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Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo (Author)

Three BBC dramatisations of the novels of award-winning author and former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo.

This collection includes:

War Horse
Michael Morpurgo's enduringly popular tale of a boy's extraordinary bond with his horse during World War One. Starring Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn and Bob Hoskins.

Private Peaceful - a powerful story about a young soldier, set in the First World War. Starring Nicholas Lyndhurst, with a guest appearance by Michael Morpurgo.

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea - a lyrical tale about child migration, narrated by Michael Morpurgo and starring Jason Donovan, Olivia Beardsley and Toby Jones.

Sunfall

Jim Al-Khalili (Author)

2041, and for all the advances science and technology have brought, our world is under attack from rampant climate change, uncontrollable mass migration, cyber-terrorism, fragmenting societies and insidious governmental secrecy and paranoia. And then the unthinkable happens - the Earth, our planet, seems to be turning against itself - it would appear that the magnetic field, which protects life on Earth from deadly radiation from space, is failing . . .

Fearful of the mass hysteria that would follow if the truth were to become known, world governments have concealed this rapidly emerging Armageddon. But a young Iranian computer genius stumbles across what is really going on, the secret is out, and it's a race against time to put in place an outrageous, desperate last ditch plan to save the world: to reactivate the earth's core using beams of dark matter. As a small team of brave and brilliant scientists - each a maverick in his or her own way - battle to find a way of transforming the theory into practice, they face a fanatical group intent on pursuing their own endgame agenda: for they believe mankind to be a plague upon this earth and will do anything, commit any crime, to ensure that the project fails - and so bring about humanity's end...

Set in a brilliantly-imagined near future world of dazzling technologies, AIs and augmented realities, eminent scientist and broadcaster Professor Jim Al-Khalili's thrilling debut novel draws on cutting edge science to tell a nail-biting story of what might be . . .

Journey's End

R C Sherriff (Author), Derek Seaton (Read by), Full Cast (Read by), Garard Green (Read by), Martin Jarvis (Read by)

Journey's End is an unflinching vision of life in the tranches towards the end of the First World War.

The play opens in a dugout in the trenches in France. Raleigh, a new 18-year-old officer fresh out of school, joins the besieged company of his friend and hero Stanhope. But when he arrives in the trenches, he finds Stanhope dramatically changed.

This vintage BBC radio production from 1970 stars Martin Jarvis as Captain Stanhope.

Bonus content: This BBC radio release includes The Man From Esher and his Theatre of War, a 30-minute documentary about R C Sherriff and the story behind Journey’s End.

Journey's End was an instant stage success in 1928 (starring Laurence Olivier) and remains a remarkable anti-war classic, regularly revived in theatres. A film is due in February 2018, starring Sam Claflin (Hunger Games, Me Before You) as Stanhope and Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as Raleigh, along with Paul Bettany, Toby Jones and Tom Sturridge.

Cast:
Captain Stanhope...Martin Jarvis
Osborne...Garard Green
Raleigh...Derek Seaton
Trotter...Kevin Brennan
Hibbert/Private...Michael Harbour
Colonel...Richard Hurndall
Sergeant Major...John Bentley
Mason...Malcolm Hayes
Hardy...John Graham
German soldier...Patrick Tull

Adapted by Peter Watts.
Produced by Christopher Venning.

The Pillow Book: Series 1-11

Robert Forrest (Author), Benedict Cumberbatch (Read by), Cal MacAninch (Read by), Full Cast (Read by), Mark Bazeley (Read by), Ruth Gemmell (Read by)

A thriller and love story set in 10th-century Japan.

Lady Shonagon is an imperial courtesan, living at the court of the Japanese Emperor in the 10th century. When a series of disturbing thefts within the palace walls throws the court into confusion and unrest, Shonagon is appointed guide and assistant to Lieutenant Yukinari as he investigates.

Together, Shonagon and Yukinari must solve the mysteries and escalating crimes that plague the Japanese court, and their romance blossoms in the tightly enclosed world behind the high palace walls. But soon Shonagon's lover Tadanobu becomes uncomfortable with how closely they are working together...

