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Nineteen Eighty-four

George Orwell (Author)

Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's classic dystopian tale

One of Britain's most popular novels, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is set in a society terrorised by a totalitarian ideology propagated by The Party.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. . .

Nineteen Eighty-Four is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. The novel also coined many new words and phrases which regular appear in popular culture, such as 'Big Brother', 'thoughtcrime', 'doublethink' and 'Newspeak'.

Orwell and Politics

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

Orwell's classic satire ANIMAL FARM continues to be an international best seller. For the first time ever, ORWELL AND POLITICS brings this major work together with the author's other works exploring the nature of politics and the Second World War.

The Complete Novels of George Orwell

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's best-known novels, Animal Farm, describing a revolution that goes horribly wrong, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, portraying a world where human freedom has been crushed, are two of the most famous, well-quoted and influential political satires ever written. The other novels in this volume also tell stories of people at odds with repressive institutions: the corrupt imperialism of Burmese Days, disaffection with materialistic society in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the perils of modern suburban living in Coming Up for Air and surviving on the streets in A Clergyman's Daughter.

All the novels brought together here display Orwell's humour, his understanding of human nature and his great compassion.

Shylock is My Name

Howard Jacobson (Author)

Winner of the Booker Prize

'The funniest British novelist since Kingsley Amis or Tom Sharpe' Mail on Sunday

AS SEEN ON BBC IMAGINE

‘Who is this guy, Dad? What is he doing here?’

With an absent wife and a daughter going off the rails, wealthy art collector and philanthropist Simon Strulovitch is in need of someone to talk to. So when he meets Shylock at a cemetery in Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, he invites him back to his house. It’s the beginning of a remarkable friendship.

Elsewhere in the Golden Triangle, the rich, manipulative Plurabelle (aka Anna Livia Plurabelle Cleopatra A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Christine) is the face of her own TV series, existing in a bubble of plastic surgery and lavish parties. She shares prejudices and a barbed sense of humour with her loyal friend D’Anton, whose attempts to play Cupid involve Strulovitch’s daughter – and put a pound of flesh on the line.

Howard Jacobson’s version of The Merchant of Venice bends time to its own advantage as it asks what it means to be a father, a Jew and a merciful human being in the modern world.

'Jacobson is quite simply a master of comic precision. He writes like a dream' Evening Standard

George and the Blue Moon

Lucy Hawking (Author) , Stephen Hawking (Author)

George and his best friend, Annie have been selected as junior astronauts - part of a programme that trains up young people for a trip to Mars in the future. This is everything they've ever wanted - they get to be a part of up-to-the minute space discoveries and meet a bunch of new friends who are as fascinated by the universe as they are.

But when they arrive at space camp, George and Annie quickly learn that strange things are happening - on Earth as well as up in our skies. Mysterious space missions are happening in secret, and the astronaut training they're undertaking gets scarier and scarier . . .

The fifth adventure in this series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking - also containing up-to-the-minute scientific facts and information by the world's leading scientists.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

James Hogg (Author) , John Wain (Edited by)

Robert Colwan, a clergyman's son, is so confident of his salvation as one of the Lord's elect that he comes to look on himself as a man apart, unhindered by considerations of mere earthly law. Through Robert's own unforgettable account, we follow the strange and sinful life into which he is led by a devilish doppelgänger - a life that will finally lead him to murder. Steeped in the folkloric superstitions and theological traditions of eighteenth-century Scotland, this macabre and haunting novel is a devastating portrayal of the stages by which the human spirit can descend into darkness.

The Invincible Kingdom

Rob Ryan (Author)

BORN INTO THE ROYAL FAMILY, John has always known he doesn’t want to be king. To escape his destiny he has run away and begun to build a different kind of future for himself.

But just when everything seems to be going right for John, his past catches up with him: Lord Von Dronus, the palace’s most senior courtier, is determined to hunt him down, believing that as long as John is alive, he is a threat to the nation’s security.

Forced into hiding with his best friend June, it seems as though John will never be able to live an ordinary life. Until one night he decides to return to the palace and put an audacious plan into action…

Inspiring, funny and moving, THE INVINCIBLE KINGDOM is about following your dreams and creating your own happily ever after.

