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World Literature

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Tad Davis

Tad Davis Philadelphia, PA USA Member Since 2005
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  • "Brilliant!"

    Overall
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    Story

    I try very hard not to write a review till I've listened to the whole thing. But I have to make an exception for this one. So far I've listened to The Inferno; but since I've already read the translation itself in its entirety, I'm going to stick my neck out.

    This is brilliant. I'm in Heaven, so to speak. Clive James has created an unusual but consistently effective translation: rather than trying to reproduce Dante's terza rima, he plays to his own strengths by translating into quatrains, a verse form at which he is particularly adept. The result is a subtle but ever-present drumbeat of rhyme. There are better versions of individual passages in other translations, but I've never read one where the whole thing hangs together and flows together so smoothly.

    James also adds clarifying phrases here and there throughout the translation to reduce the need for footnotes. (A good thing: the printed book doesn't have any.)

    These clarifying phrases are not as extensive as those in the Audiobook Contractors version, read by Grover Gardner; but they serve the purpose, and they make it possible to listen without constantly feeling the need to look things up.

    The result is a translation that demands to be read aloud. Edoardo Ballerini does a terrific job with the narration, capturing the Pilgrim's sense of wonder and letting the poetry unfold in its own effortless way. Ballerini is one of those narrators who conveys dialogue by suggestion rather than outright imitation of different voices. But the voices are there anyway, partly because of Dante's skill and partly because Clive James does such a good job conveying them. When passion is called for, Ballerini gives voice to passion; likewise when the speaker is giving voice to shame, anger, or pride.

    Get it. Listen to it. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Treasure it.

    Caveat: I've read the Comedy several times, in several different translations, with several different sets of footnotes. I couldn't claim to be a master of the allusions in the poem, but I'm comfortable with them. (When the wind is southerly I can tell a Guelf from a Ghibelline.) As such, it's hard for me to imagine the viewpoint of someone coming to this material for the first time. I THINK this would be anyone's ideal introduction to Dante, and I hope first time listeners will tackle this version and leave their reactions.

    For myself, all I can say is that it will be a cold day in Hell (so to speak) before I re-read, or re-listen, to this masterpiece in any other format. There is no question in my mind that this is hands down the best audiobook version of Dante's masterpiece available.

    More

    The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.

    Tad Davis says: "Brilliant!"
  • "Flawed"

    Overall

    John Lee gives a hearty but flawed performance of "Ulysses." The energy and the humor come through -- this is, after all, one of the funniest books ever written -- but there are quieter moments as well, and these fare badly: Lee delivers everything at a breakneck pace, not so much narrating the book as declaiming it.

    In addition, there are some errors in the production design of the audiobook that detract from its effectiveness. First and foremost, "Ulysses" is full of music, from snatches of song to the quarter-hour tolling of a bell tower. All are rendered in the same straightforward declamatory prose style of the rest of the narration. Second -- and it's possible this is a problem with the Audible rendering rather than the original audiobook -- the episodes all run together without a second's pause between them. Whether you view the book as three long chapters or eighteen separate episodes, there are clear indications of breaks throughout the text, each accompanied by major changes in tone, style, and narrator. Here, the last sentence of one and first sentence of the next seem to be delivered in the same breath.

    It seems to be using a better (more recent) text than the Naxos version. The Naxos version has a number of other flaws as well, but it does a far better job of capturing the music and the rhythm of the narration than Blackstone's offering. If Blackstone were willing to undertake it, a little re-engineering of this title could make a huge difference and might justify a higher rating.

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    Ulysses

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs)
    • By James Joyce
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Joyce’s experimental masterpiece set a new standard for modernist fiction, pushing the English language past all previous thresholds in its quest to capture a day in the life of an Everyman in turn-of-the-century Dublin. Obliquely borrowing characters and situations from Homer’s Odyssey, Joyce takes us on an internal odyssey along the current of thoughts, impressions, and experiences that make up the adventure of living an average day.

