Michael Heatley - Ricky Gervais
It's been an unorthodox road to the top for Gervais, who was brought up the youngest of four brothers on a rough and ready Reading housing estate in the early 1960s. He studied philosophy at London University and, after graduation, worked for the university as entertainments manager, before embarking on several other short-lived jobs that included managing nascent Brit-pop stars Suede. He had already tried his own pop luck as singer with new romantics Seona Dancing, two-single wonders who were big only in the Philippines. Undeterred, Gervais became a presenter on London alternative radio station XFM in 1996, where he met his writing partner and long-term collaborator, Stephen Merchant. Televisual rungs on the stepladder to fame included Channel 4's "Comedy Lab" and "The 11 O'Clock Show", plus an unsuccessful chat show, "Meet Ricky Gervais", all in the late 1990s. "The Office" became the talk of the water cooler in offices all over Britain in 2001. "Extras" followed in 2005, and attracted guest stars of the calibre of Ben Stiller, Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart and Kate Winslet. In addition to his TV and stand-up comedy work, Gervais has also created a series of wacky children's books called "Flanimals". "Ricky Gervais: The Unauthorized Biography" is a must read for all fans of the man and his work, and the comedy book of 2006.
William Boyd - The New Confessions
The New Confessions is equal parts Laurence Sterne, Charles Dickens, Robertson Davies and Saul Bellow, with a wry 1980s touch that is pure Boyd.The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.The New Confessions takes us from Todd's boyhood in Scotland to the trenches of World War I, to his fretful progress as film maker in the Weimar Republic, to deportation and exile in Mexico and the Allied invasion of St. Tropez, and finally to dark Hollywood days, and the obscurity of the blacklist, during the McCarthy era.The New Confessions is told from the questionable vantage point of not-so-serene old age and self-imposed exile in Mediterranean. Charming and exasperating, shrewd and foolish, vain and disarmingly candid, Todd lets us in on the secrets of his chaotic and beguiling life.The New Confessions is one man's astonishing march through chaos and adventure of three quarters of a century.
Susan Netter - Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
This moving and candid biography tells the story of cinema's best-known celebrity couple. It takes the reader beyond the hype to the flesh-and-blood man and woman who have been married for over thirty years - and who have lived in the public eye for even longer. It is the story of their huge successes, the films they made together - including Winning and Rachel, Rachel - and those they made individually, with Joanne winning an Oscar for Three faces of Eve and Paul for The Color of Money - a long overdue award after his highly-praised performances in The Hustler, The Sting and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
Hermione Lee - Virginia Woolf
Moving freely between a detailed life-story and attempts to understand significant questions, this biography of Virginia Woolf addresses topics such as the impact of her childhood, the cause and nature of her madness and suicide, the truth about her marriage, her feelings for women, and her prejudices and obsessions. The author uses primary sources to show Woolf as occupying a distinct and even uneasy position within the Bloomsbury Set, and how the concerns of her work arise and develop. She is also presented as a radically sceptical, subversive, courageous feminist. Hermione Lee's other books include "The Novels of Virginia Woolf", "Elizabeth Bowen", "Philip Roth" and "Willa Cather".
Kenneth Slawenski - J. D. Salinger
One of the most popular and mysterious figures in American literary history, the author of the classic Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger eluded fans and journalists for most of his life. Now he is the subject of this definitive biography, which is filled with new information and revelations garnered from countless interviews, letters, and public records. Kenneth Slawenski explores Salinger’s privileged youth, long obscured by misrepresentation and rumor, revealing the brilliant, sarcastic, vulnerable son of a disapproving father and doting mother. Here too are accounts of Salinger’s first broken heart—after Eugene O’Neill’s daughter, Oona, left him—and the devastating World War II service that haunted him forever. J. D. Salinger features all the dazzle of this author’s early writing successes, his dramatic encounters with luminaries from Ernest Hemingway to Elia Kazan, his office intrigues with famous New Yorker editors and writers, and the stunning triumph of The Catcher in the Rye, which would both make him world-famous and hasten his retreat into the hills of New Hampshire. J. D. Salinger is this unique author’s unforgettable story in full—one that no lover of literature can afford to miss.
