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The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams (Author)

Introduced by Richard Dawkins and Nick Harkaway

First a legendary radio series, then a sequence of bestselling books, and most recently a blockbuster movie, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the greatest fictional enterprises of the twentieth century. Reissued in time for the first novel’s thirty-fifth anniversary, this hardback omnibus edition includes all five parts of the trilogy, along with a wealth of extra material prefaced and contextualised by Jem Roberts, the official biographer of Douglas Adams, to complete the canon.

This unique hardback edition is indispensable for any would-be galactic traveller, and a must-read for all Douglas Adams fans.

The Lotus Eaters

Marianne Macdonald (Author)

In Beverley Hills in 1998, British celebrity interviewer Lottie meets Patty Belle, a minor Hollywood actress. In the scorching heat, as she drinks her Virgin Mary and her companion sips champagne, Lottie immediately recognises and responds to Patty Belle's magnetic appeal. But they are not to meet again until many months later back in London, when they become flatmates.

Patty is in love with being in love. Strikingly beautiful, she both knows, and at some level is entirely unaware of, the impact she has on men. As she falls for one after another of Lottie's male friends, destroying relationships and marriages, she can only say 'But we couldn't help ourselves!'. Eventually Patty manages to destroy even her friendship with Lottie as with everyone else she has ever been close to, except those most damaging to her. A Marilyn for 90s London, she is lovable, infuriating, and naive as a child.

Patty is a girl about town with the unforgettable charm of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Sally Bowles in Goodbye to Berlin and Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Set against the London of the dotcom boom and the USA of Clinton's impeachment, The Lotus Eaters is a stunning and deceptively sophisticated novel.

Franny And Zooey

J D Sallinger (Author)

J.D. Salinger, author of the classic Catcher in the Rye (1951), wrote the stories Franny and Zooey for publication in the New Yorker magazine in 1955 and 1957 respectively. Both stories were part of a series centred around a family of settlers in New York, the Glasses, particularly the children of Les and Bessie Glass, a Jewish-Irish theatrical act. All are brilliant former radio actors. Their eldest child, Seymour, a genius, commits suicide in his thirties. The repercussions to the family of this act provide the unifying theme to the stories.

In Franny and Zooey the youngest member of the family, Franny, has a religious and nervous breakdown. She attempts to ward off the meaninglessness of college life by the obsessive repetition of a Jesus prayer. Her brother Zachary (Zooey) rests at nothing in his attempts to restore her sanity.

J.D. Salinger wrote the Glass stories, 'It is a long-term project, patently an ambitious one, and there is a real-enough danger, I suppose, that sooner or later I'll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in ly own methods, locutions and mannerisms. On the whole, though, I'm very hopeful. I love working on these Glass stories, I've been waiting for them most of my life, and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due care and all-available skill.'

Repatriated

Adriaan Van Dis (Author)

In Repatriated the world is a dangerous place and the bomb is ticking - at home and abroad.

In a seaside town in the Netherlands, Mr Java - a war damaged ex-colonial - drills his son for the future, drawing him deeper and deeper into his delusionary world. As the radio broadcasts news of H bomb tests, Mr Java writes letters of complaint to the authorities, dreams of horses, and stands at the front window, on the look out for special security spies and nuclear holocaust. His wife and her three daughters from a previous marriage in Indonesia form a sort of Greek chorus, providing a sceptical commentary as his obsessions build towards a dark, absurdist climax.

Repatriated is an inventive, blackly funny novel that shows an adolescent boy trying to break free from his parents and finding he cannot escape their past.

Raise High The Roofbeam

J D Salinger (Author)

Commonly mislabeled the worst of the Glass family saga, and of J.D. Salinger's work in general, Raise High the Roofbeam Carpenters, and Seymour, an Introduction, deserves much praise. Salinger takes a lot of care and thought in writing these two short stories. Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters features Buddy Glass attending his brother, Seymour's wedding. Seymour never physically appears in this story, but Buddy narrates so much about him that he is very much a main character. Seymour, an Introduction is a more difficult read. What at first appears incessant ramblings of a grief stricken sibling, at second glance becomes a well crafted work of genuis.

