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World Literature

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Jefferson

Jefferson Jonan-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Japan Member Since 2010

I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.

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  • "Passionate, Poetic, Bloody, Heroic,..."

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    The Story of the Volsungs is a classic Icelandic saga, written in the 13th century from much older oral fragments of songs. Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris??? 1888 translation of the saga is fast-paced, coherent, heroic, tragic, and darkly beautiful. It is mostly prose, but includes many passages of poetry or songs. It influenced H. Rider Haggard???s The Saga of Eric Brighteyes, J. R. R. Tolkien???s oeuvre (especially the Silmarillion), and Poul Anderson???s The Broken Sword. If you like such tragic fantastic adventure fiction, if you are interested in Norsemen (Vikings!), or if you enjoy reading epics for their insights into human nature and their windows into different cultures, you should listen to this audiobook.

    It begins with a useful 48-minute introduction by H. Halliday Sparling about the historical, religious, political, and cultural context of the Norsemen and of their sagas, which is followed by an 8-minute preface by Magnusson and Morris about their translation.

    The saga depicts the interrelated fates of two great Norse families, the Volsungs and the Guikings. From the opening sequence, in which Sigi, grandfather of Volsung, kills a thrall who outperforms him in hunting and then hides his body in a snowdrift, the people in the saga are prey to overwhelming ambition, pride, envy, love, and hate. So there are plenty of battles, with kings killing kings and heroes dealing death till their arms are ???red with blood, even to the shoulders,??? and murders, brothers killing brothers, sons fathers, and mothers children, with poison, sword, or fire. The Norns have already decided the people???s dooms.

    There are also fantastic elements aplenty: men change into wolves, nightmares reveal disastrous futures, magic potions make men forget, magical swords are re-forged, Odin interferes with advice, boon, or doom, and so on. There are many great scenes, like Sigurd talking with a dragon about its cursed treasure or finding the sleep-spelled shield-maiden, Brynhild, ???clad in a byrny as closely set on her as though it had grown to her flesh.??? The characters are compelling because they???re so heroic and flawed. Any character might be loathsome one moment and admirable the next, or vice versa.

    The saga is not an easy listen, because many characters??? names sound similar and because of the archaic Malory-esque language used by Morris to evoke a timeless and heroic age (so the free online text might be helpful). But there is a dark, spare, grand, and beautiful poetry in his translation, and reader Antony Ferguson treats the text with restraint and fluency, subtly highlighting its terse turns and beautiful flights and rich alliteration, as in the following excerpt:

    "So Regin makes a sword, and gives it into Sigurd???s hands. He took the sword, and said???'Behold thy smithying, Regin!' and therewith smote it into the anvil, and the sword brake; so he cast down the brand, and bade him forge a better."

    I am very glad to have listened to this saga.

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    The Story of the Volsungs: The Volsunga Saga

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Anonymous
    • Narrated By Antony Ferguson
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Originally written in Icelandic in the 13th century AD by an anonymous author, The Story of The Volsungs is a legendary saga based on Norse mythology. The epic describes the legendary history and heroic feats of several generations of mythic Viking families and derives from many sources, including preexisting Edda, or heroic poems, Norse legends, historical events, and orally transmitted folklore. The saga is imbued throughout with themes of power, jealousy, love, vengeance, and fear.

    Ingwe says: "Wonderful Journey"
  • "The Entertaining Abyss"

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    Listening to Tim Curry read Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth was a surprisingly entertaining experience. I had expected the novel to be a weak story overwhelmed by a series of dry scientific facts and pseudo-facts, but it was lively and funny and often exciting and awe-inducing. The first-person narrator Axel is refreshingly reluctant, cowardly, weak, and despairing, especially when compared to his fiery, impetuous, glory-seeking, knowledge-hunting, unquenchable middle-aged uncle Professor Otto Lidenbrock and their taciturn do-everything guide Hans. Verne vividly depicts their descent down the volcano tube and exploration of the subterranean world deep inside the earth. Sure, the ???science??? is crazy, and it takes three and a half hours for them to even get down there, but Verne's enthusiasm for it all and the sense of the vast scale of time that has passed on our earth and the joy of discovery and the interplay between Axel and his uncle all glow brightly throughout. And Tim Curry multiplies the enjoyment. I'm still hearing in my mind his Professor Lidenbrock remonstrating with Axel to buck up or his Axel futilely trying to get "Uncle" not to do something reckless and chuckling to myself.

