All short stories are open to interpretation and philosophical dialogue, but this memorable tale from acclaimed author Virginia Woolf might be described as a case study in the mentality of hoarding or at the very least an obsession. What would John give up to discover and collect a very unusual group of items? Would this collection improve his life, or would it give way to madness?
Ernest Bramah (1868-1942) was an English author of 21 novels and numerous short stories and features. His humorous works have been ranked with Jerome K. Jerome and W. W. Jacobs, his detective stories with Conan Doyle, his politico-science fiction with H. G. Wells, and his supernatural stories with Algernon Blackwood. In his stories of detection, Bramah hit on the idea of a blind detective, Max Carrados, whose triumphs are all the more amazing because of his disability.
The Man Who Was Thursday was written by G. K. Chesterton and follows newly recruited Scotland Yard detective Gabriel Syme as he infiltrates the dangerous underworld of the European anarchist council. Syme is a member of a special antianarchist division of the police and finds his way into the secret group through a poet he befriends, named Lucian Gregory.
The Tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are of Celtic origin. It is believed that King Arthur lived in the sixth century, just after the Romans withdrew from Britain. Minstrels and storytellers travelled through the land in the centuries after this, telling tales of chivalry and heroism, and the legends of King Arthur grew up across Britain and parts of Europe. Andrew Lang's collection of Arthurian legends is one of the most complete and comprehensive ever written and is more accessible than most.
Classic author H.G. Wells turns his attention to a mystery at sea and a litany of creatures that seemed bent on the destruction of human life. A short story that may leave you feeling the beach and ocean may not be as safe as you thought.
These selections taken from Chesterton's books, essays, poems, and newspaper articles offer us a sharp (and sometimes poignant) look at politics, religion, society, and the human race. This collection includes excerpts from "Orthodoxy", "What's Wrong With the World", "Tremendous Trifles", "George Bernard Shaw", "All Things Considered", "The Ball and the Cross", "Heretics", "The Defendant", "Charles Dickens", and "Twelve Types", among others.
Comedy reigns supreme as the earl of Marshmoreton's sister's plans for marrying off her relatives to landed gentry go terribly awry!
Samuel West reads ten of Rudyard Kipling’s famous tales, as broadcast on BBC Radio 4. "How the Whale Got His Throat", "How the Leopard Got His Spots", "The Beginning of the Armadillos", "How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin", "The Cat That Walked By Himself", "How the Camel Got His Hump", "The Crab That Played With The Sea", "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo", "The Butterfly That Stamped", "The Elephant’s Child".
Another classic funny Jeeves and Wooster story. Bertie once again travels to Totleigh Towers to try to repair the rift in Gussie Finknottle and Madeline Basset's engagement. Pop Basset and Roderick Spode (Lord Sidcup) think he is there to steal a black amber statuette for Bertie's Uncle Tom. How could things get complicated?
The narrator of this timeless adventure story is the lad, Jim Hawkins, whose mother keeps the Admiral Benbow, an inn on the west coast of England in the 18th century. An old buccaneer takes up residence at the inn. He has in his sea chest a map to the hiding place of Captain Flint's treasure. A gang of cutthroats are determined to get his treasure map, and - led by the sinister, blind pirate, Pew - descend on the inn. But Jim Hawkins outwits them, grabs the map, and delivers it to Squire Trelawney.
Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love, the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his loom...and his gold. Silas hoards a treasure that destroys his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired child. Where she came from, who her parents were, and who really stole the gold are the secrets that fill this moving tale of guilt and innocence.
A century has passed since the Norman Conquest, and England is still a colony of foreign warlords. Prince John is plotting to seize the throne from his brother, Richard the Lion-Hearted, and Robin Hood and his merry band are making fools out of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Wilfred, knight of Ivanhoe, the son of Cedric the Saxon, is in love with his father's ward, Rowena.
When the Time Traveler boldly stepped out of his machine for the first time, he found himself in the far future and in an almost unrecognizable world. In another, more utopian age, creatures seemed to live together free of strife and competition. The Time Traveler thought he could learn the secrets of these happy beings and take the lessons of life to his own time - until he discovered that his marvelous invention, his only means of escape, had been stolen.
The Selfish Giant returns home, after being away for seven years, to find children playing in his beautiful garden. It is a garden where the sun always shines and the birds sing. The Giant objects to the children being there and builds a wall to keep them out. From that moment on the garden, which once boasted pink blossoms and peach trees, falls into a perpetual Winter; for no other season will venture there without the children. Until a special little boy comes into the Giant's wintry world.
An eerie and evocative ghost story by one of English literature's greatest writers. On looking out of his window, the narrator sees two men going down Piccadilly. The second man looks strangely unwell and waxen. When he is later called to jury service, the accused turns out to be the first man he had seen in Piccadilly...and the second his murder victim. Stranger still, the ghost of the murdered man is actively participating in the trial to ensure his murderer is brought to justice.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde, tells the story of a handsome young man who is befriended by a painter, Basil Hallward, and becomes the inspiration for his work. The young man is also introduced to one of Basil's friends, the hedonistic aristocrat Lord Henry Wotton, who enthralls Dorian by sharing with him his philosophies and ideals about life, including his belief that youth is the most precious and important thing in the world.