The Pillow Book is inspired by the writings of Sei Shonagon, a poet and lady-in-waiting to the Empress of the 10th Century Japanese court. The work of the real-life Sei Shonagon consists of essays, lists, anecdotes, poems, and descriptive passages about her daily life.

This full-cast drama stars Ruth Gemmell as Sei Shonagon, with Yukinari played by Mark Bazeley in Series 1-3 and Cal Macaninch in series 4-11. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Tadanobu is Series 1.
Directed by Lu Kemp.

As the Sun Breaks Through

Ellie Dean (Author)

**************
PRE-ORDER NOW:
THE FIFTEENTH CLIFFEHAVEN NOVEL BY SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR ELLIE DEAN


A fabulous, heart-warming Second World War novel in Ellie Dean's bestselling Cliffehaven series (previously called the Beach View Boarding House series).

Reborn

Sarah Lotz (Author)

What if death isn't the end but a gateway to a whole new and exciting journey, a journey into a world filled with monsters and magic?

The story begins with an old woman dying in a hospital bed. Bonnie Black has been widowed for fourteen years and she's terrified of dying, believing there's nothing on the other side. But when she passes, Bonnie wakes up in the place we all go when we die and she's twenty-five years old.

Not heaven or hell; somewhere else.

Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you - the good and the bad. And so Bonnie sets out on a quest to find her late husband, unaware that the bad guys are also making plans . . .

You don't go to Heaven when you die. You come here.

Praise for Sarah Lotz:

'Really wonderful . . . hard to put down and vastly entertaining' Stephen King

'A ferociously imaginative story-teller' Lauren Beukes

'Dark, subtle and completely unputdownable' Sarah Pinborough

Big Week

James Holland (Author)

'James Holland is a master' BBC History

It was to be the battle to end the air war once and for all . . .

In the autumn of 1943, the campaign against Germany had reached crisis point. Despite the fact that more bombs were falling on the Reich than ever before, plummeting morale and appalling winter weather were hampering the Allies’ raids. Both the US Eighth Air Force and RAF Bomber Command were suffering catastrophic losses and many began to question whether the bomber campaign was worth the terrible sacrifice.

Something had to be done, and fast.

Big Week tells the story of the moment the air war turned. By the start of 1944, new commanders, new tactics and, crucially, new aircraft were all in place. The result, in the third week of February, was the largest aerial battle of the war.

Following the fortunes of both sides, from commanders to air crews and civilians, Big Week casts fresh light on that week-long battle and reasserts its vital importance in the final outcome of the war. Drawing on little-known material, including long-ignored archival sources, this book provides a new perspective on the German defence of the Reich and a thrilling look at one of the most brutal, violent and dramatic air battles of the Second World War.

Dark Age

James Wilde (Author)

Bridging the gap between 'Game of Thrones' and Bernard Cornwell comes the second chapter in James Wilde's epic adventure of betrayal, battle and bloodshed set during the darkest of times - a time when civilisation itself was foundering, when Britain was facing a Dark Age and in desperate need of a hero...

It is AD 367, and Roman Britain has fallen to the vast barbarian horde which has invaded from the north. Towns burn, the land is ravaged and the few survivors flee. The army of Rome - once the most effective fighting force in the world - has been broken, its spirit lost and its remaining troops shattered.

Yet for all the darkness, there is hope. And it rests with one man. His name is Lucanus who they call the Wolf. He is a warrior, and he wears the ancient crown of the great war leader, Pendragon, and he wields a sword bestowed upon him by the druids. With a small band of trusted followers, Lucanus ventures south to Londinium where he hopes to bring together an army and make a defiant stand against the invader.

But within the walls of that great city there are others waiting on his arrival - hidden enemies who want more than anything to possess the great secret that has been entrusted to his care. To seize it would give them power beyond imagining. To protect it will require bravery and sacrifice beyond measure. And to lose it would mean the end of everything worth fighting for.

Before Camelot. Before Excalibur. Before all you know of King Arthur. Here is the beginning of that legend . . .

Ambulance Girls Under Fire

Deborah Burrows (Author)

Celia Ashton has driven ambulances throughout the Blitz for the Bloomsbury Auxiliary Ambulance Depot. Cool under fire, she revels in her exciting and extremely dangerous job.

