Once you pick up a book and turn the first page, you may find yourself thrust into a wonderful world created by the author that presents all sorts of ideas that either compliment or conflict with what you may know or understand. Often these stories will have a deeper meaning underlying all the magic and mayhem that you may find hidden in its pages. A book is truly a wonderful thing to delve into. It is what has inspired many of authors, screenplay writers, directors and all manner of successful people.
The classics of literature are another thing altogether. There is mystery, there may be murder, deception and cruelty, triumph and courage; there may be love and friendship and there may be adventure. All of it comes together in that rather pleasant way that you can only get from the classics like The Count of Monte Cristo and Oliver Twist. They tell of a world separate from our own; of a time long gone when imagination was all we had to fill our days and some things were good and others not so much.
Classic literature serves a purpose in our lives. We can learn about our history and heritage from those books and learn great lessons from riveting stories. Not only can we understand the ideologies of the days gone by, but we can see a bit of ourselves in some of the characters. Our morals, standards, lifestyle choices and general society were created from that era and we can learn a lot from them.
In today’s world, hardly anyone has time for a book so these lessons could go unlearned and these adventures remain hidden. The world of technology is such that you can still enjoy a story even without touching a book. The e-book is one such advancement that allows readers from all over the world to have the story whenever and wherever.
The audio book has gone a step further and now you can listen to your story while on a walk or on a drive for example. There are many books available on audio and more so for classical literature which some people may find hard to read. Listening to the story makes it somewhat easier. The best classic audiobooks are available for the avid listener that you may want to look into and here are a few:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is set in the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, England. It depicts a story of clashing cultures and ideas of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (who happens to be the second born of 5 daughters). Elizabeth and her sisters face the questions of society, marriage, education and morality along with the major themes of pride and prejudice.
Set in the early 19th century, the book still has connotations to today’s culture that can be applied to everyday life. From this audiobook you can expect a series of unexpected twists and turns as the characters each explore their world in the only unique way that they can. It is a good moral lesson in the end about pride and having prejudice that the reader and/or listener would want to experience. Read our full review of the Pride and Prejudice audiobook to find out more.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is a fictional autobiography featuring the life of Jane as she goes through several stages and hardships in life. First we see her through her childhood years where she has to live with her uncle and his family. Her aunt does not particularly like her and she faces some hardships. In her education, she faces even more challenges since the institution is poorly managed. Despite this, Jane makes some friends along the way that greatly impact her life.
Finally, we see her life as a grown up and all the hurdles it has from employment to morality in the world of romance. It is truly a novel to behold that will not only capture the reader’s attention but hold it and keep it in their memory for a long time to come. Be sure to read our full review of the Jane Eyre audiobook and add it to your collection.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This story circles a few of the more relevant themes to today’s society. It is loosely based on the characters and locations of the author, Harper Lee’s own youth but also addresses the themes of racial injustice, prejudice, compassion, class and gender roles.
Much as some of the themes in the story may be dark like the issue of rape and racial discrimination in early 20th century America, the story still continues today to be a moral lesson for all those who read it or know it well. The main character’s father is still considered a moral hero today and the book still tops best selling lists of classic literature. To enjoy the humor and warmth of this book even despite some of its dark themes, be sure to get the To Kill a Mockingbird audiobook.
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This is one story that is definitely a must-listen for everyone. It follows the conviction of a woman who had a child out of wedlock with a man whom she will not name. She is given a public punishment as the book begins and is forced to wear a red letter “A” on her dress as a sign that she is guilty of the crime of adultery.
The rest of The Scarlet Letter audiobook follows the stigma she faces and the hardships she and her young daughter have to go through. The book mainly depicts the themes of guilt and sin and the ever-present legality as pertains to each of these themes. It is a lesson to all that encourages people to think critically about their moral judgment and standing. Nevertheless, it is a story worth reading (or listening to).
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
This book covers the story of the Joad family as they try to make something of themselves when they are forced out of their home in Oklahoma and away from all they have known and loved. They are heading to California during the Great Depression to what they hope is a better life. On the way they suffer losses, diseases and deaths in and around them that despite their situation does not give them cause to lose hope. They only have each other to lean on and in the end it is what binds them together.