    Some reviewers have said that the book is dull or that there isn't enough action, but I think that 1) the avoidance of what today would be a non-stop page-turning never-ending action sequence novel is refreshing and that 2) Verne's depiction of the relationship between Axel and his uncle and his enthusiasm for the natural world and Curry's reading of it all is entertaining, even when Axel or his uncle are listing different kinds of minerals or different eras in the earth's geologic history.

    I would give four stars to Verne's novel and five to Curry's reading.

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    Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (828)
    Story
    (816)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
  • "The Appalling Beauty of this Whalin..."

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    What a strange classic is Herman Melville's Moby-Dick (1851)! Scientific, philosophical, comical, beautiful, terrible, and exciting, the novel is written with what Ishmael (Melville's narrator and alter-ego) calls "a careful disorderliness," featuring motley modes, like adventure, natural history, drama, and allegory, and an exuberantly encyclopedic approach fit for his "mighty theme." The novel is Biblical, Shakespearean, Hawthornian, Cetacean, and American.

    Ishmael begins his narrative by telling us that some years ago, feeling grim and drizzly, he decided to go to sea on a whaling ship to purge his spleen. He and his bosom buddy, the harpooner Queequeg, a cannibal prince with a profile like George Washington's and a body tattooed with illegible hieroglyphs that might hold the key to the truth of the universe, join the Pequod, captained by the soul-scorched and charismatic Ahab. Captain Ahab soon seduces the crew into swearing an unholy oath to help him hunt and kill the famed White Whale, Moby Dick, who by biting off his leg drove him into a monomaniacal quest for revenge.

    Throughout that narrative Ishmael interweaves passages about the physical, behavioral, and symbolic aspects of sperm whales and about the history, tools, strategies, dangers, and noble nature of whaling. He relates such passages with vivid descriptions, humorous metaphors, and interesting allusions to myriad eras, cultures, religions, and artifacts. A reader sympathetic to whales may recoil from Ishmael's depiction of their callous butchery or assertion that they will never be in danger from over-hunting. Nevertheless, he also respects and empathizes with the sublime leviathans.

    Ishmael, a "subterranean miner," attempts to "pierce the profundity" lurking beneath the surface of the world to attain the Truth about life and its dark realities--and so to appall rather than please his readers--and ambitiously attempts to compass his vast subject, the whale and all it signifies throughout human history. He speculates on fate and free will, belief and unbelief, civilization and savagery, community and alienation, and our brief lives in a dangerous world in which "all men live enveloped in whale-lines."

    The reader Duncan Carse speaks with an austere and educated tone for Ishmael's base narration, from which he deviates to amplify the different personalities of the various characters. He handles Melville's many long and complex sentences with agility and clarity. His reading enhances the meaning and interest of the monologues and asides of characters like earnest Starbuck, jocund Stubb, grim Ahab, and divinely insane Pip.

    Carse, however, more than a few times misspeaks a word and then quickly catches himself and reads it correctly (e.g., "a wissing--missing boat"). It's nearly unnoticeable, but such moments should have been edited out of the audiobook. Worse, the whale etymologies and literary extracts collected by Melville's "consumptive grammarian" and "grub-worm librarian" that preface the novel are absent.

    In closing, I'd like to share some great lines from Moby-Dick:

    "Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."

    "Though in many of its aspects this visible world seems formed in love, the invisible spheres were formed in fright."

    "There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own."

