Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster?! Or is he all of these?
'Gary Shteyngart hears America perfectly ; its fatuity, its poignant lament, its boisterous self-loathing. Its heartbeat. Reading him sometimes makes me want to scream - with recognition and with pure hilarity' - Richard Ford A riotously satirical road trip through modern America from the brilliant author of Super Sad True Love Story and Absurdistan Barry Cohen, master of the universe, has just had a very public meltdown involving a dinner party, an insider trading investigation and a $30,000 bottle of Japanese whisky. So he flees New York City, leaving behind his beautiful young wife and son, but remembering to bring his six favourite designer watches. Zig-zagging south through Trump's America on a Greyhound Bus pilgrimmage he is singularly unprepared for, Barry heads to Texas - to find his old college girlfriend and, with her, a shot at a second chance... Lake Success marries the trademark Shteyngart wit with an astonishing emotional resonance, capturing the vivid eccentricity and contradictions of America right now while speaking to the universal human experience of love, belonging, and the pursuit of happiness. 'A trip through the American wasteland - from the people who have too little, to the people who have too much. Incredibly smart, incredibly funny, incredibly tragic, and therefore incredibly human , this is the perfect novel for these dysfunctional times' - Nathan Hill 'The funniest book you'll read all year . A rollicking and zinger-filled road trip [that] sneakily deepens into a poignant tale of a man trying to outrace his problems.I was utterly floored' - Maria Semple 'Stupendous... Reflecting with perfect comedy and horrible tragedy exactly what America feels like right this minute ... I barked with laughter at the same time as wincing in pain' Elizabeth Gilbert
The central character of this story is the bored wife of a provincial doctor whose desires and illusions are shattered. The author vents his profound contempt for the bourgeois mentality, but betrays a certain sympathy for the human frailty of Emma Bovary.
'Spectacular and terrifyingly true' Owen Jones 'Thought-provoking and funny' The Times Be honest: if your job didn't exist, would anybody miss it? Have you ever wondered why not? Up to 40% of us secretly believe our jobs probably aren't necessary. In other words: they are bullshit jobs. This book shows why, and what we can do about it. In the early twentieth century, people prophesied that technology would see us all working fifteen-hour weeks and driving flying cars. Instead, something curious happened. Not only have the flying cars not materialised, but average working hours have increased rather than decreased. And now, across the developed world, three-quarters of all jobs are in services, finance or admin: jobs that don't seem to contribute anything to society. In Bullshit Jobs, David Graeber explores how this phenomenon - one more associated with the Soviet Union, but which capitalism was supposed to eliminate - has happened. In doing so, he looks at how, rather than producing anything, work has become an end in itself; the way such work maintains the current broken system of finance capital; and, finally, how we can get out of it. This book is for anyone whose heart has sunk at the sight of a whiteboard, who believes 'workshops' should only be for making things, or who just suspects that there might be a better way to run our world.
'Darkly angelic prose... a joy to read, with the final part in particular recalling David Foster Wallace at his best' Alex Preston, Observer ________________________________ Will's mother's hokey homily, Waste not, want not... hisses in his ears as he oscillates furiously on the spot, havering on the threshold between the bedroom and the dying one... all the while cradling the plastic leech of the syringe in the crook of his arm. Oscillating furiously, and, as he'd presses the plunger home a touch more... and more , he hears it again and again: Waaaste nooot, waaant nooot..! whooshing into and out of him, while the blackness wells up at the periphery of his vision, and his hackneyed heart begins to beat out weirdly arrhythmic drum fills - even hitting the occasional rim-shot on his resonating rib cage. He waits, paralysed, acutely conscious, that were he simply to press his thumb right home, it'll be a cartoonish death: That's all folks! as the aperture screws shut forever. ________________________________________ 'Self's writing has the same technicolour velocity, malign comedy as his best novels' Evening Standard 'Refreshing . . . Self is never happier than when frolicking in the hinterland between sincerity and performative, winking hyperbole' TLS
Once described as the 'longest and most charming love-letter in literature', the Virginia Woolf's Orlando is edited by Brenda Lyons with an introduction and notes by Sandra M. Gilbert in Penguin Classics. Written for Virginia Woolf's intimate friend, the charismatic writer Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a playful mock 'biography' of a chameleonic historical figure, immortal and ageless, who changes sex and identity on a whim. First masculine, then feminine, Orlando begins life as a young sixteenth-century nobleman, then gallops through three centuries to end up as a woman writer in Virginia Woolf's own time. A wry commentary on gender roles and modes of history, Orlando is also, in Woolf's own words, a light-hearted 'writer's holiday' which delights in ambiguity and capriciousness.
This tale begins with the hero, Candide, being expelled from the Westphalian castle of Baron Thunder-ten-tronckh for making love to the Baron's daughter, Cunegonde. So begins a series of disastrous misadventures on a fantastic odyssey for Candide, Cunegonde and Dr Pangloss.
The Penguin English Library Edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker 'Alone with the dead! I dare not go out, for I can hear the low howl of the wolf through the broken window' A chilling masterpiece of the horror genre, Dracula also illuminated dark corners of Victorian sexuality. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to advise Count Dracula on a London home, he makes a horrifying discovery. Soon afterwards, a number of disturbing incidents unfold in England: an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby; strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the arrival of his 'Master', while a determined group of adversaries prepares to face the terrifying Count. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
In this novel, Dickens describes one boy growing up in a world which is by turns magical, fearful and grimly realistic. In a book which is part autobiographical, the novelist transmutes his life-experience into a series of comic and sentimental adventures.
Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Wellington leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten.
Streetwise George and his childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields and valleys of California. They have nothing except the clothes on their back, and a hope that one day they'll find a place of their own and live the American dream. But do dreams come at a price!