366 results 1-20
In 1940, every draft of every film script had to be approved by the Ministry of Information. Cast and crew were waiting to be called up at any moment, travel was restricted and filming was interrupted by regular bombing raids. And so it is that we find a disparate group of characters whose paths would never have crossed in peacetime: Ambrose Hilliard, a washed up old ham from the golden era of silent movies; Catrin Cole, formerly an advertising copywriter drafted in to 'write women' for the Ministry of Information; Edith Beadmore, a wardrobe assistant at Madame Tussauds; and Arthur Frith, peacetime catering manager turned wartime Special Military Advisor.
This distinct group find themselves thrown together in the wilds of Norfolk to 'do their bit' on the latest propaganda film - a heart-warming tale of derring do, of two sisters who set out in a leaking old wooden boat to rescue the brave men trapped at Dunkirk. All completely fabricated, of course, but what does that matter when the nation's morale is at stake? Newly crowned actor, script-writer, costumier and military attaché must swallow their mutual distaste, ill-will and mistrust and unite for the common good, for King and country, and - in one case - for better or worse...
Maya and Ilan have an unusual marriage: Maya agrees to tolerate Ilan's chronic infidelity as long as she can participate and he will never stray without her. To her surprise, she finds their threesomes as arousing as they are disturbing and, for a while, everything seems fine. But as Maya's writing career takes off and she becomes more independent, Ilan feels threatened, and opts for another kind of sexual experimentation - one that plays on Maya's fear and ultimately threatens her life.
Meanwhile, Maya is drawn into another relationship with a fateful third character. When her new liaison begins to mirror her marriage to Ilan, Maya discovers that her lover, seemingly a stranger, knows far more about her past than she has revealed.
A compelling chronicle of obsession and power, 3 brings new immediacy to a timeless question: what is the greatest sacrifice you would make for love?
Published: 1 Apr 2004
Published: 31 Jul 2011
When you're running away from life, how far do you need to go...?
A nineteen-year old runs away from her life and keeps on running. Haunted by the unexplained departure of her mother four years earlier, she is looking and not looking. Adopting one identity after another - female escort, apple-picker, cashier, canvas girl in a travelling circus - she is afraid to slow down for fear of what, or who, may catch up with her. When anonymous postcards start to arrive at every place she goes, she is finally forced to confront the fate of her long-gone mother. Can this runaway-girl escape the same end?
In a compulsive and moving novel riddled with family secrets, a predictably happy ending is never a guarantee. But one thing becomes certain; people can only ever save themselves.
Published: 1 Sep 2004
Published: 1 May 2012
He has nowhere to go...so he goes there.
An alienated young man can see no meaning in life. He doesn't even see the point of getting out of bed in the morning. To escape from his family he decides to set off on a hitchhiking adventure around Europe, and is picked up by a friendly lorry driver with an unusual interest in philosophy.
The journey takes him through a violent and Kafkaesque nightmare to a destination that changes his life.
Published: 27 Apr 2015
Life had lost its sweetness. Socrates felt as if he had eaten an accursed apple and was, like Adam, suddenly prone to emotions he had never before experienced - fear, loneliness and shame.
For Socrates, growing up in a small, Cypriot village isn't idyllic so much as frustrating. Summer is on the horizon and yet his parents, his teachers and his interfering neighbours seem intent on preventing Socrates and his friends from having any fun. But times are changing and the jasmine-scented breezes mingle with the threat of danger. Behind the facade of respectable island life lurk dark and menacing presences.
Land of the Golden Apple is a bewitching coming-of-age novel about the lives and loves, joys and despairs of a diverse yet tightly-knit community and about how those same ties that bind us can also constrict us...
Published: 21 Apr 2008
When Alice met Nash, she fell head over heels. Two years later, she can't quite remember what it was that had seemed so brilliant about him. All they do is argue - especially about money. In a last-ditch attempt to save their relationship, they agree to leave rainy England behind and emigrate to Australia.
But when Alice finds out that Nash has been unfaithful, their plans are ruined and she decides to go to Australia alone. Packing what she can into four suitcases, she heads to Bondi to stay with her cousin.
Australia is a very strange place where everything seems upside down and anything over two syllables is abbreviated. Will Alice ever be able to lose her English inhibitions and relax into the Aussie way of life? Can she ever find a proper job? And, more importantly, will she be able to control herself around Joel, her extremely attractive Australian cousin...?
Published: 13 Aug 2009
Dublin was mucky and vulgar. Like a tourist who gets drunk and wakes up with a huge tattoo.
This is what it's like for you: your name is Simon Dillon. You're 35. You're a failure. Too hungover to go to work, too lazy to get a new job, too keen to blame everyone else: your mad father, your estranged wife, your so-called friends. Blame them. Blame Dublin.
You'd rather do a few lines of coke, but there's a beautiful French woman you can't remember meeting, cops banging on the door asking about a dead woman you don't know, Russian gangsters asking questions you can't answer. Murders all over the city; bombs in O'Connell Street.
