Title Recommendations based on Marjane Satrapi

The Sound and the Fury

“I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” —from The Sound and the Fury The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and  one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

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Beloved

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding audio transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

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As I Lay Dying

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all timeFrom the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by William Faulkner—also available are Snopes, The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, and Selected Short StoriesOne of William Faulkner’s finest novels, As I Lay Dying, originally published in 1930, remains a captivating and stylistically innovative work. The story revolves around a grim yet darkly humorous pilgrimage, as Addie Bundren’s family sets out to fulfill her last wish: to be buried in her native Jefferson, Mississippi, far from the miserable backwater surroundings of her married life. Told through multiple voices, As I Lay Dying vividly brings to life Faulkner’s imaginary South, one of literature’s great invented landscapes, and is replete with the poignant, impoverished, violent, and hypnotically fascinating characters that were his trademark. Along with a new Foreword by E. L. Doctorow, this edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Faulkner expert Noel Polk.

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A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

"I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning."James Joyce's supremely innovative fictional autobiography is also, in the apt phrase of the biographer Richard Ellmann, nothing less than "the gestation of a soul." For as he describes the shabby, cloying, and sometimes terrifying Dublin upbringing of his alter ego, Stephen Dedalus, Joyce immerses the reader in his emerging consciousness, employing language that ranges from baby talk to hellfire sermon to a triumphant artist's manifesto. The result is a novel of immense boldness, eloquence, and energy, a work that inaugurated a literary revolution and has become a model for the portrayal of the self in our time.The text of this edition has been newly edited by Hans Walter Gabler and Walter Hettche and is followed by a new afterword, chronology, and bibliography by Richard Brown.

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The Master and Margarita

A 50th-anniversary Deluxe Edition of the incomparable 20th-century masterpiece of satire and fantasy, in a newly revised version of the acclaimed Pevear and Volokhonsky translation   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 Pevear and Volokhonsky, is made from the complete and unabridged Russian text.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. 

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The Stranger

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Albert Camus’s spare, laconic masterpiece about a Frenchman who murders an Arab in Algeria is famous for having diagnosed, with a clarity almost scientific, that condition of reckless alienation and spiritual exhaustion that characterized so much of twentieth-century life. Possessing both the force of a parable and the excitement of a perfectly executed thriller, The Stranger is the work of one of the most engaged and intellectually alert writers of the past century. Translated by Matthew Ward

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High Fidelity

From the bestselling author of Funny Girl, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll.Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers. Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad. 

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Taxi Driver

Robert De Niro stars as Travis Bickle in this oppressive psychodrama about a Vietnam veteran who rebels against the decadence and immorality of big city life in New York while working the nightshift as a taxi driver.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods as they join forces with their younger selves in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

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The Wire

The Wire is an American television crime drama series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Each season of The Wire introduces a different facet of the city of Baltimore. In chronological order they are: the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. Despite only receiving average ratings and never winning major television awards, The Wire has been described by many critics and fans as one of the greatest TV dramas of all time. The show is recognized for its realistic portrayal of urban life, its literary ambitions, and its uncommonly deep exploration of sociopolitical themes.

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The Lies of Locke Lamora

“Remarkable . . . Scott Lynch’s first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora, exports the suspense and wit of a cleverly constructed crime caper into an exotic realm of fantasy, and the result is engagingly entertaining.”—The Times (London)   An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.   Praise for The Lies of Locke Lamora   “Fresh, original, and engrossing . . . gorgeously realized.”—George R. R. Martin  “Right now, in the full flush of a second reading, I think The Lies of Locke Lamora is probably in my top ten favorite books ever. Maybe my top five. If you haven’t read it, you should. If you have read it, you should probably read it again.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind“A unique fantasy milieu peopled by absorbing, colorful characters . . . Locke’s wit and audacity endear him to victims and bystanders alike.”—The Seattle Times   “A true genre bender, at home on almost any kind of fiction shelf . . . Lynch immediately establishes himself as a gifted and fearless storyteller, unafraid of comparisons to Silverberg and Jordan, not to mention David Liss and even Dickens.”—Booklist (starred review)   “High-octane fantasy . . . a great swashbuckling yarn of a novel.”—Richard MorganFrom the Hardcover edition.

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The Metamorphosis

Acclaimed graphic artist Peter Kuper presents a brilliant, darkly comic reimagining of Kafka’s classic tale of family, alienation, and a giant bug. Kuper’s electric drawings—which merge American cartooning with German expressionism—bring Kafka’s prose to vivid life, reviving the original story’s humor and poignancy in a way that will surprise and delight readers of Kafka and graphic novels alike. “A brilliant illustrated adaptation of Franz Kafka’s famous story. It’s a real pleasure to read and one in which everyone will recognize the existential drama and uncanny wit of the original text."—Susan Bernstein, associate professor of comparative literature and German studies, Brown University

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The Road

NATIONAL BESTSELLERPULITZER PRIZE WINNER National Book Critics Circle Award FinalistA New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the YearThe Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Denver Post, The Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, New York, People, Rocky Mountain News, Time, The Village Voice, The Washington PostThe searing, postapocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy's masterpiece.A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, "each the other's world entire," are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

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True Detective

An American anthology police detective series utilizing multiple timelines in which investigations seem to unearth personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within or outside the law.

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Heart of Darkness

In a novella which remains highly controversial to this day, Conrad explores the relations between Africa and Europe. On the surface, this is a horrifying tale of colonial exploitation. The narrator, Marlowe journeys on business deep into the heart of Africa. But there he encounters Kurtz, an idealist apparently crazed and depraved by his power over the natives, and the meeting prompts Marlowe to reflect on the darkness at the heart of all men. This short but complex and often ambiguous story, which has been the basis of several films and plays, continues to provoke interpretation and discussion.Heart of Darkness grew out of a journey Joseph Conrad took up the Congo River; the verisimilitude that the great novelist thereby brought to his most famous tale everywhere enhances its dense and shattering power.Apparently a sailor’s yarn, it is in fact a grim parody of the adventure story, in which the narrator, Marlow, travels deep into the heart of the Congo where he encounters the crazed idealist Kurtz and discovers that the relative values of the civilized and the primitive are not what they seem. Heart of Darkness is a model of economic storytelling, an indictment of the inner and outer turmoil caused by the European imperial misadventure, and a piercing account of the fragility of the human soul.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) 

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