317 results 1-20

A Pelican at Blandings

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Blandings Castle lacks its usual balm for the Earl of Emsworth, as his stern sister Lady Constance Keeble is once more in residence. The Duke of Dunstable is also infesting the place again, along with the standard quota of American millionaires, romantic youths, con artists, imposters and so on. With a painting of reclining nude at the centre of numerous intrigues, Gally's genius is once again required to sort things out.

The Grapes Of Wrath

John Steinbeck (Author)

An epic story of the nineteen-thirties' Depression which traces the story of one destitute family among the thousands who fled the Dust Bowl to the promise of California, THE GRAPES OF WRATH awakened the conscience of a nation. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize on its appearance in 1939, Steinbeck's novel has been compared in its impact and influence with UNCLE TOM'S CABIN.

This Side Of Paradise

F. Scott Fitzgerald (Author)

Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, written when the author was twenty-four, appeared in 1920 and immediately established him as a leading literary figure in the brilliant and dangerous world of 1920s America. The novel tells the story of a spoilt child in search of happiness. Pampered as a child, wealthy, brilliant at school, Amory Blaine looks for the love of others but only finds himself. A short, sharp masterpiece with an intriguing religious undertow, this is also a touchingly autobiographical novel which reflects ominously on Fitzgerald's own future.

Flaubert's Parrot/History of the World

Julian Barnes (Author)

Flaubert’s Parrot, shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1984, concerns the attempts of an increasingly bemused researcher to establish certain facts about a famous French novelist and the stuffed bird which used to sit on his desk.A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters blends fact and fiction in a virtuoso kaleidoscope of vignettes from Noah’s time to the present. One of the author’s most inventive works, it was praised by Salman Rushdie as ‘frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic and a delight to read’.

Flashman

George MacDonald Fraser (Author)

For George MacDonald Fraser the bully Flashman was easily the most interesting character in Tom Brown's Schooldays, and imaginative speculation as to what might have happened to him after his expulsion from Rugby School for drunkenness ended in 12 volumes of memoirs in which Sir Harry Paget Flashman - self-confessed scoundrel, liar, cheat, thief, coward -'and, oh yes, a toady' - romps his way through decades of nineteenth-century history in a swashbuckling and often hilarious series of military and amorous adventures. In Flashman the youthful hero, armed with a commission in the 11th Dragoons, is shipped to India, woos and wins the beautiful Elspeth, and reluctantly takes part in the first Anglo-Afghan War, honing a remarkable talent for self-preservation.Flash for Freedom! finds him crewing on an African slave ship, hiding in a New Orleans whorehouse and fortuitously running into rising young American politician Abraham Lincoln...

Frank O'Connor Omnibus

Frank O'Connor (Author) , Julian Barnes (Introducer)

The contents have been intriguingly divided into eight narrative threads that influenced and informed O'Connor's oeuvre. War includes the famous 'Guests of the Nation', set during the Irish War of Independence; Childhood draws on autobiographical writings to present a revealing picture of the author as a boy, the only child of an alcoholic father and doting mother; Writers bears witness to his literary debt to Yeats and Joyce. The stories in Lonely Voices movingly demonstrate O'Connor's theory that in this genre can be achieved 'something we do not often find in the novel - an intense awareness of human loneliness'; yet they are counterparted by his wonderfully polyphonic tales of family, friendship and rivalry in Better Quarrelling. In Ireland come poems, stories and articles inspired by the native land he loved but never sentimentalized, while from Abroad the writer in exile discourses upon universally relevant themes of emigration, hardship, absence and return. Finally, Last Things contains O'Connor's thoughts on religion, the church, the soul and its destiny, but remains above all a celebration of humanity 'who for me represented all I should ever know of God'.

The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis

Giorgio Bassini (Author)

It is the autobiography of Giorgio Bassani, told in a time span of around 15 years, a time where the ambiguous and mysterious female figure of Micol was a central part of his life. They live in a time where racial laws are being passed by fascist Italy and as a result Micol and her family open the gates of their huge mansion and even bigger garden to a handful of jeweish friends that have been banned from any recreational activity. In this garden Micol guides the narrating "I" figure through the interior journey in search of his identity and maturity. Unfortunately this journey of truth can only end but in the sourest way; the rejection of a deep love felt by the author for Micol, his spiritual guide.

Kim

Rudyard Kipling (Author)

Kipling's masterpiece is perhaps the most remarkable literary product of British India. The story of a half-caste boy, part Indian part Irish who journeys throughout the subcontinent with an aged lama in search of religious enlightenment, the nominal plot revolves around the Great Game: the struggle between Britian and Russia for control of Afghanistan. But the glory of the book lies less in the amusing picaresque adventures than in the unsurpassed panorama of Indian life they evoke: brilliant, moving and intensely alive.

The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion

Ivan Mishima (Author)

Generally regarded both in Japan and in the West as his most successful novel, THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN PAVILION brings together all Mishima's preoccupations with violence, desire, religious life and the history of his own nation. Based on actual incident, the burning of a celebrated temple, the novel is both a vivid narrative and a meditation on the state of Japan in the post-war period.

Gargantua And Pantagruel

Francois Rabelais (Author)

Rabelais's hilarious, scabrous and often scatological fantasy of life amonth the monks and friars of sixteenth-century France remains a satirical and comic classic. A great broth of a book in which every conceivable literary form is parodied and every human desire satirized. But under the comedy there is a serious purpose, for Rabelais also enspouses a positive view of life in which tolerance, goodness, understanding and wisdom are opposed to dogmatism, pride and cruelty. The book is here presented in the classic translation by Urquhart and Motteux.

