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Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Misérables follows the adventures of Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor.
Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this classic gives a satirical picture of a worldly society. The novel revolves around the exploits of the impoverished but beautiful and devious Becky Sharp.
"A glorious romp of a novel!"
This magnificent novel is about the murder of a miserly, aged pawnbroker and her younger sister by a radical, destitute St. Petersburg student named Raskolnikov, and the emotional, mental, and physical effects that follow. It is a remarkable masterpiece about a man's turbulent inner life and his relationship to others and to society at large.
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.
"The Count of Monte CristoNarrated by Bill Homewood"
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.
"Powerful and Moving Book, very well read."
"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."
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is the classic working-class novel. It was written in 1906 by an impoverished house painter, Robert Tressell, and within its framework contains a manifesto for socialism. It tells of the appalling working conditions of a group of painters and decorators and their struggle to survive at the most basic level. It is moving, grimly humorous and tragic. It has sold over six million copies worldwide since it was published, and it has the power to change lives.
"A bible for today's working class"
Swann's Way is the first volume of Marcel Proust's literary masterpiece, the multi-part novel Remembrance of Things Past. In this volume, the author recalls the youth of Charles Swann in the French town of Combray. Proust paints an unforgettable, scathing, and, at times, comic portrait of French society at the close of the19th century, and reveals a profound vision of obsessive love.
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.
"BBC does Proust proud"
In The Idiot, a saintly man, Prince Myshkin, is thrust into the heart of a society more concerned with wealth, power, and sexual conquest than the ideals of Christianity. Myshkin soon finds himself at the center of a violent love triangle in which a notorious woman and a beautiful young girl become rivals for his affections. Extortion, scandal, and murder follow, testing the wreckage left by human misery to find "man in man."
Narcissus and Goldmund is the story of a passionate yet uneasy friendship between two men of opposite character. Narcissus, an ascetic instructor at a cloister school, has devoted himself solely to scholarly and spiritual pursuits. One of his students is the sensual, restless Goldmund, who is immediately drawn to his teacher's fierce intellect and sense of discipline.
"Compelling listening, beautiful in parts"
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 brought to life"
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.
"I knew I'd never read it"
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.
"The Mother and Father of all novels"
The first authorized, unabridged release of this timeless classic and exclusively available from Recorded Books. Ulysses records the events of a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin, Ireland.
Mixing a bit of seventeenth-century French history with a great deal of invention, Alexandre Dumas tells the tale of young D'Artagnan and his musketeer comrades, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. Together they fight to foil the schemes of the brilliant, dangerous Cardinal Richelieu, who pretends to support the king while plotting to advance his own power. Bursting with swirling swordplay, swooning romance, and unforgettable figures.
"Che cosa è Guerra e Pace? Non è romanzo, non poema, tanto meno cronaca storica. E' semplicemente ciò che l'autore intese dire in quella precisa forma in cui l'ha detto." Ecco le parle che dice Tolstoj nel poscritto alla fine dell'opera, non avendo avuto , a detta sua, "né il tempo né la capacità" di scrivere una prefazione per dichiarare lo scopo prefissosi. Lasciando quindi al lettore/ascoltatore il gradito onere di farsi da sé una sua opinione, si può dire soltanto che questo romanzo occupò cinque anni di lavoro continuo dell'autore....
"Non una buona edizione"
How remarkable that an Italian living in the 15th and 16th centuries should lend his name to a word still in common usage in the English language today. Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) wrote only one major work as a gift for his ruling Prince, Lorenzo de Medici. Machiavelli held office as a senior civil servant for 14 years until the downfall of the Republic in 1512. No longer officially employed to impart advice, instead Machiavelli poured out his ideas and resentment in his writings.
"Machiavelli is Alive!"
Les Misérables: The Radio Broadcast was a seven-part radio series broadcast July 23 - September 3, 1937, on the Mutual Network. Orson Welles adapted Victor Hugo's novel, directed the series, and starred as Jean Valjean. The 22-year-old Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio. Les Misérables was one of Welles's earliest and finest achievements on radio, and marked the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre.
Accidentally witnessing an encounter between the Baron de Charlus and the tailor Jupien, the narrator's eyes are opened to a world hidden from him until now; he suspects that Albertine is attracted to her own sex.
Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th century literature. Within a Budding Grove is the second of seven volumes. The young narrator, experiencing his youthful sexuality, falls under the spell of a group of adolescent girls, succumbs to the charms of the enchanting Gilberte, and visits a brothel where he meets Rachel. His impressions of life are also stimulated by the painter, Elstir, and his encounter with another girl, Albertine.
Udvalgte fortællinger omfatter fem mindre fortællinger fra forskellige perioder i Dostojevskijs forfatterskab. Samlingen indledes med En lille helt (1848), som Dostojevskij skrev i fængslet umiddelbart før sin 10 års forvisning til Sibirien. En smuk fortælling om en 11-årig drengs følelser, da han betages af og forelsker sig i den smukke og melankolske Madame M.
