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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.

Animal Farm

George Orwell (Author) , Malcolm Bradbury (Introducer)

'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others'

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.

'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong - and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic.

This Penguin Modern classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury.

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.

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.

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.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell (Author)

'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past'

Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.

George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.

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.

In the Making

G. F. Green (Author)

Ten-year-old Randal Thane is distressed to be taken from his mother, his governess and his home and sent to prep school. But once there, he discovers an adult world he had never before imagined, and falls unwillingly but entirely under the spell of a charismatic older boy, Felton, who will introduce him to all the pleasures, pains and perplexities of first love.

A unique, enchanting and complicated coming-of-age story about the passion between two young boys, In the Making is widely hailed as G. F. Green's masterpiece, and is now in print for the first time since its original publication in 1952.

The Passion According to G.H

Clarice Lispector (Author)

G.H., a well-to-do Rio sculptress, enters the room of her maid, which is as clear and white 'as in an insane asylum from which dangerous objects have been removed'. There she sees a cockroach - black, dusty, prehistoric - crawling out of the wardrobe and, panicking, slams the door on it. Her irresistible fascination with the dying insect provokes a spiritual crisis, in which she questions her place in the universe and her very identity, propelling her towards an act of shocking transgression. Clarice Lispector's spare, deeply disturbing yet luminous novel transforms language into something otherworldly, and is one of her most unsettling and compelling works.

Clarice Lispector was a Brazilian novelist and short story writer. Her innovation in fiction brought her international renown. References to her literary work pervade the music and literature of Brazil and Latin America. She was born in the Ukraine in 1920, but in the aftermath of World War I and the Russian Civil War, the family fled to Romania and eventually sailed to Brazil. She published her first novel, Near to the Wildheart in 1943 when she was just twenty-three, and the next year was awarded the Graça Aranha Prize for the best first novel. Many felt she had given Brazillian literature a unique voice in the larger context of Portuguese literature. After living variously in Italy, the UK, Switzerland and the US, in 1959, Lispector with her children returned to Brazil where she wrote her most influential novels including The Passion According to G.H. She died in 1977, shortly after the publication of her final novel, The Hour of the Star.

The Perfect Murder: The First Inspector Ghote Mystery

H. R. F. Keating (Author) , Alexander McCall Smith (Introducer)

Introducing Bombay CID's most dogged, dutiful officer, and one of the greatest, most engaging creations in all detective fiction, H.R.F. Keating's The Perfect Murder: The First Inspector Ghote Mystery includes a preface by Alexander McCall Smith, author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, in Penguin Modern Classics.

One crime that couldn't have happened, one that probably hasn't. Nothing's ever easy for Inspector Ghote. In the house of Lala Varde, a vast man of even vaster influence, an attack has taken place. Varde's secretary, Mr Perfect, has been struck on his invaluable business head. And try as Inspector Ghote might to remain conscientious and methodical, his investigation is beset on all sides by cunning, disdain and corruption. And then there's another urgent case to be dealt with: the impossible theft of a single rupee . . .

H. R. F. Keating (1926-2011) was born at St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex. He went to Merchant Taylors, leaving early to work in the engineering department of the BBC. After a period of service in the army, which he describes as 'totally undistinguished', he went to Trinity College, Dublin, where he became a scholar in modern languages. He was also the crime books reviewer for The Times for fifteen years. His first novel about Inspector Ghote, The Perfect Murder, won the Gold Dagger of the Crime Writers Association and an Edgar Allen Poe Special Award. His other works in Penguin Modern Classics include Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg, Inspector Ghote Trusts the Heart, and Under a Monsoon Cloud: An Inspector Ghote Mystery.

If you enjoyed The Perfect Murder, you might like Keating's Inspector Ghote Breaks an Egg, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'May the redoubtable Ghote go on for ever'
Len Deighton

'Beautiful little classics'
Alexander McCall Smith

The Big Sleep and Other Novels

Raymond Chandler (Author)

Raymond Chandler was America's preeminent writer of detective fiction, and this Penguin Modern Classics edition of The Big Sleep and Other Novels collects three of the best novels to feature his hard-drinking, philosophising PI, Philip Marlowe.

Raymond Chandler created the fast talking, trouble seeking Californian private eye Philip Marlowe for his first great novel The Big Sleep in 1939. Often imitated but never bettered, it is in Marlowe's long shadow that every fictional detective must stand - and under the influence of Raymond Chandler's addictive prose that every crime author must write. Marlowe's entanglement with the Sternwood family - and an attendant cast of colourful underworld figures - is the background to a story reflecting all the tarnished glitter of the great American Dream. The hard-boiled detective's iconic image burns just as brightly in Farewell My Lovely, on the trail of a missing nightclub crooner. And the inimitable Marlowe is able to prove that trouble really is his business in Raymond Chandler's brilliant epitaph, The Long Goodbye.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) was born in Chicago. It was during the Depression era that he seriously turned his hand to writing and his first published story appeared in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1933, followed six years later by his first novel, The Big Sleep, adapted into Howard Hawks' classic 1946 film noir, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

