In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain creates an entertaining adventure of Middle America in the 1800's - afloat on a raft on the Mississippi River. Huck escapes his civilized life when he arranges his own "murder" and turns back into the backwoods, downriver yokel he started as, and in the process springing a slave, Jim, from bondage.
Huck and Jim experience life as a series of tableaus as the river sweeps them through small towns on their way South. At each stop, Huck engages his talent for mixing fact with bald-faced lies to endlessly get himself out of situations... and of course, putting him into others!
Much has been written about the statement Twain is making about slavery in this book, but it's really secondary to the story. The facts of how black people were treated in this period give Huck and Jim their license for life on the run. Modern listeners will be intrigued by the unencumbered life of the pair; they make do with coffee, fish from the river, and little else (but of course, when they do need something extra, they don't mind helping themselves to it without recourse to money!)
Huck and Jim have run-ins with desperados and family feuds and even manage to get run down by a steamboat. The adventures ratchet up when they are joined on the raft by a self-proclaimed "duke" and a "king" - shysters both, who spend their time in figuring how to fleece the public in the little river towns. And when Jim is captured and threatened with being sent back into slavery, Huck enlists his old buddy Tom Sawyer in a frenzied, desperate, and terribly funny rescue.
I had to clip a lot of laughing from this recording at Twain's sly, catch-'em-when-they're-not-looking humor, but you can feel free to enjoy some good belly laughs at this crew of lovable rapscallions!
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River, and its sober and often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. The drifting journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on their raft may be one of the most enduring images of escape and freedom in all of American literature.
The book has been popular with young readers since its publication, and taken as a sequel to the comparatively innocuous The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It has also been the continued object of study by serious literary critics. Although the Southern society it satirized was already a quarter-century in the past by the time of publication, the book immediately became controversial, and has remained so to this day.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his famous detective. They were originally published in the Strand Magazine from July 1891 to June 1892. The title character was named after famous American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (Summary from Wikipedia)
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Dr. Watson chronicles here some of the more interesting detective cases that he and his good friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, have encountered during their association. We see the cases unfold as he does, scratch our heads as does he while the evidence is collected, and then marvel at the impeccable observations, remarkable insight, and doggedness which Holmes displays as he teases apart the tangled clues.
Packaged as twelve distinct cases, by the end of this book your own senses of observation and deductive reasoning should be improved. It's easy to see why this book became a model for detective yarns!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the "literary nonsense" genre, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travelers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is widely considered Swift's magnum opus and is his most celebrated work, as well as one of the indisputable classics of English literature.
Few things, even in literature, can really be said to be unique — but Moby Dick is truly unlike anything written before or since. The novel is nominally about the obsessive hunt by the crazed Captain Ahab of the book’s eponymous white whale. But interspersed in that story are digressions, paradoxes, philosophical riffs on whaling and life, and a display of techniques so advanced for its time that some have referred to the 1851 Moby Dick as the first “modern” novel.
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget.
The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It is often considered, along with The Three Musketeers, as Dumas's most popular work. The writing of the work was completed in 1844. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from the plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.
The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean and the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838 (from just before the Hundred Days through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. It is primarily concerned with themes of justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness, and is told in the style of an adventure story.
Barrie, J. M.
In both the play and the novel, Peter often visits the "real world" of London to listen in on bedtime stories told by Mary Darling to her children. One night, Peter is spotted, and while trying to escape, he loses his shadow. On returning to claim his shadow, he wakes Mary's daughter, Wendy Darling. When Wendy succeeds in re-attaching his shadow to him, Peter takes a fancy to her and invites her to Neverland to be a mother to his gang of Lost Boys, the children who are lost in Kensington Gardens. Wendy agrees, and her brothers John and Michael go along. The dangerous and magical flight to Neverland is followed by many adventures. The children are blown out of air by a cannon and Wendy is nearly killed by the Lost Boy Tootles. Peter and the Lost Boys build a little house for Wendy to live in while she recuperates. Soon John and Michael adopt the ways of the Lost Boys, while Wendy plays house in mothering them, all the while invoking the jealousy of Tinker Bell, Tiger Lily, and the mermaids. Peter is often oblivious, concentrating on real and make-believe adventures and on taunting the pirate Captain Hook. Later follows adventures at Mermaids' Lagoon, the near deaths of Tinker Bell and Peter; a violent pirate/Indian massacre, and a climactic confrontation with Peter's nemesis, the pirate Captain Hook of the pirate ship the Jolly Roger. In the end, Wendy decides that her place is at home, much to the joy of her heartsick mother. Wendy then brings all the boys back to London. Peter remains in Neverland, and Wendy grows up.
Barrie, J. M.
Peter Pan is the well-loved story of three children and their adventures in Neverland with the boy who refuses to grow up. Swashbuckling, fairy dust, and flight; mermaid lagoons, ticking crocodiles, and Princess Tiger Lily; second to the right and then straight on till morning. You know the story... and if you don't, please start listening immediately!
