Gigantic, Enormous, Gargantuan Books

27

By William Diehl

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As the world trembles with the approach of World War II, a woman dies at the hands of Hitler's henchmen. Her murder forever changes her lover, Francis Scott Keegan, a relentless anti-Nazi mercenary, who becomes locked in a desperate cat-and-mouse game with the Third Reich's perfect spy, a man of a thousand faces. In an arena that encompasses presidents and gangsters, spies and sirens, the deadly present and the dark past, Keegan pursues his elusive quarry into the cutting edge of world events--and into the secret inner workings of a terrifying mission known only as "27."

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A Suitable Boy

By Vikram Seth

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Set in the post-colonial India of the 1950s, this sprawling saga involves four families--the Mehras, the Kapoors, the Chatterjis and the Khans--whose domestic crises illuminate the historical and social events of the era. Like an old-fashioned soap opera (or a Bombay talkie), the multi-charactered plot pits mothers against daughters, fathers against sons, Hindus against Muslims and small farmers against greedy landowners facing government-ordered dispossession. The story revolves around independent-minded Lata Mehra: Will she defy the stern order of her widowed upper-caste Hindu mother by marrying the Muslim youth she loves? The search for Lata's husband expands into a richly detailed and exotically vivid narrative that crisscrosses the fabric of India
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Andersonville

By MacKinlay Kantor

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"Before there were The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals there was Andersonville. MacKinlay Kantor won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1955 for this novel, an epic account of the notorious prison camp in Macon County, Georgia. Though many of his characters are fictional, many are based on historical figures. Even some of the minor characters who appear as suffering prisoners of war are historical. Writing in the early fifties it was perhaps inevitable that Kantor drew subtle echoes of the Nazi concentration camps as he told this grim story of the greatest of Confederate war crimes. Kantor spent most of his life studying and writing about the Civil War. His emphasis was always on the small-town, ordinary citizens confronted with the horrors of Civil War.'

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Anna Karenina

By Leo Tolstoy

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"Regarded by many as the greatest novel ever written in any language, Anna Karenina relates the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer Count Vronsky. Set against a vast and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, Anna's tragedy unfolds with relentless force as she rejects her passionless marriage to the aging official Karenin and must endure the hypocrisies of society."

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Atlas Shrugged

By Ayn Rand

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The decisions of a few industrial leaders shake the roots of capitalism and reawaken man's awareness of himself as a heroic being.

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Caribbean

By James A. Michener

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Master storyteller James A. Michener sweeps us off to the Caribbean,with a magnificent novel that captures the eternal allure of that glittering string of islands and their tumultuous history. Beginning in 1310 and continuing through Columbus's arrival and the bloody slave revolt of Haiti to the rise of Castro, Caribbean carries us through 700 dramatic years in a tale teeming with revolution and romance, slavery and superstition, heartfelt characters and thunderous destinies.

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Dune

By Frank Herbert

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Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

On Film: people either love or hate David's Lynch's film version of Dune. But one thing you shouldn't miss is Kyle MacLachlan's performance as Paul Atreides. Having read the book first makes enjoying the movie easier.

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Exodus

By Leon Uris

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Published in 1958, this 600-page novel was a sensation as millions read Uris' detailed, heroic chronicle of European Jewry from the turn of the century to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The novel was translated into dozens of languages and was even distributed secretly in communist countries. The birth of a new nation was depicted through many characters, but the story of an American nurse and an Israeli freedom fighter formed the nucleus of the work. Uris traveled to Palestine and covered the Arab-Israeli hostilities as a war correspondent. Two years later his masterpiece Exodus was published. Always known for the exacting detail of his research, Uris reportedly traveled over fifty thousand miles and interviewed over 1,200 people in preparation for writing the novel.
The 1960 movie version of Exodus, starring Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint, was nominated for three Oscars. Paul Newman looked his absolute gorgeous best in this movie.

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From Here to Eternity

By James Jones

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First published in 1951, From Here to Eternity brought author James Jones immediate fame and won him a National Book Award. The novel tells the story of the life of American soldiers stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii in the months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Jones accurately captured the isolation and boredom of the military personnel in a close-knit Army barracks, combining social and military history with the drama of the personal lives of its main characters - an enlisted man and a neglected officer's wife, and a prostitute and a military outcast. The novel was translated into a powerful film in 1953. Although the film toned down the raw sexuality and violence of Jones' novel, it captured the essence of the book and featured outstanding performances by Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra.

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Gone with the Wind

By Margaret Mitchell

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Spoiled Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara never stops loving the married Ashley Wilkes even as she faces the hardships of life during the Civil War and the changes brought about by Reconstruction.
 

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