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To those who don't speak it, the language of money can seem impenetrable. Fortunately, John Lanchester-the best-selling novelist and reporter hailed by The Economist for "explain[ing] complex stuff in a down-to-earth and witty style"-is here to bridge the gap between the money people and the rest of us. With wit and candor, Lanchester explains more than 300 common words and phrases from "AAA rating" and "amortization" to "yield curve" and "zombie bank."
The classic, heartrending story of a British boy's four year ordeal in a Japanese prison camp during the Second World War. Newly reissued with an introduction by John Lanchester. Based on J. G. Ballard's own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy's life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai - a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. Rooted as it is in the author's own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged. This edition is part of a new commemorative series of Ballard's works, featuring introductions from a number of his admirers (including Zadie Smith, Rivka Galchen, Hari Kunzru and Martin Amis) and brand-new cover designs from the artist Stanley Donwood.
In 2017, inspired in part by Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, the acclaimed English novelist John Lanchester published a ghost story in The New Yorker. "Signal," an eerie story of contemporary life and the perils of technology, was a sensation among readers-and since then Lanchester has written several more. Reality and Other Stories gathers the best of these, taking readers to an uncanny world familiar to fans of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. Household gizmos with a mind of their own. Mysterious cell-phone calls from unknown numbers. Reality TV shows and the creeping suspicion that none of this is real... Reality and Other Stories is a book of disquiet that captures the severe disconnection and distraction of our time.
The nation's favourite annual guide to the short story, now in its ninth year. Best British Short Stories invites you to judge a book by its cover - or more accurately, by its title. This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere. The editor's brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and web sites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume. Featuring stories by: Julia Armfield, Elizabeth Baines, Naomi Booth, Kieran Devaney, Vicky Grut, Nigel Humphreys, Sally Jubb, Lucie McKnight Hardy, Robert Mason, Ann Quin, Sam Thompson, Melissa Wan and Ren Watson.
With an introduction by John Banville Winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award 1996. To like something is to want to ingest it and, in that sense, is to submit to the world; to like something is to succumb, in a small but contentful way, to death. Tarquin Winot - hedonist, food obsessive, ironist and snob - travels a circuitous route from the Hotel Splendide in Portsmouth to his cottage in Provence. Along the way he tells the story of his childhood and beyond through a series of delectable menus, organized by season. But this is no ordinary cookbook, and as we are drawn into Tarquin's world, a far more sinister mission slowly reveals itself . . . Winner of the 1996 Whitbread First Novel Award, John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food; an erotic and sensual culinary journey. Its elegant, intelligent and unhinged narrator is nothing less than a work of art himself.
*LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019*
The residents of Pepys Road, London - a banker and his shopaholic wife, an old woman dying of a brain tumour, a family of Pakistani shop owners, the young football star from Senegal and his minder - all receive an anonymous postcard one day with a simple message: "We Want What You Have."
Who is behind it? What do they want?
As the mystery of the postcards deepens, the world around Pepys Road is turned upside down by the financial crash and all of its residents' lives change beyond recognition over the course of the next year.
Money is our global language. Yet so few of us can speak it. The language of the economic elite can be complex, jargon-filled and completely baffling. Above all, the language of money is the language of power - power in the hands of the same economic elite. Now John Lanchester, bestselling author of Capital and Whoops! sets out to decode the world of finance for all of us, explaining everything from high-frequency trading and the World Bank to the difference between bullshit and nonsense. As funny as it is devastating, How To Speak Money is a primer and a polemic. It's a reference book you'll find yourself reading in one sitting. And it gives you everything you need to demystify the world of high finance - the world that dominates how we all live now.
