Free literary fiction Kindle books for 03 Apr 15

William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: A Retelling in Prose

by David Bruce

This is an easy-to-read retelling of William Shakespeare’s problem play “Measure for Measure.” People who read this version first will find it much easier to understand the language of the original play.

â?? 1.2 â??

On a street in Vienna, Lucio and two gentlemen talked.

Lucio said, “If the Duke of Vienna with the other Dukes does not reach an agreement with the King of Hungary, why then all the Dukes will fight the King.”

“Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary’s!” the first gentleman said.

“Amen!” the second gentleman said.

Peace is a good thing for most people, but for a soldier it can be a bad thing. No war equals no work, no work equals no pay, and no pay equals no food.

Unemployed soldiers in their society were often called Hungarians because they were hungry.

Lucio said to the second gentleman, “You speak like the sanctimonious pirate who went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but he erased one commandment out of the tablet.”

“Would that commandment be â??Thou shalt not steal’?” the second gentlemen asked.

“Yes, that is the one he erased.”

The first gentleman said, “Why, it was a commandment that commanded the captain and all the others to not follow their occupations: They went to sea to steal. There’s not a soldier of us all who, in the prayer of thanksgiving said before a meal, relishes the petition that prays for peace.”

“I never heard of any soldier who dislikes it,” the second gentleman said.

“I believe you,” Lucio said to the second gentleman, “because I think that you have never been present when grace was said.”

“You don’t?” the second gentleman said. “I have heard a prayer said before a meal a dozen times at least.”

“The kind of grace that you heard said was in meter,” the first gentleman said. “For example: Rub-a-dub-dub; thanks for the grub. Yay, God!”

“I don’t think that you have ever heard grace in any form or in any language,” Lucio said to the second gentleman.

The first gentleman added, “Or in any religion.”

Often eager to contradict others, Lucio said to the first gentleman, “Well, why not? Grace is grace, despite all controversy; for example, you yourself are a wicked villain, despite all grace.”

Lucio had shifted the meaning of “grace” from “a prayer of thanksgiving before a meal” to “God’s mercy.”

The first gentleman said, “A pair of shears went between us.”

This image referred to scissors cutting a piece of cloth. In other words, the first gentleman was telling Lucio that they were both cut from the same cloth â?? both of them were wicked villains. Or, more simply, “Same to you, buddy!”

“I grant that a pair of shears went between us,” Lucio said. “I am the good velvet cloth; you are the raggedy edge of the cloth that was cut off and thrown away.”

“If you are velvet, you are good velvet,” the first gentleman said. “You are a three-piled, aka three-layered, piece of velvet, I promise you. I would rather be a piece of an English kersey cloth â?? a simple, ordinary Englishman â?? than to be piled, as you are piled, for a French velvet.”

The first gentleman was insulting Lucio. He was punning on the word “piled,” one of whose meanings in their society was to be bald. (“Pile” has as one meaning soft down, which can refer to the light fuzz on the head of a bald man.) Baldness was a side effect of a common treatment for the venereal disease syphilis, which was known as the French disease. A French velvet was slang for a French prostitute. In other words, the first gentleman was accusing Lucio of being infected with syphilis that he had gotten from a prostitute.

The first gentleman concluded by saying, “Do I speak feelingly now?”



The Philosophy of Whiskey & Bleeding Knuckles

by Tommy Hero

Alex Moloney – miracle or mistake? From his very first memory, in which his Russian parents lie dead in a pool of blood, he has been well-acquainted with violence. From the wrath of his adopted Irish Catholic father, to the backyard and parking lot street fights of his youth, 1980’s New York is a world in which Alex must fight to survive.

Having chosen underground fighting as a career, he takes on all comers, and receives a heavy beating that puts him in hospital. There he meets the two most significant figures that would ever impact his life: Larry Green, a brilliant young Jewish manager; and Hanna Lauter, the beautiful granddaughter of a Wehrmacht infantryman, and an unapologetic Nazi sympathizer.

Together, the unlikely team take the shady world of unlicensed boxing by storm, catapulting Alex “The Whiskey Kid” Moloney to fame and fortune. But the foundations of their alliance are compromised by deep fractures of hatred. When Alex retires, willing to escape the mob life and built a new one with Hanna, Larry presents him with the offer of one final fight – the biggest payload of their lives.

Alex, despite his overabundance of knowledge on the subject of violence, still has one lesson left to learn. It can win you great prizes, and it can take away everything you love.



The Phantom of the Opera (Xist Classics)

by Gaston Leroux

Read the book that inspired the musical
The Phanton of the Opera by Gaston Leroux is a gothic novel that inspired the Andrey Llyod Webber Musical.



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