Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, so much so in the latter case that the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War.
Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, focused the novel on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering Black slave around whom the stories of other characters—both fellow slaves and slave owners—revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the cruel reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century (and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible) and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. The book's impact was so great that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the American Civil War, Lincoln is often quoted as having declared, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."
The book, and even more the plays it inspired, also helped create a number of stereotypes about Blacks, many of which endure to this day. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned mammy; the Pickaninny stereotype of black children; and the Uncle Tom, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."
To Kill a Mockingbird is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was instantly successful and has become a classic of modern American fiction. The novel is loosely based on the author's observations of her family and neighbors, as well as on an event that occurred near her hometown in 1936, when she was 10 years old.
The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. One critic explained the novel's impact by writing, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."
As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage and compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in English-speaking countries with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms. Often the book is challenged for its use of racial epithets, and writers have noticed that regardless of its popularity since its publication, some readers are displeased by the novel's treatment of black characters.
Lee's novel was initially reviewed by at least 30 newspapers and magazines, whose critics varied widely in their assessments. More recently, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die". The book was adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. To date, it is Lee's only published novel, and although she continues to respond to the book's impact, she has refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.
Starship Troopers is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, first published (in abridged form) as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October, November 1959, as "Starship Soldier") and published hardcover in 1959.
The first-person narrative is about a young soldier named Juan "Johnnie" Rico and his exploits in the Mobile Infantry, a futuristic military unit equipped with powered armor. Rico's military career progresses from recruit to non-commissioned officer and finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between mankind and an arachnoid species known as "the Bugs". Through Rico's eyes, Heinlein examines moral and philosophical aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, the necessities of war and capital punishment, and the nature of juvenile delinquency.
Starship Troopers won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1960. The novel has attracted controversy and criticism for its social and political themes, which some critics claim promote militarism. Starship Troopers has been adapted into several films and games, with the most widely known — as well as the most controversial and criticized — being the 1997 film by Paul Verhoeven.
Pattern Recognition is a novel by science fiction writer William Gibson published in 2003. Set in August and September 2002, the story follows Cayce Pollard, a 32-year-old marketing consultant who has a psychological sensitivity to corporate symbols. The action takes place in London, Tokyo, and Moscow as Cayce judges the effectiveness of a proposed corporate symbol and is hired to seek the creators of film clips anonymously posted to the internet.
The novel's central theme involves the examination of the human desire to detect patterns or meaning and the risks of finding patterns in meaningless data. Other themes include methods of interpretation of history, cultural familiarity with brand names, and tensions between art and commercialization. The September 11, 2001 attacks are used as a motif representing the transition to the new century. Critics identify influences in Pattern Recognition from Thomas Pynchon’s post-structuralist detective story The Crying of Lot 49.
The novel is Gibson's eighth and the first to be set in the contemporary world. Like his previous work, it has been classified as a science fiction and postmodern novel, with the action unfolding along a thriller plot line. Critics approved of the writing but found the plot unoriginal and some of the language distracting. The book peaked at #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list and was shortlisted for the 2004 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award.
The Red Badge of Courage is a war novel by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound—a "red badge of courage"—to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer.
Although Crane was born after the war, and had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, the novel is known for its realism. He began writing what would become his second novel in 1893, using various contemporary and written accounts (such as those published previously by Century Magazine) as inspiration. It is believed that he based the fictional battle on that of Chancellorsville; he may also have interviewed veterans of the 124th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commonly known as the Orange Blossoms. Initially shortened and serialized in newspapers in December 1894, the novel was published in full in October 1895. A longer version of the work, based on Crane's original manuscript, was published in 1982.
The novel is known for its distinctive style, which includes realistic battle sequences as well as the repeated use of color imagery, and ironic tone. Separating itself from a traditional war narrative, Crane's story reflects the inner experience of its protagonist—a soldier fleeing from combat—rather than the external world around him. Also notable for its use of what Crane called a "psychological portrayal of fear", the novel's allegorical and symbolic qualities are often debated by critics. Several of the themes that the story explores are maturation, heroism, cowardice, and the indifference of nature. The Red Badge of Courage garnered widespread acclaim—what H. G. Wells called "an orgy of praise"—shortly after its publication, making Crane an instant celebrity at the age of twenty-four. The novel and its author did have its initial detractors, however, including author and veteran Ambrose Bierce. Adapted several times for the screen, the novel became a bestseller. It has never been out of print, and is now thought to be Crane's most important work and a major American text.
