In this biting satire by Twain, a 19th c. Yankee mechanic is knocked out during a brawl, and wakes to find himself in Camelot, A.D. 528, in King Arthur's Court. When the modern mechanic tries to cure society's ills (oppressed peasantry, evil church, etc.) with 19th c. industrial inventions like electricity and gunfi…Read More ?
From the master of satire, Jonathan Swift, comes a collection of his classic satirical works. "A Modest Proposal and Other Satires" includes the following works: A Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against the Abolishment of Christianity, A Modest Proposal, A True and Faithful Narrative, A Meditati…Read More ?
The first work written by Sterne might be labelled a roman à clef or a cronique scandaleuse, which were so popular at the beginning of the eighteenth century. However, even these more suitable names do not do justice to the richness and slipperiness of this text. It can certainly be considered a mock-epic allegory t…Read More ?
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is probably his most difficult satire, and possibly his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody which is divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representi…Read More ?
In this sardonic portrait of the up-and-coming middle class during the prosperous 1920s, Sinclair Lewis perfectly captures the sound, the feel, and the attitudes of the generation that created the cult of consumerism. With a sharp eye for detail and keen powers of observation, Lewis tracks successful realtor George …Read More ?
Set in late 18th century Europe the adventures and mis-adventures of a minor member of the Irish gentry trying to better himself. Redmond Barry of Bally Barry is a clever young man, who learns the manners of a gentleman. This serves him well, for the next few decades he meanders through Europe, as a soldier, mercena…Read More ?
Brother Jacob is Eliot's literary homage to Thackeray, a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading. Revealing Eliot's deep engagement with the question of whether there are 'necessary truths' independent of our perception of them and the boundaries of art and the self.
Political satire doesn't age well, but occasionally a diatribe contains enough art and universal mirth to survive long after its timeliness has passed. Candide is such a book. Penned by that Renaissance man of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, Candide is steeped in the political and philosophical controversies of the 175…Read More ?
A collection of short fables and stories written under Bierce's pseudonym, Dod Grile, and although one of his earliest published books, it still displays the wit and cynicism which colors his writing. The book is divided into three sections: Fables of Zambri, the Parsee, an assortment of over 100 fables; _Brief Se…Read More ?
On vacation from school, Denis goes to stay at Crome, an English country house inhabitated by several of Huxley's most outlandish characters–from Mr. Barbecue-Smith, who writes 1,500 publishable words an hour by "getting in touch" with his "subconscious," to Henry Wimbush, who is obsessed with writing the definitiv…Read More ?
George Eliot’s final novel and her most ambitious work, Daniel Deronda contrasts the moral laxity of the British aristocracy with the dedicated fervor of Jewish nationalists. Crushed by a loveless marriage to the cruel and arrogant Grandcourt, Gwendolen Harleth seeks salvation in the deeply spiritual and altruistic …Read More ?
A stranger arrives in a Russian backwater community with a bizarre proposition for the local landowners: cash for their 'dead souls,' the serfs who have died in their service. A comic masterpiece. Dead Souls is eloquent on some occasions, lyrical on others, and pious and reverent elsewhere. Nicolai Gogol was a maste…Read More ?
Dodsworth tells the story of a young American couple who moves to Europe. When the woman becomes involved with another man, her husband must choose between forgiving his wife or abandoning the relationship, and Europe, forever.
Universally recognized as a landmark in American literature, Elmer Gantry scandalized readers when it was first published, causing Sinclair Lewis to be 'invited' to a jail cell in New Hampshire and to his own lynching in Virginia. His portrait of a golden-tongued evangelist who rises to power within his church–a …Read More ?
Setting out to make his fortune in a far-off country, a young traveller discovers the remote and beautiful land of Erewhon and is given a home among its extraordinarily handsome citizens. But their visitor soon discovers that this seemingly ideal community has its faults - here crime is treated indulgently as a mala…Read More ?
