Guide The Haunted Hotel: A Mystery of Modern Venice (Penguin Classics)

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One of the servants gives him his supper, shows him to his quarters, and lets him know that breakfast is at am. The following morning he meets Marian Halcombe one of the two sisters he is teaching how to paint. Marian is very intelligent and has masculine features and mannerisms. You immediately like both sisters when you meet them because Marian is a take-charge young woman and Laura is genuinely a very nice person.

Mr Fairlie has a physical disability and spends most of his days in bed or in his wheelchair. He is a selfish, and manipulative person. True to her word, we learn that the woman in white is Anne Catherick, and we learn why she is dressed in white. As the story unfolds, we get to know the main characters and of course Walter starts to fall in love with Laura.

The original contract is for four months, but after three months things are awkward between Walter and Laura. Marian suggests to him that he should leave, but emphasizes that it is not a class issue why the relationship is doomed, but that Laura is betrothed to Sir Percival Glyde. What makes the situation difficult for Laura is that she promised her father on his deathbed that she would marry Percival.

Before Walter returns to London, Laura gets a letter warning her against marrying Percival. Walter decides to investigate and finds out that the person who sent the letter is the woman in white, Anne Catherick. Once again Anne does the disappearing act. Walter leaves shortly after for London. Percival talks a good talk, and is very accommodating, and he appears to be too good to be true. But the reader will get a sense that there is something very off with him.

They get married and they go overseas for their honeymoon and we are introduced to Count Fosco and his wife who is related to the Fairlies. The Count is someone to be feared, and he is evil, however he admires Marian because she is so smart. Before Laura marries Sir Percival, she tells him that she is in love with another man, and will never love anyone else. Because of her promise to her father on his deathbed to marry him she will go through with it. There are lots of twist and turns in the story with some great red herrings, and it was difficult to guess what secret Percival wants to stay hidden, that he is willing to kill for.

In times of crisis we learn who our friends are, and Walter is a true friend, he helps both Marian and Laura, and places himself in dangerous situations. Anne Catherick dies, and they have Laura committed to the private asylum where Anne had been for over a decade. Anne and Laura resemble each other, and we learn that they are half-sisters. Laura escapes the asylum, but the experience breaks her spirit. Shimmering with invention, fierce social commentary and razor-sharp wit, Day of the Oprichnik imagines a near future too disturbing to contemplate and too close to reality to ignore.

As Stephen Rojack, a decorated war hero and former congressman who murders his wife in a fashionable New York City high-rise, runs amok through the city in which he was once a privileged citizen, Mailer peels away the layers of our social norms to reveal a world of pure appetite and relentless cruelty. One part Nietzsche, one part de Sade, and one part Charlie Parker, An American Dream grabs the reader by the throat and refuses to let go. October 21, , Washington, D. Among the marchers is Norman Mailer.

From his own singular participation in the day's events and his even more extraordinary perceptions comes a classic work that shatters the mould of traditional reportage. Intellectuals and hippies, clergymen and cops, poets and army MPs crowd the pages of a book in which facts are fused with techniques of fiction to create the nerve-end reality of experiential truth. The Armies of the Night uniquely and unforgettably captures the Sixties' tidal wave of love and rage at its crest and a towering genius at his peak. A darkly comic dystopian odyssey, from one of Russia's leading contemporary novelists Garin, a country doctor, is desperately trying to reach the village of Dolgoye, where a mysterious epidemic is transforming the villagers into zombies.

He has with him a vaccine which will prevent the spread of this epidemic, but a terrible blizzard turns his journey into the stuff of nightmare. A trip that should take hours turns into a metaphysical odyssey, in which he encounters strange beasts, apparitions, hallucinations and dangerous fellow men.

Trapped in this existential storm, Sorokin's characters fight their way through a landscape that owes as much to Chekhov's 19th-century Russia as it does to near-future, post-apocalyptic literature. Fantastical, comic and richly drawn, The Blizzard at once answers to the canon of Russian writers and makes a fierce statement about life in contemporary Russia. Based on Mailer's own experience of military service in the Philippines during World War Two, The Naked and the Dead' is a graphically truthful and shattering portrayal of ordinary men in battle.

First published in , as America was still basking in the glories of the Allied victory, it altered forever the popular perception of warfare. Focusing on the experiences of a fourteen-man platoon stationed on a Japanese-held island in the South Pacific during World War II, and written in a journalistic style, it tells the moving story of the soldiers' struggle to retain a sense of dignity amidst the horror of warfare, and to find a source of meaning in their lives amisdst the sounds and fury of battle. Advertisements for Myself is a comprehensive collection of the best of Norman Mailer's essays, stories, interviews and journalism from the Forties and Fifties, linked by anarchic and riotous autobiographical commentary.

Laying bare the heart of a witty, belligerent and vigorous writer, this manifesto of Mailer's key beliefs contains pieces on his war experiences in the Philippines the basis for his famous first novel The Naked and the Dead , tributes to fellow novelists William Styron, Saul Bellow, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal and magnificent polemics against pornography, advertising, drugs and politics.

Also included is his notorious exposition of the phenomenon of the 'White Negro', the Beat Generation's existentialist hero whose life, like Mailer's, is 'an unchartered journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self'. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely assistant; Luke, the future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past. As they begin to cope with horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead.

