'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the '30s.
At the heart of Joseph Heller's best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby’s lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love....
"Enjoyable & a reminder of a well spoken novel"
As a young black woman living in 1930s Georgia, Celie faces constant violence and oppression. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her like a slave. But a deep bond with her husband's mistress teaches her she is a woman capable of being loved and respected. Gradually, Celie begins to leave the past behind and start a new life.
"What an incredible story!"
Sal Paradise, a young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty, a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream.
A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent.
"Best listen! Elijah Woods does a brilliant job"
Labeled variously a realistic story of whaling, a romance of unusual adventure and eccentric characters, a symbolic allegory, and a drama of heroic conflict, Moby Dick is first and foremost a great story. It has both the humor and poignancy of a simple sea ballad, as well as the depth and universality of a grand odyssey.
What defines a family? That is the underlying question in the life of Pony Boy Curtis. When his parents die in a car wreck, he comes to depend on the love, friendship and support of his two older brothers and a gang of friends defined by poverty, bad attitudes and long greasy hair. The gang, called greasers, carry on a long-standing war with a group of rich kids, known as Socs, a fight fueled by ignorance and prejudice.An American coming-of-age classic, a story of friendship and social prejudice among a gang of friends.
Jack London's masterpiece, tells the gripping tale of a dog named Buck who is wrenched out of his life of ease and luxury to become a sled dog in Alaska. Drawing on his wolf heritage, Buck must fight for survival in an alien environment.
In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike.
"Everyone should read this"
Shocking and controversial when it was first published, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of Dust Bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel west in search of the promised land.
"Don`t Miss This Experience"
In the din and stink that is Cannery Row a colourful blend of misfits - gamblers, whores, drunks, bums and artists - survive side by side in a jumble of adventure and mischief. Lee Chong, the astute owner of the well-stocked grocery store, is also the proprietor of the Palace Flophouse that Mack and his troupe of good-natured 'boys' call home. Dora, of the flaming orange hair and taste for Nile-green dresses, runs the brothel with clockwork efficiency and a generous heart.
"Funny, nostalgic and beautifully written"
On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakeable thirst for vengeance.
In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.
"life's meaning through literature"
Waterstone's book of the year. Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013, translations of Stoner began appearing on best-seller lists across Europe. William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at 19 to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman.
One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.
"Performance makes perfect"
Thoreau's classic account of the solitary life, describing his attempts to simplify his life and sort out his priorities by living alone in a cabin beside Walden Pond for nearly two years, is one of the most influential books ever written. The bible of the environmental movement, Walden vividly portrays Thoreau's reverence for nature, and his understanding of the idea that nature is made up of crucially interrelated parts.
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.
"A Story Where Hemingway Was Not the Main Character"
Benjamin Button was literally born an old man. He lived a backwards life, for his body grew younger as the years passed him by. Come and listen to the original, unabridged story by F. Scott Fitzgerald which inspired the movie.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."
"great story poorly presented"
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930. 'The Lady's Maid's Bell' is a classic ghost story about Alice Hartley, a servant who takes up a new position in a remote country house as companion to an invalid lady. Almost immediately she realises that there is something not quite right in the house.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century, wrote this collection of eight short stories in 1920 for magazines such as Colliers and The Saturday Evening Post. These stories were later released in his first published collection of short stories as Flappers and Philosophers.
O. Henry was the pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), an American writer of outstanding short stories known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and surprise endings. 'Between Rounds' is the tale of a lost child, the six-year old son of the owner of a boarding house with a colourful and eclectic range of boarders. For a brief period of the child's absence, the inhabitants pause in their regular activities and relationships. The interlude is described in a warm and gently humorous manner.
First published in 1926, this book is Cather's sparest and most dramatic novel, a dark and oddly prescient portrait of a marriage that subverts our oldest notions about the nature of happiness and the sanctity of the hearth.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1927, 1928 and 1930. 'All Souls' is a creepy Hallowe'en story about a woman who lives with her servants in a remote house in Connecticut. One weekend at the end of October, she has an accident and breaks her ankle...and then follow the most terrifying and mysterious 36 hours of her life.