Salman Rushdie - Joseph Anton (angol)
On February 14, 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie received a telephone call from a BBC journalist who told the author that he had been “sentenced to death” by the Ayatollah Khomeini. It was the first time Rushdie heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being “against Islam, the Prophet, and the Quran.” So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. Rushdie was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and various combinations of their names. Then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov—Joseph Anton. How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for more than nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, and how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir, Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of the crucial battle for freedom of speech. He shares the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom. Compelling, provocative, and moving, Joseph Anton is a book of exceptional frankness, honesty, and vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.
Stephen Davis - Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith
Hang on, it's a hell of a ride! From the band that lived by the motto "Anything worth doing was worth overdoing" -- Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, Brad Whitford, and Joey Kramer -- comes a quarter century of rock godhood: the life, the music, the truth, the hell, the lost years, and the raunchy, unsafe sex. And, of course, the drugs. But after crashing in a suffocating cloud of cocaine, crystal meth, and heroin, Aerosmith rose up from the ashes to become clean and sober -- and reclaim their rightful title as World Champion Rockers. Learn how they did it in a book that is pure Aerosmith unbound: where they came from, what they are now, and what they will always be -- a great American band.
Edna O'Brien - James Joyce
One of Ireland's greatest contemporary writers turns her attention to one of the country's greatest novelists from the past. Edna O'Brien depicts James Joyce as a man hammered by Church, State and family, yet from such adversities he wrote works "to bestir the hearts of men and angels". The journey begins with Joyce the arrogant youth, his lofty courtship of Nora Barnacle, their hectic sexuality, children, wanderings, debt and profligacy, and Joyce's obsession with the city of Dublin, which he would re-render through his words. Nor does Edna O'Brien spare us the anger and isolation of Joyce's later years, when he felt that the world had turned its back on him, and she asks how could it be otherwise for a man who knew that conflict is the source of all creation.
Anthony Burgess - A Dead Man in Deptford
Set in Elizabethan England, Burgess's first novel for four years centres on the life of Christopher Marlowe, who was killed in suspicious circumstances in a tavern brawl in Deptford 400 years ago. It portrays a theatre genius riven by sexual and political conflicts.
Haruki Murakami - What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
From the best-selling author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and After Dark, a rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running, and the integral impact both have made on his life. In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Haruki Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a slew of critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and–even more important–on his writing. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and includes settings ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvellous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after the age of fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.
Claire Tomalin - Samuel Pepys
A full-scale biography of naval administrator Samuel Pepys, who was well-known for being the friend of the famous and powerful. This text, which draws on Pepys' own personal diary, covers his childhood and young adulthood. It moves through the famous diary years and beyond, to the death of his wife and the setting up of a new household. While using the diary as a source, the author goes beyond its narrative to the inner man, at the same time revealing life as a young man in Restoration London. Explored within are Pepys' relations with women, his fears and ambitions, his political shifts and his agonies and delights.
Françoise Gilot - Carlton Lake - Life with Picasso
Françoise Gilot was a young painter in Paris when she first met Picasso - he was sixty-two and she was twenty-one. During the following ten years they were lovers, worked closely together and she became mother to two of his children, Claude and Paloma. LIFE WITH PICASSO, her account of those extraordinary years, is filled with intimate and astonishing revelations about the man, his work, his thoughts and his friends - Matisse, Braque, Gertrude Stein and Giacometti among others. Francois Gilot paints a compelling portrait of her turbulent life with the temperamental genius that was Picasso. She is a superb witness to Picasso as an artist and to his views on art.