When her husband, a known Nazi supporter, is released from prison, Celia refuses to return to her unhappy marriage. Instead she joins forces with Simon Levy, a man who appears to despise her, to help a young Jewish orphan. In so doing she discovers that one ruthless traitor can be more dangerous than any German bomber, and that love can cross any boundary.

Hellbent

Gregg Hurwitz (Author)

The stunning third Orphan X thriller from No. 1 bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz

To some he was Orphan X. Others knew him as the Nowhere Man. But to Jack Johns he was a boy named Evan Smoak. Taken from an orphanage, Evan was raised inside a top secret government programme and trained to become a lethal weapon. By Jack. And yet for all the dangerous skill he instilled in his young charge, Jack Jones cared for Evan like a son.

But Jack knew too much about a programme that had gone rotten - he was a loose end that needed to be dealt with. But if you go after the only person who ever treated him like a human being, you can guarantee that the Nowhere Man will be coming for you. Hellbent on making things right . . .

With Hellbent, Gregg Hurwitz raises the bar again with a masterclass in hi-octane thriller writing.

The Break Line

James Brabazon (Author)

Max Mclean is Britain's secret weapon: the most effective assassin Her Majesty's Government has ever unleashed. Pulled home from an aborted mission in South America, Max is sent to investigate unsettling reports from West Africa - a situation that's seen another officer locked away in an MoD research facility raving about the horror he's seen.

Witnesses report that combatants in an ugly civil are feeling no fear and no pain. In theatre - one of the most dangerous, cruel and inhospitable places on earth Max is drawn into a terrifying web of evil and corruption. And it's clear that, far from dealing with the supernatural or superstition, he's facing a threat that could bring the west to its knees.

Our Friends in Berlin

Anthony Quinn (Author)

London, 1941. The city is in blackout, besieged by nightly air raids from Germany. Two strangers are about to meet. Between them they may alter the course of the war.

While the Blitz has united the nation, there is an enemy hiding in plain sight. A group of British citizens is gathering secret information to aid Hitler’s war machine. Jack Hoste has become entangled in this treachery, but he also has a personal mission: to locate the most dangerous Nazi agent in the country.

Hoste soon receives a promising lead. Amy Strallen, who works in a Mayfair marriage bureau, was once close to this elusive figure. Her life is a world away from the machinations of Nazi sympathisers, yet when Hoste pays a visit to Amy’s office, everything changes in a heartbeat.

Breathtakingly tense and trip-wired with surprises, Our Friends in Berlin is inspired by true events. It is a story about deception and loyalty – and about people in love who watch each other as closely as spies.

Flight to Canada

Ishmael Reed (Author)

Deep in the American South, 'land of the hunted and the haunted,' three young slaves have broken free. But they have their former master hot on their heels, and they must outrun, outwit, or outgun him and his personal 'CIA' if they are to secure their freedom--all while dodging the bullets of the Civil War raging on around them. When the three men part ways, the adventure begins: the first, 40's, buys up a huge number of arms in readiness for a final showdown; the second, Stray Leechfield, sells his body for pornographic flicks; while the third, Raven Quickskill, hero, poet, heartbreaker, swigs champagne on a non-stop jumbo jet to Canada. Flight to Canada is fun, pacey, adventurous, and touched by Reed's taste for the absurd. Reed takes us on a wild ride through a nineteenth-century Virginia that looks a lot like the West today, littered with everything from Xerox copiers to jumbo jets, and casts an unsettling sideways look at history, race and the American media.

Generation One - Book 2

Pittacus Lore (Author)

After I Am Number Four came Generation One . . .

It's a year since John Smith and the Lorien Garde helped defeat the Mogadorian invasion of Earth.

Now all over the planet teenagers are developing new powers - new Legacies.

But this terrifies everyone else. Those with Legacies are forced to register themselves. They are cast out of families. Hunted. Some are murdered.

So the Garde create an Academy. A place where the gifted may come and learn. They will be trained to use their powers to help protect humankind.

But some believe there's a better use of their talents. They have other plans. And they don't care who dies to bring them about . . .

