The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The family serves as a metaphor for the old society that crumbled after the Industrial Revolution, as a Midwestern town spreads and darkens into a city.
"Great Narration to a Great Story"
Tolstoy claims that all good art is related to the authentic life of the broader community and that the aesthetic value of a work of art is not independent of its moral content.
"unbearably snotty narration"
A matter of some delicacy: finding the perfect blue to restore the windows of a 13th century German chapel at the Palace of St. Anselm. Blackford Oakes, fresh from his daring exploits at Windsor Castle, is in charge. But Alex Wintergrin, owner of the chapel, is far more than a charming aristocrat and congenial companion. A charismatic hero, he is rising to power, rousing his countrymen to reunite Germany.
Venice, 1731. Opera is the popular entertainment of the day, and the castrati are its reigning stars. Tito Amato, mutilated as a boy to preserve his enchanting soprano voice, returns to the city of his birth with his friend Felice, a castrato whose voice has failed. Disaster strikes Tito’s opera premier when the singer loses one beloved friend to poison and another to unjust accusation and arrest.
The first in a "trilogy of desire", The Financier tells the story of the ruthlessly dominating broker Frank Cowperwood as he climbs the ladder of success, his adoring mistress championing his every move. Based on the life of flamboyant finance captain C. T. Yerkes, Theodore Dreiser's cutting portrayal of the unscrupulous magnate Cowperwood embodies the idea that behind every great fortune there is a crime.
"Outstanding classic, great narrator"
President Kennedy has selected Blackford Oakes to meet with Che Guevara inside Castro's Cuba as part of his Operation Alligator, a daring plan to bring about an era of détente in East-West relations. The communists, however, have another agenda in mind: a double-cross with terrifying consequences. Soon, Oakes is trapped in Cuba, and the heat is on. Warming the climate greatly is the sultry beauty Catalina. The weather forecast: betrayal, power politics, and sudden death.
When a shadowy Russian mole threatens to undermine the free world's defenses by infiltrating President Eisenhower's National Security Counsel, CIA super-secret agent Blackford Oakes is called in to unmask the imposter. Oakes turns the tables on the Communists by piloting a U-2 spy plane on a Gary Powers-style one-way mission behind the Iron Curtain. Sentenced to death and trapped in the depths of the Lubyanka prison, Oakes may have turned his last trick. Or has he?
It's 1956, and the cold war is hot. Hungary has just fallen, and Blackford Oakes is back from Budapest, puzzling over a betrayal and mourning a tragedy he couldn't prevent. But in Washington, all attention is focused on the race to put the first satellite in space. Ironically, Russia and America each have the secrets the other needs to succeed. The solution: kidnap a pair of extraordinary Russian scientists who can put the U.S. in the lead.
The story begins 30 years after Francis' death, when Father Leo, Francis's closest friend, is dying. Bound to a vow of silence, Leo sends a cryptic message to Conrad, his own favorite student, connecting him with an unlikely companion, 16-year-old Sister Amata. The two begin to search for the truth about St. Francis, a truth that will shake the faith of the masses to the core and bring into question the foundation of the Franciscan Order.
"definitely not Da Vinci code"
Delving deep into the motivations, horrific experiences, and ultimate fates of this Harvard-educated quintet - and by extension, of the brilliant young officer class that left its collegiate and postcollegiate pursuits to enlist in the army and lead America’s rough-and-ready doughboys - Five Lieutenants presents a unique, timeless, and fascinating account of citizen soldiers at war and of the price these extraordinary men paid while earnestly giving all they had in an effort to end "the war to end all wars."
"Educated men at War"
Venice, 1734. Castrato soprano Tito Amato, star of Venice opera, has let fame go to his head. Neglecting his vocal practice for dubious pleasures, Tito finds himself demoted to secondary roles and overshadowed by a visiting singer who usurps his position. But when the murder of scene painter Luca Cavalieri threatens to close the opera house, Tito sees an opportunity to reclaim his status and jumps at the chance to find the killer.
In Venice in 1742, a courtesan tumbles from an opera box. On stage was singer Tito Amato, the only one to see the masked man who pushed Zulietta to her death. Now Tito is asked to help the police with the investigation.
In September 1740, singer Tito Amato is offered the lead role in an opera being staged at an isolated villa in the Italian hills. Puzzled by the air of secrecy that enshrouds the production but attracted by a generous fee, Tito agrees.