Franz Kafka's haunting short story about a man both on display and marginalized by a fickle society.
A Little Hero takes place during some summer days at a manor house outside of Moscow, where members of the Russian upper-class enjoy themselves with lavish parties, scenic outings, and various carefree pursuits. The main character is an 11-year-old boy, who becomes fascinated by and falls in love with the beautiful and melancholic Madame M, who is a grown-up, married woman.
The classic adventure Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne tells the story of Professor Lidenbrock and his journey to the center of the Earth through a volcano. Alongside his nephew, Axel, Lidenbrock finds a secret message hidden in one of the runic notes of a newly acquired manuscript from Iceland.
Family dynamic, psychological insight into relationships and romance are the central themes in this collection of Chekhov stories. These stories, full of insight into lives of seemingly ordinary people, offer a rare opportunity to experience defining moments of lives. Unhappy in his marriage, a Moscow banker, Dmitri Gurov, is vacationing in Yalta, Crimea, where he sees a young lady walking along the seafront with her small dog.
One must never judge by appearances! Look at this book: it has long ago been read. It is warped, tattered, and lies in the dust uncared for; but open it, and it will make you weep and turn pale. My sister is like that book. Lift the cover and peep into her soul, and you will be horror-stricken. Read in English, unabridged.
Hughie Erskine is in love and wants to marry, but the girl's father will not allow it, since Erskine has no money. Erskine's friend, Alan Trevor, is a painter, and Erskine visits him at his studio one day to find him with a pitiable beggar - the model for his painting. Erskine only has one coin, on which he depends for transportation, but he decides he can walk for a couple of weeks and gives the beggar the coin. Read in English, unabridged.
Lord Murchison recounts to his old friend a strange tale of a woman he had loved and intended to marry, but she was now dead. She had always been very secretive and mysterious. He one day followed her to see where she went and discovered her stealthily going to a boarding house. He suspected there was another man and confronted her the next day. She confessed to having been there but said nothing had happened. He did not believe her and left; she died some time later. Read in English, unabridged.
Undoubtedly one of the most celebrated tales of all time, this is both high-octane thriller and fascinating travelogue. Phileas Fogg, intrepid Victorian gentleman about town, accepts a wager that he cannot travel around the world in 80 days. Naturally, he immediately sets off, accompanied by his French manservant, Passepartout. They are pursued by a police officer, Detective Fix, who is foolishly convinced that Fogg is a bank robber. Much hilarity ensues.
Vasilisa had not seen her daughter for four years. Her daughter, Yefimya, had gone after her wedding to Petersburg, had sent them two letters, and since then had seemed to vanish out of their lives; there had been no sight nor sound of her. And whether the old woman was milking her cow at dawn or heating her stove or dozing at night, she was always thinking of one and the same thing - what was happening to Yefimya, whether she were alive.... Read in English, unabridged.
Unhappy in his marriage, a Moscow bank worker, Dmitri Gurov, is vacationing in Yalta, Crimea, where he sees a young lady walking along the seafront with her small dog. They are soon engaged in an affair and spend most of their time together walking and taking drives to Oreanda . Returning to Moscow and his daily routine, working by day and clubbing by night, Gurov expects to soon forget young Anna but finds he is haunted by her memory. Read in English, unabridged.
Voltaire's Candide can only be described as a satirical novella that was intended to attack the optimistic and backwards way of thinking that was common during the 18th century. Filled with absurd and darkly humorous content, the short work is a highly debatable and thought-provoking piece. The story centers around Candide, the nephew of a baron, who's teacher, Pangloss, teaches Candide that the world is the way it should be and that everything in it is good.
Goethe was probably the greatest universal genius who ever lived. Although known primarily as a poet, playright, and novelist, he was also known for his work in anatomy, botany, color, art criticism, and jurisprudence. Many people are deterred from attempting to read anything by Goethe because of his extremely penetrating intelligence and dense prose. But his travel diary, Italian Journey, is by far easier to digest than anything else by him.
An upper-middle class peasant inherits his father's farm, which he hopes to pass on to his children. When the twin boys are born, there is joy in the family until they realize that they are severely retarded - to use the term of the day, idiots. And then another son is born, also an idiot. In desperation, Jean Pierre joins the church, which he has no use for, and a daughter is born. Another idiot. Jean Pierre becomes even more angry and abusive to his wife, whom he blames for producing four idiots.
Victor Hugo wrote this wonderful story while living in exile on the island of Guernsey, which is where the adventure unfolds. Set in the early 1800s, The Toilers of the Sea tells off a young reclusive fisherman who falls dangerously in love with a beautiful island girl. Her uncle, himself an intrepid seafarer, is the owner of a paddle-steamer, which plies its trade to and from St. Malo on the coast of Brittany.
Notes from the Underground is an 1864 existentialist novella written by the Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The speaker, an unknown yet common type of man, writes in first person about his views on Western philosophy, as well as his stark analysis of his own life. The work is written as the ramblings of this retired government employee who seems to have a very pessimistic yet honest opinion on his own life, as well as the world as seen through his eyes.
Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales have become so much a part of the Western culture that they are often assumed to be a part of folklore and not credited to the strange and gangling Dane who wrote them. Several years before the fairy tales came out, the Brothers Grimm had published their tales taken from the folklore of European stories, but Andersen was to change the understanding of what a tale can achieve.
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"
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!"
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"
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.
"Great translation, so-so narration"
"Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
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"
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?"
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"
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.
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.
"A long book, but at least the chapters are short"
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?"
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"
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.
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.
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.
"45 years between 1st and 2nd reading--Again!"
Chills race up and down young solicitor Jonathan Harker's spine as he enters the eerie castle of a Transylvanian count. His host, Count Dracula, is a curious creature who becomes enamored with the photograph of Harker's fiancée, Mina. Dracula decides he must find the enchanting Mina and have her as his own.
"Perfect actor for the parts"
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.
"Book better than the movie"
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"
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.
"Mysterious and beautiful"
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"
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.
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?"
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.
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 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"?"
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 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!"
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"
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"
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pope Joan traces the remarkable history of a young woman who, according to tradition, travelled across Europe in the ninth century disguised as a monk, acquired great learning and ruled over Christendom for two years as Pope John VIII before dying in childbirth. On the books first publication in Athens in 1886, it created a sensation; it was banned and its author excommunicated. The work became nevertheless soon established itself securely in Greek literature.