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Street Life

Rupert Thomas (Author)

Ben is 18 and tired of living in the suburbs. As there's little sexual adventure to be found there, he decides to run away from both A-levels and his comfortable home - to a new life in London. When the friend he'd hoped to stay with is away, Ben is forced to spend the night on the streets, cold and afraid. He's befriended by Lee, a homeless Scottish lad who offers him a friendly ear and the comfort of his sleeping bag.

Both young men become involved in a web of prostitution and sexual conspiracies, but Ben alone is taken hostage by a mysterious client and held ransom. Lee takes it upon himself to unravel the mystery, help Ben escape and uncover the identity of the kidnapper.

By the author of the bestselling Customs of the Country.

The Loves And Journeys Of Revolving Jones

Leslie Thomas (Author)

'A delightfully rauchy story... a lovely blend of humour, sexual comedy and pathos' Daily Express

'A rollicking tale of a Welsh sailor with a girl in every port, but only one true love at home...Thomas has a rare gift for words...This is his best book and a celebration of his robust talents, which combine flesh with imagination. He always had a narrative verve, and this saga develops it into a turn of the wheel of life. Revolving Jones comes back at last to his eternal miss, and hopefully, Leslie Thomas will achieve a revolution in his reputation' The Times

'This exciting adventure story is also one man's pilgrimage, a lifetime's odyssey, a ritually layered tale of the quest for humour and love' Daily Mail

'He inhabits that "bestseller author" territory that includes the likes of Jeffrey Archer, Jack Higgins and Ken Follett, but he is a far better writer than any of them' Marcel Berlins, Sunday Times

Village Teacher

Jack Sheffield (Author)

The fourth installment of the hilarious Ragley-on-the-Forest village school series

It's 1980: recession and unemployment have hit Britain, a royal wedding is on the way, and the whole country is wondering Who Shot JR?

As Jack returns for his fourth year at Ragley-on-the Forest School, there's a definite chill in the air. Village schools are being closed down all over the place - will his be one of them?As school life continues - Vera, the school secretary, has to grapple with a new-fangled electric typewriter, Ruby celebrates ten years as the school cleaner, and the village panto throws up some unusual problems - Jack wonders what the future holds...

'Wry observation and heartwarming humour in equal measure' Alan Titchmarsh

Tales of the City Episode 4: The Anniversary Tango

Armistead Maupin (Author)

Episode 4: The Anniversary Tango

In which Mary Anna volunteers at the Crisis Switchboard whilst Mouse has a crisis of his own. DeDe visits a fat farm and Mona makes a surprising discovery about Barbary Lane.

Welcome to Tales of the City. San Francisco 1976: a golden city of freedom, adventure and possibility. But, as naïve small-town girl Mary Ann finds out, it can be hard to find your place in a strange new city - especially when the supermarket is a pick up joint and a Jockey Shorts dance contest can make or break a relationship. Luckily for Mary Ann, she finds the perfect home at 28 Barbary Lane where the dysfunctional residents form an unconventional family of waifs and strays. Mona the cynic, Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver the romantic looking for love and DeDe the jaded debutante, all watched over by the eccentric and mysterious Anna Madrigal.

Get addicted to these characters in six short, funny and heartbreaking episodes.

Blood On The Moon

James Ellroy (Author)

The first installment of the Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy. Somewhere out there is a murderer with over twenty killings to his name - each an apparently random slaying of a woman, over a twenty-year period and all unconnnected on the police files.

But Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins begins to see a pattern: he senses connections between this string of seemingly motiveless, pointless and unsolved killings. Then the murderer emerges not as a random killer, but a cool, efficient despatcher - in his own eyes a saver of souls and protector of the innocent.

As they are drawn inexorably together, Hopkins and the murderer challenge each other in a confrontation which pits icy intelligence against white-heated madness...

A Few Quick Ones

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

A collection from the master, containing The Fat of the Land (Freddie Widgeon) Scratch Man (The Oldest Member) The Right Approach (Mr Mulliner), Jeeves Makes An Omelette, The Word In Season (Bingo Little), Big Business (Mr Mulliner), Leave It To Algy (Bingo Little), Joy Bells For Walter (Golf story), A Tithe For Charity (Ukridge), Oofy, Freddie and the Beef Trust (Freddie Widgeon)

All Bones And Lies

Anne Fine (Author)

Colin is in many ways an ideal citizen. He holds down a responsible job for the council. He visits his aged mother Nora, shops for her, cooks for her, and listens to her grumbles. He also keeps in touch with his sister Dilys, long estranged from her mother, in a vain attempt to maintain family ties. But neither Dilys, Norah nor Colin's colleagues know about his other - much more secret - life that involves a garden shed, a circus acrobat, a much adored three-year-old charmer, and a certain Mr Haksar's increasingly disquieting penchant for squabbling with his neighbours.

