Modern Literature

//Modern Literature
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  • Wilt, Book IV.  When his endlessly capricious wife Eva receives plane tickets for the family to visit Auntie Joan and Uncle Wally in Atlanta, Wilt knows that nothing could entice him to fly three thousand miles over the water for a visit with two rotund Americans with more money than sense. What better way to escape and find equilibrium then to embark on a walking tour? Just Wilt, the countryside, and an ill-judged bottle of whiskey...Meanwhile, Eva finds her plans to inherit Joan and Wally's fortune slipping away faster than her sanity, thanks to a combination of sinister teenage quadruplets with foul mouths, and her unexpected role as lead suspect in a drug-trafficking plot.
  • Book I of Wilt. Henry Wilt, tied to a daft job and a domineering wife, has just been passed over for promotion yet again. At the Polytechnic, he can look forward to years of trying to thump literature into the heads of plasterers, joiners and butchers. And things are no better at home where his massive wife, Eva, is given to boundless and unpredictable fits of enthusiasm - for transcendental meditation, yoga or the trampoline. But if Wilt can do nothing about his job, he can do something about his wife, in imagination at least, and his fantasies grow daily more murderous and more concrete. After a peculiarly nasty experience at a party thrown by particularly nasty Americans, Wilt finds himself in several embarrassing positions: Eva stalks out in stratospheric dudgeon, and Wilt, under the inspiration of gin, puts one of his more vindictive fantasies into effect. But suspicions are instantly aroused and Wilt rapidly achieves an unenviable notoriety in the role of The Man Helping Police With Their Enquiries. Or is he exactly helping? Wilt's problem -although he's on the other side of the fence -is the same as Inspector Flint's: where is Eva Wilt? But Wilt begins to flourish in the heat of the investigation, and as the police stoke the flames of circumstantial evidence, Wilt deploys all his powers to show that the Law can't tell a Missing Person from a hole in the ground. Fabulous satire on middle-class life. Wilt On High (Book III of Wilt): Wilt is still teaching at the Fenland Tech, attempting to drill English into plasterers, dozing through tedious committee meetings and occasionally getting mildly plastered in 'The Pig' with one of his few bearable colleagues. But the even tenor of his days is rudely interrupted when the shadow of drug dealing flickers across the Tech. Suddenly Wilt is the target of suspicion. His colleagues believe him to be responsible for triggering a departmental inquiry and his old adversary Inspector Flint, knowing that he's guilty of something, sees a chance to settle a number of scores. What his wife thinks is... well, what all wives think. But what none of them have reckoned with is Wilt's talent for making new enemies. What starts with an accusation of voyeurism in the staff lavatory (of the wrong gender, to boot) leads, more or less directly, to a massive confrontation at a nearby US airbase with the forces of law and order on both sides and Wilt in his usual place - in the middle.
  • As the grim years of World War II pass, the destruction of Allied shipping mounts. Out of the terrible loss of men and ships, the escort carrier is born. Twenty-six year old fighter pilot Tim Rowan, RNVR, is already a veteran campaigner. He joins the escort carrier Growler, a posting which takes him first to the Arctic and the misery of the Murmansk run, then south to the Indian Ocean and the new terror of the Japanese Kamikaze.
  • The fifth andfinal Steeley adventure. Steeley, Tubby and Brian accept an invitation to help reform and train the air force of a Central American country but soon discover that it is not going to be a straight-forward commercial enterprise but rather an "adventure" or perhaps even a "misadventure".
  • Book II of The Century trilogy.  This volume picks up immediately after Fall Of Giants.  Five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak; American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific; English student Lloyd Williams discovers, in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War, that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism; Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war -but the war to come.  Jacket Image: A watch found on the body of a victim of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, August 6 1945. The watch stopped at 8.15 a.m. when the bomb exploded. Getty Images ©  
  • Book II of The Century trilogy.  This volume picks up immediately after Fall Of Giants.  Five interrelated families - American, German, Russian, English, Welsh - enter a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the Spanish Civil War and the great dramas of World War II, up to the explosions of the American and Soviet atomic bombs. Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until she commits a deed of great courage and heartbreak; American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific; English student Lloyd Williams discovers, in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War, that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism; Daisy Peshkov, a driven American social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set, until the war transforms her life, not just once but twice, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war -but the war to come.  Jacket Image: A watch found on the body of a victim of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, August 6 1945. The watch stopped at 8.15 a.m. when the bomb exploded. Getty Images ©
  • Book I of the Conqueror series. A man without a tribe was at great  risk, so the young boy abandoned with his siblings on the harsh Mongolian plains has to struggle for life. He survived both starvation and hostile attack by learning leadership skills and gathering a group of outsiders and outcasts like himself.  He dreamed of uniting the tribes into one house, one nation. He became a great warrior who would be a father to his people.  He would be Genghis Khan.

  • All Evyind has ever wanted is to become one of the greatest Viking warriors - a Wolfskin - and fight for his leader in the name of the Warfather God Thor. But his friend, the strange and lonely Somerled, has other plans.  A childhood blood-oath binds the two in loyalty. A world away, Nessa, niece of King Engus of the Folk, begins to learn the Mysteries. Evyind and  Somerled seem set to follow different paths - one becomes a fearless servant of Thor, the other a scholarly courtier. But a voyage of exploration led by Somerled's brother Ulf brings the two together as they accompany a group of settlers to the beautiful islands rumoured to lie across the western sea. When a tragic accident occurs on board ship, Evyind suspects that it may not have been an accident. Ulf's new settlement begins in harmony with the natives of the island led by King Engus.  When a brutal murder occurs the peace is shattered and Evyind begins to feel the ties of his blood-oath and realises the future Somerled planned all those years ago...

  • Life is perfect for Derek Pettyfer.  He's rich, famous and between wives. Rising above his exceptional Australian origins, he's become the toast of the London stage and a top-rating television performer. With his elegant house and enviable collection of Roman glass, Derek is at the pinnacle of success. But then comes the fall...slowly at first then with frightening speed, Derek's frayed life unravels, helped along by sadistic dentists, fetishist secretaries and the ugly-spirited beautiful people who infest great cities. Barry Humphries - a.k.a. Dame Edna, housewife and syuperstar - has written a novel about life in a goldfish bowl, where the goldfish happen to be piranhas.