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    by George Orwell
    Audio Cassette (01 June, 1991)
    list price: $56.95 -- our price: $41.73
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    Editorial Review

    "Outside, even through the shut window pane, the world looked cold.Down in the street little eddies of wind were whirling dust and torn paper into spirals, and though the sun was shining and the sky a harsh blue, there seemed to be no color in anything except the posters that were plastered everywhere."

    The year is 1984; the scene is London, largest population center of Airstrip One.

    Airstrip One is part of the vast political entity Oceania, which is eternally at war with one of two other vast entities, Eurasia and Eastasia. At any moment, depending upon current alignments, all existing records show either that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia, or that it has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia. Winston Smith knows this, because his work at the Ministry of Truth involves the constant "correction" of such records. "'Whocontrols the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

    In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always Watching You and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. He knows the Party's official image of the world is a fluid fiction. He knows the Party controls the people by feeding them lies and narrowing their imaginations through a process of bewilderment and brutalization that alienates each individual from his fellows and deprives him of every liberating human pursuit from reasoned inquiry to sexual passion. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

    Newspeak, doublethink, thoughtcrime--in 1984, George Orwell created a whole vocabulary of words concerning totalitarian control that have since passed into our common vocabulary. More importantly, he has portrayed a chillingly credible dystopia. In our deeply anxious world, the seeds of unthinking conformity are everywhere in evidence; and Big Brother is always looking for his chance. --DanielHintzsche ... Read more


    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 078610239X
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Fiction (Unabridged)    2. Audio Adult: Other    3. Classics    4. Fiction    5. Science Fiction - General   


    The Bible on Compact Disc NT NLT
    by Tyndale
    Audio CD (01 July, 2000)
    list price: $29.99 -- our price: $19.79
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    Isbn: 0842339140
    Sales Rank: 145474
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Inspiration / Philosophy    2. Audio Adult: Other    3. Bibles - New Living Translation    4. Religion   


    A Catcher in the Rye
    by J.D. Salinger
    Audio Cassette (01 April, 1989)
    list price: $9.95
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    Editorial Review

    Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins,

    "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

    His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1556511272
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Fiction   

    The Great Gatsby/Cassettes
    by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alexander Scourby
    Audio Cassette (01 October, 1989)
    list price: $19.95
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    Editorial Review

    In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald's finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsby captured the spirit of the author's generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald's--and his country's--most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings."Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter--tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning--"Gatsby's rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

    It's also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby's quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means--and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. "Her voice is full of money," Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel's more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy's patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem. ... Read more


    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 0945353413
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Audiobooks    4. Classics   

    Scarlet Letter, The
    by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dick Hill
    Audio Cassette (01 June, 1993)
    list price: $57.25 -- our price: $41.33
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    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 1561001384
    Sales Rank: 145150
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Fiction (Unabridged)    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Specimens    5. Talking books    6. Fiction / Classics   


    To Kill a Mockingbird
    by Harper Lee, Roses Prichard
    Audio CD (14 October, 2000)
    list price: $49.95
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    Editorial Review

    "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.... When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out."

    Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus--three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up.

    Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout's first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children's consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well--in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout's hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind "when you really see them." By turns funny, wise, and heartbreaking, To Kill a Mockingbird is one classic that continues to speak to new generations, and deserves to be reread often. --Alix Wilber ... Read more


    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 1572701900
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Fiction (Unabridged)    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Audiobooks    4. Classics    5. Fiction    6. Legal   

    Of Mice and Men
    by John Steinbeck
    Audio Cassette (01 September, 1992)
    list price: $18.95 -- our price: $12.89
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    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 0453007902
    Sales Rank: 66555
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Literary    5. Specimens    6. Talking books   


    Animal Farm
    by George Orwell, Richard Brown
    Audio Cassette (01 April, 2001)
    list price: $21.95
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    Editorial Review

    Since its publication in 1946, George Orwell's fable of a workers' revolution gone wrong has rivaled Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea as the Shortest Serious Novel It's OK to Write a Book Report About. (The latter is three pages longer and less fun to read.) Fueled by Orwell's intense disillusionment with Soviet Communism, Animal Farm is a nearly perfect piece of writing, both an engaging story and an allegory that actually works. When the downtrodden beasts of Manor Farm oust their drunken human master and take over management of the land, all are awash in collectivist zeal. Everyone willingly works overtime, productivity soars, and for one brief, glorious season, every belly is full. The animals' Seven Commandment credo is painted in big white letters on the barn. All animals are equal. No animal shall drink alcohol, wear clothes, sleep in a bed, or kill a fellow four-footed creature. Those that go upon four legs or wings are friends and the two-legged are, by definition, the enemy. Too soon, however, the pigs, who have styled themselves leaders by virtue of their intelligence, succumb to the temptations of privilege and power. "We pigsare brainworkers. The whole management and organisation of the farm dependon us.Day and night, we are watching over your welfare. It is for yoursake that we drink that milk and eat those apples." While this swinish brotherhood sells out the revolution, cynically editing the Seven Commandments to excuse their violence and greed, the common animals are once again left hungry and exhausted, no better off than in the days when humans ran the farm. Satire Animal Farm may be, but it's a stony reader who remains unmoved when the stalwart workhorse, Boxer, having given his all to his comrades, is sold to the glue factory to buy booze for the pigs. Orwell's view of Communism is bleak indeed, but given the history of the Russian people since 1917, his pessimism has an air of prophecy. --Joyce Thompson ... Read more


    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 0786119241
    Subjects:  1. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    2. Classics    3. Fiction    4. Literary   

    by Kurt Jr. Vonnegut
    Audio Cassette (01 February, 1986)
    list price: $16.99
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    Editorial Review

    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 of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.