    "One serene and moonlight night, when all the waves rolled by like scrolls of silver; and, by their soft, suffusing seethings, made what seemed a silvery silence, not a solitude; on such a silent night a silvery jet was seen far in advance of the white bubbles at the bow. Lit up by the moon, it looked celestial; seemed some plumed and glittering god uprising from the sea."

    "Let us all squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness."

    "In that sloping afternoon sunlight, the shadows that the three boats sent down beneath the surface, must have been long enough and broad enough to shade half Xerxes' army. Who can tell how appalling to the wounded whale must have been such huge phantoms flitting over his head!"

    "Cannibals? Who is not a cannibal?"

    "The rushing Pequod, freighted with savages, and laden with fire, and burning a corpse, and plunging into that blackness of darkness, seemed the material counterpart of her monmaniac commander's soul."

    "Look not too long in the face of the fire, O man!"

    "I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look."

    "Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius' crater for an inkstand!"

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    Moby Dick

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By Duncan Carse
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is a classic of American and world literature. Written in 1851, this is the incredible story of the crazed captain Ahab who, consumed by his desire for revenge, drives his crew to scour the oceans of the world for the fearsome white whale, Moby Dick. It soon becomes clear that Ahab will stop at nothing and is prepared to risk everything, his ship, his crew members, and his own life. Herman Melville (1819 - 1891) was an American novelist short story writer, essayist and poet.

    JAY says: "THANK YOU..."
  1. The Story of the Volsungs...
  2. Journey to the Center of ...
  3. Moby Dick
  4. .

A Peek at Paul Z.'s Bookshelf

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Wixom, MI 48 REVIEWS / 305 ratings Member Since 2009 12 Followers / Following 0
 
Paul Z.'s greatest hits:
  • The Brothers Karamazov

    "This book is one of the reasons I joined Audible!"

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    Performance
    Story

    I loved it! I have read this book a number of times and in different translation but it was great to listen to it while on the road.

  • Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero

    "More Sienkiewicz Please!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First, Sienkiewicz is one of my favorite authors, and it is a shame that Audible doesn’t offer more of his works. Quo Vadis would only rank in the middle of the pack, with many better books out there. Please record more!

    Some reviews complain about the translation, there is not a mistake here; Sienkiewicz is writing a book about things that happened about 30 years after the death of Christ, so he tried to make the language sound contemporary to the bible. It makes sense in the story. Admittedly Frederick Davidson’s narration may make this a little worse to people who are sensitive to something that sounds "old", as he does have a very formal British accent. Personally Davidson is one of my favorite narrators on Audible, and I feel he does great work with this Nobel Prize winning novel. While on one hand this is a novel about Christians in Rome (one of the better books in this genera), it may also be interesting that the author wrote this in a partitioned Poland. Not all the jabs are just about the historic decadence of Rome.

  • The Brothers Ashkenazi

    "Great Book!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great book! Looking at reviews this book seems often to be pigeonholed as a book by a Jew and about Jews almost implying that it is for Jews. This is a great travesty. That’s like saying Crime and Punishment is by a Russian and for Russians, or Ulysses is by the Irish and for the Irish. This is a wonderful book about greed, oppression, and men pushed to the limits of life. Some parts are heavy and dark, some tender and loving, and often laced with bits of humor. I don’t think anyone will truly like the Ashkenazi’s, but I for one respect them in the same way as the protagonist of other great works. It will forever be in my group of favorite books.

  • The Story of the Volsungs: The Volsunga Saga

    "Great Book"

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    This is the 1888 translation by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson. The first 48 minutes of the audio book are an essay, by H. Halliday Sparling, putting the work in its contextual and literary perspective, followed by an 8 minute translators’ preface. You could skip this part(the first two tracks) if you like, but I felt they were a great benefit, not a hindrance. After that you get a solid reading of The Volsunga Saga. Remember this is a 13th century work, not a 21st century story of high fiction. You get a lot of names and short stories, not a long flowing narrative. It is a great resource for lovers of the early literature and the cultures it deals with.

