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"
Set in the pre-Christian world of Glome on the outskirts of Greek civilization, it is a tale of two princesses: the beautiful Psyche, who is loved by the god of love himself, and Orual, Psyche's unattractive and embittered older sister, who loves Psyche with a destructive possessiveness. Her frustration and jealousy over Psyche's fate sets Orual on the troubled path of self-discovery. Lewis's last work of fiction, this is often considered his best by critics.
"One of a kind."
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.
"Perhaps my favorite narrator ever"
One of the most successful and beloved Victorian fairy tales... The Princess and the Goblin is the story of Princess Irene and her friend Curdie, who come face to face with the dreaded mountain goblins. This children's fantasy novel was originally published in 1872. It uses subtle layers of symbolism to tell a story of courage and honor.
"Excellent spiritual allegory well read"
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.
"Quite a journey"
Somerset Maugham's success as a writer enabled him to indulge his adventurous love of travel, and he recorded the sights and sounds of his wide-ranging journeys with a unique urbane, wry style. The Gentleman in the Parlour is an account of the author's trip through what was then Burma and Siam, ending in Haiphong, Vietnam. Whether by river to Mandalay, on horse through the mountains and forests of the Shan States to Bangkok, or onwards by sea, Maugham's vivid descriptions bring a lost world to life.
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.
"One Book to Rule Them all"
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
"Conrad's Brilliant & Wild Novella"
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.
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!”"
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."
One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.
"A perfect narration of a perfect book"
A moving love story displaying all of Austen's signature wit and ironic narrative style. Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished Emma, completing it in August 1816.
"One of my favorites"
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"
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.
"An excellent job on a classic tale."
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"
Sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge has an emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet to come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.
"Narrator made it hard to follow at times."
Famous, all-encompassing, passionate, but ultimately doomed love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and the people around them. Today considered a classic of English literature, Wuthering Heights was met with mixed reviews when it first appeared, mainly because of the narrative's stark depiction of mental and physical cruelty.
"Five stars for the wonderful Emma Messenger"
Sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's emotional transformation after the supernatural visits of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol has never been out of print and has been adapted to film, opera, and other media.
"Beautiful story of faith, charity and forgiveness."
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"
Out of a life of poverty and turmoil, Gissing wrote this idyllic fantasy of comfort and good books amid the English countryside. The book is divided into four "seasons", each depicting the narrator's reflections on that period of his life. A charming book with some timely insights!
In this fast-paced novella, we encounter attempted murder, a clandestine marriage, and fraud.
One evening as I was lying flat on the deck of my steamboat, I heard voices approaching - and there were the nephew and the uncle strolling along the bank. I laid my head on my arm again, and had nearly lost myself in a doze, when somebody said in my ear, as it were: "I am as harmless as a little child, but I don't like to be dictated to. Am I the manager - or am I not? I was ordered to send him there. It's incredible."
"A MUST listen! What a Superb Narration!"
One of the most universally loved and admired English novels, Pride and Prejudice was penned as a popular entertainment. But the consummate artistry of Jane Austen (1775 -1817) transformed this effervescent tale of rural romance into a witty, shrewdly observed satire of English country life that is now regarded as one of the principal treasures of the English language.
Cyril Gordon, an intrepid Secret Service Agent, has completed part of his mission in obtaining a coded message vital to the nation's security. But desperate men are pursuing him and with the help of a handy cab and a disguise, he makes his escape. The cab deposits him at a church where, astoundingly, everyone seems to be waiting for him to complete a wedding party, certain he's the missing best man.
This is the classic adventure of Richard Hannay, who upon being buttonholed at his door by a mysterious stranger called Franklin P. Scudder, finds himself drawn into adventure and international intrigue with Europe on the brink of war, and the fate of England at stake.
The famous short poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Lord Alfred Tennyson.
Right Ho, Jeeves is considered by many to be P. G. Wodehouse's finest comic novel. Many of the Jeeves and Wooster regulars are quickly embroiled in the extraordinary goings-on at Brinkley Court. Bertie Wooster arrives in the two-seater with the laudable intention of doing a spot of matchmaking, feeling that Jeeves has lost his spark. Chaos ensues.
When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture - now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. But they have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity - the sinister Morlocks.
A brand new collection of eight short stories by the master of supernatural suspense and thrillers, exploring science fiction and fantasy themes. The conflict between science and imagination is the major theme of the first story "The Door in the Wall", which was enormously popular when it first appeared.
A mysterious stranger in a long-sleeved coat, with a bandaged face and wide-brimmed hat, arrives in a small English village. But his incongruous appearance is nothing compared to the secret of the clandestine experiments he is undertaking...With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin - the new guest at The Coach and Horses - is at first assumed to be a shy accident-victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling....
