Download the Best Classic Audiobooks for Free
Classic literature is a mainstay of the culture and craft of the civilized world whether in hard copy, digital, or the best classic audiobooks. We hold certain works to be preeminent examples of what writing can become in the hands and minds of brilliant authors. For hundreds of years, these works classic works of literature have shaped the nature of language, and in some cases even the social and moral fabric of society, through intrigue, intelligence, and provocation.
Shakespeare created classic works that still ring through the halls of every British literature curriculum. Twain used satire and shock to return purpose to the field. Countless others have found that literature can build and grow the experience and insight of generations. And today we understand that that’s what makes it endure.
In eras past, the book was the primary way to take in these works. While some plays were presented on stage, and some novels serialized for newspapers and magazines, the world of print publishing for centuries controlled the masses’ access to the works that would enhance their lives. Any other options were sorely limited or lacking altogether.
Early audio books did show up in the mid-1930’s. They offered blind and partially sighted individuals access to many works, but they still required record players and repeated alignment of needles. The concept, however, was sound. Today the world of audio recordings has expanded immensely.
Digital technology has allowed users to create, transfer, store and transport their audiobooks wherever they need to go. Many websites and programs exist to sell or even give audiobooks away for free. Modern bestsellers are available often as early as the hard copy comes out. And with the public domain reigning over most works over 70 years old, it’s easy to find the best classic audiobooks from any era you can think of.
Classic Literature We Recommend
Thanks to the development witnessed in technology nowadays, novels now come in diverse formats which make it more enjoyable to explore. There are many great works of classic literature, but here are a few stand-outs we highly recommend.
To Kill a Mockingbird
The only published work by author Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Audiobook is a moralistic look at life in the pre-civil rights South. The novel looks at subjects like racism, social mistrust, prejudice, and legal intolerance from the perspective of nine year old Scout Finch. As she narrates this complicated tale, talking about how her father works as a lawyer and defends a black man accused of raping a white woman, Scout learns to examine her own viewpoints and preconceptions before rushing to judgement. She learns empathy through her neighbors and potential through her relationships. If you can find an audio recording of To Kill a Mockingbird that features a girl with an Alabama accent, this book will really take you away to another time and place.
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald brilliant juxtaposes the backdrops of industrial dump sites and the roaring twenties, as The Great Gatsby Audiobook takes several stabs at complex subjects like honesty, integrity, and the acquisition of wealth and power. The titular character isn’t even all that titular, since he changed his name just so he can agree with lovely Daisy. And the greatness of his persona is highly debated as he throws lavish parties with bootlegging money and lusts after Daisy—despite her husband who is also having an affair. Relationships, trysts, turmoil, and lies permeate this story of would-be socialites dragging themselves down. But the thrills involved can still make for a rousing listen if you find a recording with the proper gusto and glamour.
Lord of the Flies
The question of what we would do if stuck on a desert island has become something of a party game. But it was no question for a group of boys lost on an island and left to their own survival in Lord of the Flies Audiobook. And the disturbing interactions that ensued were intentionally unflattering given William Golding’s experience during WWII. The strongest become the leaders. The weakest either follow or become outcast and hunted. The messages are primal and sometimes disturbing. Near religious devotions form as the boys become a tribe, and the tribesmen become hunters. From dead pigs to dead children, this might not be the best audiobook to listen to alone, especially if you have a weak stomach.
The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger created a classic that echoes in the minds of all the lonely and displaced. Holden Caulfield, the main character, is a troubled 16 year old. He’s failing out of yet another prep school. And he has three winter days in New York before he has to return home. What many might see as an adventure, Holden strolls through listlessly. Not even a prostitute can rouse Holden from his somber existence. All the while wondering what makes him different, Holden visits old friends and teachers, calls would-be lovers, and sneaks into his own apartment to see his sister—among many other mundane but soul-searching activities. A story for the alienated and the confused, told from Holden’s new home in a mental hospital, Catcher in the Rye Audiobook is the perfect book for someone who wants to be taken away from themselves, then forced to reexamine when they come back.
Of Mice and Men
Of Mice and Men is a classic novel about two friends, George and Lennie, casual farm laborers. George is the smarter of the two as Lennie, who just loves petting, is somewhat mentally challenged. Owing to his condition, Lennie tends to accidentally kill his pets, and making a myriad of other accidents which get them both in trouble.
The two land a job in California and meet among other characters Curley, the master’s son, and his wife. Curley’s wife comes across Lennie mourning for his dead pet and offers to let him caress her hair. Unfortunately, Lennie ends up breaking her neck unknowingly. To save him from the lynch party, George shoots Lennie in the back while telling him of their dreams to buy a farm, build, live and work.
The novel Of Mice and Men Audiobook gives a detailed insight into the life of the average American casual laborer. It also gives insight into other aspects of the American dream illustrated by the couple’s dream of owning a home. Discrimination for the weak and ladies is also well brought out in Curley’s perception of his wife.
