All About Books©
 Book Reviews
Search for Books
Browse for Books
Read Reviews
Contact Us

In association
      with
book store
Amazon.com

Pagehome.com
 "for
  your
   connection"
Web Space
Services
Sponsors
Free Stuff
WebTours
Jump Point
Links Directory
Information

 

 
All About Books Bookstore Reviews Ancients
and
Moderns

 
 

Ten Classic Titles

If you have a favorite book or author, please feel free to
Write a Review!
 
 
 
 
cover 

Mansfield Park

by Jane Austen

 Mass Market Paperback

List: $4.95 ~ Our Price: $3.96 ~ You Save: $0.99 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days.

Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.
 

Mansfield Park is named for the magnificent, idyllic estate that is home to the wealthy Bertram family and a powerful symbol of English tradition and stability. The novel's heroine, Fanny Price, is a "poor relation" living with the Bertrams, acutely conscious of her inferior status and yet daring to love their son Edmund -- from afar. But with five marriageable young people on the premises, the peace at Mansfield cannot last. Courtships, entertainments, and intrigues throw the place into turmoil, and Fanny finds herself unwillingly competing with a dazzlingly witty and lovely rival. As Margaret Drabble points out in her incisive introduction, the house becomes "full of the energies of discord -- sibling rivalry, greed, ambition, illicit sexual passion, and vanity," and the novel becomes ever more engrossing, until Mansfield's final scandal and its satisfying conclusion. Unique in its moral design and its brilliant interplay of the forces of tradition and change, Mansfield Park was the first novel of Jane Austen's maturity, and the first in which the author turned her unerring eye on the concerns of English society at a time of great upheaval. 


cover 

The Complete Poems, 1927-1979

by Elizabeth Bishop

 Paperback

List: $13.00 ~ Our Price: $10.40 ~ You Save: $2.60 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 24 hours.

Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

Elizabeth Bishop was vehement about her art--a perfectionist who didn't want to be seen as a "woman poet." In 1977, two years before her death she wrote, "art is art and to separate writings, paintings, musical compositions, etc., into two sexes is to emphasize values in them that are not art." She also deeply distrusted the dominant mode of modern poetry, one practiced with such detached passion by her friend Robert Lowell, the confessional. 

Bishop was unforgiving of fashion and limited ways of seeing and feeling, but cast an even more trenchant eye on her own work. One wishes this volume were thicker, though the perfections within mark the rightness of her approach. The poems are sublimely controlled, fraught with word play, fierce moral vision (see her caustic ballad on Ezra Pound, "Visits to St. Elizabeths"), and reticence. From the surreal sorrow of the early "Man-Moth" (leaping off from a typo she had come across for "mammoth"), about a lonely monster who rarely emerges from "the pale subways of cement he calls his home," to the beauty of her villanelle "One Art" (with its repeated "the art of losing isn't hard to master"), the poet wittily explores distance and desolation, separation and sorrow. 

The New York Times Book Review, David Bromwich:
Like all great poets, she was less a maker of poems than a maker of feelings. 


cover 

A Fine Balance : A Novel

by Rohinton Mistry

 Rep Edition 
Paperback, 603 pages

List: $15.00 ~ Our Price: $12.00 ~ You Save: $3.00 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 24 hours. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

Travel Editor's Recommended Book, 09/01/97:
Set in 1975 amid the political and social turbulence of the times, Rohinton Mistry's novel is the Indian Les Misérables, where misfortunes multiply and a drop of good luck has to last a long time. One character says the secret to life is "to maintain a fine balance between hope and despair." That's the challenge all of Mistry's characters face, and the novel ultimately manages the same fine balance, heaping bad luck on top of misfortune until you think you can read no further, then enticing you on with a smidgen of reprieve, only to douse the glimmer in another outrage against humanity. 
 

In 1975, in an unidentified Indian city, Mrs. Dina Dalal, a financially pressed Parsi widow in her early 40s sets up a sweatshop of sorts in her ramshackle apartment. Determined to remain financially independent and to avoid a second marriage, she takes in a boarder and two Hindu tailors to sew dresses for an export company. As the four share their stories, then meals, then living space, human kinship prevails and the four become a kind of family, despite the lines of caste, class, and religion. When tragedy strikes, their cherished, newfound stability is threatened, and each character must face a difficult choice in trying to salvage their relationships. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

 The New York Times Book Review, A.G. Mojtabai:
... Mistry needs no infusions of magical realism to vivify the real. The real world, through his eyes, is quite magical enough. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

