'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"
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"
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.
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.
"Interesting philosophy "
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they’ll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn’t know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss’s daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him....
"A masterclass in story-telling"
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.
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.
"I loved this and am planning to listen to it again"
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"
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"
A modern masterpiece,The Godfather is a searing portrayal of the 1940s criminal underworld. It is also the intimate story of the Corleone family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by its unique position at the core of the American Mafia. Still shocking 40 years after it was first published, this compelling tale of blackmail, murder, and family values is a true classic.
First published in 1923, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is the fictionalized biography of Jesse Livermore, one of the greatest speculators who ever lived. Now, almost 90 years later, it remains the most widely read, highly recommended investment book ever written. Generations of investors have found that it has more to teach them about themselves and other investors than years of experience in the market. They have also discovered that its trading advice and keen analyses of market price movements rings true.
"the wild life of jesse livermore"
One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Best Actress nominee Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.
"A must listen, both the story and narration"
In 1845 Henry David Thoreau, one of the principal New England Transcendentalists, left the small town of Concord for the country. Beside the lake of Walden he built himself a log cabin and returned to nature, to observe and reflect – while surviving on eight dollars a year. From this experience emerged Walden, one of the great classics of American literature.
"Most significant book on my Eshelf."
Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House.
This exquisite, resonant novel by PEN/Faulkner winner James Salter is a brilliant portrait of a marriage by a contemporary American master. It is the story of Nedra and Viri, whose favored life is centered around dinners, ingenious games with their children, enviable friends, and near-perfect days passed skating on a frozen river or sunning on the beach.
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"
An easy to navigate audio version of every published Twain novel that features Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer Abroad, and Tom Sawyer Detective). This audiobook also includes a plot overview for each work.
The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. Follow the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of the 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates.
"So wonderfully read"
Hester Prynne settles in a little town in Puritan-era Massachusetts while awaiting her husband's arrival from England. Hester becomes pregnant, exposing her sin in the eyes of the townsfolk. Her penalty: wearing an embroidered A on her bosom for the remainder of her life. When Hester's husband arrives in the town anticipating a joyous reunion with his young wife, he instead begins a cankering quest to uncover the father of Hester's child.
Her supportive, though misunderstanding, physician husband, John, believes it is in her best interests to go on a "rest cure" after the birth of their child. The family spends the summer at a colonial mansion that has, in the narrator's words, "something queer about it" and her depression/anxiety, (commonly diagnosed today as postpartum depression), spirals out of control as she fixates on the yellow wallpaper in their bedroom.
The sudden death of the father of the family results in the drastic reduction of the Careys' income and they must leave their comfortable home in Boston. Nancy Carey, the eldest, recalls a vacation in Maine when they all picnicked in the garden of a big, vacant house that her father loved. She discovers that the house is available, the rent is cheap, and persuades her mother that life in The Yellow House in Beulah, Maine is the perfect place to begin their new life.
This famous tale featuring a headless horseman is among the earliest examples of American fiction with enduring popularity, especially during Halloween. It is set in 1790 in the countryside around a Dutch settlement of present-day Tarrytown, New York, in a secluded area called Sleepy Hollow.
Jack Gladney is the creator and chairman of Hitler studies at the College-on-the-Hill. This is the story of his absurd life - a life that is going well enough until a chemical spill from a rail car releases an Airborne Toxic Event, and Jack is forced to confront his biggest fear: his own mortality. White Noise is an effortless combination of social satire and metaphysical dilemma in which Don DeLillo exposes our rampant consumerism, media saturation and novelty intellectualism.
The Panhandle was a lonely purple range land, unfenced, and wind swept. Bill Smith, cattleman, threw up a cabin and looked at the future with hopeful eyes. One day while plowing almost out of sight of his little home - which that morning he had left apprehensively owing to an impending event - he espied his wife Margaret coming along the edge of the plowed field. She had brought his lunch this day, despite his order to the contrary.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, originally published in Colliers Magazine on May 27, 1922. The story follows Benjamin's life from his birth in 1860. However he is no ordinary child, as he has the appearance of a 70-year-old man, already capable of speech. His family soon realizes that Benjamin is aging in reverse, becoming younger as the years go by. The fascinating story looks at his triumphs and struggles as he slowly gains his youth.
In A Tramp Abroad, the ever adventurous Mark Twain brings his wit and creativity to his travels in Europe. Twain takes fictional liberty, turning his travels into an entertaining journey as he visits many of the countries of Central Europe. Listeners are sure to be delighted and humored as they enjoy what is considered by many to be one of Mark Twain's best works.
I read the other day some verses written by an eminent painter which were original and not conventional. The soul always hears an admonition in such lines, let the subject be what it may. The sentiment they instill is of more value than any thought they may contain. To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men, that is genius.
At the age of 18, Lucy Gayheart heads for Chicago to study music. She is beautiful and impressionable and ardent, and these qualities attract the attention of Clement Sebastian, an aging but charismatic singer who exercises all the tragic, sinister fascination of a man who has renounced life only to turn back to seize it one last time. Out of their doomed love affair - and Lucy's fatal estrangement from her origins - Willa Cather creates a novel that is as achingly lovely as a Schubert sonata.
The Screaming Skull is one of F. Marion Crawford's Uncanny Tales, which was first published, posthumously, in London in 1911 and was issued two weeks later in America as Wandering Ghosts.
Set on a Southern army base in the 1930s, Reflections in a Golden Eye tells the story of Captain Penderton, a bisexual whose life is upset by the arrival of Major Langdon, a charming womanizer who has an affair with Penderton's tempestuous and flirtatious wife, Leonora. Upon the novel's publication in 1941, reviewers were unsure of what to make of its relatively scandalous subject matter.
A classic work that has charmed generations of listeners, this collection assembles Carson McCullers's best stories, including her beloved novella The Ballad of the Sad Café. A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces listeners to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose café serves as the town's gathering place.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore are as different as England and America themselves, and yet almost two centuries later these two iconic tales remain an important part of Christmas tradition all over the world. Now they are brought together in this very special holiday recording.
Ishmael, a sailor looking for his next adventure, and his friend who happens to be a former prince, sign up to join a whaling ship in Nantucket. The morning before they set sail on their voyage, many ominous signs of what the pair's fate may be are seen and heard through sermon and prophecy as the two friends ignore the warnings and make their way to the docks. Soon into the trip, the one-legged Captain Ahab announces that the whaling adventure is really a hunt for one very specific large, white sperm whale.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American poet, critic and writer of fiction and is particularly well known for his morbid and supernatural stories. 'Never Bet the Devil Your Head' is a tale which reveals Poe's sense of humour - a gruesome and fantastic humour. It is a witty take on the Faust theme - an antihero inadvertently enters into a terrible wager with the devil.
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.