John Barrowman - Carole E. Barrowman - I Am What I Am
"Anything Goes" gave you the story so far. "I Am What I Am" reveals more about the man behind the television sensation, focusing on John's unique approach to life and love. Written with John's trademark style, the book will be filled with juicy titbits from behind the scenes of "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood", alongside heart-warming family anecdotes and personal revelations, including John's perspective on fame and how it has affected him. Also containing exclusive details about and opinions on all the top-rating BBC talent shows, such as "I'd Do Anything", "I Am What I Am" will allow intimate access to the multi-talented man himself - an unmissable treat for any fan.
Sylvie Simmons - I'm Your Man (angol)
The genius behind such classic songs as "Suzanne", "Bird on the Wire" and "Hallelujah", Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a man of spirituality, emotion, and intelligence whose work has explored the definitive issues of human life - sex, religion, power, meaning, love. Yet before he even began recording, Cohen was an accomplished literary figure whose poetry and novels brought him considerable recognition. His dual careers in music and literature have transformed one another, his songs revealing a literary quality rare in the world of popular music, and his poetry and prose informed by a rich musicality. "I'm Your Man" explores the facets of Cohen's life - from his early childhood in Montreal, to his entree into the worlds of literature and music, his immersion in Jewish culture, obsession with Christian imagery, and deep commitment to Buddhist detachment - including the five years he spent at a monastery outside of Los Angeles and his ordainment as a Rinzai Zen Buddhist Monk. Sylvie Simmons draws on Cohen's private archives and a wealth of interviews with many of his closest associates, colleagues, and other artists whose work he has inspired, as well as professors, Buddhist monks, and rabbis, to share stories and details never before revealed, and correct mistakes propounded in previous works. Unlike other biographies, "I'm Your Man" gives equal time to Cohen's poetry and prose and balances his intellectual and religious sides. The result is this deeply insightful, well-rounded portrait, of an artist whose reach, vision, and incredible talent has had a profound impact on multiple generations and who continues to create magic today.
Ismeretlen szerző - Michael Jackson
A fitting tribute to the undisputed "King of Pop," this lavishly illustrated book takes us on a visual tour of Michael Jackson’s colorful, highly publicized, sometimes controversial, but exceptionally gifted life. From his earliest performances with the Jackson 5 in the 1960s to his multimillion-selling album success as a solo artist, this book provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at this essentially shy but legendary artist. Capturing the essence of his innovations in music, dance, and video, these images show how Jackson transformed popular culture to become one of the most commercially successful entertainers of all time. The latest in the Life in Pictures series, this is a beautifully produced book filled with wonderful, often surprisingly intimate images - a celebration of one of the most talented artists of all time and the perfect gift for any Jackson fan.
Hank Wagner - Christopher Golden - Stephen R. Bissette - Prince of Stories - The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman
Over the past twenty years, Neil Gaiman has developed into the premier fantasist of his generation, achieving that rarest of combinations - unrivalled critical respect and extraordinary commercial success. From the landmark comic book series "The Sandman" to novels such as the "New York Times" bestselling "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys", from children's literature like "Coraline" to screenplays for such films as "Beowulf" and his own "Stardust", Neil Gaiman has developed a fiercely loyal, worldwide following.To comic book fans, he is Zeus in the pantheon of creative gods, having changed that industry forever. To readers, he spans the vast gap that traditionally divides lovers of 'literary' and 'genre' fiction. Neil Gaiman is a pop culture phenomenon touching everything from animation, Japanese anime, the music of Tori Amos, Hollywood cinema, theatre, and everything in between.Now, complete with hours of exclusive interviews with Gaiman and conversations with his collaborators, as well as wonderful nuggets of his work such as rare articles and never-before-published essays, "Prince of Stories" chronicles the history and impact of the complete works of Neil Gaiman in film, fiction, comic books, and beyond. Every tale and character is covered, including Gaiman's comments and thoughts, and the authors present loads of rare comics stories (fully reproduced), book covers, photographs, and related trivia and minutiae, making this a stunningly beautiful book, a terrific holiday gift and a must-have for Gaiman's legion of fans.