    Don't let the ease of reading fool you--Vonnegut's isn't a conventional, or simple, novel. He writes, "There are almost no characters in this story, and almost no dramatic confrontations, because most of the people in it are so sick, and so much the listless playthings of enormous forces. One of the main effects of war, after all, is that people are discouraged from being characters..." Slaughterhouse-Five (taken from the name of the building where the POWs were held) is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch- 22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the sameimagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it a unique poignancy--and humor. ... Read more


    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 0886461308
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Fiction    5. Historical - General    6. Literary    7. Science Fiction - General   

    Selections from A Clockwork Orange (Single Cassette)
    by Anthony Burgess
    Audio Cassette (01 September, 1996)
    list price: $12.00 -- our price: $9.60
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    • Unabridged

    Isbn: 0694517526
    Sales Rank: 634672
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Science Fiction - General   


    The Republic
    by Plato, Tom Griffith, Bruce Alexander
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio CD (01 May, 2000)
    list price: $26.98 -- our price: $17.00
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    • Abridged
    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Guide for Every Statesman
    Plato's Republic is often quoted as one of the finest examples of philosophical thought of the western world. Written through the eyes of Socrates, Plato takes the reader into a world were debates are raged over such topics as justice, war, marriage, and the way a state should be ran. Plato holds accountable all theories presented, and each discussion is abundant with the Socratic way of teaching ... the best way to argue. It's a phenomenal book, a great read, and a great way to help one answer life's little mysteries in your own way. This book instills in its reader a sense of personal responsibility for his/her thoughts and philosophies, and gives him/her a new tool to aid him/her in discovering the true answers. If you're looking for a career in politics, the military, law, history, or just love to learn new ways, then Plato's Republic is the best thing since Coke. Just watch out the syntax and take it slow.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The begining of political science
    The Republic is considered one of the earliest guides for a democratic governmental formation. Book is presented in dialogue form making it easy to follow and understand.Another classic must read for political scientist or Greek enthusiasts.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Has great insight for philosophy but...
    Tends to be very circular in reasoning.I had a hard time understanding most of what was being said.I believe that there are better books in the PHIL department.

    You decide ... Read more

    Isbn: 9626341955
    Sales Rank: 193986
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Inspiration / Philosophy    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Audiobooks    4. Early works to 1800    5. History & Surveys - Ancient & Classical    6. Metaphysics    7. Philosophy    8. Political science    9. Utopias   


    The Prince
    by Niccolo Machiavelli
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 August, 1997)
    list price: $23.95
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    Editorial Review

    When Lorenzo de' Medici seized control of the Florentine Republic in 1512, he summarily fired the Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Signoria and set in motion a fundamental change in the way we think about politics. The person who held the aforementioned office with the tongue-twisting title was none other than Niccolò Machiavelli, who, suddenly finding himself out of a job after 14 years of patriotic service, followed the career trajectory of many modern politicians into punditry. Unable to become an on-air political analyst for a television network, he only wrote a book. But what a book The Prince is. Its essential contribution to modern political thought lies in Machiavelli's assertion of the then revolutionary idea that theological and moral imperatives have no place in the political arena. "It must be understood," Machiavelli avers, "that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." With just a little imagination, readers can discern parallels between a 16th-century principality and a 20th-century presidency.--Tim Hogan ... Read more

    Reviews (211)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling ... Especially for Despots
    Perhaps it is fair to call Nicollo Machiavelli a teacher of the tyrants. After all, this early sixteenth century book has long served as a reference guide to the likes of Hitler and Mussolini, despots who ruled with an iron fist and unmitigated cruelty. Yet, certain aspects of Machiavelli's text might also serve in some capacity to aid a free society as well.

    Written by Niccolo Machiavelli (a Florentine nobleman of the early sixteenth century) to a local ruler, "The Prince" is a short text of just over 100 pages which reads very much like a personal letter. The text was sent as a gift by Machiavelli with an explanation that he could not afford to purchase a gift and had written this instead. It is, at the very least, likely that the gift was meant to find the author a place in the royals hearts and obtain Machiavelli some recognition.

    "The Prince" is simply a guide. It instructs the reader on becoming a ruler and in the maintenance of power. From launching attacks on fellow kingdoms to conducting oneself in public, this book covers it all. Machiavelli dictates that a ruler must be affable, yet must stand above others at all times. He must know how to please both his guards and his peasants. He must form alliances and know when to break them. He must never let down his guard.

    More controversial are the many cruel "necessities" dictated by Machiavelli. Machiavelli unabashedly declares that when taking over (deposing) or otherwise unseating a leader you must kill all of his/her bloodline. There must be no one left to vie for the throne. And that is one of many of the mandates that has fixed him forever with a terrible reputation. One nickname for Satan himself is Ol' Nick, probably taken from the Niccolo in Machiavelli's name. When it comes to grabbing and maintaining power, Machiavelli pulls no punches. His suggestion of eradicating a leader's bloodline harkens one back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917 Russia, When Czar Nicholas and his family were slain. It is easy to imagine "The Prince" having been used as a reference by many of the world's cruel dictators.

    Machiavelli also cites many examples from governments of his time, such as the emperors of the Roman Empire. In each case he explains why the leadership did or did not work and what we can learn from it.

    I found this book very entertaining. "The Prince" is as harsh as anything being published today and enthralling, but it will appeal more to history or political fans than others. It is also short enough not to be too daunting a read. "War and Peace" it is not.

    While Machiavelli's arguments are valid (albeit cruel) there is one bothersome detail in his work that serves as a blaring irony. Upon exacting on us some barbaric charge that bloodlines must be slain or that untrustworthy officers must be killed, the author will turn around and give reference to God and declare that a good leader should always keep aware of him. Ol' Nick vows to slay and then to do God's good work all in the same breath. Hmmm...

    Fascinating. Edifying. "The Prince" makes me more aware of the world around me and even more certain that I never want to go into politics. One final thought is the much-used quote by Machiavelli, taken from "The Prince:"

    "Fortune is a woman and must be taken by force."

    That's a standard Machiavellian idea for you. Pick up a copy of The Prince, and judge the book for yourself. For those of you who HATE the idea of power and tyranny, let me make a contrasting recommendation -- a recent Amazon purchase I truly enjoyed -- 180 degrees opposite from the philosophy of Machiavelli - it's a book called THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition by Richard Perez, a very engaging, comic novel told from the point of view of an admitted "weakling." Thank goodness.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to politics.
    The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli is a great introduction to politics. Machiavelli encourages rulers to do what is expedient rather than what is moral.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A short guidebook on how to retain political power
    In The Prince, Machiavelli advises 16th century Italian rulers to let ideals take a back seat when dealing with the sober realities of governing a state.The author suggests that it is often necessary for the ruler to be ruthless and unjust during both war and peacetime in order to retain power.In fact, Machiavelli asserts that it's better to gain respect by cowing the citizens into submission rather than being generous and gaining their love.

