Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.
As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love - and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.
Drawing on Charles Dickens's own, often difficult childhood, to create a compelling story of personal success, David Copperfield is edited with an introduction and notes by Jeremy Tambling in Penguin Classics.
David Copperfield is the story of a young man's adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature's great comic creations.
In David Copperfield - the novel he described as his 'favourite child' - Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure. This edition uses the text of the first volume publication of 1850, and includes updated suggestions for further reading, original illustrations by 'Phiz', a revised chronology and expanded notes. In his new introduction, Jeremy Tambling discusses the novel's autobiographical elements, and its central themes of memory and identity.
Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions.
This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Maurice Hindle.
Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear.
Mary Shelley's chilling gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Lord Byron's villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world's most famous work of Gothic horror, and Frankenstein's monster an instantly-recognisable symbol of the limits of human creativity.
Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Shelley's preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with A Fragment by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori's The Vampyre: A Tale.
Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of the author and political philosopher William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married when his first wife died in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein, but she wrote several other works, including Valperga and The Last Man.
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization's enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury's powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny's visions grow out of control. As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?
Somewhere, somehow, there is an evil force in the hotel - and that, too, is beginning to shine ...
But for Elspeth Gordie, born with enhanced mental abilities, it is also dangerous.
Survival is only by secrecy and so she determines never to use her forbidden powers. But it is as if they have their own imperative and she is brought to the attention of the totalitarian Council that rules the Land.
Banished to the remote mountain institution of Obernewtyn, she must throw off her cloak of concealment and pit herself against those that would resurrect the terrible forces of the apocalypse. Only then will she learn most truly who and what she is ...
Elspeth is determined to uncover the plot and so, accompanied only by her cat, Maruman, embarks on a terrible adventure full of danger, the conclusion to which promises not just uncertainty about her safety but also that of many around her.
When Hitler came to power I was in the bath. The wireless in the living room was turned up loud, but all that drifted down to me were waves of happy cheering, like a football match. It was Monday afternoon...
Ruth Becker, defiant and cantankerous, is living out her days in the eastern suburbs of Sydney.
She has made an uneasy peace with the ghosts of her past - and a part of history that has been all but forgotten. Another lifetime away, it's 1939 and the world is going to war. Ernst Toller, self-doubting revolutionary and poet, sits in a New York hotel room settling up the account of his life.
When Toller's story arrives on Ruth's doorstep their shared past slips under her defences, and she's right back among them - those friends who predicted the brutality of the Nazis and gave everything they had to stop them. Those who were tested - and in some cases found wanting - in the face of hatred, of art, of love, and of history.
Based on real people and events, All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places.
A dazzling urban satire of modern relationships?
An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family?
Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?
As Bridget documents her struggles through the social minefield of her thirties and tries to weigh up the eternal question (Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy?), she turns for support to four indispensable friends: Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay.
Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies . . .
Six interlocking lives - one amazing adventure. In a narrative that circles the globe and reaches from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future, Cloud Atlas erases the boundaries of time, genre and language to offer an enthralling vision of humanity's will to power, and where it will lead us.
*Please note that the end of p39 and p40 are intentionally blank*
When paramedic Bruce Pike is called out to deal with another teenage adventure gone wrong, he knows better than his colleague, better than the kid's parents, what happened and how. Thirty years before, that dead boy could have been him.
A relentlessly gripping and deeply moving novel about the damage you do to yourself when you're young and think you're immortal.
'It's unlikely Winton has ever written as well as he writes in Breath... Its seeming simplicity is deceptive, for beneath its pared-back surfaces lies all the steel of a major novelist operating at full throttle in a territory he has spent 25 years making his own.' – James Bradley, The Age
'A novelist who, to a peerless degree, has learnt how to do it...Breath seems to cut through everything, and to speak with unusual honesty.' – Philip Hensher, Spectator
'An absorbing, powerful and deeply beautiful novel, a meditation on surfing which becomes a rumination about the very stuff of existence.' – Helen Gordon, The Observer
'This brilliant book may well turn out to be the finest thing that Winton has done.' – Andrew Riemer, Sydney Morning Herald
'Breath is about moving out of your depth, getting in over your head, having your soul damaged beyond repair ...But against all this pointless sorrow, there remains the evanescent beauty of the world, and Winton matches that with limitlessly beautiful prose.' – Carolyn See, Washington Post
Before you can fly, you have to be free...
