Mikszáth Kálmán - A beszélő köntös
A fordulatos, eseményekben gazdag regény főhőse Lestyák Mihály, kecskeméti főbíró, aki olyan tervet eszel ki, mellyel megvédheti szeretett városát, Kecskemétet ellenségeitől. Elsősorban a törököktől, de a portyázó tatároktól, sőt a császári katonaságtól is. Varázserejű köntöst szerez a szultántól... a többit pedig elárulja ez a kis mikszáthi remekmű, amely több iskolában kötelező, vagy ajánlott olvasmány.
Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
In a house haunted by memories, the past is everywhere... As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge - and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death. And how desire can kill.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
There can be many varying reasons for selling one's soul to the devil. Fame, power, love; a distraction of this world can rapidly consume the entirety of one's concentration until the distraction becomes that person's very "reality". It is fascinating to observe how the good in this world can be overlooked or neglected due to the singularity of one's concentration on what is, ultimately, the "bad". The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story that captures such a concept and places it in the context of late nineteenth century London. Basil Hallward is a painter, one of amateur talents, but a painter that receives an inspiration that some like to call divine. A particularly new acquaintance of his, a Mr. Dorian Gray, seems to put all art into perspective for the aspiring artist. The result is a perfectly splendid picture of the beautiful Dorian Gray, who sits for Hallward in the epitome of innocence. There is a friend of Hallward's, who goes by the name of Lord Henry Wotton. Harry, as his friends call him, is something of an enigma to the familial circles of English aristocracy; Dorian most aptly entitles him "Prince Paradox" much later in the novel. Gray is immediately captivated by the charisma of Lord Wotton, whom he met while Hallward is painting his portrait. Following the completion of the painting, Dorian becomes melancholic, having just learned the wonders of his youth and beauty from Prince Paradox; indeed, upon gazing into his own picture, Dorian Gray is already missing his youthful splendour. In his newfound narcissism, Dorian makes a foolhardy wish: that the painting grows old and ugly while he should retain his exceptional beauty. There is a liberal utilization of symbolization in this controversial book, and most particularly so in Henry Wotton and his meeting with Dorian Gray. Harry, who becomes Dorian's closest friend, represents a kind of hedonism that is vastly different from the sociality of their familiars, and yet also apart from the vulgar tastes of the uneducated. In the words of Dorian Gray: "Yes: there was to be, as Lord Henry prophesied, a new Hedonism that was to recreate life, and to save it from the harsh, uncomely Puritanism that was making its own curious revival. It was to have its service of the intellect, certainly; yet, it was never to accept any theory or system that would involve the sacrifice of any mode of passionate experience. His aim, indeed, was to be experience itself, and not the fruits of experience, sweet or bitter as they might be. Of the asceticism that deadens the sense, as of the vulgar profligacy that dulls them, it was to know nothing. But it was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is itself but a moment." Before Dorian Gray met Lord Henry Wotton, he recognized things as they were. Following that momentous exchange, Dorian Gray recognized only shadows. Art, to the corrupted youth, was not just a reflection of life and love, but reality itself. Passion is the first and final goal of his new worldview, and it ultimately destroys the child within. Basil Hallward symbolizes the simplicity, the good, and the rare in modern London: his friend Henry calls him "dull", as all great artists are. Hallward, in a clever instance of foreboding, did not want Lord Henry to even meet Dorian: "Dorian Gray has a simple and beautiful nature… Don't spoil him." The good in life seems to become less relevant, less necessary as life goes on, as the individual experiences more, until the good doesn't seem to exist… at all. A key idea in the Picture of Dorian Gray is, I think, the fall of innocence to the pleasures of this novel Hedonism that plays the antagonism of this story. Though Dorian may indeed retain his outer beauty, startling the perceptions of everyone near him, the soul within becomes unrecognizable to a simple eye, to any eye removed of darkness. In the writing of this, his only novel, Oscar Wilde manages to take hold of several key ideas and succeeds in putting them on a magnificent, provocative display. The central themes, art, love and novelty, are the fine threads that boldly form the grandeur of the patterned Idea. As this is the ultimate goal in every work of art, I would claim that The Picture of Dorian Gray is an accomplished story on every level.
Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
'All human beings ... are commingled out of good and evil' Dr Jekyll has been experimenting with his identity. He has developed a drug which separates the two sides of his nature and allows him occasionally to abandon himself to his most corrupt inclinations as the monstrous Mr Hyde. But gradually he begins to find that the journey back to goodness becomes more and more difficult, and the risk that Mr Hyde will break free entirely from Dr Jekyll's control puts all of London in grave peril.