A gripping collection of the very best classic mystery and adventure stories. 1. "Rose Rose" by Barry Pain 2. "The Perfect Crime" by Seamark 3. "The Well" by W. W. Jacobs 4. "The Tea-Leaf" by Edgar Jepson and Robert Eustace 5. "The Step" by E. F. Benson 6. "The Queer Feet" by G. K. Chesterton 7. "The Beast with Five Fingers" by W. F. Harvey 8. "The Enemy" by Hugh Walpole 9. "An Impromptu Dance" by A. J. Alan 10. "The Red-Headed League" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 11. "The Wedding Guest" by Guy Boothby
William Fryer Harvey (1885-1937) was an English writer of short stories, most notably in the mystery and horror genres. Born into a wealthy Quaker family in Yorkshire, he went to Balliol College, Oxford, and took a degree in medicine at Leeds. Ill health dogged him, however, and he devoted much of his recuperation to writing short stories. "The Dabblers" is a mysterious tale of strange rituals in the grounds of a boarding school on a particular night in June every year. Weird singing can be heard...
Fifty of the greatest classic horror stories ever written: 1. "The Beast with Five Fingers" by W. F. Harvey 2. "The Well" by W. W. Jacobs 3. "The Nightmare Room" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 4. "The End of a Show" by Barry Pain 5. "Bagnell Terrace" by E. F. Benson 6. "Fingers of a Hand" by H. D. Everett 7. "The Interruption" by W. W. Jacobs 8. "Gavon’s Eve" by E. F. Benson 9. "The Ring of Thoth" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 10. "Moon’s Gibbet" by Egerton Castle 11. "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is a happy, feel-good tale by Lord Dunsany aka Edward Plunkett, the 18th Baron of Dunsany. Read by award-winning narrator Mike Vendetti, the wild things take you into their world.
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.
A Tale of Two Cities is one of Charles Dickens's most exciting novels. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, it tells the story of a family threatened by the terrible events of the past. Doctor Manette was wrongly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years without trial by the aristocratic authorities.
"Truly a Classic"
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. Also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde’s sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
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.
"A grand literary adventure!"
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume in the trilogy, tells of the fateful power of the One Ring. It begins a magnificent tale of adventure that will plunge the members of the Fellowship of the Ring into a perilous quest and set the stage for the ultimate clash between the powers of good and evil.
"At last - The Definitive Recording!"
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.
"a list of what you'll find in Volume 3"
The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".
"Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
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.
"Thank you, Audible! Tolkien at long last!"
George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.
"Great Book, With an Amazing Narrator"
The provincial Bennet family, home to five unmarried daughters, is turned upside down when a wealthy bachelor takes up a house nearby. Mr. Bingley enhances his instant popularity by hosting a ball and taking an interest in the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane. Meanwhile, Mr. Darcy, Bingley’s even wealthier friend, makes himself equally unpopular by his aloof disdain of country manners.
"Just like the A&E miniseries"
The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.
"Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
Graham Greene’s evocative analysis of the love of self, the love of another, and the love of God is an English classic that has been translated for the stage, the screen, and even the opera house. Academy Award-winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man) turns in an authentic and stirring performance for this distinguished audio release.
"Colin Firth Kills It"
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
"“Oh, Ford, Ford Ford, I Wish I Had My Soma!”"
A masterpiece of satire, this classic has entertained and enlightened readers the world over with its sly and ironic portrayal of human life 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. The Screwtape Letters is the most engaging and humorous account of temptation - and triumph over it - ever written.
"This is the Best Audio Screwtape, a Masterpiece"
Alice begins her fantastic journey by following an unprecedented White Rabbit with a pocket watch. While in the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, Alice takes advice from a caterpillar and attends a mad tea party. She meets the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon, and participates in a ludicrous courtroom scene. Each character has its own charming voice, as B. J. Harrison delivers one of his most whimsical performances.
"Such a good narrator!!!"
One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.
"Great Performance of a classic!"
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
"From Civilization into Darkness"
George Orwell's classic satire of the Russian Revolution is an intimate part of our contemporary culture, quoted so often that we tend to forget who wrote the original words! This must-read is also a must-listen!
"If you hate spoilers, save the intro for last."
If you happen to find a map in a dead buccaneer's sea trunk, you can't very well ignore it, not if you are Jim Hawkins and his friends Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett, and Squire Trelawney! But even with a map, buried treasures are not easy things to come by.
"A Pirate's Life Indeed."
Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.
"A great listen"
King Arthur was a legendary British leader of the late fifth and early sixth century who, according to the medieval histories and romances, led the defense of the Romano-Celtic British against the Saxon invaders in the early sixth century. This book gives an account of the life of this great legend of all times.
