Sometimes we weary of houseguests. The goblin in this short story from classic author Hans Christian Andersen can't quite decide whether he wanted to stay with the student who loved poetry or the huckster who had porridge. Follow the imp through his unusual decision.
A man approaches a great door seeking the law, and there he finds a gatekeeper. The gatekeeper tells him he can't be allowed to enter at the moment, so the man waits. Narrated by award winning narrator Mike Vendetti, this Franz Kafka short story will leave you thinking and analyzing.
Kew Gardens may not be unlike any beautiful garden you might visit. However, Virginia Woolf, invites us to inspect the minds of a few who visit the garden. This is a place of dreams, an oasis, a hideaway from all that is busy and frantic.
A story from classic writer Hans Christian Andersen that is more a commentary on society than fable. It has been said that a prophet is not without honor except in his own country. It has also been said that he who will not learn from history is doomed to repeat it. Andersen reflects on a variety of history makers who were not viewed favorably when they made history.
From renowned translators Richard Pevear and Lindsay Volokhonsky comes a new translation - certain to become the definitive version - of the first great prison memoir, a fictionalized account of Fyodor Dostoevsky's life-changing penal servitude in Siberia.
The gallows, the rack, and angry mobs are part of the menace in this horrific novel set in 15th century Paris. Quasimodo, the kind-hearted, hunchbacked bell ringer and the lovely La Esmaralda struggle to survive the brutality that surrounds them.
Although based on historical persons from the ninth century, Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons are the subjects of compelling legends dating from the Viking era. Warriors, raiders, and rulers, Ragnar and his sons inspired unknown writers to set down their stories over seven centuries ago. This volume presents new and original translations of the three major Old Norse texts that tell Ragnar's story.
This short fable is a testament to believing in something enough to die for your belief. In this case, the belief rested in the heart of a nightingale. To the bird, true love is worth more than philosophy, wisdom, and even life.
This short story from Hans Christian Andersen is an interesting look at the challenges that come from getting what you want. In this delightful tale, a puppet master would do almost anything if his puppets became real and he could lead them in delighting audiences, but when he gets what he wants - he no longer wants it. Perhaps that is one of the strongest morals found in this classic.
Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. He was the leading ghost-story writer of the 19th century and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. "Green Tea" is an iconic gothic horror story which tells the story of a tea-drinking clergyman, haunted by a terrifying black monkey, which follows him wherever he goes, urging him to dreadful deeds and blighting his life in every way.
Beloved author Hans Christian Andersen may open up a view of what his family life may have been like. Humor abounds in his description of his father's profession - even as grave as most might have viewed death. Perhaps a bit different than his usual fables, it still rings with the same mischief and thoughtful response to life.
The story of Charlie Marlow's voyage from the civilized world of Europe into the primitive interior of the Congo of Africa. As a manager of a Belgian ivory company, Marlow travels into the interior of Africa up the Congo River to meet Kurtz, an agent of the ivory company. Deep in the interior of Africa, Marlow finds Kurtz living among the savage natives, who revere him as a god.
The Ghosts begins as straightforward haunted house story, one coming out of the Gothic tradition. Our hero, a skeptic, is staying with his brother at an ancient baronial estate. There, he argues with his brother about the existence of ghosts, and what sorts of evidence for their existence would be acceptable. Then, in order to make his point, he proceeds to induce in himself a ghostly experience by means darkness, drugs, and deprivation.
In this, the twelfth of the series, Dumas, the novelist-historian, is back in full force. His subject is a well-documented historical fact: that a man named Arnaud du Thil was able to pass for two years as Martin Guerre, deceiving villages, neighbors, friends, family, and even the wife of Martin Guerre with equal success, even to the point of becoming the father of two children by Martin Guerre's wife.
The Brothers Grimm were not alone in collecting folk fables. Charles Perault has provided dozens of stellar short stories from the same era. In this short story, we consider the difference between a kind sister and one who is less than grateful. It will be easy to decide who was most deserving of the fairy’s favor.
"The Little Match Girl" is a short story by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It was first published in 1845. We use the public domain English text from A Christmas Greeting: A Series of Stories by H. C. Andersen in Project Gutenberg.
A poor man captured a very unusual bird. His children were amused with the feathered guest and forgot their hunger for a time. They soon discovered that the bird gave the gift of wealth to the one who would eat his gizzard and the gift of being king to the one who ate his heart.