    I found The Prince to be very interesting and enjoyable.Aside from the stuff dealing with what kinds of soldiers to use in war,the advice in it is still relevant today though perhaps more applicable to corporate management than to running a country.Human rights in the modern world are generally well protected and any unwarranted cruelties and injustices would be widely publicized and the ruler chastised.But in the competitive corporate world, putting nice and innocent employees out on the street in order to meet the bottom line is a daily occurrence.Or when someone makes it to an executive position, he/she frequently demotes rivals.Of course, when it comes to dealing with competitors, it's take no prisoners.I'm not saying it's right to do these things, but that's unfortunately how the business world works.

    After reading this book, I wondered whether I would be capable of being Machiavelli's ideal prince.If I had to make certain unpleasant decisions in order to safeguard the state, could I follow through on them in good conscience?For example, if I uncover a rival's plot to assassinate me and then put him to death, Machiavelli wants me to murder the rival's entire family so that no revengeful action will be forthcoming.I suppose that I have a difficult time relating to the way people thought about human rights four hundred years ago.

    More to the point, since I work in the corporate world I may one day have to make unpleasant decisions.I think that I just might consult The Prince to help me make those decisions.It's certainly not *the* authority on these kinds of things, but offers a sound, logical viewpoint that's worth listening to. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0786100796
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. History & Theory - General   

    The Nicomachean Ethics
    by Aristotle, Nadia May
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 July, 2000)
    list price: $44.95 -- our price: $44.95
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    • Unabridged
    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Concepts that should be incorporated in our life....
    I guess this book is what you would call the predecessor of the current Self-Help Books.
    The greatness of Nicomachean Ethics resides in the fact that it talks about all the different areas of life, justice, happiness, love and many others.
    The style of the writing is not very appealing -keep in mind it was written around the 3rd century BC -, nonetheless is clear and goes straight to the point.
    It is a good book that anyone who enjoys growing up should read...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Psychotherapy? Happy Pills? or Aristotle? -- Aristotle!!!
    A previous reviewer described Nicomachean Ethics as "the art of living." I would agree with this sentiment. Aristotle not only teaches the art of living - but he teaches us that it is hard work. Such a conviction stands in stark contrast to the facile solutions that are contrived for "happiness" today. Happiness is not easy. It may not even feel like what we assume it is in our contemporary society (i.e., a feeling of pleasure, self-esteem, material goods). It is much deeper. It is about living the good life. A must read for all those interested in psychotherapy, education, and "the art of living."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Doing the right thing...
    Aristotle was a philosopher in search of the chief good for human beings. This chief good is eudaimonia, which is often translated as 'happiness' (but can also be translated as 'thriving' or 'flourishing'). Aristotle sees pleasure, honour and virtue as significant 'wants' for people, and then argues that virtue is the most important of these.

    In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle makes the claim that happiness is something which is both precious and final. This seems to be so because it is a first principle or ultimate starting point. For, it is for the sake of happiness that we do everything else, and we regard the cause of all good things to be precious and divine. Moreover, since happiness is an activity of the soul in accordance with complete and perfect virtue, it is necessary to consider virtue, as this will be the best way of studying happiness.

    How many of us today speak of happiness and virtue in the same breath? Aristotle's work in the Nicomachean Ethics is considered one of his greatest achievements, and by extension, one of the greatest pieces of philosophy from the ancient world. When the framers of the American Declaration of Independence were thinking of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, there is little doubt they had an acquaintance with Aristotle's work connecting happiness, virtue, and ethics together.

    When one thinks of ethical ideas such as an avoidance of extremes, of taking the tolerant or middle ground, or of taking all things in moderation, one is tapping into Aristotle's ideas. It is in the Nicomachean Ethics that Aristotle proposes the Doctrine of the Mean - he states that virtue is a 'mean state', that is, it aims for the mean or middle ground. However, Aristotle is often misquoted and misinterpreted here, for he very quickly in the text disallows the idea of the mean to be applied in all cases. There are things, actions and emotions, that do not allow the mean state. Thus, Aristotle tends to view virtue as a relative state, making the analogy with food - for some, two pounds of meat might be too much food, but for others, it might be too little. The mean exists between the state of deficiency, too little, and excessiveness, too much.

    Aristotle proposes many different examples of virtues and vices, together with their mean states. With regard to money, being stingy and being illiberal with generosity are the extremes, the one deficient and the other excessive. The mean state here would be liberality and generosity, a willingness to buy and to give, but not to extremes. Anger, too, is highlighted as having a deficient state (too much passivity), an excessive state (too much passion) and a mean state (a gentleness but firmness with regard to emotions).

    Aristotle states that one of the difficulties with leading a virtuous life is that it takes a person of science to find the mean between the extremes (or, in some cases, Aristotle uses the image of a circle, the scientist finding the centre). Many of us, being imperfect humans, err on one side or the other, choosing in Aristotle's words, the lesser of two evils. Aristotle's wording here, that a scientist is the only one fully capable of virtue, has a different meaning for scientist - this is a pre-modern, pre-Enlightenment view; for Aristotle, the person of science is one who is capable of observation and calculation, and this can take many different forms.

    Aristotle uses different kinds of argumentation in the Nicomachean Ethics. He uses a dialectical method, as well as a functional method. In the dialectical method, there are opposing ideas held in tension, whose interactions against each other yield a result - this is often how the mean between extremes is derived. However, there are other times that Aristotle seems to prefer a more direct, functional approach. Both of these methods lead to the same understanding for Aristotle's sense of the rational - that humanity's highest or final good is happiness.

    There is a discussion of the human soul (for this is where virtue and happiness reside). Aristotle argues that virtue is not a natural state; we are not born with nor do we acquire through any natural processes virtue, but rather through 'habitation', an embedding process or enculturation that makes these a part of our soul. However, it is not sufficient for Aristotle's virtue that one merely function as a virtuous person or that virtuous things be done. This is not a skill, but rather an art, and to be virtuous, one must live virtuously and act virtuously with intention as well as form.

