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  • From the master of the absurd, these two stories of an unnamed vagrant contending with decay and death combine bleakness with the blackest of humour. ISBN 9780241338971
  • "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
  • Things Fall Apart is the compelling story of one man's battle to protect his community against the forces of change. Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive, and his fame spreads throughout West Africa like a bush-fire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Then Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With his world thrown radically off-balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy. ISBN 9780141023380
  • Please note that this is a print-on-demand title with waiting time of approximately 2-3 weeks. Only order if you are happy to wait. Valley of the Squinting Windows is a classic Irish novel set in central Ireland c. 1914-16. Garradrimna is a tiny village where everyone is interested in everyone else's business and wishes them to fail. Twenty years before the events of the book, Nan Byrne has a relationship with a local man, Henry Shannon, hoping to marry him for his wealth. She falls pregnant but Henry refuses to marry her. After a miscarriage, the baby is buried at the bottom of the garden. Henry marries another woman and later dies, while Nan emigrates to England and marries Ned Brennan. They later move back to Garradrimna, where the villagers rejoice in telling Ned about his wife's past. Ned is now an alcoholic, brought low by the humiliation of his wife's past promiscuity. He makes a little as a labourer, whereas Nan works every day at sewing to support their only child, John, studying in England to become a Catholic priest. However, she has become as cruel, petty and jealous as the rest of Garradrimna, and connives with the postmistress to sabotage Myles Shannon's chance at romance with an English girl, to get revenge on the Shannon family for rejecting her. John returns to Garradrimna for a holiday, where he befriends Ulick Shannon (son of Henry) and falls for Rebecca Kerr, a schoolteacher. Ulick and Rebecca have a relationship, however, and when Rebecca becomes pregnant she is disgraced and expelled from the village. Ulick abandons her and John murders him, weighing the body with lead and hiding it in the lake. Rebecca leaves for Dublin and an uncertain future. An old gossip informs Nan and John that she was there the night Nan gave birth to Henry's child - in reality, the child was born alive and was given to Henry and his wife - who they raised as their son, Ulick Shannon. ISBN 9781781176498
  • 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
  • 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
  • Staff Pick: "This is possibly my favourite novel of all time. Shirley Jackson does such a good job at creating an unsettling, disturbing environment in all her novels but still manages to do so with such wit and charm. If you haven’t read any Jackson yet, I’d recommend starting here. This is a gothic horror novel with a sort of ‘cottage core’ twist set in an isolated countryside village. It follows two sisters who live outcast from their community because one of them may or may not have murdered their whole family six years previously… Perfect for Spooky Season and Autumn in general, I could not recommend this more. " Amy
  • 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
  • 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
  • "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
  • 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
  • Following the events of one single day in Dublin, the 16th June 1904, and what happens to the characters Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly, Ulysses is a monument to the human condition. It has survived censorship, controversy and legal action, and even been deemed blasphemous, but remains an undisputed modernist classic: ceaselessly inventive, garrulous, funny, sorrowful, vulgar, lyrical and ultimately redemptive. It confirms Joyce's belief that literature 'is the eternal affirmation of the spirit of man'. 'The most important expression which the present age has found; it is a book to which we are all indebted, and from which none of us can escape' T. S. Eliot 'Everybody knows now that Ulysses is the greatest novel of the century' Anthony Burgess, Observer 'Intoxicating ...a towering work, in its word play surpassing even Shakespeare' Guardian ISBN 9780141182803
  • "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
  • 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 perfect gift this Christmas season: a generous selection of some of the greatest festive stories of all time - now in a beautiful clothbound edition. This is a collection of the most magical, moving, chilling and surprising Christmas stories from around the world, taking us from frozen Nordic woods to glittering Paris, a New York speakeasy to an English country house, bustling Lagos to midnight mass in Rio, and even outer space. Here are classic tales from writers including Truman Capote, Shirley Jackson, Dylan Thomas, Saki and Chekhov, as well as little-known treasures such as Italo Calvino's wry sideways look at Christmas consumerism, Wolfdietrich Schnurre's story of festive ingenuity in Berlin, Selma Lagerlof's enchanted forest in Sweden, and Irene Nemerovsky's dark family portrait. Featuring santas, ghosts, trolls, unexpected guests, curmudgeons and miracles, here is Christmas as imagined by some of the greatest short story writers of all time. ISBN 9780241455654
  • Playful and experimental, James Joyce's autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a vivid portrayal of emotional and intellectual development. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Seamus Deane. The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a universal testament to the artist's 'eternal imagination'. Both an insight into Joyce's life and childhood, and a unique work of modernist fiction, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a novel of sexual awakening, religious rebellion and the essential search for voice and meaning that every nascent artist must face in order to fully come into themselves. James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness. If you enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, you might like Joyce's Dubliners, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'There is nothing more vivid or beautiful in all Joyce's writing. It has the searing clarity of truth ... but is rich with myth and symbol'Sunday Times'James Joyce was and remains almost unique among novelists in that he published nothing but masterpieces'The Times Literary Supplement ISBN 9780141182667
  • "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 9780241951590

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