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1. We Happy Few
2. Bare Necessity
3. Classic FM Favourite Shakespeare:
4. Hamlet (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare)
5. The Rope School: Complete &
6. To War with Whitaker: Wartime
7. Heaven Eyes
8. Tess of D'Urbervilles
9. Saint Joan (Penguin Classics)
10. Madame Bovary (Classic Fiction)
11. The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare:
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Classic
13. Hamlet (Arkangel Shakespeare)
14. The Letters of Charlotte Bronte
15. Tickets, Please: A Collection
16. Hamlet.(play)(Theater Review):

1. We Happy Few
by Imogen Stubbs
Paperback: 96 Pages (2005-04-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$11.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1854598139
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Editorial Review

Product Description

We Happy Few follows a seven-woman amateur troupe as it travels the country’s schools and village greens during World War II playing a repertoire of Shakespeare and other classics. Disasters happen, triumphs occur, but above all the show must go on.

... Read more

2. Bare Necessity
by Carole Matthews
Audio Cassette: Pages (2003-04)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$1.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060557109
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Once Emily Miller thought that losing her boyfriend Declan would be the worst thing that could happen. Of course, that was before she learned that the lowlife cad had secretly mortgaged their dream house, run up their shared debts . . . and posted a picture of her on the internet that would make a rugby team blush. Still, she is coping masterfully, despite losing her home and her dignity -- until the local newspapers get wind of the story . . .

So here she is -- homeless, jobless, loverless . . . and scandalous at thirty-two. Her best friend Cara thinks yoga, aromatherapy, and the perfect potion will turn Emily's karma around. Why not, Emily figures. It might help to attract that handsome stranger she's just barely met. Either that, or she'll hunt down the elusive Mr. Right herself. After all, there isn't much else that could possibly go wrong . . .

And sometimes, when you've got absolutely nothing left to lose . . . that's when you get everything you ever wanted!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not the best chick lit.
I can't say I hated nor loved the book, I'm about neutral with it. However, I didn't keep it so that means I wasn't dying to keep it in my collection or share it with friends lol.

The beginning was slow. Very slow.

The middle it got good, even great at some times! I was turning pages..pages...pages....

Then it's like the author hit a wall again and I was bored still. Though I always try my hardest to make it through a book even if it's terrible.

The ending also seemed rather abrupt and kind of put me off too. I'd only recommend reading this if you have no other options and/or you can get it incredibly cheap or free LOL

3-0 out of 5 stars This only works in fairy tales and Meg Ryan movies.
I liked this book a lot until the last page. It's hilarious and occasionally poignant and a fun, light read.

But it was the last page that killed it for me. I was disappointed, reading it and realizing it *was* the last page, and that the closest I was going to get to a happy ending was that the female lead and the male lead exchanged a few words. Their eventual romance was built up throughout the entire book, only to come to a screeching halt just when it might have been going somewhere. Meeting twice and saying two words to each other does not a love story make, no matter how much I like the characters. I would have liked to see them interact more with one another. When I go looking for a love story, I want to see the characters actually fall in love.

5-0 out of 5 stars Coupling
This reminded me of the TV series Coupling. Not the tepid American remake, but the original British series with its slapstick situations and witty dialogue. The plot is a comedy of errors, with the reader aware of all the entanglements, while the main character continues to have obstacles put in the way of her happiness. There are lots of humorous situations and the read is made more enjoyable with the wonderful anticipation of what's going to happen next and who will she end up with?.

4-0 out of 5 stars Over the top humor
I read "For Better, For Worse," first and didn't really like it.The ending was cheesy, Matt did not deserve Josie, and just missing each other in every scene by seconds got annoying.Although, there are a lot of similarities between "Bare Necessity" and "For Better, For Worse," (missing each other, the author's need to be "humorous" in every other sentence) I enjoyed this novel a lot more.

WHY you ask?The plot was crazier, more over-the-top, and the characters were more likable.Adam could be a little daft when it comes to romantic situations but he's sweet and the scenes with his son are cute.Emily IS daft and should have immediately hired a lawyer to sue Declan and called the bank to get her money back (hasn't she ever heard that signing a document because of fraud, false pretenses, or by force, can mean the document is void) but she is likeable and funny in a bumbly way.Cara is strange but a good friend to Emily and is a unique character.

Another thing I liked about the novel is when I started it, I expected certain characters to end up with each other but they didn't.While the author had several scenes that involved just missing each other it was not used excessively as in "For Better, for Worse."And I enjoyed the end, when the son realized who Emily was.I thought that was the most comical part of the novel.

4-0 out of 5 stars Could things get any worse for the protaganist?
Emily is distraught when she finds out that her boyfriend Declan, head of several dot.com companies has just started a porn site, and has posted suggested holiday photos of her dubbing her "Saucy Santa." She is mortified, as the photos were meant for his eyes only.

