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By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

Fighting the Whales by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fighting the Whales

A fatherless boy joins the crew of a whaling ship in order to earn a living for himself and his mother. Beyond being a fascinating depiction of a now-alien time, occupation, and culture, it’s also a rousing adventure story. One is left with the impression that hunting and catching a whale in a sailing ship was akin to you or me being stalked, ambushed, and killed by a shoebox full of mice.

Fast in the Ice by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fast in the Ice

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described. In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

The Madman And The Pirate by Robert Michael Ballantyne The Madman And The Pirate

R. M. Ballantyne (April 24, 1825 – February 8, 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer. Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson’s Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated.

The Dog Crusoe and His Master by Robert Michael Ballantyne The Dog Crusoe and His Master

This is a story of an adventure involving a young man, his dog, and two friends. Together they wander through the Western prairies on a mission to make peace between the “pale-faces” and the “Red men”. They face many perils and become heroes many times over. This wonderful story takes the characters (and the reader) on an action-packed journey through the Western prairies during the times when relations between the white man and the Natives were not always peaceful.

Black Ivory by Robert Michael Ballantyne Black Ivory

Although the book's title Black Ivory denotes dealing in the slave trade it is not our heroes who are doing it. At the very first chapter there is a shipwreck, which leaves the son of the charterer of the sinking ship, and a seaman friend of his, alone on the east coast of Africa, where Arab and Portuguese slave traders were still carrying out their evil trade, despite the great efforts of patrolling British warships to limit it and free the unfortunates whom they found being carried away in the Arab dhows...

My Doggie and I by Robert Michael Ballantyne My Doggie and I

This story surrounds a child waif, a young woman, a young gentleman doctor, and an elderly lady. This tale unfolds the story of a bond that brings these unlikely friends together and merges their separate paths of life into one common path. The bond is "Dumps", or "Pompey", the "doggie". With many twists, turns, and uncertainties, the ending may surprise the reader. All's well that ends well in this doggie "tail". (Introduction by Allyson Hester)

By: Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)

Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter

Whether you're a parent or a child, a young reader or an older one, the Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter is indeed just that – a treasure chest of delightful, charming little stories full of animals and people. Beatrix Potter today has spawned a whole industry of merchandise, games and theme parks, but the stories remain as fresh and sparkling as they were when they first came out in 1901. The Great Big Treasury contains three collections compiled into one enchanting volume - The Giant Treasury of Peter Rabbit, Further Tales of Peter Rabbit and The Giant Treasury of Beatrix Potter...

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

The Breaking Point by Mary Roberts Rinehart The Breaking Point

Mary Roberts Rinehart -- "America's Agatha Christie," as she used to be called -- set this story in a New York suburban town, shortly after the end of the first world war. Dick Livingstone is a young, successful doctor, who in the course of events becomes engaged to Elizabeth Wheeler. But there is a mystery about his past, and he thinks himself honor-bound to unravel it before giving himself to her in marriage. In particular, a shock of undetermined origin has wiped out his memory prior to roughly the last decade...

By: John Muir

Travels in Alaska by John Muir Travels in Alaska

In 1879 John Muir went to Alaska for the first time. Its stupendous living glaciers aroused his unbounded interest, for they enabled him to verify his theories of glacial action. Again and again he returned to this continental laboratory of landscapes. The greatest of the tide-water glaciers appropriately commemorates his name. Upon this book of Alaska travels, all but finished before his unforeseen departure, John Muir expended the last months of his life.

By: William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)

Book cover Virginians

It tells the story of Henry Esmond's twin grandsons, George and Henry Warrington. Henry's romantic entanglements with an older woman lead up to his taking a commission in the British army and fighting under the command of General Wolfe at the capture of Quebec. On the outbreak of the American War of Independence he takes the revolutionary side. George, who is also a British officer, thereupon resigns his commission rather than take up arms against his brother.

