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  • "If you love a story with a twist, these dark tales from Shirley Jackson will delight and intrigue you. From the woman who gets off her bus at the wrong stop, to the man who is convinced he's being followed home, each of these brilliant tales is a study in how to write the perfect short story and the unexpected endings are guaranteed to surprise and disconcert you. Shirley Jackson is a master at writing our darkest fears!" Bob ISBN 9780241308493
  • When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his girlfriend's return to Paris destroys everything. Unable to admit to the truth, David pretends the liaison never happened - while Giovanni's life descends into tragedy. United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love's endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love... ISBN 9780141186351
  • Flann O'Brien's innovative metafictional work, whose unruly characters strike out their own paths in life to the frustration of their author, At Swim-Two-Birds is a brilliant impressionistic jumble of ideas, mythology and nonsense. Flann O'Brien's first novel tells the story of a young, indolent undergraduate, who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dubin and spends far too much time drinking with his friends. When not drunk or in bed he likes to invent wild stories peoples with hilarious and unlikely characters - but somehow his creations won't do what he wants them to. A dazzling work of farce, satire, folklore and absurdity that gives full rein to its author's dancing intellect and Celtic wit, At Swim-Two-Birds is both a brilliant comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, and a portrayal of Dublin to compare with Joyce's Ulysses. Brian O Nuallain, (1911-1966), better known by his pseudonym Flann O'Brien, was born in Strabane, County Tyrone, and studied at University College Dublin before joining the Irish Civil Service. ISBN 9780141182681
  • From the author of the classic novel 'At-Swim-Two-Birds' comes this ingenious tale which follows the mad and absurd ambitions of a scientist determined to destroy the world. Flann O'Brien's third novel, 'The Dalkey Archive' is a riotous depiction of the extraordinary events surrounding theologian and mad scientist De Selby's attempt to destroy the world by removing all the oxygen from the atmosphere. Only Michael Shaughnessy, 'a lowly civil servant', and James Joyce, alive and well and working as a barman in the nearby seaside resort of Skerries, can stop the inimitable De Selby in his tracks. ISBN 9780007247196
  • "...Though the Castle of the title is the scene of the multiple poisoning of all but 3 members of the Blackwood family. Yet the remaining members live in a sort of fairytale harmony or so it seems... " Ann ISBN 9780141191454
  • This is a haunting, elegiac novel which captures the mood and atmosphere of Italy (and in particular Ferrara) in the last summers of the thirties, focusing on an aristocratic Jewish family moving imperceptibly towards its doom. Vittorio De Sica turned the book into a film in 1970, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974. ISBN 9780141188362
  • Bringing into harsh focus the daily struggle for existence in a Soviet gulag, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is translated by Ralph Parker in Penguin Modern Classics. This brutal, shattering glimpse of the fate of millions of Russians under Stalin shook Russia and shocked the world when it first appeared. Discover the importance of a piece of bread or an extra bowl of soup, the incredible luxury of a book, the ingenious possibilities of a nail, a piece of string or a single match in a world where survival is all. Here safety, warmth and food are the first objectives. Reading it, you enter a world of incarceration, brutality, hard manual labour and freezing cold - and participate in the struggle of men to survive both the terrible rigours of nature and the inhumanity of the system that defines their conditions of life. Though twice-decorated for his service at the front during the Second World War, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008) was arrested in 1945 for making derogatory remarks about Stalin, and sent to a series of brutal Soviet labour camps in the Arctic Circle, where he remained for eight years. Released after Stalin's death, he worked as a teacher, publishing his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich with the approval of Nikita Khrushchev in 1962, to huge success. His 1967 novel Cancer Ward, as well as his magnum opus The Gulag Archipelago, were not as well-received by Soviet authorities, and not long after being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, Solzhenitsyn was deported from the USSR. In 1994, after twenty years in exile, Solzhenitsyn made his long-awaited return to Russia. ISBN 9780141184746
  • Molloy is Samuel Beckett's best-known novel, and his first published work to be written in French, ushering in a period of concentrated creativity in the late 1940s which included the companion novels Malone Dies and The Unnamable. The narrative of Molloy, old and ill, remembering and forgetting, scarcely human, begets a parallel tale of the spinsterish Moran, a private detective sent in search of him, whose own deterioration during the quest joins in with the catalogue of Molloy's woes. Molloy brings a world into existence with finicking certainties, at the tip of whoever is holding the pencil, and trades larger uncertainties with the reader. "Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining." ISBN 9780571243716
  • "I read this book reluctantly, on the recommendation of a friend, the central character is appalling!! but wonderfully so. I'm glad I stuck with it. You should too..." Ann ISBN 9780141182865
  • "At first impression, Flora Poste should be gagged and bound and tied to a chair!! She's a menace, and life at Cold Comfort Farm will never be the same. She always knows best!!" Ann ISBN 9780241418895
  • "There are many pretenders to her throne, but Shirley Jackson is the queen of the macabre, unexpected, spine-tingling and thought- provoking tale." Ann ISBN 9780141191430
