Mark Ormrod was a 'gravel belly', a 'bootneck' marine who loved being in the heart of the action when things kicked off, and he relished the prospect of a tour of duty in Afghanistan. And then the unthinkable happened.
In one heartstopping moment Mark's life was brutally shattered when a landmine tore off both his legs and his right arm. The catastrophic injuries he sustained and the shocking truth behind the doctors' battle to save him are all described in graphic detail in this remarkable memoir. So too is the story of how, on the brink of despair, Mark began the greatest battle of his life - to walk again and, using state-of-the-art 'bionic' legs, to stand shoulder to shoulder with his comrades to receive his campaign medal. It was a battle he had to win if he was to rebuild his life.
Told with brutal honesty, Man Down is a moving, action-packed account of courage and comradeship, of life on the frontline and the terrible legacy of war. It is a story of true grit you will never forget.
The Penguin English Library Edition of The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells
'That black figure, with its eyes of fire, struck down through all my adult thoughts and feelings, and for a moment the forgotten horrors of childhood came back to my mind'
Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.
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.
Young, attractive, a widow with a ten-year-old daughter - Venus Stanton was certainly not the vicar that the traditional parish of Thurston had been expecting. The village was agog, the congregation surprised and in some cases not at all pleased.
Venus - a name wished on her by her otherwise conventional parents, and which she felt wholly inappropriate for a woman priest - had to endure curiosity, misunderstandings and even downright hostility. But she also found warmth, friendship and kindness - sometimes from the most unexpected quarters.
Still mourning the death of her husband, and having to cope with the problems of single parenthood, Venus began to think that she would never manage the task she had set herself. Perhaps the doubters were right - she was not suited to be a vicar, to care for the souls of the parish. But the handsome local doctor thought otherwise, and so did many others who came to regard her not only as their priest but also their friend.
Amy Carter's great frustration is that at nearly fifteen she still can't read or write very well. She is intelligent, but has trouble with words. How is she going to survive when her father is hanged for murder and her mother dies, leaving her alone?
Ben Scott, an artist she has met only once, finds her at this crucial time and takes her back to his landlady, who gives her a home. The people living in the house become her family, and, step-by-step, the past is put behind her. In 1939 she marries a young doctor, John Sterling, and her happiness is complete. Then war comes to tear her family apart. John is killed during an air raid, and Ben is reported missing.
Is she destined to lose the two men she adores? And how many painful steps will it take to regain her happiness?
Natalie Vine, one of Britain's top forensic psychiatrists, spends every day trying to get inside the heads of some of the most violent criminals imaginable. It's lonely, harrowing work, but perhaps it helps her deal with the demons of her past.
Locked in the mind of Thomas Meredith are terrible visions of how a serial killer tortured and murdered his girlfriend, in front of his very eyes, a year earlier. Once a doctor, Meredith has become a recluse who only emerges from his isolated home to work the graveyard shift in a local motorway cafe. Natalie Vine is the one person with the ability and empathy to make Meredith open up, to bring to the surface the horror that he has buried so deeply. And she must succeed, no matter how much pain it causes.
For Meredith is the only living witness to this murderer's actions, and he has started killing again...
They were modern men: doctors and lawyers, students and teachers, shoemakers and shopkeepers, farmers, gardeners and weavers. Children of the Age of Reason, they wrote poetry, discussed the latest ideas in philosophy and science - and rose in armed rebellion against the might of the British crown and government.
Sons of a restless nation that had unwillingly surrendered its independence a mere generation before, some were bound by age-old ties of Highland kinship and loyalty. Others rallied to the cries of 'Prosperity to Scotland' and 'No Union!'
Many faced agonising personal dilemmas before committing themselves to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite Cause. Few had any illusions about the consequences of failure. Many met their date with destiny on Culloden Moor, players in a global conflict that shaped the world we live in today.
Combining meticulous research with entertaining and stylish delivery, Maggie Craig tells the dramatic and moving stories of the men who were willing to risk everything for their vision of a better future for themselves, their families and Scotland.
In his masterpiece of family literature, And When Did you Last See Your Father?, Blake Morrison's mother appears as an intriguing but mostly silent figure. This is her startling and touching story - and a son's search to discover the truth about the remarkable Kerry girl who qualified as a doctor in Dublin in 1942, worked in British hospitals throughout the war, and then reinvented herself again to adapt to a quieter post-war family life. At the heart of the book there's a passionate wartime love affair, seen through the frank, funny, furious letters his parents wrote during their courtship. It evokes a surprising picture of life and love in WWII. From the obstacles the lovers faced, to their moments of hilarity and joy Things My Mother Never Told Me is a revealing and poignant anatomy of family conflict, love, war, and finally marriage. Kim Morrison emerges quietly, magically from the shadows, a determined heroine for our times.
When Matthew's beloved wife Molly died, long before her time, her son Mark grieved as much as anyone. He had always known that his parents were completely devoted to each other, and sometimes he had felt excluded from this close partnership. Since he was a small boy his mother had been sickening with the illness that eventually carried her off, and now at the age of sixteen Mark longed to earn his father's respect by assisting with the family business, a prosperous antiques shop. But his father, in grief, seemed beyond help.