Tom Clancy's Line of Sight

Mike Maden (Author)

The stunning new thriller in the internationally bestselling Jack Ryan Jr series

On a break between missions, Jack Ryan Jr is asked by his mother to visit Sarajevo and track down a girl whose life she saved during the war. Finally, he thinks, life might be quietening down.

That's until he meets Aida - grown from a child into a beautiful and selfless woman. Jack finds himself drawn to her, not to mention impressed by her dangerous work helping Syrian refugees enter Europe.

But the region is increasingly unstable, and just as Jack lets his guard down, Aida is violently kidnapped by the Serbian mafia.

With no official status, Jack's pleas for help fall on deaf ears, and he realises he must act alone to save the woman he loves. But as the simmering tensions threaten to bubble over, Jack will soon discover Bosnia is a dangerous place to fly solo . . .


PRAISE FOR TOM CLANCY

'Heart-stopping action... entertaining and eminently topical... Clancy still reigns' Washington Post

'Highly entertaining' The Wall Street Journal

PRAISE FOR MIKE MADEN

'Maden's trail of intrigue will captivate you from page one' Clive Cussler

Lancelot

Giles Kristian (Author)

The legions of Rome are a fading memory. Enemies stalk the fringes of Britain. And Uther Pendragon is dying. Into this fractured and uncertain world the boy is cast, a refugee from fire, murder and betrayal. An outsider whose only companions are a hateful hawk and memories of the lost.
Yet he is gifted, and under the watchful eyes of Merlin and the Lady Nimue he will hone his talents and begin his journey to manhood. He will meet Guinevere, a wild, proud and beautiful girl, herself outcast because of her gift. And he will be dazzled by Arthur, a warrior who carries the hopes of a people like fire in the dark. But these are times of struggle and blood, when even friendship and love seem doomed to fail.
The gods are vanishing beyond the reach of dreams. Treachery and jealousy rule men’s hearts and the fate of Britain itself rests on a sword’s edge.
But the young renegade who left his home in Benoic with just a hunting bird and dreams of revenge is now a lord of war. He is a man loved and hated, admired and feared. A man forsaken but not forgotten. He is Lancelot.

Set in a 5th century Britain besieged by invading bands of Saxons and Franks, Irish and Picts, Giles Kristian's epic new novel tells - through the warrior's own words - the story of Lancelot, that most celebrated of all King Arthur's knights. It is a story ready to be re-imagined for our times.

Old Baggage

Lissa Evans (Author)

What do you do next, after you’ve changed the world?

It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.

Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.

Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.

Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never, never given up the fight.

Small Country

Gael Faye (Author)

Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expat neighbourhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister, Ana, is something close to paradise. These are happy, carefree days spent with his friends sneaking cigarettes and stealing mangoes, swimming in the river and riding bikes in the streets they have turned into their kingdom. But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful idyll will shatter when Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda are brutally hit by war and genocide.

A haunting and luminous novel of extraordinary power, Small Country describes a devastating end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a young child caught in the maelstrom of history. It is a stirring tribute not only to a time of tragedy, but also to the bright days that came before it.

Peter Pan

J. M. Barrie (Author)

'All children, except one, grow up.'

It was Friday night. Mr and Mrs Darling were dining out. Nana had been tied up in the backyard. The poor dog was barking, for she could smell danger. And she was right - this was the night that Peter Pan would take the Darling children on the most breath-taking adventure of their lives, to a place called Neverland, a strange country where the lost boys live and never grow up, a land with mermaids, fairies and pirates - and of course the terrible, evil, Captain Hook. Peter Pan is undoubtedly one of the most famous and best-loved stories for children, an unforgettable, magical fantasy which has been enjoyed by generations.

The Penguin English Library - collectable general readers' editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.

The Call of the Wild

Jack London (Author)

'The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect and, while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.'

The biting cold and the aching silence of the far North become an unforgettable backdrop for Jack London's vivid, rousing, superbly realistic wilderness adventure stories featuring the author's unique knowledge of the Yukon and the behavior of humans and animals facing nature at its cruelest.

The Penguin English Library - collectable general readers' editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.

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