And it's got nothing to do with you. Except that it's all your fault.
A needle-sharp, funny and scathing thriller, set in a Dublin most people don't read about - the real one.
Published: 15 Jul 2013
Buchan Gardens is a sedate square in West London. Charles Goodwin, the garden committee president, would like the garden to stay just the way it is. Lord Vernon of Barnstable, the appalling life peer, has plans for the garden. Bryony Mullins, the gusset-mouthed harridan, doesn't give a flying knicker elastic what happens to the garden as long as it's not what Vernon wants. Angel Tenby, the sexually organic gardener, wants the garden to run free. Mrs Kotzen, the neighbour, wants the garden to be chic. The vicar wants the garden to be accessible and relevant. Lily Ng, the teenage daily, would probably think the garden silly if she thought about it at all; she wants to offer sex in lieu of ironing. Mona Corinth, the Hollywood legend, is dead and may be about to become part of the garden. Iona Wallace is the obligatory love interest. She would like to be a garden: laid, forked, plucked, seeded, mulched, vigorously pollarded, bedded and admired for her natural beauty. The garden wants absolutely nothing at all.
Sap Rising may well be a story about dark dank nature both human and vegetable and our uneasy relationship with the mystic natural forces that move the earth. It may be a parable on the fragile consensus that maintains and tends green England. On the other hand, it might just be a farcical love story set in a garden about nothing of any consequence performed by comic grotesques with a lot of swearing and unnatural sex.
Published: 1 Sep 1997
Grace Rutherford is the one and only Diamond Sharp, the 'It' girl of 1920s London, whose weekly newspaper column delights readers with tales of her nightly escapades: the dinners, the dancing, the hairdos, the fashion, the men...
Caught up in the glitz and glamour of the day, Grace begins a passionate affair with charming, flirtatious American author Dexter O'Connell. Soon, though, she finds herself falling for John Cramer, the charismatic neighbour her widowed younger sister adores. Irresistably drawn to both men, Grace discovers that they are bitter enemies. As she becomes tangled up in the mesh of secrets and lies that binds them together, she must try to find out which man, if either, she can trust.
Published: 5 Nov 2009
YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS BUT YOU CAN'T CHOOSE YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW.
Electra and Adam are living proof that opposites attract.
Electra is warm, passionate and creative. She wants to have a baby.
Adam is calm, reasonable and very English. He doesn't.
Enter the mother-in-law...
Cold, critical and snobbish, she disapproves of her son's marriage.
And then she moves in with them.
Will their relationship survive?
A darkly funny, insightful and cautionary tale that will make you question where your loyalties lie.
Published: 1 Sep 2006
In London's Delphi Restaurant, Bohemond - black, French, obsese, lonely and a wondrously talented head chef - has drawn on mythological symbolism to begin preparing the perfect wedding meal for his boss Hermione and her womanizing fiance Paris. But when he discovers a mysterious love letter, he wonders what to do. Bohemond secretly loves Hermione - should he warn her about Paris? Or does she already know?
Meanwhile, the hotel's ancient leader Faulkner spends the evenings recounting an incredible saga of his clashes with supernaturally evil enemies. It's a great story; but when the more scurrilous members of the Delphi's staff begin reporting terrifying encounters with one of Faulkner's creations, Bohemond starts wondering if everything is morphing into something between truth and fable. Building on the promise shown in his first novel, Luke Sutherland writes with an intoxicating rhthym and style, proving himself one of the most inventive young writers around.
Published: 31 Jan 2011
Nicci Gerrard (Contributor), Tracey Chevalier (Contributor), Val McDermid (Contributor) , Salley Vickers (Contributor), Lynne Truss (Contributor) , Maeve Haran (Contributor), Elizabeth Buchan (Contributor), Barbara Erskine (Contributor)
A dazzling anthology of short stories by some of our most popular and well-loved writers to raise money for Breast Cancer Care:
Diana Appleyard, Charlotte Bingham, Elizabeth Buchan, Mavis Cheek, Tracy Chevalier, Amanda Craig, Edwina Currie, Helen Dunmore, Barbara Erskine, Nicci Gerrard, Maeve Haran, Wendy Holden, Angela Lambert, David Lodge, Val McDermid, Hilary Mantel, Edna O'Brien, Imogen Parker, Sandi Toksvig, Barbara Toner, Joanna Trollope, Lynne Truss, Salley Vickers. It also includes three stories from the winners of the Woman & Home Short Story Competition and a foreword by Jerry Hall.
At least a £1 from every book sold will go to Breast Cancer Care: www.breastcancercare.org.uk
Published: 27 Apr 2015
Do you remember the video nasty?
It is 1984 and video has just arrived in Britain's homes. With it comes a widespread distrust and fear. The public dread a deluge of porn, ultraviolence, cannibalism and dismemberment. Eager to reflect the public mood, Parliament decides to panic too, and gifts sweeping powers to the chief film censor, Nick Berg.