One of the most thrilling American novels, Frankenstein Audiobook is now available in classic audiobooks format. It is about Victor and his monstrous creation. Once a boy fascinated by the beauty and secret of life, Victor eventually manages to give life to a body composed of different old body parts. However, the monster is a chilling sight to see. The monster escapes and begins murdering Victor’s family and friends. It begins with Victor’s brother and goes on to his friends like Henry. Eventually, after Victor declines to make him a companion, the monster kills his newlywed wife. This sees him embark on a mission to kill his creation, a mission which leads him to the northern pole. Here, he comes across Walton, the sailor who ends up telling his story. This novel is an oddly great reflection of the damage brought by other people’s mistakes and failures.
Pride and Prejudice
A story about the Bennet family and its bid to marry off its five girls, the novel Pride and Prejudice Audiobook takes the reader through a myriad of events as love and will take the necessary turns to a somewhat happy ending. The Bennet girls come across eligible suitors and start off promising relationships. Jane falls for the town’s latest eligible bachelor, Bingley. Elizabeth, on the other hand, admires Darcy, but eventually develops a negative attitude towards him. The younger three girls, on the other hand, are engaged by a militia group camping near town. Unfortunately, as is the case with love, Bingley leaves town in a bid to escape Jane, as later shown by his refusal to visit her when she visits London. The cold Darcy, on the other hand, develops feelings (surprisingly) for Elizabeth who turns his proposal down. Love however eventually gets its way, and both Jane and Elizabeth marry Bingley and Darcy respectively. One of the younger sisters, Lydia, elopes with a soldier but they are eventually convinced to marry to prevent the disgrace.
Charles Dickens brings out the harsh aspects of the reality faced by weak and wanting groups like orphans. Depicting himself as Pip, an orphan raised by his mean sister and her loving and hardworking husband, the author proceeds to take the reader through an account of events which open the reader’s mind to the family and social impacts of death and incompetence as a parent.
Pip comes through numerous challenges in life. For starters, his sole blood relation, his sister, never has a friendly attitude towards him as she never has anything good or comforting to say. Also, he is led to commit a crime by a convict he meets in the churchyard and who forces him to steal food and a metal file for him. To top it all, his heart is broken for no fault of his as Estella; his love is taught by her adoptive mother to show no respect to men.
Fortunately, Pip inherits a lot of money from Estella’s legal father and moves to the city where he explores life better. He eventually returns to his hometown and finds his sister dead, his uncle remarried and Estella ready for love. The classic life story, Great Expectations Audiobook is now available to download digitally.
One of the leading feminist novels of its time, Jane Eyre Audiobook gave a different cultural perception to its readers as what was expected of ladies back then. It is about an orphaned girl, Jane Eyre, who faces the cruelty and discrimination of his wealthy aunt and her bully son. She is fortunately sent off to boarding school where she further comes across more cruelty from the school’s administrator. Furthermore, her newfound friend also dies from a highly contagious disease. Life later brightens, and she finds work at the schools but later changes jobs to work for Mr. Rochester who she falls in love with but cannot marry on account of his mad wife.
Jane Eyre, unlike other ladies of his time, makes serious and independent decisions, determined not to let man’s persuasion and her emotional feelings. Jane Eyre is now available in classic audiobooks format for a better reading session.
Grapes of Wrath
Like the novel “Of Mice and Men,” The Grapes of Wrath Audiobook is set during the great depression era witnessed in America. It is about Tom Joad and his family, who are kicked out of their farm when the depression kicks in. They come across a lot of difficulties, taking the reader through the plight faced by migrant workers back then. The subsequent occurrences also raise questions of the human perception of justice and morality in the community as, in his desperation, Tom fights a police officer and emerges a hero despite breaking the law. The incredible story is now available as classic audiobooks.
Albeit not easily identifiable at first, the classic novel Moby Dick Audiobook touches on several aspects of society and culture as it was known back then and as it is today. It is about a former school teacher who signs up as a sailor for a voyage to hunt sperm whale. Unknown to him, he signs up on a doomed ship whose captain is focused towards hunting and killing Moby Dick, a killer whale which took one of his legs.
The pursuit of the whale, however, does not interrupt the ship’s main mission, hunting sperm whales. The sailors find a lot of whales and harvest a lot of sperm oil, storing it in big barrels for sale. All of this is however compromised and eventually destroyed by the captain’s search for revenge as he spends almost all of his men out against the whale, which devours almost all of them. Eventually, the main ship to is destroyed, putting all of the work to waste owing to careless leadership and of course the terror best represented by Moby Dick.
Heart of Darkness
Written by Joseph Conrad, a former officer, the classic novel Heart of Darkness takes readers through the savagery and hostility administered to the then residents of the Congo by King Leopold of Belgium.
The novel features Marlow; the writers alter ego who is sent on a mission upstream an African to get back a rogue ivory trader. However, in his mission up the river, Marlow comes across horrific and bloody experiences, the likes of which were the norm during the occupation of the Congo by Belgium. On his way, Marlow also sees a lot of poverty and desperation among the residents who are made worse by the greed of the ruling class and the oppressive militia groups.
For readers’ convenience, the classic eye-opener Heart of Darkness Audiobook is now available in audio format among other classic books.