Part of Alma Classics Evergreen series at GBP4.99. Oscar Wilde's only full-length novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a lasting gem of sophisticated wit and playfulness, which brings together all the best elements of his talent in a reinterpretation of the Faustian myth. This edition contains photographs and a wealth of extra material.
The four March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - live in financial hardship in New England with their mother, while their father has been drafted to fight in the Civil War. The girls embark on a series of adventures and endure a number of unexpected misfortunes - experiences that allow their personalities to emerge: Meg sensible and outgoing, Jo literary and boyish, Beth musical and shy, and Amy artistic and selfish - but the bonds holding together the March family remain unbroken.
Initially written as a novel for girls, Little Women is now regarded as an all-time American classic for all readers, inspiring generations of women writers and giving rise to many adaptations.>
Written in 1957, but only recently rediscovered in manuscript form in a New Jersey warehouse, Beat Generation bears the hallmarks of vintage Kerouac: flowing, stream-of-consciousness language, orchestrated with a jazz-like sense of adventure and rhythm.
Under the pressure of his boss, the intransigent Riviere, the airmail pilot Fabien attempts a perilous flight during a heavy night-time thunderstorm in Argentina. As conditions get worse and the radio communication with Fabien becomes increasingly difficult, Riviere begins to question his uncompromising methods, and his distress turns to guilt when the pilot''s wife comes to find him in search of answers.
Based on Saint-Exupery''s own experiences as a commercial pilot, Night Flight is a haunting and lyrical examination of duty, destiny and the individual, as well as an authentic and tragic portrayal of the intrepid early days of human air travel.>
Growing up in London in the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth is an observant and thoughtful child who finds herself in a confusing and mysterious adult world. She seeks refuge in her memories of her idyllic stays with her grandparents in the picturesque East Anglian countryside - which provide comforting visions of a simpler life. As she comes to terms with her surroundings and her own adolescence, Ruth finds the motivation to pursue the tantalizing dream which has governed her childhood, and discovers some family secrets along the way.
A coming-of-age novel about the unpredictable nature of human behaviour and about taking control of one's destiny, Silent Music is a timeless portrait of post-war Britain, as well as a lyrical paean to hope and aspiration.>
When the ambitious but inept clerk Frans Laarmans is offered a job managing an Edam distribution company in Antwerp, he jumps at the chance, despite his professed dislike for cheese in all its forms. He soon finds himself submerged in a bureaucratic nightmare as his complete incompetence becomes apparent. Meanwhile, his offices fill up with a seemingly infinite supply of the distinctive red-skinned cheeses, which he has no idea how to sell.
Skewering the pomposity of big business while revealing how an entrepreneurial spirit can often be a mask for buffoonery, Willem Elsschot's Cheese combines comedy and pathos in its depiction of a man trying to progress beyond his limited skill set. As poignant as it is funny, Cheese will appeal to anyone who has suffered the endless indignities of office life.>
Academic and bibliophile Arthur Prescott finds respite from the drudgery of his professorship in the Barchester Cathedral Library, where he devotes himself to researching the Holy Grail and writing his long-delayed guide to the history of the medieval cathedral. His peaceful existence is shattered by the arrival of a young American academic named Bethany Davis, who has come to digitize the library's ancient books. Arthur's initial hostility towards Bethany turns to affection as he discovers a kindred spirit who shares his interest in the Holy Grail and his devotion to literature. Together, they mount a search for the Book of Ewolda, an esoteric tome that could reveal long-forgotten secrets about the Cathedral, the Grail and their connections to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
As Arthur and Bethany delve further into the past, the secret history of England - from the Norman invasion to the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and the Blitz - is revealed. A thrilling adventure that will appeal to all bibliophiles and lovers of history, Charlie Lovett's The Lost Book of the Grail is also an enchanting ode to the joys of reading.>
At turns poignant and funny, Sweet Dreams, Little One - the most successful book to come out of Italy last year with over 1.2 million copies sold, and an international sensation - is the story of a secret which has been kept hidden for forty years and a lifelong search for happiness.
Gripped by mounting horror at the discovery of secrets harboured by the isolated school community, Barney Holland personifies the struggle of a young peace-time generation finding its way out of the shadow of war.
Explains how Angela Merkel's world view was shaped and influenced, discussing her relations with international counterparts, as well as her attitude towards the countries and cultures over which they rule.
Heart-warming, funny and poignant, Skid - the second volume in Roland Watson-Grant's Trilogy of the Swamp after the critically acclaimed Sketcher - continues the exploration of a young man's coming of age in today's broken world.
Arthur Baptiste knows little of Rwanda's past and is unaware of its emerging troubles. He lives with his parents on a flower plantation where he talks to no one, not even the butterflies he collects, until one day Beni appears.
The Skinning Tree centres on the nine-year-old Sabby, who lives in a Calcutta family where sophisticated British habits such as bridge and dinner parties co-exist with Indian values and nationalism. When he is sent to a boarding school in northern India, he witnesses a strict regime in which the schoolboys are beaten and brutalized by the teachers.
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller's search for his lost love. Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books and literature - in particular the golden age of Shakespeare, Jonson and Marlowe - The Bookman's Tale is a sparkling novel and an exploration of one of literature's most tantalizing mysteries.
Set in 1936 in Belgium and Ceylon, Smoke Portrait traces the development of an unlikely friendship between a young Belgian teenager, Marten Kuypers, and Glen Phayre, an Englishwoman in her twenties. Glen has left England to live on her aunt's tea plantation in Ceylon, where she embarks on the task of writing charitable letters to a Belgian prisoner. But the letters go astray, and are received instead by Marten, eager to discover the wide world outside his small village, and desperately missing his older brother Krelis, who has vanished and is presumed dead.
Marten decides to reply to Glen in the guise of the grown-up prisoner she is expecting to hear from, and as their correspondence evolves, they both assume identities that, while false in many respects, remain true to their own selves in other ways. Gradually they come to depend on each other, and their pen friendship proves to be crucial when events in their real lives take on a darker, more threatening turn in the shadow of the impending world war.
Written as a long confession to Jo's ex-girlfriend Susie, alternating with Elizabeth's account of nursing Indian soldiers at the Brighton Pavilion in 1915, The Repercussions is a sweeping narrative dealing with the psychological and emotional reality of war, as well as race, guilt, love and loss.
Longlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize 2012, The Pink Hotel is a tale about finding love in the most unlikely of places, and how sometimes you can only know who you are by discovering who you are not.
Stones for my Father follows Coraline Roux through the darkest days of the Anglo-Boer War: from the sacking of her family's farm, to a trek across the battle-scarred Transvaal, to internment in a British concentration camp. Scattered throughout are moments of quiet beauty, including a figure of hope who emerges in the form of a Canadian soldier.
Jane Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has barely started her new job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure publication. Their enquiry draws Sophie into a web of mystery surrounding the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice, with ultimately dangerous consequences.
A concubine rediscovers her love for life, a girl is able to conquer the heart of her lover, a surly man is transformed into a loveable gentleman - all this happens at the Katatsumuri, the magic restaurant whose delicate food can heal any heartache and help its customers.