Orphaned at an early age, Jane Eyre leads a lonely life until she finds work as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester and sees a ghostly woman who roams the halls by night. The relationship between the heroine and Mr. Rochester is only one episode, albeit the most important, in a detailed fictional autobiography in which the author transmuted her own experience into high art.
"Ms Bronte would like Ms McCaddon"
Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the '30s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much. To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition.
On the 75th anniversary of its publication, this outstanding work of literature is more crucial and relevant today than ever before. 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).
"Better than a gram of soma...."
Austen's heroine Elizabeth Bennet deals with the issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Austen at her wittiest.
A Signature Performance: Elijah Wood becomes the first narrator to bring a youthful voice and energy to the story, perhaps making it the closest interpretation to Twain's original intent.
"A great adventure story"
F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby's lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love....
In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
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.
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.
"A brilliant reading of a classic work"
At the heart of Joseph Heller's best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of eponymous Jane Eyre, her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of Thornfield Hall. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
"A brilliant story from start to finish"
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey are unquestionably two of the greatest epic masterpieces in Western literature. Though more than 2,700 years old, their stories of brave heroics, capricious gods, and towering human emotions are vividly timeless. The Iliad can justly be called the world's greatest war epic. The terrible and long-drawn-out siege of Troy remains one of the classic campaigns. The Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars to his beloved wife.
"LOTR - Beautifully read"
Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams, and metaphor - of crystal pillars and fossil seas - where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn - first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars...and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.
A modern masterpiece,The Godfather is a searing portrayal of the 1940s criminal underworld. It is also the intimate story of the Corleone family, at once drawn together and ripped apart by its unique position at the core of the American Mafia. Still shocking 40 years after it was first published, this compelling tale of blackmail, murder, and family values is a true classic.
"Superb and gripping story. It deserves respect."
One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.
"Beautiful story - poor performance!"
Now as famous on radio and audio as they are in print, the adventures of that irrepressible and ageless schoolboy William Brown have been delighting both young and old for decades. Perpetually scruffy, mud-stained, and mischievous, he is a lovable scamp whose pranks usually end in disaster, for his harassed elders at least. With friends Ginger, Douglas, and Henry (The Outlaws), and the angelic, lisping, thorn-in-his-side Violet Elizabeth Bott, William has rightly joined the literary, and radio, immortals.
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.
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. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
"One 'Book' To Rule Them All!"
Patrick Bateman is 26 and works on Wall Street. He is handsome, sophisticated, charming, and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. And he is taking us to a head-on collision with America's greatest dream - and its worst nightmare...
"A most uncomfortable and gripping listen!"
Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Aibileen is a black maid raising her 17th white child. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is the sassiest woman in Mississippi: a wonderful cook with a gossip's tongue. Graduate Skeeter returns from college with ambitions, but her mother will not be happy until she's married. Although world's apart, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny's lives converge over a clandestine project that will change the town of Jackson forever.
"Relished every minute"
At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering "the cause of generation and life" and "bestowing animation upon lifeless matter", Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts. However, upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness.
It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane glimpsed the unlit neon sign announcing the vacancy at the Bates Motel. Exhausted, lost, and at the end of her rope, she was eager for a hot shower and a bed for the night. Her room was musty, but clean, and the manager seemed nice, if a little odd.
Cormac McCarthy, best-selling author of National Book Award winner All the Pretty Horses, delivers his first new novel in seven years. Written in muscular prose, No Country for Old Men is a powerful tale of the West that moves at a blistering pace.
"film success maybe, listen carefully!"
In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of "droogs" thriving in the ultraviolent future as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely "redeem" him for society.
This is the disturbing tale of the dual personality of Dr. Jekyll, a physician. A generous and philanthropic man, he is preoccupied with the problems of good and evil and with the possibility of separating them into distinct personalities. He develops a drug that transforms him into the demonic Mr. Hyde, in whose person he exhausts all the latent evil in his nature.
"Martin Jarvis triumphs again!"
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 Must Buy."
When Mr. Earnshaw brings a black-haired foundling child into his home on the Yorkshire moors, he little imagines the dramatic events which will follow. The passionate relationship between Cathy Earnshaw and the foundling, Heathcliff, is a story of love, hate, pity, and retribution, the effects of which reverberate throughout the succeeding generations.
"A near perfect Reading."
