From there, it develops almost organically. Originally, I started as a screenwriter and wrote action, comedy, and thrillers. As an author, my books follow the same pattern. Bottom line, my motivation is to write stories that move my readers independent of the genre. Writing is like a pressure release valve.
Writing that book greatly helped me confront and understand my feelings. Alexandre Dumas for writing the masterpiece The Three Musketeers. I love the humor and adventure. It is a complete work that encompasses every aspect of life: dignity, honor, love, loss, and survival. Robert Ludlum for the scope of his work, but more specifically The Bourne Identity. The book is very different from the movie, and for the better. The writing is crisp and moves at lightning speed without excessive description. William Goldman for immortalizing The Princess Bride.
I think they serve a purpose. When I started writing, it was very clear to me that anything I wrote should be a source of pride for my children. Not because of any success it may have, but because it upholds good morals and integrity. I want my readers to enjoy reading my work. What matters is that they take something away from the journey, something memorable. Very much indeed. Ideas just come to me, anything from romantic comedies and action, to thrillers. Being an avid reader helps — reading stimulates the imagination, which helps writing.
Right now I have four novels in the pipeline. These are stories I feel I need to tell and that is motivation enough. It has to be really bad for me to give up. So, to be more precise. I look at the storyline and evaluate the writing style and editing. If the latter two fall short, I will not start the book. However, I do abhor bad taste and will not read things that offend me or are deplorable to human dignity.
Of course! As a professional, I have high standards and expect other authors to have the same. It really bothers me when I read books that are poorly written, especially the basics such as spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. Proofread, please! However… Secretly well, not so secret any more , she is an undercover author, who laces up her trainers for a run to build endurance—not just for running—but to escape from this world to an alternate one, where history and romance meet, fueled by suspense—and of course—wonderful music. I am a romantic at heart, and long to go on an adventure in Renaissance Italy.
I have been fascinated with Italy and this time period ever since I can remember, so it makes researching different aspects of them sooooo much fun! They always seemed to fall short. So I left the writing world to pursue writing music instead, and picked up novel writing again as a friendly NaNo competition between some of my 8 th grade students and myself in I would hold myself accountable by posting my word count on my board in my band room.
I never made it to 50K that year, but did surpass 30K, and found the experience so rewarding that I wanted to be sure to finish my story. Writing gives me a chance to escape reality, and it has kept me sane through some pretty trying moments. I had almost given up on dreaming until The Bard Trilogy began, giving me the chance to let go and dream once more.
Writing has become such a passion of mine that I have started the creative writing club at the school where I teach, and provide a place for students that love the art of writing enough to become self-published in our annual student authors book. I absolutely LOVE getting to walk into a bookstore and pick up a book. There is just something really special about holding a book in your hands. I love my characters. They need me, and I need them. Too much information and not enough plot. I do make an honest effort to give it a good read before I abandon it. Overused words!!! I read a book once where the same word was used beyond the point of annoyance.
There are thesauruses for a reason!!! I have dreamed of being a writer since I first learned someone could actually do that for a living. Currently, I am lucky to get to stay home with our two young daughters. This has given me the chance to fulfill my dream and finally get pen to paper. I have had an overactive imagination my entire life, sometimes to a fault. I have written since I was a preteen, so it has always been a part of my life. However, in the last several months, I have decided to focus solely on writing and it has been an amazing change!
First, my best friend and I wrote an entire novel after a simple phone conversation turned into a creative brainstorming session. And beyond that, I have had so many opportunities to get my name out there pop up, including this author meet and greet! Chuck Palahniuk!
I first discovered him in high school, and seeing the way he wrote opened my eyes to a whole new world! It seemed like he broke the writing rules I had learned in high school and that amazed me. It made me realize I could push that line drawn in the sand and truly write whatever I wanted! There is something so spectacularly magical about visiting a small local bookshop, though.
Everyone deserves to get their creative work out into the world without having to go broke doing so! On a surface level, I hope they get enjoyment. I am more than just a mom who sometimes writes, I am a writer! I put so much personal experience into my writing! Oh, this is something I admittedly struggle with. It took me over a year to finish Paranormal ish for Kindle and another two years to get it ready for paperback. I was the only one to blame. Getting caught up in the busy-ness of life!
I have two young kids, one of which is in school, and my husband works a lot. Who am I to judge what they enjoy? For my own writing, I hate when I start to realize how often I use certain words. But the important thing is that it was caught and changed! In reading, I may have a few. Saying their eyes are cold as ice, set in a snowy skinned face with wrinkles like rivers flowing to the sea around a great mountain of a nose, is a bit much. Silly example, I know. You can find me on Facebook, Amazon and CreateSpace! Share this: Tweet. Like this: Like Loading ZooBorns Suspense Lives Here.