Soon she discovers that this is not his only betrayal. He has also mortgaged their home, depleted her savings accounts, and as a result of his internet doings, has managed to get her fired from her job as a teacher.

With no home, no job, no money, and no man, she turns to best pal Cara, a reporter. Cara's co-workers have all seen the photos and soon her paper creates media buzz by identifying Emily (which results in her inability to get another teaching position) in an article. Cara has her own problems - she is nursing a crush for her co-worker, photographer Alex, a single father contemplating custody of his pre-teen son.

While trying to turn her life around, she is soon signed with a publicist who arranges for her to attend several local events. She spots a man there that takes her breath away, but unfortunately, they never have the chance to actually meet. Unbeknownst to Emily, the man in question is Alex.

It is through a series of miscommunication and misunderstandings that events unfold, as Emily struggles with the newfound fame that has been thrust upon her, and her desire for her anonymity restored. I loved the characters, except for Declan - would have loved to see him hung out to dry. It is an engaging story, and I was rooting for Emily to find Mr. Right all along. ... Read more

3. Classic FM Favourite Shakespeare: Performed by Alan Cox & Cast
by William Shakespeare
Audio CD: Pages (1998-10-01)

Isbn: 1840321865
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This is a collection of the "best of the Bard" as chosen by readers of Classic FM Magazine. An introduction and music of the period places each piece in context, and the selection includes famous speeches and scenes from the plays and a top ten of scenes, speeches or sonnets. ... Read more

4. Hamlet (Arkangel Complete Shakespeare)
Audio Cassette: Pages (2004-09)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193221948X
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Distressed by his father's death and his mother's hasty remarriage, Hamlet receives a ghostly message telling of murder and revenge. As the young prince is driven to the edge of madness, others, including his beloved Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy. ... Read more

5. The Rope School: Complete & Unabridged
by Sam Llewellyn
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1995-05)

Isbn: 0745124895
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This nautical adventure for children is set in 1813, when England was at war with France and America. Eleven-year-old Kate Griffiths is living with her mean aunt, awaiting the call to join her parents in America. Her only escape from her life of drudgery is when she disguises herself as a boy and walks down by the docks. One day, entirely by accident, she finds herself on board a ship and in the rope school of one of His Majesty's sloops of war. Under the watchful eye of the mysterious Jago, Kate learns all about knots and the harsh realities of shipboard life. Once on the high seas, she encounters mystery, adventure, treachery and surprise. Sam Llewellyn's previous books include "Pegleg", "Pig in the Middle" and "The Magic Boathouse". ... Read more

6. To War with Whitaker: Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly, 1939-45 (Reed Audio)
by Hermione Ranfurly,Countess of Ranfurly
 Audio Cassette: Pages (1995-10-16)

Isbn: 1860219489
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The wartime diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly. During World War II she travelled alone, from Cape Town to Palestine, and met characters such as Churchill, Eisenhower, and a parrot called Coco. Her one ally was the larger-than-life Whitaker, reluctant soldier and loyal servant. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars To War with Whitaker: The Wartime Diaries of the Countess of Ranfurly 1939-45
Wonderful!I was led to read this by a Wikipedia entry in connection with WWII that mentioned it.The first-hand account and details make this book a treasure. ... Read more

7. Heaven Eyes
by David Almond
Audio Cassette: Pages (2000-06-15)
list price: US$10.76 -- used & new: US$36.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1840322888
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Erin and her friend January are always running away, this time they take to the river - this time they might never come back. They are looking for a corner of paradise, how could they imagine what they would find - Heaven Eyes, the girl who should have drowned at sea.Amazon.com Review
British author David Almond is on a roll. His first book for young readers, Skellig, won a prestigious 2000 Michael L. Printz Honor award, and his second, Kit's Wilderness, won the Printz outright in 2001. Now comes a third, Heaven Eyes, which features a series of haunting, sepia-toned landscapes and a young narrator (an orphan) named Erin Law.

One night, Erin and her friends January Carr and Mouse Gullane flee from the orphanage, sailing down the moonlit river on a makeshift raft. As they are dragged into the mighty current, January's eyes are wild with joy. "'Freedom,' he whispered. 'Freedom, Erin!'" Before they know it, however, the three adventurers run aground in sticky, oily, stinking, quicksand-like mud--the Black Middens. There they are greeted by a moon-eyed, diaphanous girl named Heaven Eyes, who speaks strangely and insists they are her long-lost sister and brothers, albeit "all filthy as filthy."

