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"
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.
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 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"
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."
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.
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.
"... And then the sun came up (on finishing)"
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"
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.
The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas.
Published in 1844, it is often considered one of the great thrillers of all time and, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas' most popular work.
Falsely accused of treason, the young sailor Edmund Dantes is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Chateau d'If. After staging a dramatic escape, he sets out to discover the treasure of Monte Cristo and catch up with his enemies.
Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle is one of the most celebrated books ever written by a mystic on abiding in union with Christ. Writing in obedience to the requests of two of her superiors, the humble 16th century Spanish sister protests "...for the love of God, let me get on with my spinning and go to choir...like the other sisters...I am not meant for writing; I have neither the health nor the wits for it."
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.
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"
Giovanni Boccaccio, Dante, and Petrarch were the leading lights in a century that is considered the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The Decameron, or Ten Days' Entertainment, is his most famous work, a collection of stories considered representative of the Middle Ages, as well as a product of the Renaissance.
Neben dem berühmtesten Werk Max und Moritz lesen Götz Alsmann und Otto Sander Auszüge aus weiteren Geschichten und Gedichte, u.a. Maler Klecksel(1. Kapitel), Balduin Bählamm (1. Kapitel), Metaphern der Liebe, Lieder eines Lumpen, Der Lohn einer guten Tat, Schreckliche Folgen eines Bleistifts u.v.m...
Franz Kafka's 1915 novella of unexplained horror and nightmarish transformation became a worldwide classic and remains a century later one of the most widely read works of fiction in the world. It is the story of traveling salesman Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect. This hugely influential work inspired George Orwell, Albert Camus, Jorge Louis Borges, and Ray Bradbury, while continuing to unsettle millions of readers.
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."
Hermann Hesse's famous and influential novel Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling allegory produced in the last hundred years. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922.
The Prince is considered the all-time best book on political strategy. It has of late become a much-referred-to book for all competitive situations. Machiavelli's name is associated closely with his philosophy, as he well deserves. His other works are worth reading or hearing, as well, especially his Art of War and Belfagor: The Devil Who Took a Wife.
A mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Pierre Aronnax, a noted French marine biologist and narrator of the story, master harpoonist Ned Land, and Aronnax's faithful assistant Conseil join the expedition.
Franz Kafka was one of the first and greatest masters of dystopian literature. In his bleak world view, man is presented as helpless and ineffectual, his destiny determined by distant, obscure and essentially unfriendly agencies. In none of his works is this savage and unreasoning enslavement presented more vividly than in Metamorphosis, a novella in which Gregor Samsa, a respectable employee and dutiful son, wakes to find himself transformed into a gigantic insect.
In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After, that resumed the adventures of his swashbuckling heroes. Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins not 20 years later but a mere 20 days afterward. The Red Sphinx picks up right where the The Three Musketeers left off.
Edith Grossman, celebrated for her brilliant translation of Don Quixote, offers a dazzling new version of another Cervantes classic, on the 400th anniversary of his death. The 12 novellas gathered together in Exemplary Novels reveal the extraordinary breadth of Cervantes' imagination: his nearly limitless ability to create characters, invent plots, and entertain listeners across continents and centuries.
One morning, just as I was about to set off to my office, Agrafena, my cook, washerwoman and housekeeper, came in to me and, to my surprise, entered into conversation. She had always been such a silent, simple creature that, except her daily inquiry about dinner, she had not uttered a word for the last six years. I, at least, had heard nothing else from her.
Jenny is the story of Jenny Winge, a talented Norwegian painter who lives a free and independent life in Rome. Betraying her own ideals, she has an affair, resulting in a child out of wedlock, and decides to raise the child on her own. Undset gives a gripping portrayal of a woman struggling towards fulfillment and independence, who at the same time wrestles with mental problems. It is written with unflinching honesty, which makes her story as compelling today as it was nearly a century ago.
Watt tells the tale of Mr Knott's servant and his attempts to get to know his master. Watt's mistake is to derive the essence of his master from the accidentals of his being, and his painstakingly logical attempts to 'know' ultimately consign him to the asylum. Itself a critique of error, Watt has previously appeared in editions that are littered with mistakes, both major and minor.
Any attempt at criticism would be foreign to me. Nothing touches a work of art so little as words of criticism: they always result in more or less fortunate misunderstandings. Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsay able than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.
Devils, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is a classic political satire exploring the effects of imported European ideologies such as atheism and nihilism on Christian Russia. Based on the true-life political murder of Ivan Ivanov by the revolutionary Sergey Nechayev, Dostoevsky wrote this tale of society scandals, doomed marriages and fatally misguided idealism after returning from exile in Siberia.
Émile Zola's The Kill is one part of the French author's 20-volume series about the fictitious Rougon-Macquart family during the Second French Empire, and it is rich with symbolism. Paris is awakening to unprecedented expansion, the future intoxicating, and in keeping with its penchant for excess, the aristocracy is caught up in the mad dash to devour as much of it as it can.
This work vividly examines the lives of artists, nobles, commoners, and members of the Revolutionary Tribunal during the Reign of Terror in Paris. It is through our protagonist that we see how increasing power corrupts ever increasingly. And casting her dark shadow over all is Madame Guillotine.
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armor-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
"It's a peculiar apparatus," said the Officer to the Traveler, gazing with a certain admiration at the device, with which he was, of course, thoroughly familiar. It appeared that the Traveler had responded to the invitation of the Commandant only out of politeness, when he had been invited to attend the execution of a soldier condemned for disobeying and insulting his superior. Of course, interest in the execution was not very high, not even in the penal colony itself.
Whenever those states which have been acquired as stated have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom, there are three courses for those who wish to hold them: the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you.
Often described as an alchemical allegory, John Crowley instead decided this is "the first science fiction novel". After all, "it's fiction; it's about the possibilities of a science; and it's a novel". No matter what else it might be, it's definitely one of the great outlandish stories in Western literature.
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.