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.
Michael Feeney Callan - Robert Redford - The Biography
Among the most widely admired Hollywood stars of his generation, Redford has appeared onstage and on-screen, in front of and behind the camera, earning Academy, Golden Globe, and a multitude of other awards and nominations for acting, directing, and producing, and for his contributions to the arts. His Sundance Film Festival transformed the world of filmmaking; his films defined a generation. America has come to know him as the Sundance Kid, Bob Woodward, Johnny Hooker, Jay Gatsby, and Roy Hobbs. But only now, with this revelatory biography, do we see the surprising and complex man beneath the Hollywood façade. From Redford’s personal papers—journals, script notes, correspondence—and hundreds of hours of taped interviews, Michael Feeney Callan brings the legendary star into focus. Here is his scattered family background and restless childhood, his rocky start in acting, the death of his son, his star-making relationship with director Sydney Pollack, the creation of Sundance, his political activism, his artistic successes and failures, his friendships and romances. This is a candid, surprising portrait of a man whose iconic roles on-screen (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, All the President’s Men, The Natural) and directorial brilliance (Ordinary People, Quiz Show) have both defined and obscured one of the most celebrated, and, until now, least understood, public figures of our time.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Pierre Borhan - Jane Livingston - André Kertész: His Life And Work
This important monograph is the first to present a complete overview of the work of Hungarian photographer Andre Kertesz (1894-1925), one of the undisputed masters of modern photography. Pierre Borhan covers three key periods of Kertesz's work: Hungary (1912-1925), France (1925-1936), and the United States (1936-1985). A full section is devoted to his famous "distortions" and another to his color works. This stunning book is a work of reference and valuable source of information, but it is also a richly dramatic tribute to one of the masters of twentieth-century photography.
Aurelien Ferenczi - Masters of Cinema: Tim Burton
Tim Burton (USA, b. 1958) is the youngest of Hollywood's most successful directors. He has the knack of making films with a very broad appeal, taking the silliness out of the representation of children, while remaining in touch with the child within himself and his audiences. Burton emerged as a director and storyteller after working as an animator for Disney. His meeting with Johnny Depp enabled him to give physical form to the heroes of his imaginary worlds, where fear is mixed with laughter, strange is normal and those who are not normal, such as "Edward Scissorhands" (1990), must be preserved. After "Beetlejuice" (1988) and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005), the resolutely boyish Burton, now in his fifties, presents his version of "Alice in Wonderland" (2010).
Peter E. Newell - Zapata of Mexico
Born in the Mexican state of Morelos more than 100 years ago, murdered at the age of 40 in 1919, described as the greatest outlaw known to the Western World, Emiliano Zapata was the purest "embodiment" of the Mexican revolution. Also includes a short account of the evolution of the ejidos and common lands of Mexico.
Sandra Gregory - Michael Tierney - Forget You Had a Daughter: Doing Time in the Bangkok Hilton - Sandra Gregory's Story
Having lived a successful life in Bangkok that included friends, two teaching jobs, and her own apartment, Sandra Gregory recounts how her life took a terrible turn in 1993 and how she experienced a journey from prison to renewal. While recuperating from dysentery and dengue fever, Gregory ran out of money. With mounting medical bills to pay, she met a heroin addict who offered her $1,000 to smuggle his personal supply of heroin to Japan. It was just enough to pay her medical bills and buy a ticket home, but Gregory was arrested at Bangkok airport before she even boarded the plane. Detailing the four and a half years she spent in the notorious Lard Yao prison, dubbed the "Bangkok Hilton," Gregory describes scenes of horrific brutality and suffering before being transferred to a British jail to serve the rest of her 22-year sentence. She tells of her daily fight for survival, of many women who died with no medical care or loved ones around them, and of her acceptance of her guilt and ultimate redemption.
Victor Bockris - The Life and Death of Andy Warhol
The only major biography of Andy Warhol, reissued to coincide with his 75th birthday. Artist, filmmaker, magazine publisher, instigator of Pop Art, Andy Warhol (1928-1987) used his canvasses of dollar bills, soup cans, and celebrities to subvert distinctions between high and popular culture. His spectacular career encompassed the underground scene as well as the equally deviant worlds of politics, show business, and high society. Warhol is the definitive chronicle of Warhol's storied life.
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.
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.