A meteor-like alien object lands on Earth, spearheading an apocalyptic chain of events. Earth has been watched, and now the aliens have landed and their intent is conquest and war...H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, the first story to speculate about the consequences of aliens (from Mars) with superior technology landing on earth, is one of the most influential science fiction books ever written.
When penniless businessman Mr Bedford retreats to the Kent coast to write a play, he meets by chance the brilliant Dr Cavor, an absent-minded scientist on the brink of developing a material that blocks gravity. Cavor soon succeeds in his experiments, only to tell a stunned Bedford the invention makes possible one of the oldest dreams of humanity: a journey to the moon. With Bedford motivated by money, and Cavor by the desire for knowledge, the two embark on the expedition. But neither are prepared for what they find.
A brand new collection of 13 short stories by the master of supernatural suspense and thrillers, exploring science fiction and fantasy themes. All of the stories in this volume follow a simple and classic pattern: exposition, conflict, resolution. Because of the short story format, there is not much room for complication or denouement, so these stories by nature are simpler than some of Wells' other work, and therefore will keep the listener entertained and engrossed!
The Sea Lady is a fantasy novel written by H. G. Wells that has some of the aspects of a fable. It was serialized from July to December 1901 in Pearson's Magazine before being published as a volume by Methuen. The inspiration for the novel was Wells' glimpse of May Nisbet, the daughter of the Times drama critic, in a bathing suit, when she came to visit at Sandgate, Wells having agreed to pay her school fees after her father's death.
"The fortunes and misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders, who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continue'd variety for three-score years, besides her childhood, was twelve year a whore, five times a wife (whereof once to her own brother), twelve year a thief, eight year a transported felon in Virginia at last grew rich, liv'd honest, and died a penitent."
John Harmon, the heir to the Harmon estate discovers that his father's will requires him to marry Bella Wilfer, a woman whom he's never met, in order to claim his inheritance. But, when the body of a young man is found in the River Thames, his papers identify him as the heir to the Harmon estate, and Bella's hopes to marry into riches are diminished, and she's then pursued by a mysterious John Rokesmith.
Love and Mr. Lewisham (subtitled The Story of a Very Young Couple) is a 1900 novel set in the 1880s by H. G. Wells. It was among his first fictional writings outside the science fiction genre. Wells took considerable pains over the manuscript and said that "the writing was an altogether more serious undertaking than I have ever done before." He later included it in a 1933 anthology, Stories of Men and Women in Love.
A rich widow finds that the man she wishes to marry is already engaged. He has just suddenly become a peer and cannot, he thinks, break his promise.
Mr. Utterson the lawyer was a man of a rugged countenance, that was never lighted by a smile; cold, scanty and embarrassed in discourse; backward in sentiment; lean, long, dusty, dreary and yet somehow lovable. At friendly meetings, and when the wine was to his taste, something eminently human beaconed from his eye; something indeed which never found its way into his talk, but which spoke not only in these silent symbols of the after-dinner face, but more often and loudly in the acts of his life.
"WOW! What a WONDERFUL Narration!"
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"
Between his work on the 2014 Audible Audiobook of the Year, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel, and his performance of Classic Love Poems, narrator Richard Armitage (The Hobbit, Hannibal) has quickly become a listener favorite. Now, in this defining performance of Charles Dickens' classic David Copperfield, Armitage lends his unique voice and interpretation, truly inhabiting each character and bringing real energy to the life of one of Dickens' most famous characters.
"The Armitage Voice""
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.
"Excellent performance of Graham Greene classic"
A haunting tale set on New Year's Eve, The Chimes tells the story of a poor porter named Trotty Veck who has become disheartened by the state of the world, until he is shown a series of fantastical visions that convince him of the good of humanity.
"Best Version of "The Chimes" on Audible!"
Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring) brings a palpable sense of joy and exuberance to her performance of Lewis Carroll's enduring classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The young and imaginative Alice grows weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations", and follows a hasty hare underground - to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters.
"Oh My Ears and Whiskers, What A Delight!"
Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner Emma Thompson lends her immense talent and experienced voice to Henry James' Gothic ghost tale, The Turn of the Screw. When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?
"Great, but Mightn't be the Best on Audible"
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"
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.
"This was painful!"
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.
"Appreciation, Not Dissection"
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"
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"
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.
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.
"Love this story, performance not so much"
John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France, but during his stay the Nazis invade. Howard must try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort. As the conflict grows closer, the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help. He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges.
"One of My All Time Favorires"
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.
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'"