‘The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.’
When Charles Marlow agrees to captain a steamer up the Congo in search of the elusive ivory trader Mr Kurtz, it becomes a terrifying journey into both the unknown and his own subconscious. As he travels deeper and deeper into the dense jungle, he begins to sense the presence of this extraordinary and terrible man, and to question the horrifying realities of European imperialism and of human nature itself.
Virginia Woolf - Orlando / Mrs. Dalloway / To the Lighthouse
Gathered together in one volume, three of Virginia Woolf`s greatest novels. ORLANDO has lived as both a man and a woman through the centuries. Written as a tribute to Vita Sackville-West, this exuberant and entertaining novel is a unique contribution to twentieth-century literature. MRS DALLOWAY follows the toughts and memories of a fashionable society hostess during a single day in June as she prepares for a party that evening. As she takes her heroine through the day, Virginia Woolf breaks new ground in English fiction-writing. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE The Ramsay family and their guests are holidaying on the Isle of Skye. Virginia Woolf`s most celebrated novel explores, through the postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, the complexities and tensions of family life.
Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr. Jekyll és Mr. Hyde különös esete
Az először 1886-ban megjelent _Dr. Jekyll és Mr. Hyde különös esete_ - a három évvel korábban publikált ifjúsági kalandregény, _A kincses sziget_ mellett - Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) legismertebb műve. Az önmagán kísérletező orvosról és az általa létrehozott második - gonosz - énjéről szóló rémtörténet azon túl, hogy rendkívül izgalmas olvasmány, nagyon fontos és érdekes kérdéseket is felvet az orvosok - vagy általánosabban a tudósok és feltalálók - felelősségével, illetve az ember kettős természetével kapcsolatban. Stevenson e kisregénye igazi csemege azok számára, akik többre vágynak a ma oly divatos - gyakran rémesen bugyuta - horrortörténeteknél. Szerb Antal _A világirodalom történeté_ben a következőképpen méltatja a szerzőt: „Aki megőriz magában annyi fiatalságot, hogy felnőtt korában is szívesen olvassa Jókai regényeit, annak Stevenson is nagyon kedves marad.”
William Makepeace Thackeray - Vanity Fair
"Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?" —Vanity Fair A bewitching beauty who bends men to her will using charm, sex, and guile. An awkward man who remains loyal to his friends, even when those friends don't deserve his affection. A mother who cannot get over the loss of her husband and devotes her life to her child. Though written in 1847-48, William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair is peopled by types who remain familiar today. The novel's early nineteenth-century setting immerses us in a strange world of social stratification, moral strictures, and self-conscious sentiment. Yet its characters—from dissolute playboys and self-important heirs to judgmental aunts and finicky gourmands—are instantly recognizable. None of the novel's characters is more memorable than Becky Sharp, one of Victorian literature's most remarkable creations. While Thackeray's narrator takes pains to expose Becky's subterfuges and to insinuate sexual immorality and even murder, we cannot help but admire her intelligence and élan. Alone among the novel's major characters, she is not content to live out the life she was born into—that of a governess. Lacking money and family, she uses the only tools at her disposal, sex and cunning, to seek advancement in the world. Her success in gaining entrée to society's most exclusive circles, despite the hostility of her husband's family and a chronic lack of cash, is a testament to Becky's audacity and brilliance, her ultimate downfall notwithstanding. Thackeray juxtaposes Becky's story with that of Amelia Osborne, the naïve, sentimental daughter of a wealthy merchant who goes bankrupt partway through the book. Her artless modesty and devotion to her first love, the good-for-nothing George Osborne, contrast sharply with Becky's amoral machinations and social climbing. Yet as a paragon of womanhood, Amelia also falls short. Her passivity, her maudlin illusions, and her selfish exploitation of William Dobbin, a man who devotes his life to her, make her less than completely sympathetic; near the end of the book, Dobbin himself declares that he has wasted his life in pursuit of someone who is not worthy. Dobbin alone comes through the book with dignity. He is, as Thackeray declares, a true gentleman. But in the end, having achieved what he long sought—marriage to Amelia—Dobbin too is disillusioned, fonder of his daughter and his History of the Punjab than he is of his wife, though he would never admit as much. Thackeray interweaves the stories of these three main characters into an exuberant narrative that's chockablock with indelible secondary characters and cynical aperçus that illuminate all manner of human folly. His withering gaze lands on both lords and ladies, exposing the mean-spirited pretensions and craving for distinction that permeate the whole social world. By placing the social skirmishes and family clashes of his characters against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair invites us to contemplate the pervasiveness of human strife—and the damage that our egotism and self-delusion do every day.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Illustrated Short Stories
This handsome collection contains all fifty-six short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. The stories were originally published to widespread acclaim in The Strand Magazine, London's most celebrated illustrated periodical, between 1891 and 1927; they are still just as popular today. These fascinating tales of Holmes's deductive genius will enthrall every armchair sleuth but will also fascinate those readers who simply enjoy an exciting adventure mystery. This collected edition of the Sherlock Holmes short stories is enhanced by original illustrations from The Strand Magazine.
