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Daveo

The Life to Come and Other Stories by E.M. Forster. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

The fourteen stories in this book span six decades, from 1903 to 1957 or even later and represent every phase of Forster's career as a writer.

Only two have ever been published, and those only in magazines to which few people have easy access. Two very different reasons caused the other twelve to remain unpublished in Forster's lifetime.

One was his diffidence, which in his earlier years led him to belittle work that had failed to find immediate acceptance. There are four such stories in this volume, and it is hard, today, to understand why they were rejected by the same editors who were publishing his other early work. The remaining stories were disbarred from publication by their overtly homosexual themes; instead they were shown to an appreciative circle of friends and fellow writers, including Christopher Isherwood, Siegfried Sassoon, Lytton Strachey, and T. E. Lawrence, who considered one story "the most powerful thing I have ever read."

The stories differ widely.

One is a cheerful political satire; another has, most unusually for Forster, a historical setting; a third is the fictional equivalent of one of those comic picture-postcards that so delighted George Orwell. Others give serious and powerful expression to some of Forster's profoundest concerns. The significance of these stories in relation to Forster's famous abandonment of the novel is discussed by Oliver Stallybrass in his introduction. "These stories are often brilliant, aware both of the strictly contemporary...the contrast between Greek and Christian; between 'Goth' and Christian; between spontaneity and duty in matters sensual and instinctive.

In short, they bring up all Forster's usual preoccupations and at the same time orchestrate the new song and play it loud and clear.

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Daveo

Killing Rommel by Steven Pressfield. . . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

Steven Pressfield’s quintet of acclaimed, bestselling novels of ancient warfare— Gates of Fire, Tides of War, Last of the Amazons, The Virtues of War, and The Afghan Campaign— have earned him a reputation as a master chronicler of military history, a supremely literate and engaging storyteller, and an author with acute insight into the minds of men in battle. In Killing Rommel Pressfield extends his talents to the modern world with a WWII tale based on the real-life exploits of the Long Range Desert Group, an elite British special forces unit that took on the German Afrika Korps and its legendary commander, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, "the Desert Fox."

Autumn 1942.

Hitler’s legions have swept across Europe; France has fallen; Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East.

With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan, send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike the blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks.

Narrated from the point of view of a young lieutenant, Killing Rommel brings to life the flair, agility, and daring of this extraordinary secret unit, the Long Range Desert Group.

Stealthy and lethal as the scorpion that serves as their insignia, they live by their motto: Non Vi Sed Arte—Not by Strength, by Guile as they gather intelligence, set up ambushes, and execute raids.

Killing Rommel chronicles the tactics, weaponry, and specialized skills needed for combat, under extreme desert conditions.

And it captures the camaraderie of this “band of brothers” as they perform the acts of courage and cunning crucial to the Allies’ victory in North Africa.

As in all of his previous novels, Pressfield powerfully renders the drama and intensity of warfare, the bonds of men in close combat, and the surprising human emotions and frailties that come into play on the battlefield.

A vivid and authoritative depiction of the desert war, Killing Rommel brilliantly dramatizes an aspect of World War II that hasn’t been in the limelight since Patton.

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Daveo

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene,

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses a moment of experience from which to look ahead..." "This is a record of hate far more than of love," writes Maurice Bendrix in the opening passages of The End of the Affair, and it is a strange hate indeed that compels him to set down the retrospective account of his adulterous affair with Sarah Miles. Now, a year after Sarah's death, Bendrix seeks to exorcise the persistence of his passion by retracing its course from obsessive love to love-hate.

At first, he believes he hates Sarah and her husband, Henry.

Yet as he delves deeper into his emotional outlook, Bendrix's hatred shifts to the God he feels has broken his life, but whose existence at last comes to recognize.

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Daveo

The Facts of Life & Facing the Tank by Patrick Gale. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

In the Roundel, an odd, secluded, eight-sided house in the English countryside, Edward Pepper and Sally Banks build a life. Hoping they’ve left hardship behind, they met when Sally, a doctor, treated Edward for tuberculosis after he escaped from Nazi Germany to England, they raise a family together. The German-Jewish composer has his devoted wife’s support - though he is sidetracked by the temptations of the movie industry. But for Edward and Sally, their children, and their children’s children, tragedy and joy will always go hand-in-hand, as they maneuver through a world of often bitter and brutal realities.

And as the decades pass, a family shaped in equal measure by love and human failing will find itself sorely tested by mistrust, tyranny, misunderstanding, and an AIDS diagnosis.

It will take more than the strength they found in their wartime romance to fight the battles of everyday life. The critically acclaimed novels of Patrick Gale have been compared to the writings of literary giants from Iris Murdoch to Gabriel García Márquez.

Powerful, moving, and magnificent, this multigenerational family saga is one of Gale’s most compassionate and memorable works, a truly masterful fiction that Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City, calls “achingly true and beautiful.”

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Daveo

QB VII by Leon Uris. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

In Queen’s Bench Courtroom Number Seven, famous author Abraham Cady stands trial.

In his book The Holocaust - born of the terrible revelation that the Jadwiga Concentration Camp was the site of his family’s extermination, Cady shook the consciousness of the human race.

He also  named eminent surgeon Sir Adam Kelno as one of Jadwiga’s most sadistic inmate/doctors.

Kelno has denied this and brought furious charges. Now unfolds Leon Uris’s riveting courtroom drama, one of the great fictional trials of the century.

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Daveo

The Fox in the Attic (The Human Predicament #1) by Richard Hughes...