Mary Barton

Elizabeth Gaskell (Author)

Mary Barton, the daughter of disillusioned trade unionist, rejects her working-class lover Jem Wilson in the hope of marrying Henry Carson, the mill owner’s son, and making a better life for herself and her father. But when Henry is shot down in the street and Jem becomes the main suspect, Mary finds herself painfully torn between the two men. Through Mary’s dilemma, and the moving portrayal of her father, the embittered and courageous activist John Barton, Mary Barton (1848) powerfully dramatizes the class divides of the ‘hungry forties’ as personal tragedy. In its social and political setting, it looks towards Elizabeth Gaskell’s great novels of the industrial revolution, in particular North and South.

Doctor Who: The Eyeless

Lance Parkin (Author) , Russell Tovey (Read by)

At the heart of the ruined city of Arcopolis is the Fortress. It’s a brutal structure placed here by one of the sides in a devastating intergalactic war that’s long ended. Fifteen years ago the entire population of the planet was killed in an instant by the weapon housed in the heart of the Fortress. Now only the ghosts remain. The Doctor arrives, and determines to fight his way past the Fortress’ automatic defences and put the weapon beyond use. But he soon discovers he’s not the only person in Arcopolis. What is the true nature of the weapon? Is the planet really haunted? Who are the Eyeless? And what will happen if they get to the weapon before the Doctor? The Doctor has a fight on his hands. And this time he’s all on his own. Featuring the Doctor as played by David Tennant in the hit series from BBC Television, The Eyeless is read by Russell Tovey, who played Midshipman Alonso Frame in the TV episode Voyage of the Damned.

2 CDs. 2 hrs 31 mins.

The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

BBC (Author) , C.S. Lewis (Author) , Full Cast (Read by), Maurice Denham (Read by), Stephen Thorne (Read by)

When Lucy comes across the old wardrobe standing alone in the spare room, she thinks she has found a good place for hide and seek. But then she tumbles headlong into a magical world of fauns, dwarves and giants, of animals that talk and horses that fly - the land of Narnia. It is so extraordinary that at first her brothers and sister don't believe it can be real. Soon, though, Peter, Edmund and Susan find Narnia too and the adventures really begin.Together they must battle against the evil White Witch to break her cruel grip on Narnia, a land she has cast in perpetual winter, without Christmas. Only one thing can hold fast against such wickedness: the mighty Aslan. The excitement which C.S. Lewis must have felt in creating this enchanted world is conjured up once again in this thrilling dramatisation of one of the best stories ever told.

2 CDs. 1 hr 55 mins.

Barchester Towers

Anthony Trollope (Author)

After the death of old Dr Grantly, a bitter struggle begins over who will succeed him as Bishop of Barchester. And when the decision is finally made to appoint the evangelical Dr Proudie, rather than the son of the old bishop, Archdeacon Grantly, resentment and suspicion threaten to cause deep divisions within the diocese. Trollope's masterly depiction of the plotting and back-stabbing that ensues lies at the heart of one of the most vivid and comic of his Barsetshire novels, peopled by such very different figures as the saintly Warden of Hiram's Hospital, Septimus Harding, the ineffectual but well-meaning new bishop and his terrifying wife, and the oily chaplain Mr Slope who has designs on Mr Harding's daughter.

Robert Crumb's Book of Genesis

Robert Crumb (Author)

Envisioning the first book of the Bible like no one before him, R. Crumb, the legendary illustrator, retells the story of Genesis in a profoundly honest and deeply moving way.

Now, readers of every persuasion can gain astonishing new insights from these stories. Crumb's Book of Genesis reintroduces us to the bountiful tree-lined garden of Adam and Eve, the massive ark of Noah with beasts of every kind, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by brimstone and fire, and the Egypt of the Pharaoh. Using clues from the text and peeling away the theological and scholarly interpretations that have often obscured the Bible's most dramatic stories, Crumb fleshes out a parade of biblical originals: from the serpent in Eden, the humanoid reptile appearing like an alien out of a science fiction movie, to Jacob, a 'kind of depressed guy who doesn't strike you as physically courageous', and his bother, Esau, 'a rough and kick-ass guy', to God himself, 'a standard Charlton Heston-like figure with long white hair and a flowing beard'.

Crumb's Book of Genesis, the culmination of five years of painstaking work, is a tapestry of masterly detail and storytelling that celebrates the astonishing diversity of one of our greatest artistic geniuses.

Vinegar Girl

Anne Tyler (Author)

Kate Battista is stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and infuriating younger sister Bunny?

