80 Best Books Every Man Should Read - List by Esquire™

The List of 80 Best Books Every Man Should Read

 

Books in list (80)


What We Talk about when We Talk about Love ISBN-13 9780679723059

Title: What We Talk about when We Talk about Love

Stories feature men and women without education, insight, or prospects, who, ironically, are too unimaginative to ever give up

Author(s): Raymond Carver

ISBN 13: 9780679723059
Pages: 159

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The Stories of John Cheever ISBN-13 9780375724428

Title: The Stories of John Cheever

Collects Cheever's short fiction, including "The Swimmer," "The Enormous Radio," "The Housebreaker of Shady Hill," and fifty-eight other stories that explore many dark issues of America following World War II.

Author(s): John Cheever

ISBN 13: 9780375724428
Pages: 693

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Deliverance ISBN-13 9780385313872

Title: Deliverance

Four suburban businessmen take a canoe trip along a Georgia river, an odyssey that pits their courage against the river's raging rapids and the most primitive human impulses of fear, lust, and murder

Author(s): James Dickey

ISBN 13: 9780385313872
Pages: 278

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The Grapes of Wrath ISBN-13 9780143039433

Title: The Grapes of Wrath

Winner of the 1990 Tony Award and Outer Critics Circle Award. A powerful and deeply affecting stage version of one of the masterpieces of American literature. Holding to the simplicity and directness of the original novel, the play uses the sparest of technical means to convey its timeless message of the persistence and strength of the human spirit as it battles against the adversities of nature and an uncaring society.

Author(s): John Steinbeck

ISBN 13: 9780143039433
Pages: 544

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The Brothers Karamazov ISBN-13 9780374528379

Title: The Brothers Karamazov

The violent lives of three sons are exposed when their father is murdered and each one attempts to come to terms with his guilt.

Author(s): Fyodor Dostoevsky

ISBN 13: 9780374528379
Pages: 796

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Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West ISBN-13 9780679728757

Title: Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridianbrilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west.

Author(s): Cormac McCarthy

ISBN 13: 9780679728757
Pages: 337

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The Known World ISBN-13 9780061159176

Title: The Known World

The Known World tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia.

Author(s): Edward P. Jones

ISBN 13: 9780061159176
Pages: 432

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The Good War ISBN-13 9781565843431

Title: The Good War

Oral history evokes the innocent idealism, as well as the terror and horror, of ordinary Americans at home and abroad during World War II

Author(s): Studs Terkel

ISBN 13: 9781565843431
Pages: 608

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American Pastoral ISBN-13 9780375701429

Title: American Pastoral

The rise and fall of the American Dream provide the backdrop for the story of Swede Levov, a prosperous New Jersey man and grandson of immigrants, whose fanatical daughter bombs a post office in 1968. Reprint. 100,000 first printing.

Author(s): Philip Roth

ISBN 13: 9780375701429
Pages: 423

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A Good Man is Hard to Find ISBN-13 9780156364652

Title: A Good Man is Hard to Find

A collection of short stories depicting the emotions and life-styles of the inhabitants of the rural South

Author(s): Flannery OConnor

ISBN 13: 9780156364652
Pages: 251

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The Things They Carried ISBN-13 9780618706419

Title: The Things They Carried

""The Things They Carried" is as good as any piece of literature can get." -- "Chicago Sun-Times" "This is writing so powerful that it steals your breath. ... "The Things They Carried" is about more than war, of course.

Author(s): Tim OBrien

ISBN 13: 9780618706419
Pages: 246

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A Sport and a Pastime ISBN-13 9780374530501

Title: A Sport and a Pastime

"As nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," is how Reynolds Price (The New York Times) described this classic that has been a favorite of readers, both here and in Europe, for almost forty years.

Author(s): James Salter

ISBN 13: 9780374530501
Pages: 200

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The Call of the Wild ISBN-13 9781495361036

Title: The Call of the Wild

The story was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in the summer of 1903; a month later it was released in book form. The novel's great popularity and success made a reputation for London.

