The story of Humbert Humbert, poet and pervert, and his obsession with 12-year-old Dolores Haze. Determined to possess his "Lolita" both carnally and artistically, Humbert embarks on a disastrous courtship that can only end in tragedy.
'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
'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.
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.
Features Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; and the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career.
'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
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.
Robinson Crusoe, set ashore on an island after a terrible storm at sea, is forced to make do with only a knife, some tobacco, and a pipe. He learns how to build a canoe, make bread, and endure endless solitude. That is, until, twenty-four years later, when he confronts another human being.
Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others.
The Penguin English Library Edition of Persuasion by Jane Austen 'Her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth; and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect' Persuasion , Jane Austen's last novel, is a moving, masterly and elegiac love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities. It tells the story of Anne Elliot, who, persuaded to break off her engagement to the man she loved because he was not successful enough, has never forgotten him. When he returns, he brings with him a tantalizing second chance of happiness ... 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.
Danny is a paisano, descended from the Spanish settlers who arrived in California centuries before. Danny is quick to offer shelter to his fellow gentlemen when he suddenly inherits two houses. They are drawn into many daring adventures, until Danny, tiring of his new responsibilites, disappears.
Banished from England for seeking to marry against his father's wishes, Ivanhoe joins Richard the Lion Heart on a crusade in the Holy Land. On his return, his desire is to be reunited with the lady Rowena, but he soon finds himself playing a dangerous game as he is drawn into a struggle between the noble King Richard and scheming brother John.
A passionate but unsentimental depiction of conflict between classes, sexes and generations Struggling manufacturer Robert Moore has introduced labour saving machinery to his Yorkshire mill, arousing a ferment of unemployment and discontent among his workers. Robert considers marriage to the wealthy and independent Shirley Keeldar to solve his financial woes, yet his heart lies with his cousin Caroline, who, bored and desperate, lives as a dependent in her uncle's home with no prospect of a career. Shirley, meanwhile, is in love with Robert's brother, an impoverished tutor - a match opposed by her family. As industrial unrest builds to a potentially fatal pitch, can the four be reconciled? Set during the Napoleonic wars at a time of national economic struggles, Shirley (1849) is an unsentimental, yet passionate depiction of conflict between classes, sexes and generations. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Taken from the poverty of her parents' home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle's absence in Antigua, the Crawford's arrive in neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a taste for flirtation.
Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succès de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.
Two men - Kim, a boy growing into early manhood, and the lama, an old ascetic priest - are fired by a quest. Kim is white, although born in India. While he wants to play the Great Game of imperialism, he is also spiritually bound to the lama and he tries to reconcile these opposing strands.
Herzog is alone now that Medeleine has left him. Locked for days in the custody of his rambling memories, Herzog scrawls frantic letters which he never mails. His mind buzzes with conundrums and polemics, writing in a spectacular intellectual labyrinth. Is he crazy, or is he a genius?