“HERE JOHN TURNER WAS CAST AWAY IN A HEAVY SNOW STORM IN THE NIGHT IN THE YEAR 1755” “THE PRINT OF A WOMAN’S SHOE WAS FOUND BY HIS SIDE IN THE SNOW WHERE HE LAY DEAD” This enigmatic tombstone, high on the bank of a prehistoric Pennine track, has haunted Alan Garner for 50 years. Thursbitch is an exploration of the C18th mystery; a mystery that lives on in the farms of the area. John Turner was a packman. With his train of horses he carried salt and silk travelling distances incomprehensible to his ancient and static community. In the novel he brings ideas as well as gifts that have come, by many short journeys, from market town to market town, from places as distant as the campfires of the Silk Road. John Turner’s death in the C18th leaves an emotional charge which, in the C21st, Ian and Sal find affects their relationship, challenging the perceptions they have of themselves and of each other. Alan Garner’s second novel for adults is a visionary fable, firmly rooted in a verifiable place. It is an evocation of the lives and the language of all people who are called to the valley of Thursbitch.
J. R. R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
J R. R. Tolkien THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING In a sleepy village in the Shire a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task. He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil...
J. R. R. Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers
The company of the Ring is sundered. Frodo and Sam continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin-alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.
Iain Sinclair - Dining on Stones
Andrew Norton, poet, visionary and hack, is handed a mysterious package that sees him quit London and head out along the A13 on an as yet undefined quest. Holing up in a roadside hotel, unable to make sense of his search, he is haunted by ghosts: of the dead and the not-so dead; demanding wives and ex-wives; East End gangsters; even competing versions of himself. Shifting from Hackney to Hastings and all places in-between, while dissecting a man's fractured psyche piece by piece, Dining on Stones is a puzzle and a quest for both writer and reader.
Victor Pelevin - The Life of Insects
Set in a crumbling Soviet Black Sea resort, The Life of Insects with its motley cast of characters who exist simultaneously as human beings (racketeers, mystics, drug addicts and prostitutes) and as insects, extended the surreal comic range for which Pelevin's first novel Omon Ra was acclaimed by critics. With consummate literary skill Pelevin creates a satirical bestiary which is as realistic as it is delirious - a bitter parable of contemporary Russia, full of the probing, disenchanted comedy that makes Pelevin a vital and altogether surprising writer.
Voltaire - Candide (angol)
Brought up in the household of a powerful Baron, Candide is an open-minded young man, whose tutor, Pangloss, has instilled in him the belief that 'all is for the best'. But when his love for the Baron's rosy-cheeked daughter is discovered, Candide is cast out to make his own way in the world. And so he and his various companions begin a breathless tour of Europe, South America and Asia, as an outrageous series of disasters befall them - earthquakes, syphilis, a brush with the Inquisition, murder - sorely testing the young hero's optimism.
Mervyn Peake - Titus Groan
Gormenghast hatalmas vára, a Groan-uralkodóház ősi székhelye számtalan tornyával, rejtett szobájával és zugával, végtelen folyosórendszerével önálló, folyvást új meglepetéseket tartogató világot alkot. A Vár élete szigorú rend szerint zajlik, réges-régi hagyományok és bonyolult rituálék köré szerveződik. Az új trónörökös, Titus megszületését ugyancsak a megszabott rend övezi, ám egyre több jel mutat arra, hogy apró repedések támadnak a tradíciók falain. A Vár uralkodóját, Lord Sepulchrave-et aggasztó hangulatváltozások kerítik hatalmukba, miközben környezetében fölbukkannak azok az erők, akik hatalmi ambícióikkal veszélybe sodorhatják Gormenghast zárt világát.
J. R. R. Tolkien - A babó
Kicsiny, összkomfortos odújában, távol a világtól lakik Mr. Baggins, a babók népének tiszteletre méltó tagja. Különös népek a babók: apró teremtmények, nem törpék, de nem is egészen emberek. Rikító öltözetben járnak, viszont nem hordanak cipőt; hízásra hajlamosak, ami nem csoda, mert szeretik a békés, eseménytelen hétköznapokat, és mindennél jobban megvetik a kalandot. Mr. Bagginsot mégis utoléri a nagy kaland. Egy napon törpék csapata szállja meg a házát, hogy magukkal vigyék egy kalandos, nagy hadjáratra a sárkány ellen, aki emberemlékezet óta őrzi a törpék ősi kincsét. Hogy a botcsinálta hadvezér miképpen viszi diadalra ügyüket - nem is annyira bátorságával, mint furfangos eszével -, megtudja, aki ezt a mulatságos és egyben nagyon izgalmas meseregényt elolvassa. Felejthetetlen szép tájakon barangolhat, végigélheti hőseinkkel a vad csatákat, és jókat nevethet egy valószínűtlen világ fonák helyzetein. Szobotka Tibor kitűnő fordításában, Tótfalusi István szellemes versbetéteivel, J. R. R. Tolkien művészi illusztrációival jelenik meg a világhírű meseregény, melynek különlegessége sok egyéb mellett abban rejlik, hogy hogy minden korosztályhoz szól: gyerekhez, ifjúhoz, de fiatal lelkű felnőttekhez is.
