Classic Literature

The Last Temptation of Christ

  Nikos Kazantzakis
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1030 last temptationHailed as a masterpiece by critics worldwide, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is a monumental reinterpretation of the Gospels by one of the giants of modern literature. Nikos Kazantzakis, renowned author of "Zorba the Greek, " brilliantly fleshes out the story of Christ's Passion, giving it a dynamic spiritual freshness. Kazantzakis's Jesus is gloriously divine, yet earthy and human, as he travels among peasants and is tempted by their comfortable life. Provocatively illuminating ever dimension of the Gospels, "The Last Temptation of Christ" is an exhilarating modern classic.

War and Peace

  Leo Tolstoy
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(3 )

Widely considered the greatest novel ever written in any language, War and Peace has as its backdrop Napoleon's invasion of Russia and at its heart three of the most memorable characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, a quixotic young man in search of spiritual joy; Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a cynical intellectual transformed by the suffering of war; and the bewitching and impulsive Natasha Rostov, daughter of a count. As they seek fulfillment, fall in love, make mistakes, and become scarred by battle in different ways, these characters and their stories interweave with those of a huge cast, from aristocrats to peasants, from soldiers to Napoleon himself.

Frankenstein

  Mary Shelley
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FrankensteinThis best selling classic is about a young Swiss student who uncovers the secret of animating lifeless matter and, by assembling body parts, creates a monster that vows revenge on his creator after being rejected from society.

Tale Of Two Cities

  Charles Dickens
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'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times!'

Set before and during the French Revolution in the cities of Paris and London, A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr Manette's release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with daughter, Lucie. A French aristocrat Darnay and English lawyer Carton compete in their love for Lucie and the ensuing tale plays out against the menacing backdrop of the French Revolution and the shadow of the guillotine.

The Odyssey

  Homer
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(2 )

' I long to reach my home and see the day of my return. It is my never-failing wish '

The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.

Doctor Zhivago

  Boris Pasternak
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In the grand tradition of the epic novel, Boris Pasternak's masterpiece brings to life the drama and immensity of the Russian Revolution through the story of the gifted physician-poet, Zhivago; the revolutionary, Strelnikov; and Lara, the passionate woman they both love. Caught up in the great events of politics and war that eventually destroy him and millions of others, Zhivago clings to the private world of family life and love, embodied especially in the magical Lara.

The Man in the Iron Mask

  Alexander Dumas
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(2 )

764 iron maskThe Man in the Iron Mask is the final part of Alexander Dumas' The Vicomte de Bragelonne, which follows from The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After. Few people know that the man in the iron mask actually existed.

The Iliad

  Homer
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(2 )

820 iliadOne of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals.

A Farewell to Arms

  Ernest Hemingway
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801 farewell armsIn 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 experience 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 men and women he meets in Italy, with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

Don Quixote

  Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Rating
(1 )

850 quixoteDon Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote's fancy often leads him astray—he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants—Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers' imaginations for nearly four hundred years.

With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. This Penguin Classics edition, with its beautiful new cover design, includes John Rutherford's masterly translation, which does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes's prose, as well as a brilliant critical introduction by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarriá.

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