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

A tale of enormous suspense and growing horror, The Fox in the Attic is the widely acclaimed first part of Richard Hughes monumental historical fiction, "The Human Predicament." Set in the early 1920's, the book centers on Augustine, a young man from an aristocratic Welsh family who has come of age in the aftermath of World War I. Unjustly suspected of having had a hand in the murder of a young girl, Augustine takes refuge in the remote castle of Bavarian relatives.

There his hopeless love for his devout cousin Mitzi blinds him to the hate that will lead to the rise of German fascism. The book reaches a climax with a brilliant description of the Munich putsch and a disturbingly intimate portrait of Adolf Hitler. The Fox in the Attic, like its no less remarkable sequel The Wooden Shepherdess, offers a richly detailed, Tolstoyan overview of the modern world in upheaval.

At once a novel of ideas and an exploration of the dark spaces of the heart, it is a book in which the past returns in all its original uncertainty and strangeness.

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Daveo

Sittang: The Last Battle by Louis Allen. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

The author Louis Allen (1922-1991) has written a terrific book on The Battle of the Sittang which was the last Battle of the Burma Campaign from 2 July – 7 August 1945 - Surviving elements of the Imperial Japanese Army had been driven into the Pegu Yoma ( a range of low mountains or hills between the Irrawaddy and the Sittang River )

The break-out was the objective of the Japanese 28th Army with support at first from the 33rd Army and later the Japanese 15th Army. The British had been alerted to the break-out attempt and it ended calamitously, with many losses and some formations being wiped out. Around 14,000 Japanese were lost, with well over half being killed, while British forces suffered only 95 killed and 322 wounded. The break-out attempt and the ensuing battle became the last significant land battle of the Western powers in the Second World War.

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Daveo

Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

Darkly funny and gleefully mean-spirited, Sellevision explores greed, obsession and third tier celebrity, in the world of a fictional home shopping network. Welcome to the troubled world of Sellevision, America's premier retail broadcasting network.

When Max Andrews, the much-loved and handsome (lonely and gay) host of "Slumber Sunday Sundown" accidentally exposes himself in front of twenty million kids and their parents during a "Toys for Tots" segment, Sellevision faces its first big scandal.

As Max fails to find a job in television, another host, the popular and perky Peggy Jean Smythe is receiving sinister emails about her appearance from a stalker.

Popping pills and drinking heavily, she fails to notice that her husband is spending a lot of time with the very young babysitter who lives next door.

Then there's Leigh, whose affair with Sellevision boss Howard Toast is going nowhere, until she exposes him on air; and Bebe, Sellevision star host, who finds Mr. Right through the Internet - if she can just stop her shopping addiction from taking over.

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Daveo

LaBrava by Elmore Leonard

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

Photographer Joe LaBrava specialises in capturing the soul of Miami's street life & since he used to do dirty jobs for the government, he understands his subject very well. So when his friend Maury enlists his help to sort out a problem with an ex-film star, Joe is more than happy to help.

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Daveo

Wheels of Terror by Sven Hassel. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

The best-selling military writer returns to his comrades in 27th penal battalion, offering another gritty, realistic view of the ordinary soldier in wartime.

Now stationed at the Russian Front, and equipped with armored vehicles, Sven Hassel's band of warriors from the German army gird for the next battles.

Caught between the insane orders of the Nazi high command and the overwhelming numbers of Russian soldiers, they prepare to fight on nonetheless and will do anything to survive the inferno.

A remorseless ride through a man-made hell.

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Daveo

Confessions of an Irish Rebel by Brendan Behan.....

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange. .

The immigration man read my deportation order, looked at it and handed it back to me. 'Are you Irish?' he asked me. 'No' I said 'as a matter of fact, I'm Yemenite Arab.' Two detectives came forward who were evidently there to meet me. 'Apparently he is Brendan Behan,' they said. The immigration officer shook my hand and his hard face softened. 'Cead mile failte romhat abhaile.' (A hundred thousand welcomes home to you.)

I could not answer. There are no words and it would be impertinence to try. I walked down the gangway. I was free. First published after Brendan Behan's tragic death, Confessions of an Irish Rebel picks up where Borstal Boy left off. Not only is it the last instalment of a unique and unorthodox autobiography, but of a unique and unorthodox life that was as touched with genius as it was with doom.

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Daveo

Portrait of a Marriage: Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson by Nigel Nicolson....

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

Vita Sackville-West, novelist, poet, and biographer, is best known as the friend of Virginia Woolf, who transformed her into an androgynous time-traveler in Orlando.

The story of Sackville-West's marriage to Harold Nicolson is one of intrigue and bewilderment.

In Portrait of a Marriage, their son Nigel combines his mother's memoir with his own explanations and what he learned from their many letters.

Even during her various love affairs with women, Vita maintained a loving marriage with Harold.

Portrait of a Marriage presents an often misunderstood but always fascinating couple.

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Daveo

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. . .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons - the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, is social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

This award-winning translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky remains true to the verbal inventiveness of Dostoevsky’s prose, preserving the multiple voices, the humor, and the surprising modernity of the original.

It is an achievement worthy of Dostoevsky’s last and greatest novel.

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Daveo

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. .

@ Canterbury Tales Bookshop / Book exchange.

"A detective novel, an indictment of urban social conditions in nineteenth-century Russia, a religious epic, a study in criminal psychopathology, and a proto-Nietzschean analysis of the 'will to power' . . . Crime and Punishment is all these things, but it is more"

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