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European Literature

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Barry

Barry Petaluma, CA, United States Member Since 2006

My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

HELPFUL VOTES
217
ratings
REVIEWS
191
165
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
15
5
  • "A poignant statement on the reality..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Frank Muller was a great audiobook reader. But first I should talk about the book.

    This is a great book. A first person account by an average soldier with no apparent exaggeration or didacticism. Pretty much every situation you can imagine a soldier would get into is presented but it never feels contrived. In fact, very little of the book involves actual fighting, which only adds to the realism. We have seen this so many times in the years since this book was written. We probably don't even realize how influential this book has been. And if some things in this book feel clichéd, you can probably blame all those imitators that came afterwards.

    But what makes the book stand out is the character of its narrator. His feelings about his situation, his feelings about his comrades, his reactions to what happens, his observations about the war, his recounting the opinions of the people he meets. Whatever illusions he may have had about fighting for his country, they are soon replaced by the reality of modern warfare. His loyalty is to his comrades. His main concerns are about things like getting enough to eat keeping his feet dry. These observations build quietly and powerfully through the whole book, and that is what makes it such an effective statement about war and the universality of mankind.

    I'll shut up now and let the book speak for itself.

    Frank Muller does a terrific job of conveying the tone of the bored soldier struggling to preserve his personhood. I only recently discovered this reader and am sorry to learn that he is no longer with us.

    More

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (419)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
  • "I know I'm not being fair but"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    maybe I just wasn't in the right frame of mind. I know this is one of the giants of modern literature, the prose is brilliant, the exposition is brilliant, the one and only real character is brilliantly detailed and nuanced, but the subject just didn't resonate with me. OK, so it's the biggest most important subject in the world. Yes, I agree with that. It is also, within the boundaries of this book, a very tiny exploration of a specific perspective on that subject. Maybe audio just isn't the right medium for a first trip through this book. It's the kind of book that requires you to just stop and savor each thing the author says.

    More

    Death in Venice: A New Translation by Michael Henry Heim

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Thomas Mann
    • Narrated By Simon Callow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.

    Lawerence says: "Brilliant gem"
  • "How should one live one's life?"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wish I could say I liked any of these characters. It would make it so much easier to give a heartfelt endorsement to this book. It is without question a great book. Tolstoy has learned a lot in the 8 years since he wrote War and Peace. Instead of shifting back and forth between the story and historical analysis, he has figured out how to integrate everything into the story. Not only does the historical exposition fit naturally into the dialog between the characters, but his observations of the characters and their feelings is spot on perfect. And by cluing us in to their feelings, we understand why they react in a particular way to the next person they encounter, and how those internal processes contribute to hampering and undermining the oral communication we all depend upon.

    This was a hard book to listen to because I kept wanting to stop and consider all the ideas Tolstoy introduced. I suppose the key question for the reader is to decide what you think this book is about. I don't think it's about Anna Karenina anymore than War and Peace is about war and peace. I think Tolstoy's central concern is about how to live one's life, and how to satisfy one's soul. From that perspective, Anna serves as an example of how seemingly justifiable choices lead inexorably to disaster. Levin is more truly the protagonist of the book. Everyone else is illustrating to one degree or another the thesis Tolstoy is exploring.

    I picked this version of the book because I like Wanda McCaddon as a narrator. I suppose I should have given more thought to which translation I wanted to hear. This one (as best I can determine) is the one by Louise and Aylmer Maude. Both Maude's and Bennett's translations have served generations of Tolstoy readers, but I guess those of us who haven't learned Russian will have to wait awhile to hear a more updated translation.

    One thing that really surprised me is that Karenin, for all his faults, is hardly the monster he is generally regarded to be. In fact, it is impossible to point to a true villain in this book. Nearly every character in inwardly pursuing what he or she believes to be a good end, even if they are misguided in one way or another.

    More

    Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (42)

    Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband - and Russian high society - would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life - a mirror of Tolstoy’s own spiritual crisis - Konstantine is haunted by thoughts of suicide.