Books and Such YA author supporting other authors. The Second World War separated their team temporarily and Tailliez in particular would take part at the time of the campaign in Syria , with naval action against the Vichy navy. In the wartime shortages, to get movie film to make Epaves , Cousteau had to buy up hundreds of unexposed short small-gauge films intended for children's toy cameras, and splice them end-to-end into movie-length reels.
In , the Gaullist admiral Lemonnier, having viewed this film, entrusted to Tailliez the direction of the G. Group of Underwater Research which in became the G. He had Cousteau and Dumas assigned there, and obtained a ship, the sloop "Elie Monnier". Admiral Lemonnier appointed him as the first commanding officer of the Elie Monnier, with which the three made innumerable missions of mine clearance, underwater exploration, physiological tests discovering the principle of the diving tables , of underwater archaeology in Mahdia in Tunisia and of supporting the first bathyscaphes of Professor Jacques Piccard : the FNRS II in in Dakar.
At the same time they started their underwater exploration and archaeological finds off the coast of Mahdia , Tunisia. They did physiological tests, discovering the principle of diving tables. In they helped Jacques Piccard off the coast of Dakar with his prototype of the bathyscaphe. In , Philippe Taillez was sent to French Indo-China , where he was involved in combat diving during the anti-colonial rebellion there, leaving the direction of the G.
On his return to France, Taillez began, together with Hans Sellner, the development of the Aquarius , a new type of bathyscaphe that used liquid air to float; the previous bathyscaphe used a big bag full of petrol as a float. Through lack of financial support, they could not make it technically perfect and their prototype sank during the first test.
President Nasser 's plan to nationalize the Suez Canal in , involved the Franco-English reaction of November , marked Commander Tailliez deeply. He was also responsible for a part of a crawling "channel" of life, the Rhine, an artery essential for the economic welfare of his residents whose traffic is equivalent to that of Suez Canal: million tons!
He was joined soon there by the leading seaman Elies, who had been, in the Far East, one of the most solid monitors of his section of underwater intervention. Elies arrived to form, then to direct, the underwater intervention group, which obviously, was lacking with the flotilla. The binomial Taillez - Elies carried out April the first dive in the pit of the narrows of Binger Loch , the deepest place in the Rhine. Taillez told about this dive in an article of the Maritime Review special number of Christmas , entitled "Dive in the Lorelei ".
On 1 August , he left this Command to join a new assignment close to the diving at the edges of the Mediterranean. In he retired from the French Navy. From then on he devoted himself to the protection of the sea from environmental pollution. In he was a founding member of the scientific committee of the Port-Cros National Park. Philippe Tailliez is considered as one of the fathers of modern deep-sea diving. He inspired Cousteau to his environmental consciousness. He was given many awards in France and abroad, for his multiple contributions.
He was at the same time in underwater archaeology and led many sites with the assistance of the Management of underwater archaeological research and Navy. After , date of his retirement from the Navy, he was devoted to marine environmental protection. Keeping away from the media contrary to Cousteau, he was nevertheless very active. Founder member of the scientific Committee of the national park of Port-Cros , created in and of the Paul Ricard Oceanographical Institute, he helped and advised with a constant generosity of many impassioned explorations, cinema and sea, of which some became famous.
Considered the modern "father of deep-sea diving" and the inspirer of the environmental conscience of Cousteau, Philippe Tailliez received many distinctions, in France and abroad, for his many contributions. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. French pioneer of scuba diving and underwater photographer. Underwater diving. Atmospheric pressure diving Freediving Saturation diving Scuba diving Snorkeling Surface-supplied diving Unmanned diving.
Clearance diver Commercial offshore diving Diver training Frogman Hazmat diving Military diving units Police diving Professional diving Public safety diving Recreational diving Scientific diving Underwater archaeology Underwater photography Underwater videography. Barotrauma Civil liability in recreational diving Decompression sickness Drowning Human factors in diving safety Hypercapnia Hypothermia Investigation of diving accidents List of diving hazards and precautions List of legislation regulating underwater diving List of signs and symptoms of diving disorders Nitrogen narcosis Oxygen toxicity Scuba diving fatalities Seasickness Task loading.
Ascending and descending diving Boat diving Buddy breathing Buddy diving Canoe and kayak diving Decompression diving Decompression practice Dive planning Diver communications Diver navigation Diver rescue Diver trim Dive log Drift diving Emergency ascent Finning techniques Low impact diving Night diving Recreational diver training Scuba gas planning Scuba skills Solo diving Surface-supplied diving skills Underwater search and recovery Underwater searches. History of underwater diving History of decompression research and development History of scuba diving List of researchers in underwater diving Timeline of diving technology Underwater diving in popular culture.