Morrissey - Autobiography
Autobiography covers Morrissey’s life from his birth until the present day. Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others. An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said ‘Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.’
Carrie Fisher - Wishful Drinking
Finally, after four hit novels, Carrie Fisher comes clean (well, sort of ) with the crazy truth that is her life in her first-ever memoir. In Wishful Drinking, adapted from her one-woman stage show, Fisher reveals what it was really like to grow up a product of "Hollywood in-breeding," come of age on the set of a little movie called Star Wars, and become a cultural icon and bestselling action figure at the age of nineteen. Intimate, hilarious, and sobering, Wishful Drinking is Fisher, looking at her life as she best remembers it (what do you expect after electroshock therapy?). It's an incredible tale: the child of Hollywood royalty -- Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher -- homewrecked by Elizabeth Taylor, marrying (then divorcing, then dating) Paul Simon, having her likeness merchandized on everything from Princess Leia shampoo to PEZ dispensers, learning the father of her daughter forgot to tell her he was gay, and ultimately waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed. Wishful Drinking, the show, has been a runaway success. Entertainment Weekly declared it "drolly hysterical" and the Los Angeles Times called it a "Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes." This is Carrie Fisher at her best -- revealing her worst. She tells her true and outrageous story of her bizarre reality with her inimitable wit, unabashed self-deprecation, and buoyant, infectious humor. About the Author Carrie Fisher, the daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, became an icon when she starred as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her star-studded career includes roles in numerous films such as The Blues Brothers and When Harry Met Sally. She is the author of four bestselling novels, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful and Postcards from the Edge, which was made into a hit film, starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep. Fisher's experience with addiction and mental illness--and her willingness to speak honestly about them--have made her a sought-after speaker and respected advocate. She is truly one of the most magical people who walks among us.
Alison Weir - Elizabeth the Queen
In her highly praised The Six Wives of Henry VIII and its sequel, Children of England, Alison Weir examined the private lives of the early Tudor kings and queens, and chronicled the childhood and youth of Elizabeth I. This book begins as the young Elizabeth ascends the throne in the wake of her sister Mary’s disastrous reign. Elizabeth is portrayed as both a woman and a queen, an extraordinary phenomenon in a patriarchal age. Alison Weir writes of Elizabeth’s intriguing, long-standing affair with Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; of her dealings — sometimes comical, sometimes poignant — with her many suitors; of her rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scots; and of her bizarre relationship with the Earl of Essex, thirty years her junior. Rich in detail, vivid and colourful, this book comes as close as we shall ever get to knowing what Elizabeth I was like as a person.
Csalog Zsolt - M. Lajos, 42 éves / Lajos M., aged 42
Csalog először a hősének a munkahelyéről való elbocsátásáról ír (négy pokrócot tulajdonított el), majd megemlíti, hogy ismeretségük korábbi keletű. Az író úgy fogalmaz: "42 éves volt, amikor élményeit elmesélte, s amikor történetét első változatban megírtam". A Csalog műveiből ismert technika szerint a "hős" monológja ez is, a szerző leleménye ismét a narrátor kiválasztásában, beszéltetésében és a minden beépített kommentár nélküli jellemábrázolásban áll. A Don-kanyarnál hadifogságba esettek egyikéről kapunk portrét, akit tizenhárom évre Szibériai lágerbe küldenek. Hetvenüket fogták el, és hárman jutottak el Szibériáig; a táborban tizenhatezren voltak, "abbul maradt háromszáz". Életformájukat a "kátorzsnaja rabóta" határozta meg, éhezés és agyondolgoztatás. Rémes, megdöbbentő tényeket sorol fel a narrátor: "Emberhúsevés, az előfordult". "Embert én is ettem" - a visszaélő szakácsot megfőzik egy hatalmas kondérban és megeszik. Előfordulnak erőszakolási jelenetek és más atrocitások ábrázolásai is. Tizenhárom évet töltött Szibériában M. Lajos, itthon is büntették gyanakvásból, előítéletből. A végszó a tragikus élet végén jelentkező rezignált idillé: "semmire se panaszkodok. Mer legalább itthon vagyok..." A szöveg, főleg szókincse, a nyerseségig durva, de (talán éppen emiatt) megrázó és fölrázó. - Nemcsak politikai - irodalmi szenzáció is, a legdöbbenetesebb lágertörténetek egyike.