During the second world war Eric Lomax was forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway and was tortured by the Japanese for making a crude radio.
Left emotionally scarred and unable to form normal relationships Lomax suffered for years until, with the help of his wife Patti and the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, he came to terms with what had happened and, fifty years after the terrible events, was able to meet one of his tormentors.
Robert Capa - Slightly Out of Focus
In 1942, a dashing young man who liked nothing so much as a heated game of poker, a good bottle of scotch, and the company of a pretty girl hopped a merchant ship to England. He was Robert Capa, the brilliant and daring photojournalist, and Collier's magazine had put him on assignment to photograph the war raging in Europe. In these pages, Capa recounts his terrifying journey through the darkest battles of World War II and shares his memories of the men and women of the Allied forces who befriended, amused, and captivated him along the way. His photographs are masterpieces -- John G. Morris, Magnum Photos' first executive editor, called Capa "the century's greatest battlefield photographer" -- and his writing is by turns riotously funny and deeply moving. From Sicily to London, Normandy to Algiers, Capa experienced some of the most trying conditions imaginable, yet his compassion and wit shine on every page of this book. Charming and profound, Slightly Out of Focus is a marvelous memoir told in words and pictures by an extraordinary man.
Olivia Manning - The Great Fortune
Bucharest, Autumn 1939: newlyweds Guy and Harriet Pringle arrive in a city alive with contrasts and rumour, on edge with wavering loyalties and the tension of war. Guy, teaching at the university, throws himself into Bucharest life, embracing all around him. Harriet, struggling to adjust to married life and to her husband's friendship with the over-attentive Sophie, finds life in a city cut off from the outside world less straightforward than she first anticipated.
Arthur Golden - Memoirs of a Geisha
A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl. Summoning up more than twenty years of Japan's most dramatic history, it uncovers a hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation. From a small fishing village in 1929, the tale moves to the glamorous and decadent heart of Kyoto in the 1930s, where a young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York; it exquisitely evokes another culture, a different time and the details of an extraordinary way of life. It conjures up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha - dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the most powerful men.
George R. R. Martin - A Game of Thrones
In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne. Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen work, Martin (The Armageddon Rag, 1983) makes a triumphant return to high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out from similar work by Eddings, Brooks and others by virtue of its superbly developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness. Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King's chief councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin's characters mature and grow, particularly Stark's children, who stand at the center of the book. Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes, including Hugos, Nebulas, Locus Awards and a Bram Stoker. He's probably going to have to add another shelf, at least. Major ad/promo.
Monte Merrick - Memphis Belle - A 25. bevetés
Még egy bevetés - és számukra véget ér a háború? A B-17-es Repülő Erődök személyzetének 25 bombázást kellett teljesíteniük - a Memphis Belle hajózói 24-en szerencsésen túl voltak. A hátralévő egy - gondolták - amolyan sétarepülés lesz. Ám az utolsó bevetésükön elszabadult a pokol! A könyv a Magyarországon is bemutatott, világsikert aratott, azonos című film alapján készült.
Ernst Schnabel - Anne Frank - Anne Frank naplója / Anne Frank nyomában
Tavalyelőtt lett volna ötvenéves Anne Frank. Életről naplója vall, halála körülményeiről egy újságíró, Ernst Schnabel tovább nyomoz. Anne Frankfurt am Mainban született, de a fasizmus uralomra jutása után, 1933-ban szüleivel Amszterdamba emigrált. A náci zsidóüldözés miatt két évig 1942-1944-ben nyolcadmagával egy amszterdami ház rejtekében bujkált. Egész idő alatt naplót vezetett, mindaddig, míg fel nem jelentették és el nem hurcolták őket. Anne Frank Bergen-Belsenben, a koncentrációs táborban halt meg 1945. március 2-án. Egy volt lágertársa, a ma Svédországban élő Margita Pettersson asszony így emlékszik vissza a tizenhat éves lány halálára: "Halott nővére mellett feküdt, próbáltam erőszakkal belédiktálni néhány falatot, de hiába. Emlékszem, egyik nap azt mondta: Kérem, ne adjon többet enni. Nem bírok tovább élni. Másnap meghalt."
James Jones - From Here to Eternity
Diamond Head, Hawaii, 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a champion welterweight and a fine bugler. But when he refuses to join the company's boxing team, he gets "the treatment" that may break him or kill him. First Sgt. Milton Anthony Warden knows how to soldier better than almost anyone, yet he's risking his career to have an affair with the commanding officer's wife. Both Warden and Prewitt are bound by a common bond: the Army is their heart and blood . . .and, possibly, their death. In this magnificent but brutal classic of a soldier's life, James Jones portrays the courage, violence and passions of men and women who live by unspoken codes and with unutterable despair. . .in the most important American novel to come out of World War II, a masterpiece that captures as no ther the honor and savagery of men.
