'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.
"Transported to the wold of Scout and Jem."
James Purefoy stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Robert M. Pirsig's multi-million best-selling philosophical novel. One of the most important and influential books of the past half-century, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance tells the iconic story of a father and son's motorcycle trip across America in the 1960s. Yet it also describes a personal and philosophical journey. Now dramatised for the first time by Peter Flannery and starring James Purefoy, this full-cast drama adds a new and original dimension to a true modern classic.
"This is immersive."
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"
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.
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"
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.
"I will listen to this again and again"
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.
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 "
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.
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"
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"
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"
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.
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.
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"
A key figure in the metaphysical movement known as New Thought, Florence Scovel Shinn has influenced many modern spiritual leaders, including Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Deepak Chopra, May McCarthy, and Louise Hay. Through stories of real-life situations and biblical tenets, Shinn teaches that the empowering use of positive attitude and affirmations can create a path to wealth, good health, and loving relationships. Intuition, love, and prosperity can expand through intentional thoughts and prayer.
Considered one of the all-time great American works of fiction, Fitzgerald’s glorious yet ultimately tragic social satire on the Jazz Age encapsulates the exuberance, energy and decadence of an era. After the Great War, the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, pursues wealth, riches and the lady he lost to another man with stoic determination. He buys a mansion across from her house and throws lavish parties to entice her. When Gatsby finally does reunite with Daisy Buchanan, tragic events are set in motion.
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"
Ethan Hawley has lost the spirit of his wealthy forebears, a long line of proud New England sea captains and Pilgrims. Scarred by failure, Ethan works as a grocery clerk in a store his family once owned. But his wife is restless and his teenage children hungry for the material comforts he cannot provide. Then a series of unusual events reignites Ethan's ambition, and he is pitched on to a bold course, where all scruples are put aside.
"Excellent story, excellently read"
The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is celebrated as a master of the gothic tale of the macabre and the supernatural, but he also wrote a number of humorous and satirical tales, seven of which are presented here.
A New York 'it' girl, Lily Bart is a beauty of slender means and costly tastes, sought after at all the high society parties in town. Her outstanding looks and charm make it a given that she will soon be married to a man of exceptional wealth and status. One by one, the multimillionaires she meets fall at her feet, but somehow Lily finds herself incapable of making a purely mercenary match and so finds herself caught up in a destructive tussle between her emotional and financial needs.
Inspired by events witnessed during her years as a court reporter in Iowa, Glaspell crafted a story in which two rural women deduce the details of a murder in which a housewife is accused of killing her husband. This nuanced tale revolves around the women's understanding the clues left amidst the "trifles" of the housewife's kitchen.
Buck did not read the newspapers, or he would have known that trouble was brewing, not alone for himself, but for every tide-water dog, strong of muscle and with warm, long hair, from Puget Sound to San Diego. Because men, groping in the Arctic darkness, had found a yellow metal, and because steamship and transportation companies were booming the find, thousands of men were rushing into the Northland.
Washington Square tells the poignant and gently comic story of Catherine Sloper, a sweet and unassuming young heiress, and her fortune-seeking suitor Morris Townsend. Set in New York City during the 1840s, the story follows Ms. Sloper's conflicts with her concerned father, who attempts to thwart Mr. Townsend, and her busybody aunt, who encourages the attachment. But amid all the duplicity and folly, Ms. Sloper slowly grows towards independence and maturity, and begins to make her own decisions.
When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again.
This classic story of a New York lawyer and his oddly rebellious clerk is as relevant today as when it was first published in 1853. Herman Melville brings us into a small Wall Street law office and introduces us to the lawyer and his quirky staff, the quirkiest of whom is poor, quiet Bartleby, whose increasing refusals to participate in office procedures lead to increasingly bewildering and tragic consequences.
In this 1909 young adult thriller penned by Stanley R. Matthews, originally featured in the serial magazine Brave and Bold Weekly, the Motor Boys unite once again to fight off the bad guys while showcasing the fabulous world of the early 20th century. From motorcars that speed along at a breathtaking 25 miles per hour to discussions about heavier-than-air flight to the stock tickers of Wall Street linked to a gold mine in Tucson, A Taxicab Tangle: The Mission of the Motor Boys is in many ways as fresh and innocent as it was more than a century ago.
It's Christmas Eve, and Santa has been kidnapped! Will Santa be saved in time to deliver all of the gifts to the children?
In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town.
In this exciting tale, a King, a Queen, and the Roly-Rogues parry and wage war. The plot also involves a magic cloak, each wearer of which has one wish granted - with surprising results!
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day". A thrilling and important piece of American literature!
Jack London worshiped strong and virtuous heroes, and his stories give great weight to the inevitable triumph of good over evil. His telling of the adventures of Humphrey van Weydon in The Sea Wolf is in keeping with this theme of moral man. His powerful and gripping saga of van Weydon's capture by a seal-hunting ship and the ensuing tangles with its dreaded captain, Wolf Larsen, makes this a classic American tale of peril and victory.
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 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.
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.