Author(s): Jack London

ISBN 13: 9781495361036
Pages: 109

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Times Arrow, Or, The Nature of the Offense ISBN-13 9780679735724

Title: Times Arrow, Or, The Nature of the Offense

Escaping from the body of a dying doctor who had worked in Nazi concentration camps, the doctor's consciousness begins living the doctor's life backward, aware only that he is living the life of a horrible man at a horrible place in time

Author(s): Martin Amis

ISBN 13: 9780679735724
Pages: 165

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A Sense of Where You Are ISBN-13 9780374526894

Title: A Sense of Where You Are

Here is a portrait of Bradley as he was in college, before his time with the New York Knicks and his election to the U.S. Senate—a story that suggests the abundant beginnings of his professional careers in sport and politics.

Author(s): John McPhee

ISBN 13: 9780374526894
Pages: 144

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Hells Angels ISBN-13 9780345410085

Title: Hells Angels

" As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell's Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend. From the Hardcover edition.

Author(s): Hunter S. Thompson

ISBN 13: 9780345410085
Pages: 273

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Invisible Man ISBN-13 9780679732761

Title: Invisible Man

<p><b>Invisible Man</b> is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952.&nbsp;&nbsp;A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century.&nbsp;&nbsp;The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of "the Brotherhood", and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.&nbsp;&nbsp;The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's <b>The Waste Land</b>, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.</p> <p><b>Winner of the 1953 National Book Award</b> </p>

Author(s): Ralph Ellison

ISBN 13: 9780679732761
Pages: 581

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Dubliners ISBN-13 9780486268705

Title: Dubliners

Author(s): James Joyce

ISBN 13: 9780486268705

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Rabbit, Run ISBN-13 9780449911655

Title: Rabbit, Run

Tired of the responsibility of married life, Rabbit Angstrom leaves his wife and home.

Author(s): John Updike

ISBN 13: 9780449911655
Pages: 264

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The Postman Always Rings Twice ISBN-13 9780679723257

Title: The Postman Always Rings Twice

The sultry young wife of a diner owner conspires with an aimless drifter to murder her husband

Author(s): James M. Cain

ISBN 13: 9780679723257
Pages: 128

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Dog Soldiers ISBN-13 9780395860250

Title: Dog Soldiers

Three people caught in the world of drug dealing attempt to realize their idle dreams

Author(s): Robert Stone

ISBN 13: 9780395860250
Pages: 342

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Winters Bone ISBN-13 9780316066419

Title: Winters Bone

Ree Dolly's father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.

Author(s): Daniel Woodrell

ISBN 13: 9780316066419
Pages: 224

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Legends of the Fall ISBN-13 9780385285964

Title: Legends of the Fall

Three novellas explore the theme of revenge and the actions to which people resort when they feel threatened

Author(s): Jim Harrison

ISBN 13: 9780385285964
Pages: 276

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Under the Volcano ISBN-13 9780061120152

Title: Under the Volcano

<p>Geoffrey Firmin, a former British consul, has come to Quauhnahuac, Mexico. His debilitating malaise is drinking, an activity that has overshadowed his life. On the most fateful day of the consul's life—the Day of the Dead, 1938—his wife, Yvonne, arrives in Quauhnahuac, inspired by a vision of life together away from Mexico and the circumstances that have driven their relationship to the brink of collapse. She is determined to rescue Firmin and their failing marriage, but her mission is further complicated by the presence of Hugh, the consul's half brother, and Jacques, a childhood friend. The events of this one significant day unfold against an unforgettable backdrop of a Mexico at once magical and diabolical.</p> <p><b>Under the Volcano</b> remains one of literature's most powerful and lyrical statements on the human condition, and a brilliant portrayal of one man's constant struggle against the elemental forces that threaten to destroy him.</p>

Author(s): Malcolm Lowry

ISBN 13: 9780061120152
Pages: 448

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The Naked and the Dead ISBN-13 9780312265052

Title: The Naked and the Dead

Portrays the contrasting personalities and nostalgic reminiscences of a group of World War II American soldiers engaged in a combat operation against the Japanese. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Author(s): Norman Mailer

ISBN 13: 9780312265052
Pages: 721

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The Professional ISBN-13 9780306810589

Title: The Professional

Doc Carroll battles organized corruption to help his protege become the middleweight boxing champion.