Walter

Walter Shoreview, MN, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2009
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  • "A modern classic"

    6 of 6 helpful votes

    This book is a revelation for its spiritual depth, its evocation of beauty (and its opposite) and the portrait of its passionate hero, Zorba. Listening to this, I experienced the greatest sense of well-being and the greatest heartbreak - to the point of tears. The narrator, George Guidall, is great, as always - one of the best readers I've had the pleasure to come across.

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    Zorba the Greek

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Nikos Kazantzakis
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    A wonderful tale of a young man’s coming of age, Zorba the Greek has been a classic of world literature since it was first translated into English in 1952 and made into an unforgettable movie with Anthony Quinn. Zorba, an irrepressible, earthy hedonist, sweeps his young disciple along as he wines, dines, and loves his way through a life dedicated to fulfilling his copious appetites. Zorba is irresistible in this charming audio production by veteran narrator George Guidall.

    Walter says: "A modern classic"

What's Trending in World Literature:

  • 4.9 (17 ratings)

    Master i Margarita [The Master and Margarita]

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Vladimir Ivanovich Samoylov
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    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.

  • 4.3 (539 ratings)

    The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  • 4.3 (442 ratings)

    Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (244)

    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 says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
  • 4.5 (421 ratings)

    Anne of Green Gables

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • Narrated By Shelly Frasier
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (231)

    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"
  •  
  • 4.4 (113 ratings)

    Les Miserables

    • ABRIDGED (33 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Victor Hugo
    • Narrated By Walter Covell
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (43)

    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"
  • 4.3 (95 ratings)

    Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich & Master and Man

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    In these two famous short novels, Leo Tolstoy takes readers to the brink of despair. At the end of life, worldly ambition offers no consolation for the spiritually empty soul, but Tolstoy is the master of themes and redemption. He turns his morbid topic into hope, leading toward spiritual awakening. Tolstoy offers his readers a lifetime of perspective on death.

    Laurie says: "Perfect blend of material and performer..."
  • 4.5 (68 ratings)

    Anne of Green Gables

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • Narrated By Arika Escalona
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables, Prince Edward Island, send for a boy orphan to help them out at the farm, they are in no way prepared for the error that will change their lives. The mistake takes the shape of Anne Shirley, a redheaded 11-year-old girl who can talk anyone under the table. Fortunately, her sunny nature and quirky imagination quickly win over her reluctant foster parents. Anne's feisty spirit soon draws many friends - and much trouble - her way.

    Shakya says: "Great story, classic I have always loved"
  • 4.5 (62 ratings)

    Jaya: A Retelling of the Mahabharata

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Devdutt Pattanaik
    • Narrated By Devdutt Pattanaik, Dramanon Theater
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (55)

    In this enthralling retelling of India’s greatest epic - the Mahabharata, originally known as Jaya - Devdutt Pattanaik seamlessly weaves into a single narrative plots from the Sanskrit classic as well as its many folk and regional variants, including the Pandavani of Chattisgarh, Gondhal of Maharashtra, Terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and Yakshagana of Karnataka.

    Gene says: "A Must Read For Everyone"
  •  
  • 4.4 (57 ratings)

    Anne of Avonlea

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (40)

    Anne of Avonlea follows Anne Shirley from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea School.

    The book features many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, including Marilla Cuthbert, Gilbert Blythe, and Diana Barry, and some new ones: Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy. Anne matures slightly over time, even though she cannot avoid getting into a number of her familiar scrapes.

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (109)

    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?????"
  • Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By John Payne (translator)
    • Narrated By Bernard Cetaro Clark
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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.

  • Love in the Time of Cholera

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Gabriel García Márquez
    • Narrated By Armando Durán
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (218)

    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 Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
  •  
  • The Divine Comedy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Clive James (translator), Dante Alighieri
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (37)

    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 Brothers Karamazov

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • Narrated By Constantine Gregory
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (31)

    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 Phantom of the Opera

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Gaston Leroux
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (173)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (83)

    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.