 


cover 

Moses, Man of the Mountain

by Zora Neale Hurston

 Rep Edition 
Paperback, 310 pages

List: $13.50 ~ Our Price: $10.80 ~ You Save: $2.70 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days.
  Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Jesse Larsen:
According to the author's brief and pithy introduction, stories of Moses abound in Africa, Asia, and the Near East, "but not because of his beard nor because he brought the laws down from Sinai...What other man has ever seen with his eyes even the back part of God's glory?...That calls for power..." Here is the story of Moses told from the ground up, the story of law told by the bearers - of children, of law, of labor - not the makers, the decreers. It starts with the women hiding to give birth, the sounds of their labor stifled in terror of the greater agony of having their infant sons taken away and drowned. How does life continue under such a law, what do people do to survive? To grow? Enter Moses, an illegal boy born in gagged silence and floated away on the river inside a reed basket with his parent's sobbing hope his only strength. Rescued and raised by the Pharaoh's daughter, Moses grows up to become the savior of his people. As Moses learns, being savior is not an easy or trouble-free life, and it's not just the Pharaoh causing the problems. In prose full of rhythmic strength and humor, Zora Neale Hurston tells the story of Moses - an ancient human heritage story deeply enmeshed in the psyches and souls of many races and cultures - from the inside out, with all the guts and raggedy edges plainly visible. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14


cover 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

 Reissue Edition 
Paperback, 336 pages

List: $5.95 ~ Our Price: $4.76 ~ You Save: $1.19 (20%) 

Availability: On Order; usually ships within 1-2 weeks. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells the story of a teenaged misfit who finds himself floating on a raft down the Mississippi River with an escaping slave, Jim. In the course of their perilous journey, Huck and Jim meet adventure, danger, and a cast of characters who are sometimes menacing and often hilarious. 

Though some of the situations in Huckleberry Finn are funny in themselves (the cockeyed Shakespeare production in Chapter 21 leaps instantly to mind), this book's humor is found mostly in Huck's unique worldview and his way of expressing himself. Describing his brief sojourn with the Widow Douglas after she adopts him, Huck says: "After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people." Underlying Twain's good humor is a dark subcurrent of Antebellum cruelty and injustice that makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a frequently funny book with a serious message. 
 

A seminal work of American Literature that still commands deep praise and still elicits controversy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the understanding of the American soul. The recent discovery of the first half of Twain's manuscript, long thought lost, made front-page news. And this unprecedented edition, which contains for the first time omitted episodes and other variations present in the first half of the handwritten manuscript, as well as facsimile reproductions of thirty manuscript pages, is indispensable to a full understanding of the novel. The changes, deletions, and additions made in the first half of the manuscript indicate that Mark Twain frequently checked his impulse to write an even darker, more confrontational book than the one he finally published. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

 Justin Kaplan, from the Introduction:
We see at work a writer with a new-perfect ear for the right word and the right shading of idiom as he maneuvers between his purpose as a...literary artist and the diplomatic or expedient concessions he sometimes felt he had to make to the conventional taste of his audience and the demands of the book business. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

 Bernard DeVoto:
More truly with Huckleberry Finn than with any other book, inquiry may satisfy itself; here is America....It is a passage through the structure of a nation. --This text refers to the hardcover edition of this title.

 


cover 

The Periodic Table

by Primo Levi, Raymond Rosenthal (Translator), Neal Ascherson (Introduction)

 Rei Edition 
Hardcover

List: $17.00 ~ Our Price: $11.90 ~ You Save: $5.10 (30%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

Writer Primo Levi (1919-1987), an Italian Jew, did not come to the wide attention of the English-reading audience until the last years of his life. A survivor of the Holocaust and imprisonment in Auschwitz, Levi is considered to be one of the century's most compelling voices, and The Periodic Table is his most famous book. Springboarding from his training as a chemist, Levi uses the elements as metaphors to create a cycle of linked, somewhat autobiographical tales, including stories of the Piedmontese Jewish community he came from, and of his response to the Holocaust. 


cover 

The Iliad (Penguin Classics)

by Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator)

 Rep Edition 
Paperback

List: $9.95 ~ Our Price: $7.96 ~ You Save: $1.99 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 24 hours.

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. 


cover 

Things Fall Apart (Everyman's Library)

by Chinua Achebe

 Hardcover

List: $15.00 ~ Our Price: $10.50 ~ You Save: $4.50 (30%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

One of the most widely read novels from Nigeria's most famous novelist. Things Fall Apart is a gripping study of the problem of European colonialism in Africa. The story relates the cultural collision that occurs when Christian English missionaries arrive among the Ibos of Nigeria, bringing along their European ways of life and religion. In the novel, the Nigerian Okonkwo recognizes the cultural imperialism of the white men and tries to show his own people how their own society will fall apart if they exchange their own cultural core for that of the English. 


cover 

Portable Dorothy Parker

by Dorothy Parker, Brendan Gill (Editor)

 Rev&Enl re Edition 
Paperback, 610 pages

List: $14.95 ~ Our Price: $11.96 ~ You Save: $2.99 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

One of the most quotable of 20th-century American authors, Dorothy Parker is appreciated for her "robust and acid lucidities." If you're wondering what an acid lucidity might sound like, here's her short poem "Comment": "Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, / A medley of extemporanea; / And love is a thing that can never go wrong; / And I am Marie of Roumania." 