Marilyn Monroe - My Story
Written at the height of her fame but not published until over a decade after her death, this autobiography of actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) poignantly recounts her childhood as an unwanted orphan, her early adolescence, her rise in the film industry from bit player to celebrity, and her marriage to Joe DiMaggio. In this intimate account of a very public life, she tells of her first (non-consensual) sexual experience, her romance with the Yankee Clipper, and her prescient vision of herself as "the kind of girl they found dead in the hall bedroom with an empty bottle of sleeping pills in her hand." The Marilyn in these pages is a revelation: a gifted, intelligent, vulnerable woman who was far more complex than the unwitting sex siren she portrayed on screen. Lavishly illustrated with photos of Marilyn, this special book celebrates the life and career of an American icon—-from the unique perspective of the icon herself.
Peter Freestone - David Evans - Freddie Mercury
'I was Freddies's chief cook and bottle washer, waiter, butler, secretary, cleaner...and agony aunt' writes Peter Freestone. 'I travelled the world with him, I was with him at the highs and came through the lows...I acted as his bodyguard when needed and in the end, of course. I was one of his nurses' Peter Freestone was Freddie Mercury's Personal Assistant for the last 12 years of his life. He lived with Mercury in London, Munich and New York, and he was with him when he died. Here is... The most intimate account of Mercury's life ever written. The truth behind the scandalous rumours. From the famous names - including Elton John, Kenny Everett, Elizabeth Taylor and Rod Stewart - to the shadowy army of lovers, fixers and hangers-on, Peter Freestone saw them all play their part in the tragic-comedy that was Freddie Mercury's outrageous life. Now he tells all...
Anne Verlhac - David Thomson - Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe. Her very name hints at promise and excitement. She was almost too much - just too beautiful, her face a mask of make-up, her body too provocative, her white skirt flying up around her thighs in a sudden gust of air. With her mouth half-open and her eyes half-closed she is frozen in time, the very anticipation of pleasure. So much for the stereotype that has already travelled around the world several times - no doubt there is a lot more mileage in it. Yet there is so much more to see and to learn about than this overused, overworked, and depressingly vulgar cliché. Another face needs to be revealed, the one behind the mask, bare of make-up, fragile, exposed and moving. Look carefully and you will glimpse a very different Marilyn, the one left behind when the glamorous mask fell and the woman within shone through: a complex woman and a born artist. _Marilyn Monroe: A Life in Pictures_ pays tribute to a Marilyn far removed from the famous construct, from the knee-jerk film-star poses, the commercial, staged images at which she was so adept. The 150 original or unpublished images in this book are the result of ambitious research, selected with the aim of casting a fresh light on the life of this unique star and revealing her moving humanity. The search was for the real Marilyn, not the sex symbol illusion. If this book succeeds in conveying the extraordinary vitality that emanated from young Norma Jean, despite her flaws and the tragedies that befell her, if it manages to portray the extraordinary light that radiated from her and illuminated her beauty from within, if it finally puts an end to the image of the peroxide doll and little-girl-lost, and instead reveals her as an intelligent, headstrong, talented and generous woman, then it will have made a small contribution to her memory and reputation. But we have said enough. Let these images of Marilyn say the rest.
James Edward Austen-Leigh - A Memoir of Jane Austen
'I doubt whether it would be possible to mention any author of note, whose personal obscurity was so complete.' James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of his aunt Jane Austen was published in 1870, over fifty years after her death. Together with the shorter recollections of James Edward's two sisters, Anna Lefroy and Caroline Austen, the Memoir remains the prime authority for her life and continues to inform all subsequent accounts. These are family memories, the record of Jane Austen's life shaped and limited by the loyalties, reserve, and affection of nieces and nephews recovering in old age the outlines of the young aunt they had each known. They still remembered the shape of her bonnet and the tone of her voice, and their first-hand accounts bring her vividly before us. Their declared partiality also raises fascinating issues concerning biographical truth, and the terms in which all biography functions. This edition brings together for the first time these three memoirs, and also includes Jane's brother Henry Austen's 'Biographical Notice' of 1818 and his lesser known 'Memoir' of 1833, making a unique biographical record.