    Miriam says: "Phantom of the Opera"
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By David Horovitch
    Overall
    (442)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (244)

    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 says: "Beautiful story, amazing narration"
  •  
  • Swann's Way

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (69)

    Swann’s Way is the first of seven volumes in Remembrance of Things Past. It sets the scene with the narrator’s memories being famously provoked by the taste of that little cake, the madeleine, accompanied by a cup of lime-flowered tea. It is an unmatched portrait of fin-de-siècle France.

    Darwin8u says: "Not a book one reads but inhabits & floats through"
  • The Master and Margarita

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Mikhail Bulgakov
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (252)
    Story
    (252)

    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.

    beatrice says: "Baffling and original"
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Jules Verne
    • Narrated By Tim Curry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (828)
    Story
    (816)

    A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

    Ramon says: "Feels like Jules Verne"
  • The Art of War

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Sun Tzu
    • Narrated By Mike Vendetti
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    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 Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei (Volume Two, The Rivals)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By David Tod Roy (translator)
    • Narrated By George Backman
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    In this second of a planned five-volume series, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of His-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of narrative art--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

  • The Forty-Seven Ronins

    • UNABRIDGED (31 mins)
    • By A. B. Mitford
    • Narrated By David Robins
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    This bloodthirsty true story by A. B. Mitford (Lord Redesdale) is taken from Tales of Old Japan. It is set in the 18th century and tells of how the Ronins - a masterless group of samurai - planned, over a long period of time, to avenge their master's forced suicide. The Forty-Seven Ronins is quoted as being Japan's most venerated example of the samurai's code of honour and the story continues to retain its popularity to this day.

  • The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei (Volume One: The Gathering)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Tod Roy (translator)
    • Narrated By George Backman
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    In this first of a planned five-volume set, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form - not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.

  • Classic Christmas Tales by Famous Authors: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 51 mins)
    • By Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens
    • Narrated By Bobbie Frohman, David Thorn
    Overall
    (0)
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    A collection of classic Christmas stories, including:

    • 1. "The Royal Truffle Hunt" by Anthony Thorn
    • 2. "A Christmas Dream and How it Came True" by Louisa Mae Alcott
    • 3. "The Sabots of Little Wolff" by Francois Coppee
    • 4. "A Christmas Guest" by Selma Lanerlof
    • 5. "The Christmas Goblins" by Charles Dickens
    • 6. "At Christmas Time" by Anton Chehkov
    • 7. "The Heavenly Christmas Tree" by Fydor Dostoyevsky

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  • The Scottish Fairy Book, Volume One

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Elizabeth W Grierson
    • Narrated By Steven Cree
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    There are, roughly speaking, two distinct types of Scottish Fairy Tales. There are what may be called "Celtic Stories," which were handed down for centuries by word of mouth by professional story-tellers, who went about from clachan to clachan in the "Highlands and Islands," earning a night's shelter by giving a night's entertainment, and which have now been collected and classified for us by Campbell of Isla and others.

  • Cuentos de Amor de Locura y de Muerte

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Horacio Quiroga
    • Narrated By Rolando Silva, Maria del Carmen Siccardi, Carla Sicard, and others
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    (0)

    Cuentos de Amor de Locura y de Muerte (el título no lleva coma por decisión expresa del autor) es el libro de cuentos más famoso de Horacio Quiroga, uno de los autores más reconocidos de Uruguay. Esta producción cuenta con los 18 relatos originales, incluyendo Los ojos sombríos, El infierno artificial y El perro rabioso.

  • The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor

    • UNABRIDGED (13 mins)
    • By Richard Burton
    • Narrated By Kathy Verduin
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    What world did Sinbad land in? One with monstrous birds, gigantic serpents, and an ingenious way to accumulate real diamonds...yes, diamonds that must be brilliantly snatched from these monsters, without their knowing. Listen to Kathy Verduin, as she narrates through the thoughts of Sinbad.