Siddhartha, written by Hermann Hesse in 1920 deals with a man's lifelong search for self discovery during the time of Buddha. He grows up the son of a Brahman, and his quest for self discovery takes him through living as an asthetic until he actually meets the Buddha, but decides not to follow him, but rather discover the joys of sex and a wealth through a beautiful courtesan. He lives the life of the Playboy until one day he renounces it all to seek a more spiritual being. In the end Siddhartha does find enlightenment.
This work is one of the most important examples of Spanish picaresque novel. Lazarus, the protagonist of the story, tells the adventures he lives serving different masters. Hunger and misery in which he lives with these masters makes Lazarus have to use naughty tricks to survive. These amusing stories are full with ironic reflections about life during the 16th century in Spain. Please note: This audiobook is in Spanish.
Pubblicato nel 1920, dopo il grande successo de I Divoratori e di Vae Victis, con questo romanzo la Vivanti non teme di sporcarsi, tuffandosi nelle perversioni e malvagità dei vizi emergenti nella sua epoca. E, come una foglia di loto, la sua scrittura ne esce pulita, intoccata dal fango. Dice il Corriere della Sera, a commento dell'uscita del libro: "Ed ecco ora il romanzo che avvince e fa rabbrividire, l' opera d' arte che spicca il volo dalla realtà ed è fantasia, Naja Tripudians di Annie Vivanti.
Marie de France visse nel XII secolo, e di lei si sa pochissimo, solo quello che scrive di se stessa: "Il mio nome è Maria e sono di Francia. Visse probabilmente alla corte di Enrico II d'Inghilterra e di Eleonora d'Aquitania, ed è la più antica narratrice nelle letterature volgari d'Occidente. Questa è una collezione di storie cortesi (originalmente in lingua d'oïl ) - famose novelle d'amore tutte tramandate da canzoni bretoni.
Intense, compelling, beautifully descriptive - as Wuthering Heights is to the Yorkshire moors, so The Black Soul is to the Aran Islands. The sea roars dismally round the shores of Inverara. A stranger takes a room on the island. Here lives a couple whose married years have been joyless, until the presence of the stranger unleashes their passions.... For as spring softens the wild beauty of Inverara, the stranger becomes conscious of the dark-haired Mary - how summer makes her shiver with life. He is the first man she has ever loved, and she thrills with sexual awakening.
Kniga Moskva i moskvichi napisana Mikhailom Nikolayevichem Zagoskinym (1789 - 1852), avtorom izvestnykh istoricheskikh romanov Yuriy Miloslavskiy, Roslavlev, i mnogikh drugikh proizvedeniy. Moskva i moskvichi - eto zhivye i uvlekatel'nye ocherki, rasskazy, sceny iz domashnej i obschestvennoj moskovskoj zhizni. Please note: This audiobook is in Russian.
When a young couple moves into their new home, they are taken aback by the strange behavior of their new landlord. While at first he bid them to do all of the fixing-up the home needed on their own, he quickly changed his tune and was persistent in his attempts to help them tackle some of the rooms himself. The source of his desire to help lies in the fact that the old tenant may have hidden a fortune within the walls - a fortune that winds up belonging to the young couple after all!
The Next Great War begins, and soon all Europe is involved. The war lasts a year - and then the women, robbed of husbands and sweethearts and sons, grow doubtful of the benefits of military policy, and begin to think that victory will come too late to do them any good. But what can they do? A remedy was discovered by Aristophanes about 2,350 years ago. It is re-discovered and reapplied. And it is again successful.
V romane Gospoda Golovlevy izobrazhena duhovnaya i fizicheskaya degradaciya dvoryanstva, kak opredelil sam avtor, «v techenie neskol'kih pokolenij tri harakteristicheskie cherty prohodili cherez istoriyu etogo semejstva: prazdnost', neprigodnost' k kakomu by to ni bylo delu i zapoj.» Sem'ya Golovlevyh - eto sobiratel'nyj hudozhestvennyj obraz, obobschivshij cherty byta, psihologii, vsego uklada zhizni pomeschikov nakanune i posle otmeny krepostnogo prava v 1861 godu.
V povesti Hadzhi-Murat, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoj povestvuet o zhizni i smerti besstrashnogo i gordogo dzhigita Hadzhi-Murata, borca za svobodu kavkazskih gorcev i blizhajshego spodvizhnika Shamilya. Tragicheskaya sud'ba etogo nezauryadnogo cheloveka, vynuzhdennogo v konce koncov perejti v lager' protivnika, privlekla vnimanie pisatelya kak simvol velichajshej voli k zhizni.
V nej 16-letnij Kolya Irten'ev postupaet v universitet. On «yun, nevinen, svoboden i potomu pochti schastliv». Bogatyj mocional'nyj mir geroya, ego mechty o bol'shoj lyubvi, o buduschem supruzheskom schast'e, ego neobyknovennaya nravstvennaya chistota vyzyvayut k nemu goryachij interes i simpatiyu. Kniga slushaetsya kak otkroveniya ochen' blizkogo cheloveka.