She leads them back to her bizarre, broken world of abandoned printing works and warehouses full of tinned food and chocolates. Her sole companion is Grampa, who is straggly haired and just plain scary. Cocking a wary eye at the three visitors, he scribbles in his book: "Mebbe they're ghosts. Mebbe they're devils sent from hell or angels sent from heaven." Despite Grampa's frightening demeanor, however, Erin is completely taken by the guileless Heaven Eyes and the idea of being her "bestest friend." The sweet, simple Mouse soon relishes his role as Grampa's Little Helper, digging treasures out of the inky mud night after night. January, however, bitterly resents his o'er-hasty loss of freedom, sacrificed to a crazy world of "bloody freaks." Almond's choreography is masterful, and as the four children dance about each other we learn what, at the core, makes each of their young hearts beat faster.

As always, Almond shows us a world where the joy and terror of being alive coexist. What is real, what is imagined, what is remembered, and what is dreamed, all fuse together--and however dark his tales, he manages to tell stories infused with both hope and persistent, persuasive love. (Ages 10 and older) --Karin Snelson ... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, beautiful how magic is found in the bleakest of places
This is the second book by Almond that I have read; the first was Skellig (Printz Honor).I liked this book a lot but didn't think it was as good as Skellig.

Erin Law, January Carr and Mouse Gullane live in an orphanage and one night they decide to flee the orphanage on a raft.They end up stuck in the muddy slime of the Black Middens and are found by a odd and scrawny girl named Heaven Eyes. Heaven Eyes introduces them to a bleak and grimy world; an abandoned island full of empty warehouses and boxes of chocolates.Heaven's only companion is Grampa, and old man who is either a saint or a devil.

This was a very interesting book.As with Skellig, Almond makes this dankest of atmospheres seem somehow magical.He has a penchant for finding magic in the bleakest of places.The characters are engaging and believable and the surroundings described in such a way that you can picture every horrible smell and creeping shadow.

I enjoyed how Erin and her friends found a place that was apart from humanity in such nearness to their home.It was actually somewhat inspiring how they found a sort of magic in the ugliest of places.It makes you think about every abandoned building you pass and wonder what could be happening inside of it.

The questions around whether or not Grampa was Heaven Eye's savior or the murderer of her family really drove the plot forward and made the book incredibly hard to put done.This was a book that was dark in its nature, but surprisingly filled with hope and magic.It was a very complete story but a big ambiguous at times.

I thought Skellig was set in a more realistic setting and, as such, I enjoyed that book a bit more.The time in history this story is set in is fairly ambiguous and, as such, gives the whole story a somewhat fairy tale feel.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Almond's descriptive writing style and the way he finds beauty in the grimiest of settings. I would recommend this book for all ages.It is beautifully written and at points really makes you think about humanity and how we treat the undesirables in our lives.I will definitely be checking out more of Almond's works in the future.

5-0 out of 5 stars Narration Review Amanda Plummer
I've listen to this audio book twice.I'm not a big fan of the story but I've listen to the audio book a second time for the narration alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book so far
This was an amazing book. It touched my heart so deeply and i would recommend it to everyone.

4-0 out of 5 stars Heaven Eyes and my view.
Heaven Eyes is written by David Almond. He was grown in northeastern England. He used to be a postman, a brush salesman, an editor, and even a teacher but his writing started after he graduated college. The first novel for children he wrote was Skelling, and this book won a lot of honors, and a lot of best book of the year lists. His second novel, Kit's Wilderness, also won a lot of honors and best book lists for excellence of writing for young adults. He lives in England with his families.
Escaped from their orphanage, Whitegates, on a raft, Erin, January, and Mouse float down into another world of abandoned warehouses and factories, meeting a strange old man and an even stranger girl with webbed fingers and little memory of her past. In this book, Heaven Eyes, the hidden secrets and the surprising past of the strange girl, Heaven Eyes, are hidden in the deep darkness of here, Black Middens.
The reason that I chose this book to read for this assignment is because the title, Heaven Eyes, just attracted my eyes. I am not Catholic and don't believe much about Jesus, so I don't have many relationships with heaven. But I am very interested in reading some mysterious book, and the word, Heaven Eyes, looked like very mysterious to me. I am very bad reader, so I tried to look for the book that I would enjoy to read, and finally I found out that I like to read mysteries. That's why I am interested in mystery books.
The setting of the book was already cool. This book is about orphans, and the way that they live differently from our lives. This book makes reader interested, because readers can have a time to imagine what their lives would look like if they live with their family, or parents. Also this book flows very unexpectedly and mysteriously, it's also fun to read and predict what will be coming out after each chapter. This book might be very interesting and great to people who are looking for a book to read before they sleep.
The best part of this book, in my little thought, is when Erin, January, and Mouse were saved by Grampa, and Heaven Eyes from the mud of the Black Middens. This part got two new characters joined in this story. Meeting with Grampa and Heaven Eyes foreshadows that Erin, January, and Mouse will have conflicts, and happenings between Grampa and Heaven Eyes. The story is going to be about Grampa and Heaven Eyes' hidden pasts and secrets, so their appearance is very important part.
I think that this book would excite readers' brains and thoughts, so for the ones who want to read with thinking a lot, this book would be cool.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unexpected
I was expecting a different story, but I was pleasantly surprised.I enjoyed the book.Kept me interested. ... Read more