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Navy Diving Manual. Environmental impact of recreational diving Scuba diving tourism. Diving decompression. Decompression diving Decompression equipment Decompression practice Decompression theory Equivalent air depth Equivalent narcotic depth History of decompression research and development Maximum operating depth Physiology of decompression Uncontrolled decompression. Deep diving Professional diving Recreational diving Saturation diving Scuba diving Technical diving Underwater diving. Decompression sickness Diving chamber Hyperbaric medicine Hyperbaric treatment schedules In-water recompression.
Pyle stop Ratio decompression. Categories: Diving decompression Commons: Category:Decompression. Diver organisations. Diver training. These include a camp Ealing-style misadventure, an American thriller and an interview with a clone, all connected by a mysterious comet-shaped tattoo. Moorcock spills out such varied books that he often feels impossible to nail down, which is probably the point.
Mother London, his most literary — it was shortlisted for the Whitbread — shows him at the height of his powers. Having gone to sleep on the London underground, the narrator awakes to find himself in 20th-century Hammersmith. He bathes in the now crystalline Thames and spends a day in what used to be the British Museum, airily discussing life and politics.
He then travels up the river to Runnymede, where Magna Carta was signed, going on from there to some idyllic haymaking in Oxford. Sweet Home is a deceptive name for the Kentucky plantation where horrific crimes have been committed, as Beloved is for this shocking and unforgettable account of the human consequences of slavery. Sethe lives in Ohio in the s; she has escaped from slavery, but cannot escape the past, which quite literally haunts her.
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It sparks off a page adventure that sees him trapped at the bottom of a well, marked with a strange blue stain and taken on many otherworldly adventures, all in search of his missing wife. Murakami has the Japanese trick of writing about surreal events in a matter-of-fact way, making them all the more disturbing. Ada or Ardor is part sci-fi romance, part Proustian memoir. It plays out on a fantasy planet, a marriage of contemporary America and pre-revolutionary Russia, and details the love affair of precocious Van Veen and his sister Ada, chasing them from lustful puberty to decrepit old age.
It is a gorgeous display of narrative wizardry, at once opulent, erotic, playful and wise. A moving affirmation of the continuities of love against unusual odds. JH Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. But this novel, which won Hugo and Nebula awards, reminds us he was once one of the most exciting names in hard sci-fi. Part of the Known Space series, it follows a group of humans and aliens as they explore a mysterious ring-shaped environment spinning around a star like a giant hula-hoop.
Set in Manchester in the near-future and in a phantasmagorical virtual reality, Vurt is the story of Scribble, his gang the Stash Riders and his attempt to find his sister Desdemona, who is lost in a drug-induced VR. Set in a rural Ireland that is also a vision of hell, it features policemen turning into bicycles; that SF standby, the universal energy source; and any number of scientific and literary in-jokes. According to Yoruba tradition, a spirit child is one who has made a pact with his fellows in their other, more beautiful world, to rejoin them as soon as possible. Azaro breaks the pact, choosing to remain in this place of suffering and poverty, but the African shanty town where he lives with his parents teems with phantoms, spirits and dreams.
An angry, impassioned fantasy of how to take down corporate America, and an ingenious modern version of the myth of the double. Thwarted in love, the hero Scythrop reads The Sorrows of Werther and considers suicide, but settles for the comforts of madeira instead. Sinister and sensual, overwrought and overwritten, Titus Groan is a guilty pleasure — a dank, dripping Gothic cathedral of a novel. He inherits Gormenghast castle and its extraordinary household: emaciated Flay, with his whip-crack joints; the morbidly obese cook, Swelter; feverish, moody young Fuchsia; cackling Dr Prunesquallor, and many others.
But at its heart is a chilling glimpse of the nature of evil. With this gargantuan novel, Powys set out to take a location he knew well from his boyhood and make it the real hero of the story. It tells the story of Glastonbury through a year of turmoil, setting mystic mayor John Geard against industrialist Philip Crow. Geard wants to turn the town into a centre for Grail worship, while Crow wants to exploit and develop the local tin mines. Complex and rich, this is a landmark fantasy novel. The novel is as much a study of their obsession as a brilliant examination of magic and rationalism.
A Benedictine monk who gave it up to study medicine, Rabelais wrote this satirical tale of the giant Pantagruel and his even more monstrous and grotesque father Gargantua on the cusp between eras. In his portrayal of Gargantua, a belching, farting scholar given to urinating over the masses below his ivory tower, he satirises medieval learning as well as the emerging Renaissance thirst for knowledge. A drink! Remind you of anything more contemporary?
NB Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. This was the novel that brought the one-time astrophysicist to the attention of the SF mainstream. Robinson asks: what if the Black Death destroyed 14th-century European culture and the Mongols reached the Atlantic shores? What follows is a history of our world with Islam and Buddhism as the dominant religions and the major scientific discoveries and art movements we take for granted happening elsewhere. Necessarily schematic in places, but a stunning achievement all the same. Every now and then, a book comes along that is so influential you have to read it to be part of the modern world.