Robert Louis Stevenson - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Few Victorian mysteries are more haunting, sinister and profound than Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It is when Mr Utterson, a dry London lawyer, peruses the last will of his old friend Henry Jekyll that his suspicions are aroused. What is the relationship between upright, respectable Dr Jekyll and the evil Edward Hyde? Who murdered the distinguished MP, Sir Danvers? So begins Stevenson's spine-tingling horror story, the story of Dr Jekyll's infernal alter ego, and of a hunt throughout the nocturnal streets of London that culminates in some dreadful revelations.
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway (angol)
This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable. Foreword by Maureen Howard. "Mrs. Dalloway was the first novel to split the atom. If the novel before Mrs. Dalloway aspired to immensities of scope and scale, to heroic journeys across vast landscapes, with Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf insisted that it could also locate the enormous within the everyday; that a life of errands and party-giving was every bit as viable a subject as any life lived anywhere; and that should any human act in any novel seem unimportant, it has merely been inadequately observed. The novel as an art form has not been the same since. "Mrs. Dalloway also contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century." --Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
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.
Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out of work actor. Together this dynamic pair begin their journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitch Hiker's Guide "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have" and a galaxy-full of fellow travellers: Zaphod Beeblebrox - the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out to lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ball-point pens he has bought over the years.
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
Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre
A regény vadromantikus cselekménye, érzelmessége révén nagy sikert aratott. Címszereplője koldusszegény árvalány, akit egy komisz nagynéni nevel, majd beadja a lowoodi árvaházba. Jane tanítói oklevelet szerezve egy gazdag birtokos, Rochester házában lesz nevelőnő. A bonyodalmak viszont főként ezután kezdődnek...A bátor és tiszta, önmagához és szerelméhez mindig hű Jane vezeti el a XIX. század Angliájának világába az olvasót, aki az ő tisztán látó szemével figyelheti a kastélyok színesen kavargó társasági életét és a színes kavargás mögött megbúvó könyörtelen önzést.
Stephen King - The Shining
The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.
Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
There, on top of the mushroom, was a large caterpillar, smoking a pipe. After a while the Caterpillar took the pipe out of its mouth and said to Alice in a slow, sleepy voice, 'Who are you?' What strange things happen when Alice falls down the rabbit-hole and into Wonderland! She has conversations with the Caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, goes to the Mad Hatter's tea party, plays croquet with the King and Queen of Hearts...
Jane Austen - Értelem és érzelem
„Könyörgöm, könyörgöm, szedd össze magadat, és ne áruld el minden jelenlévőnek, hogy mit érzel!” – szól a józan gondolkodású, higgadt Elinor szenvedélyesen romantikus, impulzív húgára, Marianne-re, akit szerelmi csalódása halálos kétségbeesésbe kerget. A 18.-19. század fordulóján a pénz s az önérdek uralkodik Angliában. A két Dashwood nővérnek, akiknek se vagyona, se rangja, keményen meg kell küzdenie az előítéletekkel és a gazdagság előjogával, hogy elnyerjék a férfit, akire szívük igaz szerelmével vágyódnak. A mások iránt megértő, végtelenül tisztességes Elinor fegyvertelen az olyan szerencsevadászokkal szemben, mint vetélytársnője, Lucy Steele, s Marianne, aki megingathatatlanul hiszi, hogy érzelmei hűek a valósághoz, egy gátlástalan férfi hálójába keveredik. Jane Austen hősnőinek története szerelemről, csalódásról, becsületről, álnokságról, s természetesen reményről és boldogságról mesél, s közben lenyűgöző és gyakran kaján képet fest a világról, amelyben a hölgyek legfőbb foglalatossága a férjvadászat. A regény végén Elinor és Marianne természetesen révbe ér, a szívek meggyógyulnak, s az élet megy tovább - ám addig a szerző szórakoztató események és figurák végtelen sorát vonultatja fel, s szerez velük az olvasónak felejthetetlen élményt.