    Tad Davis says: "Flawed"
  • "Built-in study guide"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this title several months ago on CD and have been hoping for some time that Audible would make it available. It's an unusual version of the Divine Comedy: a fresh translation with a kind of built-in study guide. Brief explanations of most of the allusions in this complex poem are woven into the text. For example, where Dante might refer to "the Eagle," this translation says: "the Eagle, emblem of the Empire."

    There is one drawback to this, and that is that Dante's allusions are not always so clear-cut. The translator has typically chosen a single concrete tag line among the many possible annotations. But this audiobook is an introduction, not a substitute for an intensive study of Dante. It's meant to be an enjoyable and comprehensible audiobook, something that will give you more of the Divine Comedy on a first listen than you can get from most of the others available.

    I've read the Commedia several times in a variety of translations, and despite my familiarity with many of the passages, I found these small additions to the text quite helpful. It's easy when reading the poem to forget who was a Guelph and who was a Ghibelline; this audiobook helps you keep it straight.

    Although I haven't seen the text in print (I'm not sure if it's even available), the translation appears to be prose. The translator has tried to capture some of the poetic energy of the work by making extensive use of alliteration rather than rhyme. Most of the time this works admirably; sometimes it's a strain.

    Grover Gardner, a Virgil among readers, gives his usual sterling narration.

    I would suggest, if you do get this, that you listen to it in small doses. Despite the helpful features of the translation, Dante's poem remains dense with symbol and meaning. There's a lot to take in. Go slow and savor.

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    The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri, Herbert A. Kenny (translator)
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    This unique poetic translation by Herbert A. Kenny, historian and poet, is the first that incorporates the Biblical, theological and historical allusions of the greatest poem im Christendom into the text itself. It can now be appreciated without a glossary or accompanying notes. Listen as the liquid lines take you through the horrors of the "Inferno", the mysteries of "Purgatorio" and the glories of "Paradiso".

    Tad Davis says: "Built-in study guide"
  1. The Divine Comedy
  2. Ulysses
  3. The Divine Comedy
  4. .

A Peek at Barry's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
246
 
Petaluma, CA, United States 169 REVIEWS / 203 ratings Member Since 2006 17 Followers / Following 5
 
Barry's greatest hits:
  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    "Wildly entertaining but vaguely troubling"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I pestered Audible so long about this book, having heard nothing but glowing things about it for so many years (and no time to read the paper version). So I rushed to put it in my queue as soon as it came out. Garcia Marquez has said that you have to be very careful not to fall into his trap. I wish I knew what he thought his trap was. Is it about love in old age? Is it about immorality disguised as faithfulness? Is it about the unreliability of the characters' appraisal of people and events? Is it about something else entirely? I will probably never know.

    First of all, the prose is beautiful. Even in translation, you get the sense of an author with a gift for finding the right word and the felicitous phrase. The book is simply littered with insightful observations about life and humanity. Second, the characters are solidly created. We are interested in them, even as we sense that they may not be people we personally would like to know. And therein lies my uneasiness with this book. The more we get to know these characters, the more ordinary they seem, and--especially with Florentino--the more troubling their moral outlook on life becomes. Garcia Marquez leads us step by step down the proverbial primrose path, and I can follow as long as I suspend disbelief. I have more of a problem with it in the cold light of day.

  • Lolita

    "The perfect example of the self-aware narrator"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Humbert Humbert knows exactly how bad he is, but he also knows exactly what everyone else is like too. It is the narrator's ability to be completely frank and honest about everything that happens that gives this book its eerie attractiveness. Does he understand why he is bad in the way that he is? That is another question, and one that he simply isn't interested in exploring. But reams of paper have been spent exploring this book, so nothing I say here will add much to the discussion. I'll only say that I can't imagine anyone better than Jeremy Irons to convey the cold, urbane tone of Humbert Humbert.

  • Death in Venice: A New Translation by Michael Henry Heim

    "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.

