Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Dr. Watson chronicles here some of the more interesting detective cases that he and his good friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, have encountered during their association. We see the cases unfold as he does, scratch our heads as does he while the evidence is collected, and then marvel at the impeccable observations, remarkable insight, and doggedness which Holmes displays as he teases apart the tangled clues.
Packaged as twelve distinct cases, by the end of this book your own senses of observation and deductive reasoning should be improved. It's easy to see why this book became a model for detective yarns!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A collection of short Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Dedicated to Beth Thomas
Few things, even in literature, can really be said to be unique — but Moby Dick is truly unlike anything written before or since. The novel is nominally about the obsessive hunt by the crazed Captain Ahab of the book’s eponymous white whale. But interspersed in that story are digressions, paradoxes, philosophical riffs on whaling and life, and a display of techniques so advanced for its time that some have referred to the 1851 Moby Dick as the first “modern” novel.
Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean and the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838 (from just before the Hundred Days through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. It is primarily concerned with themes of justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness, and is told in the style of an adventure story.
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo is an adventure novel and one of the author's most popular works. He completed the work in 1844. The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean and in the Levant during the historical events of 1815-1838 (from just before the Hundred Days to the reign of Louis-Philippe of France). It deals with themes of hope, justice, vengeance, mercy and forgiveness. The book is considered a literary classic today.
Robert Louis Stevenson
This story deals with the obvious fact that we humans are split, dual. We have urges to do the 'right' thing, to be honorable and wise, but we also frequently fail to follow these better instincts and follow instead urges to do dishonorable, evil things. We seem to battle within ourselves. Are we really composed of two different personalities housed within the same brain, within the same person? Dr Jekyll in this story is so convinced and manages by scientific means to actually split himself into his ordinary composite self, and his evil self whom he calls Mr. Hyde. The horror of this unnatural split is well documented here and shows what might happen were this possible.
In order to escape his cruel father, and led by a thirst for adventure, Huck Finn sets off down the Mississippi River with Jim, an escaped slave. But trouble is never far behind them, and their adventures are only beginning when they meet up with two men who claim to be a duke and a king! And that’s before Jim gets captured by none other than Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle… who mistake Huck for Tom. The hilarious adventures and scrapes of Huck, Jim, Tom, and others are brought to life in this dramatic reading.
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River, and its sober and often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. The drifting journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on their raft may be one of the most enduring images of escape and freedom in all of American literature.
The book has been popular with young readers since its publication, and taken as a sequel to the comparatively innocuous The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It has also been the continued object of study by serious literary critics. Although the Southern society it satirized was already a quarter-century in the past by the time of publication, the book immediately became controversial, and has remained so to this day.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade), often shortened to Huck Finn, is a novel written by Mark Twain and published in 1884. It is commonly regarded as one of the Great American Novels, and is one of the first major American novels written in the vernacular, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, best friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels.
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. By satirizing a Southern antebellum society that was already anachronistic at the time, the book is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. The drifting journey of Huck and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, down the Mississippi River on their raft may be one of the most enduring images of escape and freedom in all of American literature.
The book has been popular with young readers since its publication and is taken as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It has also been the continued object of study by serious literary critics. The book was criticized upon release because of its coarse language, and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes and because of its frequent use of the "N" racial slur.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Treasure Island is an adventure novel, a thrilling tale of "buccaneers and buried gold." Traditionally considered a coming of age story, it is an adventure tale of superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long John Silver—unusual for children's literature then and now.
Robert Louis Stevenson
When a rough old seaman calling himself "the Captain" appears at the inn owned by Jim Hawkins' father, young Jim little dreams what adventures will follow in the man's wake. Soon, the once-peaceful inn is threatened by pirates, Jim's father is laid in his grave, and Jim finds himself in possession of a map showing the location of treasure buried by the legendary and notorious Captain Flint. Along with a group of brave men: the sensible Dr. Livesey, the fearless and unflagging Captain Smollett, and the blustering but well-meaning Squire Trelawney, Jim sets out in quest of the treasure. Many perils, from wild animals to murderous villains to stormy seas will beset him on the way. And ever in the background, smiling and enigmatic, lurks the one-legged ship's cook, Long John Silver. One of the best-loved adventure stories of all time, Treasure Island is a pirate classic that delights readers today as much as when Stevenson first wrote it.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island is an adventure novel narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is a tale noted for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality -- unusual for children's literature. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is enormous, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.
