The 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892), one of the most popular of poets, is celebrated in 2009. Works such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, Crossing the Bar and Tears, Idle Tears have made him an internationally famous figure, and the second most quoted writer of all time (after Shakespeare).
"One of the most popular Victorian poets"
Finding a mysterious novel at her bedside plunges documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft into a living nightmare. Though ostensibly fiction, The Perfect Stranger recreates in vivid, unmistakable detail the terrible day she became hostage to a dark secret, a secret that only one other person knew - and that person is dead.
What if you realized the book you were reading was all about you? Disclaimer stealthily steals your attention and by the end holds you prisoner - a searing story that resonates long after the final page. When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read. But as she turns the pages, she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.
Eccentric Jarvis lives in a crumbling schoolhouse overlooking the tube line, compiling his obsessive history of the Underground. A group of misfits are also drawn towards his strange house: Alice, who has run away from her husband and baby; Tom, the busker who rescues her; truant Jasper who finds his terrifying thrills on the tube; and enigmatic Axel, whose deadly secret casts a shadow over all their lives.
A spectacular best seller and now a classic, The Name of the Rose catapulted Umberto Eco, an Italian professor of semiotics turned novelist, to international prominence. An erudite murder mystery set in a fourteenth-century monastery, it is not only a gripping story but also a brilliant exploration of medieval philosophy, history, theology, and logic.
"No match to the original text"
Imagine reading a novel in the sanctuary of your own home only to realize in one heart-stopping moment that it is a novel about you...and about one awful day, 20 years ago, that you've spent the rest of your life trying to forget. When a book entitled The Perfect Stranger lands in her mailbox, successful documentary filmmaker Catherine is intrigued. But as she turns its pages, she realizes its dark story is inspired by her own life. In vivid and harrowing detail, the narrative describes the day on which her life changed forever and she became hostage to a dark secret.
When Rachel Verinder's birthday present is stolen at her party, suspicion and the diamond's mysterious curse seem set to ruin everyone and everything she loves. Only Sergeant Cuff's famous detective skills offer any hope of peace. The intricate plot and modern technique of multiple narrators made Wilkie Collins' 1868 work a huge success in the Victorian sensation genre. With a reconstruction of the crime, red herrings, and a 'locked-room' puzzle, it was also a major precursor of the modern mystery novel.
"A compelling little mystery"
Penguin Classics presents the abridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, a stark exposure of capitalist exploitation during the Industrial Revolution, as read by Michael Pennington. Coketown is dominated by the figure of Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school headmaster and model of utilitarian success. Feeding both his pupils and family with facts, he bans fancy and wonder from any young minds.
In the exotic South American republic of Costaguana, the San Tomé silver mine provides opportunities for untold wealth and power. Yet amid the turbulence and brutality of Latin American politics, everyone associated with it - from the compromised English mine-owner Gould to the grasping businessman Holroyd, from the revolutionary Montero to the loyal and seemingly incorruptible worker Nostromo - becomes somehow irrevocably tainted. Nostromo is a grandiose epic, startlingly modern in its technique.
Michael Pennington reads the much-loved classic by Thomas Hardy. Hardy called this story "a deadly war waged between flesh and spirit". It is a tale of doomed love and unfulfilled promise that revolves around Jude Fawley, an ambitious and intelligent young man, his cousin Sue Bridehead, and his academic mentor Phillotson.