The Album is a story of an official being congratulated on his jubilee and becoming an album with portraits of his colleagues as a gift. Touched to the depth of his soul he comes home to get warm and loving congratulations there, but as the album that he has just highly valued was taken by kids, his attitude weirdly changes, but the reasons thereof are left to us entirely.
Originally published in 1922 and translated by Takashi Kojima, this classic short story was the inspiration for Akira Kurosawa's 1950 film Rashomon, about the murder of a samurai. Told from the perspective of multiple witnesses.
This story is a parable of a sinner trying to get past the Peary Gates having no good thing done during his lifetime. As different people answer his knocking on the Gates, he tries to persuade them to let him in facing one refusal after another. But what would be a real reason to let the sinner go into the Garden of Eden? Despite you may disagree, the story will definitely set you thinking.
An Enigmatic Nature is a story of two people talking in a railcar compartment. The author claims he understands his interlocutress fully and asks her to tell him about her life. As she tells him her way to happiness and how she has been overcoming difficult obstacles to reach it, his confidence in correctness of his opinion about her strengthens. Until the young lady reveals the reason of her unhappiness at the moment.
In the legend Work, Death and Sickness, Leo Tolstoy speculates on the problem of people's happiness. South American Indians believed that God made men so they didn't need to work. But people were not happy; they quarreled with each other. To bring them together, God made it impossible for people to live without working. They must build houses and grow plants not to suffer from cold and hunger. But people lived worse than before.
Chameleon is a short sketch about the occurrence at the town square, where the main characters were a craftsman Hryukin, policeman Otchumyelov and stray puppy, surprisingly turned to be a property of the general's brother. Hearing about the bite suddenly turns into a scene of Otchumelov's attempts to save face in front of the curious crowd and maneuver between his ambitions and subservience.
In Hush! we meet a journalist who comes home late in the evening and needs to do some work, therefore he demands not to be disturbed. His family regards the time when he works sacred and tries to do everything to make it comfortable for him. As his nature and temper are revealed to us, we get to know what he thinks of himself and what he is like at work, his dreams and who or what is to blame that he is unhappy.
An Inquiry is a story about a country gentleman, who arrives in a city to obtain an inquiry on a case a party of which he is. However, he faces an almost insuperable obstacle on the way to get what he has come for in the form of an officer, whose job functions are to solve these queries actually. Get acquainted with the peculiar satire put in the story by Chekhov, learn how it ended!
The story Hatred Is Sweet, But God Is Strong is a parable of a kind master and a slave of his who tried to anger him and show to other slaves that he was just like any other master. However it appears to be a struggle between not two humans but the ultimate forces. This is a story that everyone will find edifying in his or her own way.
Grisha is a story of a boy taken for a walk outside of his house for the first time. He looks at the world around him and studies it with curiosity. He tries to communicate to the adults: his mother, his nanny, and the people they meet during the walk. He learns the rules of the world, which is completely new for him, with childish ingeniousness and directness. The writer tries to find an answer to the question of what children may mean as they mutter so lovely and at the same time shows our life the way we prefer not to think about it.
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) leads the great names of Russian literature. After completing his education, Pushkin devoted himself to the pleasures of society, alongside his writing. In 1820 he was banished to the Caucasus for writing and promoting liberal views. Deprived of his social life, Pushkin devoted himself to his writing and bequeathed to the world some of the greatest poetry and stories ever written. He met his death in a duel in 1837.
A terrifying and macabre collection of anatomically inspired stories by the masters of gruseome fiction.
Ever since the time of Louis XIV, the story has been told of a man mysteriously snatched out of the world and buried for life not merely in a prison cell but also in an mask of iron: an imprisonment designed to ensure no one would ever know his name or even see his face. Dumas asks: Who was the man in the iron mask? Why was he imprisoned? Why were such strange precautions taken, and why was he treated with such respect and care, given everything he asked for--except his freedom and his name?
The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a radio series created by Orson Welles, presented adaptations of classic literary works. These were performed by actors from Welles' celebrated Mercury Theatre repertory company, with music composed or arranged by Bernard Herrmann. The series ran from July to December 1938, after which the title was changed to The Campbell Playhouse.
Asura: Tale of the Vanquished dares to narrate the tale of the Asura people. Blending mythology, religion, and history, the audiobook narrates the tale from Ravana and Bhadra's perspective. The book talks about how the Asura community is more liberal than the orthodox Deva clan, which was highly biased. It also attacks the evil practices of the Brahmin caste.
"A Must Read!"
