An atmospheric tale of life and love in a Depression-era traveling circus. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. There he meets the freaks, grifters, and misfits that populate this world. Jacob introduces us to Marlena, beautiful star of the equestrian act; to August, her charismatic but twisted husband (and the circus' animal trainer); and to Rosie, a seemingly untrainable elephant. Beautifully written, with a luminous sense of time and place, Water for Elephants tells of love in a world in which love's a luxury few can afford.
©2006 Sara Gruen (P)2006 HighBridge Company
Here are four unforgettable stories by Yann Martel, the New York Times best-selling author of Life of Pi. In the exquisite title novella, a very young man dying of AIDS joins his friend in fashioning a story of the Roccamatio family of Helsinki, set against the yearly march of the 20th century. In "The Time I Heard the Private Donald J. Rankin String Concerto with One Discordant Violin, by the American composer John Morton", a Canadian university student visits Washington, D.C., and experiences the Vietnam War and its aftermath through an intense musical encounter. In "Manners of Dying", variations of a warden's letter to the mother of an executed man reveal how each life is contained in its end. The final story, "The Vita Eterna Mirror Company: Mirrors to Last till Kingdom Come", is about a young man who discovers an antique mirror-making machine that runs on memories.Written earlier in Martel's career, these tales are as moving as they are thought-provoking, as inventive in form as they are timeless in content. They display the startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Yann Martel an international phenomenon.
©1993, 2004 Yann Martel (P)2004 HighBridge Company
Each of the three stories in this boxed set is an exciting dramatization of a Louis L'Amour short story featuring all the excitement of the Old West - deadly gunslingers, dusty trails, men and woman living on the edge in a brutal landscape - each presented with authentic sound effects, dramatic music, and a full cast.
©2012 Random House Audio
Jacob Janowski's luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was the Great Depression and for Jacob, the circus was both his salvation and a living hell. There he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but brutal animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this group of misfits was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.
©2006 Sara Gruen (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Pregnant and secretly married, Cheryl Anway scribbles what becomes her last will and testament on a school binder shortly before a rampaging trio of misfit classmates gun her down in a high school cafeteria. Overrun with paranoia, teenage angst, and religious zeal in the massacre's wake, this sleepy suburban neighborhood declares its saints, brands its demons, and moves on. But, for a handful of people still reeling from that horrific day, life remains permanently derailed. Four dramatically different characters tell their stories: Cheryl, who calmly narrates her own death; Jason, the boy no one knew was her husband, still marooned ten years later by his loss; Heather, the woman trying to love the shattered Jason; and Jason's father, Reg, whose rigid religiosity has separated him from nearly everyone he loves.
©2003 Douglas Coupland (P)2003 HighBridge Company
Intense, fast-paced, and as timely as todays front page, Keeper is a tantalizing glimpse into the life-and-death world of professional bodyguards. Atticus Kodiakcunning, resourceful, and tough as nailsis trapped in a race against time in this riveting, realistic look at the abortion rights battlefield. Narrator John Randolph Jones fully captures the passion and terror on both sides of this explosive issue with stirring conviction.
©1996 Greg Rucka (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC
An almost-true story about a small town in Texas that ought to exist if it doesnt, with characters like Sam the Lion, the delectable Jacy, and Ruth Popper, the coachs wife. Set in a small, dusty, Texas town, The Last Picture Show introduced the characters of Jacy, Duane, and Sonny: teenagers stumbling toward adulthood, discovering the beguiling mysteries of sex and the even more baffling mysteries of love. Populated by a wonderful cast of eccentrics and animated by McMurtry's wry and raucous humor, The Last Picture Show is a wild, heartbreaking, and poignant novel that resonates with the magical passion of youth.
©1966 Larry McMurtry (P)1989 Recorded Books
In 1848, Francis Tucket was stolen from his family while they were travelling west along the Oregon Trail. After his escape, he spent a year learning the ways of the land from a one-armed mountain man. Trying to catch up with his family again, Francis found two stranded children, Lottie and Billy. Together, they're facing the dangers of the old West while making their way to Oregon. In this exciting continuation of the story from Mr. Tucket , Call Me Francis Tucket, and Tucket's Ride, Francis, Lottie, and Billy race to escape the outlaw Comancheros, discover hidden gold, and find a lost cliff city. As they struggle to survive, they discover that by working together, they can accomplish nearly anything. Newbery Honor-winning author Gary Paulsen fills this exciting, historically accurate adventure with gritty, realistic details. Narrator John Randolph Jones portrays each thrilling new encounter with zest.
©1999 Gary Paulsen (P)2000 Recorded Books
It is 1848, and Francis Tucket is heading west on the Oregon Trail with his family. Yesterday he celebrated his 14th birthday on the tailgate of a Conestoga wagon in the foothills of the Rockies. Today, he is going to practice with his new birthday present, a Lancaster rifle. Falling far behind the wagon train, Francis loses sight of his family and is kidnapped by Pawnee Indians. Saved by a one-armed mountain man named Mr. Grimes, Francis takes off with his rescuer on a wild adventure peopled by actual historical characters, including Jim Bowie, and set against an historically-accurate background of the Old West.
©1994 Gary Paulsen (P)1994 Recorded Books