Leo Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
"The best way to experience Anna Karenina"
The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
What is reality? Ask yourself whether you can actually know the answer, much less be sure that you can know it, and you've begun to grapple with the metaphysical and epistemological quandaries that have occupied, teased, and tormented modern philosophy's greatest intellects since the dawn of modern science and a century before the Enlightenment.
On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.
"my favorite book performed brilliantly"
The most influential work of the entire Spanish literary canon and a founding work of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the greatest works ever written. Hugely entertaining but also moving at times, this episodic novel is built on the fantasy life of one Alonso Quixano, who lives with his niece and housekeeper in La Mancha. Quixano, obsessed by tales of knight errantry, renames himself ‘Don Quixote’ and with his faithful servant Sancho Panza, goes on a series of quests.
"Very well Narated"
War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.
"Unmissable and unmistakable perfection."
The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words.
"Chekhov is probably better known in Britain for his plays than for his prose. For many, however, it is his short stories that mark the high water of his genius. It might at first glance be hard for those not used to his style of narrative to see what the fuss is about - and fuss there is: for most authors and lovers of literature Chekhov is incomparably the greatest short story writer there ever was."
A century after it first appeared, Crime and Punishment remains one of the most gripping psychological thrillers. A poverty-stricken young man, seeing his family making sacrifices for him, is faced with an opportunity to solve his financial problems with one simple but horrifying act: the murder of a pawnbroker. She is, he feels, just a parasite on society. But does the end justify the means? Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov makes his decision and then has to live with it.
The Trial is one of the great works of the 20th century - an extraordinary vision of one man put on trial by an anonymous authority on an unspecified charge. Kafka evokes all the terrifying reality of his ordeal.
In an attempt to appeal to the Medici family during the Italian Renaissance, Machiavelli outlines the way to acquire and retain political power, and how great men should behave in a princely government. The book is divided into four parts - types of principalities and state, proper conduct of a prince as military leader, personal conduct of a prince, and the disparity of Italy's political situation. Many listeners will be able to see principals that Machiavelli advocates for are still used in many political systems today.
Ulysses is regarded by many as the single most important novel of the 20th century. It tells the story of one day in Dublin, June 16th 1904, largely through the eyes of Stephen Dedalus (Joyce's alter ego from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) and Leopold Bloom, an advertising salesman. Both begin a normal day, and both set off on a journey around the streets of Dublin, which eventually brings them into contact with one another.
"Ulysses on audible makes sense"
Professors Cook and Herzman provide you with an illuminating introduction to one of the greatest works ever written. One of the most profound and satisfying of all poems, The Divine Comedy (or Commedia) of Dante Alighieri is a book for life. In a brilliantly constructed narrative of his imaginary guided pilgrimage through the three realms of the Christian afterlife, Dante accomplished a literary task of astonishing complexity. In these twenty-four lectures, as you follow Dante on his journey, you'll learn how medieval literature offers insights into fundamental questions.
"One of the best Audio book I have ever heard"
Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.
"In Search of Brilliance? Look no further!"
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.
"Great for what it is. Not very climatic."
In this intense detective thriller instilled with philosophical, religious, and social commentary, Dostoevsky studies the psychological impact upon a desperate and impoverished student when he murders a despicable pawnbroker, transgressing moral law to ultimately "benefit humanity".
"a psychological thriller"
Les Misérables is set in Paris after the French Revolution. In the sewers and backstreets, we encounter "the wolf-like tread of crime", and assassination for a few sous is all in a day's work. We weep with the unlucky and heart-broken Fantine, and we exult with the heroic revolutionaries of the barricades; but above all we thrill to the steadfast courage and nobility of soul of ex-convict Jean Valjean, always in danger from the relentless pursuit of the diabolical Inspector Javert.
"An epic story but not quite so epic performance"
Honoré de Balzac uses his classic style of detail to describe a most controversial setting in his novel Le Pere Goriot. The story takes place in Paris just after the fall of Napoleon in 1819. The story focuses on three characters, Rastignac, a student who wants to try and make it big in the capital, Vautrin, an interesting and funny character who is also quite mysterious, and the main character, Goriot, that carries a heavy burden that only a loving parent would endure.
Based on the true story of Alexander Selkirk, who survived alone for almost five years on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, The Mysterious Island is considered by many to be Jules Verne’s masterpiece. “Wide-eyed mid-nineteenth-century humanistic optimism in a breezy, blissfully readable translation by Stump” (Kirkus Reviews), here is the enthralling tale of five men and a dog who land in a balloon on a faraway, fantastic island of bewildering goings-on and their struggle to survive....
Now of that second kingdom I shall sing where human souls are purified of sin and made worthy to ascend to Heaven’ Purgatory is the second part of Dante’s The Divine Comedy ascending the terraces of the Mount of Purgatory inhabited by those doing penance to expiate their sins on earth. There are the proud – forced to circle their terrace for aeons bent double in humility; the slothful – running around crying out examples of zeal and sloth; while the lustful are purged by fire.
"Oliver Twist", also known as "The Parish Boy's Progress", is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their unlawful activities.
Phileas Fogg is a man of regular orderly days, down to the minute. His acquaintances know where he will be and when, with perfect regularity. Discussion in the Reform Club turns to an article concerning a theorised journey around the world in only 80 days. From this a gentleman's bet is placed, and there is nothing more important to a gentleman than a bet! Mr Fogg's life is thrown into turmoil as he commences the journey around the world.