The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold-hearted man of business and has little time for the good humor and charity of the Christmas season. But that's about to change. A visit from his deceased business partner sets in motion a night in which Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Will his listen to their messages? Will he heed their warnings? Ebenezer Scrooge is about to take a Christmas journey that he won't soon forget.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
What really killed Sir Charles Baskerville? Is his nephew, Sir Henry, in danger from the legendary family curse, a gigantic black hound? Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are on the case in this classic mystery, set on lonely Dartmoor in Devonshire. Neolithic ruins, a perilous quagmire, eerie sounds in the night, and (of course) fog all add to the fun, with an escaped convict thrown in for good measure.
H. G. Wells
H.G. Wells' classic science fiction-fantasy story, in which a scientist known only as “The Time Traveller” tells the tale of his journey to the year 802,701 A.D. and beyond, where he witnesses the end of human civilization as we know it, as well as the beginning of the end of the world. This original time-travel story has been copied many times, but never improved upon.
The Odyssey is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems (the other being the Iliad), attributed to the poet Homer. The poem is commonly dated to between 800 and 600 BC. The poem is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, and concerns the events that befall the Greek hero Odysseus in his long journey back to his native land Ithaca after the fall of Troy.
It takes Odysseus ten years to return to his native land of Ithaca after ten years of war; during his 20-year absence, his son Telemachus and his wife Penelope must deal with a group of unruly suitors who have moved into Odysseus' home to compete for Penelope's hand in marriage, since most have assumed that Odysseus has died.
The poem is a fundamental text in the Western canon and continues to be read in both Homeric Greek and translations around the world.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travelers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is widely considered Swift's magnum opus and is his most celebrated work, as well as one of the indisputable classics of English literature.
In this novel (often mistakingly classified a children’s book) the main protagonist Buck, a St. Bernard/Collie mix, is abducted and sold to a trainer of sled dogs in Alaska. He adapts to the brutal conditions and is finally acquired by a loving man. When this new owner is killed, Buck follows the ‘call of the wild’ and joins a pack of wolves.
Buck is living a happy life in California until he is sold to pay a gambling debt. Taken to the Klondike to become a sled dog, Buck must toughen up and learn the harsher rules of survival in the North. One of the first of these is how to deal with being harnessed in the same team as a dog that wants to kill him.
Large, strong and smart, Buck toughens to his new life. But even the toughest dog can be worn down by constant work, and after 3,000 miles of pulling sleds, Buck nears the end of his rope.
Cast away as no longer useful, Buck is acquired by greenhorns whose inexperience nearly kills him, but after being saved by John Thornton, he at last finds a man he can love.
Then on a remote gold-hunting expedition, Buck hears a call emanating from the woods and speaking to the wild heart of his distant ancestors. The lure of it almost balances the great love he bears for Thornton, but events take him away from his old life... and into legend.
This is the story of Buck, dog napped from sunny California to snowy Arctic during the Alaska gold rush. This deservedly famous book has been already recorded by LibriVox and downloaded more than 100,000 times. Why, then, would anyone suggest another recording? Because this will be a Solo recording.
One of the joys of LibriVox is also a source of frustration for some listeners. That is, getting used to a narrator just in time for it to change! So, with apologies to Gordon, Kristin, Jean, and Miette, I am doing a solo.
Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly-employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club.
Enigmatic Phileas Fogg accepts a wager about whether it's possible to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or under. The book charts his adventures on the way.
Mysterious Phileas Fogg is a cool customer. A man of the most repetitious and punctual habit - with no apparent sense of adventure whatsoever - he gambles his considerable fortune that he can complete a journey around the world in just 80 days... immediately after a newspaper calculates the feat as just barely possible.
With his excitable French manservant in tow, Fogg undertakes the exercise immediately, with no preparations, trusting that his traveling funds will make up for delays along the way. But unbeknownst to him, British police are desperately seeking to arrest him for the theft of a huge sum by someone who resembles him, and they will track him around the world, if necessary, to apprehend him.
This is an adventure novel of the first water, with wholly unexpected perils, hair-breadth escapes, brilliant solutions to insoluble problems, and even a love story. And can this be? - That he returns to London just five minutes too late to win his wager and retain his fortune?
Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club
In London, 1872, a rich English gentlemen named Mr. Phileas Fogg argues with the members in the Reform Club, and takes on a journey around the world in 80 days with his new servant, Passapartout, with accepting a wager.
