In the Press
Once again, we've brought together all six books (in keepsake hardback) that make up the Man Booker Prize Shortlist so that you can see if you agree with the judges' decision come 17 October.
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Celebrating the best contemporary fiction of the past 12 months, this year's shortlist has something for everyone and with our brilliant value collection, you're bound to find something to love. This year's list has everything from thought-provoking novels from acclaimed authors including Paul Auster and Ali Smith to a simply stunning debut from Fiona Mozlet.
Among these brilliant books are an atmospheric debut about violence in contemporary society; an intelligent read about relationships, time and ageing; a love story about two people bonding in a world that is falling apart; a supernatural thriller featuring Abraham Lincoln's son; Paul Auster's account of four parallel lives; and a novel that asks 'how far would you go to belong?'
'Classic Marian Keyes: a blizzard of wit and wisecracks. Mercilessly funny' The TimesAmy's husband Hugh has run away to 'find himself'. But will he ever come back? 'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.''A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?'If only. Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge.For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . . The Break is a story about the choices we make and how those choices help to make us. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best.'Just brilliant' Sunday Times'Girl-power at its best. I laughed . . . I cried' Daily Mail'Another belter. Full of brilliantly fun characters, genuine emotion and heaps of charm. We loved it!' Heat'Keyes writes extremely well about modern women. A breezy, candid and deeply felt account of a wife, mother and career woman rediscovering herself' Metro'Fabulously entertaining. Classic Keyes. The queen of intelligent women's fiction' Sunday Mirror'A glorious life-affirming novel with Keyes on top form' Woman & Home'When it comes to writing page-turners that put a smile on your face and make you think, Keyes is in a class of her own' Daily Express
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Starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, the adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower will be one of the fantasy film events of the year. This is the entire collection of novels that inspired the film and you can get your hands on it for a simply unbelievable Book People price.
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The Gunslinger has one of the most iconic opening lines of all time ('The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.') and introduces Roland of Gilead, a loner known as the Last Gunslinger who finds himself on a journey towards the Dark Tower...
While on his journey, Roland forms a friendship with Jake, an inquisitive child from New York, and then faces a choice between damnation and salvation...
Stephen King is known for novels including Carrie, The Shining and It, but The Dark Tower series is often cited as his finest work. With eight books to read through, you'll be intrigued and entertained for hours on end with this slipcased collection.
Philippa Gregory, author of the Cousins' War series, is often regarded as the queen of historical fiction and this meticulously researched novel focuses on the legacy left by Lady Jane Grey, a woman who was Queen of England for nine days.
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Using her position as cousin to the deceased king, her father and his conspirators put her on the throne ahead of the king's half-sister Mary, who quickly mustered an army, claimed her crown and locked Jane in the Tower. When Jane refused to betray her Protestant faith, Mary sent her to the executioner's block... It's here where Jane turned her father's greedy grab for power into a tale of brave and tragic martyrdom.
Jane leaves all kinds of letters to her younger sister, Katherine, and they're all intended to help her enjoy her beauty, youth and to find love. Katherine's lineage makes her a threat to the insecure and infertile Queen Mary and when news of a secret marriage is revealed by her pregnancy, she is also sent to the tower. She, too, leaves the youngest Grey sister, Mary, a letter with advice.
Mary is a beautiful dwarf who has been disregarded by the court and she finds it easy to keep secrets. After watching her sisters defy the Queen, Mary knows she is a possible heir to the throne, but she's determined to stay in charge of her own destiny.
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since Aelin shattered the glass castle, since Chaol's men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken. Now he and Nesryn sail for Antica - the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire and of the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme. It's Chaol's one shot at recovery, and with war looming back home, Dorian and Aelin's survival could depend on Chaol and Nesryn convincing Antica's rulers to ally with them. But what they discover there will change them both - and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined. Follow Chaol on his journey to the southern continent in the next installment of the Throne of Glass series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.
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HBO's hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin's internationally bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age.
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George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years.