8. Tess of D'Urbervilles
by Hardy, Stubbs
 Audio CD: Pages
list price: US$18.98 -- used & new: US$10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001A5GVXE
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9. Saint Joan (Penguin Classics)
by George Bernard Shaw
Paperback: 160 Pages (2001-05-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$4.64
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140437916
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With Saint Joan, Shaw reached the height of his fame as a dramatist. Fascinated by the story of Joan of Arc (canonized in 1920), but unhappy with "the whitewash which disfigures her beyond recognition," he presents a realistic Joan: proud, intolerant, naïve, foolhardy, always brave-a rebel who challenged the conventions and values of her day.Amazon.com Review
Joan of Arc, born in 1412, was burned at the stake in 1431, canonized by the Catholic Church in 1920, and, like most saints, whitewashed byhistory. Canonization tends to strip a saint of supposedlyun-Christian attributes such as rebelliousness, pride, and intolerance. And Joan, despite having been a stubborn, haughty, naive, even foolishgirl, has for much of history been remembered only as a pious martyr. However, George Bernard Shaw's play, Saint Joan, completed in 1925,began the modern rehabilitation of the icon as a fully human, falliblecharacter--not to mention a poster girl for teenage rebellion and feminism.Shaw's Joan, like the real Maid of Orleans, leads the fight to drive theEnglish out of her native France, insists on direct communication with herGod instead of submitting to the mediation of Catholic priests, and refusesto dress, speak, or act according to traditional notions of how women wereexpected to behave. Until the closing scene of Shaw's play, however,neither Joan nor her foes are cast in neatly heroic terms. Both areearnestly pursuing their partial visions of the truth. In the play'sfamous epilogue, Shaw suggests that even 400 years later, most ofus are so limited by our own perspectives that we are unable to tell thedifference between a saint and a heretic. "O God that madest thisbeautiful earth, when will it be ready to receive Thy saints?" Joan asks,preparing for her death. "How long, O Lord, how long?" --Michael JosephGross ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Too smart, apparently, for some
"Cauchon: If you dare do what this woman has done - set your country above the holy Catholic Church - you shall go to the fire with her."

So speaks a more engaging, complex executioner of the legendary young soldier put forth by Bernard Shaw in "Saint Joan." Even if the Bishop put Joan to death for political reasons he likely believed that her execution was just. The Catholic Church's problems with Joan lingered for nearly 500 years. Her active assertion of nationalism as a holy endeavor intuited by her own judgment undermined the Catholic church's political authority, and yes, presaged the Reformation, even if Joan was not a Protestant (Shaw labels her "anti clerical").

And she willingly asserted a non-traditional feminine role (soldiering and politicking), which by its nature required non-traditional feminine behavior and dress.Reviewers who say that Joan wore armor to keep from being raped are half right, since Joan's soldiering included such occupational hazards, as with being wounded.But she did and thrived at it anyway. In fact, I agree with Shaw that the voices spurring her on were Joan's own subconcious, but that is another debate...

Those who are skeptical of Shaw's ideas would do well to consider the year of her Canonization: 1920. It's no accident that a year after the Great War, in which the world's powers successfully mobilized against each other in the name of Nationalism (the churches providing prayers and getting out of the way), that Catholicism threw up its hands and recognized the genius of the young French teenager. This too as women had been called on in support roles like nurses and ambulance drivers, and were being enfranchised by their European and American nations.

The play itself is typical Shaw - bright, smart, very worthwhile.None of the play's acts goes on too long.None is weak, except for Act III on the eve of the battle of Orleans, but Shaw is Shaw and seems embarassed by the warlike bluster. Joan herself, as others have observed, often speaks in lines that are taken directly from the trial transcripts.When she doesn't it's usually to give her a flash of wit that rarely seems contrived. This is Joan for grown-ups.And it is Joan for the 21st century: post-modern, the old sentiments put aside.

Also reccomended: Regine Pernoud's books. If you need to hear what a pretty, chaste, tear-provoking, goody goody of a girl Joan was buy Mark Twain (I myself donated that volume to the public library when I was 17).

4-0 out of 5 stars Shaw's Joan of Arc story knows no border on Earth
Shaw's keen understanding of French Patriotism as illustrated in Joan of Arc story transcends borders, cultures, languages and skin colors. The legacy of Joan's heroism, her vision and her love of humanity and her country still haunts both Western and Eastern civilizations in each individual's effort to fulfill his "duties" in life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Saint Joan on audio tape
Audio recordings of plays are usually done with different actors reading the roles as in a radio play.This is the first time I have listened to a play being read by only one reader.It is not at all the same experience, but better than one might expect.The reader uses a neutral American accent for the French characters, but a slightly British one to differentiate the English characters.There was a recording on Caedmon of the play with Siobhan McKenna repeating her famous performance, but it is not available.(Some libraries still have it on vinyl, but that doesn't help me pass the time while commuting.)

