There may be no more a despicable yet ridiculous narrator in twentieth century fiction than the sleazy, condescending Humbert Humbert. And there may be no better name in twentieth century fiction than Dolores Haze, Humbert’s 12-year-old stepdaughter and love interest, whom he calls, among other things, his “nymphette,” Lolita.[...]
Hardly a day goes by where I’m not doing one of two things — listening to an audio book from Audible.com, or listening to a lecture from The Great Courses (formerly known as The Teaching Company). So, I was naturally pleased when the two companies announced a partnership yesterday.[...]
I’m impressed by the undertaking. Neville Jason and Naxos Audio Books have completed an unabridged audio version of Proust’s epic, seven-part novel, Remembrance of Things Past.[...]
I first encountered Oscar Wilde’s story “The Happy Prince” while working part-time as a tutor on New York’s Upper East Side. Looking for suitable reading material, I came across Wilde’s children’s stories, which I had not known existed. They were perfect—vivid, charming, literary fairy tales with something more besides.[...]
Two weeks ago, we gave a brief, passing mention to a gem of a clip — James Gandolfini reading from Maurice Sendak’s controversial children’s book In The Night Kitchen (1970). Given the unfortunate and untimely demise of the actor, it seems worth putting this video directly into the spotlight for a moment.[...]
Philip Roth announced his retirement from the writing life last fall, a few months shy of his 80th birthday. Now, on a computer in his New York City apartment, hangs a Post-It note that reads, “The struggle with writing is over.” There won’t be another novel. There won’t be a 29th.[...]
When we think of Kurt Vonnegut, we tend to think of Slaughterhouse-Five. Maybe we also think of the short story “Harrison Bergeron,” which gets assigned in class by slightly alternative-minded English teachers.[...]
A little over a year ago, we brought you a roundup of great Science Fiction & Fantasy classics available on the web. The free collection included everything from Aldous Huxley reading a dramatized version of Brave New World, to a BBC radio broadcast of Isaac Asimov’s influential Foundation Trilogy, to an audiobook version of C.S.[...]
How’s that New Year’s resolution going? You know, the one where you promised to make better use of your free time and learn new things? If you’re off track, fear not. It’s only April. It’s not too late to make good on your promise. And we can help.[...]
It’s in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, right in the midst of the Berkshires. Needless to say, not a drop of water in sight.
Now that I’ve got your attention, let me give you an update on The Moby Dick Big Read project.