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Coming Up for Air

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's paean to the end of an idyllic era in British history, Coming Up for Air is a poignant account of one man's attempt to recapture childhood innocence as war looms on the horizon.

George Bowling, forty-five, mortgaged, married with children, is an insurance salesman with an expanding waistline, a new set of false teeth - and a desperate desire to escape his dreary life. He fears modern times - since, in 1939, the Second World War is imminent - foreseeing food queues, soldiers, secret police and tyranny. So he decides to escape to the world of his childhood, to the village he remembers as a rural haven of peace and tranquillity. But his return journey to Lower Binfield may bring only a more complete disillusionment ...

'Very funny, as well as invigoratingly realistic ... Nineteen Eighty-Four is here in embryo. So is Animal Farm ... not many novels carry the seeds of two classics as well as being richly readable themselves'
John Carey, Sunday Times

Orwell and Politics

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

Orwell's classic satire ANIMAL FARM continues to be an international best seller. For the first time ever, ORWELL AND POLITICS brings this major work together with the author's other works exploring the nature of politics and the Second World War.

The Complete Novels of George Orwell

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's best-known novels, Animal Farm, describing a revolution that goes horribly wrong, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, portraying a world where human freedom has been crushed, are two of the most famous, well-quoted and influential political satires ever written. The other novels in this volume also tell stories of people at odds with repressive institutions: the corrupt imperialism of Burmese Days, disaffection with materialistic society in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the perils of modern suburban living in Coming Up for Air and surviving on the streets in A Clergyman's Daughter.

All the novels brought together here display Orwell's humour, his understanding of human nature and his great compassion.

Animal Farm

George Orwell (Author)

'The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which...'

Halas & Bachelor studio's classic and controversial 1954 animation of Animal Farm, George Orwell's chilling fable of idealism betrayed, was the first ever British animated feature film. This landmark illustrated edition of Orwell's novel was first published alongside it, and features the original line drawings by the film's animators, Joy Batchelor and John Halas.

A Clergyman's Daughter

George Orwell (Author)

Intimidated by her father, the rector of Knype Hill, Dorothy performs her submissive roles of dutiful daughter and bullied housekeeper. Her thoughts are taken up with the costumes she is making for the church school play, by the hopelessness of preaching to the poor and by debts she cannot pay in 1930s Depression England. Suddenly her routine shatters and Dorothy finds herself down and out in London. She is wearing silk stockings, has money in her pocket and cannot remember her name. Orwell leads us through a landscape of unemployment, poverty and hunger, where Dorothy's faith is challenged by a social reality that changes her life.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Notes by)

Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.

Enlivened with vivid autobiographical detail, George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a tragically witty account of the struggle to escape from a materialistic existence, with an introduction by Peter Davison in Penguin Modern Classics.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell (Author)

This is the essential edition of the essential book of modern times, 1984, now annotated for students with an introduction by D. J. Taylor.

Ever since its publication in 1949, George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian regime where Big Brother controls its citizens like 'a boot stamping on a human face' has become a touchstone for human freedom, and one of the most widely-read books in the world. In this new annotated edition Orwell's biographer D. J. Taylor elucidates the full meaning of this timeless satire, explaining contemporary references in the novel, placing it in the context of Orwell's life, elaborating on his extraordinary use of language and explaining the terms such as Newspeak, Doublethink and Room 101 that have become familiar phrases today.

Burmese Days

George Orwell (Author) , Emma Larkin (Introducer)

Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule. It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy. The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help. Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.

George Orwell's first novel, inspired by his experiences in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Burmese Days includes a new introduction by Emma Larkin in Penguin Modern Classics.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce (Author)

Playful and experimental, James Joyce's autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a vivid portrayal of emotional and intellectual development. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Seamus Deane.

The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a universal testament to the artist's 'eternal imagination'. Both an insight into Joyce's life and childhood, and a unique work of modernist fiction, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a novel of sexual awakening, religious rebellion and the essential search for voice and meaning that every nascent artist must face in order to fully come into themselves.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, you might like Joyce's Dubliners, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'There is nothing more vivid or beautiful in all Joyce's writing. It has the searing clarity of truth ... but is rich with myth and symbol'
Sunday Times

'James Joyce was and remains almost unique among novelists in that he published nothing but masterpieces'
The Times Literary Supplement

Dubliners

James Joyce (Author)

James Joyce's Dubliners is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. This Penguin Classics edition includes notes and an introduction by Terence Brown.

Joyce's first major work, written when he was only twenty-five, brought his city to the world for the first time. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From 'The Sisters', a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to 'Araby', a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to 'The Dead', in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed Dubliners, you might like Joyce's Ulysses, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Joyce redeems his Dubliners, assures their identity, and makes their social existence appear permanent and immortal, like the streets they walk'
Tom Paulin

'Joyce's early short stories remain undimmed in their brilliance'
Sunday Times

The Loved One

Evelyn Waugh (Author)

Subtitled An Anglo-American Tragedy, Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One is a witty satirical novel on artistic integrity and the British expat community in Hollywood, published in Penguin Modern Classics.