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Part One of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars-Series. Easy, swank, pulp read about an omnipotent gentleman teleported to Mars, finding an outlandish society of ape-, tree- and lizardmen, red-, white-, yellowmen, brains on legs, strange bastions and curious apparatuses, where the strongest survives and women are needy beauties to be saved. How can something be so platitudinous and at the same time so imaginative and enthralling? Boys’ book for sure.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
John Carter, an American Civil War veteran, goes prospecting in Arizona and, when set upon by Indians, is mysteriously transported to Mars, called "Barsoom" by its inhabitants. Carter finds that he has great strength on this planet, due to its lesser gravity. Carter soon falls in among the Tharks, a nomadic tribe of the planet's warlike, four-armed, green inhabitants. Thanks to his strength and combat abilities he rises in position in the tribe and earns the respect eventually the friendship of Tars Tarkas one of the Thark chiefs.
The Tharks subsequently capture Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, a member of the humanoid red Martian race. The red Martians inhabit a loose network of city states and control the desert planet's canals, along which its agriculture is concentrated. Carter rescues her from the green men to return her to her people.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
John Carter is mysteriously conveyed to Mars, where he discovers two intelligent species continually embroiled in warfare. Although he is a prisoner of four-armed green men, his Civil War experience and Earth-trained musculature give him superior martial abilities, and he is treated with deference by this fierce race. Falling in love with a princess of red humanoids (two-armed but egg-bearing), he contrives a daring escape and later rescues the red men from the hostility of another nation of their own race. In this struggle he enlists the aid of his former captors, whom he gradually civilizes, teaching them first the practical advantages of kindness to their beasts of burden and then of casting aside centuries of communal living in favor of the nuclear family. At last he even starts them on the path to mastering the arts of friedship and diplomacy. When the failure of the atmosphere-generator threatens the planet's inhabitants with extinction, Carter's luck, memory, and sheer determination make possible the salvation of the planet, but Carter himself falls unconscious before he knows the success of his efforts. The novel ends with his sudden involuntary return to Earth.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
A Study in Scarlet, a short novel published in 1887, was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story. At the beginning of the book, Dr. Watson meets the detective for the first time and we ride along with them to the scene of a murder. The crime baffles the Scotland Yard detectives, but of course Holmes solves it easily. In the second half of the story, the scene shifts to Utah as we learn the murderer's history. The action returns to London in the last two chapters. In his first adventure, Holmes demonstrates many of the traits for which he later became well known: meticulous study of a crime scene, brilliant deductive reasoning, aptitude for chemistry and music, and the somewhat annoying habit of withholding crucial facts from Watson (and consequently the reader) until the conclusion of the case.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
A mysterious map, pirates, and pieces of eight! When young Jim Hawkins finds a map to pirates’ gold he starts on an adventure that takes him from his English village to a desert island with the murderous Black Dog, half-mad Ben Gunn, and (of course) Long John Silver. Arr Jim lad! R.L. Stevenson (1850-1894) was born in Scotland and travelled extensively in California and the south Pacific.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Treasure Island is an adventure novel, a thrilling tale of "buccaneers and buried gold." Traditionally considered a coming of age story, it is an adventure tale of superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long John Silver—unusual for children's literature then and now.
Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner (1719) is considered by many the first English novel. Based on the real-life experiences of the castaway Alexander Selkirk, the book has had a perrenial appeal among readers of all ages-–especially the young adult reading public–-who continue to find inspiration in the inventive resourcefulness of its hero, sole survivor of a shipwreck who is marooned on an uninhabited island.
Especially poignant, after more than two decades of unbroken solitude, is the affection that Robinson develops for Friday, another survivor fleeing certain death at the hands of enemy tribesmen from the South American continent.
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 on a small island off South America.
Crusoe shows the value of single-minded labor as he pursues ways to feed, shelter, and clothe himself. His ardent wish is to escape his island – why is it that the only people who come there are cannibals? But he spends more than two decades in isolation before acquiring a sidekick – the man Friday you’ve probably heard of. And who would guess his way to salvation would depend on leading a last-ditch fight against a shipful of mutineers?
Baum, L. Frank
The timeless story of the Wizard Of Oz. Follow Dorothy as she leaves Kansas for Oz on a cyclone. She meets many strange, and wonderful people and creatures along the way. Enjoy it again with your children and family. (Summary by J. Hall)
This classic children's book by Rudyard Kipling tells the story of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves: his escapades and adventures with his dear friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, his capture by the Monkey-People, his attempt at reintegration into human society, and his ultimate triumph over the lame tiger Shere Khan. The account of Mowgli's adventures is followed by several short stories, including the tales of the brave white seal, Kotick, and the tenacious mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Packed with adventure and Jungle Law wisdom, this book has pervaded popular culture as the basis of many film and stage adaptations, including the popular Disney movie, and through its adoption as a motivational book by the Cub Scouts.
This is the classic story of Mowgli, the young boy raised by wolves in India: his escapades and adventures with his dear friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear, his capture by the Monkey-People, his attempt at reintegration into human society, and his ultimate triumph over his avowed enemy the tiger Shere Khan. Included in the book is the story of the brave white seal, Kotick, and the tenacious young mongoose, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi who battled through the night to protect his human family from a pair of sly and viscous cobras. Packed with adventure and Jungle Law wisdom, this book has pervaded popular culture as the basis of many film and stage adaptations, including the popular Disney movie.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.