Dr Battista has other problems. His brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, his new scientific breakthrough will fall through…

When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Will Kate be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?

Anne Tyler’s brilliant retelling of The Taming of the Shrew asks whether a thoroughly modern woman like Kate would ever sacrifice herself for a man. The answer is as surprising as Kate herself.

Dr. Dolittle's Return

Hugh Lofting (Author)

At long last, the anxious watchers at Puddleby-on-the-Marsh see the signal which means that Doctor Dolittle is on his way back from the moon!

To everyone's surprise, the Doctor arrives on the back of an enormous locust - and he, too, has reached an enormous size through years of living on the moon.

Explainations and thrilling tales of adventure follow the Doctor's return . . .

Dr. Dolittle And The Secret Lake

Hugh Lofting (Author)

Doctor Dolittle is determined to continue the work he started on the Moon to find the secret of everlasting life. But to carry on, he must consult Mudface, the ancient turtle who lives in the Secret Lake in Africa. And when the doctor hears that Mudface has been burried during an Earthquake, the Doctor's journey becomes an emergancy rescue mission

3rd & Bird The Muffin Express & Other Stories

Josh Selig (Author)

This title offers five episodes from the hugely popular animated series featuring Samuel, Rudy and Muffin - as seen on BBC TV - "A Chorus for Us", "Rolling Along", "To Play or Not to Play", "The Muffin Express" and "Samuel's Dance".

Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady

Richardson Samuel (Author)

Pressured by her unscrupulous family to marry a wealthy man she detests, the young Clarissa Harlowe is tricked into fleeing with the witty and debonair Robert Lovelace and places herself under his protection. Lovelace, however, proves himself to be an untrustworthy rake whose vague promises of marriage are accompanied by unwelcome and increasingly brutal sexual advances. And yet, Clarissa finds his charm alluring, her scrupulous sense of virtue tinged with unconfessed desire. Told through a complex series of interweaving letters, Clarissa is a richly ambiguous study of a fatally attracted couple and a work of astonishing power and immediacy. A huge success when it first appeared in 1747, and translated into French and German, it remains one of the greatest of all European novels.

Dick Barton and the Smash and Grab Raiders

Edward J. Mason (Author) , Douglas Kelly (Read by), Full Cast (Read by)

Heralded by an instantly memorable signature tune, the adventures of special agent Dick Barton and his friends, Jock and Snowey, originally ran on the BBC Light Programme between 1946 and 1951. Set in an exciting world of criminal masterminds, espionage and adventure, the series was essential listening for an entire generation. Sadly very few of the BBC's original recordings still survive. However, in 1949 a number of early Barton tales were re-recorded for transmission overseas. Starring Douglas Kelly, these re-stagings found new audiences in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Over 300 of these 'international' recordings were rediscovered in the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia in 2009 and allow listeners finally to relive the escapades of the great Dick Barton. In this adventure, Dick, Snowey and Jock join forces with Sir Alexander Morton to fight the dastardly Paragon and his gang of audacious smash and grab raiders, but will they succeed? Find out in this exciting instalment of Dick Barton - Special Agent!

4 CDs. 4 hrs 6 mins.

Ferris Fleet the Wheelchair Wizard

Annie Dalton (Author) , Carl Pearce (Illustrator)

Oscar's mum moves the family to Planet Nine hoping for a quiet life. But it's not to be...
Mum is soon called back to her very important job at the Cosmic Peace Police and needs to find a baby-sitter for Oscar and baby Ruby. They choose Ferris Fleet, the coolest, funkiest young magician ever seen, and his magical wheelchair, Wonderwheels.

An exciting futuristic adventure story, featuring an enterprising young boy and his good friend, the magician in a wheelchair.

Dogbird and other mixed-up tales

Paul Stewart (Author) , Tony Ross (Illustrator)

WOOF! Alice's new pet budgie doesn't speak. It barks! Dad says the bird must go, but what do you do with a barking budgie?

OINK! When greedy Albert pinches a Mars bar, his grandmother warns him of the curse of the were-pig. Will he grow a curly tail when the sun comes out?

RIBBIT! The croaking frog in the garden is driving Looby loopy! Grandad wonders if it's an enchanted prince, but Looby doesn't believe in fairy tales any more. Maybe she should just give the frog a tiny kiss . . .

Three lively, funny tales from Smarties Prize-winning author Paul Stewart.

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