What Colin doesn't know is that, thanks to a house insurance policy incorrectly filled in by his mother, his two lives are set to collide, and there is nothing he can do to stop them. With her customary wit and perception, subtle yet razor sharp in her powers of observation, Anne Fine has produced another tour de force. Her portrait of the complex dynamics of family relationships is as lucid as it is uncomfortable, ending with a climax that in its wry irony and sheer unexpectedness is truly shocking.

Losing Charlotte

Heather Clay (Author)

Born and raised on a thoroughbred horse farm in the green hills of Kentucky, Knox Bolling has grown up steeped in the comforting rhythms of family life. Deep ties bind her to this safe, predictable existence, but Knox knows the world has more to offer - excitements that her tempestuous and beautiful older sister, Charlotte, seems to have within her grasp when she marries and moves away to Manhattan's West Village.

Then disaster strikes. Nothing could have prepared Knox for the loss of her sister. But the powerful bond remains, and she finds her loyalty to Charlotte tested more profoundly and fatefully than she could have imagined. As she starts to come to terms with her elusive sister's life, Knox learns deeply moving lessons for her own . . .

Blonde Ambition

S Phillips (Author) , Samantha Phillips (Author)

Charlotte Christie is under no illusion about her job: at Fitzgerald Denton greed is good and you watch your back. But as she learns to handle the jokes and the backstabbing and prove her worth as a broker. Charlie unearths a scam. Almost untraceable, it could strike a deathblow to Lloyd's of London and bring the government to its knees. By avoiding Charlie, her opponents have made their single mistake. She has one chance to strike back.

Footsteps In The Park

Marie Joseph (Author)

It was a Lancashire mill town in the grim years of the Depression - a town divided between the haves and the have-nots, between families like the mill-owning Boltons and the millworking Armstrongs. But Dorothy Bolton was determined to cross that chasm and risk everything for the love of Stanley Armstrong. Even if it meant choosing sides.

Need / Moving Messages (Storycuts)

Susan Hill (Author)

In 'Need', Biddy longs to escape the noise and claustrophobia of the travelling circus she calls home, the chaotic family she shares her cramped quarters with, and the teasing, intimidating presence of Little Midge - the neighbour boy who spies on her. The lack of a plan and her attachment to the frail fortune-teller Rosa, is all that prevents Biddy from leaving. But when tragedy strikes, Biddy finds comfort in an unlikely figure.

In 'Moving messages', Didi is afflicted by a curious condition: 'poetic tinnitus', which causes poetic snippets to ricochet around her mind at all moments. Despite this, she feels content with her lot, living in the country and making quilts to forge a living. She is happy - or is she? When Didi visits a glamorous old school companion in London, her self-doubt flares up, but she soon begins to see the cracks beneath the perfect veneer of her friend's life.

Part of the Storycuts series, these two short stories were previously published in the collection The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read.

Masculinity

Robert Crawford (Author)

In MASCULINITY, Robert Crawford elegantly explores many aspects of that troubling concept, from imperial militarism to his own experiences as father, husband, and son. By turn affectionate and amusing, painful and self-excoriating, Crawford wryly examines, sometimes in intimate detail, what it is to be male - from awkward, unsporty and even more awkward adolescent, to husband, father of a child and, apparently, New Man. Clever, accessible, very funny and chillingly accurate, MASCULINITY is a sparklingly original collection. Star Trek Epigrams Mr Sulu, set the controls To Economy Wash. We're about to venture Where no man has gone before. Kirk to enterprise: 'I'm going back to my cabin With a box of Kleenex. I want to experience the lonliness of Command. '

When Stephanie Smiled...

Jeanne Willis (Author) , Penelope Jossen (Illustrator)

It's Monday, it's raining, and James is miserable - until Stephanie walks in. Suddenly he cheers up enormously, and even the sun shines! They do everything together - they are even get married in the school play! And then she has to go away. James is miserable again - until Wendy walks in! A small child's infatuation for a classmate is perfectly resolved. Will help ease and explain those moments in childhood when great friendships must change as families move on and children are separated.

Blandings: Problems With Drink

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

EPISODE 6 IN A MAJOR BBC DRAMA STARRING TIMOTHY SPALL, DAVID WALLIAMS AND JENNIFER SAUNDERS

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AS GALAHAD AT BLANDINGS

With the arrival of sophisticated widow, Daphne, and her spoiled brat Huxley, Connie once again forces Clarence to look presentable.