In a small, desperately poor village in north-east China, a young peasant boy sits at his rickety old school desk, more interested in the birds outside than in Chairman Mao's Red Book and the grand words it contains. But that day, some strange men come to his school - Madame Mao's cultural delegates. They are looking for young peasants to mould into faithful guards of Chairman Mao's great vision for China.
This is the true story of how that one moment in time, by the thinnest thread of a chance, changed the course of a small boy's life in ways that are beyond description. One day he would dance with some of the greatest ballet companies of the world. One day he would be a friend to a president and first lady, movie stars and the most influential people in America. One day he would become a star: Mao's last dancer, and the darling of the West.
Since its release in 2003, Mao's Last Dancer has sold over 500 000 copies and been turned into a major feature film. Like millions of other peasants' lives, it was a story that nearly vanished amidst revolution and chaos. It's a story of courage, a mother's love, a young boy's longing for freedom - a beautiful, rich account of an inspirational life, told with honesty, dignity and pride.
The film directed by John Hillcoat, features an all-star cast including Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall, and introduces major talent, Kodi Smit McPhee, with a soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away. – The Times
So good that it will devour you, in parts. It is incandescent. – Daily Telegraph
You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerised. All the modern novel can do is done here. – Guardian
The story is told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil. This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against one of history's most dramatic political parables.
The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has written a novel of overwhelming power and passion.
This modern classic beautifully repackaged to tie-in with the paperback of Flight Behaviour.
WITH INTRODUCTIONS BY MARGARET ATWOOD AND DAVID BRADSHAW
'One of the most important books to have been published since the war' – Daily Telegraph
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...
Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.
The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.
The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years.
Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband Franklin, the story of Kevin's upbringing. A successful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother.
Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits murder, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become.
But how much is she to blame? And if it isn't her fault, why did he do it?
But when Hush longs to be able to see herself again, the two possums must make their way across Australia to find the magic food that will make Hush visible once more.
For 30 years Possum Magic has captivated and enchanted children and adults alike. Mem Fox's lovable characters, little Hush and Grandma Poss, together with Julie Vivas' exquisite illustrations, weave a story of pure magic. Continuously in print since it was first published by Omnibus Books in 1983, Possum Magic has been embraced as a timeless Australian tale.
Set in the mid-1970s in India, A Fine Balance tells the story of four unlikely people whose lives come together during a time of political turmoil soon after the government declares a 'State of Internal Emergency'. Through days of bleakness and hope, their circumstances - and their fates - become inextricably linked in ways no one could have foreseen.
Written with compassion, humour and insight, A Fine Balance is a vivid, richly textured and powerful novel by one of the most gifted writers of our time.
Plain women he regarded as he did the other severe facts of life, to be faced with philosophy and investigated by science...
Dorothea is bright, beautiful and rebellious and has married the wrong man. Lydgate is the ambitious new doctor in town and has married the wrong woman.
Both of them long to make a positive difference in the world. But their stories do not proceed as expected and both they, and the other inhabitants of Middlemarch, must struggle to reconcile themselves to their fates and find their places in the world. Middlemarch contains all of life: the rich and the poor, the conventional and the radical, literature and science, politics and romance.
Eliot’s novel is a stunningly compelling insight into the human struggle to find contentment.
Here is the bath sheep, and here is the bed sheep. But where is the green sheep?
Mem Fox and Judy Horacek take you on a wildly wonderful adventure in their rollicking search for the green sheep.
Mem has never owned a sheep, let alone a green one, but she does admit to having woolly thoughts from time to time.
Judy loves drawing things, especially sheep. This is her first flock.