A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail.
"Enjoy the Ride!"
Big Brother is watching you.... 1984 is the year in which it happens. The world is divided into three superstates. In Oceania, the Party's power is absolute. Every action, word, gesture and thought is monitored under the watchful eye of Big Brother and the Thought Police. In the Ministry of Truth, the Party's department for propaganda, Winston Smith's job is to edit the past. Over time, the impulse to escape the machine and live independently takes hold of him and he embarks on a secret and forbidden love affair.
"The object of terrorism is terrorism."
A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love - all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.
Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master. To be bound in a nutshell, see the world in two inches of ivory, in a grain of sand. Why not, when all of literature, all of art, of human endeavour, is just a speck in the universe of possible things?
Once a week Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings. She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the North Devon cliffs and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters and her house by the sea. But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?
Dorothea Brooke is an ardent idealist who represses her vivacity and intelligence for the cold, theological pedant Casaubon. One man understands her true nature: the artist Will Ladislaw. But how can love triumph against her sense of duty and Casaubon's mean spirit? Meanwhile, in the little world of Middlemarch, the broader world is mirrored: the world of politics, social change, and reforms, as well as betrayal, greed, blackmail, ambition, and disappointment.
"Why do you want to be a boat builder?" "Because," said Morwenna, "I like the way the boats grow." Morwenna and Corwin are eight years old, wind-swept and salty-haired twins growing up on the Devon coast. In the soft autumn light they play as their grandfather, Matthew, watches the boats come in. But it is a day unlike any other.
"Short sweet tale of life and death"
Felix is at the top of his game as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And brewing revenge. After 12 years revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison.
"Clever dark humour makes for a great read.Loved it"
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance. When four graduates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success and pride.
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs....
"A great book to listen to :)"
At the heart of Joseph Heller's best-selling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indictment of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it.
The new audiobook from Number One bestselling author Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility. When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father. What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not. Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us. It is about opening your eyes.
Animal Farm is George Orwell's great socio-political allegory set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. However, as with all great political plans, some animals see a bigger share of the rewards than others and the animals start to question their supposed utopia.
"Brilliant classic, superbly read by Simon Callow"
Margaret Atwood's classic novel, The Handmaid's Tale, is about the future. Now, in Oryx and Crake, the future has changed: it's much worse. The narrator of this riveting novel calls himself Snowman. When the story opens, he's sleeping in a tree, wearing an old bedsheet, mourning the loss of his beloved Oryx and his best friend Crake, and slowly starving to death.
"Engrossing, disturbing, amusing, entertaining"
This hugely engaging story of murder, superstition, religious politics and drama in a medieval monastery was one of the most striking novels to appear in the 1980s. The Name of the Rose is a thrilling story enriched with period detail and laced with tongue-in-cheek allusions to fictional characters, the most striking of which is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville, who displays many characteristics of Sherlock Holmes.
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss's daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him....
"A simple tale that draws you into its world"
Romilly had worked hard for her stunning house in one of Bristol's most fashionable suburbs. She adored her daughter and handsome husband, and, sure, life was sometimes exhausting - but nothing that a large glass of wine couldn't fix. But then, as deep-buried insecurities surfaced, everything started to unravel. A glass of wine became a bottle; one bottle became two. Once, Romilly's family were everything to her. Now, after years of hiding the drinking, she must finally admit that she has found another love....
The story of a mother, her son, a locked room, and the outside world. It's Jack's birthday, and he's excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside....
"Great book but Jack's voice could have been better"
In 1886, a mysterious travelling circus becomes an international sensation. Open only at night, constructed entirely in black and white, Le Cirque des Rêves delights all who wander its circular paths and warm themselves at its bonfire. Although there are acrobats, fortune-tellers and contortionists, the Circus of Dreams is no conventional spectacle. Some tents contain clouds, some ice.
"Magical, mysterious and captivating"
Fusing Keatsian mists and mellow fruitfulness with the vitality, the immediacy and the colour hit of Pop Art - via a bit of skullduggery - Autumn is a witty excavation of the present by the past. Autumn is a take on popular culture and a meditation in a world growing ever more bordered: what constitutes richness and worth?
This comprehensive novel consists of three subplots which interlink to form the whole and supply a trio of targets at which Trollope aims his proselytising pen. The first treats on the courtship of a woman by a man whom she does not love and with whom she is not compatible. Mary Lowther will not accept such a marriage of dishonesty. The second deals with the plight of a young woman who has fallen prey to the wiles of an evil seducer and subsequently adopts a life of prostitution.
Sir Richard Hannay introduces this last adventure involving his old friends.
John Blenkiron discovers that a ruthless industrialist is plotting to destabilise America and cause global turmoil. Although Bavarian born, Castor plans to dominate the world from Olifa, a small country in Latin America. Hannay realises he is now too old for the job of thwarting these evil designs and enlists the aid of his old friend Sandy Arbuthnot, now Lord Clanroyden.
