AGED (LIKE FINE WINE) CLASSICS

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Truman Capote’s first novel is a story of almost supernatural intensity and inventiveness, an audacious foray into the mind of a sensitive boy as he seeks out the grown-up enigmas of love and death in the ghostly landscape of the deep South. At the age of twelve, Joel Knox is summoned to meet the father who abandoned him at birth. But when Joel arrives at the decaying mansion in Skully’s Landing, his father is nowhere in sight. What he finds instead is a sullen stepmother who delights in killing birds; an uncle with the face—and heart—of a debauched child; and a fearsome little girl named Idabel who may offer him the closest thing he has ever known to love.


Laura (Femmes Fatales)
By Vera Caspary

Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charms—not even the hardboiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Laura’s death, he becomes obsessed with her strange power. Soon he realizes he’s been seduced by a dead woman—or has he? Laura won lasting renown as an Academy Award-nominated 1944 film, the greatest noir romance of all time. Vera Caspary’s equally haunting novel is remarkable for its stylish, hardboiled writing, its electrifying plot twists, and its darkly complex characters—including a woman who stands as the ultimate femme fatale.


Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and only published in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century authors in his genre. Lovecraft was born in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. Among his most celebrated tales is "The Call of Cthulhu", canonical to the Cthulhu Mythos. Never able to support himself from earnings as author and editor, Lovecraft saw commercial success increasingly elude him in this latter period, partly because he lacked the confidence and drive to promote himself. He subsisted in progressively straitened circumstances in his last years; an inheritance was completely spent by the time he died at the age of 46.


Invisible Man is a milestone in American literature, a book that has continued to engage readers since its appearance in 1952. 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. 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. The book is a passionate and witty tour de force of style, strongly influenced by T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, Joyce, and Dostoevsky.


The Wolfen
By Whitley Strieber

In the dark, they are watching...
They are waiting for you.

No one has ever lived to tell the horrifying truth about them. Yet even now the Wolfen are gathered in the night-dark alleys... unseen, poised...ready to destroy their helpless human prey. Only one man and one woman, trained cops, willing to risk their lives, stand in the way.


The Bell Jar
By Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.


Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a goo d time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far. This special edition of the groundbreaking novel contains: never before seen photos and letters from the publisher's archives; 
original review clippings and media coverage;  photos from the author’s personal collection;  New material from the stars and director of the iconic film--including Francis Ford Coppola, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, and others


The Stand
By Stephen King

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides—or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail—and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.


Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, went on to become a literary phenomenon. Inspired by a true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying. The Exorcist was turned into a wildly popular motion picture. On the opening day of the film, lines of the novel's fans stretched around city blocks. Moviegoers stormed theaters. Tear gas was used to disperse some of the crowds. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a literary landmark.


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. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.


The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by the American journalist and novelist Upton Sinclair (1878–1968). Sinclair wrote the novel to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. However, most readers were more concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, greatly contributing to a public outcry which led to reforms including the Meat Inspection Act. Sinclair famously said of the public reaction "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." The book depicts working class poverty, the lack of social supports, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power.


The House on Mango Street
By Sandra Cisneros

The best-selling coming-of-age classic, acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught in schools and universities alike, and translated around the world. The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Told in a series of vignettes—sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous—Sandra Cisneros’ masterpiece is a classic story of childhood and self-discovery. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.


The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award–nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation), and remains a wrenching—yet intensely uplifting—experience for new generations of readers.


In this new Fiftieth Anniversary edition of the classic masterpiece of spellbinding suspense, evil wears the most innocent face of all.


The heroine of this powerful novel, often considered James’s greatest work, is the spirited young American Isabel Archer. Blessed by nature and fortune, she journeys to Europe to seek the full realization of her potential—or in modern terms, “to find herself”—but what awaits her there may prove to be her undoing. During her journey, wooers vie for her attentions, including an English aristocrat, a perfect American gentleman, and a sensitive expatriate. But it is only after the ingenue falls prey to the schemes of an infinitely sophisticated older woman that her life takes on its true form. With its brilliant interplay of tensions and characters, The Portrait of a Lady is a timeless and essential American novel.


Lady Chatterley's lover
By David Herbert Lawrence

Lady Chatterley's Lover is D. H. Lawrence's controversial novel written in 1928, which tells the story of an aristocratic woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), who has an affair with the estate's gamekeeper when her husband is paralyzed and rendered impotent. Central to the theme of the novel is the need for physical stimulation as well as mental stimulation in order to feel complete as a human being. Due to the offensive language and subject matter of the book a charge of obscenity was brought against it in a famous 1960 trial in the United Kingdom. The novel and Lawrence were cleared of the charges and for the first time the novel was allowed to be published without restriction. Presented here is the original unabridged version first published privately in Florence in 1928.


First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee generated shockwaves with its frank and heartbreaking depiction of the systematic annihilation of American Indian tribes across the western frontier. In this nonfiction account, Dee Brown focuses on the betrayals, battles, and massacres suffered by American Indians between 1860 and 1890. He tells of the many tribes and their renowned chiefs—from Geronimo to Red Cloud, Sitting Bull to Crazy Horse—who struggled to combat the destruction of their people and culture. Forcefully written and meticulously researched, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee inspired a generation to take a second look at how the West was won. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Dee Brown including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.


