Simon Armitage (Author), Brendan O’Hea (Read by), Claire Calbraith (Read by), Colin Tierney (Read by), David Birrell (Read by), Francesca Zoutewelle (Read by), Garry Cooper (Read by), Gillian Bevan (Read by), Jake Fairbrother (Read by), Lily Cole (Read by), Luca Rawlinson (Read by), Richard Bremmer (Read by), Simon Harrison (Read by), Tom Stuart (Read by)
Lily Cole stars as Helen of Troy, ‘the face that launched a thousand ships’, in Simon Armitage’s vivid, visceral adaptation of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid
For ten years, the Greeks have been laying siege to Troy to win back their abducted queen, Helen. But as the war drags on, and the battlefields run scarlet with blood, the opposing forces are entrenched in a bitter stalemate. As Gods and mortals squabble amongst themselves for the spoils of war, the exhausted warriors go to extreme lengths in a desperate grab for victory…
Dramatised by multi-award-winning poet and playwright Simon Armitage, The Last Days of Troy was first produced as a stage play at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Shakespeare’s Globe, and this radio version features the original cast. Both a tense action adventure and a powerful commentary on the futility of war, it brings Homer’s ancient myth to dynamic life and explores themes that still resonate today, in a world locked in cycles of conflict and revenge, East versus West and with the same dangerous combination of pride, lies and self-deception that fuelled the Trojan War.
‘Armitage was the real star, with his vivid and muscular dialogue and occasional flashes of humour…The Last Days of Troy was a powerful reflection on the folly of men and the cruelty of war.’ – Independent
Cast and credits Agamemnon..................................................................David Birrell Achilles..................................................................Jake Fairbrother Zeus..................................................................Richard Bremmer Odysseus..................................................................Colin Tierney Hera..................................................................Gillian Bevan Andromache/Thetis................................................Claire Calbraith Hector..................................................................Simon Harrison Helen..................................................................Lily Cole Paris..................................................................Tom Stuart Athene/Briseis..................................................................Francesca Zoutewelle Priam..................................................................Garry Cooper Patroclus..................................................................Brendan O’Hea Astyanax..................................................................Luca Rawlinson
Original music by Alex Baranowski Directed for radio by Susan Roberts First directed for The Royal Exchange Theatre by Nick Bagnall
Donald Maclean was a star diplomat, an establishment insider and a keeper of some of the West's greatest secrets.
He was also a Russian spy, driven by passionately held beliefs, whose betrayal and defection to Moscow reverberated for decades.
Christened ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished.
Drawing on a wealth of previously classified material, Roland Philipps now tells this story for the first time in full. He unravels Maclean’s character and contradictions: a childhood that was simultaneously liberal and austere; a Cambridge education mixing in Communist circles; a polished diplomat with a tendency to wild binges; a marriage complicated by secrets; an accelerated rise through the Foreign Office and, above all, a gift for deception.
Taking us back to the golden age of espionage, A Spy Named Orphan reveals the impact of one of the most dangerous and enigmatic Soviet agents of the twentieth century, whose actions heightened the tensions of the Cold War.
Who really creates wealth in our world? And how do we decide the value of what they do? At the heart of today's financial and economic crisis is a problem hiding in plain sight.
In modern capitalism, value-extraction is rewarded more highly than value-creation: the productive process that drives a healthy economy and society. From companies driven solely to maximize shareholder value to astronomically high prices of medicines justified through big pharma's 'value pricing', we misidentify taking with making, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value - what it is, why it matters to us - is simply no longer discussed.
Yet, argues Mariana Mazzucato in this penetrating and passionate new book, if we are to reform capitalism - radically to transform an increasingly sick system rather than continue feeding it - we urgently need to rethink where wealth comes from. Which activities create it, which extract it, which destroy it? Answers to these questions are key if we want to replace the current parasitic system with a type of capitalism that is more sustainable, more symbiotic - that works for us all. The Value of Everything will reignite a long-needed debate about the kind of world we really want to live in.
'Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read' Mark Manson, bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
If you have anxiety, this book is for you. If you love someone who is anxious, this book is for you.
I Quit Sugar founder and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Wilson has lived through high anxiety – including bipolar, OCD and several suicide attempts – her whole life. Perhaps like you, she grew tired of seeing anxiety as a disease that must be medicated into submission. Could anxiety be re-sewn, she asked, into a thing of beauty?
So began a seven-year journey to find a more meaningful and helpful take on anxiety. Living out of two suitcases, Sarah travelled the world, meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, with Oprah’s life coach, with major mental health organizations and hundreds of others in a quest to unravel the knotted ball of wool that is the anxious condition. She emerged with the very best philosophy, science and hacks for thriving with the beast.