El Señor Presidente (The President) is a 1946 novel written in Spanish by Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan writer and diplomat Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899 – 1974). A landmark text in Latin American literature, El Señor Presidente explores the nature of political dictatorship and its effects on society. Asturias makes early use of a literary technique now known as magic realism. One of the most notable works of the dictator novel genre, El Señor Presidente developed from an earlier Asturias short story, written to protest social injustice in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in the author's home town.
Although El Señor Presidente does not explicitly identify its setting as early twentieth-century Guatemala, the novel's title character was inspired by the 1898–1920 presidency of Manuel Estrada Cabrera. Asturias began writing the novel in the 1920s and finished it in 1933, but the strict censorship policies of Guatemalan dictatorial governments delayed its publication for thirteen years.
The character of the President rarely appears in the story but Asturias creates a number of other characters to show the terrible effects of living under a dictatorship. His use of dream imagery, onomatopoeia, simile, and repetition of particular phrases, combined with a discontinuous structure, which consists of abrupt changes of style and viewpoint, springs from surrealist and ultraist influences. The style of El Señor Presidente influenced a generation of Latin American authors. The themes of Asturias's novel, such as the inability to tell reality apart from dreams, the power of the written word in the hands of authorities, and the alienation produced by tyranny, center around the experience of living under a dictatorship.
On its eventual publication in Mexico in 1946, El Señor Presidente quickly met with critical acclaim. In 1967, Asturias received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his entire body of work. This international acknowledgment was celebrated throughout Latin America, where it was seen as a recognition of the region's literature as a whole. Since then, El Señor Presidente has been adapted for the screen and theater.
Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759) is a French satire by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire, English translations of which have been titled Candide: Or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: Or, The Optimist (1762); and Candide: Or, Optimism (1947). The novella begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with Leibnizian optimism (or simply optimism) by his tutor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this existence, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not outright rejecting optimism, advocating an enigmatic precept, "we must cultivate our garden", in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of Pangloss, "all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds".
Candide is known for its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. With a story similar to that of a more serious bildungsroman or picaresque novel, it parodies many adventure and romance clichés, the struggles of which are caricatured in a tone that is mordantly matter-of-fact. Still, the events discussed are often based on historical happenings, such as the Seven Years' War and the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. As philosophers of Voltaire's day contended with the problem of evil, so too does Candide in this short novel, albeit more directly and humorously. Voltaire ridicules religion, theologians, governments, armies, philosophies, and philosophers through allegory; most conspicuously, he assaults Leibniz and his optimism.
As expected by Voltaire, Candide has enjoyed both great success and great scandal. Immediately after its secretive publication, the book was widely banned because it contained religious blasphemy, political sedition and intellectual hostility hidden under a thin veil of naïveté. However, with its sharp wit and insightful portrayal of the human condition, the novel has since inspired many later authors and artists to mimic and adapt it; most notably, Leonard Bernstein produced a 1956 comic operetta whose libretto is closely based on the novella. Today, Candide is recognised as Voltaire's magnum opus and is often listed as part of the Western canon; it is likely taught more than any other work of French literature.
La Peau de chagrin (English: The Magic Skin or The Wild Ass's Skin) is an 1831 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850). Set in early 19th-century Paris, it tells the story of a young man who finds a magic piece of shagreen that fulfills his every desire. For each wish granted, however, the skin shrinks and consumes a portion of his physical energy. La Peau de chagrin belongs to the Études philosophiques group of Balzac's sequence of novels, La Comédie humaine.
Before the book was completed, Balzac created excitement about it by publishing a series of articles and story fragments in several Parisian journals. Although he was five months late in delivering the manuscript, he succeeded in generating sufficient interest that the novel sold out instantly upon its publication. A second edition, which included a series of twelve other "philosophical tales", was released one month later.
Although the novel uses fantastic elements, its main focus is a realistic portrayal of the excesses of bourgeois materialism. Balzac's renowned attention to detail is used to describe a gambling house, an antique shop, a royal banquet, and other locales. He also includes details from his own life as a struggling writer, placing the main character in a residence similar to the one he occupied at the start of his literary career.
The book's central theme is the conflict between desire and longevity. The magic skin represents the owner's life force, which is depleted through every expression of will, especially when it is employed for the acquisition of power. Ignoring a caution from the shopkeeper who offers the skin to him, the protagonist greedily surrounds himself with wealth, only to find himself miserable and decrepit at the story's end.