It is also a truly global phenomenon, and a nice little earner for the tribe of British character actors who have had the good fortune to be cast in the films. Claire Armitstead Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The offensive core of the novel depicts, under thin disguise, the prophet Muhammad, and wittily if blasphemously questions the revealed truth of the Koran. Stranded in the Sahara, a pilot meets a boy. He claims to have come from an asteroid, which he shared with a talking flower, and to have visited many other worlds — one inhabited only by a king, another by a businessman, a third by a drunkard … On Earth, he has chatted with a snake and tamed a fox.
Blindness is black, says an onlooker to the man who has suddenly ceased to see while sitting in his car at the traffic lights; but this blindness is white, a milky sea in the eye. Soon everyone is affected and the city descends into chaos. His flowing, opaque style can be challenging, but this parable of wilful unseeing, which resists reductive interpretations, is full of insight and poetry. When Lily Bloom dies, she simply moves house: to a basement flat in Dulston, north London borough for the deceased, which she shares with a calcified foetus and her surly, long-dead son.
The classic Gothic tale of terror, Frankenstein is above all a novel of ideas. Victor Frankenstein is a young Swiss student who resolves to assemble a body from dead parts and galvanise it into life. As well as an exploration of nature and nurture, the book can be read as a reaction to motherhood and a comment upon creativity. High SF at its best. The world is gone, destroyed in an accident that gave humanity farcasters, controlled singularities that enable instant travel across galactic distances.
The internet is now a hive mind of advanced AIs that control the gates and keep a vast empire in existence. But someone or something is playing with time, and all is not as it seems. Hyperion won the Hugo award for best novel. Not so much a novel as a treatise on the nature and evolution of intelligence in the universe, Star Maker takes an unnamed Englishman on a tour of space and time as he observes human and alien civilisations rise and fall over a period of one hundred billion years.
A short, dense book, it repays several readings. Fast, furious and containing more ideas in a single sentence than most writers manage in an entire book, Snow Crash has been credited with helping to inspire online worlds such as Second Life and established Stephenson as a cult figure. This classic novel of horrific possession is supposed to have come to the author in a nightmare. It takes the form of a posthumous confession by Dr Henry Jekyll, a successful London physician, who experiments privately with dual personality, devising a drug that releases his depraved other self, Edward Hyde.
The murderous Hyde increasingly dominates the appalled Jekyll, who finally kills himself to escape his double. Others have seen it as a depiction of ineradicable dualisms in the Scottish character. The solicitor Jonathan Harker is sent to Transylvania on property business with Count Dracula and is vampirised by his client an interesting reversal of the normal estate agent-purchaser relationship. The count sails to England and embarks on a reign of bloodsucking terror, before being chased back to his lair by the Dutch vampirologist Dr van Helsing, and decapitated.
He would, of course, rise again. This unusual writer excels at the creation of skewed, dreamlike parallel worlds. In his fourth novel, the rootless, emotionally frozen Martin Blom is blinded by a stray bullet: his doctor warns of hallucinations of vision, and indeed he soon finds that he can see — but only in the dark. A new nocturnal existence and highly charged affair with a nightclub waitress follow, in a phantasmagorical meditation on repression and transgression, absence and invisibility. Hank Morgan, an engineer from 19th-century Connecticut, is knocked out in a crowbar fight and mysteriously transported to sixth-century England.
Vonnegut considered Sirens of Titan to be one of his best books , ranking it just below Slaughterhouse-Five. Featuring a dimension-swapping ultra-rich space explorer who can see the future, a robot messenger whose craft is powered by UVTW the Universal Will to Become and the newly established Church of God the Utterly Indifferent, Sirens of Titan manages to be classic 50s pulp, a literary sleight of hand, a cult novel of the 60s counterculture and unmistakably Vonnegut all at the same time. Young Jakob von Gunten enrols in a sinister academy that touchstone of Germanic fiction in which students learn how to be good servants.
Kafka and Hesse were big fans of the Swiss writer; film-making duo the Brothers Quay turned the novel into a mesmerising stock-frame feature in Waters followed the rollicking Tipping the Velvet with this sombre, beautifully achieved meditation on love and loneliness set in the milieu of Victorian spiritualism. Waters exploits the conventions of the ghost story to moving, open-ended effect, recreating a world of fascinating detail and beguiling mystery.
On his return he reports that he has travelled to the year , Mankind has evolved into hyper-decadent Eloi and hyper-proletarian Morlocks, who live underground. The Eloi fritter, elegantly, by day. The Morlocks prey on the Eloi cannibalistically by night. Before returning to his own time, the Time Traveller goes forward to witness the heat death of the Solar System. At the end of the narrative, he embarks on a time journey from which he does not return. The most read, imitated and admired invasion fantasy of the 19th century.