If you liked The Big Sleep and Other Novels, you might enjoy Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'One of the greatest crime writers, who set standards that others still try to attain'
Sunday Times

'Raymond Chandler invented a new way of talking about America, and America has never looked the same to us since.'
Paul Auster, author of The New York Trilogy

'Chandler wrote like a slumming angel and invested the sun-blinded streets of Los Angelos with a romantic presence'
Ross Macdonald, author of The Drowning Pool

Sergeant Lamb of the Ninth

Robert Graves (Author)

Robert Graves first came across the name of Roger Lamb in 1914, when Graves was an English officer instructing his platoon in regimental history. Lamb was a British soldier who had served his king during the American War of Independence, and whose claim to a footnote in history is that he managed to escape twice from American prison camps. When Graves went to America in the 1930s, he remembered Sergeant Lamb, investigated his story and created this fictionalized memoir telling Lamb's story from his Irish childhood to war and revolution, weaving a mesmerizing tale of courage and adventure.

Let Me Tell You

Shirley Jackson (Author) , Laurence Jackson Hyman (Edited by)

From the peerless author of The Lottery and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, this is a treasure trove of deliciously dark and funny stories, essays, lectures, letters and drawings.

Let Me Tell You brings together the brilliantly eerie short stories Jackson is best known for with frank and inspiring lectures on writing; comic essays she wrote about her large, rowdy family; and revelatory personal letters and drawings. Jackson's landscape here is most frequently domestic - dinner parties, children's games and neighbourly gossip - but one that is continually threatened and subverted in her unsettling, inimitable prose. This collection is the first opportunity to see Shirley Jackson's radically different modes of writing side by side, revealing her to be a magnificent storyteller, a sharp, sly humorist and a powerful feminist.

'The stories range from sketches and anecdotes to complete and genuinely unsettling tales, somewhat alarming and very creepy ... The whole of the book offers insights into the vagaries of her mind, which was ruminant and generous ... For those of us whose imaginations, and creative ambitions, were ignited by 'The Lottery', Jackson remains one of the great practitioners of the literature of the darker impulses' - Paul Theroux, New York Times

'Shirley Jackson made a reputation with a short story in 1948. Like a lot of people I read 'The Lottery' when I was young, in an anthology of short stories from the New Yorker, and never forgot it. Let Me Tell You is a rich, enjoyable compendium of her unpublished short fiction and occasional writings, kicking off with a story of a dozen pages, 'Paranoia', which I won't forget, either' - Tom Stoppard, TLS Books of the Year

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell (Author)

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.

Toward the End of Time

John Updike (Author)

Ben Turnbull is a 66 year-old retired investment consultant living north of Boston in the year 2020. A recent war between the United States and China has thinned the population and brought social chaos. Nevertheless, Ben's life, traced by his journal entries over the course of the year, retains much of its accustomed comforts. Something of a science buff, he finds his personal history cuaght up in the dysjunctions and vagaries of the 'many universes'; his identity branches into variants extending back through history and ahead in the evolution of the universe, as both it and his own mortal, nature-shrouded existence move toward the end of time ...

Mrs Bridge

Evan S. Connell (Author)

Evan S. Connell's Mrs Bridge is an extraordinary tragicomic portrayal of suburban life and one of the classic American novels of the twentieth century, influencing books such as Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections. This edition has an introduction by Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed.

Mrs Bridge, an unremarkable and conservative housewife in Kansas City, has three children and a kindly lawyer husband. She spends her time shopping, going to bridge parties and bringing up her children to be pleasant, clean and have nice manners. And yet she finds modern life increasingly baffling, her children aren't growing up into the people she expected, and sometimes she has the vague disquieting sensation that all is not well in her life. In a series of comic, telling vignettes, Evan S. Connell illuminates the narrow morality, confusion, futility and even terror at the heart of a life of plenty.

The companion novel Mr Bridge, telling the story from the other side of the marriage, is also available in Penguin Modern Classics, with an introduction by Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Evan S. Connell was born in Kansas City in 1924. He served in the US navy in the second world war and lived briefly in Paris before returning to the US, where he wrote an incredibly varied range of books and supported himself with odd jobs. In 2009, he was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement, and in 2010, he was awarded a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Connell died in New Mexico on 10th January 2013, aged 88.

'How it is done I only wish I knew' - Dorothy Parker

'An exquisite mixture of sympathy and ironic detachment' - Independent

Blue of Noon

Georges Bataille (Author) , Harry Mathews (Translator)

Set against the backdrop of Europe's slide into Fascism, Blue of Noon is a blackly compelling account of depravity and violence. As its narrator lurches despairingly from city to city in a surreal sexual and mental nightmare of squalor, sadism and drunken encounters, his internal collapse mirrors the fighting and marching on the streets outside. Exploring the dark forces beneath the surface of civilization, this is a novel torn between identifying with history's victims and being seduced by the monstrous glamour of its terrible victors, and is one of the twentieth century's great nihilist works.

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