An analysis of Edgar Allan Poe tales “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Ligeia” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” includes comments by writer Ray Bradbury and director Wes Craven. Narrated by Gary Oldman.
An examination of Jules Verne's visionary 1870 novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” a cautionary tale of how technology can be used for warfare, and the price of colonial aggression. Included: interviews with writers and scientists.
An analysis of Victor Hugo's 1862 book “Les Miserables” includes a profile of the author and commentary from professors of literature, a former prison inmate and prison official. Also: Hugo's house on Guernsey in the Channel islands.
Examining the novel “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky and the phenomenon of murder to further political or ideological ideals. Included: scholars discuss the book and draw comparisons to contemporary events.
A dissection of "The Naked and the Dead," Norman Mailer's post-World War II novel about an American platoon on a Japanese-held island in the Pacific. Included: interviews with the author; and director Oliver Stone, who paid homage to the book in his film "Platoon."
A look at "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Ken Kesey's chilling 1962 tale of the treatment of patients in a psychiatric ward. Also: clips from the film starring Jack Nicholson; and interviews with the author and members of the 1960s counterculture.
Examining the Galileo's "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," which pit science against the Roman Catholic Church. Included: a profile of the author; and interviews with scholars and Church officials.