Author(s): Wilfred Charles Heinz

ISBN 13: 9780306810589
Pages: 338

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For Whom the Bell Tolls ISBN-13 9780684803357

Title: For Whom the Bell Tolls


In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it." Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.

This masterpiece of time and place tells a profound and timeless story of courage and commitment, love and loss, that takes place over a fleeting 72 hours. Drawing on Hemingway's own involvement in the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls reflects his passionate feelings about the nature of war and the meaning of loyalty.

Author(s): Ernest Hemingway

ISBN 13: 9780684803357
Pages: 480

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Dispatches ISBN-13 9780679735250

Title: Dispatches

A documentation of the day-to-day realities of the war in Vietnam experienced by men on patrol, under siege at Khe Sanh, strapped into helicopters, and faced with continuing nightmares after their return to the United States

Author(s): Michael Herr

ISBN 13: 9780679735250
Pages: 260

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Tropic of Cancer ISBN-13 9780802131782

Title: Tropic of Cancer

Author(s): Henry Miller

ISBN 13: 9780802131782

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Revolutionary Road ISBN-13 9780375708442

Title: Revolutionary Road

The devastating effects of work, adultery, rebellion, and selfdeception slowly destroy the once successful marriage of Frank and April Wheeler, a suburban American couple. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

Author(s): Richard Yates

ISBN 13: 9780375708442
Pages: 337

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The Killer Angels ISBN-13 9780345348104

Title: The Killer Angels

Portraits of Lee, Longstreet, and other Civil War leaders are interwoven with historical detail to provide a fictional recreation of the bloody battle at Gettysburg

Author(s): Michael Shaara

ISBN 13: 9780345348104
Pages: 355

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Slaughterhouse-Five: Or, the Children's Crusade, A Duty-Dance with Death ISBN-13 9780385333849

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five: Or, the Children's Crusade, A Duty-Dance with Death

Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous firebombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we fear most.

Author(s): Kurt Vonnegut

ISBN 13: 9780385333849

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All the Kings Men ISBN-13 9780156012959

Title: All the Kings Men

"--"The Raleigh News and Observer" "To read ["All the King's Men"] in this new edition is to be struck again by its raw power, its urgency and relevance.

Author(s): Robert Penn Warren

ISBN 13: 9780156012959
Pages: 656

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One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest ISBN-13 9780141181226

Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity, is admitted to a mental hospital where he challenges the autocratic authority of the head nurse.

Author(s): Ken Kesey

ISBN 13: 9780141181226
Pages: 281

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Sophies Choice ISBN-13 9780679736370

Title: Sophies Choice

As the fierce lovemaking and fights of Nathan, a paranoiac Jewish intellectual, and Sophie, a Polish-Catholic concentration-camp survivor, intensify, Stingo, a writer who lives below them in a cheap rooming house, becomes more and more ...

Author(s): William Styron

ISBN 13: 9780679736370
Pages: 562

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A Fans Notes ISBN-13 9780679720768

Title: A Fans Notes

Mr. Exley, a schoolteacher in a dismal rural New York town, finds pleasure in rooting for the Giants and his own survival in modern American society

Author(s): Frederick Exley

ISBN 13: 9780679720768
Pages: 385

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Lucky Jim ISBN-13 9781590175750

Title: Lucky Jim

A humorous novel about an amiable opportunist who finds himself, after the war, in the improbable role of an instructor in medieval history at one of Britain's new redbrick universities in a small British village.

Author(s): Kingsley Amis

ISBN 13: 9781590175750
Pages: 264

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The Wind-up Bird Chronicle ISBN-13 9780679775430

Title: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

Superimposes the collapse of a marriage over the investigation into recovered war memories and a man's search for his own identity

Author(s): Haruki Murakami;Jay Rubin

ISBN 13: 9780679775430
Pages: 607

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Master and Commander ISBN-13 9780393325171

Title: Master and Commander

Introduces Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, in the age of the Napoleonic wars.

