Penguin Modern Classics

Latest

The Success and Failure of Picasso

John Berger

In this classic of art criticism, one of our foremost cultural historians grapples with the life and work of one of the twentieth century's most mercurial and prodigious artists. In The Success and Failure of Picasso, John Berger places the artist in the historical, social and political contexts that made his work possible.

Alone in Berlin (film tie-in)

Hans Fallada (and others)

A tie-in edition of Fallada's best-selling WW2 novel, to accompany the major new film starring Emma Thompson and Brendan Gleeson.

Berlin, 1940, and the city is filled with fear. When unassuming couple Otto and Anna Quangel receive the news that their beloved son has been killed fighting in France, they are shocked out of their quiet existence and begin a silent campaign of defiance. A deadly game of cat and mouse develops between the Quangels and the ambitious Gestapo inspector Escherich in Fallada's desperately tense and heartbreaking exploration of resistance in impossible circumstances.

Decline and Fall (TV tie-in)

Evelyn Waugh

A tie-in edition of Waugh's first and funniest novel to accompany the new BBC adaptation starring Jack Whitehall.

Sent down from Oxford University for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather embarks on a series of bizarre adventures that start in a minor public school and end in one of Her Majesty's prisons. In this, his first and funniest novel, Evelyn Waugh brilliantly satirised the roaring twenties with his story of an innocent abroad in high society.

The Zoo of the New

Don Paterson (and others)

Selected by Nick Laird and Don Paterson, two of our most lauded and beloved living poets, and conceived of as a collection of their favourite poems, The Zoo of the New is set to establish itself as the classic anthology of our time. Laird and Paterson have brought together an inspired and diverse selection, ranging from undisputed masterpieces to rare discoveries, as well as drawing upon works in translation and traditional poems from oral cultures. In effect, this anthology will transform the way we define and appreciate poetry, and it will continue to do so for years to come.

Including writers from Shakespeare and Blake to Sylvia Plath and T. S. Eliot, The Zoo of the New is eclectic, instructive and inspiring at the same time.

Mortal Engines

Stanislaw Lem

'A virtuoso storyteller' The New York Times

'He was a robot-hypochondriac. On his squeaking cart he carried a complete set of spare parts.'


A freighter pilot leads a manhunt across the Moon for a robot gone berserk; a shapeshifting assassin falls in love with the man she's programmed to kill; a paranoid King converts his kingdom into his artificial mind, but his dreams rebel. These stories range from surreal fables that satirically turn the fairy tale on its head, to longer works including the man vs. robot thriller, 'The Hunt', and possibly fiction's strangest love story, 'The Mask'. InMortal Engines Stanislaw Lem lays bare humanity's clash with machines, masterfully exploring science fiction's furthest frontiers.

Riceyman Steps

Arnold Bennett

Henry Earlforward, a shabby Clerkenwell bookseller, has retired from life to devote himself (and his wife Violet) to a consuming passion for money. Miserliness becomes a fatal illness and Bennett gives a terrifying description of its ravages. But the book's horrible situation is saved through the character of Elsie - whose life-affirming refusal to engage with the nightmarish world of the bookseller transforms the story.

Bennett wished in Riceyman Steps to create an English novel as powerful as anything by Balzac, the writer he most admired, with the same sense of great human issues being played out within the confines of a household. The result is an unforgettable work which is also a gripping description of the harsh, battered London of the period just after the First World War.

Six modern classics that stood trial