For Hill House is gathering its powers - and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. Twice filmed as The Haunting, and the inspiration for a new part Netflix series, The Haunting of Hill House is a powerful work of slow-burning psychological horror. Shirley Jackson was born in California in When her short story The Lottery was first published in the New Yorker in , readers were so horrified they sent her hate mail; it has since become one of the most iconic American stories of all time. Shirley Jackson died in her sleep at the age of If you haven't read her you have missed out on something marvellous' Neil Gaiman 'As nearly perfect a haunted-house tale as I have ever read' Stephen King 'The world of Shirley Jackson is eerie and unforgettable' A.

Homes 'Shirley Jackson is one of those highly idiosyncratic, inimitable writers The final novel in the Great Plains trilogy, this is a celebration of the American midwest with Cather's strongest heroine at its heart Jim and Antonia meets as children in the wide open plains of Nebraska at the end of the nineteenth century.

Jim leaves for college and a career in the east, while Antonia stays at home, dedicating herself to her farm and family. As the years roll by, Jim will come to view Antonia as the embodiment of the prairie itself - tough, spirited and enduring, despite the hardness and loneliness of pioneer life. Willa Cather's beautiful novel is a celebration of the Nebraskan prairie she loved she much, and a powerful depiction of a pivotal era in the making of America.

Author: R. The funny and moving story of the apocalypse - as seen from one small village in England 'I loved this book, by turns funny and tragic It moves between abject despair and good old-fashioned British stoicism with ease. But his narrow world is shattered when he learns that the moon is about to come crashing into the earth, with apocalyptic consequences. The manuscript he leaves behind will be a testament - to his growing humanity and to how one English village tried to survive the end of the world Written in as the world was teetering on the brink of global war, R.

Sherriff's tragicomic novel is a masterly work of science fiction, and a powerful warning from the past. It is supremely and alarmingly relevant' Fay Weldon 'Intensely readable and touching' Sunday Telegraph. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined. A blistering expose of global corruption, The Constant Gardener is also the moving portrayal of a man searching for justice for the woman he has barely had time to love.

A friend he thought was lost to him. A friend who took him from radical s Berlin to life as a double agent. Now, decades later, the Cold War is over and the war on terror has begun. Sasha has another mission for them both, but this time it is impossible to tell the difference between allies - and enemies. Set in a world of lies and shifting allegiances, Absolute Friends is a savage fable of our times. He says his name is Issa. To the idealistic young human rights lawyer Annabel, determined to save him from deportation, he is a worthy cause.

To the intelligence services of Britain, Germany and America, however, he is a potential jihadist - and a pawn between them as they seek to make a kill in the war on terror. Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover. A successful, judicious man, he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus, a wild, carousing artist and Helen, his nakedly alluring wife. Cassidy, plunged into a whirlpool of recklessness and spontaneity, becomes a man bewildered and agonised as he is torn between two poles of a nature more complex than he had ever imagined.

He makes it a principle to remain neutral - no matter what he hears. But when he is summoned on a secret job for British Intelligence, he is told he will have to get his hands dirty. His mission is to help bring democracy to the Congo - democracy that will be delivered at the end of a gun barrel.

The Mission Song is an excoriating depiction of a corrupt world where loyalty can be bought and war is simply an opportunity to settle old scores. Has he defected? Gone to ground? As the hunt for Pym intensifies, the secrets of his life are revealed: the people he has loved and betrayed, the unreliable con-man father who made him, the two mentors who moulded and shaped him, and now wish to claim this perfect spy as their own.

The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins, penguin

Described by le Carre as his most autobiographical novel, A Perfect Spy is a devastating portrayal of a man who has played different roles for so long, he no longer knows who he is. A Perfect Spy will very likely remain his greatest book' New Yorker. How can a down-at-heel magician in Devon explain the vast fortune that has mysteriously appeared in his daughter's trust fund?

With customs officer Nat Brock on the trail, the answers point to the House of Single - once a respectable finance company, now entangled with a Russian crime syndicate. West is pitted against East, and the British establishment against a labyrinthine criminal superpower, in le Carre's searing novel of lives built upon lies. A mole, implanted by Moscow Centre, has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Intelligence Service, almost destroying it in the process.

And so former spymaster George Smiley has been brought out of retirement in order to hunt down the traitor at the very heart of the Circus - even though it may be one of those closest to him. In the second part of John le Carre's Karla Trilogy, the battle of wits between spymaster George Smiley and his Russian adversary takes on an even more dangerous dimension.

George Smiley, now acting head of the Circus, must rebuild its shattered reputation after one of the biggest betrayals in its history. Using the talents of journalist and occasional spy Jerry Westerby, Smiley launches a risky operation uncovering a Russian money-laundering scheme in the Far East. His aim: revenge on Karla, head of Moscow Centre and the architect of all his troubles.

Over the course of his career, Tomas Transtroemer - a poet who could look on the barren isolation of Sweden's landscapes and seascapes like no other, and find in them something hauntingly transcendent - emerged as one of the 20th century's essential global voices. By the time he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in , his luminous, almost mystical work had been translated into more than 50 languages. Gathering his poems from the early, nature-focused work to the later poetry's widening of the scope to take in painting, travel, urban life, and the impositions of technology on the natural world, and stirred throughout by the poet's profound love of music, The Half-Finished Heaven is a unique selection from Transtroemer's work.