Daniel Defoe’s The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner (1719) is considered by many the first English novel. Based on the real-life experiences of the castaway Alexander Selkirk, the book has had a perrenial appeal among readers of all ages-–especially the young adult reading public–-who continue to find inspiration in the inventive resourcefulness of its hero, sole survivor of a shipwreck who is marooned on an uninhabited island.
Especially poignant, after more than two decades of unbroken solitude, is the affection that Robinson develops for Friday, another survivor fleeing certain death at the hands of enemy tribesmen from the South American continent.
Shipwrecked and castaway, Daniel DeFoe’s hard-luck character is still the standard for “growing where you’re planted.” Captured by pirates, he makes his break in a small boat and undergoes desperate adventures before winning his way back to civilization. But Crusoe proves willing to chance his luck a second time when, after sweating his way to prosperity as a planter in Brazil, he undertakes a voyage that isn’t needful… and is marooned on a small island off South America.
Crusoe shows the value of single-minded labor as he pursues ways to feed, shelter, and clothe himself. His ardent wish is to escape his island – why is it that the only people who come there are cannibals? But he spends more than two decades in isolation before acquiring a sidekick – the man Friday you’ve probably heard of. And who would guess his way to salvation would depend on leading a last-ditch fight against a shipful of mutineers?
The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis -- inseparable friends who live by the motto, "One for all, and all for one".
The Three Musketeers was first published in serial form in the magazine Le Siècle between March and July 1844. Dumas claimed it was based on manuscripts he had discovered in the Bibliothèque Nationale. It was later proven that Dumas had based his work on the book Mémoires de Monsieur D'Artagnan, capitaine lieutenant de la première compagnie des Mousquetaires du Roi (Memoirs of Mister D'Artagnan, Lieutenant Captain of the first company of the King's Musketeers) by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (Cologne, 1700).
Dumas' version of the story covers the adventures of D'Artagnan and his friends from 1625 to 1628, as they are involved in intrigues involving the weak King Louis XIII of France, his powerful and cunning advisor Cardinal Richelieu, the beautiful Queen Anne of Austria, her English lover, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and the Siege of La Rochelle. Adding to the intrigue are the mysterious Milady de Winter, and Richelieu's right-hand man, the Comte de Rochefort.
The classic story of how Rat, Mole, and the other river-bankers saved Toad from his excesses. This book has it all: excitement, sentiment, destruction of private property (plenty of that), paganism, and a happy ending. The prose is beautiful and occasionally requires the use of a dictionary - I had to look up “asperities.” Written as a children’s story, The Wind in the Willows is enjoyed by many grown-ups who relish Grahame’s ability to evoke the long summer days of childhood.
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.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The Sign of the Four, the second of four novels featuring Sherlock Holmes, has a complex plot involving India, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts and two corrupt prison guards. Some of Holmes's less savory habits are revealed, and Dr. Watson finds romance. In this dramatic reading, Volunteers bring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic characters to life.
This collection of independent stories first published between 1905 and 1907 in the magazine Je Sais Tout recounts the tales of Arsène Lupin, the famous gentleman-burglar: the first story marks the introduction of the character to the public, and its success encouraged author Maurice Leblanc to write several others, collected and published as a book in 1907. Arsène Lupin would go on to be the main character in several short stories and novels, written by Leblanc and others, and whose legacy would appear also in comics, movies and video games, becoming the icon of the affable and charming man who, choosing to walk on the wrong side of law, still can be a force for good.
Wells, H. G.
Terrifically popular science fiction novel by renowned writer HG Wells, about a scientist discovering how to achieve invisibility. But, in his case, being out of sight evidently does NOT mean out of mind.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
John Carter is mysteriously conveyed to Mars, where he discovers two intelligent species continually embroiled in warfare. Although he is a prisoner of four-armed green men, his Civil War experience and Earth-trained musculature give him superior martial abilities, and he is treated with deference by this fierce race. Falling in love with a princess of red humanoids (two-armed but egg-bearing), he contrives a daring escape and later rescues the red men from the hostility of another nation of their own race. In this struggle he enlists the aid of his former captors, whom he gradually civilizes, teaching them first the practical advantages of kindness to their beasts of burden and then of casting aside centuries of communal living in favor of the nuclear family. At last he even starts them on the path to mastering the arts of friedship and diplomacy. When the failure of the atmosphere-generator threatens the planet's inhabitants with extinction, Carter's luck, memory, and sheer determination make possible the salvation of the planet, but Carter himself falls unconscious before he knows the success of his efforts. The novel ends with his sudden involuntary return to Earth.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Part One of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars-Series. Easy, swank, pulp read about an omnipotent gentleman teleported to Mars, finding an outlandish society of ape-, tree- and lizardmen, red-, white-, yellowmen, brains on legs, strange bastions and curious apparatuses, where the strongest survives and women are needy beauties to be saved. How can something be so platitudinous and at the same time so imaginative and enthralling? Boys’ book for sure.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
John Carter, an American Civil War veteran, goes prospecting in Arizona and, when set upon by Indians, is mysteriously transported to Mars, called "Barsoom" by its inhabitants. Carter finds that he has great strength on this planet, due to its lesser gravity. Carter soon falls in among the Tharks, a nomadic tribe of the planet's warlike, four-armed, green inhabitants. Thanks to his strength and combat abilities he rises in position in the tribe and earns the respect eventually the friendship of Tars Tarkas one of the Thark chiefs.
