Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 175…Read More »
In the summer of 1348, with the plague ravaging Florence, ten young men and women take refuge in the countryside, where they entertain themselves with tales of love, death, and corruption, featuring a host of characters, from lascivious clergymen and mad kings to devious lovers and false miracle-makers. Named after …Read More »
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the social ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawd…Read More »
The Pickwick Papers explores the perils, travels, and adventures of the Pickwick Club's members: the founding chairman, former businessman and amateur scientist Mr. Pickwick; his trusted companion Sam Weller; the sportsman Winkle; the poet Snodgrass; and the lover Tracy Tupman.
Brother Jacob is Eliot's literary homage to Thackeray, a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading. Revealing Eliot's deep engagement with the question of whether there are 'necessary truths' independent of our perception of them and the boundaries of art and the self.
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is probably his most difficult satire, and possibly his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody which is divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representi…Read More »
From the master of satire, Jonathan Swift, comes a collection of his classic satirical works. "A Modest Proposal and Other Satires" includes the following works: A Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against the Abolishment of Christianity, A Modest Proposal, A True and Faithful Narrative, A Meditati…Read More »
While things were in this ferment, discord grew extremely high; hot words passed on both sides, and ill blood was plentifully bred. Here a solitary Ancient, squeezed up among a whole shelf of Moderns, offered fairly to dispute the case, and to prove by manifest reason that the priority was due to them from long poss…Read More »
Huckleberry Finn, rebel against school and church, casual inheritor of gold treasure, rafter of the Mississippi, and savior of Jim the runaway slave, is the archetypal American maverick. Fleeing the respectable society that wants to "sivilize" him, Huck Finn shoves off with Jim on a rhapsodic raft journey down the M…Read More »
Rich with surprise and hilarious adventure, The Prince And The Pauper is a delight satire of England's romantic past and a joyful boyhood romp filled with the same tongue-in-cheek irony that sparked the best of Mark Twain's tall tales. Two boys, one an urchin from London's filthy lanes, the other a prince born in a …Read More »
In this biting satire by Twain, a 19th c. Yankee mechanic is knocked out during a brawl, and wakes to find himself in Camelot, A.D. 528, in King Arthur's Court. When the modern mechanic tries to cure society's ills (oppressed peasantry, evil church, etc.) with 19th c. industrial inventions like electricity and gunfi…Read More »
Here is the story of Tom, Huck, Becky, and Aunt Polly; a tale of adventures, pranks, playing hookey, and summertime fun. Written by the author sometimes called "the Lincoln of literature," The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was surprisingly neither a critical nor a financial success when it was first published in 1876. It…Read More »
Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulli…Read More »
On vacation from school, Denis goes to stay at Crome, an English country house inhabitated by several of Huxley's most outlandish characters–from Mr. Barbecue-Smith, who writes 1,500 publishable words an hour by "getting in touch" with his "subconscious," to Henry Wimbush, who is obsessed with writing the definitiv…Read More »