It is also, in its way, a deeply intimate one: the poems hand-picked here are not only the most beloved, but also those which were translated in the course of Transtroemer's nearly thirty-year correspondence with his close friend and collaborator, the American poet Robert Bly. Few names are more strongly associated with Transtroemer's; and few people have understood not only his poetry, but the processes behind it, more profoundly. The result is perhaps the best English-language introduction to this great and strange poet's work that there could be.

And she did. This, his thrilling, wildly romantic autobiography, is the story of his journey from poverty in Eastern Europe to the sensual world of the Cote d'Azur and on to wartime pilot, resistance hero, diplomat, filmmaker, star and one of the most famed French writers of his age. The second novel in the Great Plains trilogy, this is a passionate portrait of the artist as a young woman Thea Kronberg, a young girl from a small town in Colorado has a great gift - her beautiful singing voice.

Her talent takes her to the great opera houses of Europe, and through ambition and hard work, she forges a life as an artist. But if she can never go home again, nor can she leave behind her past. At last, in a desert canyon in Arizona, Thea has a revelation that will allow her to attain a new state of spirituality and become a truly great artist. Byatt 'Lingers long in the memory' Joyce Carol Oates. An extraordinary history of French lives under occupation in the First and Second World Wars, this is an intimate, unforgettable meditation on the strange mixture of compromise and betrayal, collaboration and resistance that marks defeat, written by one of the greatest historians of France.

Cobb has a strong sense of how ordinary life has to go on, even through disasters, and a sensitivity for what it was like at the time, matched by a gift for the telling phrase' Economist 'Prophet of the past, Richard Cobb is a visionary' New York Review of Books 'His France - urban, northern, provincial, pedestrian, noisy, unpuritanical, festive - was in contrast to, and predicated upon, another France: bureaucratic, official, suburban, safe' Julian Barnes.

Jack Kerouac's classic novel about friendship, the search for meaning, and the allure of nature A witty, moving philosophical novel, Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums is a journey of self-discovery through the lens of Zen Buddhist thought. Following the explosive energy of On the Road, the book that put the Beat Genration on the literary map - and Jack Kerouac on the bestseller list - comes The Dharma Bums, in which Kerouac charts the spiritual quest of a group of friends in search of Dharma, or Truth.

Ray Smith and his friend Japhy, along with Morley the yodeller, head off into the high Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude and experience the Zen way of life.

Fiction | Strand Books

But in wildly Bohemian San Francisco, with its poetry jam sessions, marathon drinking bouts and experiments in 'yabyum', they find the ascetic route distinctly hard to follow. A timeless travelogue from the leading light of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac's Lonesome Traveller is a jubilant celebration of human discovery As he roams the US, Mexico, Morocco, Paris and London, Kerouac records, in prose of pure poetry, life on the road.

Standing on the engine of a train as it rushes past fields of prickly cactus; witnessing his first bullfight in Mexico while high on opium; catching up with the beat nightlife in New York; burying himself in the snow-capped mountains of north-west America; meditating on a sunlit roof in Tangiers; or falling in love with Montmartre and the huge white basilica of Sacre-Coeur - Kerouac reveals both the endless diversity of human life and his own high-spirited philosophy of self-fulfilment.

Defying her family's wishes, she has brought up her eleven-year-old daughter alone in her apartment. And now, after a casual affair, she is unexpectedly pregnant again. What will this mean for her already troubled relationship with her daughter? As she faces the future, memories of her own childhood loss flood into her consciousness, threatening to overwhelm her. Combining the beauty and unease of a dream, this haunting novel is an unflinching portrayal of a woman's innermost fears and desires.

Author: E. A Short History of Decay is E. Cioran's nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid 20th-century Europe. Touching upon man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable.

Illuminating and brutally honest, A Short History of Decay dissects man's decadence in a remarkable series of moving and beautiful pieces. A darkly humorous Czech satire: a new super-breed tries to conquer the world War with the Newts is Karel Capek's darkly humorous allegory of early 20th-century Czech politics. Captain van Toch discovers a colony of newts in Sumatra which can not only be taught to trade and use tools, but also to speak. As the rest of the world learns of the creatures and their wonderful capabilities, it is clear that this new species is ripe for exploitation - they can be traded in their thousands, will do the work no human wants to do, and can fight - but the humans have given no thought to the terrible consequences of their actions.

Robert is a lonely American soldier looking for a girl. Lisa is cold and hungry, obliged to seek work at Mamma Pulcini's house on the Via Flaminia. Their lives come together in what should be a simple exchange, a temporary arrangement without love or complication. But in a city broken by war, its people defeated, nothing is simple. Based on Alfred Hayes'own experiences of wartime Italy, this spare, searing novel exposes the dark complexities of the relationship between men and women, victor and vanquished. Amidst the wild beauty of the Californian landscape, Kerouac struggles to come to terms with his own myth and its malign impact upon his life.

The result is a moving account of a man struggling with inner demons: blessed by great talent and cursed with an urge towards self-destruction - a path lined with double bourbons, Manhattans and scotch The book explodes. Reed's special grace is anger We gets whipped with a velvet whip, and there's free dentalcare' Three slaves are on the run in the deep South, with their former master hot on their heels and the Civil War raging.