The Tharks subsequently capture Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, a member of the humanoid red Martian race. The red Martians inhabit a loose network of city states and control the desert planet's canals, along which its agriculture is concentrated. Carter rescues her from the green men to return her to her people.
H. G. Wells
In this classic of H. G. Wells, Edward Prendick is shipwrecked on a beautiful island in the South Seas and is drawn into the wild and cruel world of Doctor Moreau, who aspires to play God with animals
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The Lost World is a 1912 novel by Arthur Conan Doyle concerning an expedition to a plateau (native name is Tepuyes) in South America (Venezuela) where prehistoric animals (dinosaurs and other extinct creatures) still survive. The character of Professor Challenger was introduced in this book. Interestingly, for a seminal work of dinosaur-related fiction, the reptiles only occupy a small portion of the narrative. Much more time is devoted to a war between early human hominids and a vicious tribe of ape-like creatures.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Imagine a strange, tropical place that is almost inaccessible. Time appears to have stood still there. Species of animal and plant life not seen elsewhere on Earth, except in the fossil record, inhabit the place. The lakes heave with the shapes of huge grey bulks moving under the surface. The woods are places where chittering cries move about above your head, as powerful apes move swiftly in the canopy of leaves. Then, a tree splinters nearby, and a dinosaur steps out from his hiding place... and he's eyeing YOU.
Jurassic Park? Not quite. The Lost World was an inspiration for Jurassic Park; in fact, a character in J.P. has the same name as one of the chief characters in The Lost World. It also inspired King Kong. But this is the original! Four adventurers go off to find the place shown in a dead man's sketch book - they find a war between apes and Indians, prowling dinosaurs, a sparkly treasure hidden in the blue clay - they find the Lost World. And because of the treachery of a native guide, their means of escape is destroyed!
Over the years, strange things have been happening at the Paris Opéra House. The new owners, M. Moncharmin and M. Richard don't know what to do about the mysterious "Opera Ghost" demanding money, nor the tragic death of the chief scene-shifter. Now the young Soprano, Christine Daae, has been kidnapped and her lover, the Vicomte de Chagny, is going mad. The opera house is falling to pieces. Could this all be the work of the mysterious Phantom of the Opera?
Scott, Walter, Sir
Follows the fortunes of the son of a noble Saxon family in Norman England as he woos his lady, disobeys his father, and is loved by another. Set in late 12C England and in Palestine with Richard Cœur-de-Lion at the Crusades, it's another ripping historical yarn by Scott
White Fang (1906) was written as a companion to Jack London’s successful Call of the Wild (1903). It is the tale of a wild dog born in the wild and eventually brought to civilization. The story is viewed primarily through the eyes of its canine protagonist and deals with themes of morality and redemption.
When White Fang is birthed in a cave to a wolf sire and a wolf/dog halfbreed dam, he is heir to two traditions. At first he is content to explore and learn laws of the Wild. But then his mother is caught and held by old memories of a past relationship with Man, and White Fang follows her into service with the Indians. Life among sled dogs is hardly less cruel and dangerous than living in the Wild, but brutality notches upward when his drunken master sells him to a nasty, twisted hanger-on at a riverside town of white men. He is stripped of everything soft and gentle when forced to fight to the death for a crowd of bettors.
Taming this savage spirit and reclaiming the nobility within looks impossible. Fortunately, and heart-warmingly, a man arrives in White Fang's life to try.
"White Fang" is often called the mirror image of Jack London's acclaimed "The Call of the Wild" in which a dog follows the reverse arc from tame to free.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
David Balfour, a lad of seventeen and newly orphaned, is directed to go and live with his rich uncle, the master of the estate of Shaws in the lowlands of Scotland near Edinburgh. His uncle, Ebenezer (as close a miser as Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge), is shocked to suddenly have his young relative descend on him and tries to rid himself of David with an arranged accident. Failing that, he pays the captain of a brig to kidnap David and sell him into slavery in Carolina.
