The Adventures of Gerard audiobook by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) These lesser known stories were penned by Conan Doyle during the period between killing off Sherlock Holmes in 1893 and reluctantly resurrecting him some ten years later. The swashbuckling, eponymous hero, Etienne Gerard, is one of Napoleon's gallant French Hussars, who considers himself the finest of them all. Through these "Boys Own Adventures", Conan Doyle pokes gentle fun at both the French and the English. This is the Read more [...]
Three Soldiers audiobook by John Dos Passos (1896-1970) Three Soldiers, the second novel by John Dos Passos, follows the experiences of several young Americans thrown into the confusion and brutality of World War I. Written when the author was just twenty-three, it was key to the development of a realistic depiction of war in American literature, and earned Dos Passos, later named by Jean-Paul Sartre "the greatest living writer of our time", important early attention. Critic H L Menken Read more [...]
My Antonia audiobook by Willa Cather (1873-1947) My ?ntonia tells the stories of several immigrant families who move out to rural Nebraska to start new lives in America, with a particular focus on a Bohemian family, the Shimerdas, whose eldest daughter is named ?ntonia. The book's narrator, Jim Burden, arrives in the fictional town of Black Hawk, Nebraska, on the same train as the Shimerdas, as he goes to live with his grandparents after his parents have died. Jim develops strong feelings for Read more [...]
O Pioneers! audiobook by Willa Cather (1873-1947) O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. The novel is also concerned with two romantic Read more [...]
Last Days of Pompeii audiobook by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803--1873) Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. Once a very widely read book and now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of first-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have Read more [...]
Rob Roy audiobook by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Rob Roy is a historical novel by Walter Scott. It is narrated by Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who travels first to the North of England, and subsequently to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father. On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title character of Rob Roy MacGregor. Though Rob Roy is not the lead character (in fact the narrative does not move to Scotland until half way through the book) Read more [...]
Adam Bede audiobook by George Eliot (1819-1880) Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time. The novel has remained in print ever since, and is used in university studies of 19th century English literature. The story's plot follows four characters rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral Read more [...]
The Three Musketeers audiobook by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). Translated by W. Robson (1785-1863). The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, p?re. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — inseparable friends who live by the motto, "One for all, and all for one". The Three Musketeers was Read more [...]
Oliver Twist audiobook or The Parish Boy's Progress by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by Charles Dickens. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their Read more [...]
Robinson Crusoe audiobook by Daniel Defoe (1659--1731) Shipwrecked and castaway, Daniel DeFoe's hard-luck character is still the standard for "growing where you're planted." Captured by pirates, he makes his break in a small boat and undergoes desperate adventures before winning his way back to civilization. But Crusoe proves willing to chance his luck a second time when, after sweating his way to prosperity as a planter in Brazil, he undertakes a voyage that isn't needful... and is marooned Read more [...]
Kidnapped audiobook by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) David Balfour, a lad of seventeen and newly orphaned, is directed to go and live with his rich uncle, the master of the estate of Shaws in the lowlands of Scotland near Edinburgh. His uncle, Ebenezer (as close a miser as Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge), is shocked to suddenly have his young relative descend on him and tries to rid himself of David with an arranged accident. Failing that, he pays the captain of a brig to kidnap David and sell Read more [...]
The Log of a Cowboy (FULL Audio Book) by Andy Adams (1859 - 1935) The Log of a Cowboy is an account of a five-month drive of 3,000 cattle from Brownsville, Texas, to Montana in 1882 along the Great Western Cattle Trail. Although the book is fiction, it is firmly based on Adams's own experiences on the trail, and it is considered by many to be the best account of cowboy life in literature. Adams was disgusted by the unrealistic cowboy fiction being published in his day; The Log of a Cowboy was Read more [...]
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Translated by Louise Shanks Maude (1855-1939) and Aylmer Maude (1858-1938) War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir; in original orthography: Война и миръ, Voyna i mir") is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well Read more [...]
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Translated by Isabel Florence Hapgood (1850-1928) An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray   In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title, which can be translated from the French as The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Read more [...]