Summary: One of the great works of American literature, Moby-Dick is the epic tale of....+
One of the great works of American literature, Moby-Dick is the epic tale of one man’s fight against a force of nature. The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost. This masterfully symbolic drama of the conflict between man and his fate has a special intensity that listeners will not soon forget.
Summary: One of the great masterpieces of Western literature, Odyssey chronicles the....+
One of the great masterpieces of Western literature, Odyssey chronicles the many trials and adventures Odysseus must pass through on his long journey home from the Trojan wars. Though the stormy, vengeful god of the ocean is determined to keep him off course, Odysseus is clever and has the brilliant goddess Athena on his side. With wit, integrity, and bravery, Odysseus must escape the grip of the fearsome Cyclops, resist the deadly seductions of sirens and witches, and traverse the land of the dead to commune with his fallen comrades before returning to his beloved wife, who has waited for him for twenty years. A storehouse of Greek folklore and myth, Homer’s epic tale remains as captivating today as it was 2,700 years ago.
Summary: In his National Book Award–winning novel Augustus, John Williams uncovered....+
In his National Book Award–winning novel Augustus, John Williams uncovered the secrets of ancient Rome. With Butcher’s Crossing, his fiercely intelligent, beautifully written western, Williams dismantles the myths of modern America.
It is the 1870s, and Will Andrews, fired up by Emerson to seek “an original relation to nature,” drops out of Harvard and heads west. He washes up in Butcher’s Crossing, a small Kansas town on the outskirts of nowhere. Butcher’s Crossing is full of restless men looking for ways to make money and ways to waste it. Before long Andrews strikes up a friendship with one of them, a man who regales Andrews with tales of immense herds of buffalo, ready for the taking, hidden away in a beautiful valley deep in the Colorado Rockies. He convinces Andrews to join in an expedition to track the animals down. The journey out is grueling, but at the end is a place of paradisiacal richness. Once there, however, the three men abandon themselves to an orgy of slaughter, so caught up in killing buffalo that they lose all sense of time. Winter soon overtakes them: they are snowed in. Next spring, half-insane with cabin fever, cold, and hunger, they stagger back to Butcher’s Crossing to find a world as irremediably changed as they have been.
Summary: This special unabridged, multivoiced production of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece....+
This special unabridged, multivoiced production of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece of nineteenth-century Gothic horror is narrated by film and television star Anthony Heald, joined by Grammy winner Stefan Rudnicki and actor Simon Templeman, under the direction of award-winning audio producer Yuri Rasovsky.
Dr. Victor Frankenstein, an ambitious young scientist, is consumed by a fanatic desire to create a living being. He fashions an eight-foot creature and succeeds in animating him but, horrified by his visage, perceives his creation to be a monster and frightens him away. The monster, wandering in search of human companionship, is spurned and repulsed by all he approaches and learns to hate and to kill. He confronts his maker with a terrible choice: unless Frankenstein creates for him a mate, he will go on a rampage of destruction.
A subversive tale about the corrupt tendencies in humanity’s most “civilized” ambitions, this haunting thriller, the original science fiction novel, maintains its hold in the collective imagination centuries after its first publication.
Summary: Elmer Gantry is the portrait of a silver-tongued evangelist who rises to power....+
Elmer Gantry is the portrait of a silver-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church, yet lives a life of hypocrisy, sensuality, and ruthless self-indulgence.
The title character starts out as a greedy, shallow, philandering Baptist minister, turns to evangelism, and eventually becomes the leader of a large Methodist congregation. Throughout the novel, Gantry encounters fellow religious hypocrites. Although often exposed as a fraud, Gantry is never fully discredited.
When Elmer Gantry was first published in 1927, it created a public furor. Now it is considered a landmark in American literature and one of the most penetrating studies of hypocrisy in modern literature. The novel also represents the evangelistic activity of America in the 1920s and people’s attitudes toward it.
Summary: Homer’s Iliad can justly be called the world’s greatest war epic. The terrible....+
Homer’s 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 heroism and treachery of its combatants unmatched in song and story. Driven by fierce passions and loyalties, men and gods battle to a devastating conclusion. “Homer is full of merriment, full of open fun and delicate comedy, even farce--as when Ares, wounded, bursts up to Olympus like a bomb. And the divine family! What a delightful natural party: human beings raised a degree or two, but all the same, funnier than that. They are the comic background for the tragedy below--for the story of Achilles is a tragedy--the fiery conflict of a man divided against himself, who in a few short days drops to the lowest hell of savagery, then rises to self-mastery and inward peace.”--W.H.D. Rouse
Summary: One of the greatest works of fiction ever written, Crime and Punishment is....+
One of the greatest works of fiction ever written, Crime and Punishment is at once an intense psychological study, a terrifying murder mystery, and a fascinating 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.” After killing the old woman, haunted by guilt and terror, the young man must decide whether to assuage his conscience by confessing or attempt to get away with the perfect crime.
Crime and Punishment takes the listener on a journey into the darkest recesses of the criminal and depraved mind and exposes the soul of a man possessed by both good and evil who cannot escape his own conscience.
Summary: Blow away the competition--and your own expectations--using advice that starts....+
Blow away the competition--and your own expectations--using advice that starts with one simple concept: focus!
There are countless books, seminars, and consultants that offer the secrets to everlasting business success. After heeding their advice, perhaps you manage your time more efficiently, write a compelling pitch letter, or close a few more deals. But after a week or a month, you revert to your old bad habits and mediocre performance, until the next hot new program comes along. The only lasting way to enhance your productivity and growth is to focus on a handful of basic concepts and repeat them week after week--and teach your staff to do the same.
This book shows how to tune up virtually every area of your business, systematically, with just a little disciplined focus. Spend an hour per week on each “impact area” of your business and you will be astonished at how much you can accomplish.
Summary: Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane’s The Red....+
Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage was published as a complete work in 1895 and quickly became the benchmark for modern antiwar literature. In Henry Flemming, Stephen Crane creates a great and realistic study of the mind of an inexperienced soldier trapped in the fury and turmoil of war. Flemming dashes into battle, at first tormented by fear, then bolstered with courage in time for the final confrontation. Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier’s experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book’s accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.
Summary: Jay Gatsby is still in love with Daisy, whom he met during the war when he....+
Jay Gatsby is still in love with Daisy, whom he met during the war when he was penniless. Having made himself wealthy through illegal means, he now lives in a mansion across the bay from the home of Daisy Buchanan, who has since married for money. Holding on to his illusion of Daisy as perfect, he seeks to impress her with his wealth, and uses his new neighbor, Nick Carraway (our narrator), to reach her. Daisy’s wealthy but boring husband is cheating on her. When his mistress is killed in an accident caused by Daisy, Gatsby covers for her and takes the blame. The result is a murder and an ending that reveals the failure of money to buy love or happiness. Fitzgerald’s elegantly simple work captures the spirit of the Jazz Age and embodies America’s obsessions with wealth, power, and the promise of new beginnings.