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Posts Tagged ‘Western Canon’

Crime and Punishment ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by George Guidall

21 discs

Raskolnikov, a nihilistic young man in the midst of a spiritual crisis, makes the fateful decision to murder a cruel pawnbroker, justifying his actions by relying on science and reason, and creating his own morality system. The aftermath of his crime and detective Petrovich’s murder investigation result in a cat-and-mouse game.  I wanted to be moved.  I wanted to be connected to the plot.  I was not impressed, but see how it has a place of honor in literary history.  Perhaps I would have been drawn in if the reader had been anyone else but Guidall.  There isn’t a thing wrong with his performance, but his pitch is a little too familiar.  There was a time when he narrated nearly every book on the shelf.  I little bit of Guidall goes a long way.  And 21 discs is a long way.

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Ivanhoe ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Michael Page
15 discs

A century has passed since the Norman Conquest, and England is still a colony of foreign warlords. Prince John is plotting to seize the throne from his brother, Richard the Lion-Hearted, and Robin Hood and his merry band are making fools out of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Wilfred, knight of Ivanhoe, the son of Cedric the Saxon, is in love with his father’s ward, Rowena. Cedric, however, wishes her to marry Athelstane, a descendant of the royal Saxon line, whom Cedric hopes will restore the Saxon succession.

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A Tale of Two Cities  ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Frank Muller

12 Discs

The French Revolution was one of history s most explosive eras and has been captures in this epic novel.  After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the aging Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

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Sense and Sensibility (Abridged) ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Kate Winslet

The Dashwood women are left in reduced circumstances when their father dies and  they see the family estate pass to their half brother John. Eninor and Marianne arrive at their new home, a cottage on a distant relative’s property, where they experience both romance and heartbreak. The contrast between the sisters’ characters is eventually resolved as they each find love and lasting happiness.

The narration by Kate Winslet is beautiful although a good portion of Austen’s novel has been omitted for this version.  Had Kate read the entire novel I would have given it ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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Jane Eyre ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Flo Gibson

janeIn early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer, who has a terrible secret.

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Lolita ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Read by Jeremy Irons

alolitaNabokov’s wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century’s novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author’s use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration-along with heartbreak and mordant wit-abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love-love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

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