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Download ebook — She: A History of Adventure by Henry Rider Haggard

She H. Rider Haggard

Henry Rider Haggard’s She, set mainly in Africa, is one of the greatest adventure stories ever told. Wikipedia mentions that this classic tale has never been out of print. She expresses the imperialistic and colonial views of the time and takes a controversial stand on womanhood and femininity. It is for the individual reader to decide if She confirms to your literary taste, but you certainly cannot afford to skip this.

Download ebook — She: A History of Adventure by Henry Rider Haggard: Click here

Edition history: Hodder C 119 (1957)

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The Best of DC Comics: Batman Knightfall

batman knightfall

I loved all Batman movies directed by Nolan. May be I still love them. But to me, they are no longer the best representative of the essential Batman spirit.

Batman, created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). There are countless standalone issues and series featuring Batman.  The notable ones include The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight and Batman: Hush.

The most famous, however, would probably be the Knightfall saga. In this epic story, Bane breaks Batman’s back. It’s perhaps the most shocking incident after Superman’s death.

“I am Bane and I could kill you.”

“But death would only end your agony and silence your shame.”

“Instead I will simply break you.”

“Broken and Done.”

The story, complete in 3 volumes and more than 1800 pages long, feels a lot more epic than Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises or any other films directed by him. Of course, you can’t fit 1800 pages in 3 hours.  But for this very reason, the Knightfall series has more depth and is more enjoyable.

Bane devises a strategy to set loose all of Arkham Asylum. He provides weapons to the criminals and utter chaos follows. Batman fights them as he always does, but it weakens him and Bane just waits for the right opportunity to strike. He breaks Batman but what happens then?

The knightfall saga includes three books:

Volume 1 –  Knightfall
Volume 2 – Knightquest
Volume 3 – Knightsend

If you like Batman comics, go for it. If you don’t, still go it. You cannot possibly be disappointed

Download free ebook / comics:  Batman: Knightfall

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batman knightfall download

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Download ebook: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A funny reviewer at Goodreads sums up Pride and Prejudice in a few darn good lines:

“Girls need to marry. Girls can’t get married. Girls are sad. Girls get married. Girls are happy.”

That’s an honest-to-god review of Jane Auten’s classic. The reviewer’s words are proven and undisputed as Kevin Bacon would put it (as he did in A Few Good Men). Yet there is something more to the story. Ah, actually there is a lot more.

The Usual Lovers

Pride and Prejudice is an unforgettable love story with some typical tensions and stumbling blocks found in most romantic novels. However, Elizabeth and Darcy’s love story has some deeper elements as well. Their journey is filled with irony.

Elizabeth says she is not someone who rejects a guy only to accept him later. But this is exactly what she does with Darcy. While the first line of the novel states that “a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”, we find that a single woman needs a man of good fortune more desperately. Darcy detests the ill-bred behaviour of the Bennet family, but his own Aunt is no better. Elizabeth takes pride in her judgement, which results in her unjustified prejudice against Darcy.

Though there is no explicit symbolism in the story, the love story serves as a tool for social commentary.

Thou Art Proletariat

The importance of reputation and class in Victorian society is emphasised time and again. Though the middle class Bennet family socializes with aristocrats like Darcy and Bingleys, they are clearly treated as inferiors. The snobbish Mr. Collins is another product of the class system.

Do you think class is still a decisive factor today when it comes to relationships? Of course, a Paris Hilton is not going to marry a loser, but then how far can someone go beyond his own league?

Comedy of Wits

Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice against him make an intelligent story supported by lots of quotable quotes.

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” — Elizabeth on Darcy.

Well said Liz.

Download ebook: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1342

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Classics Revisited: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

Franz Kfka Metamorphosis

What if you wake up one morning to find yourself transformed into an enormous insect? What if your life suddenly takes a frighteningly different turn?

Alienation of the Condemned

Kafka’s classic is a dark fantasy with some absurdist humor. Metamorphosis is an apparently simple but bizarre story, which works on so many levels that no one’s too sure how to interpret it. But the primary theme is alienation of an individual in a society that is too afraid to accept changes. Metamorphosis would remind you Camus’ The Outsider, which deals with the same theme.

Gregor’s (The protagonist) metamorphosis isolates him from the rest of the society, and he is no longer a part of the established system. A psychological barrier separates him from his family and the people around him. However, it’s later revealed that his metamorphosis and consequent alienation is an extension of a long term feeling.