Every film ever made has to be reclassified for home viewing. But rather than become a tool of moral hysteria, Berg has a grand plan. He will create an entirely new kind of censorship - benign, thoughtful, intelligent. First he must create a team to implement his wishes. Advertising in newspapers and magazines across the country, Berg announces a competition to find a handful of the best and the brightest.
Thousands apply. Interviews, tests, rejections, more interviews, more tests follow, until only seven remain. This 'Magnificent Seven' will have the power to decide what others can and cannot see. They are tasked to reflect the very best of what can be thought and said. They will encounter the great monuments of censorship - The Exorcist, Cannibal Holocaust and Reservoir Dogs - as well as the obscure and unexpected: Rupert Bear and Little Yum and the almost unwatchable Nappy Love.
But off-screen, all is soon not well in the inner sanctum. What Berg doesn't realize is that his prized rationale is flawed. Fault lines appear within his team of seven. And a struggle for power is set in motion which quickly leads to betrayal, madness and, ultimately, death.
Paul Hoffman, a former senior censor at the British Board of Film Classification, has written a compelling and captivating novel that challenges our ideas about censorship, prejudice and the fine line between art and exploitation.
Published: 2 Jan 2008
It is 1942 and the island of Malta is under siege by the dominant German air force. Out of the smoke and magnesium glare of bomb blast steps Rocco Raven, native of Brooklyn, New York, apprentice radioman and expert secondhand car dealer. His only contact is an American secret serviceman, Fingerley, whose rank upgrades with their every meeting and whose purpose is known to no-one but himself. Far from finding a role for Rocco, Fingerley leaves him to face the chaos alone. On only his second day there, his billet, on the top floor of a brothel, is blown to pieces. Without contacts or belongings, Rocco is left to wander the devastated streets of Valetta in a bewildered daze until he sees an apparition, a beautiful, ethereal woman. She is Melita, the Jukebox Queen of Malta, who spends her time delivering the jukeboxes wrought by her cousin from old automobile and gramophone parts to the bars and restaurants which must accommodate the beleagured civilian and military populations. It is the beginning of an extraordinary relationship that is at once passionate and guarded, which flourishes as the island's fortunes decline. Under the threat of starvation and in a world populated by the eccentrics of war, Rocco's seems to be the lone voice of sanity, until he too is affected by the madness around him and succumbs to the voluntary thrill of danger...
The Jukebox Queen of Malta is an extraordinary novel of passion and intrigue set in a world which seems perilously balanced between what is real and what is not. It is a magnificently evocative piece of storytelling, where the bizarre and heady atmosphere of a society under siege masks the uneasy truce between the Allied occupiers and the Maltese natives, and where the physical beauty is only tainted by the sense of mystery desecrated.
Published: 3 Feb 2000
Published: 6 Jul 2012
Is Emilia the wicked stepmother incarnate?
Passionately in love with her husband, Emilia has a secret, guilty loathing for her precocious little stepson, William - a forty-year-old in a five-year-old's body, whom she picks up from nursery every Wednesday afternoon. He is lactose intolerant, she feeds him dairy products; he mustn't get cold, she pushes him - accidentally - into the pond in Central Park. How can she forgive William for living, when her own cherished child has gone?
'Moving and darkly funny, romantic, shocking, painful page-turner...says something new and interesting about women, families and love' New York Times
'One moment I was laughing out loud..the next I had tears pouring down...whether you're a parent or not, you can't fail to be moved' Daily Express
Published: 1 Jan 2007
A.A. Gill's first novel, SAP RISING, garnered a galaxy of reviews when it was published, from the enchanted 'Among the most original novels of the year' (Financial Times) to the hysterical 'Do not buy this book' (Guardian), from the delirious 'Extremely funny' (Time Out) to the outraged 'Frightful pile of garbage', to the contradictory 'He writes so brilliantly' (Daniel Farson, Evening Standard), 'Extremely badly written, hideously and unamusingly obscene' (A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard). It can reasonably be said that SAP RISING was one of the most visible books of the year.
Now comes something equally striking and completely different: STARCROSSED.
Like Byron, John Dart, poet and bookshop assistant, wakes up one morning and finds himself, if not quite famous, then the next best thing: in bed with someone famous. Lee Montana, singer, film star and the most famous woman in the world, wakes up one morning and finds she's had carnal knowledge of a shop assistant - which doesn't have quite the same exclamatory ring to it. Antigone doesn't wake up at all. She is a 2,000-year-old dead Greek girl with a truculent disposition and a bad dose of destiny. Tentatively, John and Lee embark on a sort of affair with three unequal partners: the two of them and Antigone's bitter shadow.
Is fame the beauty parlour of the dead? Can the gods fall in love? Should a poet fuck with his muse? In his dazzling new novel A.A. Gill flirts with capricious destiny and hitchhikes on the boulevard of fate.
Published: 1 May 2012
Published: 8 Aug 1986