Rebecca West - The Birds Fall Down
One afternoon, in an early summer of this century, eighteen-year-old Laura Rowan sits on the garden steps of her house embroidering a handkerchief. She overhears a conversation between her father, an English Member of Parliament, and her mother, Tania, the daughter of an exiled Russian royalist. Tania's decision to take Laura to Paris to visit her grandfather, Count Nikilai Diakonov, means that Laura will unwittingly become a witness to the momentous events leading up to the Russian Revolution...Through a vivid canvas layered with intrigue, conspiracy and murder, Rebecca West has created a story that is at once a family saga, a political thriller, a philosophical drama and an historical novel.
Naguib Mahfouz - Miramar
A highly charged, tightly written tale of intersecting lives that provides us with both an engaging and powerful story as well as a vivid portrait of life in Egypt in the late 1960's. "With Miramar we are in the hands of a considerable novelist, and one who knows his country's complex problems, and complex soul, profoundly."--John Fowles
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray
There can be many varying reasons for selling one's soul to the devil. Fame, power, love; a distraction of this world can rapidly consume the entirety of one's concentration until the distraction becomes that person's very "reality". It is fascinating to observe how the good in this world can be overlooked or neglected due to the singularity of one's concentration on what is, ultimately, the "bad". The Picture of Dorian Gray is a story that captures such a concept and places it in the context of late nineteenth century London. Basil Hallward is a painter, one of amateur talents, but a painter that receives an inspiration that some like to call divine. A particularly new acquaintance of his, a Mr. Dorian Gray, seems to put all art into perspective for the aspiring artist. The result is a perfectly splendid picture of the beautiful Dorian Gray, who sits for Hallward in the epitome of innocence. There is a friend of Hallward's, who goes by the name of Lord Henry Wotton. Harry, as his friends call him, is something of an enigma to the familial circles of English aristocracy; Dorian most aptly entitles him "Prince Paradox" much later in the novel. Gray is immediately captivated by the charisma of Lord Wotton, whom he met while Hallward is painting his portrait. Following the completion of the painting, Dorian becomes melancholic, having just learned the wonders of his youth and beauty from Prince Paradox; indeed, upon gazing into his own picture, Dorian Gray is already missing his youthful splendour. In his newfound narcissism, Dorian makes a foolhardy wish: that the painting grows old and ugly while he should retain his exceptional beauty. There is a liberal utilization of symbolization in this controversial book, and most particularly so in Henry Wotton and his meeting with Dorian Gray. Harry, who becomes Dorian's closest friend, represents a kind of hedonism that is vastly different from the sociality of their familiars, and yet also apart from the vulgar tastes of the uneducated. In the words of Dorian Gray: "Yes: there was to be, as Lord Henry prophesied, a new Hedonism that was to recreate life, and to save it from the harsh, uncomely Puritanism that was making its own curious revival. It was to have its service of the intellect, certainly; yet, it was never to accept any theory or system that would involve the sacrifice of any mode of passionate experience. His aim, indeed, was to be experience itself, and not the fruits of experience, sweet or bitter as they might be. Of the asceticism that deadens the sense, as of the vulgar profligacy that dulls them, it was to know nothing. But it was to teach man to concentrate himself upon the moments of a life that is itself but a moment." Before Dorian Gray met Lord Henry Wotton, he recognized things as they were. Following that momentous exchange, Dorian Gray recognized only shadows. Art, to the corrupted youth, was not just a reflection of life and love, but reality itself. Passion is the first and final goal of his new worldview, and it ultimately destroys the child within. Basil Hallward symbolizes the simplicity, the good, and the rare in modern London: his friend Henry calls him "dull", as all great artists are. Hallward, in a clever instance of foreboding, did not want Lord Henry to even meet Dorian: "Dorian Gray has a simple and beautiful nature… Don't spoil him." The good in life seems to become less relevant, less necessary as life goes on, as the individual experiences more, until the good doesn't seem to exist… at all. A key idea in the Picture of Dorian Gray is, I think, the fall of innocence to the pleasures of this novel Hedonism that plays the antagonism of this story. Though Dorian may indeed retain his outer beauty, startling the perceptions of everyone near him, the soul within becomes unrecognizable to a simple eye, to any eye removed of darkness. In the writing of this, his only novel, Oscar Wilde manages to take hold of several key ideas and succeeds in putting them on a magnificent, provocative display. The central themes, art, love and novelty, are the fine threads that boldly form the grandeur of the patterned Idea. As this is the ultimate goal in every work of art, I would claim that The Picture of Dorian Gray is an accomplished story on every level.