    K. W. Lowery says: "Flawless novel, masterfully narrated"
  1. All Quiet on the Western ...
  2. Death in Venice: A New Tr...
  3. Anna Karenina
  4. .

A Peek at David's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
939
 
203 REVIEWS / 207 ratings Member Since 2010 227 Followers / Following 0
 
David's greatest hits:
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    "A long work and a great work, but boy is it long"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never been a huge fan of Russian literature, and this book reminded me why. The Brothers Karamazov isn't so much a story as a lengthy disquisition on the Russian character and the issues of Dostoyevsky's day, detailed personality profiles, and digressions on every subject Dostoyevsky wanted to pursue, including free will, the existence of God, moral responsibility, and truth. It's a high-minded novel full of weighty intellectual themes and I could not help but appreciate the meticulous detail with which the author constructed every part of it from the events and familial and romantic relationships leading up to Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov's murder to the background histories of even the most minor characters. The problem is, Dostoyevsky spends entire chapters on things like the background histories of the most minor character. Half the book was one of the Karamazovs talking on and on uninterrupted to an audience as silent and passive as the reader/listener.

    The skill of the author cannot be denied. The style is completely unlike modern literature, but Dostoyevsky makes every one of his characters so complex and complete that you wish more modern authors were as thorough (and indulged as much by their editors) in their creations. And you can sense the majesty of what Dostoyevsky was trying to accomplish -- he takes a bunch of different arguments and picks them apart from multiple points of view, letting the Karamazov brothers or secondary characters or even allegorical figures hash out everything the author is thinking (or arguing against) thoroughly and articulately.

    So I guess that's a lot of words to say "It's Literature." I don't really feel anyone should force themselves to read books that don't interest them, but there is something to be said for knowing the books and the authors who influenced other great authors. That said, I can't exactly say this was a "fun" book, but you'll be glad you listened to it.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    "Inexpressible! Ineffable! Indescribable!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mon dieu! This was 53 hours as an audiobook, guys! I listened to the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo in my car, and my commute isn't that long, so it took about two months.

    Don't make fun of Dickens' wordiness until you've read Dumas. He is wordy as heck and makes up a hundred little side-stories and indulges the reader who wants to know the final fate of every single minor character. But if you want to dive into a big thick juicy scheming revenge novel with a moral at the end, The Count of Monte Cristo is full of more adventure and spectacle than Dickens would ever deign to write. (Though Anthony Trollope's "The Way We Live Now" did for greedy scurrilous English bankers and hoity-toits what Dumas does for the French.)

    So, you probably know the bones of the story, because Edmund Dantes is the original Batman. No, his parents aren't murdered in front of his eyes, but two "friends" set him up as a traitor by sending an anonymous letter accusing him of being a Bonapartiste. (19th century French politics play a role here, as the first part of the novel is set during the period when Napoleon was confined to the isle of Elba, and then staged a dramatic return during which he briefly tried to regain the throne.) One of his friends wants his job, the other wants his girl, and Dante has the misfortune to go before a public prosecutor named Villefort, who initially wants to let Dantes go, realizing he's just a poor sap who was set up. However, when it turns out that Dantes unknowingly possesses evidence that Villefort's own father is a Bonapartiste, he instead consigns the hapless sailor to imprisonment in the Château d'If, an island prison off the coast of Marseilles. There, Dantes spends the next fourteen years, during which time he meets another prisoner, a "mad" priest who has been unsuccessfully trying to bribe his jailers to let him go with promises of a fantastic fortune he knows the location of.

    To make a long story short, Dantes escapes, after having spent fourteen years learning all worldly knowledge from the Abbé Faria. He goes and finds the Abbé's fortune, an ancient Roman treasure, and soon reemerges in Europe as the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo. He's fantastically rich, an expert with all arms, poisons, and finance, he has Muslim servants and a beautiful Greek princess as his slave/ward, and he's buddies with Italian bandits and Mediterranean smugglers. He's a master of disguise and he has an indomitable will. This former sailor now moves as easily among French aristocracy as he does among Italian brigands. Everyone admires and fears him.

