Before Miss Peregrine gave them a home, the story of peculiars was written in the Tales. Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar - the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops - first introduced by Ransom Riggs in his number-one best-selling Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series.
"Captivating from start to finish"
Read by Juliet Stevenson and Simon Callow, A Literary Christmas is a seasonal anthology that collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new - from John Donne’s Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Rudyard Kipling’s "Christmas in India", from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to Laurie Lee’s "Cider with Rosie".
"Marvelous, with one very avoidable flaw"
The publication of a new translation by Fagles is a literary event. His translations of both the Iliad and Odyssey have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and have become the standard translations of our era. Now, with this stunning modern verse translation, Fagles has reintroduced Virgil's Aeneid to a whole new generation, and completed the classical triptych at the heart of Western civilization.
"Fagles is best"
Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others and the animals start to question their supposed utopia.
Savor the most celebrated love poems in the English language. Written almost 400 years ago, the sonnets of William Shakespeare are passionate and exalted, rich in imagery and alliteration, and full of mystery and intrigue.
"Like listening to music"
Drawing on a lifetime of writing about theatre and film, Callow takes us behind the curtain and behind the camera to introduce us to the performers and performances that have shaped him as an actor and as a public persona. They include giants like Orson Welles, Charles Dickens, Tommy Cooper, Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier.
"great narration, disappointing & irritating story"
Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom.
In this BBC Radio adaptation of Peter Ackroyd's spectacular one-man show, Simon Callow portrays both Charles Dickens and many of his best-loved characters, from Mr. Micawber and Bill Sikes to Oliver Twist and Nancy. Readings from his novels interweave with the author's own words and an incisive, compassionate narrative. Dickens' idyllic childhood in Chatham was swapped for his family's penurious existence in London.
Here are six extraordinary adventures, never revealed before, starring Simon Callow as Sherlock Holmes and Nicky Henson as Dr Watson, written by John Taylor.
"Good stories, but not by Arthur Conan Doyle"
Charles Dickens was a prolific writer of letters throughout his life. There are extant more than 13,000 letters that he wrote to friends, family, fellow authors, and actors as well as many letters written to people involved in good causes he espoused. In the hands of actor and writer Simon Callow, one of the most prominent Dickens interpreters of our time, this informative and entertaining selection shows Dickens in his many guises. We know Charles Dickens the author, but these letters offer a fascinating glimpse into Charles Dickens the man.
Dickens was one of the first true celebrity authors. Thousands of fans in Britain and America eagerly awaited each new installment of his stories, and flocked to see him on his legendary speaking tours. Not only did he create an incredible cast of characters on the page, but he was also a dazzling mimic and storyteller, and he wrote, stage-managed, and acted in plays for the public. Throughout his life, from his childhood performances to his legendarily powerful reading tours, Dickens was fanatical about the stage.
Peter Ackroyd's insightful new biography positions Shakespeare in the close context of his world. In this way, Ackroyd not only richly conjures up the texture of Shakespeare's life, but also imparts an amazing amount of vivid, interesting material about place, period and background. Walk with Ackroyd through sixteenth century London and Stratford as he uncovers the intimate circumstances of Shakespeare's life.
"It was okay"
Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs, read by Simon Callow, Garrick Hagon and Bruce Mann. In this collection of fairy tales, Ransom Riggs invites you to uncover hidden legends of the peculiar world. A fork-tongued princess, a girl who talks to ghosts and wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars are just a few of the characters whose stories will have you hooked.
Ackroyd portrays London from the time of the druids to the beginning of the twenty-first century, noting magnificence in both epochs, but this is not a simple chronological record. It is a comprehensive account, animated by Ackroyd's concern for the close relationship between the present and the past as well as by what he describes as the peculiar "echoic" quality of London whereby its texture and history actively affect the lives and personalities of its citizens.
Jacques and His Master is a deliciously witty and entertaining "variation" on Diderot's novel Jacques le Fatalist, written for Milan Kundera's "private pleasure" in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.
When the "heavy Russian irrationality" fell on Czechoslovakia, Milan Kundera explains, he felt drawn to the spirit of the eighteenth century -"And it seemed to me that nowhere was it to be found more densely concentrated than in that banquet of intelligence, humor, and fantasy, Jacques le Fataliste."
The upshot was this "Homage to Diderot," which has now been performed throughout the United States and Europe. Here, Jacques and His Master, newly translated by Simon Callow, is a text that will delight Kundera's admirers throughout the English-speaking world.