Earthly Remains

Donna Leon (Author)

During the interrogation of an entitled, arrogant man suspected of giving drugs to a young girl who then died, Commissario Guido Brunetti acts rashly, doing something he will quickly come to regret. In the aftermath, he begins to doubt his career choices and realises that he needs a break from the stifling problems of his work.

Granted leave from the Questura, Brunetti is shipped off by his wife, Paola, to a villa owned by a wealthy relative on Sant’Erasmo, one of the largest islands in the Venetian laguna. There he intends to pass his days rowing, and his nights reading Pliny’s Natural History.

The recuperative stay goes according to plan and Brunetti is finally able to relax, until Davide Casati, the caretaker of the house, goes missing following a sudden storm. Nobody can find him – not his daughter, not his friends, and not the woman he’d been secretly visiting. Now, Brunetti feels compelled to investigate, to set aside his holiday and discover what happened to the man who had recently become his friend.

In Earthly Remains, Donna Leon shows Venice through an insider’s eyes. From family meals and vaporetti rides to the never-ending influx of tourists and suffocating political corruption, the details and rhythms of everyday Venetian life are at the core of this thrilling novel, and of the terrible crime at its heart.

Mortal Remains

Kathy Reichs (Author)

When Tempe is called to the scene of an autoerotic death, she has little idea of the tangled chain of events that will follow. Because the man whose body she is examining apparently died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam 40 years before. So who is buried in the soldier's grave?

Tempe's investigations take her to Honolulu where she is caught up not only in the mystery of the unidentified body in the soldier's grave, but also dragged into investigating who, or what, killed the young men whose body parts have floated up onto a popular Hawaiian beach. And as Tempe gradually unravels the tangled threads of the mystery, it becomes clear that there are some who would rather the past stays dead and buried. And when Tempe proves difficult to frighten, they turn their attention to the person who means more to her than anyone else in the world.

The Dirk Gently Omnibus

Douglas Adams (Author)

Two quirky detective stories from Britain's best sci-fi writer and author of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Douglas Adams.

Dirk Gently is a detective - well, a sort of detective. There is a long and honourable tradition of great detectives and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. Dirk Gently calls himself a 'holistic detective' and above all, he believes in 'the interconnectedness of all things'. Sherlock Holmes observed that once you have eliminated the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Dirk Gently, however, does not like to eliminate the impossible.

In Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency a simple search for a missing cat reveals two ghosts, a dodo, an Electric Monk, the devastating secret that lies behind the whole of human history and threatens to bring it to a premature close, and, finally, the utterly terrifying reason why Richard MacDuff has had a sofa stuck on his stairs for three weeks.

As The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul opens, a passenger check-in desk at Heathrow Airport shoots up through the roof engulfed in a ball of orange flames. The usual people try to claim responsibility. However, no rational cause can be found for the explosion - it was simply designated an act of God. But, thinks Dirk Gently, which God? And why? What God would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15.37 to Oslo?

In these two delightfully odd detective stories, Adams explores once again the realm of the unknown, in the style of science fiction that brought him fame with The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

A Clockwork Orange

Anthony Burgess (Author)

The fully restored fiftieth anniversary edition

Foreword by Martin Amis

First published by William Heinemann in 1962, A Clockwork Orange is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. This special edition, compiled and edited by Andrew Biswell, Burgess's biographer, restores the text of the novel as Burgess originally wrote it, and includes a selection of interviews, articles, reviews and other previously unpublished material.

Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People

Douglas Coupland (Author) , Graham Roumieu (Author)

Seven pants-peeingly funny stories featuring seven evil characters you can't help but love: Douglas Coupland's stories are illustrated with dark charm by Graham Roumieu in a collaboration that brings together two of Canada's wittiest creators for the first time. Put your therapist on speed dial and read them with pleasure.

A cast of unlovable miscreants who unleash their dark, unruly and antisocial desires on every page: They are Donald, the Incredibly Hostile Juice Box; Kevin, the Hobo Minivan with Extremely Low Morals; Brandon, the Action Figure with Issues; Sandra, the Truly Dreadful Babysitter; Hans, the Weird Exchange Student;Cindy, the Terrible Role Model; and Mr. Fraser, the Undead Substitute Teacher.

