D. H. Lawrence's controversial classic, The Rainbow, follows the lives and loves of three generations of the Brangwen family between 1840 and 1905. Their tempestuous relationships are played out against a backdrop of change as they witness the arrival of industrialization - the only constant being their unending attempts to grasp a higher form of existence symbolized by the persistent, unifying motif of the "rainbow".
"Roy G. Biv, the Birds and the Bees"
Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this classic gives a satirical picture of a worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp.
"A book that was meant to be read aloud!"
Countess Olenska, separated from her European husband, returns to old New York society. She bears with her an independence and anawareness of life which stirs the educated sensitivity of Newland Archer, engaged to be married to May Welland.
"Reader is mostly excellent save for a few hitches—"
This brilliant satirical novel, tracing the life and loves of Ernest Pontifex, has continued in popularity since its original publication in 1903. Every generation finds in The Way of All Flesh a reaffirmation of youth's rightful struggle against the tyranny of harsh parents and its admirable will for freedom of personal expression.
Tess Durbeyfield has become one of the most famous female protagonists in 19th-century British literature. Betrayed by the two men in her life - Alec D’Urberville, her seducer/rapist and father of her fated child; and Angel, her intellectual and pious husband - Tess takes justice, and her own destiny, into her delicate hands. In telling her desperate and passionate story, Hardy brings Tess to life with an extraordinary vividness that makes her live in the heart of the reader long after the novel is concluded.
"Davina Porter Does It Again!"
This novel is indeed a morality tale about the hazards of egotistical self-indulgence. Dorian Grey's pact with evil allows his portrait to take on his many sins and degradations while his physical appearance remains youthful. Over the years as he becomes cruel and vicious, even murderous, Dorian's young and perfect body is no longer enough to salvage his deteriorating mind and morality. Will justice and good prevail?
"One of my faves!!!"
Maggie Tulliver has two lovers: Philip Wakem, son of her father’s enemy, and Stephen Guest, already promised to her cousin. But the love she wants most in the world is that of her brother Tom. Maggie’s struggle against her passionate and sensual nature leads her to a deeper understanding and to eventual tragedy
"I loved it"
A predecessor to such monumental works as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Notes from the Underground represents a turning point in Fyodor Dostoevsky's writing toward the more political side. In this work, we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who, disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives, withdraws from that society into the underground.
To the Lighthouse is a landmark work of English fiction. Virginia Woolf explores perception and meaning in some of the most beautiful prose ever written, minutely detailing the characters thoughts and impressions. This unabridged version is read by Juliet Stevenson.
"A Stark Tower on a Bare Rock, or a Hanging Garden?"
Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.
Allan Quatermain, hero of King Solomon's mines, tells a moving tale of his first wife, the Dutch-born Marie Marais, and the adventures that were linked to her beautiful, tragic history. This moving story depicts the tumultuous political era of the 1830s, involving the Boers, French colonists and the Zulu tribe in the Cape colony of South Africa. Hate and suspicion run high between the home government and the Dutch subjects.
Young Julien Sorel, the son of a country timber merchant, carries a portrait of his hero Napoleon Bonaparte and dreams of military glory. A brilliant career in the Church leads him into Parisian high society, where, 'mounted upon the finest horse in Alsace', he gains high military office and wins the heart of the aristocratic Mlle Mathilde de la Mole. Julien's cunning and ambition lead him into all sorts of scrapes.
"Slow and wordy"
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
"Conrad's Brilliant & Wild Novella"
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character - lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.
"Was it all just the champagne"
Sexually innocent Jude Fawley is trapped into marriage by seductive Arabella Donn, but their union is an unhappy one and Arabella leaves him. Jude's welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant, charismatic free-thinker who would be his ideal soul-mate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society.
Edith Wharton became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction with this 1920 novel about Old New York society. Newland Archer is wealthy, well-bred, and engaged to the beautiful May Welland. But he finds himself drawn to May's cousin Ellen Olenska, who has been living in Europe and who has returned following a scandalous separation from her husband.
One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.
"Gripping novel, excellent production"
On the Day of the Dead, in 1938, Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic and ruined man, is fatefully living out his last day, drowning himself in mescal while his former wife and half-brother look on, powerless to help him. The events of this one day unfold against a backdrop unforgettable for its evocation of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.
"Excellent...but not for everyone"
Sons and Lovers initially incited allegations of obscenity. It is today regarded as a masterpiece and is often regarded as Lawrence's finest achievement.
Public Domain (P)2015 Trout Lake Media
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