In May 2005 Penguin will publish 70 unique titles to celebrate the company’s 70th birthday. The titles in the Pocket Penguins series are emblematic of the renowned breadth of quality of the Penguin list and will hark back to Penguin founder Allen Lane’s vision of good books for all’. Camus and his writing are intimately bound up with his native Algeria. These three essays evoke different aspects of the place – the title essay The Minotaur and The Return to Tipasa.
Haruki Murakami - The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
'Murakami writes of contemporary Japan, urban alienation and journey's of self-discovery, and in this book he combines recollections of the war with metaphysics, dreams and hallucinations into a powerful and impressionistic work', Independent .'Murakami weaves these textured layers of reality into a shot-silk garment of deceptive beauty', Independent on Sunday .'Critics have variously likened him to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon - a roster so ill assorted as to suggest Murakami is in fact an original', New York Times .'Deeply philosophical and teasingly perplexing, it is impossible to put down', Daily Telegraph .'How does Murakami manage to make poetry while writing of contemporary life and emotions? I am weak-kneed with admiration', Independent on Sunday
Umberto Eco - The Name of the Rose
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, "The Name of the Rose" is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.
Stephen Briggs - Terry Pratchett - The Streets of Ankh-Morpork
'THERE'S A SAYING THAT ALL ROADS LEAD TO ANKH-MORPORK. AND IT'S WRONG. ALL ROADS LEAD AWAY FROM ANKH-MORPORK, BUT SOMETIMES PEOPLE JUST WALK ALONG THE WRONG WAY' _from Moving Pictures_ Ankh-Morpork! City of One Thousand Surprises (according to the famous publication by the Guild of Merchants)! All human life is there! Although, if it walks down the wrong alley, often quite briefly! The city celebrated in the bestselling Discworld series by Terry Pratchett has been meticulously mapped for the first time. It's all here - from _Unseen University_ to the _Shades_, from major landmarks like the _Patrician's Palace_ to little-known, er, nooks like _Dwarf Bread Museum_ in _Whirligig Alley_. See the famous streets along which so many heroes have walked, in some cases quite hurriedly! As leading Ankh-Morpork entrepreneur C.M.O.T. Dibbler would say, A nip at any price - and that's cutting our own throat. Well, close.
Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabblings with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
Frank Herbert - Dune (angol)
This Hugo and Nebula Award winner is widely to be considered the most prescient SF novel ever. It tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. The troubles begin when stewardship of Arrakis is transferred by the Emperor from the Harkonnen Noble House to House Atreides. The Harkonnens don't want to give up their privileges, however, and through sabotage and treachery they cast young Duke Paul Atreides out into the planet's harsh environment to die. There he falls in with the Fremen, a tribe of desert dwellers who become the basis of the army with which he will reclaim what's rightfully his. Paul Atreides, though, is far more than just a usurped duke. He might be the end product of a very long-term genetic experiment designed to breed a super human; he might be a messiah. His struggle is at the center of a nexus of powerful people and events, and the repercussions will be felt throughout the Imperium.
Yann Martel - The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios
This memorable debut, originally published in 1993, was hailed for its power and elegance on both sides of the Atlantic. Ranging from the last hours of a condemned man, to the imaginary life of an AIDS patient, to the first performance of a bizarre new symphony, these tales are moving and thought-provoking, as inventive in form as they are timeless in content. They display the startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Martel an international phenomenon.
Sergei Lukyanenko - The Night Watch
Walking the streets of Moscow, indistinguishable from the rest of its population, are the Others. Possessors of supernatural powers and capable of entering the Twilight, a shadowy world that exists in parallel to our own, each Other owes allegiance either to the Dark or the Light. The Night Watch, first book in the Night Watch Trilogy, follows Anton, a young Other owing allegiance to the Light. As a Night Watch agent he must patrol the streets and metro of the city, protecting ordinary people from the vampires and magicians of the Dark. When he comes across Svetlana, a young woman under a powerful curse, and saves an unfledged Other, Egor, from vampires, he becomes involved in events that threaten the uneasy truce, and the whole city...
Dan Simmons - The Hyperion Omnibus
The Hyperion books are credited with single-handedly reinventing and reinvigorating SF in the 1990s. A broad canvased, hugely imaginative and exciting SF epic, the books draw on the works of Keats and provide a uniquely intelligent and literary approach with cutting edge science, compelling characterisation and edge-of-your-seat excitement. The story is continued in ENDYMION and THE RISE OF ENDYMION, which Gollancz will also be publishing in an omnibus volume.