The subject of Kokoro, which can be translated as 'the heart of things' or as 'feeling,' is the delicate matter of the contrast between the meanings the various parties of a relationship attach to it. In the course of this exploration, Soseki brilliantly describes different levels of friendship, family relationships, and the devices by which men attempt to escape from their fundamental loneliness. The novel sustains throughout its length something approaching poetry, and it is rich in understanding and insight.
The caveman. Dominant. Fighting for his woman, and dragging her off by the hair. Master of these caves. The cavewoman, submissive, waiting to be dragged off by her caveman. In the real world, not quite how it is, but we can always speculate.
An audiobook adaptation of Turgenev's story set on the outskirts of Moscow, in the house of an old widow. The story was written in 1854 by Ivan Turgenev, a great Russian novelist of the nineteenth century. Turgenev wrote Mumu with such vivid images and reflections of the state of tsarist Russia that this piece, together with his other stories, was credited with having influenced public opinion in favour of the abolition of serfdom in 1861.
Following a series of misfortunes, Tess Durbeyfield leaves her impoverished family to seek work with her rich relations. Her new employer, Alec d’Urberville, seems charming and kind. Tess has a mind of her own, but she is vulnerable and alone among strangers. Can she trust Alec? A year later Tess meets Angel Clare, and they fall in love. If Angel discovers the truth about Tess’ past, will he still love her?
After ten long years of war and the fall of Troy, Greek hero Odysseus sets sail for his homeland. His voyage, however, is destined to take much longer than he expects. During his eventful journey, Odysseus comes across all sorts of monsters and mythical creatures and loses his ships and crew. When he finally reaches his beloved island, he finds his queen besieged by suitors who claim his throne. What tricks will Penelope resort to in her effort to avoid them?
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.
"Best "Karamazov" yet."
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.
"Beautiful story, amazing narration"
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.
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....
"Timeless Romance, brought to life by Armando Duràn"
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.
"An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
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.
"A must for all"
"Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
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.
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.
"The All is Mind. The Universe is Mental."
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.
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"
Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is universally regarded as one of literature's finest achievements, as the great Russian novelist explores the inner workings of a troubled intellectual. Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. Dehumanized yet sympathetic, exhausted yet hopeful, Raskolnikov represents the best and worst elements of modern intellectualism. The aftermath of his crime and Petrovich's murder investigation result in an utterly compelling, truly unforgettable cat-and-mouse game. This stunning dramatization of Dostoevsky's magnum opus brings the slums of St. Petersburg and the demons of Raskolnikov's tortured mind vividly to life.
The Devil comes to Moscow, but he isn't all bad; Pontius Pilate sentences a charismatic leader to his death, but yearns for redemption; and a writer tries to destroy his greatest tale, but discovers that manuscripts don't burn. Multi-layered and entrancing, blending sharp satire with glorious fantasy, The Master and Margarita is ceaselessly inventive and profoundly moving. In its imaginative freedom and raising of eternal human concerns, it is one of the world's great novels.
"Baffling and original"
This brilliant new treatment of the world's oldest epic is a literary event on par with Seamus Heaney's wildly popular Beowulf translation. Esteemed translator and best-selling author Stephen Mitchell energizes a heroic tale so old it predates Homer's Iliad by more than a millennium.
"A defense of this "translation""
Setting down his thoughts on swordplay, on winning, and on spirituality, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi intended this modest work as a guide for his immediate disciples and future generations of samurai. He had little idea he was penning a masterpiece that would be eagerly devoured by people in all walks of life centuries after his death.
"The way of all things."
If Max Brod had obeyed Franz Kafka's dying request, Kafka's unpublished manuscripts would have been burned, unread. Fortunately, Brod ignored his friend's wishes and published The Trial, which became the author's most famous work. Now Kafka's enigmatic novel regains its humor and stylistic elegance in a new translation based on the restored original manuscript.
Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.
"I love this book - one of the best of all time"
The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.
"Fagles is best"
Myths provide the keys to truly grasping the ways that principles, rituals, codes, and taboos are woven into the fabric of a particular society or civilization. It's through myths that we can answer these and other fundamental questions: How was the universe created, and why? What is the purpose of evil? Why is society organized the way it is? How did natural features like rivers, mountains, and oceans emerge?This entertaining and illuminating course plunges you into the world's greatest myths.
"Five stars, with some caveats"
Here are 22 charming Japanese Fairy Tales, translated by Yei Theodora Ozaki, including "My Lord Bag of Rice", "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow", "The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad", "The Farmer and the Badger", "The Shinansha, or the South Pointing Carriage", "The Adventures of Kintaro, the Golden Boy", "The Story of Princess Hase", "The Story of the Man Who Did Not Wish to Die", "The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moonchild", "The Mirror of Matsuyama", and more.
"An excellent anthology of Japanese folk stories"
A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.
