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The Sense of an Ending
Julian Barnes
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I've never before experienced a writer so in command of character and its function. This deftly crafted treatise upon memory distortion and denial is the antithesis of a vanity piece, wherein not a single paragraph is wasted. The Sense of An Ending is tragic and oppressive in tone yet everything has its own space. - Benjamin
The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress
Beryl Bainbridge
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The flighty Rose is in America to track down Dr Wheeler, the only witness to a terrible deed from her youth. She requires the help of Washington Harold, a character created in the spirit of A Confederacy of Dunces' Ignatius J Reilly, who has own clandestine need to track him down. Beryl Bainbridge's final novel, which she was on the verge of completing when she died, is more than just a poignant coda to her inimitable writing career; it's a rough-edged road trip pastiche, wrapped around the historical event of Robert Kennedy's assassination, that stands comparison with her finest achievements. - Jonathan
The Earthsea Quartet:
Ursula K. Le Guin
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Every lover of fantasy should read the Earthsea Quartet! It is the kind of book that draws you hypnotically into its world. The Earthsea Archipelago is an ancient land of magic and mystique; wizards and dragons; darkness and light. Excellent plot, believable characters and intriguing twists, the four volumes of the Earthsea Saga follow the story of Ged from childhood as an apprentice wizard to adulthood, when he becomes the greatest wizard of his time. Touching, beautiful, the Earthsea Quartet is one of the masterpieces of fantasy literature. - Cindy.
The Writer's Journey: Mythic ...
Christopher Vogler
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For those who worry about whether 'play-off' should be hyphenated or if 'machiavellian' should be capitalised (the answers are in the way I've just written them both), or the difference between Catch-22 and catch-22 - one is a novel, one is a turn of phrase, see? This is an indispensable guide for any fledgling copy writer or script editor, or anyone who just enjoys being pompously right! It’s also a handy grammar guide, so it'll speak to the personal pronoun in you. - Benjamin
Labyrinths
Labyrinths (Paperback)
Borges, Jorge Luís
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A planet that doesn't exist. A coin that can't be forgotten. A man who writes a book that already exists. This collection of Borges' magical, literary short stories is full of adventure. You'll meet Argentine rebels, detectives, wizards, theologians, spies, immortals, and more. But more than that, Labyrinthsis a cavalcade of wonders; its mind-expanding and metaphysical mysteries and paradoxes are quick and concise, and full of a sense of musing. Borges' tone throughout is playful, mythic, serious, faux-serious, poignant, elegiac - rendering each of these salacious intellectual tidbits with an incredible richness, rendering their simplicity giant. Yet Borges' greatest legacy, for me, comes of his seamless weaving of truth and tale. He invents long, feasibly deadpan histories for his factish fictions, weaving them back through our established past; he fabricates intellectuals in our history of ideas and embeds dusty new footnotes in our consensual bibliography. Just as, in one of the stories contained, the natural conclusion of a man who's dreamed another into being is to consider himself a dream, so Borges' work leaves us with the notion that what we've been calling reality is in fact the perfect, total fiction - and what we've been calling fiction, simply another shade of reality. This book is special. Vanquishing the unvanquishable, Labyrinths has reworked my scepticism and instilled in me a romance for mysticism, an unlikely optimism, and a faith, in the possibility of faith. Has it changed my life? Maybe not. But has it changed me? Certainly. - Gary
Moby-Dick: or, the Whale: Or, the Whale
Herman Melville; Tom Quirk; Andrew...
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I was on that boat until the bitter end hunting down that white whale for the treasured gold doubloon fixed to that mast. My eyes were locked and there was no turning back until that last full-stop. Loved it. - Tomi.
Will You Please Be Quiet, Please
Raymond Carver
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Human nature laid bare, no gloss, no adornment, just simple language to describe those feelings that make us who we are. - Tomi.
The Call of Cthulhu: And Other Weird...
H. P. Lovecraft; S. T. Joshi; S. T....
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Lovecraft's 'cosmic terror' displays an indifference to the concerns of humanity, sidestepping science, religion and the other mortal obsessions which horror often fixates upon. It is instead a tribute to that horrendous moment when your stomach falls through your toes as you learn that all of your life's convictions are a sham. Rich in fantastical possibility, filtered through the tales of weakened humans and ignorant voodoo cults that should know better, this is the horror of all things glimpsed, not pornographically dissected before you. - Benjamin
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: The...
Mark Twain; Victor Fischer; Lin...
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Well, if this isn’t the original Great American Novel, I don’t know what is. On the surface, this is an adventure, the tale of Huck Finn as a runaway, rafting down the Mississippi River with the slave Jim as his companion and of the evolution of their unlikely friendship. Published in the post-US Civil War era, this is also a satirical send-up of genteel, yet very racist, Southern society. Read this book to understand the true beginnings of American literature. - Cindy.
The Political Unconscious: Narrative...
Jameson, Frederic; Jameson, Fredric
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Jameson's work is a formal attempt to form a Marxian critique of cultural production, and it is a virtuoso attempt as he historicises interpretative frameworks and emphasises the limiting factors which impose on the production of any cultural object. - Chris
The Awakening
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The Awakening (Paperback)
Kate Chopin; Margaret Culley
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Edna is a young married Orleans woman in the late 19th century. A summer holiday sets her on a path that has her questioning her place in society and leads to her rejection of a life that is prescribed by contemporary norms of the day. Chopin's other stories follow this thread and asks us 'are we ready to separate from the herd and be counted as individuals. - Tomi.
Moby Dick; or, the Whale
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Herman Melville
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I was on that boat until the bitter end hunting down that white whale for the treasured gold doubloon fixed to that mast. My eyes were locked and there was no turning back until that last full-stop. Loved it. - Tomi.
Moby Dick
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Moby Dick (Paperback)
Herman Melville; Hershel Parker;...
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I was on that boat until the bitter end hunting down that white whale for the treasured gold doubloon fixed to that mast. My eyes were locked and there was no turning back until that last full-stop. Loved it. - Tomi.

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