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”.
Irvine Welsh - Trainspotting (angol)
Mark Renton is a very sick young man, sick of heroin, sick of trying to get off it. Most of us, he's sick of himself, his friends and growing up in the AIDS/HIV capital of Europe. The nihilistic youth sees nothing ahead in the future: 'Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food intae yir mooth. Choose rotting away, pishing and shiteing yersel in a home, a total fuckin embarrassment tae the selfish, fucked-up brats ye've produced. Choose life.' Trainspotting became an instant classic howl of rage, despair and style from the Scottish capital's forgotten streets that would be heard all over the world.
Neil Gaiman - American Gods
Shadow is a man with a past and wants nothing more now than to live a quiet life with his wife. When his wife is killed in a terrible accident, Shadow flies home for the funeral. As a raging storm rocks the plane, the strange man in the seat next to Shadow introduces himself as Mr. Wednesday. He knows more about Shadow than is possible--and he warns Shadow an even bigger storm is coming.
Daniel Keyes - Flowers for Algernon
Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper, and the gentle butt of everyone's jokes, until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
J. D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged. Read and cherished by generations, the story of Holden Caulfield is truly one of America's literary treasures. Salinger's classic coming-of-age story portrays one young man's funny and poignant experiences with life, love, and sex.
Sylvia Plath - Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
"What I fear most, I think, is the death of the imagination.... If I sit still and don't do anything, the world goes on beating like a slack drum, without meaning. We must be moving, working, making dreams to run toward; the poverty of life without dreams is too horrible to imagine."-- Sylvia Plath, from Notebooks, February 1956 Renowned for her poetry, Sylvia Plath was also a brilliant writer of prose. This collection of short stories, essays, and diary excerpts highlights her fierce concentration on craft, the vitality of her intelligence, and the yearnings of her imaginaton. Featuring an introduction by Plath's husband, the late British poet Ted Hughes, these writings also reflect themes and images she would fully realize in her poetry. Jonny Panic and the Bible of Dreams truly showcases the talent and genius of Sylvia Plath.
John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But dreams come at a price. Gentle giant Lennie doesn't know his own strength, and when they find work at a ranch he gets into trouble with the boss's daughter-in-law. Trouble so bad that even his protector George may not be able to save him.
Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Fifteen-year-old Alex and his three friends start an evening's mayhem by hitting an old man, tearing up his books and stripping him of money and clothes. Or rather Alex and his three droogs tolchock an old veck, razrez his books, pull off his outer platties and take a malenky bit of cutter. For Alex's confessions are written in 'nadsat' - a teenage argot of a not-too-distant future. Because of his delinquent excesses, Alex is jailed and made subject to 'Ludovico's Technique', a chilling experiment in Reclamation Treatment... Horror farce? Social Prophecy? Penetrating study of human choice between good and evil? A Clockwork Orange is all three, dazzling proof of Anthony Burgess's vast talents.
Jack Kerouac - Úton
Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) az amerikai beatnemzedék egyik kiemelkedő alkotója és teoretikusa, a beatéletmód és a beatideológia modelljének megteremtője – egyben az 1950-es–60-as évek amerikai ifjúságának képviselője és prófétája, a tiltakozás, a menekülés hangjainak megszólaltatója. Lelkes követőket és ádáz ellenségeket szerzett, gondolatai a szexről, a kábítószerekről Európában tovább gyűrűztek akkor is, amikor hazájában már csillapodtak a beat körüli viharok. Könyvei lírai, vallomásos jellegűek, más-más néven majd’ mindegyiknek ő maga a hőse.Főműve, az Úton a nagy utazások, száguldások története. 1947 és 1950 között barátjával, Neal Cassadyvel beautózta az Egyesült Államok és Mexikó legkülönfélébb tájait, utána egy évig tervezte az erről szóló beszámoló formáját, szerkezetét, majd pedig befűzött az írógépbe egy negyvenméteres papírtekercset – és megszületett a "spontán próza" műfaja.Az eredmény: a 60-as évek "ellenkultúrájának" beharangozása és majdani Bibliája, általános kritikusi értetlenség, valamint hatalmas közönségsiker. Sal Paradise és Dean Moriarty (Kerouac és Cassady fiktív megfelelője) szédületes dzsesszfanfárral került be az amerikai és a világirodalom halhatatlanjai közé.
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.
N. H. Kleinbaum - Holt Költők Társasága
A nagy sikerű film alapján készült regény hősei amerikai diákok, a patináns Welton Akadémia tanulói. Todd Anderson és barátai számára új világ kezdődik, amikor új angoltanáruk, John Keating biztatására kezükbe veszik sorsuk irányítását. Keating példája nyomán felélesztik a hajdani titkos diákklub, a Holt Költők Társaságának hagyományait, s az iskola merev szellemiségével, no meg a szülői terrorral szembeszegülve végre szabad folyást engedhetnek érzelmeiknek, kipróbálhatják önmagukat. Hamarosan kiderül azonban, hogy a tekintélyelvű világban a frissiben megízlelt szabadság tragikus következményekre vezet...
Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451 (angol)
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. The classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwells 1984 and Huxleys Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilizations enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Bradburys powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
Allen Ginsberg - Collected poems 1947-1980
Here, for the first time, is a volume that gathers the published verse of Allen Ginsberg in its entirety, a half century of brilliant work from one of America's great poets. The chief figure among the Beats, Ginsberg changed the course of American poetry, liberating it from closed academic forms with the creation of open, vocal, spontaneous, and energetic postmodern verse in the tradition of Walt Whitman, Guillaume Apollinaire, Hart Crane, Ezra Pound, and William Carlos Williams. Ginsberg's classics Howl, Reality Sandwiches, Kaddish, Planet News, and The Fall of America led American (and international) poetry toward uncensored vernacular, explicit candor, the ecstatic, the rhapsodic, and the sincere—all leavened by an attractive and pervasive streak of common sense. Ginsberg's raw tones and attitudes of spiritual liberation also helped catalyze a psychological revolution that has become a permanent part of our cultural heritage, profoundly influencing not only poetry and popular song and speech, but also our view of the world. The uninterrupted energy of Ginsberg's remarkable career is clearly revealed in this collection. Seen in order of composition, the poems reflect on one another; they are not only works but also a work. Included here are all the poems from the earlier volume Collected Poems 1947-1980, and from Ginsberg's subsequent and final three books of new poetry: White Shroud, Cosmopolitan Greetings, and Death & Fame. Enriching this book are illustrations by Ginsberg's artist friends; unusual and illuminating notes to the poems, inimitably prepared by the poet himself; extensive indexes; as well as prefaces and various other materials that accompanied the original publications.
Allen Ginsberg - Collected Poems
This is the only volume to bring together all of Allen Ginsberg's published verse in its entirety, celebrating half a century of brilliant work from one of America's greatest poets. Presented chronologically, it sets Ginsberg's verse against the story of his extraordinary life: from his most famous landmark works "Howl" and "Kaddish" to the poems of "White Shroud" and "Cosmopolitan Greetings", and on to his later writings such as the caustically funny "Death and Fame", the provocative "New Democracy Wish List" and the elegiac "Things I'll Not Do (Nostalgia)".Ginsberg, as chief figure among the Beats, fomented a social and political revolution, yet his groundbreaking verse also changed the course of American poetry with its freewheeling spontaneity, rawness, honesty and energy. Also containing illustrations by Ginsberg's artist friends, illuminating notes to the poems, original prefaces and photographs, this is the essential record of one of the most influential voices in twentieth century poetry.
Irvine Welsh - Skagboys (angol)
A prequel to the world-renowned Trainspotting, this is Irvine Welsh's greatest work and where it all went wrong for the boys... Mark Renton has it all: he's good-looking, young, with a pretty girlfriend and a place at university. But there's no room for him in the 1980s. Thatcher's government is destroying working-class communities across Britain, and the post-war certainties of full employment, educational opportunity and a welfare state are gone. When his family starts to fracture, Mark's life swings out of control and he succumbs to the defeatism which has taken hold in Edinburgh's grimmer areas. The way out is heroin. It's no better for his friends. Spud Murphy is paid off from his job, Tommy Lawrence feels himself being sucked into a life of petty crime and violence - the worlds of the thieving Matty Connell and psychotic Franco Begbie. Only Sick Boy, the supreme manipulator of the opposite sex, seems to ride the current, scamming and hustling his way through it all. Skagboys charts their journey from likely lads to young men addicted to the heroin which has flooded their disintegrating community. This is the 1980s: a time of drugs, poverty, AIDS, violence, political strife and hatred - but a lot of laughs, and maybe just a little love; a decade which changed Britain for ever. The prequel to the world-renowned Trainspotting, this is an exhilarating and moving book, full of the scabrous humour, salty vernacular and appalling behaviour that has made Irvine Welsh a household name.
Charles Bukowski - The Most Beautiful Woman in Town
‘One of those writers whom each new reader discovers with a transgressive thrill’The New Yorker ‘Funny and sharp, observant, clever with details and honest’ Times Literary Supplement This collection of short stories propels the reader into the lowlife of America’s underworld, full of drunks, bums and gamblers, where sex and violence are everywhere and the most beautiful woman in town drinks and fights. Bukowski writes with brutal honesty and sardonic humour of the things he experienced in life; poverty, hard women and chronic hangovers. Charles Bukowski was one of America’s best-known and most prolific writers. During his lifetime he published more than forty-five books of poetry and prose including the novels Post Office (1971), Factotum (1975) and Pulp (1994), all available from Virgin Books.
Raymond Carver - Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.
Saul Bellow - The Victim
Leventhal is a natural victim; a man uncertain of himself, never free from the nagging suspicion that the other guy may be right. So when he meets a down-at-heel stranger in the park one day and finds himself being accused of ruining the man's life, he half believes it.
Bill Watterson - Yukon Ho!
The spirit of childhood leaps to life again with boundless energy and magic in Yukon Ho!, the newest collection of adventures featuring rambunctious six-year-old Calvin and his co-conspirator tiger-chum, Hobbes. Picking up where The Essential Calvin and Hobbes left off, Yukon Ho! is sure to begin an immediate reign at the top of bestseller lists everywhere!