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a small book with a big heart, paving the way for richer, kinder and wiser conversations about anxiety.
A centenary collection of the best BBC Radio programmes about the legendary Spike Milligan – including brand new documentary Spike Milligan: Inside Out
Named for Spike’s explanation of his sense of humour – ‘I’m Irish – we think sideways’ – this BBC radio anthology, published to celebrate the centenary of his birth, provides unique insight into his genius.
Spike Milligan: Inside Out sees Milligan admirer Michael Palin and Spike’s daughter, Jane, chat through some of Spike’s many audio recordings. Also included in this compilation is a wealth of archive material, much of it from 2012’s The Spike Show: Milligan Remembered, presented by Spike’s agent and friend Norma Farnes.
In Milligan Chota Sahib, Spike recalls the excitement of his early life in India. Denis Norden pays tribute to his friend in Vivat Milligna: A Twenty-One Goon Salute, while In the Psychiatrist’s Chair: Spike Milligan finds Spike telling Professor Anthony Clare about the profound impact of shellshock on his mental health.
Plus, we hear Spike’s favourite Goon Show episode, Fear of Wages, and some magical poems from both Spike’s Poems and Spike Milligan: The Serious Poet, an award-winning documentary in which Spike’s three daughters discuss how their father’s serious poetry reflected his life and personality.
'A highly readable, fascinating book that jerks the debate on religion versus atheism right out of its crusted rut into the light of serious intellectual scrutiny' Observer
A meditation on the importance of atheism in the modern world - and its inadequacies and contradictions - by one of Britain's leading philosophers
'When you explore older atheisms, you will find some of your firmest convictions - secular or religious - are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.'
For a generation now, public debate has been corroded by a narrow derision of religion in the name of an often very vaguely understood 'science'. John Gray's stimulating and extremely enjoyable new book describes the rich, complex world of the atheist tradition, a tradition which he sees as in many ways as rich as that of religion itself, as well as being deeply intertwined with what is so often crudely viewed as its 'opposite'.
The result is a book that sheds an extraordinary and varied light on what it is to be human and on the thinkers who have, at different times and places, battled to understand this issue.
A charmingly subversive novel about a library in 1950s England, by the acclaimed author of The Cleaner of Chartres
Sylvia Blackwell, a young woman in her twenties, moves to East Mole, a quaint market town in middle England, to start a new job as a children's librarian. But the apparently pleasant town is not all it seems. Sylvia falls in love with an older man - but it's her connectionto his precocious young daughter and her neighbours' son which will change her life and put them, the library and her job under threat.
How does the library alter the young children's lives and how do the children fare as a result of the books Sylvia introduces them to?
'This is a funny, pointed love letter to Texas, at once elegiac and clear-eyed' Ben Macintyre, The Times
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America.
Texas is a Republican state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslim adherents in the United States). The cities are Democrat and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports and has an economy only somewhat smaller than Australia's.
Lawrence Wright has written an enchanting book about what is often seen as an unenchanting place. Having spent most of his life there, while remaining deeply aware of its oddities, Wright is as charmed by Texan foibles and landscapes as he is appalled by its politics and brutality. With its economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation producing both extraordinary growth and striking income disparities, Texas, Wright shows, looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create.
This profound portrait of the state, completed just as Texas battled to rebuild after the devastating storms of summer 2017, not only reflects the United States back as it is, but as it was and as it might be. As much the home of Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson as of J.R., Ross Perot and the Bush family, as filled with magical scenery as with desolate oil-fields and strip-malls, Texas is a bellwether, super-sized mass of contradictions: a life-long study.
When Samuel Godwin, a young and naive art tutor, accepts a job with the Farrow family at their majestic home, little does he expect to come across such a web of secrets and lies. His two tutees are as different as chalk and cheese - the beautiful younger sister Marianne, full of flightiness and nervous imagination, and Juliana, oddly sensible and controlled. Assisted by their elusive governess, Charlotte Agnew, Samuel begins to uncover slowly why Marianne is so emotionally fragile. But his discoveries lead to revenge and betrayal - and lives all around are turned upside down as life and death combat each other for supremacy.
Linda Newbery has written a novel in diary style, combining different voices and a different century with her usual brilliance and ease. These are characters full of the same passions as our own today, while living in a less familiar and fascinating time.