One of them arms himself for a final showdown; one sells his body for pornographic movies; while the last, Raven Quickskill - hero, poet, heartbreaker - swigs champagne on a non-stop jumbo jet to Canada.

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Taking us on a wild ride through a nineteenth century littered with limousines, waterbeds and colour TVs, Flight to Canada is a surreal, madly funny satire on race in America. If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive A little black girl opens her eyes in s Harlem, weak and half-blind. On she stumbles - through teenage pain and loneliness, but then to happiness in friendship, work and sex, from Washington Heights to Mexico, always changing, always strong.

This is Audre Lorde's story. A rapturous, life-affirming autobiographical novel by the 'Black, lesbian, mother, warrior poet', it changed the literary landscape. She was an inspiration' Jackie Kay. Both familiar and unfamiliar, our orphaned narrator is transplanted to New York City in the s; becoming, by turns, a sailor, a pirate, a rebel and an outlaw, through adventures incorporating desire, creativity, porn, sadism and art.

This ribald explosion of literature, sex and violence shows the literary anarchist Kathy Acker at her most brilliant and brave. I am completely bowled over by it; by the power of its writing, by the vividness of its scene painting and by the stories it tells' A. Wilson 'Where there is great love there are always miracles' Two French priests have been sent to New Mexico to reawaken the faith. There, they must contend with unforgiving landscapes, danger, rebellion and loneliness.

But through their many years together they are sustained by faith, friendship and the awe-inspiring majesty that surrounds them. A work of great simplicity and sublime beauty, Willa Cather's acclaimed novel asks, what is a life well lived? Death Comes for the Archbishop is a masterpiece by the author of O Pioneers! It is a kingdom of phantoms and of a beauty afflicted by madness.

The Earth spaceship Hermes arrives on Quinta with the best of intentions towards the humans' 'brothers in intelligence'. But something on the planet has gone terribly wrong Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. Here, Virginia Woolf perfected the interior monologue and the novel's lyricism and accessibility have made it one of her most popular works. 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.

Carr's acclaimed and influential bestseller shows that the facts of history are simply those which the historian selects for scrutiny. His fluent and hugely wide-ranging account of the nature of history and the role of the historian argues that all history is to some degree subjective, written by individuals who are above all people of their own time. Carr's What Is History? Evans With an introduction by Richard J.

Evans, author of the Third Reich trilogy. A brilliant, bruising depiction of the dark side of s Hollywood, from the author of In Love. At a Hollywood party, a screenwriter rescues an aspiring actress from a drunken suicide attempt. He is married, disillusioned; she is young, seemingly wise to the world and its slights. They slide into a casual relationship together, but as they become ever more entangled, he realises that his actions may have more serious consequences than he could ever have suspected. Hayes' exquisite novella, written in his cool, inimitable style, holds a revealing light to the hollowness of the Hollywood dream and exposes the untruths we tell ourselves, even when we think we have left illusions behind.

But then it suddenly gave up, and dropped as though it were breaking into many pieces' Early on a cold Sunday morning, forty-five-year-old Edgardo Limentani gets up to join a shooting party in the countryside surrounding the town of Ferrara. As the day passes, he contemplates his past, his disappointments and how he has got here. Like the birds he shoots, he realizes, he is trapped, broken, waiting alone for the final coup de grace.

Then he sees a way out. The fifth book in Bassani's Novel of Ferrara sequence, and his final novel, The Heron is a taut, poignant portrait of a middle-aged man's reckoning with his life. Through stories of superstition, heartbreak, tragedy, luck, heroes and villains, those who lived for football and those who died for it, Eduardo Galeano celebrates the glory of a game that - however much the rich and powerful try to control it - still retains its magic. After a routine security check by George Smiley, civil servant Samuel Fennan apparently kills himself.

When Smiley finds Circus head Maston is trying to blame him for the man's death, he begins his own investigation, meeting with Fennan's widow to find out what could have led him to such desperation. But on the very day that Smiley is ordered off the enquiry he receives an urgent letter from the dead man. Do the East Germans - and their agents - know more about this man's death than the Circus previously imagined?

Le Carre's debut novel, Call for the Dead, introduced the tenacious and retiring George Smiley in a gripping tale of espionage and deceit. Bold, moving, entertaining and controversial, this is the great novel of s Lagos life - with one of the most unforgettable heroines in literature. Jagua Nana, no longer young but still irresistible, lives a life of hedonism in Lagos: men, parties, fights, wild nights in the Tropicana with her handsome young boyfriend Freddie.

Rushing from one experience to the next in search of something she can't quite grasp, Jagua finds herself embroiled in shady politics, caught up in village feuds and a source of drama wherever she goes. In this vivid depiction of s Nigeria, everyone is hustling and everyone is on the make - and a woman like Jagua must find her own unconventional path to fulfilment. Author: A. Take a ringside seat next to A. Liebling at some of the greatest fights in history.

The heated ringside atmosphere, the artistry of the great boxers and the blows and parries of the classic fights are all vividly evoked in a volume described by Sports Illustrated as 'the best American sports book of all time'. Thompson were out of diapers, Liebling was taking his readers on excursions through the hidden and often hilarious levels of this bruised subculture Author: Martin Luther King, Jr. Here Martin Luther King, Jr. As inspiring and resonant as it was upon publication, Why We Can't Wait is both a unique historical document, and an enduring testament to one man's wise, courageous and endlessly hopeful vision.