If On A Winter's Night A Traveller

Italo Calvino (Author)

Calvino's dazzling post-modernist masterpiece combines a love story, a detective story and a sardonic dissection of the publishing industry in a scintillating allegory of reading. Based on a witty anaolgy between the reader's desire to finish the story and the lover's desire to consummate his or her passion, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT is the tale of two bemused readers whose attempts to reach the end of same book - IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT by Italo Calvino - are constantly and comically frustrated. THE ARABIAN NIGHTS of our day

The Makioka Sisters

Junichiro Tanizaki (Author)

Hailed as the greatest Japanese novel of the Twentieth century, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS is a subtle tale of domestic oppression worthy of Balzac or Chekhov, In this saga of the once prosperous but now declining Makioka family struggling to marry off one of their daughters, Tanizaki presents the picture of a family and a society striving to preserve their self-respect as they come to terms with disturbing new ways in a classic confrontation of innovasion and tradition. A wonderful portrait of Japanese life in the first half of the twentieth century.

Dubliners

James Joyce (Author)

His stories are fillled with the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. He writes of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, yet creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience.

The stories all centre around the city of Dublin and its inhabitants at the beginning of the twentieth century. They offer a moving portrait of an entire world and era long since disappeared.

Tom Jones

Henry Fielding (Author)

Henry Fielding's 18th century classic regales the story of Tom Jones and his longing for Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighbouring squire.

London Fields

Martin Amis (Author)

Everyone is always out there searching for someone and something, usually for a lover, usually for love. And this is a love story.

But the murderee - Nicola Six - is searching for something and someone else: her murderer. She knows the time, she knows the place, she knows the motive, she knows the means. She just doesn't know the man.

London Fields is a brilliant, funny and multi-layered novel. It is a book in which the narrator, Samson Young, enters the Black Cross, a thoroughly undesirable public house, and finds the main players of his drama assembled, just waiting to begin. It's a gift of a story from real life...all Samson has to do is write it as it happens.

Troubles

J G Farrell (Author) , John Sutherland (Introducer)

Inspired by the Indian Mutiny of 1857, The Siege of Krishnapur is set in the fictional town of that name where a British garrison withstands a four-month siege by mutineers. Eventually rescued after undergoing terrible privations, the leading characters all find their ideals tested and their smug assumptions of military and moral superiority severely shaken.
In Troubles Major Brendan Archer travels to Ireland in the aftermath of World War I in order to meet his fiancée Angela in a remote seaside hotel owned by her father. Angela dies unexpectedly, but Archer remains in Kilnalough, captivated by the Majestic and its inhabitants, and seemingly unaware of the approaching political storm as Ireland dissolves into revolt and civil war.
Both novels combine high comedy with vivid realism and reveal Farrell as 'one of the finest post-colonial novelists' - John Sutherland.

Ethan Frome, Summer, Bunner Sisters

Edith Wharton (Author)

These brilliantly wrought, tragic novellas explore the repressed emotions and destructive passions of working-cass people far removed from the social milieu usually inhabited by Edith Wharton's characters.
Ethan Frome is one of Wharton's most famous works; it is a tightly constructed and almost unbearably heartbreaking story of forbidden love in a snowbound New England village. Summer, also set in rural New England, is often considered a companion to Ethan Frome - Wharton herself called it 'the hot Ethan' - in its portrayal of a young woman's sexual and social awakening. Bunner Sisters takes place in the narrow, dusty streets of late-nineteenth-century New York, where the constrained but peaceful lives of two spinster shopkeepers are shattered when they meet a man who becomes the unworthy focus of all their pent-up hopes.
All three of these novellas feature realistic and haunting characters as vivid as any Wharton ever conjured, and together they provide a superb introduction to the shorter fiction of one of America's greatest writers.

The Double and The Gambler

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author)

Two small masterpieces in one volume. First, The Double, a surprisingly modern hallucinatory nightmare that foreshadows Kafka and Sartre. A minor official named Goliadkin becomes aware of a mysterious doppelganger - a man who has his name and his face and who gradually and relentlessly begins to displace him with his friends and colleagues. In the dilemma of his increasingly paranoid hero, Dostoevsky makes vividly concrete the inner plurality of consciousness that would become a major theme of his work. Second, The Gambler, a stunning psychological portrait of a young man's exhilarating and destructive addiction, a compulsion that Dostoevsky - who once gambled away his wife's wedding ring- knew intimately from his own experience. In the disastrous love affairs and gambling adventures of Alexei Ivanovich, Dostoevsky explores the irresistible temptation to look into the abyss of ultimate risk that he believed was an essential part of the Russian national character.

The General in his Labyrinth

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Author)

With the style and eloquent language that earned him the Nobel prize for literature, Marquez weaves a stunning story of glory and despair. Both real history and Marquez' imagination let us enter the world of Simon Bolivar, Liberator of South America, in all his humanity - good and evil. Bolivar drove the Spanish out of South America, dealt with treachery from his own compatriots. Once hailed as a hero, he is now scorned and reviled, and fighting his own demons, he refuses to die quietly. We are given a glimpse of the genius and foibles of the man behind the legend, as we accompany him on his last journey, accompanied only by the loyal remants of his once great army.

Pnin

Vladimir Nabokov (Author)

Initially an almost grotesquely comic figure, Pnin gradually grows in stature by contrast with those who laugh at him. Whether taking the wrong train to deliver a lecture in a language he has not mastered or throwing a faculty party during which he learns he is losing his job, the gently preposterous hero of this enchanting novel evokes the reader's deepest protective instinct.

Serialized in The New Yorker and published in book form in 1957, PNIN brought Nabokov both his first National Book Award nomination and hitherto unprecedented popularity.

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