Neil Gaiman - Stardust
In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he'll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.
Gaston Leroux - The Phantom of the Opera
The little known, brilliant original text by Gaston Leroux has been immortalized by screen and stage adaptations. One of the greatest horror stories of all time, The Phantom of the Opera makes compulsive reading. It abounds with wonderful descriptions, extraordinary events, tragedy, horror, pathos, tremendous humour and a gallery of charming minor characters. Leroux's portrait of the hideous musician, crazed by his own extreme ugliness, shows compassionate insight into a criminally insane mind. MUsic infuses the story, enriching the many dimensions of the novel which is steeped in the glamour of life at the Pris Opera. The author's knowledge of the building itself and the extraordinary history of its construction create a basis of realism in the story. Incredible, seeminly supernatural elements are artfully infused with real facts, with references to real people, places and events, so that the novel is a dazzling blend of illusion and reality, between which it is hard to distinguish, so that each chilling moment is intensified. Gaston Leroux was a master of his genre.
Victor Hugo - Les Misérables (angol)
Hugo's classic tale set against the backdrop of political upheaval in 19th-century France retains its timeless appeal in this notably condensed rendition of the struggles of former convict Jean Valjean. While the abridgment inevitably cuts many of the intricate subplots and minor characters who enrich Hugo's vast tome, this suspenseful central plot tracing Valjean's endeavor to emerge from desperate circumstances while being pursued by the duty-obsessed Inspector Javert remains intact and comprehensible to listeners. The principal characters retain their epic proportions, and the major themes of redemption through good works and the importance of authentic charity are undiminished. Narrator Michael York adds vigor and distinct characterizations to the broad cast of characters in this fittingly dramatic performance. Suitable for collections that do not already contain one of the many audio versions of this work
Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey
Harper Collins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.' Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.
Herman Melville - Moby Dick (angol)
Moby-Dick, written in 1851, recounts the adventures of the narrator Ishmael as he sails on the whaling ship Pequod under the command of Captain Ahab. Ishmael believes he has signed onto a routine commission aboard a normal whaling vessel, but he soon learns that Captain Ahab is not guiding the Pequod in the simple pursuit of commerce but is seeking one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a great while whale infamous for his giant proportions and his ability to destroy the whalers that seek him. Captain Ahab's wooden leg is the result of his first encounter with the whale, when he lost both leg and ship. But Captain Ahab is bent on revenge and he intends to get Moby-Dick. Ahab demonstrates erratic behavior from the very beginning and his eccentricities magnify as the voyage progresses. As the novel draws to a conclusion, the Pequod encounters the whaling ship Rachel. The Rachel's captain asks Ahab to help him in a search and rescue effort for his whaling-crew that went missing the day before - and the captain's son is among the missing. But when Ahab learns that the crew disappeared while tangling with Moby-Dick he refuses the call to aid in the rescue so that he may hunt Moby-Dick instead. The encounter with Moby-Dick brings a tragic end to the affair. Ishmael alone survives, using his friend Queequeg's coffin as a flotation device until he is ironically rescued by the Rachel, which has continued to search for its missing crew. The novel is not only a great American classic, but is also heralded as one of greatest novels in the English language.
Virginia Woolf - Orlando (angol)
Virginia Woolf's exuberant 'biography' tells the story of the cross-dressing, sex-changing Orlando who begins life as a young noble in the sixteenth century and moves through numerous historical and geographical worlds to finish as a modern woman writer in the 1920s. The book is in part a happy tribute to the 'life' that her love for Vita Sackville-West had breathed into Virginia Woolf's own day-to-day existence; it is also Woolf's light-hearted and light-handed teasing out of the assumptions that lie behind the normal conventions for writing about a fictional or historical life. In this novel, Virginia Woolf plays loose and fast: Orlando uncovers a literary and sexual revolution overnight.
