In the heart of a civil war-torn African nation, primate researcher Hope Clearwater made a shocking discovery about apes and man . . .
Young, alone, and far from her family in Britain, Hope Clearwater contemplates the extraordinary events that left her washed up like driftwood on Brazzaville Beach. It is here, on the distant, lonely outskirts of Africa, where she must come to terms with the perplexing and troubling circumstances of her recent past. For Hope is a survivor of the devastating cruelities of apes and humans alike. And to move forward, she must first grasp some hard and elusive truths: about marriage and madness, about the greed and savagery of charlatan science . . . and about what compels seemingly benign creatures to kill for pleasure alone.
Philip Roth - American Pastoral
Seymour Levov, a devoted family man and inheritor of his father's factory, comes of age in thriving post-war America. His daughter Merry is the apple of his eye until America begins to run amok in the turbulent 1960s, and Merry grows up to be a terrorist bent on destroying her father's paradise.
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Unconsoled
Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give. But then as he traverses a landscape by turns eerie and comical - and always strangely malleable, as a dream might be - he comes steadily to realise he is facing the most crucial performance of his life. Ishiguro's extraordinary study of a man whose life has accelerated beyond his control was met on publication by consternation, vilification - and the highest praise.
Kazuo Ishiguro - A Pale View of Hills
Etsuko, a middle-aged Japanese woman now living alone in England, dwells on the recent suicide of her elder daughter, Keiko. Despite the efforts of her surviving daughter to distract her thoughts, Etsuko finds herself recalling a particular summer in Nagasaki after the bomb fell.
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules. Like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse
This novel is an extraordinarily poignant evocation of a lost happiness that lives on in the memory. For years now the Ramsays have spent every summer in their holiday home in Scotland, and they expect these summers will go on forever. In this, her most autobiographical novel, Virginia Woolf captures the intensity of childhood longing and delight, and the shifting complexity of adult relationships. From an acute awareness of transcience, she creates an enduring work of art.
David Else - British Language & Culture
We're chuffed to bits to present the tour of Ole Blighty's lingo. It's the dog's bollocks! Try it out on the lads down your local, have a few pints, and don't worry about sounding naff - if it all goes pear-shaped, wait for the sound of 'Oh bless!' as they pat you on the back and buy you another bevvie. Get into the culture and humour behind the common - and not so common - English expressions and learn about the local languages that inspired them.
Franz Kafka - The Complete Novels
The Trial America The Castle Translated from the German by Willa and Edwin Muir In America Karl Rossmann is 'packed off to American by his parents' to experience Oedipal and cultural isolation. Here, ordinary immigrants are also strange, and 'America' is never quite as real as it should be. Kafka, a Czech writing in German, never acutally visited America; so, as Max Brod commented, 'the innocence of his fantasy gives this book if advanture its peculiar colour.' Both Joseph K in The Trial and K in The Castle are victims of anonymous governing forces beyond their control. Both are atomised, estranged and rootless citizens decieved by authoritarian power. Whereas Joseph K is relentlessly hunted down for a crime that remains nameless, K ceaselessly attempts to enter the castle and so belong somewhere. Together these novels may be read as powerful allegories of totalitarian government in whatever guise it appears today. Reviews He is the greatest German writer of our time. Such poets as Rilke or such novelists as Thomas Mann are dwarfs or plaster saints in comparison to him - Vladimir Nabokov Kafka described with wonderful imaginative power the future concentration camps, the future instability of the law, the future absolutism of the state, the paralysed, inadequately motivated, floundering lives of the many individual people; everything appeared as a nightmare and with the confusion and inadequacy of a nightmare - Bertolt Brecht Author Biography Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was born into a Jewish family in Prague. In 1906 he received a doctorate in jurisprudence, and for many years he worked a tedious job as a civil service lawyer investigating claims at the state Worker's Accident Insurance Institute. He never married, and published only a few slim volumes of stories during his lifetime. Meditation, a collection of sketches, appeared in 1912; The Stoker: A Fragment in 1913; The Metamorphosis in 1915; The Judgement in 1916; In the Penal Colony in 1919; and A Country Doctor in 1920. Only a few of his friends knew that Kafka was also at work on the great novels that were published after his death from tuberculosis: America, The Trial, and The Castle.
Kate Fox - Watching the English
A bestseller in the UK, Watching the English is a biting, affectionate, insightful and often hilarious look English Society. Putting the English national character under her anthropological microscope, Fox finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and bizarre codes of behavior. Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments-even using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig-Fox discovers what these unwritten codes tell us about Englishness.