By: Murray Leinster (1896-1975)

Space Tug by Murray Leinster Space Tug

Joe Kenmore heard the airlock close with a sickening wheeze and then a clank. In desperation he turned toward Haney. “My God, we’ve been locked out!” Through the transparent domes of their space helmets, Joe could see a look of horror and disbelief pass across Haney’s face. But it was true! Joe and his crew were locked out of the Space Platform. Four thousand miles below circled the Earth. Under Joe’s feet rested the solid steel hull of his home in outer space. But without tools there was no hope of getting back inside. Joe looked at his oxygen meter. It registered thirty minutes to live.

The Mad Planet by Murray Leinster The Mad Planet

It is 30,000 years following dramatically changed climate conditions on earth which had let massive amounts of carbon dioxide belch from the interior of the planet into the atmosphere. Over the millenia this would have quite devastating effects on life as it had once been known. Much of the human and animal population would not survive the climate change, and indeed those few humans who did survive knew nothing of all which their predecessors had learned and built. Indeed, they knew not even of their existence...

Operation: Outer Space by Murray Leinster Operation: Outer Space

Jed Cochrane is about to take off on man's first interstellar voyage. His mission: Make sure it's good television! (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

Book cover Space Platform

SPACE PLATFORM tells the exciting story of a young man helping to build this first station. With scientific accuracy and imagination Murray Leinster, one of the world's top science-fiction writers, describes the building and launching of the platform. Here is a fast-paced story of sabotage and murder directed against a project more secret and valuable than the atom bomb!

By: Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

The Wouldbegoods, Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit The Wouldbegoods, Being the Further Adventures of the Treasure Seekers

The Bastable children, first met in The Treasure Seekers, are sent to stay in the countryside; is it large enough to contain their exuberant activities? They (and Pincher the dog) have every intention of being good…

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick

A fourteen year old homeless boy, Dick, tries to make an honest living in the streets of 1860s New York as a bootblack. He is determined to stay honorable, though he is tempted many times to easy pickings and a life of crime. When a regular customer is impressed by Dick's integrity and invites him to his mansion, this marks a turning point in the life of the young street-smart teenager. Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger Jr was first published in 1868. It represents a typical coming of age story in which a child attains the maturity of adulthood through circumstances in which important choices are made...

By: John Buchan (1875-1940)

The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan The Thirty-nine Steps

The typical action hero with a stiff upper lip whose actions speak louder than his words, a mysterious American who lives in dread of being killed, an anarchist plot to destabilize Greece, a deadly German spy network, a notebook entirely written in code, and all this set in the weeks preceding the outbreak of World War I. The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan is a spy classic entirely worthy of its genre and will delight modern day readers with its complicated plot. It is also notable for being the literary progenitor of the spook novel that typically features the secret operative on the run, determined to unravel a world domination plot...

Greenmantle by John Buchan Greenmantle

Greenmantle is the second of five Richard Hannay novels by John Buchan, first published in 1916 by Hodder & Stoughton, London. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First World War, the other being Mr Standfast (1919); Hannay’s first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), is set in the period immediately before the war started. – Hannay is called in to investigate rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world, and undertakes a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with his friend Sandy in Constantinople. Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum.

Prester John by John Buchan Prester John

This classic adventure novel by the author of Greenmantle and The Thirty-Nine Steps relates the first-person exploits of young David Crawfurd before the age of twenty.

By: Robert W. Service (1874-1958)

Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako by Robert W. Service Selections from Ballads of a Cheechako

These twelve poems are from Ballads of a Cheechako which was Robert W. Service’s third book of Yukon poems, published in 1909. The word Cheechako, from Chinook Jargon, originated in the United States (Alaska) and Canada (Yukon) and was imported into local English during the Yukon gold rush that began in 1896. Cheechako, is a non derogatory word meaning “newcomer” or “tenderfoot.” The derivation looks something like this: chee new cha come ko home.

Book cover Ottawa Folk Festival Robert Service Collection

The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service with patrons, musicians and organizers. Robert Service is an iconic Canadian poet.