Look for me here; here I am, here are my pictures, my roots' Marc Chagall, one of the twentieth century's most popular artists, grew up in a close-knit, bustling Russian-Jewish community, the son of a herring seller. In his colourful, dreamlike autobiography, written as he was about to leave his homeland for good in , he vividly brings to life the memories and places that fed into his unique work, from his shtetl childhood to revolutionary Russia and Belle Epoque Paris. Filled with Chagall's own evocative illustrations, My Life is as warm, joyful and humane as his art.

Deza finds himself forced to watch Tupra's collection of incriminating videotapes of important public figures. The recordings document unconventional private lives - and horrific acts. The scenes enter him like a poison, contaminating everything good, yet he is powerless to counteract them.

Set against a background of brutality, Poison, Shadow and Farewell asks whether violence can ever be justified and completes the extraordinary journey that has led us on a descent into hell and a re-emergence, not entirely unscathed, into life. The Quest continued' One summer afternoon A. Symons is handed a peculiar, eccentric novel that he cannot forget and, captivated by this unknown masterpiece, determines to learn everything he can about its mysterious author. The object of his search is Frederick Rolfe, self-titled Baron Corvo - artist, rejected candidate for priesthood and author of serially autobiographical fictions - and its story is told in this 'experiment in biography': a beguiling portrait of an insoluble tangle of talents, frustrated ambitions and self-destruction.

How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary' Doris Lessing 'I'm surprised it isn't the most famous book in the world' Max Porter, author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers 'She was close to the edge now: the ice laid its hand upon her' The schoolchildren call it the Ice Palace: a frozen waterfall in the Norwegian fjords transformed into a fantastic structure of translucent walls, sparkling towers and secret chambers. It fascinates two young girls, lonely Unn and lively Siss, who strike up an intense friendship.

When Unn decides to explore the Ice Palace alone and doesn't return, Siss must try to cope with the loss of her friend without succumbing to a frozen world of her own making. George Orwell's moving reflections on the English character and his passionate belief in the need for political change. The Lion and the Unicorn was written in London during the worst period of the blitz.

It is vintage Orwell, a dynamic outline of his belief in socialism, patriotism and an English revolution. His fullest political statement, it has been described as 'one of the most moving and incisive portraits of the English character' and is as relevant now as it ever has been. Your Face Tomorrow is rich, haunting, intriguing' Observer 'This trilogy must be one of the greatest novels of our age' Antony Beevor 'Fear is the greatest force that exists, as long as you can adapt to it' Jacques Deza has been recruited into an undercover spy network by the inscrutable Bertram Tupra.

But when he is forced to witness an act of horrifying brutality in a night-club, he finds himself falling apart, haunted by his own memories of the bloodshed of the Spanish Civil War. As Deza tries to disentangle himself from an increasingly disturbing world, the second volume in Javier Marias' magnificent trilogy explores violence, corruption and what we are capable of. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa. When he encounters the enigmatic Bertram Tupra at a party, Deza is persuaded to join a mysterious underground group.

His task: to observe an assortment of people - politicians, celebrities, seemingly ordinary citizens - and predict their next move. But where will Deza's descent into this twilight world eventually take him? The first part of Javier Marias' masterly trilogy asks how well we truly know and understand those around us. No storm would reach it, even if one should break' It is and Gabriel has returned to his childhood home, an Armenian village on the slopes of Musa Dagh. But things are becoming increasingly dangerous for his people in Turkey, and, as the government orders round-ups and deportations, the villagers of Musa Dagh decide to fight back.

The seminal novel of the Armenian genocide, Franz Werfel's bestselling epic brought the catastrophe to the world's attention for the first time, and has become a talismanic story of resistance in the face of hatred. From the Management' Hapless cosmonaut Ijon Tichy has been sent back to earth to attend the Eighth Futurological Congress in smog-bound, overpopulated Costa Rica, holed up with an assortment of scientists in a luxury hotel fully equipped with tear gas sprinklers in case things get out of hand.

But when an unfortunate incident occurs involving a revolution and hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply, Tichy finds himself shot, frozen and thawed out in a future beyond anything he could ever have imagined. Ranging over Harlem in the s, movies, novels, his preacher father and his experiences of Paris, they capture the complexity of black life at the dawn of the civil rights movement with effervescent wit and prophetic wisdom.

In a divided America, James Baldwin's fiery critiques reverberate anew' Washington Post 'Edgy and provocative, entertainingly satirical' Robert McCrum, Guardian 'Cemented his reputation as a cultural seer Notes of a Native Son endures as his defining work, and his greatest' Time. Author: W. The young naturalist W.

Barbellion described this remarkably candid record of living with multiple sclerosis as 'a study in the nude'. It begins as an ambitious teenager's notes on the natural world, and then, following his diagnosis at the age of twenty-six, transforms into a deeply moving account of battling the disease. His prose is full of humour and fierce intelligence, and combines a passion for life with clear-sighted reflections on the nature of death.

Barbellion selected and edited this manuscript himself in , adding a fictional editor's note announcing his own demise. This Penguin Classics edition includes 'The Last Diary', which covers the period between submission of the manuscript and Barbellion's actual death in Ballard No one knows why the ice has come, and no one can stop it.

