Slaughterhouse-Five

Synopsis Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner... Continue Reading →

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Les Misérables

Synopsis Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the... Continue Reading →

Dracula

Synopsis When Jonathan Harker is summoned to Transylvania to finalize a property deal for the mysterious Count Dracula he little suspects that he is unleashing a terrible evil on his fellow countrymen. In this classic novel about vampires Bram Stoker captured the fears of his age. Dracula represents everything everything the Victorians feared: the irrational,... Continue Reading →

Great Expectations

Synopsis Raised in squalor in the marsh country of Kent, the orphan Pip is taken under the wing of the eccentric and reclusive Miss Havisham—only to blindly give his heart to the dowager’s beautiful but ice-cold adopted daughter, Estella. Even as a mysterious benefactor helps to shape Pip’s life into one of fortune, success, and... Continue Reading →

The Fall of the House of Usher

Synopsis “The Fall of the House of Usher” recounts the terrible events that befall the last remaining members of the once-illustrious Usher clan before it is -- quite literally -- rent asunder. With amazing economy, Poe plunges the reader into a state of deliciously agonizing suspense. __________ Review by Michael Connery Edgar Allan Poe’s “The... Continue Reading →

Moby-Dick or, The Whale

Synopsis Ignoring prophecies of doom, the seafarer Ishmael joins the crew of a whaling expedition that is an obsession for the ship’s captain, Ahab. Once maimed by the White Whale, Moby Dick, Ahab has set out on a voyage of revenge. With godlike ferocity, he surges into dangerous waters—immune to the madness of his vision,... Continue Reading →

Absalom, Absalom!

Synopsis Published in 1936, Absalom, Absalom! is considered by many to be William Faulkner's masterpiece. Although the novel's complex and fragmented structure poses considerable difficulty to readers, the book's literary merits place it squarely in the ranks of America's finest novels. The story concerns Thomas Sutpen, a poor man who finds wealth and then marries... Continue Reading →

A Farewell to Arms

Synopsis In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer, and the... Continue Reading →

Pride and Prejudice

Synopsis In this historic romance, young Elizabeth Bennet strives for love, independence and honesty in the vapid high society of 19th century England. __________ Review by Michael Connery Set at the turn of the nineteenth century, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a timeless story well worthy of the title classic. Austen is unparalleled in her wit and bracing... Continue Reading →

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