    Of course, one of the implications here is that virtue is a quantifiable thing, that periodically resurfaces in later philosophies. How do we calculate virtue?

    This is a difficult question, and not one that Aristotle answers in any definitive way. However, more important than this is the key difference that Aristotle displayed setting himself apart from his tutor Plato; rather than seeing the possession of 'the good' or 'virtue' as the highest ideal, Aristotle is concerned with the practical aspects, the ethics of this. Based on Aristotle's lectures in Athens in the fourth century BCE, this remains one of the most important works on ethical and moral philosophy in history.
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 0786117931
    Sales Rank: 101323
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Nonfiction (Unabridged)    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Ethics & Moral Philosophy    4. History & Surveys - Ancient & Classical    5. Philosophy   


    Aeneid Cassette, The (Highbridge Classics)
    by Virgil, ChristopherRavenscroft, RobertFitzgerald
    Audio Cassette (01 December, 1995)
    list price: $34.95 -- our price: $34.95
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    • Abridged

    Isbn: 1565111281
    Sales Rank: 614703
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Literary    5. Fiction / General   


    The Odyssey (Penguin Classics)
    by Homer, Bernard Knox, Ian McKellen, Robert Fagles
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 November, 1996)
    list price: $49.95 -- our price: $31.47
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    Editorial Review

    Robert Fagles's translation is a jaw-droppingly beautiful rendering of Homer's Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic of classical Greece. Fagles captures the rapid and direct language of the original Greek, while telling the story of Odysseus in lyrics that ring with a clear, energetic voice. The story itself has never seemed more dynamic, the action more compelling, nor the descriptions so brilliant in detail. It is often said that every age demands its own translation of the classics. Fagles's work is a triumph because he has not merely provided a contemporary version of Homer's classic poem, but has located the right language for the timeless character of this great tale. Fagles brings the Odyssey so near, one wonders if the Hollywood adaption can be far behind. This is a terrific book. ... Read more

    Reviews (126)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Odyssey Translation Available
    This translation is by far the best I've read.Fagles is the greatest storyteller of mythology in our time.I must caution, however; be prepared to be bored.The first 75 pages are not that interesting.I also suggest that you read Fagles' The Iliad prior to trying The Odyssey on for size.

    This story is also for the more intelligent sector of our population.You must have a broad vocabulary to comprehend the plotline and patience to stick with it.I personally suggest that you annotate as you read (and include some unknown word definitions) on either Post-its or in the margins.Keep that pocket dictionary handy!

    But if you like adventure and the Greek Gods, then this is surely your book.After all, everyone lives their own Odyssey, whether it be the journey home of Odysseus, the glorious death of Achilles, or just the time we spend trying to find ourselves.Read this book, and begin your own Odyssey.

    2-0 out of 5 stars To each his own
    Personally, I thought that this book was extrememly boring. I had to read it in school and I didn't understand it at all. The words were very confusing and the plot had so many different aspects that it was hard for me to keep up. However, if you are a person that likes action and fighting scenes, then I am sure that you would love this book. Many of the guys in my class loved it becuase of the fight scenes. It all just depends on what type of novel you enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars War and Penelope.
    I hope that those who read my review will forgive me because I would like to talk mainly about Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. When I read the Odyssey for the first time, I thought it was a wonderful adventure book with beautiful and dangerous women and I laughed with that half-wit of a Polyphemus, one of the cyclops. But near the end something was missing, it was not what it should be. Odysseus came home. His son Telemachus and his swineherd were glad and his dog could finally die with the comforting knowledge that it's master was among the living. Why didn't Penelope make a joyful sound ? Why was she so silent ? I shrugged my shoulders and said:'women!'. It's only years later I began to understand a little. So many people died in the Trojan war. The many adorers of Penelope were slaughtered by Odysseus with no compassion at all. The silence of Penelope was a reproachful silence. She was wondering how many more dead people it would take before men could live in peace. We still ask that question. ... Read more

    Isbn: 014086430X
    Subjects:  1. Ancient, Classical & Medieval    2. Audio - Drama / Poetry    3. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    4. Audiobooks    5. Classics    6. Continental European    7. Epic poetry, Greek    8. Odysseus (Greek mythology)    9. Poetry    10. Translations into English    11. Poetry anthologies: classical, early & medieval   


    The Iliad (Classics on Cassette)
    by Homer, Robert Fagles, Derek Jacobi
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 June, 1992)
    list price: $34.95 -- our price: $22.02
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    Editorial Review

    This groundbreaking English version by Robert Fagles is the most important recent translation of Homer's great epic poem. The verse translation has been hailed by scholars as the new standard, providing an Iliad that delights modern sensibility and aesthetic without sacrificing the grandeur and particular genius of Homer's own style and language. The Iliad is one of the two great epics of Homer, and is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to say the Iliad is a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the tenth and final year of the Greek siege of Troy. ... Read more


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    Reviews (98)

    3-0 out of 5 stars A valiant attempt at accessibility
    Fagles' critically-acclaimed new translation does its darnedest to make the Iliad, in parts one of the most tedious and repetitive poems ever composed, accessible to today's popular audience: and it does a pretty good job.

    For some of us masochists, the tedium and repetition was part of the charm of the original: I delighted in the idea of describing a war, full of twists of fate and visceral action, in laborious detail, to the point of cataloguing shipcrews and listing fallen warriors on either side for pages on end. The first translation I read was the 1891 Lang/Leaf/Myers rendering (now available only second hand in Globe, Modern Library, or early US Penguin editions). Roughly equivalent to W. S. Smith's contemporary Rabelais, this prose version is full of mock-Tudor archaisms in word ("yea", "beauteous", "everywhither") and phrasing ("Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable"), stiff, dignified and marmoreal. The LLM translation is solemn and beautiful, and very boring.

    Those who value 'accuracy' protest at this sort of thing: Homer's swift oral verse, they say, is quite the opposite of the over-polished Victorian philology on display here. For these purists, less interested in cultural reinterpretation than in an accurate 'recapturing' of the original (if that were possible), Fagles' translation, the polar opposite of LLM's, will be ideal. The edition begins with a long and excellent introduction by the Harvard classicist Bernard Knox, summarising twentieth-century Homeric scholarship with a particular focus on Milman Parry and his investigations into oral folk traditions.