Anarchy in the Universe 

The cause of Gregor’s predicament is never explained. A seemingly fair, dutiful fellow turns into a giant insect for no apparent reason. Kafka strongly suggests the existence of a chaotic universe, which functions in an illogical and chaotic manner. The absurdity of life is highlighted with surprisingly effective symbolism.

In Search of an Existentialist life

Pre-metamorphosis: Samsa’s  life is miserable because family, society, and duties are most important to him and in the process he neglects his own existence. He is little more than a machine.

Post-metamorphosis: Samsa focuses too much on himself and is cut-off from the society. His life lacks purpose and becomes absurd.

The poor fellow struggles to live a meaningful and balanced life; so eventually he ceases to exist. The existentialist philosophers would say Samsa was not an an acting, feeling, living individual but someone with confused priorities in a world that might look frighteningly meaningless.

You, Me & Samsa

Readers can easily identify with the trapped, estranged, and lonely Gregor Samsa. If Dostoevsky had written an allegorical work of speculative fiction, he couldn’t have portrayed a more embittered protagonist with a more realistic agony. At the end of the day, are we not feeling a bit like Kafka’s Samsa or Camus’s Meursault?

Download Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis ebook:

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5200/5200-h/5200-h.htm

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Happy Birthday Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus! –
Why look’st thou so?’ -“With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge — one of the major figures of the Romantic Movement, a friend of William Wordsworth, and lifelong opium addict — was born on the 21st of October, 1772. His most acclaimed works include The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan. The prose work Biographia Literaria and study of Shakespeare are also critically acclaimed. He coined the phrase “willing suspension of disbelief”, which has found way to popular culture. Coleridge, like a lot of other gifted souls, was cursed with depression and ill health. Death seized him on 25th July 1834 and the dreamy spirit was not of this world anymore.

Carlyle wrote:

“Coleridge sat on the brow of Highgate Hill, in those years, looking down on London and its smoke-tumult, like a sage escaped from the inanity of life’s battle…”.

Happy Birthday Mr. Coleridge. We miss you.

Download The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge by Samuel Taylor Coleridge ebook:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29090

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Download ebook: H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds (PDF)

H G wells The war of the worldsWhen Capsules appear in the sky and land on Earth, people get confused. Next, gigantic, metallic creatures with tentacles creep out of the capsules and launch a devastating campaign against the inhabitants of the planet with heat rays and deadly vapours. Looks like Martians seek revenge for the havoc John Carter wrecked on Barsoom.

The Grandpa of all alien invasion sagas — H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds — follows the story of an unnamed protagonist living in England. As Martians launch metallic cylinders to take over good old Earth, our hero struggles to survive and protect his family. Of course, the Martians lose the battle, but not before a tense, exciting, and long fight.

Though the concept might sound dated, but actually the book would appear surprisingly modern to any reader. And the epic story leaves a grand impression on you.

Certainly better than the wretched movie that Spielberg and Cruise made out of it.

Download H.G Wells’ The War of the Worlds ebook (PDF):

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Download ebook: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (PDF)

The Three Musketeers Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers (and its sequels) cannot be simply defined as historical fiction. To a lot of people French history is limited to just what Alexandre Dumas wrote in these novels. Dumas’ outstanding delineation of King Louis XIII, Queen Anne, and particularly Cardinal Richelieu makes the dry characters of history books intriguing and alive. And how would you forget the dangerously seductive Milady de Winter, who you wish were more than just a fictional character (check out Milla Jovovich in the latest movie adaptation of the novel)?

As long as friendship, loyalty, passion doesn’t perish from the face of the earth, we shall remember Athos, Porthos, Aramis and the wild, courageous, handsome D’Artagnan.

Did you know that D’Artagnan’s character is based on Charles de Bast de Castelmore, who was count of Artagnan. Charles was a musketeer in the service of King Louis XIV.

Chivalrous romance, conspiracies, nail biting escapes, assassinations, betrayals, duels — this novel has more force than an intercontinental ballistic missile.

If you have an inspired, headstrong revolutionary in you, The Three Musketeers is your Bible. Viva de France.

Download The Three Musketeers ebook (PDF)

http://www2.hn.psu.edu/faculty/jmanis/dumas/3musk1.pdf

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