by Franz Kafka
About the book: From its gripping first sentence onward, this novel exemplifies the term Kafkaesque. Its darkly humorous narrative recounts a bank clerk's entrapment - based on an undisclosed charge - in a maze of bureaucratic roadblocks. This is the least expensive edition available of one of the 20th century's most important novels.Franz Kafka was born July 3, 1883, into a middle class Prague Jewish family. He received his law degree in 1906 and went to work for an insurance agency, while writing on the side. In 1917, he began to suffer from tuberculosis, which would require frequent convalescence during which he was supported by his family. In 1923, he briefly moved to Berlin in the hope of distancing himself from his family's influence to concentrate on his writing. His tuberculosis worsened; he returned to Prague, and then went to a sanatorium near Vienna for treatment, where he died on June 3, 1924.
by Herman Melville
About the book: Definitive text of Billy Budd, Sailor, is presented with extensive notes and commentary enabling the reader to trace the genesis and growth of Melville's masterpiece
by Ben Jonson
About the book: V olpone, childless, rich, feigns sick, despairs, O ffers his state to hopes of several heirs, L ies languishing: his parasite receives P resents of all, assures, deludes; then weaves O ther cross plots, which ope themselves, are told. N ew tricks for safety are sought; they thrive: when bold, E ach tempts the other again, and all are sold.
by John Grisham
About the book: Criminal lawyer Jake Brigance faces the fight of his life when he is asked to defend Carl Hailey, who, in a rage of anger, shot and killed the men on trial for the rape of his daughter.
by Alessandro Manzoni
About the book: This historical romance of seventeenth-century Milan, first published in 1827, is the most famous of Italian novels. It has great breadth and depth-- indeed its moral, religious, and political themes are as applicable to the problems of our own day as they were to the Napoleonic times when it was written, or the period of the Thirty Years War in which it is set.
by Henry Fielding
About the book: Tom Jones is widely regarded as one of the first and most influential English novels. It is certainly the funniest. Tom Jones, the hero of the book, is introduced to the reader as the ward of a liberal Somerset squire. Tom is a generous but slightly wild and feckless country boy with a weakness for young women. Misfortune, followed by many spirited adventures as he travels to London to seek his fortune, teach him a sort of wisdom to go with his essential good-heartedness.
by John Galsworthy
About the book: The classic tale of a wealthy English family—and a jealous husband who will stop at nothing to gain dominion over his bride. The first installment of the critically acclaimed Forsyte Saga introduces the Forsyte clan and their endlessly fascinating intrigues. Author John Galsworthy’s take on the constricted roles of women within the confines of marriage casts an unforgiving light on traditional courtship while rendering otherwise common domestic dramas in the luscious, indelible prose that would establish him as one of English literature’s brightest luminaries. Upon acquainting the reader with the sprawling Forsyte dynasty, Galsworthy narrows his focus to the relationship between Soames Forsyte, a wealthy solicitor, and his stunning wife, Irene. Determined to keep Irene for himself, Soames slowly narrows his wife’s social circle before convincing her to move to a countryside home. And when Irene begins to take a romantic interest in architect Philip Bosinney, Soames will stop at nothing to ensure that Irene understands her place within their marriage. Widely regarded as the finest novel in an exemplary series, The Man of Property is a groundbreaking work of Victorian literature and a delightful read from first page to last. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
by C. Dickens
About the book: Bleak House, Dickens's most daring experiment in the narration of a complex plot, challenges the reader to make connections - between the fashionable and the outcast, the beautiful and the ugly, the powerful and the victims. Nowhere in Dickens's later novels is his attack on an uncaring society more imaginatively embodied, but nowhere either is the mixture of comedy and angry satire more deftly managed. Bleak House defies a single description. It is a mystery story, in which Esther Summerson discovers the truth about her birth and her unknown mother's tragic life. It is a murder story, which comes to a climax in a thrilling chase, led by one of the earliest detectives in English fiction, Inspector Bucket. And it is a fable about redemption, in which a bleak house is transformed by the resilience of human love.