Shaw's play is intriguing, coming as it did so soon after Joan's canonization and Ireland's war for independence ("France for the French"), but there is no denying that is rather untheatrical, save for the climactic scene. Joan confesses to her supposed sins to save her life, but then withdraws the confession, choosing execution and martydom.I had never realized how much Arthur Miller owed to Shaw; I was reminded of the scene in The Crucible when John Proctor confesses to a lie and then recants, preferring an honorable death.These scenes are both based on historical events, of course, but the resemblance in the way they are dramatized is striking nonetheless.Here's a potential trivia topic: How many plays and movies can you think of that use the device of a false confession followed by an even more dramatic retraction?

4-0 out of 5 stars Shaw never misses a chance to make a good point.
I have seen this performed, I have read it and I have heard it on a tape from Books on Tape for the Blind and Disabled.I loved it every time.I agree fully with Shaw that the Catholic Church has gotten a bad rap over Joan.When you listen to her words she was espousing overt Protestant beliefs -- God can, should and will speak to one person, individually and doesn't require a mediator like the Pope or Mary or any of the saints.

I actually got the most out of this play by hearing it on a tape from Books on Tape for the Blind and Disabled.I was able to speed the tape up and suddenly the wimpy, silly voices of the court officials came out perfectly.The farce inside the tragedy revealed itself clearly.

Shaw is brilliant and astute -- but no one needs me to tell them that!

4-0 out of 5 stars Drama Instead of History
This is George Bernard Shaw's most important work.A successful drama that has enjoyed continuous popularity for nearly eighty years is worth a read.Most audiences find it very satisfying.Shaw has a gift for lucid dialogue that brings a centuries old story to life.This is one of the most approachable of the great English language plays.

Why then does "Saint Joan" fall short of five stars?

Fictional accounts of Joan of Arc's life are numerous and seldom accurate.Shakespeare makes her a witch.Voltaire makes her an idiot.Schiller makes her admirable - and gives her a magical helmet that protects her from harm until she falls in love.

In a rare exception to his usual satirical style, Mark Twain spent months in France researching her life and published a fictional biography.Readers who enjoy accurate historical fiction would do well with Twain's "Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc."Twain considered this - not "Huckleberry Finn" - to be his finest work.

Shaw pays far more attention to accuracy than most fictionalizations.Several lines in the play are Shaw's own translations from her trial transcript.Shaw's long introductory essay aspires to be history as well as drama.Most scholars agree with his assessment of Joan of Arc's socioeconomic background.Shaw acknowledges a few dramatic economies: he combines the historical Jean d'Orleans and Duke Jean d'Alencon into a single character.What causes problems are Shaw's unacknowledged deviations from the factual record.

Shaw argues that Joan of Arc was a forerunner of Protestantism who got a fair trial.Among serious scholars this argument gains no credibility.A surviving letter from the English government that financed the trial guaranteed her execution even if the court found her not guilty.Joan of Arc never rejected the Roman Catholic Church: she rejected the authority of politically biased judges bent on discrediting her and, by inference, on discrediting the king she had crowned.Twenty-four years after her death the Pope reopened the case.The appeals court not only found her innocent but discovered such extensive violations of proper court procedure that it accused the late Bishop Cauchon of heresy.

Shaw's choice works as drama rather than as history yet he advocates it on historical grounds.He might be sincere but he is certainly not honest.To an academic scholar who has explained the facts to umpteen Shaw enthusiasts the difference can be infuriating.This is why "Saint Joan" collects a handful of scathing reviews.

A reader who understands this little shell game with history should have a lively time with the drama.If this is your first reading of "Saint Joan" then I envy you.Nothing quite equals the first encounter. ... Read more

10. Madame Bovary (Classic Fiction)
by Gustavo Flaubert
 Audio Cassette: 45 Pages (2000-01)
list price: US$22.98 -- used & new: US$12.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9626346787
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
One of the great novels of 19th-century France, Flaubert draws a deeply-felt but sympathetic portrait of a woman who, having married a country doctor and found herself unhappy with rural life, longs for love and excitement. Her aspirations and desires lead her into a tragic downard spiral. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (188)

5-0 out of 5 stars Translations matter
There isn't a lot of argument: "Madame Bovary" is considered one of the great novels of all time. It's well worth your time. And since you're looking for an English translation, the important issue isn't "should I read Flaubert?" The issue is: "What translation?"