    Fagles' rhythmic free-verse text is far more fluid than LLM's prose: F knows well how to arrange the ictus of his lines for maximum punch -- compare the opening words to LLM's above:

    Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
    murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses

    As intended, Fagles manages to write like a man orating, his phrases short and momentous, full of rhetorical questions and interjections. The free verse allows him the flexibility denied, for instance, to Pope's strict pentametered couplets. At times, however, the rendering is too informal for my taste, employing such idioms as "lorded it over" and "dead on their feet". And if Fagles captures the verb-oriented rapidity of Homer (of the kind noted by Bruno Snell in 'The Discovery of the Mind'), he misses the ornament and mongrel richness of Homer's vocabulary.

    He succeeds in giving a life to Homer; without a good command of Greek I must withhold my scepticism that this life is Homer's own, as Fagles wants us to believe. Occasionally, however, one's trust wavers. For instance, I counted six variants on the phrase "or was it all a dream?" in the text, the first being spoken by Helen to Priam as she sits on the Trojan walls in the Book 3 (in a scene referred to as the "teichoscopy"), describing the Greek heroes to the aged king. Fagles' Helen says, "There was a land once... or was it all a dream?" The phrase, or rather the sentiment, seemed entirely incongruous to me. My suspicion proved correct: there is nothing to suggest this in the Greek. The Iliad is not a wistful poem! I cannot fathom why Fagles saw fit to include such an expression again and again in his translation. This might seem like pedantry, but I am no classical scholar: who knows what other additions have been added to the text?

    Despite these curiosities, Fagles has produced a very readable version, and should be commended for doing so; having this and the LLM side by side provides a great deal of satisfaction for this aesthete.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Take that, Lattimore.
    As a Classical scholar (sorry, not trying to sound overly pretentious) having read a great deal of the Iliad in Greek, I can confidently say that Robert Fagles' astoundingly beautiful and powerful translation is the closest to perfect of any I have read.In my first year of college, I had never read the Iliad and we were assigned Richmond Lattimore's translation to read over the summer - reading Lattimore's Iliad, the fame of which seems to stem only from the fact that it is "literal", was insufferably dull, usually extremely stilted and awkward, and almost turned me off of Homer entirely.Luckily, I had previously had the pleasure of reading Fagles' translation of Aeschylus' Oresteia and soon discovered that he had translated the Iliad and the Odyssey as well - and a lucky thing it was.Reading Fagles' Iliad, I became more and more engrossed in the immeasurable beaty of Homer's poetry.When I was finally able to read the Iliad in Greek, I only gained more respect for Fagles.While Lattimore can certainly be considered "literal", he is often seems obsessed with being literal to the exclusion of faithfulness in tone, comprehensibility, and good poetry.While Fagles may be less literal than Lattimore, he is unsurpassed in capturing the feeling of the Iliad.His translation is not only accessible, it is full of life and while it is not word-for-word literal, it is infinitely more faithful and respectful to Homer than Lattimore's dull, garrulous work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audio Cassette Review -- A stunning performance!
    Derek Jacobi, one of the world's greatest actors, provides a superb reading of the Robert Fagles translation of the Iliad.Reading the book and listening to Jacobi are different artistic experiences, each wonderful and enjoyable. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0453007740
    Subjects:  1. Achilles (Greek mythology)    2. Audio - Drama / Poetry    3. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    4. Audiobooks    5. Classics    6. Continental European    7. Poetry    8. Trojan War   


    The Inferno of Dante: A New Verse Translation
    by Dante Alighieri, Seamus Heaney, Frank Bidart, Louise Gluck, Robert Pinsky
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 December, 1998)
    list price: $24.95 -- our price: $16.97
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    Editorial Review

    The one quality that all classic works of literature share istheir timelessness. Shakespeare still plays in Peoria 400 years afterhis death because the stories he dramatized resonate in modern readers'hearts and minds; methods of warfare have changed quite a bit since theTrojan War described by Homer in his Iliad, but thepassions and conflicts that shaped such warriors as Achilles,Agamemnon, Patroclus, and Odysseus still find their counterparts todayon battlefields from Bosnia to Afghanistan. Likewise, a little travelguide to hell written by the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri in the13th century remains in print at the end of the 20th century, and itcontinues to speak to new generations of readers. There have beencountless translations of the Inferno, but this one by poetRobert Pinsky is both eloquent and tailored to our times.

    Yes, this is an epic poem, but don't let that put you off. An excellentintroduction provides context for the work, while detailed notes oneach canto are a virtual who's who of 13th-century Italian politics,culture, and literature. Best of all, Pinsky's brilliant translationcommunicates the horror, despair, and terror of hell with suchimmediacy, you can almost smell the sulfur and feel the heat from therain of fire as Dante--led by his faithful guide Virgil--descends lowerand lower into the pit. Dante's journey through Satan's kingdom mustrate as one of the great fictional travel tales of all time, and Pinskydoes it great justice. ... Read more

    Reviews (40)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic tale with a wonderful translation
    Robert Pinsky's translation of Dante's INFERNO is without a doubt the best English version of this classic medieval tale.Aside from having found a way to approximate Dante's stunning terza rima rhyme scheme in English, Pinsky also does a splendid job reproducing the feel of the Italian original.

    Dante's writing is fast, lucid, and noble--Homeric in a sense, but more terse.The lines, rarely enjambed, flow into one another, rushing down the page like a waterfall nearing the edge of a precipice.It is this speed and fluidity that makes Dante so compelling and, perhaps, what makes this new translation a ring of excellence.

    While nothing can compare with the sublimity of enjoying Dante in Italian, Pinsky's English translation is just about as good as it gets.