'You won't find a more honest, raw and helpful look into the trenches of founding a tech startup than this book' Nir Eyal, author of Hooked
'Rand Fishkin is the real deal' Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author
Everyone knows how a startup story is supposed to go: a young, brilliant entrepreneur has an cool idea, drops out of college, defies the doubters, overcomes all odds, makes billions and becomes the envy of the technology world.
This is not that story.
Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, is one of the world's leading experts on SEO. Moz is now a $45 million a year business, but Fishkin's business and reputation took 15 years to grow, and his startup began not in a Harvard dorm room but as a mother-and-son family business that fell deeply into debt.
Now Fishkin pulls back the curtain on tech startup mythology, exposing the ups and downs of startup life that most CEOs would rather keep secret. For instance: a minimally viable product can be destructive if you launch at the wrong moment. Growth hacking may be the buzzword du jour, but initiatives to your business can fizzle quickly. Revenue and profitability won't protect you from layoffs. And venture capital always comes with strings attached.
In Lost and Founder Fishkin reveals the mostly awful, sometimes awesome truth about startup culture with the transparency and humour that his hundreds of thousands of blog readers have come to love. Fishkin's hard-won lessons are applicable to any kind of business environment and this book can help solve your problems, and make you feel less alone for having them.
'This is a truly courageous book. It's one part business-building guide and two parts Indiana Jones-style adventure memoir' Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle and The $100 Startup
'Rand Fishkin is like the industry friend we all wish we had - funny, warm, and refreshingly honest about the rollercoaster ride that is founding your own company' Julie Zhou, VP of Product Design at Facebook
IAN BREMMER WAS NAMED LINKEDIN'S #1 TOP INFLUENCER in 2017
'Required reading to help repair a world in pieces and build a world at peace' - António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General
'Ian Bremmer is provocative, controversial, and always intelligent about the state of the world, which he knows so well' - Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund
From Brexit, to Donald Trump, to extremist parties in Europe and the developing world, populism has dominated recent headlines.
But what explains the rise of leaders who stoke nationalist anger in their countries, from Le Pen to Erdogan? How long will the populist wave last? Who will be the winners and losers in this climate, and how can we defend the values of democracy, free trade and international cooperation?
No one is better suited to explore these questions than Ian Bremmer, the CEO of the Eurasia Group and acclaimed Time magazine columnist. Analysing the social, economic and technological forces fuelling this new wave of populism, Bremmer explains why we're witnessing a rejection of the democratic, global, cosmopolitan trends of the late 20th century. Us vs. Them is a definitive guide to navigating the shifting political landscape, for businesses looking to weather and survive the populist storm.
'Global politics is a jungle today. Thank goodness Ian Bremmer can be your guide' - David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee
'A masterful analysis of why global crashed and populism soared' - Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, and Originals and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
An inspirational illustrated guide to 50 coastal days out, all within easy reach of London.
Swap your oyster card for fresh oysters at Whistable, and trade in city parks for the wide open spaces of Camber Sands.
Written by ex-Time Out editor Sarah Guy, London on Sea offers 50 fun days out on the coast with whimsical tone of voice that captures the magic of a day out on the beach. Timeless entries will feature the best walking routes, where to see breath-taking views, interesting architectural quirks and those local institutions that make each town unique.
Destinations include: Southwold, Walberswick, Thorpeness, Aldeburgh, Walton-on-the-Naze, Frinton-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Southend, Leigh-on-Sea, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Hythe, Camber, Hastings, St Leonards, Bexhill, Eastbourne, Seaford, Rottingdean, Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, East & West Wittering, Bournemouth.
The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time
'We are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come.'
Time is a mystery that does not cease to puzzle us. Philosophers, artists and poets have long explored its meaning while scientists have found that its structure is different from the simple intuition we have of it. From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe.
With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery. Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves.
One summer evening in 2009, twenty-year-old musical prodigy Edwin Rist broke into the British Museum of Natural History. Hours later, he slipped away with a suitcase full of rare bird specimens collected over the centuries from across the world, all featuring a dazzling array of priceless feathers.
Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist-deep in a river in New Mexico when he first heard about the heist, from his fly-fishing guide. When he discovered that the thief evaded prison, and that half the birds were never recovered, Johnson embarked upon a years-long worldwide investigation which led him deep into the fiercely secretive underground community obsessed with the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.
A page-turning story of a bizarre and shocking crime, The Feather Thief shines a light on our fraught relationship with the natural world’s most beautiful and valuable wonders, and one man’s relentless quest for justice.
A riveting tale of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbours began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Clare, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.
When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States, where she embarked on another journey, ultimately graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.
In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of ‘victim’ and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.