Hear the Wind Sing is Murakami's first novel, available for the first time in English outside Japan. In Hear the Wind Sing, the narrator is home from college on his summer break. He spends his time drinking beer and smoking in J's Bar with the Rat, listening to the radio, thinking about writing and the women he has slept with, and pursuing a relationship with a girl with nine fingers. The story of the narrator, the Rat and J continues in Pinball, 1973.
Matthew Oxenhay is 60: a stranger to his wife, an embarrassment to his children, and failed former contender for the top job at his City firm. Seizing on his birthday party as an opportunity to deliver some rather crushing home truths to his assembled loved ones, it seems as though Matthew might have hit rock bottom. The truth, however, is that he has some way to go yet....
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a coming-of-age novel narrated by 14-year-old Lily Owens, a young white teen who runs away from home. In equal parts fleeing her abusive father and pursuing a lead on her late mother, whose final days are shrouded in mystery, Lily travels to a nearby town where she finds a new home with a black family.
Nine men: each of them at a different stage of life, away from home, and striving - in the suburbs of Prague, in a cheap Cypriot hotel - to understand just what it means to be alive here and now. Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are - ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious, and full of heartfelt longing.
Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father's memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir. Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with the most outrageous action conceivable: reinstating slavery and segregating the local high school, which lands him in the Supreme Court.
"A clever, enjoyable satire on racism in todays USA"
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans, and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North.
As members of the yearbook committee, Nick, Zola, Matt, and Christina are eager to capture all the memorable moments of their junior year at Lewis and Clark High School - the plays and football games, dances and fund-drives, teachers and classes that are the epicenter of their teenage lives. But how do you document a horrific tragedy - a deadly school shooting by a classmate?
To four girls who have nothing, their friendship is everything: They are each other's confidantes, teachers, and family. The girls are all named Guinevere - Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win - and it is the surprise of finding another Guinevere in their midst that first brings them together. They come to the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration convent by different paths, delivered by their families, each with her own complicated, heartbreaking story that she safeguards.
Hanka osiagnela w zyciu bardzo duzo: ladne mieszkanie, dobrze prosperujace biuro podrózy, grupe oddanych przyjaciól. Nie czuje sie jednak szczesliwa - ma za soba kilka nieudanych zwiazków i wciaz szuka mezczyzny, z którym bedzie mogla miec dziecko. Kiedy na portalu randkowym poznaje Jacka, Polaka "po przejsciach", który od dwudziestu lat mieszka w Stanach, nie waha sie ani chwili. Mimo ostrzezen przyjaciólek decyduje sie zostawic wszystko swoim braciom i wyjechac na stale do USA.
Richard Brautigan was an original - brilliant and wickedly funny. His books resonated with the 1960s, making him an overnight counterculture hero. Dark, funny, and exquisitely haunting, his final book-length fiction explores the fragile, mysterious shadowland surrounding death. Told with classic Brautigan wit, poetic style, and mordant irony, An Unfortunate Woman assumes the form of a peripatetic journal chronicling the protagonist's travels and oblique ruminations on the suicide of one woman and the death of a close friend from cancer.
In the wake of family collapse, a writer and her two young sons move to London. The process of upheaval is the catalyst for a number of transitions - personal, moral, artistic, practical - as she endeavours to construct a new reality for herself and her children. In the city she is made to confront aspects of living she has until now avoided and to consider questions of vulnerability and power, death and renewal, in what becomes her struggle to reattach herself to and believe in life.
"TRANSIT - FREEDOM TO FATE"
This piece, set in the year 2024, follows the lovelorn travails of a hapless member of the Hungarian surveillance apparatus.
The corridor of the Fine Arts Building was deserted, save for two figures at the far end, two men approaching slowly. Rose was about to go into the classroom, where she'd left her purse, when she saw a sign on the door - a crude sign in pencil, on a ragged sheet of paper. "Collapse of Western Civilization - Dr. Norbert Beilstein," it said. "Visitors welcome."
I had an uncle who left his hometown and the family business there to become a fine actor. His talent was a minor one, but a pretty one. It lasted for 15 years and was gone. He came home with the ashes of it and died 20 years later, poor and, as it happened, drunk.
Every dog deserves a forever home, and after being mistreated and given up several times, Wrigley has finally found his. The good-natured, smart mutt now spends his days as the house dog at SunRidge Assisted Living, comforting and doting on 45 seniors. Wrigley has free run of the place - going where he senses he's needed - but his preferred spot is beside his favorite resident, Marjorie Thompson.
A young monk discovers a secret doorway buried deep beneath the monastery fields. Forbidden to explore further, Brother Magnus' curiosity drives him on, and with help from a local girl he uncover secrets and surprises from a different time and civilisation.