    Adam Glover

    5-0 out of 5 stars From an infrequent reader's point of view
    It is late this evening.I have been reading reviews and articles dealing with the late Hunter Thompson.Somehow I thought of the Divine Comedy (Dante's Inferno) this evening.I have not read the book in 4 or more years but it has stuck with me like hardly any other.I am not a big reader.I found the book in a music store dumpster (that's what fun is when you love in a small redneck town) and was captivated.I had heard of the book and decided to keep and indulge in its offerings.On a strange note, I had recently gotten into Tori Amos' album "Little Earthquakes".I began reading the book, lying on the floor, simultaneously listening to Little Earthquakes on repeat.Not to sound like Dark Side/Wizard of Oz but the two really compliment each other very well.For anyone interested in this novel/poem I highly recommend listening to Little Earthquakes while reading it.Or for music lovers out there who have already read the book, go back and read it again under the influence of Little Earthquakes.It is an eerie yet beautiful experience I cannot forget.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A marvelous translation of a book that defines "the canon"
    It has been said that Dante and Shakespeare do not belong to the Western canon:they ARE the canon.Certainly, after nearly seven hundred years, Dante's COMEDY retains its power to move, inspire, and delight.But what stands out most about this masterpiece is how accessible and readable it remains.If one reads other masterpieces that are contemporary with it, the contrast is stark.It is almost as if the centuries do not stand between him and us.

    Robert Pinsky's translation is a truly remarkable rendering of the first part of Dante's masterpiece.The worst criticism that can be made of it is that it is the only part of the work that he has translated so far.I do not know that he plans on translating PURGATORY and PARADISE, but anyone reading INFERNO will pray that he will.Like any translator of Dante, Pinsky had to make some decisions about how he was going to proceed.Although many point out that he decided to employ Dante's terza rima, this isn't quite true.Yes, he does maintain the rhyme scheme, whereby the final syllable in the middle line of each tercet rhymes with the final syllable of the first and third lines of the next tercet (i.e., a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c), he doesn't employ Dante's meter.There is, in fact, no meter at all, and therefore the lines do not scan at all and therefore contains no rhythm.I found, in fact, that I couldn't read this aloud as poetry at all.It is, however, a marvelously dynamic prose.If it possesses none of the rhythm of poetry, the translation does have a marvelous, driving prose rhythm, and one feels the text moving forward with a deliciously irresistible pace.If one compares Pinsky's dynamic translation with that of Dorothy Sayers, say, which was also an attempt at an English terza rima translation, one will understand the point.

    In addition to the superb translation, one gets in this volume many of the other goodies one anticipates in any decent version of Dante.The intro is written by one of the dean's of Dante scholarship, John Freccero, who also assists with some of the notes to the text.The notes, though not exhaustive, are exceedingly pertinent to the text.They lean away from minute commentary on every aspect towards focusing on those things that a reader truly needs to get through the text.

    The story itself needs little elucidation.Dante, driven into a dark valley by three beasts, finds himself at the mouth of hell, where the poet Virgil, alerted indirectly by the Virgin Mary herself to save Dante, leads him on a trip through hell and purgatory, at the end of which Dante's beloved Beatrice meets him and takes him through heaven.It was an often-employed genre, not least by Virgil himself, but Dante surpassed all of his predecessors.Interestingly, although the INFERNO is the most popular of the three books, it is also the least personal.In this volume Dante is primarily an onlooker, an observer.In PURGATORY, on the other hand, each step through purgatory is an opportunity for Dante to examine his own life.Luckily, Dante is the greatest of observers, and the world his tells us of has a vividness and concreteness that is nothing short of genius.Over and over one is astonished at Dante's genius in the world he imagines.There is also a wonderful contradiction, in that what he imagines is horrific--the punishment of the damned for their sins, with some of the punishments extraordinary in their inventiveness--but his character's interaction with the damned is for the most part oddly respectful and frequently compassionate.He does on a couple of occasions treat the damned with hostility, but that it is the exception.What is especially amazing is his relative tolerance towards Jews and Moslems.There are Jews in hell, but their presence there seems to have less to do with being Jewish than in having committed specific acts.And although one ring of hell contains burning mosques containing the souls of Moslems, and there is a particularly vivid encounter with Muhammad and Ali, Dante isn't seized with any particular bloodlust towards the religion as a whole.In fact, in limbo, where he encounters the righteous pagans, we find three notable Muslims:Saladin, Avicenna, and Averroes.

    There are a host of great translations of Dante, but this is definitely one of the translations that can be most highly recommended to those approaching the text for the first time. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140867384
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Drama / Poetry    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Audiobooks    4. Continental European    5. Hell    6. Poetry   


    by Leo Tolstoy
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (July, 2001)
    list price: $13.95
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    Editorial Review

    Some people say Anna Karenina is the single greatest novel ever written, which makes about as much sense to me as trying to determine the world's greatest color. But there is no doubt that Anna Karenina, generally considered Tolstoy's best book, is definitely one ripping great read. Anna, miserable in her loveless marriage, does the barely thinkable and succumbs to her desires for the dashing Vronsky. I don't want to give away the ending, but I will say that 19th-century Russia doesn't take well to that sort of thing. ... Read more


    • Abridged
    Reviews (218)

    5-0 out of 5 stars !!!ZESTICA!!!
    how anna karenina's struggle to tame love's seagullusiveness causes our souls to melt!this woman, refusing to accept life's dust-nausea, incapable of feeling more razors within her heart scrape and tear, yearning for love's maximo and its bullion, even fighting against her desire for impropriety when she re-bukes vronsky, castigates him and orders him to leave, un-doubtedly will maintain a chamber in ever soul who familiar-izes themselves with her dilemma.she hungers for a bloom that will invest her life with lustre and meaning, she demands that existence vibrate with more spasmo than a meaningless slog through the congo jungle, mosquitos everywhere harassing, steam arising from the ground, a goat for a guide.she wants eldorado, scintillata, moon-foam and love silk.she wants her soul to enflame itself in the arms of a man, satisfaction, the orbs of jasper, yet once more love proves ephemeral at best, elusive at worse.we all have wrestled with these demons.even if our society doesn't nail-punish extra-marrital discourse as her culture did, nevertheless we have still been oppresed by venus delight in torture.for a time anna does triumph, her and vronsky do taste for a brief time aphrodizjum's wealthy acuity and its gentles luxo-balm, yet, like all great things, it inevitably fades into the sands of the sahara, vronsky flames diminish slightly and anna is left suffering in the gobi desert, her soul affamished for throb.it is a powerful story, robust, quaking and formidible.we razor-lament the truths it reveals and we shrink in apathy that we will ever overcome the spears at aphrodite's disposal