Narrated by Ranald ("D.J.") Jethroe, Texas's most precocious teenager, on the eve of his departure to fight in Vietnam, this story of a hunting trip in Alaska is both brilliantly entertaining and profoundly thoughtful.
Published at the height of the McCarthy era, Norman Mailer's audacious novel of socialism is at once an elegy and an indictment, a sinuous moral thriller and an intellectual slugfest. Wounded during World War II, Mike Lovett is an amnesiac, and much of his past is a secret to himself. But when Lovett rents a room in Brooklyn, he finds that his housemates have secrets of their own: one betrays a husband no one ever sees; another may have been a Communist executioner.
I do not pretend, in giving you the history of this royal slave, to entertain my listener with adventures of a feigned hero, whose life and fortunes fancy may manage at the poet's pleasure; nor in relating the truth, design to adorn it with any accidents but such as arrived in earnest to him: and it shall come simply into the world, recommended by its own proper merits and natural intrigues; there being enough of reality to support it, and to render it diverting, without the addition of invention.
O. Henry was the pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), an American writer of outstanding short stories known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterisation, and surprise endings. 'Roads of Destiny' is an intriguing story about a young would-be poet, David, who is running away from home after a quarrel with his beloved. He reaches a crossroads - but which road will he take?
A classic of literature and the author's best-known work. Adapted many times for cinema. A major motion picture in summer 2016.
Ambrose Bierce's collection of short stories of the supernatural and macabre Can Such Things Be? was first published in 1893 and republished in a revised edition in 1910. This selection contains two of his most famous tales: "The Moonlit Road" and "The Death of Halpin Frayser" together with 10 others.
Ambrose Bierce's collection of short stories of the supernatural and the macabre Can Such Things Be was first published in 1893. One of it's most frightening tales, "The Damned Thing", tells of the horrifying slaughter of a man by a supernatural and invisible "Thing"!
One evening in Paris, 1879, Mark Twain rose to the podium and tackled the touchiest of subjects: masturbation. His remarks rubbed Victorian society the wrong way and were censored for over a century.
A study in emotional dislocation and renewal. Professor Godfrey St. Peter, a man in his 50s, has achieved what would seem to be remarkable success. When called on to move to a more comfortable home, something in him rebels.
In 1697, Quebec is an island of French civilization perched on a bare gray rock amid a wilderness of trackless forests. For many of its settlers, Quebec is a place of exile, so remote that an entire winter passes without a word from home. But to 12-year-old Cécile Auclair, the rock is home, where even the formidable Governor Frontenac entertains children in his palace and beavers lie beside the lambs in a Christmas créche.
Actress Glenn Close reads Washington Irving's eerie tale of romantic rivalry along the Hudson. The story pits the new schoolmaster Ichabod Crane against the local hero and bully, Brom Bones, for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel. This haunting drama climaxes with the appearance of one of the great, legendary ghosts of all time: the headless horseman.
Ambrose Bierce's collection of short stories of the supernatural and macabre Can Such Things Be? was first published in 1893 and republished in a revised edition in 1910. One of its most notable inclusions is "The Death of Halpin Frayser" a gothic tale of the murder of the fated hero by the reanimated corpse of his beloved mother.
The Age of Reason is formed of two parts. The first, written in 1793 in France during the revolution, is a criticism of not just the Christian church, although it is primarily focused on Christian theology, but as a rejection of all forms of organized religion, including Judaism and Islam. However, Paine's position is not one of atheism, and he begins the book with a declaration of faith in one god.
Willa Cather's best known novel; a narrative that recounts a life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.
In this book's introduction, an autobiographical account of the author's years as an American Custom House official, Hawthorne describes how he came across a parchment from which fell a fraying piece of fabric, fantastically embroidered and inscribed with the scarlet letter A. He found himself compelled to tell the story of its owner, Hester Prynne, a young English woman who had lived in 17th-century Boston at the time when Puritan extremism - that which led to the infamous witch trials of Salem - was at its height.