William Boyd - A Good Man in Africa
Morgan Leafy isn't overburdened with worldly success - he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery with sensitive local politicians.
Haruki Murakami - A Wild Sheep Chase
Wild Sheep Chase is one of Murakami's most fantastical novels. An advertising executive, infatuated with a girl who possesses the most perfect ears, is sent on a search for the sheep with a star on its back. This catapults him into a weird adventure to find the sheep in the wilds of Hokkaido, Japan's northern island. There are strange stories, strange encounters. A Wild Sheep Chase is an early Murakami work, but its remarkable and individual voice makes it one of the most compelling and funny of his books. Superbly read by Rupert Degas with an edge of Raymond Chandler.
Haruki Murakami - The Elephant Vanishes
The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories by Japanese author Haruki Murakami. The stories were written between 1983 and 1990, and the collection's first English publication was in 1993. Stylistically and thematically, the collection aligns with Murakami's previous work. The stories mesh normality with surrealism, and focus on painful issues involving loss, destruction, confusion and loneliness. The title for the book is derived from the final story in the collection.
Franz Kafka - The Complete Short Stories
This volume contains all of Kafka's shorter fiction, from fragments, parables and sketches to longer tales. Together they reveal the breadth of Kafka's literary vision and the extraordinary imaginative depth of his thought. Some are well-known, others are mere jottings, observations of daily life, given artistic form through Kafka's unique perception of the world.
William Boyd - Any Human Heart
Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart.
Haruki Murakami - After the Quake
The economy was booming. People had more money than they knew what to do with. And then the earthquake struck. For the characters in After the Quake, the Kobe earthquake is an echo from a past they buried long ago. Satsuki has spent thirty years hating one man: a lover who destroyed her chances of having children. Did her desire for revenge cause the earthquake? Junpei's estranged parents live in Kobe. Should he contact them? Miyake left his family in Kobe to make midnight bonfires on a beach hundreds of miles away. Fourteen-year-old Sala has nightmares that the Earthquake Man is trying to stuff her inside a little box. Katagiri returns home to find a giant frog in his apartment on a mission to save Tokyo from a massive burrowing worm. 'When he gets angry, he causes earthquakes, says Frog. And right now he is very, very angry. This new collection of stories, from one of the world's greatest living writers, dissects the violence beneath the surface of modern Japan.
Barbara Pym - Crampton Hodnet
Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog for the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and is carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted alone together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve at all.
Samuel Beckett - The Complete Short Prose (1929-1989)
Although Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is best-known for his novels, such as the Molloy series, and his still frequently-performed plays like Waiting for Godot and Endgame, he is rarely thought of as a writer of short fiction and prose. Yet he wrote short works devotedly throughout his life; many critics count various Beckett short stories as masterpieces of the form, central to an appreciation of the writer's oeuvre. The Complete Short Prose, 1929-1989, as the title suggests, collects all of the Nobel Prize-winner's shorter works, such as "First Love," and "The Lost Ones."
Joseph Conrad - Victory
Axel Heyst, a disenchanted Swede, becomes involved in the operation of a coal company on a remote island in the Malay archipelago. When that fails, he turns his back on humanity until, once again, he is drawn into contact with the world by a girl whom he rescues and bears off to his island retreat.
Joseph Conrad - Lord Jim (angol)
First published in 1900, Lord Jim established Conrad as one of the great storytellers of the twentieth century. Set in the Malay Archipelago, the novel not only provides a gripping account of maritime adventure and romance, but also an exotic tale of the East. Its themes also challenge the conventions of nineteenth-century adventure fiction, confirming Conrad's place in literature as one of the first 'modernists' of English letters. Lord Jim explores the dilemmas of conscience, of moral isolation, of loyalty and betrayal confronting a sensitive individual whose romantic quest for an honourable ideal are tested to the limit. In this novel, Conrad draws on his background as Polish emigré, as well as his first-hand experience as a seaman, to experiment radically with the presentation of human frailty and doubt in the modern world.
Joseph Conrad - The nigger of the "Narcissus"
A dying sailor boards the Narcissus and acts as a memento mori upon his shipmates, eliciting pity and selfless compassion as well as fear, resentment, and a profound hatred. Powerful narrative technique, compelling character study
Joseph Conrad - The Secret Agent
Considered one of Conrad's most political works, The Secret Agent is set against the dismal backdrop of a drab and alienating London, and tells the story of the bombing of Greenwich Observatory by a group of anarchists. Shopkeeper, spy and reluctant anarchist Mr Verloc becomes embroiled in this terrorist plot, exploiting his mentally disabled brother-in-law Stevie in the process, leading to tragic circumstances.