La Peau de chagrin firmly established Balzac as a writer of significance in France and abroad. His social circle widened significantly, and he was sought eagerly by publishers for future projects. The book served as the catalyst for a series of letters he exchanged with a Ukranian baroness named Ewelina Hańska, who later became his wife. It inspired Giselher Klebe's opera Die tödlichen Wünsche and may have influenced Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la Vie Privée section of his novel sequence La Comédie Humaine. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac.
Originally published in serial form during the winter of 1834–35, Le Père Goriot is widely considered as Balzac's most important novel. It marks the first serious use by the author of characters who had appeared in other books, a technique that distinguishes Balzac's fiction and makes La Comédie Humaine unique among bodies of work. The novel is also noted as an example of his realist style, using minute details to create character and subtext.
The novel takes place during the Bourbon Restoration, which brought about profound changes in French society; the struggle of individuals to secure upper-class status is ubiquitous in the book. The city of Paris also impresses itself on the characters – especially young Rastignac, who grew up in the provinces of southern France. Balzac analyzes, through Goriot and others, the nature of family and marriage, providing a pessimistic view of these institutions.
The novel was released to mixed reviews. Some critics praised the author for his complex characters and attention to detail; others condemned him for his many depictions of corruption and greed. A favorite of Balzac's, the book quickly won widespread popularity and has often been adapted for film and the stage. It gave rise to the French-language expression "Rastignac", a social climber willing to use any means to better his situation.
Raptor Red is a 1995 fictional novel by paleontologist Robert T. Bakker, featuring many of his theories regarding dinosaurs' social habits, intelligence, and the world in which they lived. It is a third-person account of dinosaurs during the Cretaceous Period, told from the point of view of Raptor Red, a female Utahraptor.
The book follows a year in Raptor Red's life as she loses her mate, finds her family, and struggles to survive in a hostile environment. Bakker drew inspiration from Ernest Thompson Seton's works that look at life through the eyes of predators, and said that he found it "fun" to write from a top predator's perspective. Bakker based his portrayals of dinosaurs and other prehistoric wildlife on fossil evidence, as well as studies of modern animals.
When released, Raptor Red was generally praised: Bakker's anthropomorphism was seen as a unique and positive aspect of the book, and his writing described as folksy and heartfelt. Criticisms of the novel included a perceived lack of characterization and average writing. Some scientists, such as paleontologist David B. Norman, took issue with the scientific theories portrayed in the novel, fearing that the public would accept them as fact, while Discovery Channel host Jay Ingram defended Bakker's creative decisions in an editorial.
Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). The Wrongs of Woman was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin, and is often considered her most radical feminist work.
Wollstonecraft's philosophical and gothic novel revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband. It focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman" and criticizes what Wollstonecraft viewed as the patriarchal institution of marriage in eighteenth-century Britain and the legal system that protected it. However, the heroine's inability to relinquish her romantic fantasies also indicts women for wallowing in a false and damaging sentimentalism. The novel pioneered the celebration of female sexuality and cross-class identification between women. Such themes, coupled with the publication of Godwin's scandalous Memoirs of Wollstonecraft's life, made the novel unpopular at the time it was published.
Twentieth-century feminist critics embraced the work, integrating it into the history of the novel and feminist discourse. It is most often viewed as a fictionalized popularization of the Rights of Woman, as an extension of Wollstonecraft's feminist arguments in Rights of Woman, and as an autobiography.
The General in His Labyrinth (original Spanish title: El general en su laberinto) is a novel by the Colombian writer and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez. It is a fictionalized account of the last days of Simón Bolívar, liberator and leader of Gran Colombia. First published in 1989, the book traces Bolívar's final journey from Bogotá to the Caribbean coastline of Colombia in his attempt to leave South America for exile in Europe. In this dictator novel about a continental hero, "despair, sickness, and death inevitably win out over love, health, and life". Breaking with the traditional heroic portrayal of Bolívar El Libertador, García Márquez depicts a pathetic protagonist, a prematurely aged man who is physically ill and mentally exhausted. The story explores the labyrinth of Bolívar's life through the narrative of his memories.
Following the success of others of his works such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, García Márquez decided to write about the "Great Liberator" after reading an unfinished novel about Bolívar by his friend Álvaro Mutis. He borrowed the setting—Bolívar's voyage down the Magdalena River in 1830—from Mutis. After two years of research that encompassed the extensive memoirs of Bolívar's Irish aide-de-camp, Daniel Florencio O'Leary, as well as numerous other historical documents and consultations with academics, García Márquez published his novel about the last seven months of Bolívar's life.