Anne

Anne ASHLAND, OR, United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
10
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1
1
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
2
0
  • "Timeless Romance, brought to life b..."

    10 of 10 helpful votes

    This story is one of the classic romances that will live on forever. I have read it more than once, but it had been a while and I needed some romance in my life, so I went in search of it again. I was so pleased to find it had finally been made into an audiobook, my life is busier than it used to be, so I was able to listen to it wherever I went. The narrator, Armando Duràn, was a perfect fit for this story. I mean perfect. The animation in his voice captures the passion of their love, the excitement and the sorrow. Every emotion was conveyed with such conviction, you would believe he wrote the story himself and was recounting from his own memory. His performance was impeccable and the story was lovely as ever. I would recommend this audiobook to everyone who wants the experience of a masterpiece novel, played out by an exceptional narrator.

    More

    Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (318)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"

What's Trending in World Literature:

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    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov
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    Master i Margarita - "posledniy zakatnyy" roman M.A. Bulgakova, roman zaveshchanie, voskresshiy iz pepla unichtozhennoy avtorom pervoy redaktsii. V Mastere i Margarite fantastika natalkivaetsya na realizm, mif na istoricheskuyu dostovernost, teosofiya na demonizm, romantika na klounadu.

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    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
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    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
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    Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

    Marcus Vorwaller says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
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    Anne of Green Gables

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    When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables send for a boy orphan to help them out at their farm, they mistakenly get Anne Shirley, a feisty, independent but warm-hearted 11 year-old girl. Fortunately her sunny nature and quirky imagination win the hearts of her reluctant foster parents and everyone in the community. But not a day goes by without some memorable adventure or prank in the tragicomedy of her life.

    David says: "Magical"
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    Collected Fictions  by Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley (translator) Narrated by George Guidall

    Collected Fictions

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    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (120)
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    (79)
    Story
    (83)

    From his 1935 debut with "The Universal History of Iniquity", through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language.

    Darwin8u says: "Highlights of Collected Fictions = Uncollected"
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    The Prophet

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    • By Kahlil Gibran
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    Writer, artist and philosopher Kahlil Gibran considered The Prophet to be his greatest achievement. First published in 1923, this collection of poetic essays on life and the human condition has been translated into more than 20 languages, and has become one of the beloved classics of our time. Cherished by millions, the universally inspiring words of The Prophet are here magnificently read aloud.

    Nolan P. Clark says: "Beautiful"
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    Les Miserables is set in the Parisian underworld. The protagonist, Jean Valjean, is sentenced to prison for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. After his release, Valjean plans to rob monseigneur Myriel, a saint-like bishop, but cancels his plan. However, he forfeits his parole by committing a minor crime, and for this crime Valjean is haunted by the police inspector Javert. Valjean eventually reforms and becomes a successful businessman, benefactor, and mayor of a northern town.

    Leslie says: "astounding"
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    • By Leo Tolstoy
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    Laurie says: "Perfect blend of material and performer..."
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    Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid - an awkward role in which she is more a servant, but less a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this profound tale, based on true events in China over a century ago.

    Amazon Customer says: "This was as good as "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck"
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (






UNABRIDGED) by Gabriel García Márquez Narrated by John Lee

    One Hundred Years of Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (293)
    Story
    (294)

    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

    Melinda says: "What in the heck happened?????"
  • Lolita (






UNABRIDGED) by Vladimir Nabokov Narrated by Jeremy Irons

    Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1932)
    Performance
    (1088)
    Story
    (1081)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
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UNABRIDGED) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Narrated by Constantine Gregory

    The Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Narrated By Constantine Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (66)

    Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.

    Robert says: "Best "Karamazov" yet."
  • The Odyssey (






UNABRIDGED) by Homer (translated by Robert Fagles) Narrated by Ian McKellen

    The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
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    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  •  
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (






UNABRIDGED) by Gabriel García Márquez Narrated by Armando Durán

    Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    Overall
    (364)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (318)

    From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....