  • When Another Country appeared in 1962, it caused a literary sensation. James Baldwin's masterly story of desire, hatred and violence opens with the unforgettable character of Rufus Scott, a scavenging Harlem jazz musician adrift in New York. Self-destructive, bad and brilliant, he draws us into a Bohemian underworld pulsing with heat, music and sex, where desperate and dangerous characters betray, love and test each other to the limit. 'In Another Country, Baldwin created the essential American drama of the century' Colm Tóibín. ISBN 9780141186375
  • The landmark work on race in America from James Baldwin, whose life and words are immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro. 'We, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation'. James Baldwin's impassioned plea to 'end the racial nightmare' in America was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963, galvanising a nation and giving voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Told in the form of two intensely personal 'letters', The Fire Next Time is at once a powerful evocation of Baldwin's early life in Harlem and an excoriating condemnation of the terrible legacy of racial injustice. 'Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle ... all presented in searing, brilliant prose' The New York Times. ISBN 9780140182750
  • Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101... 1984 is George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. 'Right up there among my favourite books ... I read it again and again' Margaret Atwood. ISBN 9780141036144
  • Now the subject of a major new film from director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo+Juliet, Moulin Rouge!), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant fable of the hedonistic excess and tragic reality of 1920s America. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Tony Tanner. Young, handsome and fabulously rich, Jay Gatsby is the bright star of the Jazz Age, but as writer Nick Carraway is drawn into the decadent orbit of his Long Island mansion, where the party never seems to end, he finds himself faced by the mystery of Gatsby's origins and desires. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life, Gatsby is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon, this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel. In The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald brilliantly captures both the disillusionment of post-war America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status. But he does more than render the essence of a particular time and place, for - in chronicling Gatsby's tragic pursuit of his dream - Fitzgerald re-creates the universal conflict between illusion and reality. Like Jay Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) has acquired a mythical status in American literary history, and his masterwork The Great Gatsby is considered by many to be the 'great American novel'. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre, dubbed 'the first American Flapper', and their traumatic marriage and Zelda's gradual descent into insanity became the leading influence on his writing. As well as many short stories, Fitzgerald wrote five novels This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and, incomplete at the time of his death, The Last Tycoon. After his death The New York Times said of him that 'in fact and in the literary sense he created a "generation" '. 'A classic, perhaps the supreme American novel' John Carey, Sunday Times Books of the Century ISBN 9780141182636
  • A thriller, a hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle, and a chilling fable of unending guilt, 'The Third Policeman' is comparable only to 'Alice in Wonderland' as an allegory of the absurd. Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, 'The Third Policeman' is unique in the English language. ISBN 9780007247172
  • James Joyce's Dubliners is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From 'The Sisters', a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to 'Araby', a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to 'The Dead', in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience. ISBN 9780141182452
  • I was supposed to be having the time of my life. When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into serious depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take her aspirations seriously. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath's own life and descent into mental illness, and has become a modern classic. ISBN 9780571226160
  • At a dinner party in 1922, Virginia Woolf met the renowned author, aristocrat - and sapphist - Vita Sackville-West. Virginia wrote in her diary that she didn't think much of Vita's conversation, but she did think very highly of her legs. It was to be the start of almost twenty years of flirtation, friendship, and literary collaboration. Their correspondence ended only with Virginia's death in 1941. ISBN 9781784876722
  • "'It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.' Very famous words, and often heard out of their original context, but now you can judge their true meaning for yourself." Ann ISBN 9780141199702
  • "Ask anyone about who writes the best short stories and this collection always makes an appearance. It's stunning how a lifetime of experience and love can be captured in such beautiful vignettes." Bob ISBN 9780099530329
  • "This book has one of the best opening sequences I have ever come across, and draws you in from the start. If you are looking for a recommendation for a young person moving into adult fiction, this is perfect!" Ann ISBN 9780099460879
  • Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, cowed and neglected by their husbands, make a daring plan: they will have a holiday. Leaving a drab and rainy London one April and arriving on the shores of the Mediterranean, they discover a flower-filled paradise of beauty, warmth and leisure. ISBN 9781784870461
  • A masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also probes identity, sanity and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. It begins when Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England - an unmanned ship is wrecked; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his 'Master' - and a determined group of adversaries prepare to battle the Count. 'The very best story of diablerie which I have read for many years' Arthur Conan Doyle ISBN 9780141439846
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