Samuel Butler's Erewhon Revisited is a satirical sequel to his highly successful Erewhon. Mr. Higgs meets many unpleasant accidents and surprises in Butler's utopian nation. A new religion has come into existence as a result of distorted and misunderstood sayings, an…Read More ?
How would a creature limited to two dimensions be able to grasp the possibility of a third? Edwin A. Abbott's droll and delightful "romance of many dimensions" explores this conundrum in the experiences of his protagonist, A Square, whose linear world is invaded by an emissary Sphere bringing the gospel of the third…Read More ?
Godolphin is a satirical 19th century British romance novel about the life of an idealistic man, Percy Godolphin, and his eventual lover, Constance Vernon. Written as a frame narrative, Godolphin provides a satirical insight into the day-to-day lives of the early 19th century British elite. The story is told throu…Read More ?
Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulli…Read More ?
Published in 1886 and dedicated to the writer’s ally in idling—his pipe—this collection of entertaining essays established Jerome K. Jerome as an eminent English wit. "What readers ask nowadays in a book is that it should improve, instruct, and elevate. This book wouldn’t elevate a cow. I cannot conscientiously reco…Read More ?
London, 1936. Gordon Comstock has declared war on the money god; and Gordon is losing the war. Nearly 30 and 'rather moth-eaten already,' a poet whose one small book of verse has fallen 'flatter than any pancake,' Gordon has given up a 'good' job and gone to work in a bookshop at half his former salary. Always…Read More ?
A neglected tour de force by the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, Kingsblood Royal is a stirring & wickedly funny portrait of a man who resigns from the white race. When Neil Kingsblood a typical middle-American banker with a comfortable life makes the shocking discovery that he has African-Ameri…Read More ?
The victim of a vicious scandal, the impoverished Lady Susan is obliged to take up residence with her brother-in-law and his family. Refusing to resign herself to the role of placid house guest, she conspires to baffle her hosts, seducing her sister-in-law's brother in the process by means of her impeccable gentilit…Read More ?
In this classic, Sinclair Lewis shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire. Main Street attacks the conformity and dullness of early 20th Century mid western village life in the story of Carol Milford, the city girl who marries the town doctor. Her efforts to bring culture to …Read More ?
Set in a former abbey whose owner, Christopher Glowry, is host to visitors who enjoy his hospitality and engage in endless debate. Among these guests are figures recognizable to Peacock's contemporaries, including characters based on Lord Byron and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mr. Glowry's son Scythrop (also modeled on …Read More ?
Our Mutual Friend, Dickens' last complete novel, gives one of his most comprehensive and penetrating accounts of Victorian society. Its vision of a culture stifled by materialistic values emerges not just through its central narratives, but through its apparently incidental characters and scenes. The chief of its se…Read More ?
Rupert of Hentzau is the dark sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda. Full of humor and swashbuckling feats of heroism, the tale is also a satire on the politics of 19th-century Europe. When honour is at stake, the fight is to the death. Rudolf Rassendyll, having heroically saved the kingdom of Ruritania and nobly give…Read More ?
While things were in this ferment, discord grew extremely high; hot words passed on both sides, and ill blood was plentifully bred. Here a solitary Ancient, squeezed up among a whole shelf of Moderns, offered fairly to dispute the case, and to prove by manifest reason that the priority was due to them from long poss…Read More ?
Long considered Melville's strangest novel, The Confidence-Man is a comic allegory aimed at the optimism and materialism of mid-nineteenth century America. A shape-shifting Confidence-Man approaches passengers on a Mississippi River steamboat and, winning over his not-quite-innocent victims with his charms, urges ea…Read More ?
This allegorical satire about a man fleeing from his evil dreams was written under the influence of the Spanish Civil War. The croquet player, comfortably sipping a vermouth, listens to the strange and terrible tale of the haunted countryside. Wells' modern ghost story of a remote English Village, Cainsmarsh. Dark e…Read More ?