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This Charming Man: The Life of Ian Carmichael

£8.00

The first life of the man who was Lord Peter Wimsey, Bertie Wooster and starred in I’m Alright, Jack!

 

 

With the death of Ian Carmichael in 2010 one of the last links was lost with the golden age of British cinema. Carmichael starred alongside Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers in the Boulting brothers’ classic satirical comedies I’m Alright, Jack!, Private’s Progress and School for Scoundrels. He summed up, on screen and in life, the kind of Englishman who was beginning to emerge after the war – educated, not necessarily upper class, upwardly mobile and a study in good manners and a sense of fair play – and thus played the straight-man foil to the distracted ravings of his wilder co-stars.

 

 

Subsequently, he became Bertie Wooster in a highly successful television series based on P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories. He also made the part of Lord Peter Wimsey his own in another long-running adaptation of Dorothy L. Sayers’ famous detective novels, and was still acting on television well into his eighties alongside Susan Hampshire in ITV’s drama series The Royal.

Thom Gunn (Poet to Poet)

£3.00

Thom Gunn (1929-2004) was educated at Cambridge University, and had his first collection of poems, Fighting Terms, published while still an undergraduate. He moved to northern California in 1954 and taught in American universities until his death. His last collection was Boss Cupid (2000).

 

In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature.

Three Seconds

£4.00

Piet Hoffman is the best undercover operative in the Swedish police force, but only one other man is even aware of his existence. When an amphetamine deal he is involved in goes badly wrong, he is faced with the hardest mission of his life: to infiltrate Sweden’s most infamous maximum security prison.

 

 

Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is charged with investigating the drug-related killing. Unaware of Hoffman’s real identity, he believes himself to be on the trail of a dangerous psychopath. But he cannot escape the feeling that vital information pertaining to the case has been withheld or manipulated.

 

 

Hoffman has his insurance: wiretap recordings that implicate some of Sweden’s most prominent politicians in a corrupt conspiracy. But in Ewert Grens the powers that be might just have found the perfect weapon to eliminate him…

Time and a Word: The Yes Story

£8.00

Prog. rockers Yes probably polarize opinions more than just about any other band. To their army of fans, they are visionaries who have consistently raised the musical bar. To their detractors (and there are many), they represent all that is bad about progressive rock: bloated, self-indulgent and not connected to the real world. It is doubtful that Yes are bothered by this opprobrium having sold over 30 million albums and played to packed audiences in a career that started in 1969 and continues to this day (with a very fluid band membership).

 

Martin Popoff is renowned for his metal musings but let the truth be told, he has been a closet Yes fan since the 1970s and was delighted to be asked to write this book. That fact alone will raise eyebrows. The book follows the tried and trusted Timeline format, with key events from the birth of Jon Anderson (1944) to the present day. Recorded in painstaking detail, no stone is left unturned. If you’ve ever wondered how the Close To The Edge Album got its name, you ll find out here. You’ll also learn why Anderson and drummer Alan White spent a lot of time in junkyards.

 

Popoff secured interviews with Anderson, Bruford, Howe, Wakeman and the late Chris Squire (in one of the last interviews he gave) along with other actors in the drama. He also got the views of contemporaries such as Steve Hackett (Genesis), Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) and John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia et al) to provide a rounded view of the prog movement. This book will appeal to Yes fans old and new. There are plenty of both.

Time for Action: The Mod Revival 1978 – 1981

£6.50

The Mod Revival of 1978-1981 put life and laughs into an increasingly grim post-punk UK scene. The roots of ‘New Mod’ were in The Jam and their ‘All Mod Cons’ album which inspired a generation of teenagers to embrace the joys of Fred Perrys, Harrington jackets, Vespas and powerful songs with great tunes. Garry Bushell was the first rock writer to cover the scene, reviewing the Purple Hearts, the Jolt, the Chords and Secret Affair in rapid succession. This is his funny, informative and affectionate history of the rise and fall, rebirth and lasting influence of the Mod Revival as it happened. With rare photographs, this brilliant book is a must for enthusiasts.

