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The Picture of Dorian Gray [Oscar Wilde]

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a masterpiece of aestheticism and a moral parable. Dorian Gray is a young man of impossible physical beauty whose portrait -- painted by the artist Basil Hallward -- becomes connected on an occult level with the workings of his soul. Drawn into a corrupt and sensual life by the dissolute Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian remains young and beautiful, while the painting ages in his stead, ultimately becoming a monstrosity. Interwoven throughout is the author's brilliant commentary on beauty, art, love, and always, stunning wit.

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Lord Arthur Savile's Crime [Oscar Wilde]

Lord Arthur Savile has his palm read by Lady Windermere's cheiromantist, Mr Podgers. He is told that he will murder someone at some time in his future and decides to get the murder 'out of the way' before he gets married.

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The Diary of a Nobody [George Grossmith]

Mr Pooter is an office clerk and upright family man in a dull 1880s suburb. His diary is a wonderful portrait of the class system and the inherent snobbishness of the suburban middle classes. It sends up contemporary crazes for Aestheticism, spiritualism and bicycling, as well as the fashion for publishing diaries by anybody and everybody.

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Far from the Madding Crowd [Thomas Hardy]

A passionate tale of the beautiful, headstrong farmer Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors; Gabriel Oak a young shepherd, William Boldwood a prosperous farmer, and army Sergeant Francis (Frank) Troy.

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A Christmas Carol [Charles Dickens]

Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by his long dead business partner on Christmas Eve with a warning to mend his ways.

Dicken's most popular novel was written very quickly to pay off a personal debt.

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Beyond Good and Evil [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche]

Beyond Good and Evil is an important philosophical writing by Friedrich Nietzsche, in which he attempts to deliver his philosophy to be interpreted by the masses who read his work. The goal of this work is to give the reader a comprehensive view of Friedrich Nietzsche's thought and style. This work should not be passed up by anybody who either studies or is interested in writings and works of philosophy.

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Dracula [Bram Stoker]

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England-an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his "Master"-culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

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Northanger Abbey [Jane Austen]

Catherine Morland visits Bath, England for the first time with family friends Mr and Mrs Allen. Catherine is pursued by Henry Tilney, who invites her to his father's estate at Northanger Abbey. Catherine has been reading too much gothic fiction and her overactive imagination takes over.

Jane Austen's first novel but only published after her death. The novel is a satire of the emotionally charged gothic novels of the time.

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The Invisible Man [H.G. Wells]

With his face swaddled in bandages, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, and his hands covered even indoors, Griffin—the new guest at the Coach and Horses—is at first assumed to be a shy accident victim. But the true reason for his disguise is far more chilling: he has developed a process that has made him invisible and is locked in a struggle to discover the antidote. Forced from the village and driven to murder, he seeks the aid of an old friend, Kemp. The horror of his fate has affected his mind, however, and when Kemp refuses to help, he resolves to wreak his revenge.

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The Thirty-Nine Steps [John Buchan]

Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London. But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot that could have dire international consequences. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.

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Candide or Optimism [Voltaire]

Candide is a naive young man who gets exiled from the castle of the Baron of Thunder-Ten-Tronckh in Westphalia for kissing his daughter (Cunégonde). Candide embarks on a series of exotic and often horrific adventures which take him around the world in a search for Cunégonde which eventually leads him to enlightenment and wisdom.

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A Study in Scarlet [Arthur Conan Doyle]

"A Study in Scarlet" is the first published story of one of the most famous literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. Here Dr. Watson, who has just returned from a war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes for the first time when they become flat-mates at the famous 221 B Baker Street. In "A Study in Scarlet" Sherlock Holmes investigates a murder at Lauriston Gardens as Dr. Watson tags along with Holmes while narratively detailing his amazing deductive abilities.

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Three Men in a Boat [Jerome K. Jerome]

Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them to a T'. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather-forecasts and tins of pineapple chunks not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency. Three Men in a Boat was an instant success when it appeared in 1889, and, with its benign escapism, authorial discursions and wonderful evocation of the late-Victorian clerking classes', it hilariously captured the spirit of its age.

Three Men in a Boat is based on Jerome's honeymoon on the Thames, his wife is replaced by his friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). Montmorency the dog was completely fictitious.

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Heart of Darkness [Joseph Conrad]

Dark allegory describes the narrator's journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad's finest, most enigmatic story.

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Pygmalion [George Bernard Shaw]

Based on the Greek myth of Pygmalion. The play tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. In the process, Higgins and Doolittle grow close, but she ultimately rejects his domineering ways and declares she will marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill - a young, poor, gentleman.

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