Mr. Artur Sammler, Holocaust survivor, intellectual, and occasional lecturer at Columbia University in 1960s New York City, is a “registrar of madness,” a refined and civilized being caught among people crazy with the promises of the future (moon landings, endless possibilities). His Cyclopean gaze reflects on the degradations of city life while looking deep into the sufferings of the human soul. “Sorry for all and sore at heart,” he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering. To Mr. Sammler ;who by the end of this ferociously unsentimental novel has found the compassionate consciousness necessary to bridge the gap between himself and his fellow beings; a good life is one in which a person does what is “required of him.” To know and to meet the “terms of the contract” was as true a life as one could live. At its heart, this novel is quintessential Bellow: moral, urbane, sublimely humane.
Lorrie Moore - Anagrams
Gerard sits, fully clothed, in his empty bathtub and pines for Benna. Neighbors in the same apartment building, they share a wall and Gerard listens for the sound of her toilet flushing. Gerard loves Benna. And then Benna loves Gerard. She listens to him play piano, she teaches poetry and sings at nightclubs. As their relationships ebbs and flows, through reality and imagination, Lorrie Moore paints a captivating, innovative portrait of men and women in love and not in love. The first novel from a master of contemporary American fiction, Anagrams is a revelatory tale of love gained and lost.
Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - The Long Walk
In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. The game is simple - maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and you're out - permanently.
Kurt Vonnegut - Deadeye Dick
Deadeye Dick is Vonnegut's funny, chillingly satirical look at the death of innocence. Amid a true Vonnegutian host of horrors–a double murder, a fatal dose of radioactivity, a decapitation, an annihilation of a city by a neutron bomb–Rudy Waltz, a.k.a. Deadeye Dick, takes us along on a zany search for absolution and happiness. Here is a tale of crime and punishment that makes us rethink what we believe...and who we say we are.
Stephen King - Gerald's Game
Alone in their bedroom, Jessie and Gerald Burlingame are playing a game of trust and control. But when her husband takes the game too far by handcuffing her to a bedpost, Jessie lashes out--with deadly results. But now she is trapped, with no way to escape the deathly quiet of the room. Over the next twenty-eight hours, Jessie will come face-to-face with her most terrifying nightmares that exist in the last place she would ever look...her mind!
John Grisham - The Chamber
Sam, az öreg fegyenc kilenc éve tengeti nyomorúságos napjait a siralomház egyik cellájában. Szörnyű bűnökért, fajvédőként elkövetett gyilkosságokért ítélték halálra, de ügyvédei ügyessége hosszú esztendőkön át megmentette a kivégzéstől. Most azonban nincs már sok hátra: Mississippi Állam Legfelsőbb Bírósága úgy döntött, hogy négy héten belül Samet rászíjazzák a gázkamra kivégzőszékére. Ekkor lép a színre Adam Hall, a fiatal ügyvéd, aki minden tehetségét, furfangját latba veti, hogy megmentse Samet. Ráadásul rokoni kapcsolatok is fűzik a fegyenchez: az ügyvéd az öreg gyilkos álnéven élő unokája. Egyik fellebbezés követi a másikat, hol felcsillan a remény, hol minden veszni látszik, egyre közeleg a baljós óra...
John Cheever - Thirteen Uncollected Stories by John Cheever
They have been called "the best kept secret of American letters" and "a virtual literary treasure trove." Originally published in the 1930s and '40s in often obscure magazines, these stories will undoubtedly surprise those readers familiar only with Cheever's post-1947 work.
Saul Bellow - Humboldt's Gift
The novel, which won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976, is a self-described "comic book about death," whose title character is modeled on the self-destructive lyric poet Delmore Schwartz. Charlie Citrine, an intellectual, middle-aged author of award-winning biographies and plays, contemplates two significant figures and philosophies in his life: Von Humboldt Fleisher, a dead poet who had been his mentor, and Rinaldo Cantabile, a very-much-alive minor mafioso who has been the bane of Humboldt's existence. Humboldt had taught Charlie that art is powerful and that one should be true to one's creative spirit. Rinaldo, Charlie's self-appointed financial adviser, has always urged Charlie to use his art to turn a profit. At the novel's end, Charlie has managed to set his own course.