The Martians, a cold-bloodedly cerebral species, driven by the inhospitability of their dying planet and superior technology, invade Earth. Their first cylinders land at Horsell Common and are followed by an army of fighting machines equipped with death rays. Humanity and its civilisation crumple under the assault, which is witnessed by the narrator, a moral philosopher. The novel can be read as an allegory of imperialism. The Sword in the Stone was initially published as a stand-alone work, but was subsequently rewritten to become the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King.
Only at the end of the book is it confirmed that the boy will grow up to be King Arthur. Kathryn Hughes Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.http://back2test.barrica94.cl/leq-ford-contorno-sho.php
The Three Musketeers (Illustrated Classics for Children)
Originally published in four volumes, this far-future story presents a powerfully evocative portrait of Earth as the sun dies. Using the baroque language of fantasy to tell a story that is solidly science fiction, Wolfe follows Severian, a professional torturer exiled to wander the ruined planet and discover his fate as leader and then messiah for his people. Complex and challenging, this is perhaps one of the most significant publications in the last three decades of sci-fi. Triffids are possibly escapees from a Soviet laboratory; their takeover begins when a meteor shower blinds everyone who witnesses it.
Bill Masen owes his survival to the fact that he was in hospital with his eyes bandaged at the time. CA Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. It emerges, six months later, that every fertile woman in the village is pregnant. As they grow up with terrifying psychic powers, a perceptive Midwich citizen, Gordon Zellaby, contrives to blow them up and save humanity.
What did the Soviet censors find so offensive? Until, that is, the mathematician D falls in love. Bakha, 18, is strong and able-bodied. He is a latrine cleaner, a Dalit, an untouchable, and the novel traces a day in his life. Deep in thought and enjoying a sweet jalebi, Bakha brushes against a Brahmin. A novel written, some would say, before the genre was properly invented. Set in Surinam, which the author may or may not have visited, its hero is a highly cultivated African prince who is brought to the West Indies as a slave.
They marry but, unwilling to have his children raised in servitude, Oroonoko raises a slave rebellion. It is and while the Irish war of independence rages outside the gates of their County Cork home, Sir Richard Naylor and his Anglo-Irish family continue their privileged life of tea and tennis. Afrikaner teacher Ben du Toit lives a comfortable life in s Johannesburg.
Yet his family do not want to look and his search for the truth makes him dangerously vulnerable. Nonetheless, Shirley is an important social novel, set in Yorkshire during the Luddite riots at the end of the Napoleonic wars, which revolves around two questions: the social consequences of industrialisation and the position of women. Paul Laity Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.
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Unable to reconcile his religion with his homosexuality, Kenneth Toomey wanders the world from the Paris of Joyce and Pound, via Nazi Germany and heyday Hollywood, to Malta where — mottled, sallow, emaciated — he awaits his death, sure of only one thing: that evil is innate to humanity. Claire Armistead Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Middle-aged Jeeter Lester is an impoverished cotton farmer. He married his wife, Ada, at the age of 11 and the couple have had 17 children.
Incest rages in the Lester household. Tobacco Road created an image of poor white trash that is still with us. Nicholas Lezard Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. His novel is set on Haiti, an island steeped in myth and voodoo. Ti Noel is a slave when a rebellion begins in Having lost his job he moves in with his daughter on her remote farmstead, but then is a helpless bystander when three black men arrive and rape her.
His life is becoming a tuition in humiliation. Yet the bleakness of any paraphrase is belied by the beautiful exactness of the prose, which mimics the intelligence and coldness of the protagonist. But the Magistrate is also a servant of the empire and his intervention in the case of a barbarian girl teaches him lessons about himself as well as the workings of power. Bill is kind. Bill is benevolent. Technology with a human face.
Only luck rescues her, and makes her penitent. The tale is the more compelling because she is looking back ruefully on her misadventures in older age, examining her own motives with withering candour. This novel really does attempt an anatomy of post-war America. It also combines the trickery of post-modern narration — a reverse chronology, sudden shifts of narrative perspective, interpolated passages of documentary reconstruction — with a simple and alluring fable. For the spine of this huge book is the story of what happens to a famous object, the baseball hit into the stands to win the World Series for the New York Giants in , just as the Soviet Union is successfully testing an atomic bomb.
Attuned like no other novel to the perplexities that hum away at the margins of everyday experience, White Noise remains the most precise, and killingly funny, portrayal of the way we live now. Lindesay Irvine Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The titular cities are Paris and London. It is the best and worst of times: the age of revolution. The doctor, whose wits are gone, is rescued by a lawyer, Lorry, and brought to England with his daughter, Lucie.