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies...' A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of _Cloud Atlas_ hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. In his extraordinary third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
Mark Twain - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer / The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
With an Introduction and Notes by Stuart Hutchinson, University of Kent at Canterbury. Tom Sawyer, a shrewd and adventurous boy, is as much at home in the respectable world of his Aunt Polly as in the self-reliant and parentless world of his friend Huck Finn. The two enjoy a series of adventures, accidentally witnessing a murder, establishing the innocence of the man wrongly accused, as well as being hunted by Injun Joe, the true murderer, eventually escaping and finding the treasure that Joe had buried. Huckleberry Finn recounts the further adventures of Huck, who runs away from a drunken and brutal father, and meets up with the escaped slave Jim. They float down the Mississippi on a raft, participating in the lives of the characters they meet, witnessing corruption, moral decay and intellectual impoverishment. Sharing so much in background and character, these two stories, the best of Twain, indisputably belong together in one volume. Though originally written as adventure stories for young people, the vivid writing provides a profound commentary on provincial American life in the mid-nineteenth century and the institution of slavery.
Miklós Bánffy - They Were Divided
The final part of Banffy's trilogy reflects the rapidly disintegrating course of events in Central Europe. In the foreground the lives of Balint, with his ultimately unhappy love for Adrienne, and his fatally flawed cousin, Laszlo Gyeroffy, who dies in poverty and neglect, are told with humour and a bitter-sweet nostalgia for a paradise lost through folly. The sinister and fast moving events in Montenegro, the Balkan wars, the apparent encirclement of Germany and Austria-Hungary by Britain, France and Russia, and finally the assassination of Franz Ferdinand all lead inexorably to the youth of Hungary marching off to their death and the dismemberment of their country.
Kemény Zsigmond - Özvegy és leánya
,,A csillagfény és a holdsarló ezüstje megtört a sárgaréz páncélon, melyet a merész támadó viselt, kinek arcrostélya félig le volt eresztve... Sára menekülni törekedett a lovag karjai közül." Mit adhat a mai olvasónak az Özvegy és leánya? Középkori leányrablás éjnek évadján, álöltözet, szerelmi öngyilkosság, életet mentő gyűrű, fejedelmi vadászkaland, félreértések végzetes sorozata, színes, Walter Scott-i történelmi tabló kiemelkedő fő- és mellékszereplőkkel, fordulatos cselekményszövés, a legszélsőségesebb túlzásokba eső monomániás "fantomanya", egy csipetnyi humor, irónia... íme egy vérbeli romantikus regény receptje. Kemény képzelete a történelmi Erdélybe, Rákóczi György fejedelem korába röpíti olvasóit. Az Özvegy és leánya egyszersmind ragyogóan megrajzolt, színes körkép a korabeli Erdélyről, fordulatos kalandregény és megható, tragikus végkifejletű, ugyanakkor elgondolkodtató szerelmi történet.
Alexandre Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo
The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate. The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Dumas' novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero's ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.
Charles Frazier - Cold Mountain
A soldier wounded in the Civil War, Inman turns his back on the carnage of the battlefield and begins the treacherous journey home to Cold Mountain, and to Ada, the woman he loved before the war began. As Inman attempts to make his way across the mountains, through the devastated landscape ol a soon-to-be-defeated South, Ada struggles to make a living from the land her once-wealthy father left when he died. Neither knows if the other is still alive. _Cold Mountain_ is an Odyssean voyage, encompassing all the human tragedy and waste of war, and a powerful love story. Moving and uplifting, brilliantly written and utterly compelling, Charles Frazier's first novel is a classic story made fresh by a spectacular talent.
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein (Heinemann Guided Readers)
This is an Elementary Level story in a series of ELT readers comprising a wide range of titles - some original and some simplified - from modern and classic novels, and designed to appeal to all age-groups, tastes and cultures. The books are divided into five levels: Starter Level, with about 300 basic words; Beginner Level (600 basic words); Elementary Level (1100); Intermediate Level (1600); and Upper Level (2200). Some of the titles are also available on cassette.
Miklós Bánffy - They Were Found Wanting
The tale of the two Transylvanian cousins, their loves, and their very different fortunes continues in this second volume of the Transylvanian trilogy. Balint Abady is forced to part from the beautiful and unhappily married Adrienne Uzdy, while Lazlo Gyeroffy is rapidly heading for self-destruction through excessive drinking and his own fecklessness. Politicians, quarreling among themselves and stubbornly ignoring their countrymen's real needs, are still pursuing their vendetta with the Habsburg rule of Hungary from Vienna. Meanwhile, they fail to notice how the Great Powers--through such events as Austria's annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908--are moving ever closer to the conflagration of 1914-1918 that will destroy their world forever. Contrasting a life of privilege and corruption with the lives and problems of an expatriate Romanian peasant minority whom Balint tries to help, this portrait is an unrivalled evocation of a rich and fascinating aristocratic world oblivious of its impending demise.