Triksta

£5.00

Signed copies

 

What lunacy would cause a 55-year-old white male, neither lean nor hungry, to embroil himself in the world of New Orleans rap, not merely as an observer, but as an active participant – ideas man, talent-spotter, lyricist, and would-be producer? And why did his experience, after many tribulations, end up so profoundly joyous and fulfilling?

 

Nik Cohn has loved (and hated) hip-hop since its birth, thirty years ago, and loved (and hated) New Orleans for even longer. The city has haunted him from childhood, an addiction he’s never wanted to kick. But nothing prepared him for the experience of being pitched, more or less by accident, into the role of Triksta, rap impressario.

 

A white alien in a black world, with no funding or qualifications, and not a clue what he was doing, he had to rethink himself from scratch.Surrounded by a cast-list that included such names as Choppa and Soulja Slim, Big Ramp and Lil T, Bass Heavy, Fifth Ward Weebie, and Shorty Brown Hustle, he entered a world of tiny backstreet studios, broken-down slums and gun turfs, almost unimaginable to those who know New Orleans only as the touristic Big Easy.

 

Triksta is the story of a three-year odyssey that became all-consuming – a journey to the heart of rap, and New Orleans, and self-knowledge. Hilarious, tragic, startling, and exhilirating, sometimes all at once, it is Nik Cohn’s greatest book.

Two Old Men’s Tales

£4.00

First published in 1834, Two Old Men’s Tales is made up of two novels told by old men reflecting on events in their respective pasts. The Deformed tells of the “deformed” Earl of St. Germains, heir to the Marquis of Brandon. After his step-mother gives birth to a son, Lord Louis, who is as good-looking as his mother, the young Earl is neglected. He finds companionship in Lilia, a poor relative. The Admiral’s Daughter relates the story of Iñez, daughter of Admiral Thornhaugh, who is intended to marry Captain Harry Vivian, an honest and sensible naval officer. On one of his visits he brings with him his friend Laurence Hervey, a character quite different from Vivian. Vivian marries Iñez, while Hervey goes away to Paris for five years. When he visits his old friend and his wife, he is captivated by Mrs. Vivian, leading to an elopement and the consequences attendant upon such a drastic action, a time when honour was defended with pistols at dawn.

Under the Mound

£9.00

During the Yule season of 1153 Malcolm mac Alasdair is sent to serve the half-Scottish, half-Viking Earl of Orkney, who is on a quest to regain his earldom from a treacherous cousin. Malcolm is an artistic boy with no knack for warfare, he is certain that he will only hinder the young earl – and get himself killed in the bargain. His father’s reason for sending him out on this adventure does nothing to allay his fears: in a vision he has seen Malcolm go to Orkney with Earl Harald. But this vision is incomplete – he hasn’t seen Malcolm return…

Unmade Up: Recollections of a Friendship with David Bowie

£9.50

Unmade Up features much previously unseen artwork and photography of the enigmatic singer David Bowie, by his go-to artist of his heyday, Edward Bell. His commissions included the sleeve for Bowie’s 1980 album ‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’ which featured the number one single ‘Ashes to Ashes’. Bowie later bought all of Bell’s artwork for his private collection. “David Bowie: He soared, his eagle eye spied everything. His magpie nature urged him to plunder with ruthless perception. The Chameleon absorbed, then radiated, colours eclipsing. A butterfly mind, alighting, random and eclectic. Courageous, enigmatic, outrageous, and contradictory, he was Star Man, Elephant Man, a Diamond Dog, Tin Machine, the mythological peacock of incorruptible flesh.

 

This account of my relationship with the man is written from the perspective of one who was of Bowie’s generation but preferred to listen to The Rolling Stones: who had been to art school, freelanced as a photographer and illustrator for magazines – Vogue, Tatler, The Sunday Times – a visual person, rather than musical. I greeted the shock of David’s death at first with a faint, sad shrug; the full impact was slow to dawn. If a drowning man is said to see his whole life experience on an instant in total recall, I was to experience a small death that lingered, and as it did so, forgotten incidents gradually returned with an extraordinary clarity. I felt compelled to write them all down, with the desire to share them.”