Bernal Díaz del Castillo - The Conquest of New Spain
Spanish historian Bernal Diaz del Castillo (c.1492-1584) was a soldier in the army of the conquistador Cortes in the attack on the Aztecs. J M Cohen translated widely from French and Spanish, including for Penguin Classics Montaigne's Essays and Cervantes' Don Quixote.
Mark Z. Danielewski - House of Leaves
When Johnny Truant attempts to organize the many fragments of a strange manuscript by a dead blind man, it gains possession of his very soul. The manuscript is a complex commentary on a documentary film (The Navidson Record) about a house that defies all the laws of physics. Navidson's exploration of a seemingly endless, totally dark, and constantly changing labyrinth in the house becomes an examination of truth, perception, and darkness itself. The book interweaves the manuscript with over 400 footnotes to works real and imagined, thus illuminating both the text and Truant's mental disintegration. First novelist Danielewski employs avant-garde page layouts that are occasionally a bit too clever but are generally highly effective. Although it may be consigned to the "horror" genre, this novel is also a psychological thriller, a quest, a literary hoax, a dark comedy, and a work of cultural criticism. It is simultaneously a highly literary work and an absolute hoot. This powerful and extremely original novel is strongly recommended for all public and academic libraries.--Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Ford Madox Ford - Last Post
Widely acclaimed when first published in the 1920s, Ford Madox Ford’s sequence of four novels, known collectively as Parade’s End, is one of the outstanding works about the Great War and British society before, during, and after that cataclysm. A major work of Modernism, it is an investigation of time, history, and sexuality. This novel, the fourth and final volume, is set on a single summer’s day and follows the characters into the unsettling and often disorientating postwar world. With fluency, humor and great skill, this narrative explores their individual memories, hopes, and uncertainties, while also subtly questioning the current and future state of England.
David Gemmell - Legenda
Druss, a Csatabárdok Kapitánya élő legenda. Az óidők háborúinak hőse felköltözött a hegyek közé. - a hírnév és dicsőség helyett magányos nyugalmában várja a megváltó halált. A Drenai Birodalom leghatalmasabb erődítménye Dros Delnoch - ható óriási fallal körülvett bevehetetlen vár. S most, hogy a Birodalom csatát veszít csata után a Nadír hordák ellenében, ez az utolsó erősség, amely még áll, s amely még feltartóztathatja a támadó nomádokat. Egyetlen halvány esély mutatkozik csak a győzelemre: ha Druss a várvédők élére áll... A Dreina nép sorsa egyetlen vénséges vén, mogorva öregember kezében van, aki talán már a harc művészetét is elfelejtette...
E. L. Doctorow - City of God
he crowning achievement of E. L. Doctorow's distinguished literary career--an astonishing modern masterwork of faith, mystery, and the search for spiritual authenticity. With brilliant and audacious strokes, the author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on the idea of a modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring and dazzling inventive tour-de-force is a riveting detective story about a cross that vanishes from a Lower-East-Side church, only to reappear on the roof of an Upper-West-Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery--and by the Episcopal priest and female rabbi who investigate the strange desecration--is a well-known novelist whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age. Employing a multi-voiced narrative that perfectly captures the riffs and rhythms of latter-day New York, then broadens to implicate a cast of characters including scientists, war veterans, prelates, Holocaust survivors, cabinet members, theologians, filmmakers, and crooners, City of God is E. L. Doctorow's most ambitious and intensely personal work. Vast in scope, biblical in tone, it is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America's preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time.
Henry Green - Living
As an early novel, Living marks the beginning of Henry Green's career as a writer who made his name by exploring class distinctions through the medium of love. Set in an iron foundry in Birmingham, the novel grittily and entertainingly contrasts the lives of the workers and the owners.
Don DeLillo - Underworld
Nick Shay and Klara Sax knew each other once, intimately, and they meet again in the American desert. He is trying to outdistance the crucial events of his early life; she is an artist who has made a blood struggle for independence. Underworld is a story of men and women together and apart, seen in deep, clear detail and in stadium-sized panoramas, shadowed throughout by the overarching conflict of the Cold War. It is a novel that accepts every challenge of these extraordinary times — Don DeLillo's greatest and most powerful work of fiction.
Salman Rushdie - Grimus
Flapping Eagle, a young Indian, receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid. Tiring of the burden of eternal life, he sets out on a monumental search for the mystical Calf Island, where he can rejoin the human race. His journey is peopled with strange characters.