    Seriously, guys, he's freakin' Batman.

    He spends years acting as an angel of mercy and vengeance, rewarding the deserving, while planning his revenge against the three men who sent him to the Château d'If. The plot is intricate and there are dozens of characters, some of whom wind up interacting in fantastically coincidental ways. Since Dantes has returned from prison as the Batman, of course all his former enemies, who were once just poor scrubs themselves, are now fabulously wealthy and powerful as well, the better for Monte Cristo to bring them down.

    It's an exceptional story, and a classic adventure. Kids should love it, if you can find a kid with the patience to read almost half a million words of flowery 19th century prose. Adults should also love it. But it's definitely over the top with all its coincidences and larger-than-life characters. Over the top, but a literary masterpiece. You get revenge and adventure and justice and a view of European high and low society in the post-Napoleon era. What elevates it above simple adventure and melodrama, besides the fine storytelling? It's not just Dantes getting even with those who did him wrong (which is how most of the movie versions portray it). In the end, his enemies undo themselves, and the Count of Monte Cristo finally faces the question of whether what he did was right and whether it was all worth it. Like Batman, he's never really going to find peace.

    This book is totally worth reading -- and don't wimp out with an abridged version. Read the great big whomping unabridged doorstopper. That said, I have to give it only 4 stars, because while it's a classic that deserves its place, I wanted to start a drinking game for every time Dumas describes an "indescribable" expression or someone expresses an "inexpressible" emotion.

    Okay, here's some word counts:


    Inexpressible: 3
    Ineffable: 5
    Indescribable: 20


    I don't know what French words they were translated from, but Dumas's writing does get quite purple by modern standards. Where Dickens crafted prosey, clever wordiness, Dumas is just wordy. And all those sordid coincidences! And entire chapters on the origins of various bandits and smugglers and where the asexual lesbian niece runs off to. And let's face it, an uneducated sailor spends fourteen years in prison and comes out as Batman? Come on now, guys. But it's still awesome.

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

    "Not great literature but a great classic"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost gave this 5 stars -- I really wanted to because it was hugely entertaining for such a quick, light read, but I found Orczy's prose just a little too purple and repetitious at times. She gives great descriptions, and Sir Blakeny's clever disguises and escapes from the French Republicans are great fun to read (if very obvious to the reader), but while this is a worthy classic in the spy/adventure novel genre, it falls short of being a literary masterpiece; Baroness Orczy just is not a Dickens or even a Bronte.

    That said, many people - especially if looking for something light to read - may well enjoy Orczy more than one of Dickens's dense multi-layered tomes, or a depressing Bronte novel about dysfunctional Byronic anti-heroes.

    The Scarlet Pimpernel is all close calls and daring rescues by the dashing Sir Percy Blakeny, who adopts the persona of a dull-witted playboy but is secretly the Scarlet Pimpernel, leader of a band of English gentlemen who spirit French aristocrats condemned to die by the guillotine out of France. He's kind of like an 18th century superhero, Bruce Wayne in a cravat. His French-born wife, Marguerite, has no idea that her seemingly stupid and inane husband is the heroic figure admired throughout England and despised throughout France. Much of the tension in the novel is marital tension between these two -- Marguerite has done some bad things in the past that she regrets, but she can't explain them to Percy, so he of course doesn't trust her. Never fear, the story has a romantic happy ending.

    Again, great fun to read, but Orczy was a bit of a hack as a writer and the story sort of careens from one unlikely escape to another, so don't expect much depth. It's still better than most modern spy thrillers.

  • 4.8 (22 ratings)

    Time Regained: Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 7

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

    Lost in the blacked-out streets of Paris during the First World War, Marcel stumbles into a brothel and accidentally witnesses a shocking scene involving the Baron de Charlus. Later, at a reception given by the Prince de Guermates, his meditations on the passage of time lead to his determination to embark on his life's work at last.