Enter the world of mystery with this timeless audiobook adaptation of Leskov's classic ghost story uncovering mysteries of a haunted castle with a reputation going back several centuries. Featuring ghost action and audio effects, it includes a story that takes you through events unfolding in St. Petersburg in 1859 or 1860.
This release also includes another story of mysterious disappearance. A nineteenth-century nobleman goes missing in Turgenev's "Hunting Sketches".
Where does love come from? How are questions of personal happiness of consequence in love? This audiobook collection of stories by Anton Chekhov is united by the theme of love, featuring: "About Love", "The Helpmate", and "Polinka". Read in English, unabridged, and accompanied by orchestral music based on original Antonin Dvorak compositions.
Chekhov's meticulous anatomies of complicated human impulse and response, his view of what's funny and poignant, and his clear-eyed observance of life as lived all match our own experience. This audiobook features a trilogy of interlinked stories: "About Truth", "Freedom", and "Love". Read in English, unabridged, and accompanied by orchestral music based on original compositions of Antonin Dvorak.
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.
"Best book ever written?"
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.
"Glad I finally decided to read it"
This classic tale is a fantastical fable of two dear friends - one of whom goes astray and is literally lost to the north woods, while the other undertakes an epic journey to rescue him. This charming, strange, and wonderful story is a timeless allegory about growing up and the challenges of staying true to one's self, and it served as the wintry inspiration for the blockbuster hit Frozen.
"Strange & Fascinating"
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.
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.
"My Choice for Frank Muller's Best"
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.
"Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
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.
"A classic that everyone should read."
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.
Albert Camus' The Stranger is one of the most widely read novels in the world, with millions of copies sold. It stands as perhaps the greatest existentialist tale ever conceived, and is certainly one of the most important and influential books ever produced. Now, for the first time, this revered masterpiece is available as an unabridged audio production.
"Is amorality bad?"
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.
"This is the definitive reading!"
The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words.
"Loved the Narrator"
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".
"Excellent Excellent Excellent!"
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.
New York Times best seller and Whitebread Book of the Year, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Beowulf comes to life in this gripping audio. Heaney's performance reminds us that Beowulf, written near the turn of another millennium, was intended to be heard not read.
"Would like the whole thing!"
The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself ‘Don Quixote’ and with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests.
"More than funny"
The story begins with an investigation into some strange reports of an "opera ghost", legendary for making the great Paris opera performers ill-at-ease when they sit alone in their dressing rooms. Some allege to have seen the ghost in evening clothes moving about in the shadows. Nothing is done, however, until the disappearance of Christine during her triumphant performance.
"Book better than the movie"
A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-stricken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it.
"Good story, reading"
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.
"A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
What is reality? Ask yourself whether you can actually know the answer, much less be sure that you can know it, and you've begun to grapple with the metaphysical and epistemological quandaries that have occupied, teased, and tormented modern philosophy's greatest intellects since the dawn of modern science and a century before the Enlightenment.
"Outstanding summary of modern philosophy"
Goethe's masterpiece and perhaps the greatest work in German literature, Faust has made the legendary German alchemist one of the central myths of the Western world. Here indeed is a monumental Faust, an audacious man boldly wagering with the devil, Mephistopheles, that no magic, sensuality, experience or knowledge can lead him to a moment he would wish to last forever.
"Great work, decent translation, poor narration"
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....
"Wonderful novel, mediocre translation"
Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.
"Wonderful Winslet, Satisfactory Story"
A Signature Performance: Leelee Sobieski’s Emma is sultry but vulnerable, offering a sympathetic rendering of the heroine and her plight, allowing the listener to draw his own conclusions about Madame Bovary in this cautionary tale of love, passion, and desperation.
"Very tough to get through!"
Franz Kafka's 1915 novella of unexplained horror and nightmarish transformation became a worldwide classic and remains a century later one of the most widely read works of fiction in the world. It is the story of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect. This hugely influential work inspired George Orwell, Albert Camus, Jorge Louis Borges, and Ray Bradbury, while continuing to unsettle millions of readers.
"A wonderful experience."
This collection of 10 time-honored tales brims with enchantment, whimsy, and sly humor. Assembled by a renowned poet and student of Gaelic language and culture, this edition includes "The Birth of Bran", "The Little Brawl at Allen", "The Enchanted Cave of Cesh Corran", "Becuma of the White Skin", "Mongan's Frenzy", and other stories.