Three great storylines weave through the books, charting the civil war for control of the Seven Kingdoms; the defence of the towering Wall of ice in the uttermost north against the unearthly threat of the Others; and across the Narrow Sea the rise to power of Daenerys Targaryen and the last live dragons in the world.
It is 1792 and Europe is seized by political turmoil and violence. Lizzie Fawkes has grown up in Radical circles where each step of the French Revolution is followed with eager idealism. But she has recently married John Diner Tredevant, a property developer who is heavily invested in Bristol's housing boom, and he has everything to lose from social upheaval and the prospect of war. Soon his plans for a magnificent terrace built above the two-hundred-foot drop of the Gorge come under threat. Diner believes that Lizzie's independent, questioning spirit must be coerced and subdued. She belongs to him: law and custom confirm it, and she must live as he wants. In a tense drama of public and private violence, resistance and terror, Diner's passion for Lizzie darkens until she finds herself dangerously alone.
'A complex portrait of two women's sexuality ...an absolute pleasure' Alice Sebold Flannery, a writer with one well-known rather racy book to her name, is, by her own admission, in a situation she never thought she'd be: married to a man who overshadows her and defined by her primary relationships as wife and mother. When Flannery is invited to a writers' conference she sees a chance to return to a world she knew well. And then she recognizes the name of the chair of the event: Anne Arden. Suddenly Flannery is thrown back twenty years to her eighteen-year-old self and the most intense love affair of her entire life. On the other side of the world Anne is travelling for work. Recently out of a decades-long partnership, she feels adrift, unsettled. When a friend asks her to chair an event at a writers' conference she says yes and a couple of months later, on the same campus where they met and fell in love, Anne and Flannery are reunited. Though their lives have taken them in different and unexpected directions, the pull between them proves irresistible. Elegant, clever, witty and sensual, Pages for Her is a novel about love, memory and what it is to be a woman, a wife, and a mother.
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This book is the Sunday Times best-seller and WHSmith Book of the Year 2016. People are capalmost alomost anything. "Meticulously crafted and razor-sharp. The Couple Next Door lingers long after you turn the final page." (Harlan Coben). Fast-paced and addictive, The Couple Next Door announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall. Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying. Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour. Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone. You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there. What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit? "How well do we ever know those around us? The Couple Next Door will keep you glued to the pages in search of the answer. Even then, you'll never guess the truth...until it's too late." (Lisa Gardner).
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A beautiful, stunningly ambitious novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II, from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr. When Marie Laure goes blind, aged six, her father builds her a model of their Paris neighborhood, so she can memorize it with her fingers and then navigate the real streets. But when the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, is enchanted by a crude radio. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent ultimately makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE is his most ambitious and dazzling work.
"The Girl You Left Behind" is a hauntingly romantic and utterly irresistible new weepy from Jojo Moyes, author of the "Richard and Judy" bestseller, "Me Before You". What happened to the girl you left behind? France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre must keep her family safe whilst her adored husband Edouard fights at the front. When she is ordered to serve the German officers who descend on her hotel each evening, her home becomes riven by fierce tensions. And from the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born, which will lead Sophie to make a dark and terrible decision. Almost a century later, and Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before he died. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth, and its troubled history. A history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down all over again...In "The Girl You Left Behind" two young women, separated by a century, are united in their determination to fight for what they love most - whatever the cost. If you can't wait for "The Girl You Left Behind" treat yourself to the prequel, "Honeymoon in Paris", Jojo Moyes' irresistible ebook-only novella out now. Praise for Jojo Moyes: "Destined to be the novel that friends press upon each other more than any other...Moyes does a majestic job of conjuring a cast of characters who are charismatic, credible and utterly compelling". ("Independent on Sunday"). "This truly beautiful story made us laugh, smile and sob like a baby". ("Closer"). Jojo Moyes is a novelist and a journalist. She worked at the "Independent" for ten years before leaving to write full time. Her previous novels have all been critically acclaimed and include the "Richard and Judy" bestseller "Me Before You", "The Last Letter from Your Lover", "Ship of Brides" and "Foreign Fruit".
