Audio Books Podcasts

Librivox: Noiseless Patient Spider, A by Whitman, Walt show

Librivox: Noiseless Patient Spider, A by Whitman, WaltJoin Now to Follow

Librivox volunteers bring you eight different readings of Walt Whitman’s A Noiseless Patient Spider, a weekly poetry project. (Summary by Annie Coleman)

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Librivox: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A by Twain, Mark show

Librivox: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A by Twain, MarkJoin Now to Follow

Come and hear the strange tail of The Boss Hank Morgan, a modern day (at the time of publication) Connecticut Yankee who inexplicably finds himself transported to the court of the legendary King Arthur (as the title of the book implies). Hank, or simply, The Boss, as he comes to be most frequently known, quickly uses his modern day knowledge and education to pass himself off as a great magician, to get himself out of all sorts of surprising, (and frequently amusing) situations, as well as to advance the technological and cultural status of the nation in which he finds himself. In the rather un-subtle sub-text of the story, Twain uses The Boss to express a surprisingly pragmatic and frequently contradictory philosophy. The Boss explores the relative merits of Democracy, and Monarchy, he expresses his views on the “Nature v. Nurture” debate, he frequently speaks forcefully against an established Church, but just as strongly advocates for religion and a variety of churches (just not a compulsory one) and he devotes at least one afternoon to introducing his companions to the concept of inflation. In a far more subtle, yet no less forceful manner, the Boss shares with the reader some views about taxation, slavery (both literal and wage slavery), trade unions, the origins of the German language, the nature of marriage, and probably most powerfully, death. It is a tall order for a relatively brief text, but Twain manages it all with surprising clarity. No one will agree fully with the Boss on all of these matters, and I would be surprised if Twain himself would. In fact the Boss’s views are so pragmatic, and often contradictory, the reader is left to wonder if Twain himself is alternately speaking through the Boss, and setting him up as a straw man. Either way it is a delightful story and a great piece of American Literature, to say nothing of an excellent argument for education. (Review written by Steve Andersen)

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Librivox: Parenticide Club, The by Bierce, Ambrose show

Librivox: Parenticide Club, The by Bierce, AmbroseJoin Now to Follow

Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa's army. Four grotesque short stories about murder within the family, seen through the gently innocent eyes of family members ... usually the murderer himself. (Summary written by Peter Yearsley)

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Librivox: Short Poetry Collection 001 by Various show

Librivox: Short Poetry Collection 001 by VariousJoin Now to Follow

Librivox’s Short Poetry Collection 001: a collection of 29 public-domain poems.

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Librivox: Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by Cleland, John show

Librivox: Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by Cleland, JohnJoin Now to Follow

Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1749) was the first widely-read English novel in the genre “Erotica.” It was written by John Cleland as he was serving hard time at a debtor’s prison in London. Over the centuries, the novel has been repeatedly banned by authorities, assuring its preeminent role in the history of the ongoing struggle against censorship of free expression. Until Fanny Hill , previous heroines had conducted their amorous liaisons “off-stage.” Any erotic misadventures were described euphemistically. As women who had gone astray, they always repented, which made even their most outrageous dalliances somehow suitable for a moralistic readership. The protagonist of Fanny Hill , however, never repented a single moment of her sexual exploits … quite the contrary! And with Fanny, the devil is in the details, realistically described. (Summary by Denny Mike)

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Librivox: Hunting of the Snark, The by Carroll, Lewis show

Librivox: Hunting of the Snark, The by Carroll, LewisJoin Now to Follow

This is a whimsical poem that takes the reader on a sailing hunt for the mythical Snark. The Bellman, the Butcher, the Baker, the Beaver and others named and unnamed provide a fast-paced, almost maniacal, romp to find the ellusive Snark. In the reading, you begin to suspect that Dr. Seuss may have found some inspiration from Carroll. The reading is a fast ride of thirty minutes and is suitable for children and adults alike. (Review written by Robert Garrison)

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Librivox: War Is Kind (Collection) by Crane, Stephen show

Librivox: War Is Kind (Collection) by Crane, StephenJoin Now to Follow

Published in 1899, just a year before his death, War Is Kind by Stephen Crane evokes again the dark imagery of war which made his fortune in The Red Badge Of Courage. Unlike that book, this collection leaves the battlefield itself behind to explore the damage war does to people’s hearts and minds. Reeking of dashed hopes, simultaneously sympathetic with the victims of war and cynical about the purposes of war, Crane implicitly criticizes the image of the romantic hero and asks if Love can survive. The poetic voice is one of an old and wearied soul, stark and disillusioned, which is all the more intriguing since Crane was dead before he reached his 30th birthday. His work calls to mind the Beat Poets of the mid 20th century in its powerful use of language and bleak idiomatic landscape. It is poetry on the cusp of the fin de siècle; echoing the passing age and presaging the newborn century. (Summary by Chip)

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Librivox: Helsinkiin by Aho, Juhani show

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The miniature novel Helsinkiin by Juhani Aho was published in 1889. A psychological novel about a young man’s stepping into adult life, it also touches the then heated language politics as Finnish was emerging as a language of academia in the bilingual country. Aho (1861 - 1921) was among the first professional writers in Finland. This reading is in Finnish. (Summary by Tuija Aalto)

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Librivox: I Do Not Love Thee by Norton, Caroline Elizabeth Sarah show

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Librivox volunteers bring you twenty different readings of Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton’s I Do Not Love Thee , a weekly poetry project. (Summary by Annie Coleman)

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Librivox: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll, Lewis show

Librivox: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll, LewisJoin Now to Follow

In this children's classic, a girl named Alice follows falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy realm full of talking creatures. She attends a never-ending tea party and plays croquet at the court of the anthropomorphic playing cards. (Summary written by Gesine)

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