A spellbinding blend of myth, legend, history and imagination, here is Mary Renault’s famous novel of Theseus, a prince of ancient Greece said to have been conceived of a union between a royal priestess and the powerful god Poseidon. It is the story of a boy in search of his heroic birthright; of a young man whose strange moira, or fate, was to be revealed in the deadly bull ring and decadent courts of Crete, in the arms of women royal and lowly, in extraordinary adventures that challenged his passion, wit and daring, and in strange kingdom where the mother goddess ruled as queen and the king was a lustily pampered consort condemned to death at the end of his year’s reign…
Mary Renault - Fire from Heaven
At twenty, when his reign began, Alexander the Great was already a seasoned soldier and a complex, passionate man. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the boy Alexander, and the years that shaped him. Resolute, fearless, and inheriting a striking beauty, Alexander still needed much to make him The Great. He must survive - though with lifelong scars - the dark furies of his Dionysiac mother, who kept him uncertain even of his own paternity; respect his father's talent for war and kingcraft, though sickened by his sexual grossness; and come to terms with his heritage from both.
Gerald Durrell - My Family and Other Animals
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrell's family's experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.
Arthur Ransome - Pigeon Post
The crew's on holiday, and they turn their energies to mining for gold, aided by pigeon messengers Homer, Sophocles, and Sappho. The adventurers comb the nearby hills for a fabled lost claim, while being shadowed by a mysterious figure they dub "squashy hat." Undeterred by drought, sudden brushfires, and the continuing presence of Squashy Hat, the young prospectors persevere in their quest - with surprising results. Full of the dangers and dark adventures of old mines and forgotten claims, Pigeon Post has an irresistible appeal to the persistent explorer in every child.
Alison Weir - Katherine of Aragon
The lives of Henry VIII's queens make for dramatic stories and Alison Weir will write a series of novels that offer insights into the real lives of the six wives based on extensive research and new theories. In all the romancing, has anyone regarded the evidence that Anne Boleyn did not love Henry VIII? Or that Prince Arthur, Katherine of Aragon's first husband, who is said to have loved her in fact cared so little for her that he willed his personal effects to his sister? Or that Henry VIII, an over-protected child and teenager, was prudish when it came to sex? That Jane Seymour, usually portrayed as Henry's one true love, had the makings of a matriarch? There is much to reveal ... Alison will write about the wives in the context of their own age and of the court intrigues that surrounded these women and - without exception - wrecked their lives. She will transport readers into a lost and vivid world of splendour and brutality: a world in which love, or the game of it, dominates all.
Salman Rushdie - Az éjfél gyermekei
Szalím pontban éjfélkor, India függetlenné válásának pillanatában született. Tizedik születésnapja előtt különös képesség ébred benne, amellyel be tud hatolni mások gondolataiba. Filmsztárok, krikettcsillagok, politikusok fejében kutakodik, még a képmutatás, a zsarnokság, a tiltott szerelem szagát is megérzi, s egy napon indiai létére egy különleges pakisztáni alakulatban találja magát... Salman Rushdie indiai születésű brit író, akire mohamedán vallási vezetők kimondták a fatvát. A MAN Booker-díjas szerző neve komoly irodalmi védjegy, az író számos nemzetközi zsűri tagja, regényei világszerte sikerlistásak. Háromszor nősült, két fia van, jelenleg Padma Lakshmi modellel él New Yorkban. Az Ulpius-ház öt kötettel indítja útjára a Salman Rushdie-életműsorozatot.
Winston Graham - Warleggan (angol)
Cornwall 1792. Ross plunges into a highly speculative mining venture which threatens not only his family's financial security but also his turbulent marriage to Demelza. When Ross and Elizabeth's old attraction rekindles itself, Demelza retaliates by becoming dangerously involved with a handsome Scottish cavalry officer. With bankruptcy an increasingly real possibility, the Poldarks seem to be facing disaster on all fronts. 'From the incomparable Winston Graham...who has everything that everyone else has, then a whole lot more' - "Guardian".
Rosie Clarke - The Downstairs Maid
When her father becomes ill, Emily Carter finds herself tasked with the responsibility of providing for the family and is sent to work as a servant girl at Priorsfield Manor. As she settles in to the family home, she strikes an unlikely friendship with the daughters of the house, as well as Nicolas, the Lord’s son. But there are others who wish to gain her attention, and as the threat of war comes ever closer, Emily finds that the wrong choice of suitor will have consequences...
Gerald Durrell - The Garden of the Gods
The enchanted island of Corfu was home to Gerald Durrell and his family for five years before the Second World War. For the passionate young zoologist, Corfu was a natural paradise, teeming with strange birds and beasts that he could collect, watch and care for. But life was not without its problems - Gerald's family often objected to his animal-collecting activities, especially when the beasts wound up in the family's villa or even worse - the fridge. Gerald Durrell evokes his island paradise with the passion and wonder of a small boy in the concluding novel of the warm and humorous trilogy begun with My Family and Other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives.
Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India’s independence. Greeted by fireworks displays, cheering crowds, and Prime Minister Nehru himself, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs; his health and well-being are inextricably bound to those of his nation; his life is inseparable, at times indistinguishable, from the history of his country. Perhaps most remarkable are the telepathic powers linking him with India’s 1,000 other “midnight’s children,” all born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. This novel is at once a fascinating family saga and an astonishing evocation of a vast land and its people–a brilliant incarnation of the universal human comedy. Twenty-five years after its publication, Midnight’s Children stands apart as both an epochal work of fiction and a brilliant performance by one of the great literary voices of our time.