Author(s): Patrick OBrian

ISBN 13: 9780393325171
Pages: 459

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Plainsong ISBN-13 9780375705854

Title: Plainsong

From the unsettled lives of a small-town teacher struggling to raise two boys alone in the face of their mother's retreat from life, a pregnant teenage girl with nowhere to go, and two elderly bachelor farmers emerges a new vision of life ...

Author(s): Kent Haruf

ISBN 13: 9780375705854
Pages: 301

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A Confederacy of Dunces ISBN-13 9780802130204

Title: A Confederacy of Dunces

An obese New Orleans misanthrope who constantly rebukes society, Ignatius Reilly gets a job at his mother's urging but ends up leading a workers' revolt, in a twentieth anniversary edition of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Reprint.

Author(s): John Kennedy Toole

ISBN 13: 9780802130204
Pages: 405

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Affliction ISBN-13 9780060920074

Title: Affliction

It is a mark of Russell Banks' artistry and understanding that Wade comes to loom in one's mind as a blue-collar American Everyman afflicted by the dark secret of the macho tradition.

Author(s): Russell Banks

ISBN 13: 9780060920074
Pages: 368

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This boys life ISBN-13 9780802136688

Title: This boys life

The author chronicles the tumultuous events of his early life, discussing his parents' divorce, the nomadic wanderings with his mother that followed, and the strange and eventful process of growing up.

Author(s): Tobias Wolff

ISBN 13: 9780802136688
Pages: 288

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Winters Tale ISBN-13 9780156031196

Title: Winters Tale

His great struggle is one of the most beautiful and extraordinary stories of American literature. "This novel stretches the boundaries of contemporary literature. It is a gifted writer's love affair with the language.

Author(s): Mark Helprin

ISBN 13: 9780156031196
Pages: 748

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The Adventures of Augie March ISBN-13 9780143039570

Title: The Adventures of Augie March

As soon as it first appeared in 1953, this gem by the great Saul Bellow was hailed as an American classic. Bold, expansive, and keenly humorous, The Adventures of Augie March blends street language with literary elegance to tell the story of a poor Chicago boy growing up during the Great Depression. A "born recruit," Augie makes himself available for hire by plungers, schemers, risk takers, and operators, compiling a record of choices that is—to say the least—eccentric.
&nbsp;

Winner of the 1954 National Book Award

Author(s): Saul Bellow

ISBN 13: 9780143039570
Pages: 608

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Women ISBN-13 9780061177590

Title: Women

Low-life writer and unrepentant alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. After decades of slacking off at low-paying dead-end jobs, blowing his cash on booze and women, and scrimping by in flea-bitten apartments, Chinaski sees his poetic star rising at last. Now, at fifty, he is reveling in his sudden rock-star life, running three hundred hangovers a year, and maintaining a sex life that would cripple Casanova.

With all of Bukowski's trademark humor and gritty, dark honesty, this 1978 follow-up to Post Office and Factotum is an uncompromising account of life on the edge.

Author(s): Charles Bukowski

ISBN 13: 9780061177590
Pages: 304

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Going Native ISBN-13 9781400079421

Title: Going Native

Reprint. Going Native is the story of one man's odyssey into the heart of darkness at the center of contemporary American life.

Author(s): Stephen Wright

ISBN 13: 9781400079421
Pages: 305

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Heart of Darkness ISBN-13 9781492893288

Title: Heart of Darkness

One of the best books of all time, Jospeh Conrad's Heart of Darkness. If you haven't read this classic already, then you're missing out - read Heart of Darkness by Jospeh Conrad today!

Author(s): Joseph Conrad

ISBN 13: 9781492893288
Pages: 110

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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold ISBN-13 9780143124757

Title: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.