Until the Darkness Comes

£5.00

PI John Craine has come to Hale Island to get away from it all – the memories and the guilt, and a past that just won’t let go.

 

 

But within hours he stumbles across the dead body of a young girl on the beach. When the police arrive the body has inexplicably disappeared. Or – in his already tormented state – did Craine imagine it in the first place?

 

 

Determined to get at the truth, Craine starts asking questions. But it seems no one on the island is talking. And all too soon he finds himself tangled up in a deadly network of fear and violence.

 

 

Someone has a dark secret to keep, and Craine is getting in the way…

Valley of Decision

£6.90

A novel from the Booker-Prize winning author Stanley Middleton. Rejacked and reissued in Windmill.

 

Mary and David Blackwell are content in their marriage but when Mary, a talented opera singer, is offered the chance to sing in America, everything changes. David, a music teacher and amateur cellist, is left behind in England and, when he suddenly stops hearing from her, he must decide how to carry on and what to do.

 

‘It is a very, very long time since any book made me physically cry. But Stanley Middleton’s Valley of Decision did just that, twice… The story is simple… Anyone, well almost anyone, could write that story… But only Mr Middleton could turn it into something approaching a small masterpiece.’ Martyn Goff, Daily Telegraph

Ways of Hearing

£4.50

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing was first published in 1972. It looked at visual images and how they shape us. In Ways of Hearing Ben Thompson does a similar thing for music – albeit in a non-sociological, highly subjective, fairly irreverent and extremely entertaining manner. He explores the role of music in the mediums of radio, TV, film, literature and video, and interviews a wildly disparate bunch of musicians and djs, from Brian Eno, John Peel, Captain Beefheart and Neil Young, to Lee Perry, Sir Cliff Richard, the Chemical Brothers and Mercury Rev.

 

‘As a public airing of private pleasures delivered with a distinctive critical voice, it’s consistently engaging and infectiously readable’ Julian Cowley, The Wire

Ways of Life: On Places, Painters and Poets

£10.00

Andrew Motion was appointed Poet Laureate in 1999, but alongside his work as a poet he also had a significant career as a prize-winning biographer and an illuminating critic. Ways of Life celebrates this talent with a selection of his articles about painters and poets, as well as a number of striking personal pieces. The literary essays in Ways of Life look at a wide assortment of writers, from John Clare and Ivor Gurney, to marginal figures such as Leigh Hunt and Joseph Severn, and reassess the less well-known work of celebrated writers including John Donne, Christina Rossetti and Thomas Hardy. Ways of Life is an original, acute and emotionally-charged collection of writings, from a truly important and insightful writer.

Where Am I?

£6.00

Redstone Press presents a charming children’s book by Tatiana Glebova, a celebrated soviet book illustrator and painter. A friend to many of Russia’s best-known avant-garde artists, poets and writers, her book Where Am I? was completed in 1928 but never printed.

 

Published to coincide with the House of Illustration’s much anticipated show A New Childhood: picture books from Soviet Russia, the images are both startlingly original yet completely timeless.

 

The perfect gift for curious children and parents alike, these engaging images will brighten any playroom!

White Teeth

£4.00

At the centre of this novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them to his Islamic faith.

White Time

£4.90

Time out of time, people call it., but they’re wrong. It’s all time, like white light is all colours, or white noise is all pitches of noise coming at you together.

 

In this transcendent collection of short stories, Lanagan deftly navigates a new set of worlds in which the boundaries between reality and possibility are paper-thin . . . and sometimes disappear altogether.

 

Prepare to be unsettled, intrigued and dazzled by what a master storyteller can do in a few short pages.

Wolf Hall & Bring Up the Bodies

£4.00

Thomas Cromwell. Son of a blacksmith, political genius, briber, charmer, bully. A man with a deadly expertise in manipulating people and events.

 

Mike Poulton’s ‘expertly adapted’ (Evening Standard) two-part ad adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies is a ‘gripping piece of narrative theatre … history made manifest’ (Guardian). The plays were premiered to great acclaim by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2013, before transferring to the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End in May 2014.

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