A collision in the fog brings onboard the brig a survivor, Alan Breck Stewart, who is carrying a dangerous amount of gold on his person. David warns him of a plan by the brig's captain and crew to overpower him and seize the money, and then finds himself fighting alongside Alan in a battle royale. By good fortune, Alan is handy with a sword and they have access to the firearms locker, and the pair so completely defeat the crew that barely enough hands remain to sail her. Limping to port, she is holed by rocks, and David finds himself a castaway.
Being in Alan's presence continues to be a chancey business. David is talking to Colin Roy Campbell, the King's Factor who has been oppressing Alan's people, when the man is shot to death, and David is chased as an accomplice. The two "take to the heather" and barely survive near brushes with redcoats as they thread through the Trossachs and other highland ranges of Scotland. Only after an arduous weeks-long trek through territory where they are actively hunted do they emerge in the more settled districts around the river Forth, only to find guards upon the bridge. With no money remaining, they must somehow cross to Queensferry, find Ebenezer's lawyer, and lay claim to David's inheritance in order to send Alan safely on to France.
Orczy, Emmuska, Baroness
The classic story of Sir Percy Blakeney and his alter ego, the Scarlet Pimpernel. A great adventure, set during the French Revolution.
Orczy, Emmuska, Baroness
Baroness Emma ("Emmuska") Orczy (September 23, 1865 – November 12, 1947) was a British novelist, playwright and artist of Hungarian origin. She was most notable for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel. Some of her paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
Captain Nemo, The Nautilus, and the mysterious depths of the ocean. Unforgettable. Come join an adventure that will roam among coral and pearls, sharks and giant squid, with wonders of biology and engineering that will thrust us from the Antarctic to Atlantis. Whether voyaging a yarn of the glorious unknown, a tale of the darkness that grips the heart of men, or a reinterpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, we’ll all enjoy the fantastic trip. Seasickness optional.
The book tells the adventures of five Americans on an uncharted island in the South Pacific. The story begins in the American Civil War, during the siege of Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America. As famine and death ravage the city, five northern prisoners of war decide to escape by the unusual means of hijacking a balloon. The five are Cyrus Smith, a railroad engineer in the Union army (named Cyrus Harding in some English translations); his black manservant Neb (short for Nebuchadnezzar), who Verne repeatedly states is not a slave but an ex-slave who had been freed by Smith; the sailor Bonadventure Pencroff (who is addressed only by his surname, but his "Christian name", Bonadventure, is given to their boat; in other translations, he is also known as Pencroft); his protégé Harbert Brown (called Herbert in some translations), a young boy whom Pencroff raises as his own after the death of his father (Pencroff's former captain); and the journalist Gedéon Spilett (Gideon Spilett in English versions). The company is completed by Cyrus' dog 'Top'.
After flying in stormy weather for several days, the group crash-lands on a cliff-bound, volcanic, unknown (and fictitious) island. They name it "Lincoln Island" in honor of American President Abraham Lincoln. With the knowledge of the brilliant engineer Smith, the five are able to sustain themselves on the island, hoping that they will one day escape.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan of the Apes is Burroughs’ exciting, if improbable, story of an English lord, left by the death of his stranded parents in the hands of a motherly African ape who raises him as her own. Although he is aware that he is different from the apes of his tribe, who are neither white nor hairless, he nevertheless regards them as his “people.” When older, larger, stronger apes decide that he an undesirable to be killed or expelled from the tribe, it is fortunate that Tarzan has learned the use of primitive weapons.
Although small and weak by ape standards, Tarzan is a human of god-like strength and agility to men who discover him. By studying these people, he gradually decides he is not an ape at all, but human.
And when he meets Jane, a beautiful American girl marooned with her father and friends on the hostile coast of Africa, Tarzan conceives love for her. When they are unexpectedly rescued before Tarzan can find a way to reveal his feelings to Jane, he determines to become civilized and follow her into the world of people – to find her and wed her, though he must cross continents and oceans, and compete with two other suitors for her hand.
This story was the subject of a successful film in 1932, with Tarzan being played by Johnny Weissmuller, who acted in a further eleven Tarzan films. According to Weissmuller in an interview with Mike Douglas, his famous ape-call was audio stitched together from a soprano, an alto, and a hog-caller! Summary by Mark F. Smith