A classic novel that helped to give lawyers their bad name. Bleak House is a vigorous satire on the old court of Chancery and the self-serving, pocket-lining nonsenses of the profession practiced there. Richard Carstone and Ada Clare are wards of the court in the eternal case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce; thrown together, they secretly marry. Also central are their friend, Esther Summerson, who nearly marries out of respectful devotion but loves another, and Lady Dedlock, who has a deep secret uncovered by the ruthless barrister Tulkinghorn.
Written when the author was becoming more interested in narrative design and when the type of design he tended towards was palpably darker. The novel opens with the frigid Mr Dombey being presented with the son he hopes will one day take over the family business. Mrs Dombey promptly dies and young Paul in a death scene of tear-jerking pathos follows a few years later. Dombey — desperate for an heir — marries a cynical beauty, Edith Granger.
A ruined Dombey finally realises the worth of Florence, the daughter he has always neglected. Bubbles always burst; if only our financiers had learned from the story of Mr Merdle, in whose bank a deposit seems magically to accrue. Dickens targets greed in this novel, and pride, but he had two more specific targets — government bureaucracy the obstructive Circumlocution Office and the law of imprisonment for debt his own father had been in the Marshalsea.
The hero is Arthur Clennam, with whom Amy is in love and whose hateful mother has long-ago wronged the Dorrit family. Riches arrive and disappear, the pretensions and hypocrisies of society are uncovered, and the inevitable union of Amy and Arthur is long prolonged. Dickens, as always, bashes us over the head, but he does it brilliantly — a battering for our times.
A woman arrives, exhausted, at the Mudfog workhouse. She gives birth and dies. The orphan is named Oliver Twist. Oliver discovers that he is gently born and the victim of a criminal conspiracy. Fagin is hanged, Sikes — pursued by an angry mob — hangs himself. The novel was brilliantly illustrated by George Cruikshank, who later claimed that he, not Dickens, had had the principal idea for the story. A short, desolate, wonderful tale of Californian hedonism that centres on the decline of a failed actor, Maria Wyeth, who recounts her life while in recovery from a breakdown.
Her parents are dead, her marriage is over, her young daughter is in hospital. Drugs and sex make her life no less empty. The only place in which she is happy is behind the wheel of her car, driving endlessly on the freeway.
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Long before he became prime minister, Disraeli was a member of Young England, a group that looked to paternalism to solve the problems of the industrial age. A sense of the oppression that inspired Chartism is channelled into a high romantic storyline. After his release from prison in s Berlin, transport-worker-turned-hardman Franz Biberkopf tries and fails to stay on the straight and narrow: freedom, he soon realises, is its own kind of punishment.
A novel spun from the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the pair of small-time communists who, accused of passing atomic secrets to the Soviets, were executed by the US authorities in Originally three individual volumes — more than 1, pages in the Penguin complete edition — U.
Large parts of it abandon straightforward narrative in favour of newspaper headlines and stream-of-consciousness collage. In between wander a dozen or so vagrant and only intermittently connected characters — tycoons, power-brokers, hoboes, aspiring movie actors, drunks — deviously at large in the pullulating anthill of earlyth-century transatlantic life. Victoria Segal. Castle Rackrent can claim many English literary firsts, but was most influential as the first regional novel.
Set in Ireland before the arrival of short-lived independence in , this is a satirical saga of incompetent Anglo-Irish landlords, narrated in the vernacular by their disingenuous steward, Thady Quirk. The one Victorian novel whose greatness no one contradicts. Dorothea marries the parson-scholar Edward Casaubon, only to discover his mind is unworthy of her. Amidst swirlingly connected plots, Dorothea now widowed eventually finds fulilment. Lydgate does not. Marner is a linen weaver in the village of Raveloe, who once belonged to a religious sect from which he was unjustly expelled: in reaction he has become a miser.
His store of gold is stolen by the son of the local squire; at the same time, a golden-haired foundling, later named Eppie, is left in his house. She humanises the miser and when her rich father reveals himself, Eppie refuses to leave her adoptive parent. A pioneering novel about being black in America, by a pioneer black American author. It is framed as a journal by an un-named African-American, following his post-college career.
Can youthful idealism withstand the disillusions of age? Flaubert asks what is ultimately of most value to us: hope or disappointment? In his sequel to The Sportswriter , Ford picks up the story of Frank Bascombe, now a New Jersey estate agent, as he navigates the fraught emotional territory of a holiday weekend. An ambitious, almost encyclopedic novel about modern America, structured around the seemingly hackneyed idea of a dysfunctional family getting together for Christmas.
The parents, Enid and Alfred, confront old age, illness and frustrated ambitions. The elusive central character is Wyatt Gwyon, intended by his family for the ministry but instead a forger of those objects of religious devotion: paintings. The novel renders the passion with which he creates truly original fakes, credited to Flemish masters.
