Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasures of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress-Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
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Iris Murdoch - The Sea, The Sea
Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors-some real, some spectral-that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.
William Golding - Rites of Passage
In the cabin of an ancient, stinking warship bound for Australia, a man writes a journal to entertain his godfather back in England. With wit and disdain he records mounting tensions on board, as an obsequious clergyman attracts the animosity of the tyrannical captain and surly crew.
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Synopsis The story that never grows old... Lord of the Flies remains as provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, igniting passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. Though critically acclaimed, it was largely ignored upon its initial publication. Yet soon it became a cult favorite among both students and literary critics who compared it to J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye in its influence on modern thought and literature. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse,Lord of the Flies has established itself as a true classic. And now readers can own it in a beautifully designed hardcover edition worthy of its stature. This Christmas' meaningful gift, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Lord of the Flies is the volume that every fan of this classic book will have to own.
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.
George Orwell - 1984 (angol)
Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell's chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell's narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.
Aldous Huxley - Szép új világ
2540-ben a Boldogságra való puszta törekvés immár kevés, ha egyszer már az Életnél is több, a holtig tartó ifjúság elidegeníthetetlen joga is mindenkinek megadatott. Ki bánja, ha közben a Szabadság és Egyenlőség hiú eszméi s megannyi más kacat – művészet, hit, az önmagáért való tudás – mind oda került, ahová való: a történelem szemétdombjára! Mert aki mást, úgymond, többet akar – Istent, költészetet, jóságot, szabadságot, olykor a magány csendjét vagy épp a bűn katarzisát –, az nem akar mást, mind a boldogtalanságot. Az efféle Vadembernek a Világellenőrök jóindulatú bölcsességgel kormányzott világállamában nincs helye. Jobban teszi hát, ha a földgolyó egy távoli zugába húzódva a sötét múlt kínjaival sanyargatja magát: ínséggel, betegséggel, hideggel, forrósággal, gyötrő szenvedéssel és gyilkos szenvedéllyel. Netán egy Shakespeare nevű, rég halott rajongó összegyűjtött műveinek forgatásával. Vagy Huxley olvasásával – mondjuk egy Szép új világ című könyvvel. "Tizennyolc tökéletesen egyforma, Gamma-zöld egyenruhás, göndör, gesztenyebarna hajú lány vizsgálta meg az összeszerelt gépeket, melyeket aztán harmincnégy kurta lábú, balkezes, Delta-mínusz férfi ládákba pakolt, és végül hatvanhárom kék szemű, lenszőke és szeplős félidióta Epszilon az odakint várakozó teherautókra és kamionokra rakott. - Ó, szép új világ... - a Vadember azon kapta magát, hogy Miranda szavait ismétli újra meg újra, mintha csak az emlékezete akarna gonosz tréfát űzni vele. - Ó, szép új világ, melyet ily emberek laknak."
Graham Greene - The Quiet American
While the French Army in Indo-China is grappling with the Vietminh, back in Saigon a young and high-minded American named Pyle begins to channel economic aid to a "Third Force." Caught between French colonialists and the Vietminh, Fowler, the narrator and seasoned foreign correspondent, observes: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused." As young Pyle's policies blunder on into bloodshed, the older man finds it impossible to stand aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and to himself: for Pyle has robbed him of his Vietnamese mistress.
Malcolm Lowry - Under the Volcano
Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. His debilitating malaise is drinking, an activity that has overshadowed his life. On the most fateful day of the consul's life—the Day of the Dead, 1938—his wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationship to the brink of collapse. She is determined to rescue Firmin and their failing marriage, but her mission is further complicated by the presence of Hugh, the consul's half brother, and Jacques, a childhood friend. The events of this one significant day unfold against an unforgettable backdrop of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical. Under the Volcano remains one of literature's most powerful and lyrical statements on the human condition, and a brilliant portrayal of one man's constant struggle against the elemental forces that threaten to destroy him.
P. G. Wodehouse - Thank you, Jeeves
"Unpleasantness is rearing its ugly head in Berkeley Mansions, W1. I note also a lack of give-and-take and an absence of the neighbourly spirit. I have just been talking to the manager of the building on the telephone, and he has delivered an ultimatum. He says I must either chuck playing the banjolele or clear out." Jeeves' sympathies do not lie with his master's musical experiment and he threatens to leave. So Bertie seeks refuge in Lord Chuffington's cottage until his peace is shattered by the arrival of his ex-fiancee Pauline Stoker and her formidable father.
Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
This novel is an extraordinarily poignant evocation of a lost happiness that lives on in the memory. For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever. In this, her most autobiographical novel, Virginia Woolf captures the intensity of childhood longing and delight, and the shifting complexity of adult relationships. From an acute awareness of transcience, she creates an enduring work of art.
George Orwell - Nineteen Eighty-Four
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a novel by George Orwell published in 1949. It is a dystopian novel about Oceania, a society tyrannized by The Party and its totalitarian ideology. The Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public mind control, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (Ingsoc) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes all individualism and independent thinking as thought crimes. Their tyranny is headed by Big Brother, the quasi-divine Party leader who enjoys an intense cult of personality, but who may not even exist. Big Brother and the Party justify their rule in the name of a supposed greater good. The protagonist of the novel, Winston Smith, is a member of the Outer Party who works for the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. His job is to re-write past newspaper articles so that the historical record always supports the current party line. Smith is a diligent and skilful worker, but he secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion against Big Brother.
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules. Like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
Ford Madox Ford - Parade's End
With his acclaimed masterpiece Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford set himself a work of immense scale and ambition: "I wanted the Novelist in fact to appear in his really proud position as historian of his own time... The 'subject' was the world as it culminated in the war." Published in four parts between 1924 and 1928, his extraordinary novel centers on Christopher Tietjens, an officer and a gentleman -- "the last English Tory"--and follows him from the secure, orderly world of Edwardian England into the chaotic madness of the First World War. Against the backdrop of a world at war, Ford recounts the complex sexual warfare between Tietjens and his faithless wife, Sylvia. A work of truly amazing subtlety and profundity, Parade's End affirms Graham Greene's prediction: "There is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford."
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
Graham Greene - The Heart of the Matter
Scobie, a police officer serving in a war-time West African state, is distrusted, being scrupulously honest and immune to bribery. But then he falls in love, and in doing so is forced to betray everything he believes in, with tragic consequences.
Louis de Bernières - Captain Corelli's Mandolin
It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a conscientious but far from fanatical soldier, whose main aim is to have a peaceful war, he proves in time to be civilised, humorous - and a consummate musician. When the local doctor's daughter's letters to her fiancé go unanswered, the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable. But can this fragile love survive as a war of bestial savagery gets closer and the lines are drawn between invader and defender?
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and exquisitely beautiful Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian's magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants. But he also discovers a world where duty and desire, faith and earthly happiness are in conflict; a world which threatens to destroy his beloved Sebastian.
J. R. R. Tolkien - A hobbit
Ha megmozgatják a fantáziádat az oda és vissza történő utazások, amelyek kivezetnek a kényelmes nyugati világból, a Vadon szegélyén túlra, és érdekel egy egyszerű (némi bölcsességgel, némi bátorsággal és jelentős szerencsével megáldott) hős, akkor ez a könyv tetszeni fog, mivel épp egy ilyen út és utazó leírása található benne. A történet a Tündérország kora és az emberek uralma közti réges-régi időkben játszódik, mikor még állott a híres Bakacsinerdő, és a hegyek veszéllyel voltak tele. Az egyszerű kalandozó útját követve útközben megtudhatsz (ahogy ő is megtudott) - ha még nem ismernéd mindezeket a dolgokat - egyet s mást a trollokról, koboldokról, törpökről és tündékről, s bepillantást nyerhetsz egy elhanyagolt, de lényeges időszak történelmébe és eseményeibe. Mert Zsákos Bilbó úr számos jelentős személynél járt; beszélt a sárkánnyal, a hatalmas Smauggal; és akaratán kívül jelen volt az Öt Sereg Csatájánál. Ez annál is inkább figyelemre méltó, mivel ő egy hobbit. A hobbitok fölött a történelem és a legendák mind ez idáig átsiklottak, talán mert rendszerint többre tartják a kényelmet, mint az izgalmakat. Ez a személyes visszaemlékezések alapján készült beszámoló, amely Zsákos úr egyébként csendes életének egy izgalmas évét írja le, azonban képet adhat erről a becses népről, akik (úgy mondják) manapság megfogyatkoztak. Mert nem szeretik a zajt.
Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?' Heathcliff, an orphan, wild and unkempt, is taken in by Mr Earnshaw and raised as his son at Wuthering Heights on the bleak Yorkshire moors. He is drawn to Earnshaw's daughter Catherine, and as the pair grow up together they become bound by an intense and passionate love. But when Catherine's father dies, Heathcliff is condemned to servitude, and social disparity drives a wedge between them that will eventually become their downfall.
John Galsworthy - The Forsyte Saga
The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women. This is the only critical edition of the work available, with Notes that explain contemporary artistic and literary allusions and define the slang of the time.