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Eyeless In Gaza

Aldous Huxley (Author)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID BRADSHAW

Anthony Beavis is a man inclined to recoil from life. His past is haunted by the death of his best friend Brian and by his entanglement with the cynical and manipulative Mary Amberley. Realising that his determined detachment from the world has been motivated not by intellectual honesty but by moral cowardice, Anthony attempts to find a new way to live. Eyeless in Gaza is considered by many to be Huxley's definitive work of fiction.

The Following Story

Cees Nooteboom (Author)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY DAVID MITCHELL

One morning Herman Mussert wakes up in a hotel room in Lisbon, where twenty years previously he slept with another man’s wife. Yet he is quite certain that the night before he went to sleep as normal in his house in Amsterdam. And so Herman begins a physical journey and a metaphysical adventure, which will re-route him via past loves, through the pangs and pleasures of memory, and to the very heart of that crucial question: ‘who am I?’.

Spring Flowers, Spring Frost

Ismail Kadare (Author) , David Bellos (Translator)

From behind the closed door, the man shouts, 'Be on your way - you have no business here!'
'Open up, I am the messenger of Death'.

As spring arrives in the Albanian mountain town of B, some strange things are emerging in the thaw. Bank robbers strike the National Bank. Old terrors are dredged up from the shipwreck of history. And ultra-explosive state secrets are threatening to flood the entire nation. Mark, an artist, finds the peaceful rhythms of his life turned upside down by ancient love and modern barbarism and by the particular brutality of a country surprised and divided by its new freedom.

The Crying Of Lot 49

Thomas Pynchon (Author)

Suffused with rich satire, chaotic brilliance, verbal turbulence and wild humour, The Crying of Lot 49 opens as Oedipa Maas discovers that she haas been made executrix of a former lover's estate. The performance of her duties sets her on a strange trail of detection, in which bizarre characters crowd in to help or confuse her. But gradually, death, drugs, madness and marriage combine to leave Oepida in isolation on the threshold of revelation, awaiting The Crying of Lot 49.

One of Pynchon's shortest novels and one of his best.

Morvern Callar

Alan Warner (Author)

It is off-season in a remote Highland sea port: twenty-one-year-old Morvern Callar, a low-paid employee in the local supermarket, wakes one morning to find her strange boyfriend has committed suicide and is dead on their kitchen floor. Morvern's laconic reaction is both intriguing and immoral. What she does next is even more appalling...

WINNER OF THE SOMERSET MAUGHAM AWARD

A Severed Head

Iris Murdoch (Author)

Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it?

The Decay Of The Angel

Yukio Mishima (Author)

The dramatic climax of The Sea of Fertility tetraology takes place in the late 1960s. Honda, now an aged and wealthy man, discovers and adopts a sixteen-year-old orphan, Toru, as his heir, identifying him with the tragic protagonists of the three previous novels, each of whom died at the age of twenty. Honda raises and educates the boy, yet watches him, waiting.

Requiem For A Nun

William Faulkner (Author)

'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'

Nancy, a black nursemaid, is about to be hanged for killing her mistress's baby. The mother, Temple Drake, knows the reason why. The night before the execution, a lawyer pleads with Temple to intercede, but will the past allow for justice or absolution in the present? Switching between narrative prose and play script, this is Faulkner's haunting sequel to his earlier bestseller, Sanctuary.

The Promised Land

Erich Maria Remarque (Author) , Michael Hofmann (Translator)

From the detention centre on Ellis Island, Ludwig Somner looks across a small stretch of water to the glittering towers of New York, which whisper seductively of freedom after so many years of wandering through a perlious, suffering Europe.

Remarque's final novel, left unfinished at his death, tells of the precarious life of the refugee – life lived in hotel lobbies, on false passports, the strange, ill-assorted refugee community held together by an unspeakable past. For Somner, each new luxury - ice cream served in drugstores, bright shop windows, art, a new suit, a new romance - has a bittersweet edge. Memories of war and inhumanity continue to resurface even in this peaceful promised land.

A haunting snapshot of a unique time, place and predicament, this is another powerful comment from Remarque on the devastating effects of war.

The Dumb House

John Burnside (Author)

As a child, Luke’s mother often tells him the story of the Dumb House, an experiment on newborn babies raised in silence, designed to test the innateness of language. As Luke grows up, his interest in language and the delicate balance of life and death leads to amateur dissections of small animals – tiny hearts revealed still pumping, as life trickles away. But as an adult, following the death of his mother, Luke’s obsession deepens, resulting in a haunting and bizarre experiment on Luke’s own children.