Native Son
By Richard Wright

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

"One of the great books about inner-city anxiety, and recognisable to a great many individuals who grow up feeling disempowered and disenchanted."
    ~  The Independent

In The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, a young private in the Union Army during the American Civil War flees from the field of battle after longing for "a red badge of courage" (a battle wound) to prove his courage. Although Stephen Crane did not participate in any Civil War battles, the novel is known for it's realistic portrayal of the battlefield.

"The Red Badge of Courage is not a conventional historical novel. Its texture is cinematic; at the same time, breaking the rules, it eschews all reference to time and place."
    ~  The Guardian

Vintage Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities, the #1 bestseller that will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style. "No one has portrayed New York Society this accurately and devastatingly since Edith Wharton" (The National Review) “A page-turner . . . Brilliant high comedy.” (The New Republic)


"Give me a girl at an impressionable age, and she is mine for life!” So asserts Jean Brodie, a magnetic, dubious, and sometimes comic teacher at the conservative Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh. Brodie selects six favorite pupils to mold—and she doesn’t stop with just their intellectual lives. She has a plan for them all, including how they will live, whom they will love, and what sacrifices they will make to uphold her ideals. When the girls reach adulthood and begin to find their own destinies, Jean Brodie’s indelible imprint is a gift to some, and a curse to others.


The Price of Salt
By Patricia Highsmith

Therese is working in a department store during the Christmas shopping season. One day, a beautiful older woman comes over to her counter and buys a doll. As the purchase is a C.O.D. order, Therese makes a mental note of the customer’s address. She is intrigued and drawn to the woman. Although young, inexperienced and shy, she writes a note to the customer, Carol, and is elated and surprised when Carol invites her to meet. Therese realizes she has strong feelings for Carol, but is unsure of what they represent. Carol, in the process of a bitter separation and divorce, is also quite lonely. Soon the two women begin spending a great deal of time together. Before long, they are madly and hopelessly in love. The path is not easy for them, however. Carol also has a child and a very suspicious husband—dangerous ground for the lovers. When the women leave New York and travel west together, they discover the choices they’ve made to be together will have lasting effects on both their lives.

The rare and original pulp edition

Coma
By Robin Cook

The blockbuster best seller that kickstarted a new genre—the medical thriller. They called it "minor surgery," but Nancy Greenly, Sean Berman and a dozen others—all admitted to Boston Memorial Hospital for routine procedures—were victims of the same inexplicable, hideous tragedy on the operating table. They never woke up. Susan Wheeler is a third-year medical student working as a trainee at Boston Memorial Hospital. Two patients during her residency mysteriously go into comas immediately after their operations due to complications from anesthesia. Susan begins to investigate the causes behind both of these alarming comas and discovers something evil. Is she a participant in—or a victim of—a large-scale black market dealing in human organs?


The Essential Ginsberg
By Allen Ginsberg

Featuring the legendary and groundbreaking poem “Howl,” this remarkable volume showcases a selection of Allen Ginsberg’s poems, songs, essays, letters, journals, and interviews and contains sixteen pages of his personal photographs. One of the Beat Generation’s most renowned poets and writers, Allen Ginsberg became internationally famous not only for his published works but for his actions as a human rights activist who championed the sexual revolution, human rights, gay liberation, Buddhism and eastern religion, and the confrontation of societal norms—all before it became fashionable to do so. He was also the dynamic leader of war protesters, artists, Flower Power hippies, musicians, punks, and political radicals. The Essential Ginsberg collects a mosaic of materials that displays the full range of Ginsberg’s mental landscape.


I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow.... This is the testament of Paul Bäumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during World War I. They become soldiers with youthful enthusiasm. But the world of duty, culture, and progress they had been taught breaks in pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Through years of vivid horror, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principle of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against one another...if only he can come out of the war alive.

"[A] gritty pull-no-punches look at the horrors of war. Limbs are lost, horses are destroyed, starving soldiers root through garbage for food, the troops are ravaged by poison gas and artillery bombs, and few make it out alive."
    ~  Smithsonian.com
 

Sophie’s Choice centers on three characters: Stingo, a sexually frustrated aspiring novelist; Nathan, his charismatic but violent Jewish neighbor; and Sophie, an Auschwitz survivor who is Nathan’s lover. Their entanglement in one another’s lives will build to a stirring revelation of agonizing secrets that will change them forever. Poetic in its execution, and epic in its emotional sweep, Sophie’s Choice explores the good and evil of humanity through Stingo’s burgeoning worldliness, Nathan’s volatile personality, and Sophie’s tragic past. Mixing elements from Styron’s own experience with themes of the Holocaust and the history of slavery in the American South, the novel is a profound and haunting human drama, representing Styron at the pinnacle of his literary brilliance.


The Name of the Rose
By Umberto Eco

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”