Tag Archives: free audiobooks

Black Beauty

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty is Anna Sewell’s first and only novel. The story is told in the “first person” (or first horse) as an autobiographical memoir of a highbred horse named Black Beauty, from his carefree days as a foal on an English farm, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty’s life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses. (Summary from wikipedia)

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The quiet Dutch community of Sleepy Hollow lies in the Adirondack Mountains on the western shore of the mighty Hudson River in America’s colonial period. The solitude of the woods is breathtaking, and not even a schoolmaster is immune from the eerie miasma which everyone knows permeates the dense forest. Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow has become a classic of American literature, and has been retold in many different ways. Here is the original, from Irving’s own hand.

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The Master of the World

The Master of the World by Jules Verne

The Master of the World by Jules Verne

Chief Inspector Strock gets the tough cases. When a volcano suddenly appears to threaten mountain towns of North Carolina amid the non-volcanic Blue Ridge Mountains, Strock is posted to determine the danger. When an automobile race in Wisconsin is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of a vehicle traveling at multiples of the top speed of the entrants, Strock is consulted. When an odd-shaped boat is sighted moving at impossible speeds off the New England coast, Stock and his boss begin to wonder if the incidents are related. And when Strock gets a hand-lettered note warning him to abandon his investigation, on pain of death, he is intrigued rather than deterred.

Set in a period when gasoline engines were in their infancy and automobiles were rare, and when even Chief Inspectors had to engage a carriage and horses to move about, the appearance of a vehicle that can move at astounding speeds on land, on water – and as later revealed, underwater and through the air – marks a technological advance far beyond the reach of nations. It is technology invented by and for the sole benefit of a man who styles himself (with some justification) “The Master of the World.”

This book is a sequel to an earlier Verne novel, “Robur the Conqueror”, but enough detail is given to fully appreciate this story without having first read the other.

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The Odyssey

The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer

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 had 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.

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South! Shackleton’s Last Expedition

South! Shackleton's Last Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

South! Shackleton's Last Expedition by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

Shackleton’s most famous expedition was planned to be an attempt to cross Antarctica from the Weddell Sea south of the Atlantic, to the Ross Sea south of the Pacific, by way of the Pole. It set out from London on 1 August 1914, and reached the Weddell Sea on January 10, 1915, where the pack ice closed in on the Endurance. The ship was broken by the ice on 27 October 1915. The 28 crew members managed to flee to Elephant Island, bringing three small boats with them. Shackleton and five other men managed to reach the southern coast of South Georgia in one of the small boats (in a real epic journey). Shackleton managed to rescue all of the stranded crew from Elephant Island without loss in the Chilean’s navy seagoing steam tug Yelcho, on August 30, 1916, in the middle of the Antarctic winter. (Summary from Wikipedia)

As the last section is a short original recording by Ernest Shackleton about the expedition.

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The Lost City

The Lost City by Joseph E. Badger

The Lost City by Joseph E. Badger

Bruno and Waldo Gillespie are orphaned brothers living with the extremely eccentric Professor Phaeton Featherwit. One day they set off in one of the professor’s machines to investigate a tornado at close range and accidentally get sucked into it! They are then transported by the tornado and find themselves in a barren, uncharted wasteland wherein lies a city– a long lost Aztec city! Find out what happens next to the brothers and the professor in this harrowing and exhilarating adventure!

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The Pioneers

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper.
The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle-aged Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth (the author Susan Cooper), of Cooperstown. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to his fictional Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail. The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a young visitor, Oliver Effingham. Effingham eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the “dying Indian,” and Natty vanishes into the sunset. For all its strange twists and turns, ‘The Pioneers’ may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States.

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Jimbo

Jimbo by Algernon Blackwood

Jimbo by Algernon Blackwood

A supernatural fantasy about the mystical adventures of a lonely English boy named Jimbo–who can fly! It’s really quite beautiful and can be enjoyed by adults and teenagers alike. Be warned, however: The death of a beloved character and a creepy old house haunted by the wraith-like spirits of children makes some of this story far too scary for younger kids or indeed anyone of a sensitive disposition.

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Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

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 Lionheart at the Crusades, it’s another ripping historical yarn by Scott

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is one of the truly great American novels, beloved by children, adults, and literary critics alike. The book tells the story of “Huck” Finn (first introduced as Tom Sawyer’s sidekick in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), his friend Jim, and their journey down the Mississippi River on a raft. Both are on the run, Huck from his drunk and abusive father, and Jim as a runaway slave.

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 was unique at the time of its publication because it is narrated by Huck himself and is written in the numerous dialects common in the area and time in which the book is set. Although the book was originally intended as a sequel to the children’s book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, as Twain wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn it progressed into a more serious work. Twain’s views on slavery and other social issues of the time become clear through the words, thoughts, and actions of Huck Finn.