John Burnham Schwartz - The Commoner
John Burnham Schwartz bases his fourth novel on the Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako of Japan. Though Japanese imperial life remains shrouded in mystery, Schwartz teases out the details through extensive research. Much to the astonishment and pleasure of the critics, he gives Haruko an authentic and completely convincing voice. While his vivid depictions of postwar Japan are stunning, it is Haruko’s vibrant inner life that propels the narrative and resounds with readers. Though not as intense as Reservation Road (1998), Schwartz’s unflinching portrayal of the aftermath of a child’s death, and though slightly marred by an implausible ending, The Commoner will captivate readers by providing a haunting look into the 2,000 years of secrets surrounding the Chrysanthemum Throne.
T. S. Eliot - The Waste Land / A kopár föld
Éppen száztíz esztendővel ezelőtt, 1888 szeptemberében született a nagy angol költő, T. S. Eliot, és 1997 decemberében volt hetvenöt éve, hogy korszakalkotó költeménye, a _The_ _Waste_ _Land_ megjelent. A magyarban nincsen e költemény kétnyelvű (angol-magyar) kiadása (amilyen például németben van: T. S. Eliot, _Das_ _wüste_ _Land_ - Englisch und deutsch.) Emellett úgy vélem, hogy újrafordításom hűebben adja vissza az eredeti szöveget, mint az eddigi magyarul megjelentek. A költeményben sok angol és más nyelvű idézet van és sok _allusio_ régi és újabb irodalmi művekre. Ezek a magyar olvasóknak nem mindig ismertek, és Eliot a költeményhez írt jegyzeteiben viszonylag ritkán közli az idézetek és az _allusio_-k forrásainak akár csak rövidre fogott tartalmát. Rendszerint csak forráshelyeiket jelöli meg, amelyek ma már csak hosszabb-rövidebb keresés, utánanézés után lelhetők fel. Ezért a fordításomhoz _kibővítettem_ Eliot jegyzeteit a forrásművek rövid ismertetésével eredeti nyelven és magyar fordításban. ___ A fordító
Allen Ginsberg - Howl and Other Poems
The epigraph for Howl is from Walt Whitman: "Unscrew the locks from the doors!/Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!" Announcing his intentions with this ringing motto, Allen Ginsberg published a volume of poetry which broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and the publisher, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, was arrested. The court case that followed found for Ginsberg and his publisher, and the publicity made both the poet and the book famous. Ginsberg went on from this beginning to become a cultural icon of sixties radicalism. This works seminal place in the culture is indicated in Czeslaw Milosz's poetic tribute to Ginsberg: "Your blasphemous howl still resounds in a neon desert where the human tribe wanders, sentenced to unreality".
Marilynne Robinson - Housekeeping
A modern classic, Housekeeping is the story of Ruth and her younger sister, Lucille, who grow up haphazardly, first under the care of their competent grandmother, then of two comically bumbling great-aunts, and finally of Sylvie, their eccentric and remote aunt. The family house is in the small Far West town of Fingerbone set on a glacial lake, the same lake where their grandfather died in a spectacular train wreck, and their mother drove off a cliff to her death. It is a town "chastened by an outsized landscape and extravagant weather, and chastened again by an awareness that the whole of human history had occurred elsewhere." Ruth and Lucille's struggle toward adulthood beautifully illuminates the price of loss and survival, and the dangerous and deep undertow of transience.
Toni Morrison - Beloved
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of 1988, Toni Morrison frees herself from the bonds of traditional narrative and establishes an independent style, just as her characters have freed themselves from the horrors of slavery and escaped from Kentucky to Ohio. Revealing the story of Sethe and her family as they survive the brutality of the farm, only to encounter torments even more punishing than whippings after they escape, Morrison presents scenes in a seemingly random order, each scene revealing some aspect of life for Sethe, her boys, her dead baby Beloved, and the new baby Denver, both in the past and in the present. Moving back and forth, around, and inside out through Sethe's recollections, she gradually reveals Sethe's story to the reader, its horror increasing as the reader makes the connections which turn disconnected scenes into a powerful and harrowing chronology.