The other leading characters are also counterfeiters, like Otto, the playwright, who plagiarises authors he has never read, or the conman Frank Sinisterra. Much of the novel consists of dialogues in which ideas about religion, art and truthfulness are fearlessly elaborated. All turns out well. The novel in which Gaskell set out to be scrupulously fair to the Lancashire mill-owners whom she had earlier criticised in Mary Barton Initially appalled, Margaret is gradually won over by the rough northern community and its tough but moral textile workers.
When Bernard, a student, is told he is illegitimate, he runs away from home and ends up in the bed of his schoolfriend Olivier. Bernard becomes secretary to Edouard — who is working on a novel called The Counterfeiters. While writing the novel, Gide kept a journal detailing its composition, which he published separately in Unwilling to share their fate, their younger sister Monica marries a wealthy man who makes her miserable.
George Orwell said of this bitter, brilliant novel that it retains its capacity to disquiet.
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Though set in late 19th-century London, its study of the corrosion of the literary world by self-promotion and commercialism is more relevant today than ever. Edwin Reardon and Jasper Milvain are two young writers who both realise that the values of the new literary industry are base. Milvain plays the game and prospers; Reardon chooses not to compromise and fails. Led to safety and protected by July, their faithful black servant, the Smales in turn become subservient to him. Rosalind Porter Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop.
In a greasy factory suburb, Pelageya Nilovna is a downtrodden woman whose only solace is religion. When her son, Pavel Vlassov, declares himself a socialist, she is afraid and ashamed. In her eyes, socialists murder tsars. Yet through her love for her son, she overcomes her habits of subservience. A strange, huge picture of Glasgow written by an author as renowned for his artwork as for his writing.
The challenge to the reader is to follow the connections between the two. The early-morning march of hobnail boots on cobbles and the clack-clack-clack of the cotton mills may document a distant time, but rising unemployment, pressure on wages and means testing still shatters lives today. Michael Henchard, a drunken journeyman labourer, sells his wife to a sailor at a local fair.
On sobering up, he vows not to drink for 21 years. He rises in the world as a corn-factor and is elected mayor of Casterbridge Dorchester, bleakly depicted , but his fall once again is precipitous, and he dies, as he began, a labourer. Neglected by his parents, bullied by his brother, beaten and belittled at school, Billy Casper has little hope of a future beyond the pit in his deprived northern town, a destiny signalled by the coal- heaps which loom over the playground. The most popular novel among both armies in the American civil war.
On his release, he steals some silver candlesticks from a bishop, who forgives him. This act of kindness sets Valjean on the path of righteousness. He becomes a successful industrialist, mayor and family man — although always haunted by his criminal past. Hugo introduces spectacular wartime and street-revolution set pieces. Greeks, Germans and Italians march through the town. Making use of the rawness of folklore and tapping into the strange logic of dreams, Kadare takes the lunacy of war and spins it into his own Balkan myth. He seems to have lost his sight, though he remembers little of what has happened.
The third-person narrative does not merely inhabit his thoughts, it also uses a version of his demotic Scots, replete with obsenities, but charged with feeling. JM Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. The most famous poet of his era, Larkin as a young man published two novels, of which this is the second. Published in austerity Britain, in a year which saw the worst winter of the century, the narrative is very much of its time.
But no one reading it will fail to wonder whether there was not a great novelist struggling to get out of a great poet. At separate tables in a rooftop cafe, two black women take tea and pass as white. It is a chance encounter between childhood friends. Irene is a respectable black woman committed to her home and family. Clare travels the world with her white husband who, unwittingly, calls her Nig.
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Passing broke literary ground as the story of two racially and sexually ambiguous women written by another. Social boundaries can be permeated, but not without cost. Nearly 60 years before winning the Nobel prize, Lessing was acclaimed for a stunning debut which tells the story of Dick and Mary Turner, farmers in a remote part of Rhodesia. The lure and contradictions of colonial life are brilliantly analysed as a tragedy unfolds.
Here his target is dollar- driven evangelism. Elmer, a jock who lives for football, booze and girls, gets religion at college. He escapes. We shall yet make these United States a moral nation. The novel remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years and still strikes a chord. Michael Moran is a former IRA guerrilla whose fails to adjust to civilian life after the Irish war of independence and is bitterly resentful of the new free state government.
He takes it out on his family, for whom he is the ultimate patriarch. Employing an appropriately louche prose style, he spins an enjoyable, self-deprecating yarn as his hapless hero tries to interest householders in the Sucko brand and whiles away his spare time romancing the wife of a fellow salesman. It begins with the unreality of a fairy tale: three children in a remote Australian settlement in the mids see a stranger, not quite human, balancing precariously on a fence, somewhere between earth and heaven.