Jane Austen - Stolz und Vorurteil
Der beliebteste Roman der großen englischen Klassikerin. Nicht weniger als fünf Töchter haben die Bennets standesgemäß unter die Haube zu bringen. Kein leichtes Unterfangen für eine Familie auf dem Lande, die nur über ein bescheidenes Vermögen verfügt. Ausgerechnet die intelligente Elizabeth, das Lieblingskind des Vaters, erweist sich als besonders schwieriger Fall. Zum allgemeinen Unverständnis hat Elizabeth die Stirn, den Antrag eines wohlsituierten Pfarrers auszuschlagen. Statt dem Drängen der Familie nachzugeben, folgt sie hartnäckig ihrem eigenen Urteil. Neue Hoffnungen schöpft die Familie, als der attraktive Gutsbesitzer Darcy, ein Junggeselle aus besten Kreisen, im benachbarten Herrenhaus zu Gast ist. Doch über den sind bald böse Gerüchte in Umlauf, und seine stolze Zurückhaltung wird ihm als Standesdünkel ausgelegt. Auch Elizabeth läßt sich vom äußeren Anschein täuschen. Erst als sie ihre Vorurteile und Darcy seinen Stolz abzulegen lernt, kann sich das Hochzeitskarussell wieder drehen. In ihrem zweiten und populärsten Roman, 1813 erschienen, zeichnet Jane Austen Figuren von unübertroffener Lebendigkeit. Die ganze Schwesternschar, von der aufmüpfigen Jüngsten bis zur besonnenen Ältesten, das ungleiche Elternpaar, die neidischen Nachbarn, sie alle zeugen von der Menschenkenntnis und feinen Beobachtungsgabe der Autorin. Mit treffsicherer Ironie entlarvt sie menschliche Schwächen, zeigt die Komik des Alltäglichen und stellt in immer neuen Varianten die zeitlose Frage nach den Voraussetzungen für eine glückliche Ehe.
Patricia Highsmith - The Talented Mr Ripley
Tom Ripley is struggling to stay one step ahead of his creditors and the law, when an unexpected acquaintance offers him a free trip to Europe and a chance to start over. Ripley wants money, success and the good life and he's willing to kill for it. When his new-found happiness is threatened, his response is as swift as it is shocking.
Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends start an evening's mayhem by hitting an old man, tearing up his books and stripping him of money and clothes. Or rather Alex and his three droogs tolchock an old veck, razrez his books, pull off his outer platties and take a malenky bit of cutter. For Alex's confessions are written in 'nadsat' - a teenage argot of a not-too-distant future. Because of his delinquent excesses, Alex is jailed and made subject to 'Ludovico's Technique', a chilling experiment in Reclamation Treatment... Horror farce? Social Prophecy? Penetrating study of human choice between good and evil? A Clockwork Orange is all three, dazzling proof of Anthony Burgess's vast talents.
Jane Austen - A klastrom titka
A kislánynak csúnyácska Catherine idővel virágzó szépséggé érik, s amikor szomszédjuk Bath városába utazik fürdőkúrára, meginvitálja a kisasszonyt, hogy bevezesse a társasági életbe. Catherine körül nemsokára több udvarló is felbukkan: a hóbortos John Thorpe, a lány új barátnőjének bátyja, valamint a gáláns Mr. Tilney, miközben a kalandvágyó Catherine elindul, hogy felfedje a klastrom titkát… _Szövevényes szerelmi bonyodalmak, kíméletlen női intrika és hol vérfagyasztóan félelmetes, hol bájosan ártatlan vidéki kaland ez a regény, Jane Austen legtöbbet olvasott, világszerte népszerű műve._