Over the years, Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) attained an enthusiastic following, rejuvenated by the film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. In her heyday, Parker was a drama critic for Vanity Fair, and, with Robert Benchley and Robert Sherwood, formed the nucleus of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal luncheon club held at New York City's Algonquin Hotel. From 1927 until 1933 Parker contributed a book review column to the New Yorker magazine. She also wrote poems, worked as a film writer, reported on the Spanish Civil War, and collaborated on several plays. 

The revised and enlarged edition of The Portable Dorothy Parker, with an introduction by Brendan Gill, comprises the original 1944 Portable, as selected and arranged by Parker herself. This rich volume includes all her most celebrated poems and stories; a selection of later stories, play reviews, and articles; book reviews from Esquire; and the complete collection of her New Yorker book reviews. 

Ogden Nash:
To say that Mrs. Parker writes well is as fatuous, I am afraid, as proclaiming that Cellini was clever with his hands . . . Mrs. Parker has an eye for people, an ear for language, and a feeling for the little things of life that are so immensely a part of the process of living. 

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister:
Dorothy Parker doesn't just reveal the hypocrisies, vanities, myths, and foibles of her characters, she skewers them - in a style that is merciless, wickedly funny, and often sad. There is the rich and selfish Mrs. Whittaker: "Mrs. Whittaker's dress was always studiously suited to its occasion; thus, her bearing had always that calm that only the correctly attired may enjoy." And Mr. Durant, whose affair with his stenographer has taken an unfortunate, one might say pregnant, turn: "Mr. Durant wished to God that he had never seen Rose. He explained this desire to her." "The woman with the pink velvet poppies" repeatedly and at great length assures her host that she can't wait to meet the guest of honor because "I don't see why on earth it isn't perfectly all right to meet colored people. I haven't any feeling at all about it - not one single bit." Then there is Hobart Ogden, "a very good-looking young man indeed, shaped to be annoyed," who works his way through an unlimited number of women. Sometimes related in the first-person, sometimes by a third-person narrator, these stories show us what people can not, or will not, see themselves. Her stories, along with the play and book reviews that are included in this collection, are quick, sharp, and dazzling. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14


cover 

Dead Souls (Vintage Classics)

by Nikolai Gogol, Richard Pevear (Translator), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator)

 1 Vintage Edition 
Paperback, 432 pages

List: $14.00 ~ Our Price: $11.20 ~ You Save: $2.80 (20%) 

Availability: This item usually ships within 2-3 days. Order this Book

Have you read this book? Write an online review and share your thoughts with other readers.

A socially adept newcomer fluidly inserts himself into an unnamed Russian town, conquering first the drinkers, then the dignitaries. All find him amiable, estimable, agreeable. But what exactly is Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov up to?--something that will soon throw the town "into utter perplexity." 

After more than a week of entertainment and "passing the time, as they say, very pleasantly," he gets down to business--heading off to call on some landowners. More pleasantries ensue before Chichikov reveals his bizarre plan. He'd like to buy the souls of peasants who have died since the last census. The first landowner looks carefully to see if he's mad, but spots no outward signs. In fact, the scheme is innovative but by no means bonkers. Even though Chichikov will be taxed on the supposed serfs, he will be able to count them as his property and gain the reputation of a gentleman owner. His first victim is happy to give up his souls for free--less tax burden for him. The second, however, knows Chichikov must be up to something, and the third has his servants rough him up. Nonetheless, he prospers. 

Dead Souls is a feverish anatomy of Russian society (the book was first published in 1842) and human wiles. Its author tosses off thousands of sublime epigrams--including, "However stupid a fool's words may be, they are sometimes enough to confound an intelligent man," and is equally adept at yearning satire: "Where is he," Gogol interrupts the action, "who, in the native tongue of our Russian soul, could speak to us this all-powerful word: forward? who, knowing all the forces and qualities, and all the depths of our nature, could, by one magic gesture, point the Russian man towards a lofty life?" Flannery O'Connor, another writer of dark genius, declared Gogol "necessary along with the light." Though he was hardly the first to envision property as theft, his blend of comic, fantastic moralism is sui generis

 

 
 
 
Best Viewed with 
Netscape. 
Get Netscape Here
Back to Top
 
Visit our other
"Great Resources"
here at Pagehome.com
 
Services WebTours JumpPoint Sponsors FreeStuff
 
Brought to you by:
Great Southern Resources, Inc.
Copyright© 1997 All rights reserved.
Free Speech Online Blue Ribbon Campaign