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All Quiet on the Western Front

Erich Maria Remarque (Author) , Sebastian Faulks (Introducer)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY SEBASTIAN FAULKS

'We are no longer young men. We've lost any desire to conquer the world. We are refugees. We are fleeing from ourselves. From our lives. We were eighteen and had begun to love the world and to love being in it; but we had to shoot at it. The first shell to land went straight for our hearts. We've been cut of from real action, from getting on, from progress. We don't believe in those things any more; we believe in the war.'

Written in memory of a generation of young men who arrived at the front fresh from the schoolroom, a generation utterly devasted by war, because the few that survived were left unfit for peace; at once tender and brutal, immediate and profound - All Quiet on the Western Front is a testament to the pity, horror and waste of the First World War, and a passionate plea to prevent its repetition.

Set This House On Fire

William Styron (Author)

The day after Peter Leverett met his old friend Mason Flagg in Italy, Mason was found dead. The hours leading up to his death were a nightmare for Peter - both in their violence and in their maddening unreality.The blaze of events which followed was, Peter soon realised, ignited by a conflict between two men: Mason Flagg himself and Cass Kinsolving, a tortured, self-destructive painter, a natural enemy and prey to the monstrous evil of Mason Flagg. Three events - murder, rape and suicide - explode in the is relentless and passionate novel, almost overwhelming in its conception of the varieties of good and evil.

The English Teacher

R K Narayan (Author)

Krishna, an English teacher in the town of Malgudi, nagged by the feeling he's doing the wrong work, is nonetheless delighted by his domestic life, where his wife and young daughter wait for him outside the house every afternoon. Devastated by the death of his wife, Krishna comes to realise what he really wants to do, and makes a decision that will change his life forever.

The Essential Pritchett

V S Pritchett (Author)

V. S. Pritchett (1900-1997) was one of the most subtle, potent and best-loved of modern British writers, an unparalleled story-teller and biographer and essayist of unique humour and insight. This volume contains an engrossing and lively collection of his autobiographical, travel and critical writings and a selection of the humorous and poignant short stories for which he is most remembered. It includes extracts from A Cab at the Door and Midnight Oil, as well as literary criticism on a range of writers from George Eliot and Balzac to Chekov and Turgenev.

Edited by his son, Oliver, The Essential Pritchett is a tribute to a lifetime of writing.

Fruits Of The Earth

Andre Gide (Author)

During the author's travels, he meets Menalcas, a caricature of Oscar Wilde, who relates his fantastic life story. But for all his brilliance, Menalcas is only Gide's yesterday self, a discarded wraith who leaves Gide free to stop exalting the ego and embrace bodily and spiritual joy. Later Fruits of the Earth, written in 1935 during Gide's short-lived spell of communism, reaffirms the doctrine of the earlier book. But now he sees happiness not as freedom, but a submission to heroism. In a series of 'Encounters', Gide describes a Negro tramp, a drowned child, a lunatic and other casualties of life. These reconcile him to suffering, death and religion, causing him to insist that 'today's Utopia' be 'tomorrow's reality'.

Les Enfants Terribles

Jean Cocteau (Author)

At home, Paul shares a private world with his sister Elisabeth, a world from which parents are tacitly excluded. Their room is where the Game is played, the Game being their own bizarre version of life. All that they do outside is effectively controlled by the rules of the Game: unfortunately the rules of the Game prescribe that the two children must die...

In Hazard

Richard Hughes (Author)

A sea-story of vivid adventures, In Hazard is set on board the British ship Archimedes which is bound for the Far East from Norfolk (Virginia) via the Panama Canal. When the crew suddenly find themselves in the middle of a violent hurricane the book becomes an absorbing study of how different men behave when faced with danger.

Lie Down In Darkness

William Styron (Author)

In this novel, the South looms dark and ominous in the background with its Biblical rhetoric, its conflict between a tradition of religious fundamentalism and modern scepticism, racial contrasts and the industrialisation of a rural society. But more than a novel of time and place, it is the story of a tormented family submerged in infidelity and driven by a vengeful love that is blocked, hurt and perverted. Peyton Loftis, who frantically needs a husband precisely because she loves her father; the decadent Milton, whose infidelity has made his marriage no more than a stage drama; and Helen, his wife, who loves only what she can control - her crippled daughter Maudie, or the childish part of her husband. This extraordinarily powerful novel is the portrait of a family who, in the words of Sir Thomas Browne in his URN BURIAL, 'all lie down in darkness'.

The Engineer Of Human Souls

Josef Skvorecky (Author)

THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS spins its own story from the torn entrails of Central Europe. yet what emerges is comedy - clack, grimacing and explosively funny, as peculiarly middle European as the despairing wit of prague's own Franz Kafka' Time

Round the Christmas Fire

If the weather outside is frightful, draw up a chair to the fire, get the chesnuts roasting, and find an echo to every mood in this collection of funny, surprising, moving and magical festive stories from some of our greatest authors.

Including stories from Laurie Lee, Truman Capote, Kenneth Graham, John Cheever, Sue Towsend, Nancy Mitford, Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens, John Julius Norwich, P.G. Wodehouse and Stella Gibbons, among many others.

