald's masterly hands is timeless.

    If, from your previous HS experience, you doubt that this is one of the greatest American novels, you may be surprised by the broader insightfulness you've earned since those days. Fitzgerald lived both sides of the generation he judged. Like the very best authors, his stories pour out from his mind with an honesty and authenticity that shine with a superior genius, tempered with absolute artistic control of their craft. This is one of the few books that has defined my reading experience.

    The narration is such a big factor with this version. I doubt there is anyone that could have given a more inspired reading than Gyllenhaal; he was amazing not only when he was in character, but he impressed me so much with his reading of the body of the story, as if he felt a reverence for Fitzgerald's words.

    "That's the whole burden of this novel--the loss of those illusions that give such color to the world so that you don't care whether things are true or false as long as they partake of the magical glory." - - F.S. Fitzgerald on The Great Gatsby





    More

    The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3131)
    Performance
    (2866)
    Story
    (2888)

    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"
  1. The Fall of the House of ...
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. .

A Peek at Kathi's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1115
 
246 REVIEWS / 448 ratings Member Since 2010 225 Followers / Following 2
 
Kathi's greatest hits:
  • The Great Gatsby

    "Fabulous narration of The Great Gatsby!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Great Gatsby, one of the most frequently read books in our culture, has been given wonderful new life through the superb narration of Jake Gyllenhaal. Here is the American classic, giving a vivid insight into one of the most Intriguing eras of our history, the "Roaring Twenties." Fitzgerald's story of the shift in morals and mindset describes the short decade in which flappers, gin, new money and maybe even gangsters illustrated a certain freedom, and definitely a now-stereotyped image of the boom times following WWI.

    Nick Carroway, a young man from the Midwest who has settled in the east, tells the story from his vantage point, that of someone drawn into the tumultuous times by the accident of being related to Daisy Buchanan. Daisy is unhappily married to Tom, but the object of such devotion to Jay Gatsby, who dated her in an earlier time but cannot let go of her memory, that he has reinvented himself as a wealthy man in the hope of someday reconnecting with Daisy. Among other things, this book tells the story of what happens when dreams change to cold reality. Because Jay and Daisy do find each other, through Nick Carroway. But only tragedy ensues, which is really the bulk of the entire amazing book.

    There is so much one can say about this novel, from the standpoint of symbols and motifs (such as the famous old billboard with the eyeglasses of TJ Eckleburg, who may represent the fading society that is passing, or maybe the eye of God looking down upon an increasingly godless society), or the story of tragic romance, or, as a prescient commentary on that passionate era.

    Although most of us read this in school at some point, it is now interesting to revisit it in the aftermath of the great "Dot.com" era, which was followed by an economic downturn, just as the Great Depression succeeded the "Roaring Twenties". I found myself thinking that this is truly a book for our times in many ways, almost a true reminder that history does repeat. If somehow anyone out there missed reading this book as a literature assignment, or even if you have read it dozens of times, you will find Gyllenhaal's narration of it a rare treat! Highly recommend!

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

    "Carl Reiner meets Mark Twain--great comedy team!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Two great comedians coming together to entertain. Such fun! I felt in the mood for something light, and when I saw this Mark Twain classic read by one of the funniest men in present day media, I quickly got it. Alas, I failed to notice that it is the abridged version. However, Twain and Reiner are a rare treat and I might have passed it up if I had realized it was abridged, and denied myself a wonderful listen.

    I read the book years ago, and was charmed by the story of Hank, struck on the head in a fight, who awakens in Camelot. (One might say he was the original Time Traveler). He is puzzled by all the simplicity and lack of "modernism" (as Twain then viewed it, during the administration of President Buchanan). But Hank himself is quickly viewed with curiosity and suspicion by the people he meets who are 13 centuries back in time. He is going to be burned at the stake until he comes up with his marvelous trick of knowing how to predict the coming eclipse, to establish himself as an important person in the court. He is able to show the people how to use some labor-saving devices and suggest ideas that are new to them.

    This is part comedy, and part commentary on issues such as taxes, that undoubtedly had dual meanings for Twain's readers (and for us, now). His description of wearing a suit of armor is priceless, so funny I was laughing out loud. Twain's charming wit and humor has lost nothing over the years, and is wonderfully brought to life by the great reading of Carl Reiner. And what is equally fun is present day readers looking back in time at someone else looking farther back in time--as we listen to Mark Twain's ideas about what is "modern."

    Sure, I wish I had gotten the unabridged version, but this was sort of like having a little gourmet dessert after ingesting lots of heavier meals lately in the book world. This is charming and funny. I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it should never have been pared down (in my opinion). A great little listen.

