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.
"Long but worth it"
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.
Romance, treachery, courage...The Three Musketeers has it all! In one of the greatest adventure stories ever written, the dashing young swordsman D'Artagnan and his daredevil companions Athos, Aramis and Porthos, become embroiled in duels, love-tangles and sinister intrigues which threaten the future of King, Queen and France herself.
"Humour and intrigues"
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."
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"
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 story is told by a young 'unknown soldier' in the trenches of Flanders during the First World War. Through his eyes we see all the realities of war; under fire, on patrol, waiting in the trenches, at home on leave, and in hospitals and dressing stations.
"amazing telling of a beautifully chilling story"
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.
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"
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.
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.
Why do "Great Books" continue to speak to us hundreds and even thousands of years after they were written? Can they deepen our self-knowledge and wisdom? Are our lives changed in any meaningful way by the experience of reading them?Tackle these questions and more in these 36 engaging lectures. Beginning with his definition of a Great Book as one that possesses a great theme of enduring importance, noble language that "elevates the soul and ennobles the mind," and a universality that enables it to "speak across the ages," Professor Fears examines a body of work that offers extraordinary wisdom to those willing to receive it.
A predecessor to such monumental works such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Notes From Underground represents a turning point in Dostoyevsky's writing towards the more political side.
In this work, we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who, disillusioned by the oppression and corruption of the society in which he lives, withdraws from that society into the underground.
A prose translation of the oldest surviving long poem in Old English, this production captures the mood of the original legend of a pagan hero defeating a monster, its mother, and a dragon in Scandinavia.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, a hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry, under the name Don Quixote. This is the story that a Nobel Prize Committee survey of one hundred of the world's best writers named "the greatest book of all time."
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.
"... And then the sun came up (on finishing)"
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.
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"
One of the greatest works in literature, Dante's story-poem is an allegory that represents mankind as it exposes itself, by its merits or demerits, to the rewards or the punishments of justice. A single listen will reveal Dante's visual imagination and uncanny power to make the spiritual visible.
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.
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...."
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.
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.
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."
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.
'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.
Yegor could not imagine his future works, but he could see distinctly how the papers would talk of him, how the shops would sell his photographs, with what envy his friends would look after him.
The Mantle follows the life of a civil servant, Akaki Akakievitch who just loves his work! Born in St Petersburg, he is a copy writer, meaning he copies text from one place to another. In his spare time and after work hours, he also copies. When given more responsibility, he begs to return to...copying. One particular winter, he notices that, between home and office, he is cold, his mantle is threadbare, and he can no longer repair it himself. Our conflict begins here, as Akaki seeks a solution to his threadbare mantle.
It was past midnight. Nikolay Yevgrafitch knew his wife would not be home very soon, not till five o'clock at least. He did not trust her, and when she was long away he could not sleep, was worried, and at the same time he despised his wife, and her bed, and her looking-glass, and her boxes of sweets, and the hyacinths, and the lilies of the valley which were sent her every day by someone or other, and which diffused the sickly fragrance of a florist's shop all over the house.
Between five and six in the evening. A fairly well-known man of learning is sitting in his study nervously biting his nails. ''It's positively revolting,'' he says, continually looking at his watch. ''It shows the utmost disrespect for another man's time and work. In England such a person would not earn a farthing, he would die of hunger. You wait a minute, when you do come....'' The short story is read in English, and unabridged.
"All for one and one for all!" is one of the most memorable lines in all of literature and cinema. Join Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan in this classic adventure. Dumas at his best!