The Grapes of Wratch audiobook explores the main theme of family and togetherness in hardship, loyalty and hope. It is still widely read today for the impact it has. As a page-turner and a thought-provoking piece of fiction, this is one audio book you will definitely want to have in your collection.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The famous Great White Whale features in this novel by Herman Melville. The story is told from the perspective of Ishmael, a man who is a school teacher feeling the call of adventure on the sea. It tells of the lives of whalers in great detail and the almost manic revenge mission of one man – Captain Ahab – as he hunts down the great white whale that cost him his ship and a leg. The sea adventure that follows is one that has spanned the ages and is a riveting read.
As far as an adventure story goes, it is one of the greatest that leads up to a grand ending that the reader will no doubt enjoy through its themes of good and evil and the existence of God. A favorite for many, Moby Dick is one story that has pleased generations before it and continues to please readers and inspire authors today.
1984 by George Orwell
The book features a dystopian world of autocracy and totalitarian rule. It depicts a time when the world has been taken over by one absolute leader and his efforts to curb human freedom and any that opposes his rule. The main character is a man who aids this rule in an area known as Airstrip One that is the former United Kingdom after he is brainwashed. The world begins to move gradually towards freedom from Big Brother and this also in a way means freedom for the main character from the weight of his actions.
The themes in this book of autocracy and political strife are rampant throughout the entire novel. It has inspired pop culture references like Big Brother and Newspeak and Room 101. The 1984 audiobook is a must-listen thought provoking audiobook with very important life lessons for any and everyone.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men tells the story of two friends travelling to California during the Great Depression (although before the events in The Grapes of Wrath) looking for the proverbial greener pastures. Lennie is the strong one and George is the smart one.
Although Lennie’s antics sometimes irritate George, it is clear that he cares for him as any best friend would and protects him from a lot of things. The story continues as the two try to make their big dreams come true and the value of their friendship continues to show throughout the entire book right up to the last page.
The Of Mice and Men audiobook will tug at all your heartstrings and make you appreciate your friends and those around you. As it goes through the themes of love, loyalty and friendship, you will be able to learn something new about yourself and those around you.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The story of A Tale of Two Cities is set in the two cities of Paris and London where a man, Charles Darnay faces many troubles for his family and makes a few good friends along the way. Through a dramatic series of twists and turns, we see the themes of friendship, love and family over and over culminating finally into the ultimate sacrifice.
Some of the darker themes of death and deception are covered as well which only adds to the drama of the entire story. There is no doubt that this is one of the greater novels that anyone can read and one that will really tug at all your heartstrings in the process.
The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby audiobook is a story narrated by Nick Carraway, a young man in the 1920s who had just graduated from Yale University and has come to live in the fictional city of West egg with his school friend Tom and Tom’s wife Daisy. The story then follows extra marital affairs, parties and the thrills of big city life that will eventually lead a dramatic finish in the story.
The tale gives the reader a glance into the themes of excess, decadence and idealism as seen in the Roaring Twenties. With a variety of twists and some awkward turns, the reader/listener is guaranteed a story that they will never forget as one of the greatest ones they have ever listened to.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This dramatic tale woven by Emily Bronte depicts a tale of deceit and jealousy that would rival even the most twisted soap opera. The underlying theses of the bitterness, jealousy and revenge and the destruction that these emotions eventually bring is explored throughout the entire novel. The story is being told to a Mr. Lockwood who sees a ghost of a woman named Catherin, the once love of the current owner of Wuthering Heights, and this prompts Mr. Lockwood to find out the true story.
The lies and betrayal, the deceit and the jealousy are what appeal to the readers of this classic novel. While teaching an obvious moral lesson of caution against jealousy and revenge, it does not fail to entertain the reader. Read our review of the Wuthering Heights audiobook for more details.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lord of the Flies audiobook covers the question of what would happen if humans are left alone to govern themselves in the dystopian context of a small island in the middle of nowhere. A group of British boys is stranded on an island in the middle of the ocean and, left to their own devices to fend for themselves and bring some sort of order to the calamity they face, they come up with their own leaders and roles and such.
This quickly falls into disaster as the novel later shows with some of the boys shirking their duties thus making them miss a chance of rescue and some of the leaders taking political views a bit too far. As an introspective novel, it offers insights into human nature and what the absence of order really means. It is an overall good read and a favorite of many readers.