Penguin presents Roald Dahl's Matilda, read by multi-award-winning actress Kate Winslet. Matilda Wormwood is an extraordinary genius with really stupid parents. Miss Trunchbull is her terrifying headmistress who thinks all her pupils are rotten little stinkers. But Matilda will show these horrible grown-ups that even though she's only small, she's got some very powerful tricks up her sleeve....
Danny is only five years old, but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny's visions grow out of control. As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217, and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?
"A classic horror novel"
This story is about a king who had three sons. Two of them were clever, the third was a simpleton. The king had a huge park in which were a lot of animals. In that park lived a huge beast, the Norka. The beast killed animals every night. The king did all he could, but he was unable to destroy it. Once he called his sons together and said, "Whoever will destroy the Norka, to him I will give half of my kingdom." Who was able to kill the beast? Listen to this gripping story in order to find out!
Once, the town of Hamel in Germany was invaded by bands of rats, the likes of which had never been seen before nor will ever be again. The government asked the ratcatcher to help save the town. Did the ratcatcher come to the town's rescue? Listen to this gripping story in order to find out!
Once upon a time there lived a boy. He was about six years old. He had a good heart, but a poor memory, so he forgot his father's and mother's admonitions and often got into trouble and went on adventures. But, above all, he was brave; he hunted wolves.
The Six Sillies is a famous, funny fairy tale by Andrew Lang. This story is about a family that was very foolish. Once, a young man arrived to pay his addresses to the family. The mother sent her daughter down to the cellar to draw a jug of beer. As the girl never came back, the mother went down to see what had become of her and found her sitting on the stairs with her head in her hands while, by her side, the beer ran all over the floor.
One cold winter day, a man went to a neighboring village. The road was totally covered by huge snowdrifts. He was very tired and decided to fall asleep in the snow. Suddenly, a stranger woke him. The stranger said, "Wake up! You will be buried in the snow, and no one will ever know what became of you!" He said that he had a fire in the forest, where the man could get some rest. They went to the fire and the man saw three strangers around it.... Who were they? Listen to the story to find out!
Once upon a time, there lived a youth who wasn't happy unless he was prying into something that other people knew nothing about. After he learned to understand the language of birds and beasts, he accidentally discovered that a great deal took place under cover of night, a great deal that mortal eyes never saw. From that moment, he felt he could not rest until these hidden secrets were laid bare to him, and he spent all his time wandering from one wizard to another, begging them to open his eyes.... Listen to the story to find out what happened next!
This story is about a prince who always wanted to see the world. During his journey, he met a stranger who offered to play cards with him. The prince lost all his money. The stranger offered to give it back on another game, but if the prince lost, he would have stay at the inn and be the stranger's servant for three years. The prince was venturesome, so he agreed and lost. What happened next? Listen to this story in order to find out!
The Voice of Death is a famous fairy tale by Andrew Lang. This story is about a man who wanted to get rich. Every day and every night he thought of it! Finally, he became very wealthy. He was afraid of losing his wealth, so he tried to find a land where people never died. Was he able to save his wealth and his life? Listen to this gripping story in order to find out!
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare's greatest and most performed plays. With this new guide, you will have an even better understanding of the story. Included in this guide: a biography of author William Shakespeare, a look at the play's context, its literary elements, detailed scene summaries, character analysis, and much more. This is the definitive guide to Julius Caesar, concise, easy to understand, and guaranteed to add to your enjoyment of this classic play.
William Fryer Harvey was World War I hero, English writer of short stories noted for a superlative uncanny and enigmatic tales most notably in the mystery and horror genres. Across the Moors is a short story published in 1910. Mrs. Workington Bancroft sent the governess Miss Craig for a doctor to the neighbor farm through the illness of her daughter - little Peggy had a temperature of nearly a 100 degrees F, and a pain in her side.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), who wrote as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame through his brilliant and highly influential works of horror fiction. In the Vault tells the tale of a lazy and parsimonious undertaker who tries to skimp on the cost of a coffin by reusing a substandard, cheap box which he had made previously for a very short man.
Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn delivers the details of Huck Finn's life after the landmark novel Tom Sawyer, at the end of which Huck becomes fairly rich for a young person. In a stroke of maturity, however, Huck entrusts his small fortune to Judge Thatcher, who he can rely on for safekeeping. The next day, Huck's biological father comes into town in pursuit of his son and the money. Having lost the chance at the latter, his father kidnaps him, forcing Huck to fake his own death just to escape.
