For 15 years the weaver Silas Marner has plied his loom near the village of Raveloe, alone and in exile, cut off from faith and human love, while amassing a hoard of golden guineas.
Candide and his tutor Pangloss travel the globe trying to follow the philosophy "All is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds". However, they are stung and let down at every turn, being robbed, tortured, and ridiculed, amongst other trials. On hearing about their often disasterous travels, a listener feels unfortunately less than empathetic, and can't help themselves laughing out loud at this very funny account of the trail our optimistic travellers take.
Dirk Gently has an unshakeable belief in the interconnectedness of all things, but his Holistic Detective Agency mainly succeeds in tracking down missing cats for old ladies. Then Dirk stumbles upon an old friend behaving bizarrely - and he's drawn into a four-billion-year-old mystery that must be solved if the human race is to avoid immediate extinction.
Download eight timeless audio tales from a magical storyteller. This enchanting collection, retold by writer and critic Naomi Lewis, contains eight of Hans Christian Andersen’s magnificent fairy tales. It includes Thumbelina, a little girl no more than a thumb-joint high, The Emperor’s New Clothes, the tale of a man who cares only for his appearance and The Little Mermaid, who longs to one day marry a human prince.
Evelyn Waugh's 1934 novel is a bitingly funny vision of aristocratic decadence in England between the wars. It tells the story of Tony Last, who, to the irritation of his wife, is inordinately obsessed with his Victorian Gothic country house and life. When Lady Brenda Last embarks on an affair with the worthless John Beaver out of boredom with her husband, she sets in motion a sequence of tragicomic disasters that reveal Waugh at his most scathing.
"Slow Start then Subtle"
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done...." With these words and a superb act of bravery and sacrifice, one of the most badly behaved heroes of all time ends Charles Dickens' great tale of the French Revolution. This is a firework display of a book, a crackling picture of the ravages and excesses of starving, furious men and the astonishing acts of heroism that usually accompany them.
"One of the best"
Four classic BBC TV episodes featuring a newly-added interview with John Cleese.
"The Greatest !"
Here is the best-selling and controversial history of the British Isles, including Ireland, from the author of Europe: A History. Emphasizing long-standing European connections and positing a possible break-up of the United Kingdom, this agenda-setting work is destined to become a classic.
"Good if you know what you're getting"
A perfect introduction for all ages to the breadth and beauty of Shakespeare's work, Tales from Shakespearehas become a classic work in its own right. The tales bring vividly alive the power of Hamlet and Macbeth, the fun of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the drama of The Tempest. Blending detailed narrative with original dialogue and poetic language, they fully convey the wit, wisdom, and imagination of Shakespeare's magnificent plays.
"My daughter's absolute favorite!"
Penguin Classics presents the audiobook adaptation of Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens’ classic tale of family and power. Read by Andrew Sachs. Dombey and Son are both a firm and a family and the ambiguous connection between public and private life lies at the heart of Dickens’ novel. Paul Dombey is a man who runs his domestic affairs as he runs his business: calculatingly, callously, coldly and commercially.
"GREAT READ. WELL WORTH THE $$$"
On Thursday 19 July 2001, after a perjury trial lasting seven weeks, Jeffrey Archer was sentenced to four years in jail. He was to spend the first 22 days and 14 hours in HMP Belmarsh, a double A-Category high-security prison in South London, which houses some of Britain's most violent criminals. This is the author's daily record of the time he spent there.
"Well worth the listen"
Set in 1482, Victor Hugo's powerful novel of imagination, caprice, and fantasy is a meditation on love, fate, architecture, and politics, as well as a compelling recreation of the medieval world at the dawn of the modern age. In a brilliant reworking of the tale of Beauty and the Beast, Hugo creates a host of unforgettable characters, amongst them Quasimodo, the hunchback of the title, hopelessly in love with the gypsy girl Esmeralda; satanic priest Claude Frollo; Clopin Trouillefou, king of the beggars; and Louis XI.
Four spine-tingling short stories from masters of the genre, read by Michael Maloney, Eleanor Bron and Andrew Sachs: 'The Phantom Coach' by Amelia B. Edwards; 'The Judge’s House' by Bram Stoker; 'The Tapestried Chamber' by Sir Walter Scott; 'The Man of Science' by Jerome K. Jerome.
Frank is a funny chick. Unlike all his brothers and sisters, he wants to dabble about in the lovely duck pond, splashing himself with water. Most of all, he wants to learn to swim. Can Jemima, the farmer’s daughter, find a way to help Frank? All he thinks about are webbed feet, waterproof feathers, and the cool water of the pond. So when Frank takes a dip and nearly drowns, his mood turns foul. Luckily, he gets a little human help - in the form of a man-made wet suit and a pair of flippers - and soon he’s the speediest bird in the water.
"Perfect for a long car ride"
Sinéad Cusack, Anna Massey, Patricia Routledge, Andrew Sachs and Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies star in this 1974 BBC Radio full-cast production of Chekhov’s classic play.Madame Ranyevskaya and her daughter Anya have returned home from Paris to discover that their family estate - which includes their beloved cherry orchard - has to be sold to cover the family’s debts.
"Stellar production of Chekhov's masterpiece"
Chuck is a whippet. A very nervous whippet, who's scared of almost everything; paper bags, pigeons and of course cats (even the little fluffy ones). Some people say Chuck's a wimpet, not a whippet, and Mum keeps pretending she's going to give her away, but Danielle knows better.
Of all the civilisations existing in the year 1000, that of Western Europe seemed the unlikeliest candidate for future greatness. Compared to the glittering empires of Byzantium or Islam, the splintered kingdoms on the edge of the Atlantic appeared impoverished, fearful and backward. But the anarchy of these years proved to be, not the portents of the end of the world, as many Christians had dreaded, but rather the birthpangs of a radically new order.
"Great book about the millennium"
A novel about human relationships, focusing, unusually for Brookner, on two male characters. Hartmann and Fibich met at school and 40 years later they can no more think of living apart than of divorcing their wives. This book deals with their gradual coming to terms with the emotional gaps in their lives.
"Subtle Study of Characters"
Lawrence Durrell's evocative memoir of living in Cyprus, just before the Greek/Turkish partition. This is a touching and atmospheric account of a place, now changed, where the two races lived side by side.