The first thing you need to know is that you should avoid the Eleanor Marx Aveling translation published by Dover and others (it's out-of-copyright, so it's popular with budget publishers). The Aveling translation is incredibly clumsy--so bad that I actually looked up the translator's biography to make sure she was a native English-speaker.

The translator of a newer edition, Francis Steegmuller, is an authority on Flaubert and an exceptionally sympathetic translator. While no translation will truly do justice to Flaubert's treatment of Norman dialects and his mastery of the French tongue, Mr. Steegmuller's work is sensational and preserves much of Flaubert's vibrant prose (I read excerpts in college, but am unwilling to take six months reading the original in my indifferent French). His translation is also highly readable, making this edition an easy choice--and worth the extra money over the other translations.

4-0 out of 5 stars An exercise in separating character and story
I think it bares mentioning before I begin that so far I am extremely pleased with this particular translation, so for anyone looking for a very thoughtfully translated body of text I highly recommend the Bantam Classics edition.

Reading Madam Bovary for the first time was as far a departure from what I originally expected the text to be as humanly possible.

Walking into this I knew that a. the main character was something of a dreamy girl and b. that she ends up having an affair and c. her husband was either a dullard completely divorced from reality or he was something of an ok person but came from a sod of a family. As it turns out all three of these were entirely correct, however I wasn't prepared for the extent of the first fact or how deeply my disgust for Emma would be. A startling and eerily perceptive psychological portrait? Yes. A likable character? No. Emma's one major fault is that she's too real of a character for me to ever really like, that or I've known one too many people exactly like her to ever really have any sort of genuine feeling for her. She's absolutely disgusting in her constant and bull headed pursuit of lofty romantic ideals - I can't experience any sort of sympathy for her but I can very easily see how many, many people do. As for myself I spent the entirety of the novel trying very hard to remind myself that these were fictional characters and therefore Emma was in possession of no actual shoulders for me to shake or neck for me to wring.

Despite my gripes about the protagonist I am deeply impressed and moved by the skill of Flaubert's writing. He truly is a master at his craft and anyone looking for a prime example of how to do an account of people's daily life's and most trivial wants without making it absolutely mind numbing to read need look no further. The lyricism of his prose dances back and forth between moments of breathtaking beauty and awe inspiring levels of technical ability. After finishing this I became utterly convinced that in no other author's hands could this story have been so deftly told or so truthfully rendered. Flaubert is a true genius.

Over all I can say that I am glad to have finished Madame Bovary, but I can't say that I am overly happy to have finished it. The characters are true to life, the prose is wonderful and the message is ambiguous at best. Not a book I'd find myself singing the praises of but one that I would still highly recommend.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ambiguous and Contradictory
This translation of the French classic by Francis Steegmuller leaves much to be desired.The English translation feels choppy and graceless, which I assume from what I've read to be the diametrical opposite of the French original.I also have difficulties getting a hold of the author's attitude in this novel.On one hand, Madame Bovary has ideas and passions, beauty and sophistication but is trapped from realizing her potential because she's married to a helplessly simple man in a helplessly conservative French village.On the other hand, in a mad flight to escape her spiritual imprisonment, she throws herself into the arms of a most despicable rake, destroys her faithful husband, and abandons her daughter.This is most definitely a pre-modern novel, with the author possessing contradictory feelings about his protagonist; a decidedly modern novel would have sympathized more clearly with Madame Bovary.Another reason why it's hard to enjoy this book is that the theme -- a passionate, imaginative individual tormented by the smallness of his/her community -- has manifested itself so much in popular culture that reading "Madame Bovary" now feels lame and hackneyed.

5-0 out of 5 stars surprising
I wouldn't recommend this book to someone who doesn't like reading, or someone I didn't already know would like the setting and mood because I don't think they would ever finish it. The plot is sort of slow and whole chapters went by where I was so bored I nearly gave up. But I stuck around for all the little history details of that time and the humorous townsfolk. I'm glad I did because the last quarter of the book was completely different and full of drama. In the end it indulges in all the things the book wants to imply are wrong about fantasy and expectations and maybe I enjoyed it more for being starved of it earlier on. I have given this book all the stars because somehow I genuinely loved reading a book where not a single character was likable, and no one got what they deserved.

The style of writing changes as frequently as Madame Bovary's moods and can make you feel crazy, like her I suppose. It was fun to experience that and despite all my hate for her, at the end I swooned and I cried.