Atalanta's Race is the legend about the maiden Atalanta, who was resolved to live unwed, and at last she devised a plan to be rid of all her suitors. She was known far and wide as the swiftest runner of her time; and so she said that she would only marry that man who could outstrip her in the race, but that all who dared to try and failed must be put to death.
Learn everything you need to know about Atlas Shrugged, quickly! This audiobook includes a discussion of the plot, characters, main themes, and political philosophy of Ayn Rand.
Once upon a time there was a rich but greedy man called Simon. He had a housekeeper, Nina, who was a clever woman, and Simon respected her. Once Simon went to the market and bought a mule. Robbers saw that he bought a mule and devised a plan. On Simon's way back, they started to tease him one by one: "It is not a mule, it is a donkey!" The last offender said: "Oh, my poor friend, don't you see that is a donkey and not a mule? You have been taken in by some wretched cheats."
In love with a mysterious woman, one day Lord Murchison follows her in order to learn her secrets. But when, after the lady's death, her secret is revealed, Murchison is left to ponder its meaning.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), who wrote as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American writer who achieved posthumous acclaim for his outstanding and influential works of horror fiction."Pickman's Model" is the story of a bizarre painter who has an uncanny genius for painting terrifying, hellish creatures which are extraordinarily lifelike. Indeed, the rendition is so amazing that it seems inconceivable that they could have been painted from anything but a real-life model. But of course, that could never be...surely....
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), more commonly known as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American writer renowned for his highly influential works of horror fiction. "The Beast in the Cave" is a typical example of Lovecraft's mastery and descriptive genius. A man is lost in an extensive cavern with his light about to run out. He has already given up hope of ever finding his way out. As he is plunged into darkness, he hears the sound of weird padding steps approaching....
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), who wrote as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American writer who was acclaimed posthumously for his brilliant and influential works of horror fiction. "The Evil Clergyman" is a strange tale of a long-dead, malevolent cleric who still has the power to reach into the present time and cause untold dreadful harm to people of today.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), better known as H. P. Lovecraft, was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame for his brilliant and highly influential works of horror fiction. Cool Air is the story of a mysterious reclusive doctor who appears to be suffering a peculiar illness which involves him cooling his rooms to extremely cold temperatures and taking strange chemical baths. Then one day the pump system which refridgerates his apartment breaks down....
A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns - this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.
Narrator Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) presents an uncanny performance of Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel, an epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family."
"Well read, intriguing, but ultimately lacking."
Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola's classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.
"gripping and vivid"
A Signature Performance: Kenneth Branagh plays this like a campfire ghost story, told by a haunted, slightly insane Marlow.
"Heart of Darkness - Read by Kenneth Branagh"
Tim Mison, star of the hit Fox series Sleepy Hollow, narrates the classic Washington Irving short story. In the secluded Dutch territory of Sleepy Hollow, nebbish schoolmaster Ichabod Crane competes with the town hero for the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the 18-year-old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer. As Crane leaves a party at the Van Tassel's farm one autumn evening, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, an apparition said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper snuffed out by a stray cannonball.
"First time hearing it..."
A Signature Performance: Four-time Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce delivers an air of lovable self-importance in his rendition of the classic social satire that remains as fresh today as the day it was published.
"Lively and unusual"
A Signature Performance: Leelee Sobieski's Emma is sultry but vulnerable, offering a sympathetic rendering of the heroine and her plight, allowing the listener to draw his own conclusions about Madame Bovary in this cautionary tale of love, passion, and desperation.
Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters: his fiancée Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions; and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. The most ambitious of Maugham's novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.
"Blunted over time?"
Mrs. Dalloway, perhaps Virginia Woolf's greatest novel, vividly follows English socialite Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for a party in post-World War I London. Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (American Beauty, The Kids Are All Right) brings Woolf's stream-of-consciousness style of storytelling to life, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman's life in a brilliant performance.
An Oprah's Book Club Selection regarded as one of Faulkner's greatest and most accessible novels, Light in August is a timeless and riveting story of determination, tragedy, and hope. In Faulkner's iconic Yoknapatawpha County, race, sex, and religion collide around three memorable characters searching desperately for human connection and their own identities.
"Slow in the extreme"
John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France, but during his stay the Nazis invade. Howard must try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort. As the conflict grows closer, the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help. He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges.
Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood's heyday as a countercultural center.
For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.
"As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years. Set in provincial France in the 1960s, it is the intensely carnal story - part shocking reality, part feverish dream - of a love affair between a footloose Yale dropout and a young French girl. There is the seen and the unseen - and pages that burn with a rare intensity.