    Darwin8u says: "Full of emotional/intellectual/experiential joules"
  • 4.3 (902 ratings)

    The Three Musketeers

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (902)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (664)

    Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures.

    A. A. Green says: "What Fun!"
  • 4.3 (813 ratings)

    Les Misérables: Translated by Julie Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo, Julie Rose (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (813)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (697)

    One of the great classics of world literature and the inspiration for the most beloved stage musical of all time, Les Misérables is legendary author Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. This extraordinary English version by renowned translator Julie Rose captures all the majesty and brilliance of Hugo’s work. Here is the timeless story of the quintessential hunted man—Jean Valjean—and the injustices, violence, and social inequalities that torment him.

    Darwin8u says: "!"
  • 4.3 (539 ratings)

    The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  •  
  • 4.3 (535 ratings)

    War and Peace, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (257)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Matt says: "A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
  • 4.3 (491 ratings)

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (419)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
  • 4.4 (423 ratings)

    War and Peace, Volume 2

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (423)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (213)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Mark says: "Definitely worth a listen..."
  • 4.5 (362 ratings)

    The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (325)

    On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

    A User says: "This is the definitive reading!"
  • The Three Musketeers

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (902)
    Performance
    (655)
    Story
    (664)

    Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures.

    A. A. Green says: "What Fun!"
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  • The Mysterious Island

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Berny Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (191)

    Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive....

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful novel, mediocre translation"
  • Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By Jim Norton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (552)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (290)

    Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.

    Peter says: "Ulysses (Unabridged)"
  •  
  • War and Peace

    • UNABRIDGED (60 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (1087)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (555)

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

    Diana says: "Glad I finally decided to read it"
  • Crime and Punishment

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett (translator)
    • Narrated By Anthony Heald
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (381)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (230)

    In this intense detective thriller instilled with philosophical, religious, and social commentary, Dostoevsky studies the psychological impact upon a desperate and impoverished student when he murders a despicable pawnbroker, transgressing moral law to ultimately "benefit humanity".

    Mubarak says: "Excellent Excellent Excellent!"
  • Don Quixote: Translated by Edith Grossman

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Miguel de Cervantes, Edith Grossman (translator)
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (107)

    Sixteenth-century Spanish gentleman Don Quixote, fed by his own delusional fantasies, takes to the road in search of chivalrous adventures. But his quest leads to more trouble than triumph. At once humorous, romantic, and sad, Don Quixote is a literary landmark. This fresh edition, by award-winning translator Edith Grossman, brings the tale to life as never before.

    James says: "My Fourth Try at an Audible Quixote"
  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Erich Maria Remarque
    • Narrated By Frank Muller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (412)
    Story
    (419)

    Paul Bäumer is just 19 years old when he and his classmates enlist. They are Germany’s Iron Youth who enter the war with high ideals and leave it disillusioned or dead. As Paul struggles with the realities of the man he has become, and the world to which he must return, he is led like a ghost of his former self into the war’s final hours. All Quiet is one of the greatest war novels of all time, an eloquent expression of the futility, hopelessness and irreparable losses of war.

    Darwin8u says: "Escapes the Boundaries of Time and Place"
  •  
  • Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition, 3rd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Alan Charles Kors, Professor Darren Staloff, Professor Dennis Dalton, and others
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (28)

    For 3,000 years, mankind has grappled with fundamental questions about life. What is real? Who or what is God? When is it legitimate for one person to have power over others? What is justice? Beauty? This 84-lecture, 12-professor tour of Western philosophical tradition covers more than 60 of history's greatest minds and brings you a comprehensive survey of the history of Western philosophy from its origins in classical Greece to the present.

    James says: "Fantastic overview"
  • War and Peace, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (257)

    War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.

    Matt says: "A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (322)
    Story
    (325)

    On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

    A User says: "This is the definitive reading!"
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Peter Husmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (114)

    A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.

