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ART STORIA | Literary Classics

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The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Winslow Homer

The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of a battle between an aging, experienced fisherman, Santiago, and a large marlin. The story opens with Santiago having gone 84 days without catching a fish, and now being seen as "salao", the worst form of unluckiness. It was written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cayo Blanco, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction written by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime.

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The Mysterious Affair at Styles

by Agatha Christie, Edited with Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Rauli Turusenaho

In The Mysterious Affair at Styles, while staying in a small Essex village, Poirot is called upon to investigate a murder at a nearby country manor. Emily Inglethorpe, an elderly woman of considerable wealth, is found poisoned in her locked bedroom. While all the clues seem to point to her younger husband, there is more to the murder than first appears. With the help of his ''little grey cells'', Poirot unravels the layers of deception behind this intriguing case.

Also available:

The Murder on the Links                          Hercule Poirot: Deluxe Edition

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by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Translated by Gregory Ziloboorg, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Igor Goryunov

'WE' is a Dystopian novel by Soviet dissident Yevgeny Zamyatin. It was written between 1920–1921, right after the Russian Revolution. The themes and ideals expressed in 'WE' offer a powerfully inventive vision of the future that later heavily influenced Aldous Huxley’s 'Brave New World' and George Orwell’s '1984'. It was Zamyatin’s book that others borrowed from and helped give birth to a distinctive Dystopian fictive genre. His work gave way to ideas of futurism and post-apocalyptic storytelling. At the core of such like-minded stories, 'WE’s principles are still predominant in today’s popular books, film, and television. The story describes a world of harmony and conformity within a united totalitarian state. The reader finds a uniform society where individuality is viewed as a dysfunction and where thinking for oneself can be the most dangerous thing. Within a glass-enclosed city ruled by the all-powerful ‘Benefactor', the citizens of OneState live out their lives devoid of passion and creativity - until the book’s main character, D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery; he learns he has an individual soul. Set in the 26th-century, 'WE' is one of the most powerful Dystopias of all time and has been perceived as a general warning about totalitarianism, the dangers of reducing people to just numbers and conditioning them inside a standard system of conformity.

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The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edited with Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Alyssa Scott

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel by American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. Set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, the novel depicts narrator Nick Carraway's interactions with mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and Gatsby's obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan. Fitzgerald's third book stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when it was noted "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

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Lost Horizon

by James Hilton, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Denise K. McTighe

‘Lost Horizon’ was first published in 1933 by English writer James Hilton. The book is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian lamasery located high in the mountains of Tibet. The book’s fantastical drama follows a group of plane-crash survivors who have landed in the mythical Shangri-La, a valley hidden deep within the mountains of the Himalayas. Rescued by followers of the High Llama, the outsiders grow to love the remote paradise, but a member of the British diplomatic service, Hugh Conway suspects that the crash was no accident, begins to investigate, leading to a surprising revelation.

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Men Like Gods

by H. G. Wells, Foreword by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Trash Riot

Men Like Gods is set in 1921 and was published in 1923. It is part of a subgenre we do not see as much of in recent fiction. It is a utopian science fiction story. Today we have become predominantly familiar with this particular subgenre's other side, the dystopian science fiction. Dystopia offers audiences more shock value to draw attention, but we can look at the former as the older, wiser, and more optimistic version. The essential difference between utopian and dystopian fiction is the different perceptions of humanity. Men Like Gods is an excellent example of this and it is referred to by its author, English writer H. G. Wells, as a "scientific fantasy” novel. The story features a utopia located in a parallel universe. and was conceived in the aftermath of World War I, and it reflects the failings of human nature yet offers hope for the future, when men and women may live like gods. 

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The Lost World

by Arthur Conan Doyle, Introduction by Randy H. Sooknanan, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by LJHT

The Lost World is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur Conan Doyle, published in 1912, concerning an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals still survive. It is an early example of the monster attack genre and adventure narrative to an unknown mysterious land. It's London, 1907. Journalist Edward Malone, rejected by the woman he loves because he is too prosaic, decides to go in search of adventure and fame to prove himself worthy of her. Soon after, he meets Professor George Challenger, a scientist who claims to have discovered a 'lost world' populated by pterodactyls and other prehistoric monsters.

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Siddhartha: An Indian Tale

by Herman Hesse, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Dong Lin

Siddhartha: An Indian Tale is a 1922 novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse's 9th novel, was written in German, in a simple, lyrical style. In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life -- the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom. Herman Hesse's classic novel has delighted, inspired, and influenced generations of readers, writers, and thinkers. In this story of a wealthy Indian Brahmin who casts off a life of privilege to seek spiritual fulfillment, Hesse synthesizes disparate philosophies--Eastern religions, Jungian archetypes, Western individualism--into a unique vision of life as expressed through one man's search for true meaning.

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The Metamorphosis

by Franz Kafka, Edited by Denise K. McTighe, & Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Mario Jodra

One of Kafka's best-known works, The Metamorphosis tells the story of salesman Gregor Samsa who wakes one morning to find himself inexplicably transformed into a huge insect (German ungeheures Ungeziefer, literally "monstrous vermin"), subsequently struggling to adjust to this new condition.

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Animal Farm

by George Orwell, Edited by Denise K. McTighe & Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by Vincent van Gogh

Animal Farm is an allegorical novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who rebel against their human farmer, hoping to create a society where the animals can be equal, free, and happy.

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by George Orwell, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Trash Riot

Nineteen Eighty-Four (also stylised as 1984) is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale written by English writer George Orwell. It was published in June 1949 and was Orwell's ninth and final book completed in his lifetime. Thematically, it centres on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviours within society. Orwell, a democratic socialist, modelled the totalitarian government in the novel after Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated.

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BOOK 14:

The Trial

by Franz Kafka, Translated by David Wyllie, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan & Denise K. McTighe, Cover Art by Félix Labisse

The Trial is a novel written by Franz Kafka between 1914 and 1915 and published posthumously in 1925. One of his best-known works, it tells the story of a man, Josef K., who is arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Heavily influenced by Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, Kafka even went so far as to call Dostoevsky a blood relative. Like Kafka's two other novels, The Trial was never completed, although it does include a chapter which appears to bring the story to an intentionally abrupt ending. After Kafka's death in 1924 his friend and literary executor, Max Brod, put the author's text and remaining manuscript together in Berlin for publication in German. This edition is translanted by David Wyllie.

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The Big Sleep

by Raymond Chandler, Edited by Randy H. Sooknanan, Cover Art by DapperNoir 

The Big Sleep (1939) is an example of a prototypical hardboiled crime novel, it was written by Raymond Chandler, and is the first to feature his iconic detective character Philip Marlowe. The first noticeable theme in the novel is the Corruption of Society. Also there are themes of Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility. Cynicism and Survival. Masculinity. The other major theme of the story is the different levels of American society at the time period.Raymond Chandler's crime noir novel The Big Sleep deals with the dark underbelly of L.A. society.

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