Tilly Povey, famous for her whiplash tongue and her copious ironing, watched the boy's lonely existence with a heavy heart. Stella, Molly's sister, had done well for herself - now a doctor, she had always loved Matthew, and wondered whether he might, perhaps, turn to her in his hour of need. Matthew, obsessed with his loss, was gradually falling apart and none of those who were closest to him could, it seemed, do anything to help. But Tilly, whose uncompromising exterior hid a warm heart, was determined to help this troubled family.
The astonishing tale of a little girl who was different, her cat and how they brought a family together.
'Different is brilliant . . .'
Iris Grace is different. From the moment she was born she found the world a strange and terrifying place: she neither smiled nor spoke. The doctors couldn't help, telling her parents she might never be able to communicate - she'd never call them mummy or daddy.
But then Iris met Thula.
This special kitten and Iris became instant best friends. They did everything together - painting, playing, bathing, snuggling, sleeping, exploring. And then a miracle happened: Iris said her first words.
The story of the amazing bond between Iris and Thula is a heartwarming tale of finding hope and happiness in the most unexpected places.
Because different really is brilliant.
'Moving, honest and full of hope. Wonderful' Daily Mail, Books of the Year
'An astonishing talent' Daily Express
'A miracle' Best
'Astonishing, remarkable' ITV News
'Iris's astonishing tale of talent and relationship with Thula is lovingly told' Daily Mail
As compulsively page-turning as a thriller, Carmen Martin Gaite's drama of broken dreams, lies, and the search for love is an intense meditation on the strange adventure of living
"Ever since the beginning of the world, living and dying have been two sides of one coin, tossed in the air - But for me - to be perfectly honest - living's the strange thing"
The protagonist of this novel, a 35-year-old woman who has lived hard and loved hard, has just lost her mother. Struggling to keep her curiosity about an inexplicable world intact, she finds her precarious equilibrium constantly besieged by resurfacing oddballs from her past and her own tendency to daydream. To force a little structure into her life, she decides to pick up her old, unfinished doctoral dissertation about an extravagant 18th century adventurer. As she wades through old papers in a dusty archive, she is forced to confront her own strange childhood, her parents' strange relationship, and the feelings that bond her to the strange architect she shares a life with.
When Bill Masen wakes up blindfolded in hospital there is a bitter irony in his situation. Carefully removing his bandages, he realizes that he is the only person who can see: everyone else, doctors and patients alike, have been blinded by a meteor shower. Now, with civilization in chaos, the triffids - huge, venomous, large-rooted plants able to 'walk', feeding on human flesh - can have their day.
The Day of the Triffids, published in 1951, expresses many of the political concerns of its time: the Cold War, the fear of biological experimentation and the man-made apocalypse. However, with its terrifyingly believable insights into the genetic modification of plants, the book is more relevant today than ever before.
John Wyndham was born in 1903. After a wide experience of the English preparatory school he was at Bedales from 1918 to 1921. Careers which he tried included farming, law, commercial art, and advertising, and he first started writing short stories, intended for sale, in 1925. During the war he was in the Civil Service and afterwards in the Army. In 1946 he began writing his major science fiction novels including "The Kraken Wakes", "The Chrysalids" and "The Midwich Cuckoos".
In the middle of the night in 1997, Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe André was kidnapped by armed men and taken away to an unknown destination in the Caucasus region. For three months, André was kept handcuffed in solitary confinement, with little to survive on and almost no contact with the outside world. Close to twenty years later, award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle (Pyongyang, Jerusalem, Shenzhen, Burma Chronicles) recounts André’s harrowing experience in Hostage, a book that attests to the power of one man’s determination in the face of a hopeless situation.
Marking a departure from the author’s celebrated first-person travelogues, Delisle tells the story through the perspective of the titular captive, who strives to keep his mind alert as desperation starts to set in. Working in a pared down style with muted colour washes, Delisle conveys the psychological effects of solitary confinement, compelling us to ask ourselves some difficult questions regarding the repercussions of negotiating with kidnappers and what it really means to be free. Thoughtful, intense, and moving, Hostage takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.
Unrivalled in scope and brimming with human drama, A People’s Tragedy is the most vivid, moving and comprehensive history of the Russian Revolution available today.
‘A modern masterpiece’ Andrew Marr
‘The most moving account of the Russian Revolution since Doctor Zhivago’ Independent
Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People’s Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded.
Illustrated with over 100 photographs and now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution’s centennial legacy, A People’s Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.
Does an understanding of history and a deep cultural awareness help us to live a better, richer and more useful life? Or is it just as good to rely on the internet for data and to live only in the moment?
Set in 2006, Paris Echo follows Hannah, a 31-year-old American post-doctoral researcher looking into the lives of women during the German Occupation of Paris in 1940-44; and Tariq, a 19-year-old boy who has run away from his home in Morocco, searching for sex and adventure.