    Tad Davis says: "Great translation, so-so narration"
  • The Metamorphosis

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Franz Kafka
    • Narrated By Shobha Tharoor Srinivasan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It has been cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is studied in colleges and universities across the Western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin. It is never explained in the story why Samsa transforms, nor did Kafka ever give an explanation.

  • Idiot [Russian Language Edition]

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Feodor Dostoyevsky
    • Narrated By Innokenty Smoktunovsky, Evgeny Lebedev, Nina Olkhina, and others
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    Idiot - radiospektakl' po odnoimennomu romanu Fjodora Mihajlovicha Dostoevskogo. Knjaz' Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin vozvrashhaetsja iz Shvejcarii v Peterburg posle lechenija. V poezde knjaz' znakomitsja s Parfjonom Rogozhinym, synom bogatogo kupca. Intriga zakruchivaetsja vokrug zaplanirovannogo braka Nastas'i Filippovny i Gani Ivolgina. Vse, kogo vstrechaet knjaz' Myshkin, fatal'nym obrazom svjazany s Nastas'ej Filippovnoj - rokovoj zhenshhinoj s izlomannoj sud'boj…

  • Madame Bovary (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Gustave Flaubert
    • Narrated By Alisa Koonen, Evgeny Vesnik, Georgy Yanikovsky, and others
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    Spektakl' po romanu velikogo francuzskogo pisatelja Gjustava Flobera (1821 - 1880). Vpervye roman byl napechatan v 1856 godu. Schitaetsja odnim iz shedevrov mirovoj literatury. Glavnaja geroinja romana - Jemma Bovari, zhena vracha, zhivushhaja ne po sredstvam i zavodjashhaja vnebrachnye svjazi v nadezhde izbavit'sja ot pustoty i obydennosti provincial'noj zhizni…

  • Jean-Christophe [Russian Language Edition]

    • ABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Romain Rolland
    • Narrated By Valentina Sperantova, Olga Khorkova, Boris Olenin, and others
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    Spektakl' po romanu velikogo francuzskogo pisatelja Romena Rollana (1866-1944), laureata Nobelevskoj premii po literature 1915 goda. O detskih i otrocheskih godah geroja romana-jepopei, genial'nogo nemeckogo kompozitora Zhana-Kristofa Krafta, prototipom kotorogo stal Ljudvig van Bethoven.

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  • The Fruits of Enlightenment

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Victor Stanitsyn, Lidiya Koreneva, Angelina Stepanova, and others
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    Blistatel'naja komedija velikogo russkogo pisatelja L'va Nikolaevicha Tolstogo (1828-1910). V Peterburge, v bogatom dome Zvezdincevyh, v privychnoj utrennej sumatohe snujut slugi, bespreryvno zvonjat v dver' posetiteli: artelycik ot Burd'e s plat'em i zapiskoj dlja baryni, Sahatov Sergej Ivanovich, byvshij tovarishh ministra, jelegantnyj gospodin, svobodnyj i interesujushhijsja vsem na svete, doktor, reguljarno nabljudajushhij barynju, Jakov-bufetchik, vechno vinovatyj, nelovkij i puglivyj.

  • Trionfi di donna

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Alredo Panzini
    • Narrated By Silvia Cecchini
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    Alfredo Panzini, noto per le sue novelle spesso umoristiche, ci propone in questa opera dei ritratti di persone e situazioni a volte aspri, sempre leggermente distaccati, spesso vicini alle idee sulla famiglia e sulle relazioni con le quali sono cresciuti i nati nel secolo ventesimo. La cornice musicale è cantata da Enrico Caruso.

  • The Enchanted Stag

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By The Brothers Grimm
    • Narrated By Kathy Verduin
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    Another Grimm's Fairy Tale, "The Enchanted Stag" is a story about how a little sister cares for her brother while he is under a spell by their wicked step-mother. A King saves them both, and then they are betrayed again by the step-mother.... Will the King be fooled by the step-mother, will the brother always be under the spell? Find out who lives happily ever after. Narrated by Kathy Verduin.