Humbert Humbert - scholar, aesthete and romantic - has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady's gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.
By turns comic and tragic, The Flea Palace is an outstandingly original novel driven by an overriding sense of social justice.
Bonbon Palace was once a stately apartment block in Istanbul. Now it is a sadly dilapidated home to ten wildly different individuals and their families.
There's a womanizing, hard-drinking academic with a penchant for philosophy; a 'clean freak' and her lice-ridden daughter; a lapsed Jew in search of true love; and a charmingly naïve mistress whose shadowy past lurks in the building. When the garbage at Bonbon Palace is stolen, a mysterious sequence of events unfolds that result in a soul-searching quest for truth.
In the small African republic of Kinjanja, British diplomat Morgan Leafy bumbles heavily through his job. His love of women, his fondness for drink, and his loathing for the country prove formidable obstacles on his road to any kind of success. But when he becomes an operative in Operation Kingpin and is charged with monitoring the front runner in Kinjanjayes'>#8217;s national elections, Morgan senses an opportunity to achieve real professional recognition and, more importantly, reassignment.After he finds himself being blackmailed, diagnosed with a venereal disease, attempting bribery, and confounded with a dead body, Morgan realizes that very little is going according to plan.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Maxwell Sim seems to have hit rock bottom: separated from his wife and daughter, estranged from his father, and with no one to confide in even though he has 74 friends on Facebook. He's not even sure whether he's got a job until suddenly a strange business proposition comes his way which involves a long journey to the Shetland Isles - and a voyage into his family's past which throws up some surprising revelations.
Jonathan Coe's new book is a story for our times: Maxwell finds himself at sea in the modern world, surrounded by social networks but unable to relate properly to anyone. Yet as he delves into his family history he manages to find the resources to survive.
'I didn't say anything. I didn't return his smiles. I looked at him in the wide mirror in front of where I was sitting. He grew uncomfortable and avoided my eyes. I hate those who think fat people are stupid.' An obese woman and her lover, a dwarf, are sick of being stared at wherever they go, and so decide to reverse roles. The man goes out wearing make up and the woman draws a moustache on her face. But while the woman wants to hide away from the world, the man meets the stares from passers-by head on, compiling his 'Dictionary of Gazes' to explore the boundaries between appearance and reality.
Intertwined with the story of a bizarre freak-show organized in Istanbul in the 1880s, The Gaze considers the damage which can be inflicted by our simple desire to look at others.
Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling.
First published in 1955, The Chrysalids is a post-nuclear story of genetic mutation in a devastated world, which tells of the lengths the intolerant will go to to keep themselves pure.
David Strorm's father doesn't approve of Angus Morton's unusually large horses, calling them blasphemies against nature. Little does he realize that his own son, his niece Rosalind and their friends, have their own secret aberration which would label them as mutants. But as David and Rosalind grow older it becomes more difficult to conceal their differences from the village elders. Soon they face a choice: wait for eventual discovery or flee to the terrifying and mutable Badlands .
Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh were two of the twentieth century's most amusing and gifted writers, who matched wits and traded literary advice in more than five hundred letters over twenty-two years. Dissecting their friends, criticizing each other's books and concealing their true feelings beneath a barrage of hilarious and knowing repartee, they found it far easier to conduct a friendship on paper than in person. This correspondence provides a colourful glimpse into the literary and social circles of London and Paris, during the Second World War and for twenty years after.
One single noise reached her ears now, the voice of the parrot.With an attention to the details of bourgeois life considered almost scandalous at the time,yes'>#160;A Simple Heartyes'>#160;will remind many why Gustave Flaubert was acclaimed as the first great master of realism. But this heartbreaking tale of a simple servant woman and her lifelong search for love meant something else to Flaubert. Written near the end of his life, the work was meant to be a tribute to George Sandyes'>mdash;who died before it was finishedyes'>mdash;and was written in answer to an argument the two were having over the importance of realism. Although the tale displays his virtuosic gift for telling detail, and is based on one of his actual servants, Flaubert said it exemplified his belief that "Beauty is the object of all my efforts." This sparkling new translation by Charlotte Mandell shows how impeccably Flaubert achieved his goal.The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
October 1942: Egypt The battle for North Africa rages fiercely along the length of the Egyptian coast . . . Punching their way deep behind enemy lines, the newly formed SAS - under the enigmatic Lt Col David Stirling - carries out daring raids against the Germans.