by Paul Auster
About the book: An old man sits in a room, with a single door and window, a bed, a desk and a chair. Each day he awakes with no memory, unsure of whether or not he is locked into the room. Attached to the few objects around him are one-word, hand-written labels, and on the desk is a series of vaguely familiar black-and-white photographs and four piles of paper. Then a middle-aged woman called Anna enters and talks of pills and treatment, but also of love and promises. Who is this Mr Blank, and what is his fate? What does Anna represent from his past - and will he have enough time to ever make sense of the clues that arise? After the huge success of The Brooklyn Follies, his new novel sees Auster return to the metaphysical territory familiar from his enormously influential The New York Trilogy. A dark puzzle, and a game that implicates both reader and writer alike, Travels in the Scriptorium is a mind-altering exploration of language, responsibility and the passage of time. 'Travels in the Scriptorium returns to . . . the nihilistic gaiety of Beckett (in particular Krapp) or the sub-dermal violence of Pinter.' New Statesman
by Gustave Flaubert
About the book: Madame Bovary is the French writer Gustave Flaubert's debut novel. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Though the basic plot is rather simple, even archetypal, the novel's true art lies in its details and hidden patterns. Flaubert was a notorious perfectionist and claimed always to be searching for le mot juste ("the precise word").When it was first serialized in La Revue de Paris, the novel was attacked for obscenity by public prosecutors. The resulting trial, held in January 1857, made the story notorious. After Flaubert's acquittal on 7 February 1857, Madame Bovary became a bestseller when it was published as a single volume in April 1857. Flaubert's masterpiece is now considered a seminal work of realism and one of the most influential novels ever written. In fact, the notable British-American critic James Wood writes in How Fiction Works: "Flaubert established for good or ill, what most readers think of as modern realist narration, and his influence is almost too familiar to be visible".
by Saul Bellow
About the book: A masterful twist on the epistolary novel, Saul Bellow's Herzog is part confessional, part exorcism, and a wholly unique achievement in postmodern fiction. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury in Penguin Modern Classics. Is Moses Herzog losing his mind? His formidable wife Madeleine has left him for his best friend, and Herzog is left alone with his whirling thoughts - yet he still sees himself as a survivor, raging against private disasters and the myriad catastrophes of the modern age. In a crumbling house which he shares with rats, his head buzzing with ideas, he writes frantic, unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, the living and the dead, revealing the spectacular workings of his labyrinthine mind and the innermost secrets of his troubled heart. Saul Bellow (1915-2005) was a Canadian-born American writer who enjoyed a dazzling career as a novelist, marked with numerous literary prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. His books include The Adventures of Augie March, Herzog, More Die of Heartbreak, Mosby's Memoirs and Other Stories, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize The Day and The Victim. If you enjoyed Herzog, you might like Bellow's Seize the Day, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Spectacular ... surely Bellow's greatest novel'Malcolm Bradbury 'A masterpiece ... Herzog's voice, for all its wildness and strangeness and foolishness, is the voice of a civilization, our civilization'The New York Times Book Review
by Sergio De La Pava
About the book: A Naked Singularity tells the story of Casi, a child of Colombian immigrants who lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan as a public defender--one who, tellingly has never lost a trial. Never. In the book, we watch what happens when his sense of justice and even his sense of self begin to crack--and how his world then slowly devolves. It’s a huge, ambitious novel clearly in the vein of DeLillo, Foster Wallace, Pynchon, and even Melville, and it's told in a distinct, frequently hilarious voice, with a striking human empathy at its center. Its panoramic reach takes readers through crime and courts, immigrant families and urban blight, media savagery and media satire, scatology and boxing, and even a breathless heist worthy of any crime novel. If InfiniteJest stuck a pin in the map of mid-90s culture and drew our trajectory from there, A Naked Singularity does the same for the feeling of surfeit, brokenness, and exhaustion that permeates our civic and cultural life today. In the opening sentence of William Gaddis’s A Frolic of His Own, a character sneers, "Justice? You get justice in the next world. In this world, you get the law." A Naked Singularity reveals the extent of that gap, and lands firmly on the side of those who are forever getting the law.
by Robert Traver
About the book: First published by St. Martin's in 1958, Robert Traver's Anatomy of a Murder immediately became the number-one bestseller in America, and was subsequently turned into the successful and now classic Otto Preminger film. It is not only the most popular courtroom drama in American fiction, but one of the most popular novels of our time. A gripping tale of deceit, murder, and a sensational trial, Anatomy of a Murder is unmatched in the authenticity of its settings, events, and characters. This new edition should delight both loyal fans of the past and an entire new generation of readers.
by Henrik Ibsen
About the book: The first novel from a gifted new Irish writer explores the prickly issue of emigration through the eyes of a young boy,growing up against the backdrop of rural Ireland,facing the trauma of leaving the world he knows for a world he hasonly heard of.
by Salvatore Satta
About the book: At precisely nine o'clock, as he did every evening, Don Sebastiano Sanna Carboni pushed back his armchair, carefully folded the newspaper which he had read to the very last line, tidied up the little things on his desk, and prepared to go down to the ground floor... Around the turn of the twentieth century, in the isolated Sardinian town of Nuoro, the aristocratic notary Don Sebastiano Sanna reflects on his life, his family's history and the fortunes of this provincial backwater where he has lived out his days.