Frank Allcroft tells terrible jokes. To millions of people.
As a presenter on Midlands TV’s regional news, Frank is a long way from journalism’s cutting edge, and he knows it. Fifteen years ago, Frank hired gag-writer Cyril to inject some humour into his thoroughly unremarkable reports – of pie-baking contests, local crime and spectacular non-events. Cyril’s gags turned out to be as pitiful as his CV, but the worse the jokes have got, the higher Frank’s ratings have climbed. To his co-presenter Julia’s intense annoyance, Frank is now officially ‘the unfunniest man on god’s earth’ and a certified local legend.
It’s a strange sort of success, but it seems to work, perhaps because Frank’s ambitions have never extended much beyond his family and home: his wife, Andrea, who makes him feel comfortable in his skin (most of the time); and his daughter, Mo, whose questions bring the world alive. But as Frank reflects on his late father’s legacy and what he in turn will leave behind, one news report of a particularly sad and lonely death catches his eye. Digging further into the past, he uncovers a story of thwarted hopes and a friendship tested with the ultimate request.
Both brilliantly funny and heartbreakingly sad, The News Where You Are is a blisteringly sharp satire on modern Britain, a moving exploration of loss, and an uplifting portrait of what makes us human, which shows that what remains of us is love.
David Lodge - Deaf Sentence
_Being deaf is less an affliction than a sentence..._ Retired Professor of Linguistics Desmond Bates is going deaf. Not suddenly, but gradually and - for him and everyone nearby - confusingly. It's a bother for his wife, Winifred, who has an enviably successful new career and is too busy to be endlessly repeating herself. Roles are reversed when he visits his hearing-impaired father, who won't seek help and resents his son's intrusions. And, finally, there's Alex. Alex is a student Desmond agrees to help after a typical misunderstanding. But her increasingly bizarre and disconcerting requests cannot - unfortunately - be blamed on defective hearing. So much for growing old gracefully...
John Lennon - In His Own Write
_About The Awful_ I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one). Anyway they didn't get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn't pass -- much to my Aunties supplies. As a member of the most publified Beatles my (P, G, and R's) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I'm conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I've every ready. God help and breed you all.
Leila Sales - This Song Will Save Your Life
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing. Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
Terry Pratchett - I Shall Wear Midnight
Tiffany Aching, the young witch from "The Wee Free Men", "A Hat Full of Sky" and "Wintersmith" is back in a new adventure featuring Discworld characters both familiar to fans (such as Tiffany, the Wee Free Men, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg) and new (meet Wee Mad Arthur, the Nac Mac Feegle on the City Watch whose only previous appearance was a brief cameo in Feet of Clay and city witch Mrs Proust - a fabulous Pratchett creation). Oh, and there's a magic book or two, a twist through time, a Cunning Man - and a Giant Man of chalk...
Terry Pratchett - Strata
The Company builds planets. Kin Arad is a high-ranking official of the Company. After twenty-one decades of living, and with the help of memory surgery, she is at the top of her profession. Discovering two of her employees have placed a fossilized plesiosaur in the wrong stratum, not to mention the fact it is holding a placard which reads, 'End Nuclear Testing Now', doesn't dismay the woman who built a mountain range in the shape of her initials during her own high-spirited youth. But then came a discovery of something which _did_ intrigue Kin Arad. A flat earth was something new...
Terry Pratchett - The Last Hero
He's been a legend in his own lifetime. He can remember the great days of high adventure. He can remember when a hero didn't have to worry about fences and lawyers and civilisation. He can remember when people didn't tell you off for killing dragons. But he can't always remember, these days, where he put his teeth... He's really not happy about that bit. So now, with his ancient sword and his new walking stick and his old friends - and they're very old friends - Cohen the Barbarian is going on one final quest. He's going to climb the highest mountain in the Discworld and meet his gods. He doesn't like the way they let men grow old and die. The last hero in the world is going to return what the first hero stole. With a vengeance. That'll mean the end of the world, if no one stops him in time...
David Lodge - Changing Places
When Philip Swallow and Professor Morris Zapp participate their universities' Anglo-American exchange scheme, the Fates play a hand, and each academic finds himself enmeshed in the life of his counterpart on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Nobody is immune to the exchange: students, colleagues, even wives are swapped as events spiral out of control. And soon both sun-drenched Euphoric State University and rain-kissed University of Rummige are a hotbed of intrigue, lawlessness and broken vows... _Changing Places_ is a funny and wise tale of academic ill-manners - David Lodge at his comic best.
Terry Pratchett - Mort (angol)
Although the scythe isn't pre-eminent among the weapons of war, anyone who has been on the wrong end of, say, a peasants' revolt wil know that in skilled hands it is fearsome. For Mort however, it is about to become one of the tools of his trade. From henceforth, Death is no longer going to be the end, merely the means to an end. He has received an offer he can't refuse. As Death's apprentice he'll have free board, use of the company horse and being dead isn't compulsory. It's the dream job until he discovers that it can be a killer on his love life...
Terry Pratchett - Snuff
According to the writer of the best-selling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have had time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. And Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe. There are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder. He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, out of bacon sandwiches, and occasionally snookered and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment. They say that in the end all sins are forgiven. But not quite all..
J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
There is a door at the end of a silent corridor. And it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror? Here are just a few things on Harry's mind: - A Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey. - A venomous, disgruntled house-elf - Ron as keeper of the Gryffindor Quidditch team - The looming terror of the end-of-term Ordinary Wizarding Level exams . . . and of course, the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. In the richest installment yet of J. K. Rowling's seven-part story, Harry Potter is faced with the unreliability of the very government of the magical world and the impotence of the authorities at Hogwarts. Despite this (or perhaps because of it), he finds depth and strength in his friends, beyond what even he knew, boundless loyalty; and unbearable sacrifice. Though thick runs the plot, listeners will race through these tapes and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back.