    Darryl says: "Marquez is great, awaiting 100 Years"
  • The Kybalion: A Study of Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece (






UNABRIDGED) by The Three Intiates Narrated by Mitch Horowitz

    The Kybalion: A Study of Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Three Intiates
    • Narrated By Mitch Horowitz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    He was the father of the occult, the founder of astrology, the discoverer of alchemy. He was Hermes Trismegistus, and as the scribe of the gods of ancient Egypt, he possessed all divine knowledge... which he passed on to humanity, though only those who have been tutored in its wonders can fully understand it.In this extraordinary 1912 book, three secret initiates to his teachings - who remain anonymous to this day - share their insight with all who seek to understand the mysterious underpinnings of the universe and our relationship with it.

    Diana says: "Big bites of ancient (now age?) wisdom to chew on"
  • Anna Karenina (






UNABRIDGED) by Leo Tolstoy Narrated by David Horovitch

    Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (503)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (297)

    Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.

    Marcus Vorwaller says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
  • Peony: A Novel of China (






UNABRIDGED) by Pearl S. Buck Narrated by Kirsten Potter

    Peony: A Novel of China

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Pearl S. Buck
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (72)

    Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid - an awkward role in which she is more a servant, but less a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this profound tale, based on true events in China over a century ago.

    Amazon Customer says: "This was as good as "The Good Earth" by Pearl Buck"
  •  
  • Cry, the Beloved Country (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Paton Narrated by Michael York

    Cry, the Beloved Country

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Alan Paton
    • Narrated By Michael York
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (222)

    This is the most distinguished novel that has come out of South Africa in the 20th century, and it is one of the most important novels of the modern era. Cry, the Beloved Country is in some ways a sad book; it is an indictment of a social system that drives native races into resentment and crime; it is a story of Fate, as inevitable, as relentless, as anything of Thomas Hardy's. Beautifully wrought with high poetic compassion, Cry, the Beloved Country is more than just a story, it is a profound experience of the human spirit.

    Penny says: "Two Words"
  • The Divine Comedy (






UNABRIDGED) by Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri Narrated by Edoardo Ballerini

    The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.

    Tad Davis says: "Brilliant!"
  • The Art of War (






UNABRIDGED) by Sun Tzu Narrated by Mike Vendetti

    The Art of War

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Sun Tzu
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    For over 2000 years, these 13 chapters attributed to Sun Tzu have been the Bible, or should have been the Bible for those intending to wage war, or who are waging war. Ho Chi Minh I am sure was very familiar with it, and don't be surprised that the Taliban is also familiar with the principles contained therein. Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, General Douglas MacArthur and leaders of Imperial Japan have drawn inspiration from the work.

    Yaquelin says: "A must for all"
  • The Idiot [Blackstone] (






UNABRIDGED) by Fyodor Dostoevsky Narrated by Robert Whitfield

    The Idiot [Blackstone]

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoevsky
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
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    Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man."

    Tad says: "Intense and painfully sad"
  • Zia Mohyeddin Kay Saath Eik Shaam, Volume 10 (






UNABRIDGED) by Azeem Baig Chughtai, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Noon M. Rashid, Syed Ahmad, Josh Malih Abadi, Meera Jee, Nasir Kazmi Narrated by Zia Mohyeddin

    Zia Mohyeddin Kay Saath Eik Shaam, Volume 10

    • UNABRIDGED (57 mins)
    • By Azeem Baig Chughtai, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Noon M. Rashid, and others
    • Narrated By Zia Mohyeddin
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    A classical collection of recitations by the master narrator Zia Mohyeddin. Volume 10 includes: "Angrezi Adab Para"; "Ek Tukra"; "Kuttay", by Sir Syed Ahmad; "Josh Malih Abadi"; "Nazm Noon Meem Rashid"; "Nazm Meera Jee"; "Khat Mohammad Ali Redolvi"; "Baccha Nahin Hota"; "Ghazal Nasir Kazmi"; "Al Shajri", by Azeem Baig Chughtai: "Nazm", by Noon Meem Rashid; "Ghazal", by Faiz; and "Ghazal", by Faiz and Khamooshi.

