Winston Churchill is perhaps the most important political figure of the 20th century. His great oratory and leadership during the Second World War were only part of his huge breadth of experience and achievement. Studying his life is a fascinating way to imbibe the history of his era and gain insight into key events that have shaped our time.
"Superb - Review of Both Volume I & Volume II"
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.
"Glad I finally decided to read it"
1799. As the British Army fights its way through India toward a diabolical trap, the young and illiterate private Richard Sharpe must battle both man and beast behind enemy lines, in an attempt to push the ruthless Tippoo of Mysore from his throne and drive his French allies out of India.
"Believe the Hype!"
In this masterpiece, Solzhenitsyn has orchestrated thousands of incidents and individual histories into one narrative of unflagging power and momentum. Written in a tone that encompasses Olympian wrath, bitter calm, savage irony, and sheer comedy, it combines history, autobiography, documentary, and political analysis as it examines in its totality the Soviet apparatus of repression from its inception following the October Revolution of 1917.
"Not for the feint of heart"
The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
In 1936, George Orwell went to Spain to report on the civil war and instead joined the P.O.U.M. militia to fight against the Fascists. In this now justly famous account of his experience, he describes both the bleak and the comic aspects of trench warfare on the Aragon front, the Barcelona uprising in May 1937, his nearly fatal wounding just two weeks later, and his escape from Barcelona into France after the P.O.U.M. was suppressed.
"Excellent book, marred by narration"
This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets' "Destructive-Labor Camps" and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear.
It's 1809 and the powerful French juggernaut is sweeping across Spain. Lieutenant Sharpe is newly in command of the demoralized, distrustful men of the 95th Rifles. He must lead them to safety - and the only means of escape is a treacherous trek through the enemy-infested mountains of Spain.
"Historical Fiction at it's best."
The Brothers Karamazov tells the stirring tale of four brothers: the pleasure-seeking, impatient Dmitri; the brilliant and morose Ivan; the gentle, loving, and honest Alyosha; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov: shy, silent, and cruel. The four unite in the murder of one of literature's most despicable characters - their father. This was Dostoevsky's final and best work.
"Narration not to everyone's taste"
The paths of treachery lead Sharpe's company to join the army of Sir Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, to take on the Mahratta horde. Sharpe must survive the carnage and live to tell the tale of what will be remembered as one of the greatest battles of the 19th century.
"Great story - Poor narration quality"
Here is one of those rare novels, the first in an epic series, that completely transports the listener to an unforgettable time and place in history. At Talavera in July of 1809, Captain Richard Sharpe, bold, professional, and ruthless, prepares to lead his men against the armies of Napoleon into what will be the bloodiest battle of the war.
"Great and you don't have to have read the others"
From one of the truly preeminent historians of our time, this is a landmark book chronicling the French Revolution. Simon Schama deftly refutes the contemporary notion that the French Revolution represented an uprising of the oppressed poor against a decadent aristocracy and corrupt court. He argues instead that the revolution was born of a rift among the elite over the speed of progress toward modernity and science, social and economic change.
"Awesome magisterial book, defective audio"
One of the classic volumes of autobiography, My Early Life is a lively and colourful account of a young man's quest for action, adventure and danger. Churchill's schooldays are undistinguished, but he is admitted to Sandhurst and embarks on a career as a soldier and a war correspondent, seeing action in Cuba, in India, in the Sudan - where he took part in the battle of Omdurman, of which he gives us a stirring account - and finally in South Africa.
"The Adventures of a Glow Worm"
Acclaimed as the best of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series, Sharpe's Company finds Richard Sharpe desperate to save his wife and daughter from inside the fortress of Badajoz. "Consistently exciting," says Stephen King. "These are wonderful novels."
In this final volume of a towering work that is both literary masterpiece and living memorial to the untold millions of Soviet martyrs, Solzhenitsyn's epic narrative moves to its astounding and unforseen climax. We now see that this great cathedral of a book not only commemorates those massed victims but celebrates the unquenched spirit of resistance that flickered and then burst into flame even in Stalin's "special camps."
"Great Art smashes Tyranny"
Orwell's own experiences inspire this semi-autobiographical novel about a man living in Paris in the early 1930s without a penny. The narrator's poverty brings him into contact with strange incidents and characters, which he manages to chronicle with great sensitivity and graphic power. The latter half of the book takes the English narrator to his home city, London, where the world of poverty is different in externals only.
"The King of Boldness, Clearness, and Audacity"
When Orwell went to England in the 30's to find out how industrial workers lived, he not only observed but shared in their experiences. He stayed in cramped, dreary lodgings and subsisted on the scant, cheerless diet of the poor. He went down into the coal mines and walked crouching, as the miners did, through a one- to three-mile passage too low to stand up in. He watched the back-breaking, dangerous labor of men whose net pay then averaged $575 a year.
"An Interesting Social Commentary"
A band of renegades led by Sharpe's vicious mortal enemy, Obadiah Hakeswill, holds a group of British and French women hostage in a strategic mountain pass. On the other side of the pass, Napoleon's Grande Armie seeks to smash through and crash the British army in Portugal. Outnumbered and attacked from two sides, Sharpe must hold his ground or die in the attempt.
"All around terrific"
Twenty years later, time has weakened the resolve of the Musketeers and dispersed their loyalties. But treasons and stratagems still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England, Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.
"Dumas YES, Narrator NO"
Sharpe's mission had seemed simple: capture a small unguarded French coastal fort, cripple Napoleon's supply lines, and retreat across the sea. But behind the lines, Sharpe's old enemy, Pierre Ducos, awaits Sharpe's arrival with a battalion of French soldiers and a vicious commanding general who keeps the scalps of his dead enemies as trophies.
"Behind enemy lines"