Terry Pratchett - A Hat Full of Sky
'Crivens!' A real witch never casually steps out of her body, leaving it empty. Eleven-year-old Tiffany does. And there's something just waiting for a handy body to take over. Something ancient and horrible, which can't die... Wise, witty and wonderful. A Hat Full of Sky is Terry Pratchett's second novel about Tiffany and the Wee Free Men - the rowdiest, toughest, smelliest bunch of fairies ever. They'll fight anything. And even they might not be enough to save Tiffany...
Terry Pratchett - Thud!
Koom Valley? That was where the trolls ambushed the dwarfs, or the dwarfs ambushed the trolls. It was far away. It was a long time ago. But if he doesn't solve the murder of just one dwarf, Commander Sam Vimes of Ankh-Morpork City Watch is going to see it fought again, right outside his office. With his beloved Watch crumbling around him and war-drums sounding, he must unravel every clue, outwit every assassin and brave any darkness to find the solution. And darkness is following him. Oh... and at six o'clock every day, without fail, with no excuses, he must go home to read Where's My Cow?, with all the right farmyard noises, to his little boy. There are some things you have to do.
Terry Pratchett - The Light Fantastic
'What shall we do?' said Twoflower. 'Panic?' said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival. When the very fabric of time and space are about to be put through the wringer - in this instance by the imminent arrival of a very large and determinedly oncoming meteorite - circumstances require a very particular type of hero. Sadly what the situation does not need is a singularly inept wizard, still recovering from the trauma of falling off the edge of the world. Equally it does not need one well-meaning tourist and his luggage which has a mind of its own. Which is a shame because that's all there is...
Terry Pratchett - Wyrd Sisters
Terry Pratchett takes on Shakespeare in this sixth installment in the long-running parodic fantasy series set on the Discworld. Rigidly honorable, nasty-tempered witch Granny Weatherwax, who first appeared in EQUAL RITES, is back, joined by two other witches: matronly, raunchy Nanny Ogg and soppy, ineffective Magrat. This coven of three, aided by the ghost of the newly murdered king, must defend the tiny realm of Lancre and protect its rightful heir from the usurping Macbeth-like couple Duke and Duchess Felmet.
Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
In Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer tells the story of a precocious 9-year old boy, Oskar Schell. Oskar is very intelligent and independent, writes letters to Stephen Hawking, designs jewelry, and wanders about New York City wearing only white while playing the tambourine. On 9/11, he discovers the family's answering machine contains 5 messages from his father trapped in the north tower before he dies, and he hides the messages from his mother. Oskar struggles to deal with this inconsolable loss, distancing himself from his mom who eventually finds another man, and dreaming of fanciful inventions that can protect people from harm. When he finds a key in his father's closet with the word "Black" on the envelope holding it. Oskar seaches the city for every family named Black in hopes they can tell him the secret of the key, in hopes of understanding his father better. Oskar's grandmother lives across the street from him, and she struggles with the loss of her son while remembering her own survival during the bombing of Dresden and the damage it did to her family. Jonathan Safran Foer explores the psychological fallout from 9/11 through an unlikely boy whose pain and ideas ring all too true. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has received high praise with the Rocky Mountain News saying, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a complex, hilarious, tear-jerking and terribly intimate story."
Terry Pratchett - Eric
Eric is the Discworld's only demonology hacker. Pity he's not very good at it. All he wants is his three wishes granted. Nothing fancy: to be immortal, to rule the world and have the most beautiful woman in the world fall madly in love with him. The usual stuff. But instead of a tractable demon, Eric calls up Rincewind, the most incompetent wizard in the universe, and his extremely intractable and hostile travel accessory, the Luggage. With them on his side, Eric's in for a ride through space and time that is bound to make him wish (quite fervently) again - this time that he'd never been born.
Terry Pratchett - Soul Music
"Other children got given xylophones. Susan just had to ask her grandfather to take his vest off." Yes. There's a Death in the family. It's hard to grow up normally when Grandfather rides a white horse and wields a scythe - especially when you have to take over the family business, and everyone mistakes you for the Tooth Fairy. And especially when you have to face the new and addictive music that has entered the Discworld. It's Lawless. It changes people. It's called Music with Rocks In. It's got a beat and you can dance to it, but ... It's alive. And it won't fade away.
Terry Pratchett - Moving Pictures
The alchemists of the Discworld have discovered the magic of the silver screen. But what is the dark secret of Holy Wood hill? It's up to Victor Tugelbend ("Can't sing. Can't dance. Can handle a sword a little") and Theda Withel ("I come from a little town you've probably never heard of") to find out... Moving Pictures, the tenth Discworld novel, is a gloriously funny saga set against the background of a world gone mad!
Terry Pratchett - Hogfather
It's the night before Hogswatch. And it's too quiet. Where is the big jolly fat man? Why is Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho? The darkest night of the year is getting a lot darker... Susan the gothic governess has got to sort it out by morning, otherwise there won't be a morning. Ever again... The 20th Discworld novel is a festive feast of darkness and Death (but with jolly robins and tinsel too). As they say: You'd better watch out...
Terry Pratchett - Feet of Clay
There's a werewolf with pre-lunar tension in Ankh-Morpork. And a dwarf with attitude and a golem who's begun to think for itself. But for Commander Vimes, Head of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, that's only the start... There's treason in the air. A crime has happened. He's not only got to find out whodunit, but howdunit too. He's not even sure what they dun. But as soon as he knows what the questions are, he's going to want some answers.