Author(s): John le Carré

ISBN 13: 9780143124757
Pages: 240

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The Crack-Up ISBN-13 9780811218207

Title: The Crack-Up

The Crack-Up tells the story of Fitzgerald's sudden descent at the age of thirty-nine from glamorous success to empty despair, and his determined recovery. Compiled and edited by Edmund Wilson shortly after F. Scott Fitzgerald's death, this revealing collection of his essays—as well as letters to and from Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos—tells of a man with charm and talent to burn, whose gaiety and genius made him a living symbol of the Jazz Age, and whose recklessness brought him grief and loss. "Fitzgerald's physical and spiritual exhaustion is described brilliantly," noted The New York Review of Books: "the essays are amazing for the candor."

Author(s): F. Scott Fitzgerald

ISBN 13: 9780811218207
Pages: 352

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CivilWarLand in bad decline ISBN-13 9781573225793

Title: CivilWarLand in bad decline

A debut collection of short fiction includes the title story, the award-winning "Bounty" and "The 400-Pound CEO," "The Wavemaker Falters," and others. Reprint.

Author(s): George Saunders

ISBN 13: 9781573225793
Pages: 179

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War and Peace (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation) ISBN-13 9781400079988

Title: War and Peace (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation)

From the award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.

A s Napoleon’s army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers—as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature.

An essay on translating WAR AND PEACE by Richard Pevear

To many prospective readers Tolstoy's War and Peace is the most intimidating of literary monuments. It is there, like a vast, unexplored continent, and all sorts of daunting rumors circulate about life in the interior. But once you cross the border, you discover that the world of War and Peace is more familiar and at the same time more surprising than the rumors suggested. That is as true for the translator as it is for the first-time reader.

We spent three years working full-time on the translation, revising it, copy-editing it, proofreading it twice, meaning that each of us read the novel some five times in Russian and in English. Yet even in my final checking of the proofs, I still found myself delighting, laughing, or holding back my tears as I read. An example of this last is the moment near the end when Pierre and Natasha, after all the harrowing experiences they've lived through, finally meet again in Princess Marya's drawing room. Pierre sees that Princess Marya has someone with her, but doesn't realize who it is. Princess Marya is perplexed.


She again shifted her gaze from Pierre's face to the face of the lady in the black dress and said:

"Don't you recognize her?"

Pierre glanced once more at the pale, fine face of the companion, with its dark eyes and strange mouth. Something dear, long forgotten, and more than sweet looked at him from those attentive eyes.

"But no, it can't be," he thought. "This stern, thin, pale, aged face? It can't be her. It's only a reminiscence of that one." But just then Princess Marya said: "Natasha." And the face, with its attentive eyes, with difficulty, with effort, like a rusty door opening – smiled, and from that open door there suddenly breathed and poured out upon Pierre that long-forgotten happiness of which, especially now, he was not even thinking. It breathed out, enveloped, and swallowed him whole. When she smiled, there could no longer be any doubt: it was Natasha, and he loved her.


What makes this passage so moving is not only the drama of the moment itself, but the way Tolstoy has sensed it and captured it in words. It can't be paraphrased; the translator has to follow as closely as possible the exact sequence and pacing of the words in order to catch the "musical" meaning of the original, which is less apparent than the "literal" meaning, but alone creates the impression Tolstoy intended.

I've said "translator," and in a sense our collaboration is so close that the two of us make up one translator who has the luck to be a native speaker of two languages. That situation has its advantages. Translators are always in danger of drifting into the sort of language that is commonly referred to as "smooth," "natural," or, as they now say, "reader friendly," and is really only a tissue of ready-made phrases. When that happens to me, as it sometimes does, Larissa is there to stop me. Where I have my say is in judging the quality of our English text, that is, in drawing the line between a literal and a faithful rendering, which are not at all the same. If the translation does not finally "work" in English, it doesn't work at all.

I'll take an example of what that collaboration can produce from Tolstoy's description of the Russian army crossing the river Enns. After a good deal of confusion, the hussar captain Denisov finally manages to clear the infantry from the bridge and send his cavalry over. As the first riders move onto the bridge, Tolstoy writes: "On the planks of the bridge the transparent sounds of hoofs rang out . . ." The Russian is unmistakable—prozrachnye zvuki "transparent sounds"—and I find its precision breathtaking. It is pure Tolstoy. To my knowledge, it has never been translated into English. What we find in other versions is the "thud" or "clang" of hoofs, and it is likely that I would have done something similar if Larissa had not brought me back to what Tolstoy actually wrote. His prose is full of such moments. Coming upon them and finding words for them in English has been one of the most rewarding aspects of our work.