"Great Celtic stories"
One of the great works of the 20th century, Kafka's The Trial has been read as a study of political power, a pessimistic religious parable, or a crime novel where the accused man is himself the problem. In it, a man wakes up one morning to find himself under arrest for an offence which is never explained. Faced with this ambiguous but threatening situation, Josef K. gradually succumbs to its psychological pressure.
"questions are better than answers"
Aristide Rougon, known as Saccard, is a failed property speculator determined to make his way once more in Paris. Unscrupulous, seductive, and with unbounded ambition, he schemes and manipulates his way to power. Financial undertakings in the Middle East lead to the establishment of a powerful new bank and speculation on the stock market; Saccard meanwhile conducts his love life as energetically as he does his business, and his empire is seemingly unstoppable.
A collection of German fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the famous Brothers Grimm. Their most famous tales are instantly recognizeable: "Rumpelstiltskin", "Snow White", "Rapunzel", "Cinderella", "Hansel and Gretel", and "The Frog Prince." The collection is often known today as "Grimms' Fairy Tales".
"Wonderfully read, but most tales not for kids"
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift suggests in his essay that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling children as food. By doing this he mocks the authority of the British officials.
"Not a bad proposal at all"
Robur the Conqueror is a science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story begins with strange lights and sounds, including blaring trumpet music, reported in the skies all over the world. The events are capped by the mysterious appearance of black flags with gold suns atop tall historic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Eugene Onegin is the master work of the poet whom Russians regard as the fountainhead of their literature. Set in 1820s imperial Russia, Pushkin's novel in verse follows the emotions and destiny of three men - Onegin the bored fop, Lensky the minor elegiast, and a stylized Pushkin himself - and the fates and affections of three women - Tatyana the provincial beauty, her sister Olga, and Pushkin's mercurial Muse.
Professor Charles Lexington led a placid and uneventful life until he made the mistake of discovering a way by which lead could be turned into gold. A Mr. Bowry volunteered to help the Professor capitalize the discovery, and from then on things began to happen. Before Professor Lexington got back to Earth he had been a match seller on the streets of London, an end man in a minstrel show, an inmate of a charitable institution, and a plumber.
In stories like "A Night in the Cemetery," "Night of Horror," and "Murder," not only will Chekhov's dark humor and twisted crimes satisfy even the most hardboiled of mystery fans, but readers will again appreciate the penetrating, absurdist insight into the human condition that only Chekhov can bring. Whether it is the death of a young amateur playwright at the hands of an editor who hates bad writing, or a drunken civil servant who ends up trapped in a graveyard, these stories overflow with the unforgettable characters and unique sensibility that will forever make Chekhov one of the most fascinating figures in literature.
The great virtue of this volume is that it reveals a lighter, comic side of Sade. He was a man obsessed, like many great writers, and his obsessions are still present here: his hatred of all things pretentious, his loathing of a corrupt judicial system, his damning of hypocrisy and false piety. One of the great anarchists of all time, he was nevertheless far from mad (as many pretended) and these works of fiction shed another light on this most feverish of minds.
A masterpiece of European imagination, The Sufferings of Young Werther is the classic Sturm und Drang tale of youthful angst and tragedy. The acclaimed translator Stanley Corngold brings new passion and precision to Goethe's timeless novel of obsessive love and madness in this magnificent new translation.
As Willi tries to make a new life for himself in Hamburg, finding a job and even love, he still cannot escape his past. Gradually he becomes sucked into a world of drink, desperation, deceit, and, with one terrible act, he is ensnared in a noose of his own making.
A pairing of Tolstoy's most spiritual and existential works of fiction and nonfiction from the renowned translator of Turgenev and Chekhov. In the last two days of his own life, Peter Carson completed these new translations of The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession before he succumbed to cancer in January 2013. In Carson's shimmering prose, these two transcendent works are presented in their most faithful rendering in English.
Intense, compelling, beautifully descriptive - as Wuthering Heights is to the Yorkshire moors, so The Black Soul is to the Aran Islands. The sea roars dismally round the shores of Inverara. A stranger takes a room on the island. Here lives a couple whose married years have been joyless, until the presence of the stranger unleashes their passions.... For as spring softens the wild beauty of Inverara, the stranger becomes conscious of the dark-haired Mary - how summer makes her shiver with life. He is the first man she has ever loved, and she thrills with sexual awakening.