  • Literary Treasures: Great Short Stories by Acclaimed Writers (






UNABRIDGED) by Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Literary Treasures: Great Short Stories by Acclaimed Writers

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    An astonishing collection of fifty of the greatest short stories ever written by some of literature's most highly acclaimed writers. 1. "Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D. H. Lawrence; 2. "Miss Harriet" by Guy de Maupassant; 3. "Twenty-six Men and a Girl" by Maxim Gorky; 4. "Hot Potatoes" by Arnold Bennett; 5. "Rats" by M. R. James; 6. "Zodomirsky’s Duel" by Alexandre Dumas; 7. "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin; 8. "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe; 9. "The Encased Man" by Anton Chekhov.

  • The Inferno of Dante (






UNABRIDGED) by Dante Alighieri, Robert Pinsky (translator) Narrated by Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, Louise Glück, Robert Pinsky

    The Inferno of Dante

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Dante Alighieri, Robert Pinsky (translator)
    • Narrated By Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, Louise Glück, and others
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    This critically acclaimed translation was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award given by the Academy of American Poets. Well versed, rapid, and various in style, the Inferno is narrated by Pinsky and three other leading poets: Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, and Louise Glück.

  • The Best French Short Stories (






UNABRIDGED) by Guy de Maupassant, Victor Hugo, Anatole France, Charles Baudelaire, Emile Zolà, Théophile Gautier, Alphonse Daudet Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Best French Short Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Guy de Maupassant, Victor Hugo, Anatole France, and others
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    An enchanting collection of some of the greatest short stories ever written by notable French authors.

  •  
  • An Episode of the Reign of Terror (






UNABRIDGED) by Honoré de Balzac Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    An Episode of the Reign of Terror

    • UNABRIDGED (44 mins)
    • By Honoré de Balzac
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is arguably the greatest European novelist in terms of the range and power of his writing. Most of his short stories predate his long novels and are written in a different style. One of the earliest is An Episode of the Reign of Terror in which two nuns and a priest in hiding from the mob are visited by a stranger with a very peculiar request, and even odder motives behind it.

  • The Book of Tea (






UNABRIDGED) by Okakura Kakuzo Narrated by Alan Munro

    The Book of Tea

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Okakura Kakuzo
    • Narrated By Alan Munro
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    The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo is a long essay linking the role of tea (teaism) to the aesthetic and cultural aspects of Japanese life. Addressed to a western audience, it was originally written in English and is one of the great English tea classics. Okakura had been taught at a young age to speak English and was proficient at communicating his thoughts to the Western mind. In his book, he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of tea and Japanese life.

  • The Child with the Bread Shoes (






UNABRIDGED) by Théophile Gautier Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    The Child with the Bread Shoes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 mins)
    • By Théophile Gautier
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    When little Hans dies of the croup, his mother uses all her scant wealth to ensure him a proper burial. She spins the thread for his shroud and has a beautiful little coffin made. But while she is out, the rats gnaw at little Hans's leather slippers and the dead child has nothing for his feet. Hans' mother makes him a pair of shoes from her last loaf of bread. But after the child is buried, the ghostly child reappears night after night weeping. The bread shoes are preventing him from entering heaven. But the local priest comes up with a plan.

  • Jeannot and Colin (






UNABRIDGED) by Voltaire Narrated by Cathy Dobson

    Jeannot and Colin

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By Voltaire
    • Narrated By Cathy Dobson
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    In this tale of Jeannot and Colin, Voltaire not only tells an instructive tale, warning of the dangers of sudden wealth and social climbing, but also directs his satirical comments at the vacuous and fickle nouveau riche of his day, the catholic church, private education, and society in general. Jeannot and Colin are childhood friends. Both come from working-class backgrounds in a rural part of France, but Jeannot's parents, on a trip to Paris, strike it lucky in business and within a short time become very wealthy.