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Mark Fleischmann

Author of Practical Home Theater and Happy Pig's Hot 100 New York Restaurants, Mark has been a technology writer and expert on home theater for more than 30 years. He currently serves as audio editor, news columnist, and reviewer for Sound & Vision (formerly Home Theater). He has also served as founding editor-in-chief of etown.com, senior editor of Video Magazine, audio critic of Rolling Stone, and columnist for Audio Video Interiors, Premiere, and The Village Voice. His writing has appeared in Bloomberg Personal, CrutchfieldAdvisor.com, Details, Entertainment Weekly, The Men's Journal, Newsday, Spin, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He has lived in New York City since 1975. Visit Mark's homepage.

Charles Dickens

Dickens was the most popular English novelist of the 19th century. Born in 1812, the son of a navy clerk, he had to leave school to work in a warehouse, an experience that scarred him but also endowed his work with a keen sense of compassion and outrage. Dickens rose from clerk to court reporter to journalist. In 1833 he began writing for periodicals and in 1836 some of these pieces were collected in his first book, Sketches by Boz. Dickens went on to write some of the greatest classics of 19th century literature—including Oliver Twist (1848), David Copperfield (1849), Bleak House (1852), and Great Expectations (1860)—and was well-loved and celebrated during his life, which ended on June 9th, 1870. Dickens published five short novels with year-end holiday themes: A Christmas Carol (1843), The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848). Quiet River Press publishes each book in a separate Large Print edition with an original introduction and a bonus short story.

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