Margaret Cheney - Tesla
He was born in a small Yugoslavian village in 1856. Yet he grew up to transform our world. From his supernaturally gifted mind came the principles that led to computers, missiles, robots, nuclear fusion—even the microwave in your kitchen. He had a photographic memory. He never even made blue-prints, being able to create directly from his mind. Always thinking at fever-pitch, he worked too fast to secure patents or even rent-money. Friend of Mark Twain, enemy/rival of Edison, he was trail-blazer and mentor for many of our century's most famous scientists. A riveting biography of a colossal, crazy genius.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Tales of the Jazz Age
Though most widely known for the novella The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald gained a major source of income as a professional writer from the sale of short stories. Over the course of his career, Fitzgerald published more than 160 stories in the period's most popular magazines. His second short fiction collection, Tales of the Jazz Age (1922), includes two masterpieces as well as several other stories from his earlier career. One, "May Day," depicts a party at a popular club in New York that becomes a night of revelry during which former soldiers and an affluent group of young people start an anti-Bolshevik demonstration that results in an attack on a leftist newspaper office. "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" is a fantastic satire of the selfishness endemic to the wealthy and their undying pursuit to preserve that way of life. All of these stories, like his best novels, meld Fitzgerald's fascination with wealth with an awareness of a larger world, creating a subtle social critique. With his discerning eye, Fitzgerald elucidates the interactions of the young people of post-World War I America who, cut off from traditions, sought their place in the modern world amid the general hysteria of the period that inaugurated the age of jazz. This new edition reproduces in full the original collection, stories that represent a clear movement in theme and character development toward what would become The Great Gatsby. In introducing each story, Fitzgerald offers accounts of its textual history, revealing decisions about which stories to include.
J. M. Coetzee - The Lives of Animals
"Coetzee stirs our imaginations by confronting us with an articulate, intelligent, aging, and increasingly alienated novelist who cannot help but be exasperated with her fellow human beings, many of them academics, who are unnecessarily cruel to animals, and apparently (but not admittedly) committed to cruelty. The story urges us to reconceive our devotion to reason as a universal value."--From the introduction by Amy Gutmann The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world. Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority. At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target. Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play. As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.
J. M. Coetzee - Slow Man
. M. Coetzee , one of the greatest living writers in the English language, has crafted a deeply moving tale of love and mortality in his new book, Slow Man. When photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, he is forced to reexamine how he has lived his life. Through Paul’s story, Coetzee addresses questions that define us all: What does it mean to do good? What in our lives is ultimately meaningful? How do we define the place we call "home"? In his clear and uncompromising voice, Coetzee struggles with these issues and offers a story that will dazzle the reader on every page.
J. M. Coetzee - Dusklands
A novel which combines the stories of an 18th-century Boer frontiersman and a 20th-century specialist in psychological warfare. Both are in the business of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and are dealers in death. From the author of IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY and MASTER OF PETERSBURG. First published in 1982.
J. M. Coetzee - The Master of Petersburg
In The Master of Petersburg J. M. Coetzee dares to imagine the life of Dostoevsky. Set in 1869, when Dostoevsky was summoned from Germany to St Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, this novel is at once a compelling mystery steeped in the atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russia and a brilliant and courageous meditation on authority and rebellion, art and imagination. Dostoevsky is seen obsessively following his stepson's ghost, trying to ascertain whether he was a suicide or a murder victim and whether he loved or despised his stepfather.
J. M. Coetzee - Diary of a Bad Year
A new work of fiction by the Nobel Prize–winning author of Disgrace In this brilliant new work of fiction, J. M. Coetzee once again breaks new literary ground with a book that is, in the words of its main character, “a response to the present in which I find myself.” Diary of a Bad Year takes on the world of politics—a new topic for Coetzee—and explores the role of the writer in our times with an extraordinary moral compass. At the center of the book is “Señor C,” an aging author who has been asked to write his thoughts on the state of the world by his German publisher. These thoughts, called “Strong Opinions,” address a wide range of subjects and include a scathing indictment of Bush, Cheney, and Blair, as well as a witheringly honest examination of everything from Machiavelli and the current state of the university to music, literature, and intelligent design, offering unexpected perceptions and insightful arguments along the way. Meanwhile, someone new enters the writer’s life: Anya, the beautiful young woman whom he hires to type his manuscript. The relationship that develops between Señor C and Anya has a profound effect on both of them. It also changes the course of Anya’s relationship with Alan, the successful, swaggering man whom she lives with—and who has designs on Señor C’s bank account. Through these characters, Coetzee creates an ingenious literary game that will enthrall readers and surprise them with its emotional power. Bold, funny, and sad, as well as intellectually clever and satisfying, Diary of a Bad Year is a journey into the mind and heart of one of the world’s most acclaimed and accomplished writers.