"Don't waste your time."
A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.
"Loved every minute"
Mrs. Dalloway, perhaps Virginia Woolf’s greatest novel, vividly follows English socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party in post-World War I London. Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) brings Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling to life, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life in a brilliant performance.
Chesterton's talent as a mystery writer is displayed in this collection of detective stories, The Man Who Knew Too Much. In each story, the star detective, Horne Fisher, deals with another strange mystery: the vanishing of a priceless coin, the framing of an Irish "prince" freedom fighter, an eccentric rich man dies during an obsessive fishing trip, another vanishing during an ice skate, a statue crushing his own uncle, and a few more.
"The Prince who Knows Paradox Too Well"
To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf’s arresting analysis of domestic family life, centering on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, brings the impressionistic prose of this classic to vibrant life.
"Nicole Kidman does a fantastic reading"
This classic personal time-management book, originally published in 1908, has inspired generations of men and women to live deliberate lives. Not just another collection of timesaving tips, this book is more of a challenge to leave behind mundane everyday concerns, focus on pursuing one's true desires, and live the fullest possible life. Reflection, concentration, and study techniques make it easier to accomplish more truly rewarding undertakings than anyone ever dreamed possible.
"Well written, well read."
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of this magical and well-loved classic. Following a plane crash, Conway, a British consul; his deputy; a missionary; and an American financier find themselves in the enigmatic snow-capped mountains of uncharted Tibet. Here they discover a seemingly perfect hidden community where they are welcomed with gracious hospitality. Intrigued by its mystery, the travelers set about discovering the secret hidden at the shimmering heart of Shangri-La.
"Amazingly wonderful, a new favorite!"
This expanded edition of John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism includes the text of his 1868 speech to the British House of Commons defending the use of capital punishment in cases of aggravated murder. The speech is significant both because its topic remains timely and because its arguments illustrate the applicability of the principle of utility to questions of large-scale social policy.
"A dramatic reading of JSM's 'Utilitarianism'"
This was the most popular novel of Radcliffe's time; Radcliffe's portrayal of her heroine's inner life raised the Gothic romance to a new level. The atmosphere of fear and the gripping plot continue to thrill today. This is the story of the orphaned Emily St Aubert, who finds herself separated from the man she loves and confined within the Castle of Udolpho by her aunt's new husband Montoni. Here she must cope with an unwanted suitor, Montoni's threats, and the wild imaginings and terrors which threaten to overwhelm her.
"Thank You, Audible"
When Alice tumbles down, down, down a rabbit-hole one hot summer's afternoon in pursuit of a White Rabbit, she finds herself in Wonderland. And there begin the fantastical adventures that will see her experiencing extraordinary changes in size, swimming in a pool of her own tears, and attending the very maddest of tea parties.
"American narrator all wrong for this book"
Stephen Gordon (named by a father desperate for a son) is not like other girls: she hunts, she fences, she reads books, wears trousers, and longs to cut her hair. As she grows up amidst the stifling grandeur of Morton Hall, the locals begin to draw away from her, aware of some indefinable thing that sets her apart. And when Stephen Gordon reaches maturity, she falls passionately in love - with another woman.
New doctor Andrew Manson looks forward to his post in a Welsh mining community, but he finds practicing medicine in such primitive conditions very different from his training. He makes friends, but also enemies. First published in 1937, this book was groundbreaking in its treatment of the contentious theme of medical ethics. It is credited with laying the foundation in Great Britain for the introduction of the Nation Health Service a decade later.
"Incredibly bad recording"
This Victorian best seller, along with Braddon's other famous novel, Aurora Floyd, established her as the main rival of the master of the sensational novel, Wilkie Collins. A protest against the passive, insipid 19th-century heroine, Lady Audley was described by one critic of the time as "high-strung, full of passion, purpose, and movement." Her crime (the secret of the title) is shown to threaten the apparently respectable middle-class world of Victorian England.
A young English woman leaves her ageing parents to visit friends living in the Australian outback, where she quickly falls in love - both with the country and with Carl, a doctor and Czech refugee. Brought together through dramatic encounters and strange twists of fate, their relationship hangs in the balance when Jennifer is called back to England.
The Hobbit is one of the most widely read and best-loved books of the 20th century. Now Professor Corey Olsen takes listeners deep within the text to uncover its secrets and delights. Chapter by chapter, he reveals the stories within the story: the dark desires of dwarves and the sublime laughter of elves, the nature of evil and its hopelessness, the mystery of divine providence and human choice, and, most of all, the transformation within the life of Bilbo Baggins.
"Excellent book by The Tolkien Professor"
This "lost race" novel begins as an exciting African adventure. Leonard Outram is a British adventurer who is in Africa seeking his fortune. He becomes part of the rescue of a Portuguese woman from a large slave camp. Leonard, his companion Otter, and the girl set off and find the people of the mist. They then impersonate gods and priests with the hope of getting the people's hoard of jewels.