Mary Renault - The Praise Singer
In the story of the great lyric poet Simonides, Mary Renault brings alive a time in Greece when tyrants kept an unsteady rule and poetry, music, and royal patronage combined to produce a flowering of the arts. Born into a stern farming family on the island of Keos, Simonides escapes his harsh childhood through a lucky apprenticeship with a renowned Ionian singer. As they travel through 5th century B.C. Greece, Simonides learns not only how to play the kithara and compose poetry, but also how to navigate the shifting alliances surrounding his rich patrons. He is witness to the Persian invasion of Ionia, to the decadent reign of the Samian pirate king Polykrates, and to the fall of the Pisistratids in the Athenian court. Along the way, he encounters artists, statesmen, athletes, thinkers, and lovers, including the likes of Pythagoras and Aischylos. Using the singer's unique perspective, Renault combines her vibrant imagination and her formidable knowledge of history to establish a sweeping, resilient vision of a golden century.
Sebastian Faulks - On Green Dolphin Street
Fans will recognise Sebastian Faulks' focus on characterisation, historical context and the emotional power of his narrative in his new novel, "On Green Dolphin Street". Yet, in tone and setting, the story of one woman's attempt to face down death in the Cold War years marks a new departure for this bestselling novelist. It's 1959 and the presidential battle between Kennedy and Nixon is heating up. Just as the country stands between two men so does Mary van der Linden, the wife of a British embassy employee in Washington and lover of political newspaper reporter Frank Renzo. All three are damaged by their experiences of war; death and decay are everywhere: through the men's memory of war, Mary's dying mother, van der Linden's declining health and the readers' knowledge that in only a few short years Kennedy will be dead and Nixon disgraced. Previously, Faulks has described in bloody detail the horrors of the trenches and the brutality of the battlefield. Here he comments on the hollowness and politics of war and the human cost. With the personal mirroring the political so closely, the inevitability of the doomed love affair at the centre of the novel hardly inspires one to great heights of empathy. Consequently, the characters' fervour often falls flat: "He raked his fingers through her hair, down to the skull, as his body filled hers. All the way, he thought, I will go all the way, till I find her; and with her head between his hands he too let out a cry, because he felt pity for her soul." Faulks, whose previous novels have included bestsellers and has the capacity to sweep his readers up in his historical sagas and excels in his unflinching treatment of war. Unfortunately, the switch here from the battlefield to the political arena is not as compelling and, considering he is writing about one of the most exhilarating periods in US history and its most exciting city--New York.
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
'Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies...' A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified dinery server on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation. The narrators of _Cloud Atlas_ hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small. In his extraordinary third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.
William Boyd - Any Human Heart
Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, but Logan Mountstuart's - lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century - contains more than its fair share of both. As a writer who finds inspiration with Hemingway in Paris and Virginia Woolf in London, as a spy recruited by Ian Fleming and betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in '60s New York, Logan mixes with the movers and shakers of his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full - and a journey deep into a very human heart.
Robert Harris - Fatherland
Very eerie book - the idea behind it is that Germany won WWII and that the cold war is between the US and Germany. Well thought out, and uses characters that I was familiar with from history books, but in a different light. The protagonist is caught between curiosity and blind servitude to the SS, and it's fun to read what and how he chooses. I thought the end was interesting, but anticlimactic.
Daniel Defoe - Moll Flanders (angol)
Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour - and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist.
Mary Renault - Égi tűz
A neves történelmi regényíró művei közül nálunk is nagy sikert aratott a Thészeusz ifjúsága és az Apollón maszkja. Ez a regénye az ókori történelemnek egy izgalmas fejezetét dolgozza fel: Nagy Sándor ifjúságát, gyermekkorától trónra lépéséig. A szerző ebben a regényes fejlődésrajzban azokat a motívumokat kutatja, amelyek a kivételes gyermeket és fiatalembert előkészítették a hatalmas történelmi szerepre. A regény érdekessége, hogy nem a közismert görög, hanem makedón szemszögből mondja el a jól ismert történetet; a görög (athéni) polisz lezüllöttségét szembeállítja a civilizálatlan, félbarbár, de életerős, és a történelmi valóságot élénken érzékelő makedón társadalommal. A legendás főhős legendás ifjúsága köré hiteles történelmi környezetet teremt; a regényes Nagy Sándor-életrajz sikeresen ötvözi egybe a látomást a valósággal.
David Lodge - Nice Work
Vic Wilcox a self-made man and managing director of an engineering firm, has little regard for academics, and even less for feminists. So when Robyn Penrose, a trendy leftist teacher, is assigned to "shadow" Vic under a government program created to foster mutual understanding between town and gown, the hilarious collision of lifestyles and ideologies that ensues seems unlikely to foster anything besides mutual antipathy. But in the course of a bumpy year, both parties make some surprising discoveries about each other's world's - and about themselves.
Ken Follett - Edge of Eternity
EDGE OF ETERNITY is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll. East German teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives.…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department, and finds himself in the middle not only of the seminal events of the civil rights battle, but a much more personal battle of his own.…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he’d imagined.…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aide to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tania, carves out a role that will take her from Moscow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw – and into history. As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but now will never seem the same again.
J. R. R. Tolkien - The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
A volume of songs, rhymes and poems from "The Red Book". They tell of Tom's encounters with Goldberry, with Old Man Willow, who tries to trap Tom inside his trunk, with the Badger-folk, and with the ghostly Barrow-wight, as well as with a princess, trolls, dwarves and legendary beasts.