Here is a very different and rather amusing example of the search for fidelity. Count Ilya Andreich Rostov, Natasha's father, is giving a banquet in honor of General Bagration. Ordering the menu, he insists that "grebeshki" be put in the "tortue." I assumed that tortue was French turtle soup, but what about grebeshki? The Russian word can mean either "cock's-combs" or "scallops." Which would you put in a turtle soup? I did research into the uses of cock's-combs, but with rather unappealing results. I looked at previous translations: one has "scallops" and thinks the soup is a "pie crust"; another has "cock's-combs" but in a "pasty"; in a third the "cock's-combs" are in a "soup"; the fourth agrees about the soup, but puts "croutons" in it.

Going by my own taste, I decided to put scallops in the turtle soup. This reading got as far as the first set of page proofs. Just then we met by chance (at a dinner in Paris) a woman who used to run a cooking school. We asked her which it should be. She, too, was puzzled. A few days later we received a long email from her. She had become so intrigued by our question that she went to the French National Library the next day and looked up the history of the culinary use of cock's-combs. She was happy to inform us that they came into fashion precisely around the time of the Napoleonic wars and were a key ingredient in turtle sauce. Suddenly the whole passage made sense, because the chef replies to the old count's order: "Three cold sauces, then?" The other translations have "three cold dishes" or "entrees," with no relation to sauces at all. Thanks to Mme. Meunier, we were able to make the correction in the second set of proofs.

But does such a small thing really matter? Well, it certaintly did to Tolstoy. What this seemingly trivial detail reveals is the extraordinary accuracy of his memory, even in the smallest things. Cock's-combs had gone out of fashion by his time, but he knew where to place them and in what.

Tolstoy's prose is a rich, fluid, multivoiced artistic medium. There is, for instance, a war between the French and Russian languages in War and Peace that mirrors the war between the French and Russian armies. His play with French and with gallicized Russian is a major element of social satire in the novel's composition, allowing him the sort of linguistic infiltrations later found in Joyce and Nabokov. This adds a verbal dimension to War and Peace that English readers don't suspect is there, because previous English translations have eliminated it. But this precocious modernism is never word play for its own sake. It is always moved by passion.

The world of War and Peace envelops you. It is full of uncertainties, surprises, constantly shifting perspectives, but once you enter it you feel that you're in sure hands. Over it all is that "infinite sky" that Prince Andrei discovers as he lies wounded on the field of Austerlitz. This vast unity that embraces the greatest diversity is the secret, the mystery, of Tolstoy's art. It presents a great challenge to its translators, as I've tried to suggest in a small way.

Author(s): Leo Tolstoy

ISBN 13: 9781400079988
Pages: 1296

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The Shining ISBN-13 9780345806789

Title: The Shining

Jack Torrance sees his stint as winter caretaker of a Colorado hotel as a way back from failure, his wife sees it as a chance to preserve their family, and their five-year-old son sees the evil waiting just for them.

Author(s): Stephen King

ISBN 13: 9780345806789
Pages: 688

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The Shining ISBN-13 9780345806789

Title: The Shining

Jack Torrance sees his stint as winter caretaker of a Colorado hotel as a way back from failure, his wife sees it as a chance to preserve their family, and their five-year-old son sees the evil waiting just for them.

Author(s): Stephen King

ISBN 13: 9780345806789
Pages: 688

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Winesburg, Ohio ISBN-13 9781613823347

Title: Winesburg, Ohio

Considered to be one of Sherwood Anderson's greatest works, "Winesburg, Ohio" is the portrayal of a fictitious American town and its inhabitants. "Winesburg, Ohio" is a collection of connected short stories depicting a variety of themes of rural American life. Heralded for its beautiful realism, "Winesburg, Ohio", is a classic collection of American stories whose influence upon American literature is considered to be nothing short of profound.