Their family takes hi in but contact with Gemmy Fairly, a white man who has lived with the blacks and is a stranger even to himself, has repercussions for the whole community. Fascinated with this place high up in the Swiss Alps, where illness is championed — not without vanity — as a triumph of the intellect over the body, he stays for seven years and falls ill along the way.
Featuring lengthy debates between humanist freemasons and Jews-turned-Catholics, a long love-scene written entirely in French and a brilliant hallucinatory journey down the snowy slopes, it merits multiple readings. A novel for a lifetime not just a rainy afternoon. With wry commentary on the abuse of power, epic set pieces from the Thirty Years war and graphic depictions of the horrors of the plague, it is the classic of 19th-century Italian literature and is as important in that country as the works of Thackeray, Dickens, Fielding and Hardy rolled into one.
Maupassant turns his cynical imagination to the squalor and decadent gloryof late 19th-century Paris. There his splendidly moustachioed hero, Georges Duroy, immerses himself in the amoral world of political journalism and climbs to the top of society, over the bodies of colleagues and quickly discarded mistresses. At once detestable and delightful, Duroy works his charm on the reader as seductively as on the women he misuses.
The result is a masterpiece — a page-turner as well as a vivid chronicle of a sordid world. Sam Jordison. One of the greatest novels of the late 20th-century. India comes alive in an inspiring contemplation of power and the powerless, of compassion and terror, of comedy and cruelty. Mistry has the heart of Dickens, the sweep of Victor Hugo and the command of words of a great poet.
Carmel Callil Buy this book at the Guardian bookshop. Moravia started his study of two days in the life of a middle-class widow and her troublesome children when he was 18, having been challenged by friends. A bracing blast of social-realism, played out in San Francisco and detailing the rise and fall of a knuckle-headed dentist. This was, of course, the life of Lena Zavaroni, but Personality is a long way from a biographical study.
We create celebrities for our pleasure, then destroy them: fans of The X Factor should be made to read this book. Animals, led by the pigs, resolve to take their farm from its human owner, Mr Jones. Once the revolution is achieved, the ruthless porker Napoleon Stalin imposes an even harsher dictatorship than that run by his capitalist, two-legged predecessor.
The less intelligent beasts are slaughtered or worked to death while the pigs morph into the capitalists of old. Slum thuggery represents freedom from the conventions of politics and morality. His mission is transformed when he discovers that Absalom has been charged with the murder of a white liberal activist. As memories of his childhood rise from the landscape, so do the bodies of those who were killed during the conflict — grisly evidence of the past polluting the present. In Headlong Hall, the equally absurd Mr Escot, the pessimist, and Mr Foster, the optimist, rehearse the arguments of, respectively, Malthus and Rousseau.
Atwater, the narrator, is almost a perfect blank, propelled forward only by a vague desire for cocktails and women. Roth offers an elegy to relatively benign imperial rule and explores the meaninglessness that sets in when an ideal is destroyed. American Pastoral spotlights a nation in spiritual crisis, staggering towards a horrified self-awareness. Except Silk is not what he seems.
He is a man of secrets; at once noble and cowardly, confident and compromised. In the guise of his alter-ego, Nathan Zuckerman, Roth rails against a climate of sexual and racial hypocrisy.
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Along the way he produces a tragedy substantial in its weight, scope and ambition — an Othello for the Clinton era. A great English novel that hardly mentions England and has no major English characters. Yet while it spans much of the history of India in the 20th century, and is heady with the smells and colours of the sub-continent, it also borrows from a great tradition of English fiction.
They are at once united and divided — the book is a thinly-veiled study of the relationship between Zia ul-Haq, president of Pakistan, and his overthrown predecessor, Zulkifar Ali Bhutto. Connected is the story of Suiya Zenobia, whose failure to be born a boy instils within her a limitless capacity for shame. Charlotte Stretch. In this short and elegantly brutal detective novel set in Sicily, Sciascia, an Italian writer and moral and cultural commentator, takes on a society that had acceded to fascism and the mafia.
When two locals are murdered, everyone knows who is responsible. A comic, moving novel that looks at the handover of independence to India through the eyes of a retired British colonial couple, Colonel Tusker Smalley and his wife Lily, who decide to stay on in the home they have made. Scott is brilliant on the division between Indian nd colonialist, and moving on the plight of the Smalleys as they try to retain control over their lives. They are at once symbolic of a whole system and vividly distinct, in a way that makes their slow demise heartbreaking.
Initially conceived as a bundle of connected short stories, it is set in the savage, degenerate post-war Brooklyn projects. Last Exit is both ultra-realistic and abrupt in a stream-of- consciousness, lagrantly ungrammatical style. In this landmark novel, which progresses through the dreadful Senegalese Union Railroad strike of , the women gradually usurp the men and take centre stage. When the ruling French try to bring down the workers by cutting off their food and water supply, it is the women who defend themselves with violence and clash with the armed forces of their colonial rulers.
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