A lot of laughs-of the evil, twisted kind: Definitely inappropriate for young people.

Marriage Material

Sathnam Sanghera (Author)

An epic tale of family, love, and politics spanning the twentieth century, told with humour, tenderness and insight by one of Britain’s most promising young writers.

Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize

If you’ve approached Bains Stores recently, you’d be forgiven for hesitating on doing so. A prominent window advert for a discontinued chocolate bar suggests the shop may have closed in 1994. The security shutters are stuck a quarter-open, adding to the general air of dilapidation. A push or kick of the door triggers something which is more grating car alarm than charming shop bell.

To Arjan Banga, returning to the Black Country after the unexpected death of his father, his family’s corner shop represents everything he has tried to leave behind – a lethargic pace of life, insular rituals and ways of thinking. But when his mother insists on keeping the shop open, he finds himself being dragged back, forced into big decisions about his imminent marriage back in London and uncovering the history of his broken family – the elopement and mixed-race marriage of his aunt Surinder, the betrayals and loyalties, loves and regrets that have played out in the shop over more than fifty years.

Taking inspiration from Arnold Bennett’s classic novel The Old Wives’ Tale, Marriage Material tells the story of three generations of a family through the prism of a Wolverhampton corner shop – itself a microcosm of the South Asian experience in the country: a symbol of independence and integration, but also of darker realities.

This is an epic tale of family, love, and politics, spanning the second half of the twentieth century, and the start of the twenty-first. Told with humour, tenderness and insight, it manages to be both a unique and urgent survey of modern Britain by one of Britain’s most promising young writers, and an ingenious reimagining of a classic work of fiction.

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee (Author)

Go Set a Watchman is set during the mid-1950s and features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Scout (Jean Louise Finch) has returned to Maycomb from New York to visit her father Atticus. She is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand both her father’s attitude toward society, and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.

The Overstory

Richard Powers (Author)

Nine strangers, each in different ways, become summoned by trees, brought together in a last stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.

The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable, ranging from antebellum New York to the late-twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, revealing a world alongside our own – vast, slow, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world, and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

The Readymade Thief

Augustus Rose (Author)

An addictive literary puzzle that introduces an unforgettable young heroine plunged into the twisted world of a secret society with a dark agenda.

Lee Cuddy is seventeen years old and on the run, alone on the streets of Philadelphia.

A fugitive with no money, no home and nowhere to go, Lee finds refuge in a deserted building known as the Crystal Castle. But the Castle conceals a sinister agenda, one master-minded by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all.

Aided by Tomi, a mysterious young hacker, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web of the men she’s trying to elude. Aware that the lives of those she cares for are in increasing danger, it is only when Lee steps from the shadows to confront who is chasing her that she discovers what they’re really after, and why.

Part literary detective novel, part art history, part conspiracy thriller, The Readymade Thief introduces a singular, indomitable heroine and the arrival of a spellbinding and original new talent in fiction.

No Good Deed

John Niven (Author)

The long-awaited new novel by John Niven, bestselling author of Kill Your Friends and Straight White Male.

What do you do when the homeless man on the street you’ve just given money to thanks you by name and turns out to be one of your ‘closest’ friends, one you haven’t seen for over twenty years? Take him for a hot meal and see him on his way? Give him a lot more money than you usually would? Or take him in and try to get him back on his feet? For Alan, there’s no question – only natural that he’d want to see his old mate Craig off the streets, even if only for a few nights, and into some clean clothes. But what if the successful life you’ve made for yourself – good job, happy marriage, lovely kids, grand Victorian house (you did well out of the property boom, thank you very much) – is one that that your old pal would quite like to have too? Even if it means taking it from you? Gradually, inevitably, mayhem ensues as Craig turns Alan’s orderly household upside down, threatening to wreck Alan’s life for good.

Following the divergent lives of two childhood friends, No Good Deed is a funny and painful examination of friendship; of the strange currents of ambition, loathing, pity and affection that flow between people over the decades; and of men getting older as they fail and succeed.