Every day it creeps further across the earth, covering the land in snow and freezing everything in its path. Through this bleached, devastated world, one man pursues the sylph-like, silver-haired girl he loves, as she keeps running - away from her husband; away from the sinister 'warden' who seeks to control her; away from him. At first he does everything by the book, but gradually he finds himself adrift in a world of petty corruption, bribery and drunkenness - and undone by his passion for the beautiful gypsy Euphemia.

A haunting evocation of Eastern Europe's borderlands in the early twentieth century, Weights and Measures is also the story of the disintegration of a good man. Translated by David Le Vay. Step into the unsettling world of Shirley Jackson this autumn with a collection of her finest, darkest short stories, revealing the queen of American gothic at her mesmerising best. There's something nasty in suburbia. In these deliciously dark tales, the daily commute turns into a nightmarish game of hide and seek, the loving wife hides homicidal thoughts and the concerned citizen might just be an infamous serial killer.

In the haunting world of Shirley Jackson, nothing is as it seems and nowhere is safe, from the city streets to the country manor, and from the small-town apartment to the dark, dark woods Demian is a coming-of-age story that follows a young boy's maturation as he grapples with good and evil, lightness and darkness, and forges alternatives to the ever-present corruption and suffering that he sees all around him. Crucial to this development are his relationships with a series of older mentors, of who the titular Demian is the most charismatic, otherworldly and ultimately influential.

Many have noted the influence of Jungian psychology upon this novel and it is fascinating to see Herman Hesse's interests in the self, existence and free will play out through through the lens of early twentieth-century Europe; Christian imagery and themes are ever-present, as is the shadow of the First World War. Thirteen strangely wrought, ingeniously crafted stories make up Nabokov's baker's dozen. In some of these stories shadowy people pass through, cooped up by life, with nowhere to escape to. Their dreams lie stifled, smothered by routine and repetition, and frustrations lurk in all the corners.

In others, elusive glimpses of fleeting happiness, which flutter away before they can be snatched, waylay their victims. Like the shimmer of the sea, the gleam of a glass caught by the sun, they sparkle brilliantly only to dissolve again. Burroughs 'Kathy Acker's writing is virtuoso, maddening, crazy, so sexy, so painful, and beaten out of a wild heart that nothing can tame.

Acker is a landmark writer' Jeanette Winterson This is the story of Janey, who lived in a locked room, where she found a scrap of paper and began to write down her life. It's a story of lust, sex, pain, youth, punk, anarchy, gangs, the city, feminism, America, Jean Genet and the prisons we create for ourselves.

A heady, surreal mash-up of coming-of-age tale, prose, poetry, plagiarism and illustration, Kathy Acker's breakthrough novel caused huge controversy and made her an avant-garde literary icon. Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Kathy Acker's untimely death, Blood and Guts in High School is published for the first time in Penguin Classics, acknowledging the profound impact she has had on our culture, and alongside the authors her work pulsates with the influence of: William S.

Burroughs, Cervantes and Charles Dickens, among others. He imagines his body punctured with arrows, like the body of St Sebastian in the painting that obsesses him. Over and over again, each night in his private fantasies, the objects of his lust are tortured, killed and maimed. But, in the rigid world of imperial wartime Japan there is no place for such transgressive desires. He must wear a false mask and hide his true nature, whatever the cost. Not now. Not ever. But as the everyday classroom and playground dramas are played out, they begin to reflect the disturbing undertones of s Italy, and the narrator realizes that being Jewish means he will always be excluded.

The fourth book in Bassani's Romanzo di Ferrara cycle, Behind the Door is a luminous portrayal of childhood friendship and the loss of innocence. A new translation by Jamie McKendrick 'Giorgio Bassani is one of the great witnesses of this century, and one of its great artists' Guardian 'Powerful new translations. Bassani began as a poet, and McKendrick's redelivery of this taut uncompromising fiction reveals resonance and generosity' Ali Smith. In the missionary Father Pedro Velasco's dream comes true.

For the first time, the Japanese are going to cross the Pacific Ocean. And he is going with them. As he sets sail with a group of Samurai, for Mexico, then Spain and finally Rome, his zealous hope is that, by opening up relations with the western world, Japan will become ripe for conversion to Christianity - with him as Bishop. But fate has other plans for Father Velasco. A gripping portrayal of an extraordinary historical voyage, filled with danger and hardship, The Samurai is a haunting novel of endurance, faith and hubris.

It's an epidemic of free expression, carried by black artists, and its symptoms are an uncontrollable urge to dance, sing, laugh and jive. The state will stop at nothing to suppress the outbreak, but, deep in the heart of Harlem, private eye and Vodum priest Papa LaBas has other ideas - and, possibly, the key to everything. A freewheeling, explosive blend of jazz, ragtime, ancient myth, magic and conspiracy thriller, this anarchic postmodern classic is a satire for our times.

What caused this act of insanity? Does the answer lie with Martin, her troubled lover, Bruno, the writer who worshipped her mother, or with her father Fernando himself, demonic creator of the strange 'Report on the Blind'? Their lives entwine in Ernesto Sabato's dark epic of passion, philosophy and paranoia in Buenos Aires. She cuts her skirt short so that she can ride her bicycle, her golden hair flying out behind her.