"Feels like Jules Verne"
Here is a minor classic of the Orient. It is perhaps the most entertaining, most charming explanation and interpretation of traditional Japanese culture in terms of the tea ceremony. First published in 1906, it traces the custom from its roots in Taoism to its role as a Zen meditative discipline.
These classic fables use simple allegories to convey universal truths. Though it is unkown if Aesop ever actually existed, dating back to the sixth century, BC, these fables are known in cultures throughout the world and have been translated into many languages.
"Proverbs give the lesson, Aesop the backstory"
The Ramayana is one of the best-known epics in the world. It is the tale of Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, who exiles himself to the forest for 14 years to honor his father's Word. In the forest, Rama, his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshmana, meet new friends and unusual foes, and each day brings new adventures. But Ravana of Lanka, the King of Demons, ruins it all by abducting Sita. To rescue her, Rama enlists the help of Hanuman and his monkey army.
This is a sensitive exploration of the joys and pleasures of physical consummation. The Kama Sutra has often been described as "the first sexual manual", but the original Hindu script has a strong religious basis, and highlights love in all its forms.
In the six volumes of the Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories, Julian Hawthorne presents us thrilling and mysterious short stories from all corners of the world. Some of the stories appeared in this 1907 collection for the first time translated into English, and many of them come from unexpected sources, such as the letters of Pliny the Younger, or a Tibetan manuscript. In the first volume, we find stories written by American authors.
"Reader should have learned French."
This is George Dasent's classic collection of Scandinavian folklore. This is not about Norse mythology per se; so if you are looking for tales of Odin, Loki, and Freya etc., you will have to look elsewhere. Rather, this is an anthology of folk tales, similar to the Grimm Brothers', or Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands. All of the usual suspects are in place, including giants, trolls, witches, evil step-siblings, magical boons and tasks, and anthropomorphic animals.
"Good Stories, Some Short, Others Very Long"
India is often reputed to be the home of the fairy tale. Here are some of the best from the sub-continent, from the Jatakas to the folktales of Kashmir. You'll hear stories about the evil magician Punchkin, the magic fiddle, and more.
The original story of Aladdin is a Middle-Eastern folk tale. It concerns an impoverished young man named Aladdin. He is recruited by a sorcerer from the Maghreb, who passes himself off as the brother of Aladdin's late father and convinces Aladdin and his mother of his goodness by making arrangements to set up the lad as a wealthy merchant. His real motive is to persuade young Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful oil lamp from a booby-trapped magic cave.
Promoting virtues such as filial devotion, compassion, loyalty, and propriety, these dialogues between the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius and his disciples comprise the crux of Confucianism.
"For those who prize courtesy and civility, ..."
Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Scheherazade, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Scheherazade always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.
"Not unabridged Burton--this is Lang"
The story of the doomed love affair of a wealthy sophisticate, Shimamura, and the geisha Komako, at a mountain hotspring resort in western Japan, one of the snowiest regions on earth.
Xenophon was a Greek who admired and studied with Socrates. He marched with the Spartans and later was exiled from Athens. He wrote about the history of his times, the sayings of Socrates and about life in Greece. Edward Bysshe translated Xenophone's work in 1702. This translation has continued to have an excellent reputation. In this work Xenophon discusses the views of life taught by Socrates.
"Philosopher, Soldier, Historian and Mercenary"
Returning to Kyoto, where temple bells announce the New Year, a grave and penitent Oki is drawn to a haunting obsession from his past. Gently lyrical, yet fierce with the stark intensity of passion, Kawabata's last novel tells the story of the lasting consequences of a brief love affair.
"nostalgic literature from Japan"
Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary crime that defies definition.
"Nabokov's Strange Violin Playing in the Void"
The first novel Nabokov wrote while living in America, and the most overtly political novel he ever wrote, Bend Sinister is a modern classic. While it is filled with veiled puns and characteristically delightful wordplay, it is, first and foremost, a haunting and compelling narrative about a civilized man caught in the tyranny of a police state. Professor Adam Krug, the country's foremost philosopher, offers the only hope of resistance to Paduk, dictator and leader of the Party of the Average Man.
"A fantastic fairytale of fascism"
Homer's epic poem, written near the end of eighth century BC in Greece, follows the hero Odysseus as he journeys home after the fall of Troy. Many scholars believe that The Odyssey was originally composed as an oral tradition and was more likely meant to be heard than read, making it a great listen.
Commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature, Beowulf is an epic poem that traces the exploits of the titular hero. After coming to the aid of the king of the Danes, whose mead hall is under constant attack by the monster Grendel, Beowulf slays Grendel's mother and goes on to become the king of the Geats.