Jefferson

Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan 10-18-11 Member Since 2010

I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

HELPFUL VOTES
1345
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255
228
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
979
15
  • "How We Got Along After the Day???"

    21 of 23 helpful votes

    When Randy Bragg, an aimless Korean war vet who has developed a taste for bourbon in his coffee while living in his hometown, Fort Repose, Florida, gets a telegram from his older brother Mark, a Colonel for Strategic Air Command, that closes with ???Alas, Babylon,??? Randy realizes that hydrogen bombs are about to start flying between the USSR and the USA. The rest of Pat Frank???s novel, Alas, Babylon (1959), depicts how Randy and his Fort Repose neighbors survive after ???the Day??? on which the bombs fell. Frank convincingly imagines the geo-politics that could lead to such a war, as well as the social and inter-personal dynamics of survival that would likely follow it.

    Frank???s novel is a post-holocaust communal Robinsoniad, with key things (like an uncontaminated river, an ancestor???s journal, an unlimited source of salt, and even a well-equipped attic) in retrospect a little too convenient for ???island??? Fort Repose. But I let that pass because I respect and care so much for Frank???s characters as they are pushed to their limits to find ways to survive physically and emotionally, and the main thrust of his novel is to test his characters to see which ones will survive with humanity intact and which will not.

    I like Frank???s attempt at a progressive vision of race (for its time and southern setting), but George Stewart???s earlier novel Earth Abides (1949) may be more radical in that respect. In general, Earth Abides is more philosophical, cyclical, beautiful, and moving than Alas, Babylon, which is more political, tactical, exciting, and martial. Alas, Babylon is an anti-nuclear war novel that nevertheless valorizes the heroic American male soldier/leader.

    Will Patton???s reading of the novel is fine; his voice is appropriately manly and dry with undercurrents of emotion that bring the story to life.

    More

    Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4047)
    Performance
    (3008)
    Story
    (3013)

    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....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
  • 4.3 (5378 ratings)
    Atlas Shrugged (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5378)
    Performance
    (3338)
    Story
    (3357)

    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 (4047 ratings)
    Alas, Babylon (






UNABRIDGED) by Pat Frank Narrated by Will Patton

    Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4047)
    Performance
    (3008)
    Story
    (3013)

    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....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
  • 4.6 (3068 ratings)
    Gone with the Wind (






UNABRIDGED) by Margaret Mitchell Narrated by Linda Stephens

    Gone with the Wind

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Margaret Mitchell
    • Narrated By Linda Stephens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3068)
    Performance
    (2033)
    Story
    (2066)

    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 (3046 ratings)
    The Fountainhead (






UNABRIDGED) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Christopher Hurt

    The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3046)
    Performance
    (1738)
    Story
    (1762)

    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 (2485 ratings)
    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
    (2485)
    Performance
    (1966)
    Story
    (1952)

    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"
  • 4.3 (2026 ratings)
    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
    (2026)
    Performance
    (1878)
    Story
    (1866)

    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"
  • 4.3 (1903 ratings)
    The Good Earth (






UNABRIDGED) by Pearl S. Buck Narrated by Anthony Heald

    The Good Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Pearl S. Buck
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1903)
    Performance
    (1059)
    Story
    (1073)

    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!"
  • 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
    (636)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (594)

    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 Chosen (






UNABRIDGED) by Chaim Potok Narrated by Jonathan Davis

    The Chosen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Chaim Potok
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (447)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (213)

    Though they've lived their entire lives less than five blocks from each other, Reuven Malter and Danny Saunders exist in very different worlds. Reuven blends easily into both his secular Jewish faith and his typical American teen life, while Danny's conservative Hasidic clothes and appearance make him stick out in any crowd. Their improbable friendship teaches them that the differences separating people through cultures and generations are never as great as they seem.

    connie says: "truly rates overused "classic" label"
  • Alas, Babylon (






UNABRIDGED) by Pat Frank Narrated by Will Patton

    Alas, Babylon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Pat Frank
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4047)
    Performance
    (3008)
    Story
    (3013)

    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....

    Evelyn says: "Excellent listen"
  • The Great Gatsby (






UNABRIDGED) by F. Scott Fitzgerald Narrated by Jake Gyllenhaal

    The Great Gatsby

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • Narrated By Jake Gyllenhaal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3131)
    Performance
    (2866)
    Story
    (2888)

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






UNABRIDGED) by Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), Mark Twain Narrated by Grover Gardner

    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
    (313)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (277)

    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!"
  • 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
    (1514)
    Performance
    (1322)
    Story
    (1328)

    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) 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
    (2485)
    Performance
    (1966)
    Story
    (1952)

    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) by Ayn Rand Narrated by Scott Brick

    Atlas Shrugged

    • UNABRIDGED (63 hrs)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (5378)
    Performance
    (3338)
    Story
    (3357)

    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"
  •  
  • Moby-Dick (






UNABRIDGED) by Herman Melville Narrated by Frank Muller

    Moby-Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1197)
    Performance
    (924)
    Story
    (927)

    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.