Many say that capital punishment is inhumane. But is it, in fact, more humane to take away life in one swift stroke, rather than condemn an individual to a lifetime in captivity? Two men place wagers, each backing a different side of the argument. After 15 years, this clumsy bet irrevocably changes their lives forever.
In this classic, coming of age story, the winds of change are sweeping over pre-revolutionary Russia. It is a turbulent era of conflict between the Russian nobles and the radical new ideas of the youth. Two friends, Bazarov and Arkady, find themselves entangled in misunderstandings and romantic intrigues.
Don Quixote is widely considered to be the first modern novel. As a classic of Western literature, it is regarded by scholars worldwide to be one of the best works of fiction ever written and a magnificent product of the Spanish golden age of literature. And merely from a grammatical standpoint alone, Cervantes' influence on the Spanish language has been so great that his work is often called "la lengua de Cervantes".
Guy de Maupassant is widely regarded as the father of the modern short story. As his 13 volumes of short stories attest, he was a prolific writer of this form. He had a simple, efficient style of writing and, like Anton Chekhov, found inspiration for his stories in the daily lives of humans, which often reveal our darker nature. His years of service in the Franco-Prussian War provided him with rich material for his work.
ABSURD - a film and literary production house that is passionately committed to creating and appreciating the finest works of art and literature - has now introduced the Pure Wisdom series that intends to be a collection of the greatest literature - fiction and nonfiction - that awakened and have still been awakening mankind.
A collection of short stories from one of the most famous writers of very long novels, Leo Tolstoy, including: 'Ilyas', 'Little Girls Wiser Than Men' and 'The Coffee-House of Surat'.
'For man to be able to live, he must either not see the infinite, or have such an explanation of the meaning of life as will connect the finite with the infinite.' Read in English, unabridged.
How It Is, a landmark in 20th century literature, is one of the most challenging of Samuel Beckett's early novels. He published it first in French in 1961 and then in his own translation in 1964. He explained in a letter that it was the outpouring of a "'man' lying panting in the mud and dark murmuring his 'life' as he hears it obscurely uttered by a voice inside him.... The noise of his panting fills his ears and it is only when this abates that he can catch and murmur forth a fragment of what is being stated within...."
Usually timid and subservient, councilor Golyadkin has lately become worryingly paranoid. After being humiliatingly thrown out of a party for acting erratically, he runs off into the night where he is shocked to come across a man who appears to be his exact double. The double follows him home and begins to insinuate himself into every part of Golyadkin's life, and alternates between befriending him and cruelly taunting him.
Dr. Stockman is ridiculed and persecuted by the town's politicians and townspeople for telling the truth about the town's polluted public baths. This theme of safety warnings and scientific data being ignored for political and economic gain can still be seen almost daily in today's news.
The author of the diary and the diary itself are, of course, imaginary. Nevertheless it is clear that such persons as the writer of these notes not only may, but positively must, exist in our society, when we consider the circumstances in the midst of which our society is formed. I have tried to expose to the view of the public more distinctly than is commonly done, one of the characters of the recent past. He is one of the representatives of a generation still living.
One evening as I was lying flat on the deck of my steamboat, I heard voices approaching - and there were the nephew and the uncle strolling along the bank. I laid my head on my arm again, and had nearly lost myself in a doze, when somebody said in my ear, as it were: "I am as harmless as a little child, but I don't like to be dictated to. Am I the manager - or am I not? I was ordered to send him there. It's incredible."
'If anything happens it's all known at once, nothing is hidden! It's incredible! You can't imagine! Look! My name has been published! Now all Russia knows of me!' A cautionary tale about people wanting and getting fame at any cost.
In the cheapest room of a big block of furnished apartments Stepan Klotchkov, a medical student in his third year, was walking to and fro, zealously conning his anatomy. In the window, covered by patterns of frost, sat Anyuta, a thin little brunette of five-and-twenty, very pale with mild grey eyes. Sitting with bent back she was busy embroidering with red thread the collar of a man's shirt. She was working against time....
'Once, as I was wandering about the fields after partridges with Yermolai, I saw some way off a deserted garden, and turned into it. I had hardly crossed its borders when a snipe rose up out of a bush with a clatter. I fired my gun, and at the same instant, a few paces from me, I heard a shriek; the frightened face of a young girl peeped out for a second from behind the trees, and instantly disappeared. Yermolai ran up to me: "Why are you shooting here? There is a landowner living here."'
Obviously he was born a mouse catcher, a worthy son of his bloodthirsty ancestors. Fate had destined him to be the terror of cellars, storerooms and corn bins, and had it not been for education....
''I will tell you without beating about the bush. My patient...how should I say?...Well, she had fallen in love with me...or, no, it was not that she was in love...however...really, how should one say?'' (The doctor looked down and grew red.) ''No,'' he went on quickly, ''in love, indeed!''
'Ovsyanikov reminded me of the Russian boyars of the times before Peter the Great...The national holiday dress would have suited him well. He was one of the last men left of the old time. All his neighbours had a great respect for him, and considered it an honour to be acquainted with him. His fellow peasant-proprietors almost worshipped him, and took off their hats to him from a distance: they were proud of him.'
Polinka, a thin fair little person whose mother is the head of a dressmaking establishment, is standing in the middle of the shop looking about for some one. Nikolay Timofeitch, a graceful dark young man, fashionably dressed, with frizzled hair and a big pin in his cravat, has already cleared a place on the counter and is craning forward, looking at Polinka with a smile.