    kyle foley, author of Lorelei Pusued, Wrestles with God

    4-0 out of 5 stars Tolstoy At His Best
    Adultery has been a popular topic for novels throughout the century but no one has ever done the lucid subject justice except for Leo Tolstoy. In the glamorous society of mid 19th century Russia is where Tolstoy lays his scene. Anna Karenina, a beautiful, spirirted woman meets a handsome and distuinguished soldier, Alexis Vronksy, who falls head over heels in love with Anna. Meanwhile Constantine Levin, an awkward and shy farmer comes to propose to his beloved Kitty Scherbatsky who is in love or believes she is in love with the elegant Alexis Vronksy. What occurs afterwards is a suspenseful and beautifully written piece of literature about these four main character. The work was to orginally have been titled, "Two Marriages" but the intriging character of Anna Karenina pushed and shoved her way on top. This novel has the same intricate plot as "War and Peace" but it is not as burdensome with long essays about the art of war. "Anna Karenina" is an awesome piece of work!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Happy Families are All Alike . . .
    I first read Anna Karenina as a young women entranced with the milieu of Anna's character and Tolstoy's depiction of her romantic and social dilemmas. In the story of Anna Karenina, the conundrums surrounding Anna's pursuit of emancipated life with her lover threatens to consume everything meaningful to her; social position, wealth and family. Yet she remains an enormously sympathetic character as she is borne along by desire.

    Anna's compelling love is wrested from the dreary ruins of an emotionally unsatisfying marriage. The price extracted from her for the experience of fulfillment is destruction of her life. Someone, somewhere once said: "half the sin is scandal."

    Anna's fate is a great work of archtypal denouement that ends in tragedy. Yet importantly, Anna's ending is not the end of the book, nor is her saga the complete "story." Anna Karenina's character embodies the conflict of individual fulfillment in opposition with social obligation. Like the world of the late 19th century, the greater world of those obligations remains a painfully unromantic place. This what makes Anna Karenina both devastating and timeless.

    I have read Anna Karenina four times. After finishing the bookfor the second time, I began to see the deeper parable of Tolstoy's story. I realized that a second, less obvious story exists within the novel that bears truth to Tolstoy's first sentence of the book, the great classic among famous opening lines . . ."Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way..."

    The characters of Kitty and Levin provide the wisdom of Tolstoy's legendary first sentence. Though less dramatic than Anna and certainly more conventional, Kitty and Levin are as much tortured by their desire to achieve the ideal of true love as Anna.

    In contrast to Anna's character, however, Kitty and Levin stay within the prescribed social boundaries of their positions. For this, Tolstoy accurately portrays Kitty's severe depression and Levin's (Tolstoy's autobiographical character in the novel) withdrawal into self-imposed exile as he attempts experimental reform of his country estate.

    "Anna Karenina' is a classic study of the human condition, examined from the heart and viewed from within the operation of ever-fallible society. Everyone, from family servant to society dame within Anna's circle is affected by her affair and by theactions put in place by her husband. While Anna's husband embodies propriety, he is officious, bureaucratic and unsympathetic. Tolstoy shows us how the figures surrounding Anna though separated by temperament, class, and fortune are inextricably linked to her actions.

    A strong spiritual message exists in "Anna Karenina" ending not with Anna's death, but with the birth of Kitty and Levin's child. Perhaps Tolstoy's ultimate message is that suffering is necessary to human fulfillment.Despite the permissivness of our times, "Anna Karenina" remains as relevant as when it was first penned.

    Rereading "Anna Karenina" allows us to experience a profound novel progressively, with each reading revealing new and greater meaning. This is why I continue to undertake periodic re-readings of it. Some stories are timeless simply because they are too profound to be completely "read."
    ... Read more

    Isbn: 1840324813
    Subjects:  1. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    2. Classics    3. Fiction    4. Fiction - General    5. General   

    War and Peace Vol II
    by Leo Tolstoy
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 August, 1998)
    list price: $89.95 -- our price: $89.95
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    • Unabridged
    Reviews (248)

    5-0 out of 5 stars !!!DAZZLEZZA!!!
    who can compete with tolstoy?!who can portray life in more clarity dazzlezzan than he?who narrates to the reader that which causes more snows to melt and more waters to boil than he?although proust might penetrate his characters' forums in greater depth and although his mind might wander into larger and more far-flung kingdoms and might consider more ideas and although joyce might impress us with more florabundant virtuosity or astonish us with wind-swept innovation, it is tol-stoy that presents to us the human comedy in brilliant simplic-ity and clarity.how much we learn from this author!how many new absurdities he unveils to us!how many secrets he divulges!new vices, cutthroats, fallacies, flounderings in irra-tionality, enslavement to chimerae, consortions with succubae - all these shine brightly in tolstoy's cosmos with no less brilliantica than the red giant sirius!tolstoy exposes us immediately to a character's nobility or corruptibility, he does not obsess tediously on minutia, nor does he conflate what is insignificant, nor does melodramatize in a cheap attempt to twist the reader's nerves - in contrarium!he is faithful to life's maximo, he adheres to its covert principles and its clandestine regulations.just as newton astonishes us with three simple laws of motion, so elemantery that we are vexo-mystified that they were not discovered sooner, so too does tolstoy astound us again and again by exposing the hidden pecularities of his characters.

    author of Lorelei Pursued, Wrestles with God

    3-0 out of 5 stars Only three stars because I'm only halfway finished!
    Okay, so I picked this up and couldn't put it down!

    And then I went on vacation, and it was just not beach-type reading material.

    However, I do intend to finish it.That being said, I liked the "Peace" parts of the book better than the "War" parts.Maybe it's the girl in me.Fighting and armies, and politics don't do it for me, but this is HALF of the book, so be warned.

    I was more attracted to the daily lives and doings of the families- the loves, the losses, the parties, etc.

    Read it just to say you've read it, and you'll probably end up liking it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "WAR & PEACE..."
    Yeah, I know this might sound funny but I'm already a War-and-Peace-a-maniac, and I'm just over 11 year-of age! OK, but the truth is I haven't read it yet, but the reason I want to read it is because it's the suppose-to-be "FINEST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN!" Heck, I don't know 'bout that, but I do know that I'm gonna try to getat least 5 to 6 hundred pages in, then I'll see if "WAR & PEACE"really is the "FINEST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN!"