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A signed edition of Martina Cole's Betrayal.
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The 23rd novel from Martina Cole, Betrayal is a book all about survival. Aiden O'Hara has been head of the family since he was kid, and he's going to keep it that way. Jade Dixon is the one who watches his back. Mother of his son. The one who makes him invincible. But Jade's been in the game a lot longer than Aiden.
She knows no one's indestructible. And when you're at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest. Especially the ones closest to you ...
Betrayal by Sunday Times No.1 bestseller, Martina Cole, author of DANGEROUS LADY, THE TAKE, GET EVEN and many more, is a gripping novel about the bonds that make - or break - a family. The 'undisputed queen of crime writing' (Guardian), Martina's unique, powerful storytelling will appeal to fans of Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell. Aiden O'Hara has been head of the family since he was a kid, and he's going to keep it that way. Jade Dixon watches his back. Mother of his son, she's the one who makes him invincible. But Jade's been in the game a lot longer than Aiden. She knows no one's indestructible. And when you're at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest. Especially the ones closest to you ...
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Laura Lam's Shattered Minds stars a female 'Dexter' with a drug problem and a conscience, in a terrifying near-future where technology rules our lives and haunts our dreams. She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug 'Zeal'. Now she's heading for self-destruction - until she has a vision of a dead girl. Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he's probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis - or she's next. To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she'll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary - before it changes us and our society, forever.
A trucker passes through a town he used to know and a local tries to sell him his sister; a couple put their children to bed and hear a loud scratching at the wall; a Principal and his associate examine the dead body before them; a man looks into a mirror and reflects on becoming more like his father.Sparky, touching and brilliantly daring, these stories uncover human feeling in the ordinary and the everyday, and are a reminder of Kelman's exceptional talent.
She is running and becoming smaller, running and becoming smaller, running in the light of the reddening sun, the red of her hair and her coat falling, the red of her fur and her body loosening. Running. Holding behind her a sudden, brazen object, white-tipped. Her yellow scarf trails in the briar. All vestiges shed.Sarah Hall is an exquisite chronicler of landscapes - rural, industrial, psychological - and these haunting stories reveal a writer at the peak of her powers. Rich in the mythic symbolism of wilderness and wasteland, these tales blur the natural and urban, mundane and surreal, human and animal. Written in Hall's lyrical prose, this uncannily disturbing collection glitters with poetic and erotic imagery. Marked by a fascination with the intimacy of nature - and the nature of intimacy - Madame Zero is a stunning new collection from an author twice nominated for the Booker Prize.
Summer, 1967. As London shimmers in a heat haze and swoons to the sound of Sergeant Pepper, a mystery film - Eureka - is being shot by German wunderkind Reiner Werther Kloss. The screenwriter, Nat Fane, would do anything for a hit but can't see straight for all the acid he's dropping. Fledgling actress Billie Cantrip is hoping for her big break but can't find a way out of her troubled relationship with an older man. And journalist Freya Wyley wants to know why so much of what Kloss touches turns to ash in his wake. Meanwhile, the parallel drama of Nat's screenplay starts unfurling its own deep secrets. Sexy, funny, nasty, Eureka probes the dark side of creativity, the elusiveness of art and the torment of love.
The Graybar Hotel offers a glimpse into the reality of prison life through the eyes of the people who spend their days and years behind bars. A man sits collect-calling strangers every day just to hear the sounds of the outside world; an inmate recalls his descent into addiction as his prison softball team gears up for an annual tournament; a prisoner is released and finds freedom more complex and baffling than he expected. In this stunning debut story collection, Curtis Dawkins, who is currently serving a life sentence without parole, gives voice to the experience of some of the most isolated members of our society.
During a white-hot summer on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra, two girls fall into each other's lives to devastating effect. When Samantha, a young, impressionable American, meets Naomi, a Brit with a taste for danger, their relationship quickly takes on a special intensity. Amid the sun, sea and high society of island life, their imaginations are sparked when one day they find a young Arab man, Faoud, washed up on shore, a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean. But when their seemingly simple plan to help the stranger goes wrong, all must face the horrific consequences they have set in motion. Sinister and ravishing, Beautiful Animals tells the story of two worlds colliding. It exposes the dark heart of friendship, and shows just how often the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.