3-0 out of 5 stars Apparently not the preferred translation
Bought this for bookclub and a member who is a literature professor had another translation she preferred.Sorry-- Can't remember which translation that was.I did love the book! ... Read more

11. The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare: 38 Fully-Dramatized Plays
by William Shakespeare
Audio CD: 47 Pages (2003-03-31)
list price: US$600.00 -- used & new: US$349.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932219005
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
For the first time in audio publishing history, all of Shakespeare's plays are available in one extraordinary, definitive collection. Based on The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, here are all of the master's 38 plays, complete and unabridged, fully dramatized on CDs with an original score and sound design for each play. A monumental project that spanned five years and cost $3 million, The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare represents the collective vision of four people: Shakespeare scholar Tom Treadwell, film producer Bill Shepherd, BBC director Clive Brill, and composer Dominique Le Gendre. Together they have assembled the 400 great actors of the British theater and produced a landmark digital recording with a sophisticated layering of sound that immerses the listener in Shakespeare's world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

1-0 out of 5 stars a thief got to it before I could
Ordered directly from Amazon, brand spankin' new.When box arrived, only 36 of the 38 plays were present.The rest had all been slightly damaged, as if somewhere along the chain of delivery, someone had taken them all out and ripped them.And then forgot to return two.

This was ordering new, direct from Amazon.See the "Amazon verified purchase" tag?

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb resource
Great recordings by British actors - proven to be a fantastic resource for me in my work as an actor and director.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great value!
The Arkangel Shakespeare is one of the best investments I've ever made. Both the dramatic and technical quality of the recordings are excellent. Buy the collection yourself and discover why listening to Shakespeare is so much more rewarding than merely reading Shakespeare.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
It's great to listen to each of these cds with lots of well-known artists. I have now listened to 36 and loved each. If you're a Shakespeare fan, this is a must!

5-0 out of 5 stars An immaculate collection.
I can't say enough about this collection. This is an absolutely astounding collection of all of Shakespeare's play, uncut and unabridged, performed by some of England's most talented actors an actresses, as some of the other descriptions and reviews speak of.

What I have found invaluably rewarding as a Shakespeare devotee and as a actor is to follow along to Shakespeare's text while listening to these incredible recordings. I did this for a Shakespeare course in college. We'd be assigned a play to read within a week, and within 2 hours, I'd have it all read, while hearing it performed on these amazing recordings. To hear Shakespeare's words spoken as they would have been originally heard nearly 400 years allows for a greater understanding of the composition and the rhythm of the dialogue and verse. It simply does not get any better than this.

I'd highly recommend this collection. The producers of the Arkangel Shakespeare have obviously taken great care in preserving the text of the play and by employing the best of classically trained actors, the greatest works of English literature, filled with characters and words will blossom in your mind's eye. I cannot imagine any library being complete without this collection, and it is nothing short of a delight to have for your own personal library.

Do not hesitate to consider purchasing this collection for your public or collegiate library, or for yourself. It is a hallmark in the canon of comtemporary presentations of Shakespeare's complete works. ... Read more

12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Classic Fiction)
by Thomas Hardy
Audio CD: Pages (1997-08)
list price: US$22.98 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 9626341475
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Against a backdrop of a changing and haunting landscape, Tess battles for her freedom from penury and abuse. The story is about her heroism and fortitude, as her destiny is relentlessly played out. This title features the music of Mendelssohn and Smetana. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (207)

3-0 out of 5 stars Tess - hero or fool?
I know this is great literature, and I'm glad I finally read Tess of the D'Urbervilles, but I could not get past the fact that our plucky heroine Tess is a bit of a twit.While the injustices done to her may have reduced a lesser person to perpetual self-pity, Tess actually comes out the hero and pulls herself together, making a real life for her away from her family and her tormentor, Alec D'Urberville.It's only when she meets, falls in love, and marries Angel Clare that she begins acting the twit, the fool, and the loser. For some bizarre reason, she decides to be excruciatingly honest with her newly-wed husband (on their wedding night, no less), about her past trouble, involving apparently a rape, and her child born out of wedlock. I suppose it's hard for modern audiences to understand Angel's reaction (leaving her) when he realizes that she is not a virgin. Ah yes, the hypocrisy of Victorian culture.I understand that there's a huge sub-text going on in this novel about the social hypocrisy of the Victorian age, but it doesn't make sense that our formerly plucky Tess would now allow herself to fall to pieces.

Great story, in all.The writing itself, however, is not great.Hardy's prose is really rambling, roundabout, and he just does not get to the point.Sure to wear out even the most patient modern reader.So, great literature, although Tess is a twit and the writing itself is rambling.

5-0 out of 5 stars Life Matters
Hardy writes beautifully, tells stories, evokes feelings and describes landscapes, times and cultures that touch the reader's core.

Read this novel for the story and description, savor it later for the depth of existential questions and half-answers.Hardy is an early modernist, raising the big questions, describing the loss of classical innocence and hinting at potential paths to solutions.But, he does not provide definitive answers.His work suggests that the time of certain answers is permanently gone, to be replaced by a difficult journey, at best.

Man has a burning need for significance and meaning, but can find neither fully.Character is the most important thing, shining through all situations ... but it is partially shaped by fate, chance, history, family, society and the environment ... and while potentially noble, ultimately inadequate to fully address the challenges of life.