Bohumil Hrabal - Szigorúan ellenőrzött vonatok
…Hrabal a sínekhez vezette a bizottságot. Miután – hogy be ne piszkolja egyenruháját – a földre terített egy zsebkendőt, letérdelt a vágány mellé, és fülét a sínre szorítva így szólt: „A 804-es számú vonat most haladt Kamenné Zbožin.” „Ezt hol tanulta?” – álmélkodott a vizsgabiztos… Így kezdődött Bohumil Hrabal forgalmista-karrierje, amelynek élményeit Jiři Menzel Oscar-díjas filmjének köszönhetően egy csapásra világhírűvé lett kisregényében, a _Szigorúan ellenőrzött vonatok_ban dolgozta fel. A mű a második világháború utolsó napjaiban, egy cseh kisváros vasútállomásán játszódik. A történet hőse Miloš, az ifjú forgalmista, akit sikertelen öngyilkossága után (az ereit vágta fel, merthogy nem sikerült férfivá válnia szerelmével a kis kalauzlánnyal) kiengednek a kórházból, és újra szolgálatra jelentkezik az állomáson, ahol különös társaság verődött össze. Először is itt van Hubička forgalmista úr, a nagy szoknyavadász és bohém életművész, aki egy unalmas szolgálati éjjelen az összes fellelhető hivatalos bélyegzőt rányomja a távírász kisasszony pucér ülepére, amiből is éktelen skandalum kerekedik. A botrány legfőbb kárvallottja természetesen nem Hubička forgalmista, hanem az állomásfőnök úr, a megszállott galambtenyésztő, aki csak ezekért az apró szárnyas jószágokért él-hal. Galamblelkűnek nem mondható neje, az esténként az irodában horgolgató főnökné asszony viszont nemes természetességgel nyisszantja el nyulak-baromfiak nyakát. Ebbe a kisszerű, ám a háborús körülmények között mégis idillinek tetsző világba robog bele egy szigorúan ellenőrzött vonat, egy lőszerszállító katonai szerelvény, amelyet Hubička forgalmista úr szíve szerint felrobbantana. A hősi feladatra az immár férfivá érett Miloš vállalkozik… Hrabal játékosan, humorral-iróniával fűszerezve írta meg az alaptónusában tragikus és végkicsengésében felemelő történetet, hogy ezáltal még szembeszökőbb legyen a náci megszállás, a második világháború komor valósága. „Mennyiben lehet egymás mellé állítani két motívumot…” - töpreng Hrabal saját kisregényén. „A nevetségesség, az obszcén a tragikus esemény tőszomszédságában, mely utóbbi fölött ott magasodik a fő motívum: az ellenséggel vívott harc.” Hrabalnak ezúttal is sikerült bravúrosan megoldania a feladatot: remekművet írt.
Kurt Vonnegut - Mother Night
MOTHER NIGHT is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.
Valerio Massimo Manfredi - The Last Legion
The story opens on the day that the Western Roman Empire collapses finally in 470AD, as the Last Emperor of Rome is encamped protected by the Nova Invicta Legion. All is lost in the space of a few minutes as a horde of Barbarians sweep through the camp in the fog, kill the Imperial family and take the young Emperor captive. The Roman Empire is in ruins... But all is not lost. From the dust of battlefields emerges a small team of invincible warriors - The Last Legion. Their task is to rescue the Emperor and his enigmatic tutor and to try and resurrect the glory of Rome. All their strength of character and bravery come into play as they guide the last Caesar in a dramatic journey of escape through a devastated Italy and Northern Europe to their ultimate destinies in the land of the Britons... and the beginning of a new legend.
Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Bloodis a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
Eric Newby - Love And War in the Apennines
Eric Newby escapes through a hospital window to become a POW on the run in Italy in 1943. With the Nazis moving in from the north and no certain way back to England, his situation appears grim. But with the help of local farmers and villagers, who risk their lives to shelter him, he survives. Hiding in shepherds' huts and even a cave, he achieves three precious months of freedom - and meets the determined and courageous woman who would become his wife. Love and War in the Apennines is an intimate account of the horror and surrealism of war, and of the heroism and selflessness of those caught up in its madness. Eric Newby creates an unforgettable record of the resilience of human nature in the face of despair, and forcefully remind us of the pointlessness of war.
