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J. D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America's literary treasures. Salinger's classic coming-of-age story portrays one young man's funny and poignant experiences with life, love, and sex.
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
"I could hardly keep my seat." Spirited and impulsive, Marianne Dashwood is the complete opposite to her controlled and sensible sister, Elinor. When it comes to matters of the heart, Marianne is passionate and romantic and soon falls for the charming, but unreliable Mr Willoughby. Elinor, in contrast, copes stoically with the news that her love, Edward Ferrars is promised to another. It is through their shared experiences of love that both sisters come to learn that the key to a successful match comes from finding the perfect mixture of rationality and feeling.
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.
Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
The first and only novel by Sylvia Plath, originally published in 1963. When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. Instead she finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.
Toni Morrison - Beloved
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of 1988, Toni Morrison frees herself from the bonds of traditional narrative and establishes an independent style, just as her characters have freed themselves from the horrors of slavery and escaped from Kentucky to Ohio. Revealing the story of Sethe and her family as they survive the brutality of the farm, only to encounter torments even more punishing than whippings after they escape, Morrison presents scenes in a seemingly random order, each scene revealing some aspect of life for Sethe, her boys, her dead baby Beloved, and the new baby Denver, both in the past and in the present. Moving back and forth, around, and inside out through Sethe's recollections, she gradually reveals Sethe's story to the reader, its horror increasing as the reader makes the connections which turn disconnected scenes into a powerful and harrowing chronology.
Ian McEwan - Atonement
In this rich novel by the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Amsterdam", a young girl unwittingly tells a tale that turns her family upside down. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, "Atonement" is at its center a profound--and profoundly moving--exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution.
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
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
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.
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day
It is the summer of 1956, and the ageing butler of Darlington Hall takes a rare holiday. But it is a journey that will also take him deep into his past. The Remains of the Day is a remarkable story: a man's exploration of his own life, and his heart-breaking attempt to make sense of it.
Bret Easton Ellis - American Psycho
Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and works on Wall Street; he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. American Psycho is a bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to face and it takes us on a head-on collision with America's greatest dream - and its worst nightmare.
Toni Morrison - Sula
Sula and Nel are two young black girls: clever and poor, they grow up together sharing their secrets, dreams and happiness. Then Sula breaks free from their small-town community in the uplands of Ohio to roam the cities of America. When she returns ten years later much has changed. Including Nel, who now has a husband and three children. The friendship between the two women becomes strained and the whole town grows wary as Sula continues in her wayward, vagabond and uncompromising ways.
Milan Kundera - A lét elviselhetetlen könnyűsége
___Milan Kundera talán leghíresebb, ma sem halványuló népszerűségű regénye sztori és filozófiai-történelmi-politikai eszmefuttatások mesteri ötvözete, amely azonban mindig megőrzi szépirodalmi jellegét. Főhőse egy jó nevű sebész, Tomáš, nagy szoknyabolond, naponta váltogatja szeretőit. S egy szép nap e Don Juan-i figura mögött felsejlik egy másik legendás férfialak, Trisztán; hősünk beleszeret egy kisvárosi pincérnőbe, Terezába, és feleségül veszi. Korábbi gazdag és mozgalmas szexuális életéről azonban nem tud és nem akar lemondani, jóllehet ezzel elmondhatatlan fájdalmat okoz az egyetlen valóban szeretett lénynek. Tomáš ellentmondásos alakja mögé pedig Kundera a "prágai tavasz" eseményeit, majd 1968 drámáját, az orosz inváziót, az első napok euforisztikus gyűlöletét, végül a "normalizáció" éveinek megaláztatásait rajzolja fel háttérnek. ___Miféle sors, milyen jövő várhat itt Tomášra, Terezára vagy épp Sabinára, a festőnőre, Tomáš egyik szeretőjére? Megoldás-e, ha az emigráns megszabadul minden kötöttségtől? Hiszen súlya csak annak van, ami örökkévaló vagy örökkön ismétlődik. Az egyének és a nemzetek sorsa nem ilyen. Az igazi dráma azonban - mondja Kundera - nem a súlyosság, hanem a könnyűség drámája: hogy minden feledésbe merül, és semmi sem tehető jóvá. Hogy a jóvátétel, a bosszú vagy a megbocsátás szerepét a feledés veszi át.