J. M. Coetzee - Disgrace
Booker prize winning novels do not get much better than this effort by the modern master of the understatement, J M Coetzee. Whilst seemingly a story about the disgraceful behaviour of an ageing academic, Disgrace is also a novel that is not reluctant to delve into the politics of post-apartheid South Africa. As with all other Coetzee novels, the stylish prose is sumptuous and glistening with meaning. It is undoubtedly one of Coetzee's finest novels and a must read for anyone interested in great literature.
J. M. Coetzee - Summertime
South African Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee's forays into postmodernism haven't always been entirely convincing but Summertime, the third instalment of his 'fictionalised memoir' trilogy, is an impressively audacious piece of writing in which he imagines he is dead. An English biographer who never met Coetzee visits five people who were significant in his subject's life between 1972 and 1977, when Coetzee was establishing himself as a writer. The transcripts of those interviews make up the bulk of the book - and few of the reminescences are positive, about Coetzee's dispassionate exercise in taking himself apart is certainly a thought-provoking approach to a memoir, thogh how much is true (and whether he really thinks people would describe him so disparagingly) is impossible to ascertain. Having Coetzee, in the guise of an interviewee, analyse his own early work also seems indulgent. But there is a relentlessly inwuisitive aspect to this experiment that is quite gripping. (Siobhan Murphy)
Tibor Fischer - Voyage to the End of the Room
The award-winning, critically acclaimed author, Tibor Fischer, at his most inventive--a ferociously funny, perfectly paced, deliciously raunchy novel that makes you laugh and think. Oceane, successful computer graphics designer and former erotic dancer, likes to travel, but doesn't like to go out; in fact, she never leaves home. She satisfies her wanderlust by bringing the world to her South London flat, using courier, satellite, radio, the Internet, and accommodating globetrotters making virtual visits to Panama, Istanbul, and Tokyo. Her meticulously constructed lifestyle suits her until she receives a letter from an ex-an ex who died ten years ago. She is forced into action and seeks out the help of Audley--failed mercenary, former personal trainer, and proprietor of the Dun Waitin Debt Collection Agency. When the first letter is followed by a string of missives, Oceane has to start searching the world to understand her past. Tibor Fischer's new novel is Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island updated for the 21st century, weaving from the sex clubs of Barcelona, to the battlefields of Yugoslavia, to the deadly diving of Chuuk Lagoon. Combining his trademark sardonic wit and offbeat imaginative flair, Voyage to the End of the Room is Tibor Fischer in top form: a compelling page-turner that is at once a brilliant and darkly hilarious meditation on a random world; on what you can know, what evil looks like, why ketchup may be among a soldier's most important equipment, and how bubble gum can be used to collect on old debts.
Tibor Fischer - Don't Read This Book If You're Stupid
If there is one thing Tibor Fischer can do like no one else, it's to pen snappy, devastating titles. Once you've got past the provocative posturing of this collection's title page, then you are faced with seven brilliantly dubbed pieces--try "We Ate The Chef", "Portrait of the Artist as a Foaming Deathmonger" and "I Like Being Killed" for size. As all that might suggest, Fischer--known for his Booker-shortlisted Under The Frog and more recently The Thought Gangand The Collector Collector--is a clever writer, a wordsmith of tremendous dexterity, whose fluent prose surges forward with an irrepressible energy, usually pushing him to the furthest edges of a very dark humour and occasionally to a jarring callousness. The opening novella "We Ate The Chef", for example, starts innocuously enough in Cambridge Circus, but somehow spirals into a Côte d'Azur thriller, climaxing in a particularly ungracious (but utterly appropriate) orgasm. In "Then They Say You're Drunk", Fischer, an adopted South Londoner, explores the quite plausible proposition that Brixton "must have more headcases per square inch than any other place in the world". His trademark stream-of-self-consciousness shares much with the rhythms of stand-up, so it comes as no surprise to find the closing "I Like Being Killed" delving into London's comedy circuit. But there's a hint of seriousness among the casual cruelty. In the short "Ice Tonight in the Hearts of Young Visitors", Fischer stands on the Hungarian border and concludes bitterly: "I assure you if there is a hell, it will be the most solitary of confinements and cold". --Alan Stewart
Tibor Fischer - Good to be God
Using the credit card and identity of a handcuffs salesman, professional failure Tyndale Corbett arrives in Miami for a law-enforcement conference to discover the joys of luxury hotels and above all the delight of being someone else, someone successful. Feeling his previous lack of success might be due to insufficient ambition, Tyndale decides on a new moneymaking scheme. He will up the ante substantially, exponentially, and pretend to be someone really important and successful: God. His mission to convince the citizenry of Miami that he is, despite appearances, the Supreme Being results in him taking over the Church of the Heavily Armed Christ. His duties there involve him in forming a private army, hiring call girls, trafficking coke, issuing death threats, beating off church-jackers and sorting out (as almightily as possible) various problems his parishioners are having with pets. All the while he is working on his grand project, the clincher miracle: dying and coming back to life…