Penguin Classics has partnered with (PRODUCT) RED to bring you its selection of some of the best books ever written. Penguin Classics will be contributing 50% of the profits from the sale of (Penguin Classics) RED editions to the Global Fund to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.
- Dracula – Bram Stoker
Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania is a hellish world where night is day, pleasure is pain and the blood of the innocent is priceless. When the unsuspecting Jonathan Harker is summoned there to meet the count, he has no idea of the horrors that await him. Soon an epic battle begins, in which Jonathan must protect the living – including his beautiful fiancée Mina – from the gathering forces of the undead.
- Thérèse Raquin – Émile Zola
Thérèse Raquin is bored by her loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, and allows herself to be swept away by lust and excitement when she meets his earthy and sensual friend Laurent. But the animal passion between them will result in a terrible crime – one that will haunt them for ever.
- Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina seems to have everything –beauty, wealth, popularity, a husband and an adored son. But she risks losing it all when she meets the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Although she tries to resist, Anna is gradually drawn into a passionate, all-consuming affair that scandalizes everyone around them and threatens to destroy her.
- The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad
Adolph Verloc leads a double life. As well as running his seedy Soho shop, he is also a secret agent, operating for an underground anarchist cell – and his job is about to get far more dangerous. When his leaders instruct him to plant a bomb at Greenwich Observatory, his plans go terribly awry, with tragic repercussions for him and his family.
- Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Young orphan Pip finds his life changed forever when he helps escaped convict Magwitch, and falls impossibly in love with Estella, the beautiful, icy charge of bitter Miss Haversham. Then an anonymous well-wisher gives him money to begin a new life in London. Are these events random? Or does Pip’s fate hang on a series of coincidences he could never have expected?
- The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
A young governess is left in sole charge of two charming and beautiful orphans. As she begins to see and hear strange things, she grows increasingly uneasy, and is swiftly drawn into a frightening battle against unspeakable evil. Forced to take action, the governess will soon discover terrible consequences…
- Notes from Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The underground man has always felt like an outsider. He doesn’t want to be like other people, working in the ‘ant-hill’ of society. So he decides to withdraw from the world, scrawling a series of darkly sarcastic notes about the torments he is suffering. Is he going mad? Or is it the world around him that is insane?
- The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
At twenty-nine, Lily Bart dazzles at New York balls and soireés, but she knows that her days as a fascinating beauty are numbered, as she has not yet found a husband. But when she is accused of an affair with a wealthy married man, Lily is set to lose her life of luxury, her stability, and any hopes for the future.
- Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Heathcliff and Cathy have been inseparable since their childhood, but become parted from each other as they grow older. When Cathy marries another man, her choice brings bitterness and terrible revenge. The dangerous passion between her and Heathcliff will prove to be greater than anything, even death.(Available in December 2010)
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- Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth than the alluring, resourceful Becky Sharp, who ruthlessly clambers up the social ladder while her sweet, sentimental friend Amelia longs for her worthless soldier lover. As fortunes change, and battles are fought at home and abroad, who will survive?
- Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson
Orphaned and penniless, young David Balfour sets out to find his last living relative. But in doing so he will become caught up the greatest and most frightening adventure of his life, involving kidnap, shipwreck, murder and a dramatic flight across the Scottish highlands with the fiery, swordfighting fugitive Alan Breck.
- Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Hot-headed, literary tomboy Jo, sweet Beth, responsible Meg and spoiled but worldly Amy are the March sisters. While they may squabble amongst themselves as they grow up in the rigid confines of nineteenth-century Massachusetts society, they will also face hardship and terrible loss, united in their parents’ love and their high expectations as wives, women and citizens.
- Sons and Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
Paul Morel both loves and is repelled by his mother, a good woman who makes up for her poor marriage to a violent, uneducated man by lavishing all her attention on her sons. But as Paul grows up and takes lovers, the feelings between mother and son will produce only terrible conflict between what Paul wants, and what he truly needs.
- The Lady with the Little Dog and Other Stories – Anton Chekhov
Dmitri Gurov – banker, husband, father of two and serial adulterer – is stunned to find that he has fallen in love: with Anna, a beautiful young lady with a lapdog. Haunted by the memory of their brief affair, Dmitri refuses to let her slip from his life. This is one of 13 tales in this collection of the best of Chekhov’s short stories.
- Sentimental Education – Gustave Flaubert
Frederic Moreau, a young man in search of excitement, falls in love with Mme Arnoux, a beautiful, dark haired older woman. His fascination will last a lifetime, as he works to become first an acquaintance of her husband, then a firm family friend. But Frederic’s hard-won closeness to Mme Arnoux will not bring satisfaction; only his own ultimate betrayal of love.
- Silas Marner – George Eliot
Every day the miserly Silas Marner works, and every night he takes his hoard of gold out from under his floorboards and counts it. Then his fortunes change abruptly. And when an abandoned child, Eppie, finds her way into his home, Silas is given a chance to transform his life forever.
All images and book descriptions are courtesy of (Penguin Classics) RED.
These books have also been featured on the joinred blog.