Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
"Not to be rushed but to be savored"
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"
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"
The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
"A masterpiece marred by technical glitches"
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?"
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 one to spend 50 hours listening to!"
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"
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.
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.
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?"
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"
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.
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.
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"
The Brothers Karamazov is a tale of a complicated and broken family headed by a father, Fyodor Karamazov, who becomes entangled with his three sons, whom he neglected, after both mothers died.
"A Great Voice for a Great Book"
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".
"Wonderful reading, disturbing book"
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"
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.
"Why, oh, why is it abridged?"
The first authorized, unabridged release of this timeless classic and exclusively available from Recorded Books. Ulysses records the events of a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin, Ireland.
"Outstanding reading of Ulysses by James Joyce"
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.
"Phantom of the Opera"
An elder sister came to visit her younger sister in the country. The elder was married to a tradesman in town, the younger to a peasant in the village. As the sisters sat over their tea talking, the elder began to boast of the advantages of town life: saying how comfortably they lived there, how well they dressed, what fine clothes her children wore, what good things they ate and drank, and how she went to the theatre, promenades, and entertainments. The younger sister was piqued, and in turn disparaged the life of a tradesman and stood up for that of a peasant.
One of the most remarkable figures of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne was a brilliant French philosopher and statesman whose work directly influenced René Descartes, Friedrich Nietzsche, Isaac Asimov and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He was a humanist and a sceptic, with an insatiable and wide-ranging curiosity. In 1571, on his 38th birthday, he withdrew from public life and retired to the library in his castle tower, where he assembled a body of work that is still highly relevant today.
Our lovable and headstrong hero D'Artagnan bounds from one brush with death to another, uncovering a plot orchestrated by Cardinal Richelieu that threatens the beautiful Queen Anne of Austria and the entire Kingdom of France. Together with his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, he must stop at nothing to thwart the Cardinal's murderous schemes and rescue the love of his life in a quest that takes him to all corners of 17th Century France and beyond.
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.
Franz Kafka was one of the first and greatest masters of dystopian literature. In his bleak world view, man is presented as helpless and ineffectual, his destiny determined by distant, obscure and essentially unfriendly agencies. In none of his works is this savage and unreasoning enslavement presented more vividly than in Metamorphosis, a novella in which Gregor Samsa, a respectable employee and dutiful son, wakes to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect.
In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After, that resumed the adventures of his swashbuckling heroes. Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins not 20 years later but a mere 20 days afterward. The Red Sphinx picks up right where the The Three Musketeers left off.
Edith Grossman, celebrated for her brilliant translation of Don Quixote, offers a dazzling new version of another Cervantes classic, on the 400th anniversary of his death. The 12 novellas gathered together in Exemplary Novels reveal the extraordinary breadth of Cervantes' imagination: his nearly limitless ability to create characters, invent plots, and entertain listeners across continents and centuries.
One morning, just as I was about to set off to my office, Agrafena, my cook, washerwoman and housekeeper, came in to me and, to my surprise, entered into conversation. She had always been such a silent, simple creature that, except her daily inquiry about dinner, she had not uttered a word for the last six years. I, at least, had heard nothing else from her.
Jenny is the story of Jenny Winge, a talented Norwegian painter who lives a free and independent life in Rome. Betraying her own ideals, she has an affair, resulting in a child out of wedlock, and decides to raise the child on her own. Undset gives a gripping portrayal of a woman struggling towards fulfillment and independence, who at the same time wrestles with mental problems. It is written with unflinching honesty, which makes her story as compelling today as it was nearly a century ago.
Watt tells the tale of Mr Knott's servant and his attempts to get to know his master. Watt's mistake is to derive the essence of his master from the accidentals of his being, and his painstakingly logical attempts to 'know' ultimately consign him to the asylum. Itself a critique of error, Watt has previously appeared in editions that are littered with mistakes, both major and minor.
Any attempt at criticism would be foreign to me. Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsay able than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.
Devils, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is a classic political satire exploring the effects of imported European ideologies such as atheism and nihilism on Christian Russia. Based on the true-life political murder of Ivan Ivanov by the revolutionary Sergey Nechayev, Dostoevsky wrote this tale of society scandals, doomed marriages and fatally misguided idealism after returning from exile in Siberia.
Émile Zola's The Kill is one part of the French author's 20-volume series about the fictitious Rougon-Macquart family during the Second French Empire, and it is rich with symbolism. Paris is awakening to unprecedented expansion, the future intoxicating, and in keeping with its penchant for excess, the aristocracy is caught up in the mad dash to devour as much of it as it can.
This work vividly examines the lives of artists, nobles, commoners, and members of the Revolutionary Tribunal during the Reign of Terror in Paris. It is through our protagonist that we see how increasing power corrupts ever increasingly. And casting her dark shadow over all is Madame Guillotine.
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armor-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
"It's a peculiar apparatus," said the Officer to the Traveler, gazing with a certain admiration at the device, with which he was, of course, thoroughly familiar. It appeared that the Traveler had responded to the invitation of the Commandant only out of politeness, when he had been invited to attend the execution of a soldier condemned for disobeying and insulting his superior. Of course, interest in the execution was not very high, not even in the penal colony itself.
Whenever those states which have been acquired as stated have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom, there are three courses for those who wish to hold them: the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.
Often described as an alchemical allegory, John Crowley instead decided this is "the first science fiction novel". After all, "it's fiction; it's about the possibilities of a science; and it's a novel". No matter what else it might be, it's definitely one of the great outlandish stories in Western literature.
Honoré de Balzac uses his classic style of detail to describe a most controversial setting in his novel Le Pere Goriot. The story takes place in Paris just after the fall of Napoleon in 1819. The story focuses on three characters, Rastignac, a student who wants to try and make it big in the capital, Vautrin, an interesting and funny character who is also quite mysterious, and the main character, Goriot, that carries a heavy burden that only a loving parent would endure.
A shoemaker named Simon, who had neither house nor land of his own, lived with his wife and children in a peasant's hut, and earned his living by his work. Work was cheap, but bread was dear, and what he earned he spent for food. The man and his wife had but one sheepskin coat between them for winter wear, and even that was torn to tatters, and this was the second year he had been wanting to buy sheepskins for a new coat.
"Best Tolstoy Short Story"
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."
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"
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"
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"
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.
"Was my unabridged audible book missing a charpter?"
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.
"Where's Part II???"
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.
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.
"Great Tolstoy Intro; Ilyich Narration is Painful"
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.
"Entertaining yarn of flight, predicting airplanes"
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 forgotten gem"
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"
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!"
'I had begun, God knows why, tearing a corner off of everyday truth, begun seeing myself in another kind of mirror, and now the whole of the old, more or less comfortable truth was falling to pieces.' Confident and successful, New York advertising executive Ray Sanders takes what he wants from life. When he goes missing in a snowstorm in Connecticut one evening, his closest friend begins to reassess his loyalties, gambling with Ray's fate and his own future.
"predecessor of Gone Girl"
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.
"Why robotic narration of "acclaimed translation"?"
Learn about the story of Dante’s Inferno with iMinds insightful knowledge series. “Midway upon the journey of our life, I found myself in a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” So begins the classic text of the Inferno, a medieval poem written in 14th century Italy. Along with its sequels, Purgatorio and Paradiso, it makes up the classic Divine Comedy. But what is the poem about? In the Inferno, the narrator of the tale travels through hell.