By: Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)

Book cover Roughing It in the Bush

'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

By: Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951)

Free Air by Sinclair Lewis Free Air

This road trip novel is set in the early twentieth century and follows the experiences of an aristocratic New Englander and her father as they travel by automobile from Minneapolis to Seattle. She is wooed and won by a noble but simple commoner she meets along the way. Lewis is at his usual wryly humorous self, poking fun at the upper class and treating the common people only slightly better.

By: Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley The Water-Babies

First published in 1863, The Water Babies by Rev Charles Kingsley became a Victorian children's classic along with J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and Lewis Caroll's Alice books. It is an endearing and entertaining novel that can equally be enjoyed by adult readers as well. However, it fell out of favor in later years since it contained many ideas that are considered politically incorrect and offensive today from a humanitarian perspective. The Water Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby to give the book its complete title tells the story of Tom, a young orphan chimney-sweep in Victorian London...

By: A. A. Milne (1882-1956)

Once on a Time by A. A. Milne Once on a Time

This version of the book is done as a Dramatic Reading with various people speaking each characters part.When the King of Barodia receives a pair of seven-league boots as a birthday present, his habit of flying over the King of Euralia's castle during breakfast provokes a series of incidents which escalate into war. While the King of Euralia is away, his daughter Hyacinth tries to rule in his stead and counter the machiavellian ambitions of the king's favourite, the Countess Belvane. Ostensibly a typical fairytale, it tells the story of the war between the kingdoms of Euralia and Barodia and the political shenanigans which take place in Euralia in the king's absence...

By: Joshua Slocum (1844-1909)

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum Sailing Alone Around the World

A sailing memoir written by seaman and adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone, documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travelers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Written in a modern and conversational tone, the autobiographical account begins with Slocum’s description of his hometown of Nova Scotia and its maritime history...

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Mystery of Cloomber

This novel is written by the author of, among other novels, the Stories of Sherlock Holmes. It is narrated by John Fothergill West, who tries to discover why the tenant of Cloomber Hall, General Heatherstone, is nervous to the point of being paranoid. Why are his fears becoming stronger every year at the fifth of October? And why doesn't he let his children leave home? This is a great mystery novel with a sharp twist at the end.

Book cover Uncle Bernac: A Memory of the Empire

Looking for a replacement to Sherlock Holmes after the author had killed him off in 1894, Doyle wrote this murder mystery in the dying years of the 19th century. Set in Napoleon’s era, it involves a Frenchman returning to his native land to join the Emperor’s ranks.

Book cover Captain of the Polestar, and other tales

This is a collection of early Sir Arthur Conan Doyle short stories. It includes stories of mystery, comedy, shipwrecks and fantasy.

Book cover Desert Drama: Being the Tragedy Of The Korosko

Also published under the title The Tragedy of the Korosko (1898). A group of European tourists are enjoying their trip to Egypt in the year 1895. They are sailing up the River Nile in a "a turtle-bottomed, round-bowed stern-wheeler", the Korosko. They intend to travel to Abousir at the southern frontier of Egypt, after which the Dervish country starts. They are attacked and abducted by a marauding band of Dervish warriors. The novel contains a strong defence of British Imperialism and in particular the Imperial project in North Africa. It also reveals the very great suspicion of Islam felt by many Europeans at the time.

Book cover Doings of Raffles Haw

The people of the small town of Tamfield are not used to exciting things happening. When millionaire Raffles Haw moves to town, rumors spread like wildfire about him. The advent of Mr. Haw, however, changes the town, and particularly the lives of the McIntyre family, in ways no one could ever have guessed.

By: Anthony Hope (1863-1933)

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope The Prisoner of Zenda

There's a handsome young man about town in London, whose unusual good looks hint about a scandalous ancestry. On a visit to a tiny East European principality, he decides to take a walk through a dense forest. He falls asleep under a tree and is discovered by the king and his entourage who are out hunting. Both are stunned by their startling resemblance to each other. The king who is days away from his grand coronation invites the Englishman back to his castle and here the visitor becomes embroiled in a sinister plot to overthrow the monarch and usurp the throne...


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