The more startling for the economy of its prose and plot, this novel's story, set among the manicured lawns and euphemisms of Whispering Glades Memorial Park in Hollywood, satirizes the American way of death and offers Waugh's memento mori. Following the death of a friend, poet and pets' mortician Dennis Barlow finds himself entering into the artificial Hollywood paradise of the Whispering Glades Memorial Park. Within its golden gates, death, American-style, is wrapped up and sold like a package holiday. There, Dennis enters the fragile and bizarre world of Aimée, the naïve Californian corpse beautician, and Mr Joyboy, the master of the embalmer's art...

A dark and savage satire on the Anglo-American cultural divide, The Loved One depicts a world where love, reputation and death cost a very great deal.

Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born in Hampstead, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. Men at Arms (1952) was the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; the other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961.

If you enjoyed The Loved One, you might like Waugh's Vile Bodies, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'The master of black comedy'
Sunday Times

'One of the funniest and most significant books of the century'
Alice Thomas Ellis, Daily Telegraph

Fantastic Tales

Italo Calvino (Author) , Italo Calvino (Edited by) , Italo Calvino (Introducer)

From fabulous enchantments and supernatural horrors to subtler, more psychological terrors, the best of nineteenth-century fantastic literature is collected here by Italo Calvino. These mysterious and macabre tales include Hoffmann's nightmarish 'The Sandman', Poe's terrifying 'The Tell-Tale Heart' and Dickens's chilling ghost story 'The Signal-Man', and relatively unknown works from celebrated writers including Honoré de Balzac, Henry James, Sir Walter Scott, Guy de Maupassant and Robert Louis Stevenson, alongside lesser-known contributors. Each story comes with a fascinating introduction by Calvino.

First Love and Other Novellas

Samuel Beckett (Author) , Gerry Dukes (Edited by) , Gerry Dukes (Introducer) , Gerry Dukes (Notes by)

This new collection brings together First Love, The Calamative, The End and The Expelled; these four novellas are among the first major works of Beckett's decision to use French as his language of literary composition. Rich in verbal and situational humour, they offer a fascinating insight into many of the issues which preoccupied Beckett all his working life. As the first novella reveals, nobody writes with quite such cruel and unnervingly clever wit as Beckett...

Three Lives

Gertrude Stein (Author) , Ann Charters (Introducer)

Gertrude Stein, as a college student at Radcliffe and a medical student at Johns Hopkins Medical School, was a privileged woman, but she was surrounded by women who were trapped by poverty, class, and race into lives that offered little choice. Her portraits of Anna and Lena are examples of realistic depictions of immigrant women who had no occupational choice but to become domestic workers. This collection of documents from the history of women's suffrage, medical history, modernist art, and literature enables readers to see how radical Stein's subject was.

Nineteen Eighty-Four: Anniversary Edition

George Orwell (Author)

First published in 1949, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four has lost none of the impact with which it first hit readers.

Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101. . .

Sister Carrie

Theodore Dreiser (Author) , Alfred Kazin (Introducer)

A landmark in American literature, presented in its complete and unexpurgated version. Dreiser's unsparing story of a country girl's rise to riches as the mistress of a wealthy man marked the beginning of the naturalist movement in America. Both its subject matter and Dreiser's objective, nonmoralizing approach made it highly controversial, and only a heavily edited version could be published in 1900. In this restored version, the truly revolutionary nature of Sister Carrie is made fully evident.

The Cyberiad

Stanislaw Lem (Author)

A charming, mind-bending and anarchic book of imagined civilizations

'Most cosmic civilizations long for things, in the depths of their souls, they would never openly admit to...'

Trurl and Klapaucius are 'constructors' - they travel around the universe creating machines of astonishing inventiveness and power and visiting a bewildering variety of violent, peculiar and morose civilizations. The Cyberiad is oddly reminiscent of Gulliver's Travels, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Phantom Tollbooth and Alice in Wonderland. Charming, mind-bending and anarchic, it is perhaps Lem's greatest work. This edition includes all of Daniel Mroz's hallucinatory original illustrations.

We the Living

Ayn Rand (Author) , Leonard Peikoff (Introducer)

Depicting the daily struggle of the individual against a tyrannical dictatorship, We the Living shows the terrible impact of a revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives and pursue their happiness. Kira, determined to maintain her independence and courageous in the face of starvation and poverty; Leo, upper class and paralysed by state repression; and Andrei, an idealistic communist and officer in the secret police who nonetheless wants to help his friends.

Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Franz Kafka (Author) , Michael Hofmann (Introducer)

This collection of new translations brings together the small proportion of Kafka's works that he himself thought worthy of publication. It includes Metamorphosis, his most famous work, an exploration of horrific transformation and alienation; Meditation, a collection of his earlier studies; The Judgement, written in a single night of frenzied creativity; The Stoker, the first chapter of a novel set in America and a fascinating occasional piece, and The Aeroplanes at Brescia, Kafka's eyewitness account of an air display in 1909. Together, these stories reveal the breadth of Kafka's literary vision and the extraordinary imaginative depth of his thought.

Scoop

Evelyn Waugh (Author)

One of Evelyn Waugh's most exuberant comedies, Scoop is a brilliantly irreverent satire of Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news.

Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of The Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. But for, pale, ineffectual William Boot, editor of the Daily Beast's 'nature notes' column, being mistaken for a competent journalist may prove to be a fatal error...

If you enjoyed Scoop, you might like Waugh's Decline and Fall, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Waugh at the mid-season point of his perfect pitch'
Christopher Hitchens

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