Welcome To The Monkey House and Palm Sunday

Kurt Vonnegut (Author)

A diabolical government asserts control by eliminating orgasms from sex in the title story of Welcome to the Monkey House – setting the tone for a collection shot through with Vonnegut's acrid wit, and his bewilderment at the corruption of humanity.

From riffs on country music, George Bush, and his mother’s midnight mania, to a bittersweet tribute to a dead friend, Palm Sunday demonstrates why Kurt Vonnegut is equally well known as an essayist and commentator as he is a novelist.

This caustic, funny and poignant collection resonates with Vonnegut’s singular voice.

Little Big Man

Thomas Berger (Author)

'I am a white man and never forget it, but I was brought up by the Cheyenne Indians from the age of ten.' So starts the story of Jack Crabb, the 111-year old narrator of Thomas Berger's masterpiece of American fiction. As a "human being", as the Cheyenne called their own, he won the name Little Big Man. He dressed in skins, feasted on dog, loved four wives and saw his people butchered by the horse soldiers of General Custer, the man he had sworn to kill.

As a white man, Crabb hunted buffalo, tangled with Wyatt Earp, cheated Wild Bill Hickok and survived the Battle of Little Bighorn. Part-farcical, part-historical, the picaresque adventures of this witty, wily mythomaniac claimed the Wild West as the stuff of serious literature.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (150th Anniversary Edition with Dame Vivienne Westwood)

Lewis Carroll (Author)

It seems a wonder such a pairing has not come about sooner. This special anniversary edition of Lewis Carroll’s tale fits in with the twisted take on Britishness that Dame Vivienne Westwood is famous for in a magical Wonderland setting.

From her catwalk shows inspired by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party to her world famous twisted take on Britishness, Dame Vivienne Westwood has always seen the world through the looking glass. Now she has illustrated her favourite children's story by creating a unique front cover and end papers for this very special edition.

Includes Through the Looking Glass and the original Tenniel illustrations.

The Woman In Black (Vintage Classic)

Susan Hill (Author)

Proud and solitary, Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. It is not until he glimpses a pale young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit Anniversary Edition

Jeanette Winterson (Author)

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts. At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, intoxicating and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a journey to the bizarre outposts of religious excess and an exploration of love.

A: A Novel

Andy Warhol (Author)

In the late 1960s Andy Warhol, one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, set out to turn an ordinary book into a piece of pop art. He said that he wanted to create a 'bad' novel 'because doing something the wrong way always opens doors'. The result was this astonishing account of the famously influential group of artists, superstars, addicts and freaks who made up the world of Warhol's Factory.

a: a novel was created from audiotapes recorded in and around the Factory between August 1965 and May 1967 and transcribed verbatim, complete with typos and missing words. It begins with the fabulous Warhol superstar Ondine popping pills and follows its characters as they converse with inspired, speed-driven wit and cut swathes through the clubs, coffee shops, hospitals and whorehouses of 1960s Manhattan.

This is a unique conceptual project -- part novel, part artwork -- and is the perfect literary manifestation of Andy Warhol's pop art sensibility.

A Tidewater Morning

William Styron (Author)

In this brilliant collection of 'long short stories', the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sophie's Choice returns to the coastal Virginia setting of his first novels. Through the eyes of a man recollecting three episodes from his youth, William Styron explores with new eloquence death, loss, war and racism.

Vineland

Thomas Pynchon (Author)

Vineland, a zone of blessed anarchy in northern California, is the last refuge of hippiedom, a culture devastated by the sobriety epidemic, Reaganomics, and the Tube. Here, in an Orwellian 1984, Zoyd Wheeler and his daughter Prairie search for Prairie's long-lost mother, a Sixties radical who ran off with a narc.

Vineland is vintage Pynchon, full of quasi-allegorical characters, elaborate unresolved subplots, corny songs ("Floozy with an Uzi"), movie spoofs (Pee-wee Herman in The Robert Musil Story), and illicit sex (including a macho variation on the infamous sportscar scene in V.).

Swami And Friends

R K Narayan (Author)

Ten-year-old Swaminathan is living in exciting times. The sleeping giant of India is beginning to stir to the dwelling reverberations which herald the great struggle for independence. But it's all rather confusing for the boy. For like his family and friends, Swami has been immutably moulded by his British rulers - and though he might happily demonstrate against them, he wouldn't dream of missing cricket practice.

My Uncle Silas

H.E. Bates (Author)

The deeds and misdeeds of Uncle Silas, the rural reprobate, were renowned in the short stories H E Bates published in the 1930s.In this collection the stories are presented in full, accompanied by the original drawings by Edward Ardizzone that perfectly capture the little reed-thatched house atop a violet-banked lane.Over the course of ninety-five years Uncle Silas found the time to do most things: He boasted of the villains he had knocked to kingdom come as he boasted of the women whose hearts he had truly captured. Crotchety, vainglorious, occasionally wicked, he maintained a devilish spark of audacity which made him so attractive to everyone he met.

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