However, when Daphne flirts with Clarence and takes an interest in his pig, Beach and Connie become suspicious of Daphne’s motives.

Freddie, though, has foresworn all involvement in love affairs – only to find an irresistible beauty, Monica, working in the pig-sty.

‘Sublime comic genius’
Ben Elton

‘You don't analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour.’
Stephen Fry

‘The funniest writer ever to put words to paper.’
Hugh Laurie

‘P.G. Wodehouse remains the greatest chronicler of a certain kind of Englishness, that no one else has ever captured quite so sharply, or with quite as much wit and affection.’
Julian Fellowes

Loving Roger

Tim Parks (Author)

Tight and disturbing, Loving Roger begins with a dead body and a chilling question. Why has nice, ordinary, affectionate Anna picked up her kitchen knife and murdered the man she insists she loves?... This brief novel is a mordantly illuminating essay on the way love contains the seeds of vindictiveness and hatred'' Observer.

Smoking with Crohn's

George Chopping (Author)

In 2002, as an alternative means of therapy to excessive drinking and jay-walking in South London traffic, I started writing. At first I kept a journal, noting daily observations and recording a satirical account of my wry and positively cynical views of society and my place within it. A year and two very short stories later, I had discovered my passion for words and particularly poetry. Poems, after all, in my humble opinion, are even shorter short stories… and I'm quite lazy.

My priority has always been to make my writing simple and accessible whilst I lightheartedly describe my experiences of living with Crohn's disease and the endless battles I have with myself as I drift in and out of minimum wage jobs and hospital.

As much on page as on stage, my appeal tends to be to a broader audience, including those who may not consider themselves poetically inclined. Flailing around in the pits of illiteracy, I make up my own words and often misspell or poorly punctuate those that are already in existence. But, with the clichéd excuse of 'poetic license', I continue to scrawl.

The Tale of Brin and Bent and Minno Marylebone

Ravi Thornton (Author) , Andy Hixon (Illustrator)

Brin and Bent are poolkeepers at The House for the Grossly Infirm. Their days are spent abusing the House residents with bleach and chlorine, spying on them through holes they have drilled in the walls. They do not know that someone else comes to the pool at night: Minno Marylebone, a child like no other.

Pure and beautiful, every night the child enters the water and becomes celestial, laughing and riding the currents as the pool turns into a sea. Then one night Brin and Bent find the wax that has spilled from Minno's candle and decide to lie in wait...

With this dark yet achingly beautiful tale, Ravi Thornton takes British graphic novels to a new level. The combination of her deft and masterful writing with the stunning artwork of Andy Hixon creates and an extraordinarily powerful and disturbing experience.

Suicide Hill

James Ellroy (Author)

The final installment of the Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy. Joe caught Klein flush in the stomach and ripped upward with both hands. Blood spurted from his mouth...

SUICIDE HILL

It was simple... and diabolical. Simply select a bank manager, kidnap his girlfriend, then hold her hostage until you've cleaned out the bank.

At first, it was almost a game. But it turned into an orgy of violence, rape and insane revenge.

Investigating is Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins, eager for a chance to clear his tarnished reputation.

But what Hopkins doesn't know is that this time, the enemy is within.

Eugenie Grandet

Honore de Balzac (Author) , Marion Crawford (Translator)

In a gloomy house in provincial Saumur lives the miser Grandet with his wife and daughter, Eugénie, whose lives are stifled and overshadowed by his obsession with gold. Guarding his piles of glittering treasures and his only child equally closely, he will let no one near them. But when the arrival of her handsome cousin, Charles, awakens Eugénie's own desires, her passion brings her into a violent collision with her father that results in tragedy for all. Eugénie Grandet is one of the earliest and finest works in Balzac's Comédie humaine cycle, his magnificent panorama of post-Revolutionary French life, which portrays a society consumed by the struggle to amass wealth and achieve power. Here Grandet embodies both the passionate pursuit of money, and the human cost of avarice.

The Pickwick Papers

Charles Dickens (Author)

'The fat boy rose, opened his eyes, swallowed the huge piece of pie he had been in the act of masticating when he last fell asleep, and slowly obeyed his master's orders'

Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers. Readers were immediately captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the lover Tupman, the sportsman Winkle and, above all, by that quintessentially English Quixote, Mr Pickwick, and his cockney Sancho Panza, Sam Weller. From the hallowed turf of Dingley Dell Cricket Club to the unholy fracas of the Eatanswill election, via the Fleet debtor's prison, characters and incidents sprang to life from Dickens's pen, to form an enduringly popular work of ebullient humour and literary invention.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

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