Friday, December 9, 2016
Congratulations to Cliff Garstang, winner of last week’s Friday Freebie: the Just-In-Time-For-the-Holidays Big Box of Books.
This week’s contest is for another multi-book box. This time, it’ll be full of Penguins. Penguin Classics, that is. It’s no secret that I am obsessed with Penguin Classics, especially the so-called black-spine Penguins. I have two bookcases chock-full of these tuxedo’ed lovelies. Over the years, as I’ve collected them, there have inevitably been duplicates of volumes I’ve bought in other editions. And so, I’ve gathered together some of the left-over black spines (all of them in new, unread condition), plus one new Penguin Classics Deluxe (Lord of the Flies), to give to one lucky reader in this week’s giveaway.
Due to the holidays, this will be the last Friday Freebie of the year. I’m extending the deadline to give more people a chance to enter. See you in 2017 with a whole new batch of books!
Keep reading for more information about this week’s Penguin giveaway...
Lord of the Flies by William Golding: As provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, Lord of the Flies continues to ignite passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary boys marooned on a coral island has been labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, and even a vision of the apocalypse. But above all, it has earned its place as one of the indisputable classics of the twentieth century for readers of any age. This Penguin Classics Graphic Deluxe Edition features an array of special features to supplement the novel, including a foreword by Lois Lowry, an introduction by Stephen King, an essay by E. M. Forster, an essay on teaching and reading the novel and suggestions for further exploration by scholar Jennifer Buehler, and an extended note by E. L. Epstein, the publisher of the first American paperback edition of Lord of the Flies.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky’s great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also includes a new chronology of Dostoyevsky’s life and work.
The Odyssey by Homer: Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents us with Homer's best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning modern-verse translation. "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." So begins Robert Fagles' magnificent translation of the Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review hails as "a distinguished achievement." If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. In the myths and legends retold here, Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox's superb introduction and textual commentary provide insightful background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles's translation. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, to captivate a new generation of Homer's students.
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: Two years before Edgar Rice Burroughs became a worldwide celebrity with the publication of Tarzan of the Apes and its twenty-two sequels, which together have sold more than 30 million copies, he published the futuristic sci-fi romance, A Princess of Mars. A Princess of Mars tells the story of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who inexplicably finds himself held prisoner on the planet Mars by the Green Men of Thark. With Dejah Thoris, the princess of another clan on Mars, John Carter must fight for their freedom and save the entire planet from destruction as the life-sustaining Atmosphere Factory slowly grinds to a halt. A Princess of Mars is the first in Burroughs’ eleven book Barsoon series, following the continued adventures of John Carter.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: Nothing in the whole of literature compares with The Master and Margarita. One spring afternoon, the Devil, trailing fire and chaos in his wake, weaves himself out of the shadows and into Moscow. Mikhail Bulgakov’s fantastical, funny, and devastating satire of Soviet life combines two distinct yet interwoven parts, one set in contemporary Moscow, the other in ancient Jerusalem, each brimming with historical, imaginary, frightful, and wonderful characters. Written during the darkest days of Stalin’s reign, and finally published in 1966 and 1967, The Master and Margarita became a literary phenomenon, signaling artistic and spiritual freedom for Russians everywhere. This newly revised translation, by the award-winning team of Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, is made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger: A worldwide bestseller published shortly after the end of World War I, Storm of Steel is a memoir of astonishing power, savagery, and ashen lyricism. It illuminates not only the horrors but also the fascination of total war, as seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. Young, tough, patriotic, but also disturbingly self-aware, Ernst Jünger exulted in the Great War, which he saw not just as a great national conflict but also—more importantly—as a unique personal struggle. Leading raiding parties, defending trenches against murderous British incursions, simply enduring as shells tore his comrades apart, Jünger keeps testing himself, braced for the death that will mark his failure. His account is ripe for rediscovery upon the centennial of the Battle of the Somme—a major set piece in Storm of Steel—and a bracing read for fans of Redeployment and American Sniper.
If you’d like a chance at winning ALL THE PENGUINS, simply email your name and mailing address to
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. Please include your mailing address in the body of the e-mail. One entry per person, please. Despite its name, the Friday Freebie remains open to entries until midnight on Jan. 5, at which time I’ll draw the winning names. I’ll announce the lucky readers on Jan. 6. If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email. Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).
Want to double your odds of winning? Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.