John Steinbeck - The Winter of our Discontent
Steinbeck's last great novel focuses on the theme of success and what motivates men towards it. Reflecting back on his New England family's past fortune, and his father's loss of the family wealth, the hero, Ethan Allen Hawley, characterizes success in every era and in all its forms as robbery, murder, even a kind of combat, operating under 'the laws of controlled savagery'.
Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan
When Winston Niles Rumfoord flies his spaceship into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum he is converted into pure energy and only materializes when his waveforms intercept Earth or some other planet. As a result, he only gets home to Newport, Rhode Island, once every fifty-nine days and then only for an hour. But at least, as a consolation, he now knows everything that has ever happened and everything that ever will be. He knows, for instance, that his wife is going to Mars to mate with Malachi Constant, the richest man in the world. He also knows that on Titan - one of Saturn's moons - is an alien from the planet Tralfamadore, who has been waiting 200,000 years for a spare part for his grounded spacecraft...
Laura Ingalls Wilder - Little House on the Prairie
Pa Ingalls decides to sell the little log house, and the family sets out for Indian country! They travel from Wisconsin to Kansas, and there, finally, Pa builds their little house on the prairie. Sometimes farm life is difficult, even dangerous, but Laura and her family are kept busy and happy with the promise of their new life on the prairie. Little House on the Prairie is the second book in the Laura Years series. About the Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in the log cabin described in Little House in the Big Woods. She and her family traveled by covered wagon across the Midwest. Later, Laura and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made their own covered-wagon trip with their daughter, Rose, to Mansfield, Missouri. There, believing in the importance of knowing where you began in order to appreciate how far you've come, Laura wrote about her childhood growing up on the American frontier. For millions of readers Laura lives on forever as the little pioneer girl in the beloved Little House books.
John Knowles - A Separate Peace
The volatile world of male adolescence provides the backdrop for John Knowles' engrossing tale of love, hate, war, and peace. Sharing a room at Devon, an exclusive New England prep school, in the summer prior to World War II, Gene and Phineas form a complex bond of friendship that draws out both the best and worst characteristics of each boy and leads ultimately to violence, a confession, and the betrayal of trust. Narrator Scott Snively's ability to switch seamlessly from the perspective of a teenager tormented by feelings he doesn't want to understand to the reflective musing of a man looking back at the formative experience of his youth provide both the story and the setting with an immediacy that quickly engages listeners. Not only does Snively give a distinctive voice to each of the main characters, he also delineates the mannerisms and personalities of the other boys and the teachers surrounding them. Intense, mesmerizing, and compelling, this rendition of a classic coming-of-age tale belongs in all public library collections, and will be especially helpful to high school students as an accompaniment to the written text.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise
Published in 1920, _This Side of Paradise_ was Scott Fitzgerald's first novel. It chimed precisely with the brittle mood of the bright young things of the Jazz Age : indeed its instant appeal could be compared to the success of _The Catcher in the Rye_ thirty years later. In a series of literary snapshots Fitzgerald describes the adolescence and youth of Amory Blaine, in the course of which we see an egotist evolve into a personage. Princeton University never quite forgave the author for his version of the racy and hectic life of the young gentlemen of the day - smart, vain, snobbish, idle, thoughtless, but as effervescent as soda-water in leisure and love.
Chuck Palahniuk - Invisible Monsters
She's a catwalk model who has everything: a boyfriend, a career, a loyal best friend. But when a sudden motor 'accident' leaves her disfigured and incapable of speech, she goes from being the beautiful centre of attention to being an invisible monster, so hideous that no one will acknowledge she exists. Enter Brandy Alexander, Queen Supreme, one operation away from being a real woman, who will teach her that reinventing yourself means erasing your past and making up something better, and that salvation hides in the last place you'll ever want to look. The narrator must exact revenge upon Evie, her best friend and fellow model; kidnap Manus, her two-timing ex-boyfriend; and hit the road with Brandy in search of a brand-new past, present and future.