Continuing the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the first part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power - the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring - the ring that rules them all - which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
One of Jane Austen’s most beloved works, Pride and Prejudice, is vividly brought to life by Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl). In her bright and energetic performance of this British classic, she expertly captures Austen’s signature wit and tone. Her attention to detail, her literary background, and her performance in the 2005 feature film version of the novel provide the perfect foundation from which to convey the story of Elizabeth Bennett, her four sisters, and the inimitable Mr. Darcy.
"Wonderful reading of a gorgeous book"
Building on the story begun in The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, this is the second part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom.
Concluding the story begun in The Hobbit, this is the final part of Tolkien’s epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, available as a complete and unabridged audiobook. The armies of the Dark Lord Sauron are massing as his evil shadow spreads ever wider. Men, Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite forces to do battle agains the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring.
"The Lord of the Rings - The return of the King"
The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.
"All Star Cast Not So Great"
When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming, and media: has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? With a storyteller's genius, he weaves these ethical controversies in a compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A.F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
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.
Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover each act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party.
"Dramatic but not complete"
The nineteenth century dawns and the Napoleonic Wars rage as Horatio Hornblower faces the fury of the French and Spanish fleets combined. Amidst the hissing of wet wads, the stifling heat of white-hot cannon shot and the clamour of a mutinous crew, new Lieutenant Hornblower will need all of his seafaring cunning to overcome his first challenge in independent command on the high seas.
"Loved every minute of it!"
>The Screwtape Letters, now in its 70th anniversary year, is an iconic classic on spiritual warfare and the power of the devil. This profound and striking narrative takes the form of a series of letters from Screwtape, a devil high in the Infernal Civil Service, to his nephew Wormwood, a junior colleague engaged in his first mission on Earth trying to secure the damnation of a young man who has just become a Christian. Although the young man initially looks to be a willing victim, he changes his ways and is ‘lost’ to the young devil.
As Pip unravels the truth behind his own "great expectations" in his quest to become a gentleman, the mysteries of the past and the convolutions of fate through a series of thrilling adventures serve to steer him toward maturity and his most important discovery of all - the truth about himself.
When Catherine Morland, a country clergyman's daughter, is invited to spend a season in Bath with the fashionable high society, little does she imagine the delights and perils that await her. Captivated and disconcerted by what she finds, and introduced to the joys of "Gothic novels" by her new friend, Isabella, Catherine longs for mystery and romance. When she is invited to stay with the beguiling Henry Tilney and his family at Northanger Abbey, she expects mystery and intrigue at every turn.
The only novel written by Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights was originally published under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, and at first was thought to be the work of Emily's sister, Charlotte, the author of the classic, Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights tells the tale of Heathcliff, a young orphaned gypsy boy, who is brought to the windswept moors of Yorkshire by Mr. Earnshaw, the master of Wuthering Heights.
Set in the context of Victorian social and medical debate, this novel is about rebellion, posing fundamental questions about the nature of social authority and obedience. This revised edition draws on recent theoretical work on gender and class.
"Juliet does it again."
A moving love story displaying all of Austen's signature wit and ironic narrative style. Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished Emma, completing it in August 1816.
The young and imaginative Alice grows weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations", and follows a hasty hare underground - to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters.
"Great narration of a difficult book"
Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon’s mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.
"Masterpiece and superbly read."
Lucy has stumbled upon a marvellous land of fauns and centaurs, nymphs and talking animals. But soon she discovers that it is ruled by the cruel White Witch, and can only be freed by Aslan, the great Lion, and four children.
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
When John Durbeyfield discovers a family connection to the ancient Norman family, the D'Urbervilles, the fate of daughter Tess is transformed. Sent by her ambitious parents to visit her wealthy D'Urberville cousins, Tess attracts the attention of the unscrupulous Alec. Seduced and discarded by him and alone in the world, she finds work as a milkmaid, and the love of Angel Clare. Yet his love cannot accept the truth about Tess's past.
Supernatural short story written especially for the young Anne (Nannie) Wynne. It was originally published as "The Ghost's Touch" in The Irish Fireside, 30 September-14 October 1885; Harper's Weekly, 23 October 1885; and in The Ghost's Touch and Other Stories (with "My Lady's Money" and "Percy and the Prophet", Harper's Handy Series, no. 30, 1885).
Daniel Deronda is a clever and generous young man who has yet to find his true direction in life, much to the dismay of Sir Hugo, who has helped raise him. While in Germany, Daniel meets the attractive and headstrong Gwendolen, who's lost a fortune at the roulette table that her family cannot afford to lose, before returning to England. Back in London, Daniel rescues a singer Mirah from drowning herself, then begins to find purpose in helping her search for her family.
Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935) was a British journalist and author. He wrote more than 230 books on a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and nonfiction. He was one of the leading writers of detective fiction in the Victorian golden age of the short story. This collection brings together some of the finest and most diverse examples of Fletcher's genius.
Few creatures of horror have seized imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and listeners and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense.
Comedy, mystery, classic horror, children's stories, adventure and more! The range of titles available in the complete fourth season of The Classic Tales Podcast is unparalleled! It contains 29 audiobooks, including two complete novels and three newly recorded stories. It's over 39 hours long!
Dorian Gray embodies every artistic element for artist Basil Hallward. But when Lord Henry reveals the phenomenal world experienced only to the young and beautiful, Dorian makes a devious deal. Thus begins Dorian Gray's extensive journey into dissipation, while somehow maintaining every element of his youth and innocence. What is his secret? And why does he keep Basil Hallward's painting hidden from prying eyes?
Skinflint is a bittersweet tale of an embittered middle-aged woman who has never recovered from being jilted as a young woman. Since that sorry episode she has thrown herself into the micro-management of her grocery and drapery business. Then one day she learns that her former lover is on the brink of ruin...and the memories of her youth come surging back....
Burglary turns to murder, and Sherlock Holmes is called in to examine the mysterious demolition of Napoleonic busts.
The Secret of the Barbican is the story of a small-town solicitor who on a chance visit to a local museum in a distant town discovers a set of rare siege coins. He instantly recognizes them as the set of coins which had been stolen from his own town corporation many years previously. He immediately sets out to investigate...and the thief's trail takes him to some quite extraordinary places....
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) is noted mainly for his novels Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and Kidnapped, and for his verse, including A Child's Garden of Verses. He also wrote many short stories, of which "The Body-Snatcher" is one of his best known. Two others, "Markheim" and "A Lodging for the Night", are also included in this recording.
In a certain chamber on the second story of a wayside inn, men hang themselves. Nobody knows for certain, but it is whispered that the malignant old hag who lives across the way casts spells on the inhabitants of the benighted room.
Gussie Fink-Nottle can't quite find the pluck to ask the girl of his dreams to marry him. He consults Jeeves of course. But Bertie, feeling his lemon just as supple as his manservant's, steps in and takes over the case. What follows is a torrent of hilarious hijinks, as only PG Wodehouse can deliver.
A zealous aviator penetrates the highest strata of our atmosphere and discovers a groundbreaking new form of life. And yet he knows that this strange alien life form has claimed the lives of two aviators before him, and it may claim his own.
Inside a quiet boarding house on the waterfront, a man stares up to the ceiling with sightless eyes. The tight lipped landlady proclaims that it is murder. Can an upscale detective agency penetrate to the bottom of the mystery?
Aunt Agatha breaks her icy silence and asks Bertie to look after a fellow Englishman, Cyril, who is visiting in New York. She only has one stipulation: keep Cyril off the American stage. But by the time Bertie gets the imperiling word, Cyril lands a part in a musical comedy. And with Jeeves turning a bit of a cold shoulder after a bust up over some purple socks, what's a Wooster to do?
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) was first published anonymously in 1821 in the London Magazine and was published in book form a year later. A revised edition was published in 1846. It is an account by the author of his addiction to laudanum and the effects it had on his life. This recording presents an abridged version of the 1856 edition.
How far are you willing to go to secure your friend's good opinion? Little Hans gives freely of all he possesses, in order that the miller will esteem him as a true friend. The miller even promises to give little Hans his wheelbarrow. Hans' gratitude is never-ending, and he learns too late what it sometimes means to be a devoted friend.
If the name seems familiar, these tales about Darby O'Gill and his encounter with the fairies were adapted for a Disney movie, Darby O'Gill and the Little People. They tell the story of an Irishman whose cow is captured by the fairies - or "good people". In his determination to recover his property, Darby finds himself in the center of their home, the mountain Sleive-na-mon.
Oroonoko, the grandson of an African king, is madly in love with Imoinda, the daughter of the king's general. When the king - who is also in love with Imoinda - catches wind of their affair, he sells Imoinda as a slave. This betrayal sets off a chain of events that carries unforeseen consequences for everybody involved. Aphra Behn's Oroonoko has been hailed as one of the first great English novels and remains a classic of historical fiction.
On a cool night, an ill-formed man darkens the doorway of Mrs. Boxer. Her trepidation turns to instant joy when she discovers it to be her long-lost husband, who has been lost at sea for the past three years. But the supposed Mr. Boxer has a suspicious mother-in-law. And when she secretly connives with an ancient fortune-teller, new discoveries show that Mr. Boxer isn't the man he proclaims himself to be.