Lt Tom Caine leads a small squad of SAS men on a desperate mission far into hostile territory. His brief - to sabotage a terrible weapon being secretly developed by the Nazis in the desolate Libyan hills . . . If he fails the Axis forces will almost certainly be unstoppable.
Caine faces the full force of the German military might, but what he doesn't know is that there is a traitor amongst his own men. Ultimately, his fate will rest in the hands of one woman, Special Ops agent Betty Nolan.
Only one thing is for certain in this war - who dares wins . . .
Mesmerized and somewhat unnerved by his 97-year-old father's vitality and optimism, David Shields undertakes an original investigation of our flesh-and-blood existence, our mortal being.
Weaving together personal anecdote, biological fact, philosophical doubt, cultural criticism, and the wisdom of an eclectic range of writers and thinkers - from Lucretius to Woody Allen - Shields expertly renders both a hilarious family portrait and a truly resonant meditation on mortality.
'Shields is a sharp-eyed, self-deprecating, at times hilarious writer' Wall Street Journal
When Alan Davies was growing up he seemed to drive his family mad. 'What are we going to do with you?' they would ask - as if he might know the answer.
Perhaps it was because he came of age in the 1980s. That decade of big hair, greed, camp music, mass unemployment, social unrest and truly shameful trousers was confusing for teenagers. There was a lot to believe in - so much to stand for, or stand against - and Alan decided to join anything with the word 'anti' in it. He was looking for heroes to guide him (relatively) unscathed into adulthood.
From his chronic kleptomania to the moving search for his mother's grave years after she died; from his obsession with joining (going so far as to become a member of Chickens Lib) to his first forays into making people laugh (not always intentionally); Teenage Revolution is a touching and funny return to the formative years that make us all.
Jack and Jill. Brother and sister. Closer than close - an unusual relationship especially because nobody has ever heard Jack speak. Nobody, that is, apart from Jill. Jack and Jill communicate in a secret language that nobody can understand.
So what happens when Jill, Jack's best friend, sister and mouthpiece to the outside world, has a terrible accident? Could this be the trigger that finally moves Jack to speak? Or is it just too late for both of them?
Fighting on the frontline of the war against crime, Cam Addicott was one of the very few hard-boiled and highly-experienced surveillance operatives to get called up to the secretive and elite Alpha Projects unit - a group of dedicated undercover Customs officers who hunted the UK's most dangerous criminals by extraordinary means - starting with the interception and decoding of their phone calls. Cam soon knew the lives of the people he hunted better than they knew each other. He knew who was cheating with who's wife - as well as where, when and what they liked to do, what drugs the dealers' kids were into, who was planning to rob, beat-up and/or murder who, what for, and how they were going to do it. The team shadowed gangsters as they mixed with celebrities, as they brokered huge drug deals in nightclubs and airports, as they discussed how to spend their ill-gotten gains until finally, it was time for Alpha to strike. In this riveting and brutal true story, a cast of unforgettable Mission Impossible characters go far beyond the call of duty to take down their most elusive target, as the lives of the hunted and hunter weave together in an explosive narrative.
Though she doesn't know it, the day Aoife spots a neglected walled garden is the day her life begins again .
Restoring the garden gives Aoife an escape from the turmoil in her head and the ache in her heart.
At first, Aoife does not see that those who come to help her are just as in need of the garden's healing powers. But as they work together to create a little corner of paradise in the city, Aoife's new friends reveal stories showing her that troubled minds can find peace and hearts can mend.
But that doesn't make it any easier when she has to answer the hardest question of all .
Can she trust herself to love again?