    P.S. Like heck I hope I'll like it! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0786112522
    Sales Rank: 1346304
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Children's Education / Activity    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. History    4. Reference   


    The Brothers Karamazov (Classic, Audio)
    by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alex Jennings, David McDuff
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Audio Cassette (01 November, 1997)
    list price: $23.95 -- our price: $16.29
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    • Audiobook
    Reviews (192)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Questions of Psychological and Theological Nature
    A beneficial classic in theological and psychological issues. My copy is 1045 pages, so it took me a week and a half to finish while on a vacation. There's no doubt in my opinion in Dostoevsky's remarkable ability to convey each character's psychological makeup, each perceiving their situations slanted from their particular viewpoints, some mildly, others to the extreme, distorting facts with personal objectives.

    The story is about three brothers, a fourth illegitimate child and brother, the father, two women who play key roles and the murder of the father. The other main characters who play key roles in this story are also described in detail by Dostoeovsky. However, the key elements of this story relate into the psychological and theological issues raised.

    The story, which is about three brothers and their fathers murder, enters into the psychology of each character relating to Dostoevsky and the question of God. One of the more important chapters is that entitled "The Grand Inquisitor." In this chapter Ivan relates a Christ as teaching a Christianity which equals radical absolute freedom, which differs sharply from the traditional interpretation of Christ. Here Ivan interprets the Grand Inquisitor, the Cardinal, as the representative of the Church hierarchy as the three areas rejected by Christ in the desert offered him after his baptism. And so the Grand Inquisitor is the teacher of miracles, mystery and authority, which are the absolute and necessary tools needed to unify humanity, in that spiritual bread alone will never unify the world, while physical bread will.

    Now in this, Ivan argues that despite the church leaders defined as power mongers, there are always those few that are ascetic sincere God-fearers who in their journey discover the empty logic of God in this absurd world of suffering, who see the incongruity and futile attempt of the radical freedom Christ offered and rejection of mystery, miracle and human authority, and yet instead of giving up they maintain their authority in the visage to help humanity. For in doing this despite their disbelief, they unify humanity. Although such unification is in ignorance, it is also in happiness and for their best interest, while the minority, the authoritative church leaders, suffer in the true knowledge of the existential angst of reality living in this world and the empty and meaningless promises of a future world after death and immortality of the soul and so called true meanings of justice and good.

    Dimitry, the oldest brother, is the sensualist like the father, a reveler and passionate man with outbursts of uncontrolled emotions and violent actions and yet contains honor and in someway converts himself into believing in a God of the earth that retains morals of personal and national honor. Ivan is the skeptic who borders from atheism to theism, as he accepts God but not his world, for the suffering of innocent children and other such absurdities. Alyosha, the youngest, is Dostoevsky's hero, also a man who borders in belief and non belief in God, joining a monastery and later leaving and after the the death and decay or corruption of the dead body of his monastery teacher, the elder's Zosima, he begins questioning both God and the world his brother Ivan cannot accept. But Alyosha is the hero in that he is not Ivan, who represents the new man of intellectual existential rationalism and emptiness, as Ivan was said to say that since there is no God, or that the God humanity worships is not real, then everything is permitted, which of course eliminatesuniversal moral codes. But Ivan's conscious battles him in this to the end. His struggle was more than between logic and the thirst for life into a theological struggle with the extreme tension of indifference and a form of atheism or disbelief with the ideas of the divine in the good and justice, which makes this suffering world absurd, so who or what truly is God? Ivan states, "I accept God, but I refuse to accept this world. . . My Euclidean mind cannot accept this world".

    While Alyosha battle was far less extreme and the hero who attempts to unify people without the traditional belief in God or Christianity, but in a humanistic form which contains the tension of doubt and belief, with love for the earth, as instructed by the elder Zosima, to kiss and shed tears for the earth, to become one with it, perhaps evening sharing in its sins as the Jesus kisses the cardinal in Ivan's tale of the Grand Inquisitor. The character of Alyosha starts out strong in the novel but his character fades in the end in strength and clarity. The novel itself goes into other main characters who play key roles in this story.

    For Dostoevsky, God is a not the benevolent but a condition of tension, from ecstasy to pain. It seems that in his personal life he was an atheist who after some years of imprisonment and hard labor in Siberia, found a faith in a humanistic version of Christianity which borders on the tensions of the incongruities that permeate the questions of justice and God.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Great Storyline, But...
    this was definitely too long.

    The story of the murder of 3 brothers' father.
    But at the end I find out there's a fourth brother. This is also
    the story of the trial that followed. I don't claim to be smart, but this book was definitely over my head.

    I just don't know why so many people thought this book was the best, and I'm not one of them.This was definitely too long!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking page-turner
    There is so much to this amazing classic, it's impossible to get it all on the first reading. On one level, it's a murder mystery. The town lech, Fyodor Karamazov, is murdered and all of his sons have one motive or another for wanting to murder him. His oldest, Dmitry, appears to be guilty. Fyodor owed Dmitry 3000 rubles (mysteriously missing after Fyodor is killed) and they were both in love with the same woman.

    But then on another level, the book is about the nature of faith and God. Each of the relationships is the relationship between ideas. It juxtaposes individualism with the affect of the social order on individuals.

    Does faith in itself make people virtuous? Or is faith a structure to prevent people from acting NOT virtuous? Which is more important -- love for all humanity? Or love for the individual? For the religious, morality depends on the immortality of the soul. But, is that then truly morality? Is it morally superior to do wrong and hate yourself for it? Or to not know you're doing wrong at all? Where is the line between suspicion (there's this whole theme in the book that dishonest people cannot love because they will always be suspicious) and skepticism? Is the concept of sin a doomed idea intent on controlling the baser parts of what it means to be human? In which case, the idea redemption is just a way of distancing ourselves from our own humanity. If God gave free will, then why do the religious attempt to take it away? They take away free will and offer security instead, which is like saying God failed and they need to jump in and take over. ... Read more

    Isbn: 014086461X
    Sales Rank: 537340
    Subjects:  1. Audio - Literature / Classics    2. Audio Adult: Books On Tape    3. Classics    4. Literary    5. 19th century fiction   


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