A natural storyteller and raconteur in his own right - just listen to Paddle Your Own Canoe and Gumption - actor, comedian, carpenter, and all-around manly man Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) brings his distinctive baritone and a fine-tuned comic versatility to Twain's writing. In a knockout performance, he doesn't so much as read Twain's words as he does rejoice in them, delighting in the hijinks of Tom - whom he lovingly refers to as a "great scam artist" and "true American hero".
It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.
"Beautifully written, but slower than a snail"
The second novel by Donna Tartt, best-selling author of The Goldfinch (winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize), The Little Friend is a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil. The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated.
"The unresolved American South."
The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....
"Murakami sparkles as ever"
Day one: The Georgia Flu explodes over the surface of the Earth like a neutron bomb. News reports put the mortality rate at over 99%. Week Two: Civilization has crumbled. Year Twenty: A band of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there. Twenty years after the pandemic, life feels relatively safe. But now a new danger looms, and it threatens the hopeful world every survivor has tried to rebuild.
"“survival is insufficient”"
Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband Edward Sheffield. One day, comfortable in her home and her second marriage, she receives--entirely out of the blue - a parcel containing the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a maths professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read along with her, so are we....
It is 1499, the eve of a new century full of threat and promise. In Renaissance Verona, Romeo and Juliet, offspring of the Capulets and the Montagues, two families at war, meet by chance and decide to marry secretly. But Juliet is about to be betrothed to a nobleman she doesn't know or want. And Romeo is part poet and part knight, too ready to reach for a sword in anger. Hours after their secret wedding, their hidden romance turns to tragedy and bloodshed as Romeo is forced to flee the city and Juliet is ordered to marry the nobleman, Paris.
Anthony Powell's universally acclaimed epic encompasses a four-volume panorama of twentieth century London. Hailed by Time as "brilliant literary comedy as well as a brilliant sketch of the times," A Dance to the Music of Time opens just after World War I. Amid the fever of the 1920s and the first chill of the 1930s, Nick Jenkins and his friends confront sex, society, business, and art.
"The best way to enjoy this true classic"
When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children's and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as "Rapunzel", "Hansel and Gretel", and "Cinderella" would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style.
"Grimm's grim stories"
Of all of John Irving's books, this is the one that lends itself best to audio. In print, Owen Meany's dialogue is set in capital letters; for this production, Irving himself selected Joe Barrett to deliver Meany's difficult voice as intended. In the summer of 1953, two 11-year-old boys - best friends - are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy's mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn't believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God's instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary and terrifying.
"An amazing and memorable book"
"A privilege to have read it"
With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme threw the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and served up a gorgeous salad of American culture, high and low. Here are the urban upheavals reimagined as frontier myth; travelogues through countries that might have been created by Kafka; cryptic dialogues that bore down to the bedrock of our longings, dreams, and angsts.
To the Lighthouse is Virginia Woolf's arresting analysis of domestic family life, centering on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shut), who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Woolf in the film adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, brings the impressionistic prose of this classic to vibrant life.
"The narrative moves on"
Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters: his fiancée Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions; and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. The most ambitious of Maugham's novels, this is also one in which Maugham himself plays a considerable part as he wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.
"Blunted over time?"
It is the rainy season; a drunk and delirious old man lies dying in the Queensland bush. In his opium-hazed last hours, a priest finds his deserted shack and listens to his last words. Half-awake and half-dreaming the old man tells the story of an adventure set decades in the future, in a very different world...
"A Nice Change"
Hailed by The New York Times as "a marvel of storytelling", The Things They Carried's portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing. Now, three-time Emmy Award winner-Bryan Cranston, star of the hit TV series Breaking Bad, delivers an electrifying performance that walks the book's hallucinatory line between reality and fiction and highlights the emotional power of the spoken word.
"What is a true war story?"
Stephen Gordon (named by a father desperate for a son) is not like other girls: she hunts, she fences, she reads books, wears trousers, and longs to cut her hair. As she grows up amidst the stifling grandeur of Morton Hall, the locals begin to draw away from her, aware of some indefinable thing that sets her apart. And when Stephen Gordon reaches maturity, she falls passionately in love - with another woman.
"Moving and astonishing"
Paul Rainey, an ad salesman, perceives dimly through a fog of psychoactive substances his dissatisfaction with his life - professional, sexual, weekends, the lot. He only wishes there was something he could do about it. And 'something' seems to fall into his lap when a meeting with an old friend and fellow salesman, Eddy Jaw, leads to the offer of a new job. But when this offer turns out to be as misleading as Paul's sales patter, his life and that of his family are transformed in ways very much more peculiar than he ever thought possible.
"London and Brighton come alive"
"The dance enters the war"