John Irving - The World According to Garp
'Like all extraordinary books, The World According to Garp defies synopsis...' wrote the Chicago Sun-Times when Garp was first published in 1978. It is a marvellous, important, permanent novel by a serious artist of remarkable powers... Garp is a book that captivates all who read it. Peopled with the most extraordinary characters you will ever meet, here is a novel that will make you laugh, make you weep, and, above all, make you think.
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
First published in 1993, "The Virgin Suicides" announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, "The Virgin Suicides" is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Umberto Eco - A rózsa neve
Az Úr 1327. esztendejében járunk. Melki Adso és mestere, Baskerville-i Vilmos egy császárbarát apátságba érkeznek. (Adso, a történet elbeszélője a később bekövetkezett szörnyűséges események miatt nem ad pontos helymeghatározást az apátságról.) Az apát úr az éles eszű és tapintatos Vilmost – akit viselkedése és előneve alapján Sherlock Holmes középkori elődjének tekinthetünk – kéri fel arra, hogy segítsen felderíteni egy, az apátságban történt különös halálesetet. Otrantói Adelmust, a fiatal kora ellenére is nagy tekintélynek örvendő miniatúrafestőt egyik reggel a kecskepásztor holtan találta az Aedificium keleti őrbástyája alatti meredély tövében. Viharos éjszakán történt a tragédia, meg sem lehetett állapítani, a szerencsétlen vajon melyik ablakból zuhant ki. Gyanúra adott okot viszont az, hogy másnap egyetlen nyitva hagyott ablakot sem találtak, ráadásul az ablakok olyan magasságban vannak, hogy azokon képtelenség véletlenül kiesni. Vilmos a tőle elvárt tapintattal és ravaszsággal lát neki a nyomozáshoz, Adso segédletével. Hamarosan újabb halálesetek történnek. A nyomok az apátság féltve őrzött könyvtárába vezetnek, ahová Vilmos és Adso is csupán titokban tudnak bejutni. A szörnyű bűntények árnyékot vetnek az apátságra, amely pedig nagy horderejű eseménynek ad otthont: itt találkoznak a ferencesek és a pápaság képviselői, hogy teológiai vitát folytassanak Jézus szegénységéről. Ebben a látszólag egyszerűnek tűnő kérdésben támadt nézeteltérések ugyanis már-már az egyházszakadás rémével fenyegetnek. A bűntények miatt az apát úr végül a Szent Inkvizíció beavatkozását kéri. A kor egyik legkönyörtelenebb inkvizítora, Bernardo Gui érkezik az apátságba. Gui alaposabb tájékozódás nélkül eretnek összeesküvésként értékeli az eseményeket, a demokrácia álcája mögött ítélkezik, máglyákat állíttat. A máglyahalálra ítéltek egyike az a fiatal parasztlány, aki a szerelmet jelenti Adso számára…
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.
Jane Austen - Persuasion
At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, "Persuasion" is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.
Donna Tartt - The Secret History
This novel is set on a small college campus in Vermont. Dissatisfied with the crass values of their fellow students, a small corps of undergraduates groups itself around a favored professor of classics, who nurtures both their sense of moral elevation and an insularity from conventional college life that ultimately proves fatal. Among Prof. Julian Morrow's followers are Henry Winter, a tall scion of a wealthy St. Louis family, the twins Charles and Camilla Macaulay, both intellectually gifted and eccentric only in their excessive mutual devotion; Francis Abernathy, a dandyish homosexual slowly awakening to his sexuality; and Edmund (Bunny) Corcoran, who becomes the group's victim.
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's new novel is at once a classic tale of quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.