'I want to be a good person. And I want to be happy. So happy it hurts. I need you to help me with that.' Ottila McGregor is thirty years old and has decided it's time to sort her life out. She's going to quit drinking, stop cheating and finally find true happiness. Easy, right? Of course not. For a start, there's Grace, her best friend, who believes self-improvement is for people in their forties. Next there's Mina, her sister, who is mentally ill, and it might be Ottila's fault. And then there's Thales, the Greek guy who works in the hospital cafeteria. He's probably the best, most dangerous person Ottila's ever met. To make sense of it all, Ottila keeps a scrapbook of everything: emails, receipts, tickets, letters, her therapy transcripts, a boyfriend's note rescued from the bin... The result is an infectious one-off of a novel that makes you wince and laugh in equal measure, and which asks the question: what does it take to be so happy it hurts?
A short, intense and profoundly moving debut novel about race, identity, sex and death Thandi is a black woman, but often mistaken for Hispanic or Asian. She is American, but doesn't feel as American as some of her friends. She is South African, but doesn't belong in South Africa either. Her mother is dying. `Zinzi Clemmons's debut novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored' Paul Beatty, winner of the Man Booker Prize 2016 `Navigates the many registers of grief, loss and injustice ... acutely moving' Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland `Wise and tender and possessed of a fiercely insightful intimacy' Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
'I will never forget the first time I read Jenny Zhang ...I was stunned, moved and - quite frankly - a little jealous' Lena Dunham These seven startling stories of family, femininity, sexuality and otherness will plunge you into the tender and chaotic hearts of narrators you won't easily forget. Centred on a community of immigrants who have traded their endangered lives as artists in China and Taiwan for the constant struggle of life on the poverty line in 1990s New York City, the stories that make up Sour Heart examine the many ways that family and history can weigh us down, but also lift us up. From the young woman coming to terms with her grandmother's role in the Cultural Revolution, to the daughter struggling to understand where her family ends and she begins, to the girl discovering the power of her body to inspire and destroy, these vibrant, raw and powerful stories illuminate the complex and messy inner lives of girls struggling to define themselves. Fuelled by Jenny Zhang's singular voice and sly humour, Sour Heart introduces a bright new force in literary fiction.
WINNER OF THE 2017 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR AN OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK `A formidable storyteller' Jonathan Franzen `Savage and compassionate in all the right places' New York Times Book Review `Eerily timely ... bittersweet and buoyant' Jessie Burton New York, 2007. After two long years apart, Jende Jonga has brought his wife Neni from Cameroon to join him in the land of opportunity. Drawn by the promise of America they are seeking the chance of a better life for them and their son. When Jende lands a dream job as chauffeur to a Lehman Brothers executive, Neni finds herself taken into the confidence of his glamorous wife Cindy. The Edwards are powerful and privileged: dazzling examples of what America can offer to those who are prepared to strive for it. But when the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, all four lives are dramatically upended. As faultlines appear in both marriages and secrets bubble to the surface they must all decide how far they will go in pursuit of their dreams. And what will they sacrifice along the way? `A marvellous debut... as deeply insightful as it is delightfully entertaining' Taiye Selasi
'An Old Virgin' describes a nurse's obsession with her forty-three-year-old patient's virginity; in the urban fable 'Mirrorball' a man steals a girl's soul during a one-night stand; 'College Town 1980' follows a group of listless young people adrift in Ann Arbor, debating the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; 'Folk Song' opens with a list of newspaper headlines before dissecting the lives of the characters behind the features, including a murderer who gives a prime-time interview and a woman from San Francisco attempting to break a world record by having sex with one thousand men. Full of jagged, lived emotion, broken people and powerful, original writing, Don't Cry is a testament to Gaitskill's formal range and incomparable excavation of character.