The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Douglas Adams (Author)

Introduced by Richard Dawkins and Nick Harkaway

First a legendary radio series, then a sequence of bestselling books, and most recently a blockbuster movie, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the greatest fictional enterprises of the twentieth century. Reissued in time for the first novel’s thirty-fifth anniversary, this hardback omnibus edition includes all five parts of the trilogy, along with a wealth of extra material prefaced and contextualised by Jem Roberts, the official biographer of Douglas Adams, to complete the canon.

This unique hardback edition is indispensable for any would-be galactic traveller, and a must-read for all Douglas Adams fans.

Body and Soul

John Harvey (Author)

When his estranged daughter Katherine suddenly appears on his doorstep, Elder knows that something is badly wrong.

The breakdown of her relationship with a controversial artist has sent her into a self-destructive tailspin which culminates in murder.

And as Elder struggles to protect Katherine and prove her innocence, the terrors of the past threaten them both once more.

Gnomon

Nick Harkaway (Author)

'Gnomon is an extraordinary novel, and one I can’t stop thinking about some weeks after I read it. It is deeply troubling, magnificently strange, and an exhilarating read.' Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

‘The best thing he’s ever written … It is an astonishing piece of construction, complex and witty … It is a magnificent achievement … He’s never written a bad book, but this is the one that’ll see him mentioned in the same breath as William Gibson and David Mitchell … This book seriously just destroyed me with joy.’ Warren Ellis

‘Nick Harkaway: bonkers, brilliant and hilarious … Effervescent, clever and entirely fantastic.’ Sunday Times

‘[Harkaway] is the missing, but somehow logical, link between David Mitchell and Terry Pratchett.’ Independent

Near-future Britain is not just a nation under surveillance but one built on it: a radical experiment in personal transparency and ambient direct democracy. Every action is seen, every word is recorded.

Diana Hunter is a refusenik, a has-been cult novelist who lives in a house with its own Faraday cage: no electronic signals can enter or leave. She runs a lending library and conducts business by barter. She is off the grid in a society where the grid is everything. Denounced, arrested and interrogated by a machine that reads your life history from your brain, she dies in custody.

Mielikki Neith is the investigator charged with discovering how this tragedy occurred. Neith is Hunter’s opposite. She is a woman in her prime, a stalwart advocate of the System. It is the most democratic of governments, and Neith will protect it with her life.

When Neith opens the record of the interrogation, she finds not Hunter’s mind but four others, none of which can possibly be there: the banker Constantine Kyriakos, pursued by a ghostly shark that eats corporations; the alchemist Athenais Karthagonensis, jilted lover of St Augustine of Hippo and mother to his dead son, kidnapped and required to perform a miracle; Berihun Bekele, artist and grandfather, who must escape an arson fire by walking through walls – if only he can remember how; and Gnomon, a sociopathic human intelligence from a distant future, falling backwards in time to conduct four assassinations.

Aided – or perhaps opposed – by the pale and paradoxical Regno Lönnrot, Neith must work her way through the puzzles of her case and find the meaning of these impossible lives. Hunter has left her a message, but is it one she should heed, or a lie to lead her into catastrophe? And as the stories combine and the secrets and encryptions of Gnomon are revealed, the question becomes the most fundamental of all: who will live, and who will die?

Uncommon Type

Tom Hanks (Author)

A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.

These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.

Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.

Smoke over Malibu

Tim Walker (Author)

The Hon. Lucius Kluge – honourable, lucky, clever – might be the only guy in Los Angeles who's still living in the past.

Lucky pines for the old days of the New Hollywood, before Star Wars and superheroes blew up the movies for good. He spends his days working for an antiques business, his nights boozing and brooding on his former life as an almost-successful screenwriter.

But when his ex-best friend goes AWOL and his elderly boss is assaulted during the theft of a vintage cookie jar, Lucky and his partner Raul are spurred reluctantly into something like action.

A satire of sundered friendships and frayed male egos at the Hollywood intersection of art and commerce, Smoke Over Malibu is a soft-boiled mystery, a fish-out-of-water farce, a buddy comedy, an inaction thriller, a hipster indie. It's Raymond Chandler meets Nick Hornby; it's The Big Lebowski meets Lovejoy. It is absolutely, positively not a superhero blockbuster.

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