    Alice says: "I felt totally swept up in this world"
  • Of Mice and Men (






UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck Narrated by Gary Sinise

    Of Mice and Men

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Gary Sinise
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (784)
    Performance
    (678)
    Story
    (679)

    While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing Of Mice and Men (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal: a friendship and shared dream that make an individual’s existence meaningful.

    Jenny says: "The reader alone is worth it"
  • East of Eden (






UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck Narrated by Richard Poe

    East of Eden

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1176)
    Performance
    (1009)
    Story
    (1023)

    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.

    Suzn F says: "Epic story of Love and Loss"
  • The Scarlet Letter (






UNABRIDGED) by Nathaniel Hawthorne Narrated by Ian Lynch

    The Scarlet Letter

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Nathaniel Hawthorne
    • Narrated By Ian Lynch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, magnum opus, tells the story of Hester Prynne, who gives birth two years after separation from her husband and is condemned to wear the scarlet letter A on her breast as punishment for her adultery. She resists all attempts of the 17th century Boston clergy to make her reveal the name of her child’s father while she struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.

    T. Hinton says: "Why do such strong women choose such weenies..."
  • Once There Was a War (






UNABRIDGED) by John Steinbeck, Mark Bowden (editor) Narrated by Lloyd James

    Once There Was a War

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck, Mark Bowden (editor)
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    In 1943 John Steinbeck was on assignment for The New York Herald Tribune, writing from Italy and North Africa, and from England in the midst of the London blitz. In his dispatches he focuses on the human-scale effect of the war, portraying everyone from the guys in a bomber crew to Bob Hope on his USO tour and even fighting alongside soldiers behind enemy lines. Taken together, these writings create an indelible portrait of life in wartime.

  • Man Without a Shadow: An

    Man Without a Shadow: An "Old-Fashioned" Mystery Series

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 21 mins)
    • By Keith Perreur-Lloyd
    • Narrated By AudioscapePlayers
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An episode of a light-hearted mystery series, with American, Canadian, and British actresses and actors. Adam Grant, or so his name appears to be, finds himself in a hotel room with a person he doesn't recognise: himself. His attempts to find out who he is, embroil him in a number of strange and sometimes dangerous situations in many parts of the world. (As this script was written in the 1970s, one may guess that its main theme was very attractive to other authors!)

  • How to Tell a Story (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    How to Tell a Story

    • UNABRIDGED (11 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Consider this a fun instructional course on the difference between a comedic story and a humorous one. Mark Twain masterfully shows the difference and gives an example of humorous storytelling in this short story setting. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • The Cactus (






UNABRIDGED) by O. Henry Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    The Cactus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 mins)
    • By O. Henry
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Trysdale was in love. He had embellished his accomplishments and his beloved had placed him squarely on a pedestal. How was he to know that one of his 'embellishments' would be his undoing? Irony abounds in this short love story gone wrong by O. Henry.

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  • Post-Mortem Poetry (






UNABRIDGED) by Mark Twain Narrated by Glenn Hascall

    Post-Mortem Poetry

    • UNABRIDGED (11 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Glenn Hascall
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Who but Mark Twain could express humor about the obituaries? In the end, however, we come face to face with an editorial bent Twain discovered (or slightly embellished) in postmortem poetry. An odd bit of honor, humor, and an example of what not to share in an obituary from one of the greatest American writers. Narrated by Glenn Hascall.

  • Industrial Revolution (






UNABRIDGED) by Poul Anderson Narrated by Tom Weiss

    Industrial Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 37 mins)
    • By Poul Anderson
    • Narrated By Tom Weiss
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    An enterprising company has set up a mining endeavor on an asteroid to collect, process, and sell atmospheric gas products. The company, called Sword, is initially successful until an unnamed government tries to stamp out freedom and free enterprise in the Belt so the gases and minerals can be sent back to Earth, essentially trying to establish the business as a colony. Early Poul Anderson with a great finish.

  • The Furnished Room (






UNABRIDGED) by O. Henry Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Furnished Room

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By O. Henry
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    O. Henry's poignant ghost story of a young man seeking his lost love in the city. When he rents a furnished room in the lower West Side, he senses from a mysterious and familiar scent that his lost love has recently stayed there. The ghostly essence of his lover exercises a very strange and sinister effect on him.