Through their culture clash we are taken back into the hidden Paris of the Dark Years, the Algerian war and the simmering discontents of the Banlieue. This is not the Paris of croissants and little bistros. This is a haunted city of injustice and bad faith, of ghettos and betrayal.
As both characters fight to preserve their integrity and their sanity, they find their future shaped by the lives of the dead, by the ghosts of the Paris Metro.
For years, world renowned naturopathic doctor, Dr Nigma Talib, has been solving skin problems and answering the million dollar question, ‘what can I do to look and feel younger?’ From every day patients with chronic skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, to high profile names who need to look picture-perfect on the red carpet, Nigma has seen the powerful results of her inside-out approach that starts with the gut. Now, for the first time, she shares the secrets to youthful-looking skin in her complete, 360-degree guide that everyone can adopt into their everyday life and enjoy.
In this effortless, but eye-opening journey, you’ll discover how to make a remarkable difference to:
Rejuvenate ageing skin Reduce the appearance of fine line, wrinkles and sagging skin Solve persistent skin problems Control hormones that could be wreaking havoc on skin
This is not just an anti-ageing plan. This is a new life plan. We can’t stop the clock, but we can tip the scales in our favour.
Man Walks Into A Bar 2 is the second volume of the hugely popular and hilariously funny joke book series. A one-stop shop for anyone who likes to hear and tell jokes. The jokes are ordered thematically - wives, husbands, doctors, lawyers, the French, the Germans, jokes about nuns, jokes about monkeys, the lot. There are also regular panels which group jokes by type too - Essex girls, changing a lightbulb etc. Our material will turn you into the toast of your local pub or make you loathed in your own home - remember, it is all in the telling. From the sublimely erudite to stuff Frank Carson would turn down, this book can service you with every joke you'll ever need.
Including such gems as the following:
Why have elephants got big ears? Because Noddy won't pay the ransom.
A magic tractor is driving down a country road and turns into a field.
An amnesiac walks into a bar. 'Do I come here often?'
I went to a book shop and asked the saleswoman where the Self Help section was. She said if she told me it would defeat the purpose.
How do you know when you're a pirate? You just arrrrrggghh.
Man Walks Into A Bar is a one-stop shop for anyone who likes to hear and tell jokes. The jokes are ordered thematically - wives, husbands, doctors, lawyers, the French, the Germans, jokes about nuns, jokes about monkeys, the lot. There are also regular panels which group jokes by type too - Essex girls, changing a lightbulb etc. Our material will turn you into the toast of your local pub or make you loathed in your own home - remember, it is all in the telling. From the sublimely erudite to stuff Frank Carson would turn down (the book has a 'world's worst jokes' section), this book can service you with every joke you'll ever need.
What do you call an eskimo chav? Innuinnit
What did the zen student say at the hamburger stand? Make me one with everything
What's Irish and lives in the garden? Paddy O'Furniture
The best libraries in Victorian Britain kept this tome under lock and key, permitting access only to doctors and professors. Scotland Yard had a copy in their reference library, and even Sherlock Holmes may have had recourse to a copy in certain investigations. In private collections across the English speaking world, it was kept on top shelves, or safely stowed in locked cabinets, beyond the reach of minors, domestics and spouses. Any woman who gazed upon its pages was said to have fainted away. The church campaigned to have it banned and the German translation was burned at Nuremberg. Many antiquarian book sellers believe the book to have been a myth, others claimed it changed hands at enormous cost, and some are certain all original copies are now lost. But Curious Pleasures does exist and is back in print - nearly a century since it's last apocryphal edition. This encyclopaedic treasure of adult pleasures, dysfunctions and unacceptable female behaviour has been fully restored with the original illustrations intact. In modern hands, this forbidden work of scholarly madness will prove hilarious.
Bumps in the Night is one of the titles in Allan Ahlberg's iconic children's picture book series about skeletons, Funnybones. Despite being set in a dark dark house, this brightly coloured book is perfect for early readers!
No matter where they are, the two skeletons keep going bump in the night - clonk!
There's only one thing to do: "Send for Doctor Bones!"
'There can be few families in the British Isles who do not possess at least one well-thumbed Ahlberg' - Independent on Sunday
Allan Ahlberg has published over 100 children's books and with his late wife Janet, created such award-winning children's picture books, including Peepo!, Each Peach Pear Plum and the Kate Greenaway Medal winning The Jolly Postman. Other titles in the Funnybones series include Funnybones, Mystery Tour, The Ghost Train, The Pet Shop, The Black Cat, Dinosaur Dreams, Skeleton Crew, Give the Dog a Bone and A Brilliant Bone Rattling Collection, all of which are available from Puffin.
'She has examined the heart of man with an understanding ... that no other writer can hope to surpass' Tennessee Williams
Often cited as one of the great novels of twentieth-century American fiction, Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the café where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry socialist drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways the could never imagine. Moving, sensitive and deeply humane, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter explores loneliness, the human need for understanding and the search for love.