Nyiszli Miklós - Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account
When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, the prisoner Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared death for a grimmer fate: to perform "scientific research" on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the man who became known as the infamous "Angel of Death" - Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele's personal research pathologist. In that capactity he also served as physician to the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners who worked exclusively in the crematoriums and were routinely executed after four months. Miraculously, Nyiszli survived to give this horrifying and sobering account.
Alan Furst - The Spies of Warsaw
On a cool October evening in 1937, German engineer and secret agent Herr Edvard Uhl arrives in Warsaw. He suppresses a chill of fear. Tonight, he will be with his mistress; tomorrow, he will be at a bar, where he will meet with a French military attache. Information will be exchanged for money. War is coming to Europe. And although bombs and bullets have yet to fly, French and German operatives are already caught in a deadly espionage battle. In a war of intelligence and subterfuge, no spy can help being drawn into the murky world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue.
Antony Beevor - The Second World War
A magisterial, single-volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known by our foremost military historian. The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects. Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, and writing with clarity and compassion, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific, from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert, to the Burmese jungle, SS Einsatzgruppen in the borderlands, Gulag prisoners drafted into punishment battalions, and to the unspeakable cruelties of the Sino-Japanese War. Moral choice forms the basis of all human drama, and no other period in history has presented greater dilemmas both for leaders and ordinary people, nor offered such examples of individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable kindness. Although filling the broadest canvas on a heroic scale, Beevor's THE SECOND WORLD WAR never loses sight of the fate of the ordinary soldiers and civilians whose lives were crushed by the titanic forces unleashed in this, the most terrible war in history. A beautifully produced hardback edition with embossed jacket, 53 black and white photographs and 25 maps.
Joseph Kanon - Leaving Berlin
From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage, called a "fast-moving thinking man's thriller" by The Wall Street Journal, comes a sweeping, atmospheric novel of postwar East Berlin, a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation. Berlin 1948. Almost four years after the war's end, the city is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. In the West, a defiant, blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies; in the East, the heady early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the murky compromises of the Cold War. Espionage, like the black market, is a fact of life. Even culture has become a battleground, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to add credibility to the competing sectors. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real assignment is to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved. Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the lines of our moral boundaries? Betrayal? Survival? Murder? Filled with intrigue, and the moral ambiguity of conflicted loyalties, Joseph Kanon's new novel is a compelling thriller and a love story that brings a shadowy period of history vividly to life.
Gerard Woodward - Nourishment
With her children evacuated and her husband at the front, Tory Pace is grudgingly sharing the family home with her irascible mother; working at the local gelatine factory – to help the war effort – and generally doing just about as well as could be expected in difficult times. Her quiet life is thrown into turmoil, however, when her prisoner-of-war husband, Donald, makes an outrageous demand for sexual gratification. He wants a dirty letter, by return of post! Horrified, at first, that Donald is being turned into some sort of monster by the Nazis, Tory’s disgust gradually gives way to a sense of marital duty, and taking in the libraries, bookshops, public conveniences and barbers’ shops of South-East London, she begins a quest to master the language of carnal desire: a quest that takes a sudden and unexpected turn into far more dangerous territory. Beginning with an act of unintentional cannibalism, and flirting with a scheme to end world hunger by the use of protein pills, Nourishment ranges widely across the Continent and yet always returns home: to family, to people, to relationships. Woodward offers a prescient examination of the ways in which we both nurture and consume each other in the face of adversity.
Ken Follett - Winter of the World
Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants, the first novel in his extraordinary new historical epic, The Century Trilogy, was an international sensation, acclaimed as “sweeping and fascinating, a book that will consume you for days or weeks” (USA Today) and “grippingly told and readable to the end” (The New York Times Book Review). “If the next two volumes are as lively and entertaining as Fall of Giants,” said The Washington Post, “they should be well worth waiting for.” Winter of the World picks up right where the first book left off, as its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, Welsh—enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak. . . . American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific. . . . English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism. . . . Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war—but the war to come. These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With passion and the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew, but now will never seem the same again.
Lilian Harry - PS I Love You
It is 1941 and the war is taking its toll on everyone, including the Nippies, at Lyons Corner House in Marble Arch. Jo yearns for her fiance Nick, but his plane gets shot down and Nick has to undergo the new procedure of plastic surgery. Meanwhile Phyl, along with some other trusted Nippies, is far away from home working secretively with munitions. Her husband is far away but she never loses faith that one day they will reunite...
Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting tournament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him - for he always helps Amir - but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.