The reader leaves the book exhausted from the journeys, the hopes and the many pursuits.The flow of life and history continues in spite of the heroine's choices.In the end we are left with a bittersweet memory of this life which Hardy personally inserts as narrator, "will never be forgotten by those who knew her".
Perhaps this is the best current answer to the ultimate questions.

3-0 out of 5 stars The book is just okay for a classic...
Was it me or could I just not muster up sympathy for Tess? I just wasn't drawn into her character. Thus, I wasn't completely into the novel.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad cover condition
Bad cover. Half of the book is ruined because the spine has come unglued...false product description!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Classic Theme In Life
I rapidly read this book in high school for a test the next day.I knew that I wanted to read it again because it was so good and I was missing the subleties.I loved it.The theme is that our lives are goverened by what we think of ourselves.Poor Tess was so wrong, but for the times understandable.Hardy writes without including the graphic details, but the story remains.A story that is suspended in time. ... Read more

13. Hamlet (Arkangel Shakespeare)
by William Shakespeare
Audio CD: Pages (2005-03-02)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$15.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932219080
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Distressed by his father’s death and his mother’s hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is haunted by a ghostly courier bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness as he struggles to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet’s beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy. Shakespeare’s most famous play remains one of the greatest stories in Western literature. Performed by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and the Arkangel cast.

The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare marks the first time in audio publishing history that all of Shakespeare’s plays have been produced by a single creative team. Based word-for-word on The Complete Pelican Shakespeare, each play is presented uncut. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Teaching Aid
I teach high school English, and I always have my students follow along with the CD in class.I teach both accelerated and regular level classes, and my students all thank me for using the CD.I tell them in the beginning it will help them, and they are amazed when they find out it actually does.They tell me it really does make it easier to understand when they can listen to it (versus just reading it by themselves).We stop periodically to discuss, and my students take notes, and with these three things, I have had much more success with Shakespeare in the classroom than in the past. And I have to admit - it has also helped me to understand some of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hamlet (Arkangel Shakespeare)
Superior reading!I am using this in my classroom.It follows our text exactly and students understand it much better because of the expression the readers use.Excellent investment for instruction!

5-0 out of 5 stars The next best thing...
I started listening to the Arkangel series because of David Tennant (Doctor Who). Since then I've become addicted to this series, buying what I cannot borrow. The full cast of actors present the material in a very natural style, quite different from the respectful, poetic style that I was exposed to in school so many years ago. I've even gone through four of the histories, something that I never intended to do.

Read all the other reviews for well-considered, thoughtful reviews, especially in comparison to other offerings. I just know that I am enjoying listening to these CDs just for fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, but let's also have the Caedmon recordings!
As with most of the Arkangel Shakespeare, this is a very decently done performance, with some great acting.(The music, which is modern and a little sentimental, seems to me a mistake.)But as with all the Shakespeare, I'm a big believer in the Caedmon recordings from several decades ago, which feature simply amazing actors of the last generation: Sir Ralph Richardson, Paul Scofield, Sir John Gielgud, Hugh Griffith, Jeremy Brett, Sir Michael Redgrave, Cyril Cusack, Alan Bates, Vanessa Redgrave...the list goes on.The Arkangel recordings have a lot to offer, but we ought to have the option of listening to the classic recordings of these plays.Protest to Caedmon Music/Harper Collins today!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hamlet
I love this story!The CD audio is very good.It's very easy to get lost in the story. ... Read more

14. The Letters of Charlotte Bronte
by Charlotte Bronte
 Audio CD: Pages (2002-11-15)

Isbn: 1904533345
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15. Tickets, Please: A Collection of Stories and Poems by D. H. Lawrence, Read by Wendy Hiller, Peter Orr, Tim Piggott-Smith, Imogen Stubbs (SAY Series, 418 177-4)
by D. H. Lawrence
Audio Cassette: Pages (1987)

Asin: B000O7LMGA
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A collection of four short stories and 34 poems by D. H. Lawrence, read aloud on two audio cassettes. ... Read more

16. Hamlet.(play)(Theater Review): An article from: Shakespeare Bulletin
by Thomas Larque
 Digital: 4 Pages (2005-03-22)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$5.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000ALRHLO
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Editorial Review

Product Description
This digital document is an article from Shakespeare Bulletin, published by University of West Georgia on March 22, 2005. The length of the article is 1146 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.

Citation Details
Title: Hamlet.(play)(Theater Review)
Author: Thomas Larque
Publication: Shakespeare Bulletin (Refereed)
Date: March 22, 2005
Publisher: University of West Georgia
Volume: 23Issue: 1Page: 177(3)

Article Type: Theater Review

Distributed by Thomson Gale ... Read more

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