Author(s): Sherwood Anderson

ISBN 13: 9781613823347
Pages: 210

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Midnight's Children ISBN-13 9780812976533

Title: Midnight's Children

Winner of the Booker of Bookers
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts.

This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.

Best of the Booker (40th Anniversary of the Booker Award)
Booker of Bookers (25th Anniversary of the Booker Award)
Winner of the 1981 Booker Prize

Author(s): Salman Rushdie

ISBN 13: 9780812976533
Pages: 560

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Labyrinths ISBN-13 9780811216999

Title: Labyrinths

A new edition of a classic work by a late forefront Argentinean writer features the 1964 augmented original text and is complemented by a biographical essay, a tribute to the writer's body of work, and a chronology of his life. Reprint.

Author(s): Jorge Luis Borges;Donald A. Yates;James East Irby

ISBN 13: 9780811216999
Pages: 256

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The Right Stuff ISBN-13 9780312427566

Title: The Right Stuff

"Tom Wolfe at his very best" (The New York Times Book Review)

Author(s): Tom Wolfe

ISBN 13: 9780312427566
Pages: 368

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The Sportswriter: Bascombe Trilogy (1) ISBN-13 9780679762102

Title: The Sportswriter: Bascombe Trilogy (1)

As a sportswriter, Frank Bascombe makes his living studying people--men, mostly--who live entirely within themselves. This is a condition that Frank himself aspires to. But at thirty-eight, he suffers from incurable dreaminess, occasional pounding of the heart, and the not-too-distant losses of a career, a son, and a marriage. In the course of the Easter week in which Ford's moving novel transpires, Bascombe will end up losing the remnants of his familiar life, though with his spirits soaring.

Author(s): Richard Ford

ISBN 13: 9780679762102
Pages: 375

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American Tabloid ISBN-13 9780375727375

Title: American Tabloid

Offers a story of the dark secrets behind Kennedy's election and assassination, the Bay of Pigs, and the roles of the underworld, the CIA, Howard Hughes, Hoover, and three renegade law-enforcement officers.

Author(s): James Ellroy

ISBN 13: 9780375727375
Pages: 571

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The autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley ISBN-13 9780345350688

Title: The autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

With its first great victory in the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the civil rights movement gained the powerful momentum it needed to sweep forward into its crucial decade, the 1960s. As voices of protest and change rose above the din of history and false promises, one voice sounded more urgently, more passionately, than the rest. Malcolm X—once called the most dangerous man in America—challenged the world to listen and learn the truth as he experienced it. And his enduring message is as relevant today as when he first delivered it. In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement to veteran writer and journalist Alex Haley . In a unique collaboration, Haley worked with Malcolm X for nearly two years, interviewing, listening to, and understanding the most controversial leader of his time.

Author(s): Malcolm X;Alex Haley

ISBN 13: 9780345350688
Pages: 460

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What it Takes ISBN-13 9780679746492

Title: What it Takes

Recounts the frenzied course of the 1988 presidential race, exploring how presumably normal people acquire the courage, ambition, and shamelessness that make a true candidate

Author(s): Richard Ben Cramer

ISBN 13: 9780679746492
Pages: 1051

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The Continental Op ISBN-13 9780679722588

Title: The Continental Op

In these stories the Op unravels a murder with too many clues, looks for a girl with eyes the color of shadows on polished silver, and tangles with a crooked-eared gunman called the Whosis Kid.

Author(s): Dashiell Hammett;Steven Marcus

ISBN 13: 9780679722588
Pages: 319

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The Power and the Glory ISBN-13 9780142437308

Title: The Power and the Glory

A tormented, alcoholic priest is pursued by an idealistic lieutenant during an anti-clerical persecution in Mexico.