Its mixture of genres makes The General in His Labyrinth difficult to classify, and commentators disagree over where it lies on the scale between novel and historical account. García Márquez's insertion of interpretive and fictionalized elements—some dealing with Bolívar's most intimate moments—caused outrage in parts of Latin America when the book was released. Many prominent Latin American figures believed that the novel damaged the reputation of one of the region's most important historic figures and portrayed a negative image to the outside world. Others saw The General in His Labyrinth as a tonic for Latin American culture and a challenge to the region to deal with its problems.
The Penelopiad is a novella by Margaret Atwood. It was published in 2005 as part of the first set of books in the Canongate Myth Series where contemporary authors rewrite ancient myths. In The Penelopiad, Penelope reminisces on the events during the Odyssey, life in Hades, Odysseus, Helen, and her relationships with her parents. A chorus of the twelve maids, whom Odysseus believed were disloyal and whom Telemachus hanged, interrupt Penelope's narrative to express their view on events. The maids' interludes use a new genre each time, including a jump-rope rhyme, a lament, an idyll, a ballad, a lecture, a court trial and several types of songs.
The novella's central themes include the effects of story-telling perspectives, double standards between the genders and the classes, and the fairness of justice. Atwood had previously used characters and storylines from Greek mythology in fiction such as her novel The Robber Bride, short story The Elysium Lifestyle Mansions and poems "Circe: Mud Poems" and "Helen of Troy Does Counter Dancing" but used Robert Graves’ The Greek Myths and E. V. Rieu and D. C. H. Rieu's version of the Odyssey to prepare for this novella.
The book was translated into 28 languages and released simultaneously around the world by 33 publishers. In the Canadian market, it peaked on the best seller lists at number one in MacLean's and number two in The Globe and Mail, but did not place on the New York Times Best Seller List in the American market. Some critics found the writing to be typical of Atwood, even amongst her finest work, while others found some aspects, like the chorus of maids, disagreeable. A theatrical version was co-produced by the Canadian National Arts Centre and the British Royal Shakespeare Company. The play was performed at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa during the summer and fall of 2007 by an all-female cast led by director Josette Bushell-Mingo.
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold". First published as a book in 1883, it was originally serialised in the children's magazine Young Folks between 1881-82 under the title The Sea Cook, or Treasure Island.
Traditionally considered a coming of age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long John Silver—unusual for children's literature then and now. It is one of the most frequently dramatised of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perception of pirates is vast, including treasure maps with an 'X', schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen with parrots on their shoulders.
Stranger in a Strange Land is a best-selling 1961 Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein. It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised by Martians on the planet Mars, upon his return to Earth in early adulthood. The novel explores his interaction with — and eventual transformation of — Earth culture. The novel's title refers to the Biblical Book of Exodus. According to Heinlein in Grumbles from the Grave, the novel's working title was The Heretic. Several later editions of the book have promoted it as "The most famous Science Fiction Novel ever written."
When Heinlein first wrote Stranger in a Strange Land, his editors at Putnam required him to drastically cut its original 220,000-word length, and to remove some scenes that might have been considered too shocking at the time. The resulting edited version was about 160,000 words when first published in 1961. In 1962 this version received the Hugo Award for the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year. After Heinlein's death in 1988, his wife Virginia arranged to have the original uncut version of the manuscript published in 1991 by Ace/Putnam. Critics disagree over whether Heinlein's preferred original manuscript is in fact better than the heavily-edited version originally published. There is similar contention over the two versions of Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars.
While initially a success among science fiction readers, over the next six years word-of-mouth recommendation caused sales to continue to build, requiring numerous subsequent printings of the first Putnam edition. The novel has never been out of print since it was released in 1961. Eventually Stranger in a Strange Land became a cult classic, attracting many readers who would not ordinarily have read a work of science fiction. The late-1960s counterculture, popularized by the hippie movement, was influenced by its themes of individual liberty, self-responsibility, sexual freedom and the influence of organized religion on human culture and government, and adopted the book as something of a manifesto.
The Well of Loneliness is a 1928 lesbian novel by the English author Radclyffe Hall. It follows the life of Stephen Gordon, an Englishwoman from an upper-class family whose "sexual inversion" (that is, homosexuality) is apparent from an early age. She finds love with Mary Llewellyn, whom she meets while serving as an ambulance driver in World War I, but their happiness together is marred by social isolation and rejection, which Hall depicts as having a debilitating effect on inverts. The novel portrays inversion as a natural, God-given state and makes an explicit plea: "Give us also the right to our existence".