She butchers pigs. She drinks and eats with relish. And when the garrulous ranconteur Uncle Pepin comes to visit the locals are scandalized even further, in Bohumil Hrabal's affecting, exuberant portrayal of a small central European community between the wars. At first, they crumble, until they are helped by whispered advice from a stranger in the crowd - a man who will risk everything to win.

Stefan Zweig's acclaimed novella Chess is a disturbing, intensely dramatic depiction of obsession and the price of genius. His sleepy fishing village in s Barbados is overseen by the English landlord who lives on the hill, just as their 'Little England' is watched over by the Mother Country. Yet gradually, G. As the world he knows begins to crumble, revealing the bruising secret at its heart, he is spurred ever closer to a life-changing decision. Lyrical and unsettling, George Lamming's autobiographical coming-of-age novel is a story of tragic innocence amid the collapse of colonial rule.

This extraordinary re-creation of the life of a medieval Italian merchant, Francesco di Marco Datini, is one of the greatest historical portraits written in the twentieth century. Drawing on an astonishing cache of letters unearthed centuries after Datini's death, it reveals to us a shrewd, enterprising, anxious man, as he makes deals, furnishes his sumptuous house, buys silks for his outspoken young wife and broods on his legacy.

It is an unequalled source of knowledge about the texture of daily life in the small, earthy, violent, striving world of fourteenth-century Tuscany. Art is a basic social need to which everyone has a right'. This extraordinary collection of artists' manifestos from across the globe over the last years brings together activists, post-colonialists, surrealists, socialists, nihilists and a host of other voices.

Some have not been published in English before; some were written in climates of censorship and brutality; some contain visions of a future still on the horizon. What unites them is the belief that art can change the world. Winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize for Literature The bestselling epic novel of family, treachery, rivalry, religious fervour and the turbulent fate of a royal African dynasty It is and the African kingdom of Segu, born of blood and violence, is at the height of its power. Yet Dousika Traore, the king's most trusted advisor, feels nothing but dread.

Change is coming. From the East, a new religion, Islam. From the West, the slave trade. These forces will tear his country, his village and the lives of his beloved sons apart, in Maryse Conde's glittering epic. It sprawls over continents and centuries to find its way into the reader's heart' - Maya Angelou 'A stunning reaffirmation of Africa and its peoples It's a starburst' - John A.

Grounded in Freire's own experience teaching impoverished and illiterate students in his native Brazil and over the world, this pioneering book instead suggests that through co-operation, dialogue and critical thinking, every human being can develop a sense of self and fulfil their right to be heard. It is a gripping, profound reading experience - as startling, in its different way, as Hesse's Siddhartha and Steppenwolf.

New to Penguin Classics, the remarkable, devastating collected stories by the author of Wide Sargasso Sea. Some of Jean Rhys's most powerful writing is to be found in this rich, dark collection of her collected stories. Her fictional world is haunted by her own, painful memories: of cheap hotels and drab Parisian cafes; of devastating love affairs; of her childhood in Dominica; of drifting through European cities, always on the periphery and always perilously close to the abyss.

Rendered in extraordinarily vivid, honest prose, these stories show Rhys at the height of her literary powers and offer a fascinating counterpoint to her most famous novel, Wide Sargasso Sea. Still, it is a family. Shot through with Orwell's deeply felt sense of patriotism and love for his homeland, the essay is at the same time unfailingly clear-eyed about the nation's failings: entrenched social inequality, a dishonest press and a class system that only works for those at the top. Written during the Second World War, as the bombs were falling on England, the essay today speaks to the nation's current moment of crisis just as urgently as it did in Orwell's own time.

It is a crucial read for anyone who wants to understand who we are, and where we've come from. The short answer is that we, too, live in dark times' Washington Post Hannah Arendt's chilling analysis of the conditions that led to the Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes is a warning from history about the fragility of freedom, exploring how propaganda, scapegoats, terror and political isolation all aided the slide towards total domination. A classic of postwar literature, a small masterpiece of humour, humanity and heroism from one of the best Czech writers For twenty-two-year-old Milos, bumbling apprentice at a sleepy Czech railway station, life is full of worries: his burdensome virginity, his love for the pretty conductor Masha, the scandalous goings-on in the station master's office.

Beside them, the part he will come to play against the occupying Germans seems a simple affair, in Bohumil Hrabal's touching, absurd masterpiece of humour, humanity and heroism. Closely Watched Trains, which became the award-winning Jiri Menzel film of the 'Prague Spring', is a masterpiece that fully justifies Hrabal's reputation as one of the best Czech writers of the twentieth century.

Haunting stories from the Soviet-Afghan War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature - A new translation of Zinky Boys based on the revised text - From to Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed thousands of casualties on both sides. While the Soviet Union talked about a 'peace-keeping' mission, the dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins. Boys in Zinc presents the honest testimonies of soldiers, doctors and nurses, mothers, wives and siblings who describe the lasting effects of war.

Weaving together their stories, Svetlana Alexievich shows us the truth of the Soviet-Afghan conflict: the killing and the beauty of small everyday moments, the shame of returned veterans, the worries of all those left behind. When it was first published in the USSR in , Boys in Zinc sparked huge controversy for its unflinching, harrowing insight into the realities of war. But when the British spy Andrew Osnard - a man of large appetites, for women, information and above all money - walks into his shop, Harry's fantastical inventions take on a life of their own.