Author(s): Graham Greene

ISBN 13: 9780142437308
Pages: 221

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So Long, See You Tomorrow ISBN-13 9780679767206

Title: So Long, See You Tomorrow

Haunted by a memory of human failure, an aging man recalls his friendship, as a boy, with a tenant farmer's son and forces himself and others to recall the causes of a bloody murder and its consequences. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Author(s): William Maxwell

ISBN 13: 9780679767206
Pages: 135

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Native Son ISBN-13 9780060837563

Title: Native Son

Widely acclaimed as one of the finest books ever written on race and class divisions in America, this powerful novel reflects the forces of poverty, injustice, and hopelessness that continue to shape out society.

Author(s): Richard Wright

ISBN 13: 9780060837563
Pages: 544

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Let Us Now Praise Famous Men ISBN-13 9780618127498

Title: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

An illustrated portrayal of three Alabama sharecropper families in 1936 examines their everyday existence in poverty.

Author(s): James Agee;Walker Evans

ISBN 13: 9780618127498
Pages: 416

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Angle of Repose ISBN-13 9780141185477

Title: Angle of Repose

Traces the lives and fortunes of four generations of one family as they attempt to build a life for themselves in the American West.

Author(s): Wallace Earle Stegner;Wallace Stegner

ISBN 13: 9780141185477
Pages: 557

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The Dharma Bums ISBN-13 9780140042528

Title: The Dharma Bums

Author(s): Jack Kerouac

ISBN 13: 9780140042528

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Lonesome Dove ISBN-13 9781439195260

Title: Lonesome Dove

Chronicles a cattle drive in the nineteenth century from Texas to Montana, and follows the lives of Gus and Call, the cowboys heading the drive, Gus's woman, Lorena, and Blue Duck, a sinister Indian renegade.

Author(s): Larry McMurtry

ISBN 13: 9781439195260
Pages: 858

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Lolita ISBN-13 9780679723165

Title: Lolita

A novel that studies the moral disintegration of a man whose obsessive desire to possess his step-daughter destroys the lives of those around him

Author(s): Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

ISBN 13: 9780679723165
Pages: 317

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Underworld ISBN-13 9780684848150

Title: Underworld

A work combining fiction and history in a collaboration that encompasses fifty years gives readers a glimpse into the realities upon which America's modern culture is based and explores the complex relationship between "waste analyst" Nick ...

Author(s): Don DeLillo

ISBN 13: 9780684848150
Pages: 827

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Savages: A Novel ISBN-13 9781451667158

Title: Savages: A Novel

Ben, Chon, and O are twentysomething best friends living the dream in Southern California. Together they have made a small fortune producing premium grade marijuana, a product so potent that the Mexican Baja Cartel demands a cut. When Ben and Chon refuse to back down, the cartel kidnaps O, igniting a dizzying array of high-octane negotiations and stunning plot twists as they risk everything to free her.

Author(s): Don Winslow

ISBN 13: 9781451667158
Pages: 336

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The Orphan Masters Son ISBN-13 9780812982626

Title: The Orphan Masters Son

The son of an influential father who runs an orphan work camp, Pak Jun Do rises to prominence using instinctive talents and eventually becomes a professional kidnapper and romantic rival to Kim Jong Il.

Author(s): Adam Johnson

ISBN 13: 9780812982626
Pages: 456

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Billy Lynns Long Halftime Walk ISBN-13 9780060885618

Title: Billy Lynns Long Halftime Walk

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and a finalist for the National Book Award!

Author(s): Ben Fountain

ISBN 13: 9780060885618
Pages: 320

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Let the Great World Spin ISBN-13 9780812973990

Title: Let the Great World Spin

In 1974 Manhattan, a radical young Irish monk struggles with personal demons while making his home among Bronx prostitutes, a group of mothers shares grief over their lost Vietnam soldier sons, and a young grandmother attempts to prove her ...

Author(s): Colum McCann

ISBN 13: 9780812973990
Pages: 375

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The Road ISBN-13 9780307387899

Title: The Road

In a novel set in an indefinite, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, a father and his young son make their way through the ruins of a devastated American landscape, struggling to survive and preserve the last remnants of their own humanity.

Author(s): Cormac McCarthy

ISBN 13: 9780307387899
Pages: 287

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