The Well became the target of a campaign by the editor of the Sunday Express newspaper, who wrote "I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a phial of prussic acid than this novel." Although its only sex scene consists of the words "and that night, they were not divided", a British court judged it obscene because it defended "unnatural practices between women". In the United States the book survived legal challenges in New York state and in Customs Court.
Publicity over The Well's legal battles increased the visibility of lesbians in British and American culture. For decades it was the best-known lesbian novel in English, and often the first source of information about lesbianism that young lesbians could find. Some lesbian readers have valued it, while others have criticized it for Stephen's expressions of self-hatred and seen it as inspiring shame. Its role in promoting images of lesbians as "mannish" or cross-dressed women has also been controversial. Some critics now argue that Stephen should be seen as transsexual.
Although few critics rate The Well highly as a work of literature, its treatment of sexuality and gender continues to inspire study and debate.
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody which is divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representing one of the main branches of Christianity.
The "tale" presents a consistent satire of religious excess, while the digressions are a series of parodies of contemporary writing in literature, politics, theology, Biblical exegesis, and medicine. The overarching parody is of enthusiasm, pride, and credulity. At the time it was written, politics and religion were still linked very closely in England, and the religious and political aspects of the satire can often hardly be separated. The work was published anonymously, and Swift's cousin Thomas later claimed to have written it. It was enormously popular, but Swift believed it damaged his prospect of advancement in the Church of England.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is an award-winning fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien, written in the tradition of the fairy tale. Tolkien wrote the story in the early 1930s to amuse his three sons. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. More recently, The Hobbit has been recognized as the "Most Important 20th-Century Novel (for Older Readers)" by the children's book magazine Books for Keeps. The book has sold an estimated 100 million copies worldwide since first publication.
The Hobbit is set in a time "between the dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", and follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins (the titular "Hobbit") to win his share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. His journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into darker, deeper territory, meeting diverse denizens of the Wilderland along the way. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the "Tookish" side) and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom.
The story is told in the form of an episodic quest: most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien's Wilderland. The prose adventure is interspersed with songs and poetry, many of which serve to lighten the tone of otherwise frightening or dramatic scenes. The final chapters deal with the climactic Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Critics have drawn parallels with Tolkien's own experiences and the themes of other writers who fought in World War I.
A sequel was requested by his publishers, and as work on the The Lord of the Rings progressed, Tolkien made accommodations for it in one chapter of The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed, correcting minor errors and reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled.
The work has never been out of print since the paper shortages of the Second World War. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, and gaming, both board and video games. Some of these adaptations have received critical recognition of their own, including a video game that won the Golden Joystick Award, a scenario of a war game that won an Origins Award, and an animated picture nominated for a Hugo Award.
The Giver is a novel written by Lois Lowry, April 16, 1993. It is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian; therefore, it could be considered anti-utopian. The novel follows a boy named Jonas through the twelfth year of his life. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to "Sameness", a plan which has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of "Receiver of Memory," the person who stores all the memories of the time before Sameness, in case they are ever needed to aid in decisions that others lack the experience to make. As Jonas receives the memories from the previous receiver—the "Giver"—he discovers how shallow his community's life has become.
Despite controversy and criticism that the book's subject material is inappropriate for young children, The Giver won the 1994 Newbery Medal and has sold more than 5.3 million copies. In Australia, the United States and Canada it is a part of many middle school reading lists, but it is also on many banned book lists. The novel forms a loose trilogy with Gathering Blue (2000) and Messenger (2004), two other books set in the same future era.
A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in 1960. Based on three short stories Miller contributed to the science fiction magazine The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; it is the only novel published by the author during his lifetime. Considered one of the classics of science fiction, it has never been out of print and has seen over 25 reprints and editions. Appealing to mainstream and genre critics and readers alike, it won the 1961 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel.
Set in a Roman Catholic monastery in the desert of the Southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war, the story spans thousands of years as civilization rebuilds itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the surviving remnants of man's scientific knowledge against the day the outside world is again ready for it.
Inspired by the author's participation in the Allied bombing of the monastery at Monte Cassino during World War II, the novel is considered a masterpiece by literary critics. It has been compared favorably with the works of Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, and Walker Percy, and its themes of religion, recurrence, and church versus state have generated a significant body of scholarly research. Miller's follow-up work, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, was published posthumously in 1997.