The Complete Novels Of Kafka

Franz Kafka (Author) , Edwin Muir (Translator)

In America Karl Rossmann is 'packed off to America by his parents' to experience Oedipal and cultural isolation. Here, ordinary immigrants are also strange, and 'America' is never quite as real as it should be. Kafka, a Czech writing in German, never acutally visited America; so, as Max Brod commented, 'the innocence of his fantasy gives this book if advanture its peculiar colour.'

Both Joseph K in The Trial and K in The Castle are victims of anonymous governing forces beyond their control. Both are atomised, estranged and rootless citizens decieved by authoritarian power. Whereas Joseph K is relentlessly hunted down for a crime that remains nameless, K ceaselessly attempts to enter the castle and so belong somewhere. Together these novels may be read as powerful allegories of totalitarian government in whatever guise it appears today.

History Of The Siege Of Lisbon

José Saramago (Author)

What happens when the facts of history are replaced by the mysteries of love?

When Raimundo Silva, a lowly proof-reader for a Lisbon publishing house, inserts a negative into a sentence of a historical text, he alters the whole course of the 1147 Siege of Lisbon. Fearing censure he is met instead with admiration: Dr Maria Sara, his voluptuous new editor, encourages him to pen his own alternative history. As his retelling draws on all his imaginative powers, Silva finds - to his nervous delight - that if the facts of the past can be rewritten as a romance then so can the details of his own dusty bachelor present.

No Highway

Nevil Shute (Author)

Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicous aircraft engineer whose eccentric interests in quantum mechanics and spiritualism are frowned upon in aviation circles. But when a passenger plane crashes in unexplained circumstances, Honey must convince his superiors that his unorthodox theories are correct before more lives are lost.

Darkness At Noon

Arthur Koestler (Author)

Darkness at Noon is set in an unnamed country ruled by a totalitarian government. Rubashov, once a powerful player in the regime, finds the tables turned on him when he is arrested and tried for treason. His reflections on his previous life and his experiences in prison form the heart of this moving and though-provoking masterpiece.

Doctor Zhivago (Vintage Classic Russians Series)

Boris Pasternak (Author)

FROM AWARD-WINNING TRANSLATORS RICHARD PEVEAR AND LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY

Doctor Zhivago is the epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet, wrestles with cruel experience of the new order and the changes it has wrought in him, and is torn between love for his wife and family, and the passionate, beautiful Lara.
Banned in the Soviet Union until 1988, Doctor Zhivago was nonetheless published covertly in Russian by the CIA and translated into many languages. In 1958 Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Vintage Classic Russians Series: Published for the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, these are must-have, beautifully designed editions of six epic masterpieces that have survived controversy, censorship and suppression to influence decades of thought and artistic expression.

The Genius and the Goddess

Aldous Huxley (Author)

It is Christmas Eve, and John Rivers is thinking about the past; about his sheltered upbringing; about an extraordinary time spent as a lab assistant to the great physicist Henry Maartens; about Maartens' beautiful wife, Katy, and about a love affair which shook Rivers to the core and caused him to question everything he once revered.

Oh What A Paradise It Seems

John Cheever (Author)

In an idyllic American village, elderly romantic Lemuel Sears still has it in him to fall wildly in love with strangers of both sexes. But Sears's paradise is under threat; the pond he loves is being fouled by unscrupulous polluters involved in organised crime. Can Sears thwart the monstrous aspects of late-twentieth-century civilisation and save his beloved village?

Cheever's wry fable of modern American is interlaced with musings on everything from the etiquette of supermarket queues to the evolution of the ice-skate.

Liars in Love

Richard Yates (Author)

The stories in Liars in Love are concerned with troubled relations and the elusive nature of truth. Whether it be in the depiction of the complications of divorced families, grown-up daughters, estranged sisters, office friendships or fleeting love affairs, the pieces in this collection showcase Richard Yates's extraordinary gift for observation and his understanding of human frailty.

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.

Prater Violet

Christopher Isherwood (Author)

'A deliberate historical parable. Prater Violet resembles episodes in Goodbye to Berlin and keeps up the same high level of excellence' - Edmund Wilson

An impatient phone call from the temperamental Austrian director, Friedrich Bergmann, introduces a young Christopher Isherwood to the film industry. Isherwood's job is to rescue the script of an idiotic love story set in nineteenth-century Vienna, a film called Prater Violet. In the real Vienna of 1934 the Austrian Right crushes a socialist uprising. Bergmann is distraught and his prophecy of the coming war goes unheeded. As tensions on set grow, studio intrigues and competing egos threaten to derail the whole project.

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