Soon he finds himself out of his depth in an international game he can never hope to win. Le Carre's savage satire on the espionage trade is set in a corrupt universe without heroes or honour, where the innocent are collateral damage and treachery plays out as tragic farce. A remarkable collection of dark, funny and haunting short stories from the inimitable author of 'The Lottery'. An anxious devil, an elderly writer of poison pen letters and a mid-century Jack the Ripper; a pursuit though a nightmarish city, a small boy's thrilling train ride with a female thief, and a town where the possibility of evil lurks behind perfect rose bushes.

This is the world of Shirley Jackson, by turns frightening, funny, strange and unforgettably revealed in this brilliant collection of short stories. A virtuoso collection' - Publishers Weekly. James Regarded by many as among the most powerful works of history ever written, The History of the Russian Revolution offers an unparalleled account of one of the most pivotal and hotly debated events in world history. This book presents, from the perspective of one of its central actors, the profound liberating character of the early Russian Revolution. Originally published in three parts, Trotsky's masterpiece is collected here in a single volume.

It is still the most vital and inspiring record of the Russian Revolution ever published. Borne of Mikhail Sholokhov's own early life in the lands of the Cossacks by the river Don, it is a searing portrait of a nation swept up in conflict, with all the tragic choices it brings. Hayes's masterpiece is an exquisite depiction of a doomed love affair set in noirish, s New York. In a Manhattan bar, a middle-aged man tells a pretty girl a story: of how he fell into a relationship with a lonely young divorcee; of how one night she was offered a thousand dollars to sleep with a stranger; and of how he and she would subsequently betray each other in turn.

In Alfred Hayes's exquisite novella, love - in all its bewildering turns of longing, elation, heartbreak and regret - is dissected with unforgettable honesty and heartbreaking clarity. A superb new translation by Michael Hofmann of some of Kafka's most frightening and visionary short fiction Strange beasts, night terrors, absurd bureaucrats and sinister places abound in this collection of stories by Franz Kafka.

Some are less than a page long, others more substantial; all were unpublished in his lifetime. These matchless short works range from the gleeful miniature horror 'Little Fable' to the off-kilter humour of 'Investigations of a Dog', and from the elaborate waking nightmare of 'Building the Great Wall of China' to the creeping unease of 'The Burrow', where a nameless creature's labyrinthine hiding place turns into a trap of fear and paranoia.

Sinclair Lewis's chilling bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, 'Professional Common Man', who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessup can't believe it will last - but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here. Author: Martin Luther, Jr. King had begun working on the sermons during a fortnight in jail in July and A Gift of Love includes these classic sermons, along with two new lectures.

Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the non-violent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, A Gift of Love illustrates King's vision of love and peaceful action as social and political forces for change. The third volume of Steven Runciman's classic, hugely influential trilogy on the history of the Crusades 'The whole tale is one of faith and folly, courage and greed, hope and disillusion' Steven Runciman's triumphant three-volume A History of the Crusades remains an unsurpassed account of the events that changed the world and continue to resonate today.

This final volume of the trilogy begins with the glamorous Third Crusade and ends with the ruinous collapse of the crusader states and the degeneration of their ideals, which reached its nadir in the tragic destruction of Byzantium. Runciman writes both seductively and instructively about the dignity and beauty of different religious beliefs and about the difficulties of their co-existence' Independent.

The first volume of Steven Runciman's classic, hugely influential trilogy on the history of the Crusades 'On a February day in the year AD the Caliph Omar entered Jerusalem, riding upon a white camel' An enthralling work of grand historical narrative, Steven Runciman's A History of the Crusades overturned the traditional view of the Crusades as a romantic Christian adventure, and instead shifted the focus of the story to the East.

With verve and drama, volume one of Runciman's trilogy tells the story of the First Crusade - from its unlikely beginnings in pilgrimage to the horrors of the siege of Jerusalem and the carving out of new territory on the edge of the eastern Mediterranean.


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A brilliant companion piece to Wide Sargasso Sea, this is Jean Rhys's beautifully written, bitter-sweet autobiography, covering her chequered early years in Dominica, England and Paris. Jean Rhys wrote this autobiography in her old age, now the celebrated author of Wide Sargasso Sea but still haunted by memories of her troubled past: her precarious jobs on chorus lines and relationships with unsuitable men, her enduring sense of isolation and her decision at last to become a writer.

From the early days on Dominica to the bleak time in England, living in bedsits on gin and little else, to Paris with her first husband, this is a lasting memorial to a unique artist. Includes an introduction by Diana Athill. A brilliant new translation of Simenon's critically acclaimed masterpiece. During a bleak, unending winter, he embarks on a string of violent and sordid crimes that set him on a path from which he can never return. Georges Simenon's matchless novel is a brutal, compelling portrayal of a world without pity; a devastating journey through a psychological no-man's land.

Walter Mitty is an ordinary man living an ordinary life. But he has dreams - vivid, extraordinary day dreams - in which the life he leads is one of excitement and even adventure, in which he - a weary, put upon middle-aged man - is the hero of his own story. A man can dream, can't he? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is just one of the brilliant humorous and witty stories written by James Thurber and collected here.