Described as 'a metaphysical shocker' at the time of its release, Muriel Sparks' The Driver's Seat is a taut psychological thriller, published with an introduction by John Lanchester in Penguin Modern Classics. Lise has been driven to distraction by working in the same accountants' office for sixteen years. So she leaves everything behind her, transforms herself into a laughing, garishly-dressed temptress and flies abroad on the holiday of a lifetime. But her search for adventure, sex and new experiences takes on a far darker significance as she heads on a journey of self-destruction. Infinity and eternity attend Lise's last terrible day in an unnamed southern city, as she meets her fate. One of six novels to be nominated for a 'Lost Man Booker Prize', The Driver's Seat was adapted into a 1974 film, Identikit, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Muriel Spark (1918 - 2006) wrote poetry, stories, and biographies as well as a remarkable series of novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) which received the James Tait Black Prize, and The Public Image (1968) and Loitering with Intent (1981), both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Spark was awarded the T.S. Eliot Award for poetry in 1992, and the David Cohen Prize for literature in 1997. If you enjoyed The Driver's Seat, you might like Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'An extraordinary tour de force, a crime story turned inside out' David Lodge 'Her spiny and treacherous masterpiece' New Yorker
One warm July morning Mr Phillips climbs out of bed, leaving Mrs Phillips dozing. He prepares for his commute into the city - but this is no ordinary Wednesday. It is a day on which Mr Phillips will chat with a pornographer, stalk a tv mini-celebrity, have lunch with an aspiring record mogul, and get caught up in a bank robbery. It is, as Mr Phillips comes to realise, the first day of the rest of his life - whether he wants it to be or not. All this is both better and worse than being at work. So why is Mr Phillips, a cautious middle-aged accountant, not behind his desk calculating the financial consequences of redundancies or recommending the savings to be made from more responsible use of yellow sticky note pads?
'It's Hong Kong,' she said. 'Heung gong. Fragrant harbour.' Fragrant Harbour is the story of four people whose intertwined lives span Asia's last seventy years. Tom Stewart leaves England to seek his fortune, and finds it in running Hong Kong's best hotel. Sister Maria is a beautiful and uncompromising Chinese nun whom Stewart meets on the boat. Dawn Stone is an English journalist who becomes the public face of money and power and big business. Matthew Ho is a young Chinese entrepreneur whose life has been shaped by painful choices made long before his birth. The complacency of colonial life in the 1930s; the horrors of the Japanese occupation during the Second World War; the post-war boom and the handover of the city to the Chinese - all these are present in Fragrant Harbour, an epic novel of one of the world's great cities.
From the bestselling author of Whoops! and The Debt to Pleasure comes a post-financial crisis, state-of-the-nation novel told with compassion, humour and unflinching truth. Featuring a contemporary cast of characters that crosses race, class and religion, Capital is the moving and hugely topical story of one street caught on the brink of the crash. Capital: the City of London. Capital: money, currency, finance. Both are central to the multicultural micro-society living and working on Pepys Road-an ordinary street in the Capital. Formerly working class, the simple houses have seen a wave of gentrification and expensive renovations that have rendered them highly desirable, valuable real estate. Here lives Roger Yount, powerful investment banker daily trading risk against profit on the Foreign Exchange. An annual bonus of a million might seem excessive, but with second homes and nannies to maintain, he's not sure he can get by without it. Elsewhere on Pepys Road is the Muslim Pakistani family living above their convenience store, and a senior widow who entertains visits from her graffiti artist grandson. Recently arrived is Freddy Kano, teenage football celebrity, recruited from Senegal to join the Premier League, who left a two-room shack to follow his dream. Their stories intertwine with the immigrant workers who service the wealthy residents of the City: Zbigniew, the builder from Warsaw, catering to the super-rich in their interior decoration whims; the nanny who looks after Roger's two small boys while his well-groomed wife indulges her shopaholic tendencies; and traffic warden Quentina, who has exchanged the violence of the police in Zimbabwe for the violence of the enraged upper middle classes. For them all, this city offers the chance of a different kind of life. Each house has its own story and its own secrets, having seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. Today, through each letterbox along this ordinary street drops a card with a simple message: We Want What You Have. Readers who enjoy Dickens and Trollope and such contemporary books as Sebastian Faulks' A Week in December, will not want to miss out on this fast-paced, cosmopolitan social saga.
Household gizmos with a mind of their own. Constant cold calls from unknown numbers. And the creeping suspicion that none of this is real. Reality, and Other Stories is a gathering of deliciously chilling entertainments - stories to be read as the evenings draw in and the days are haunted by all the ghastly schlock, uncanny technologies and absurd horrors of modern life.
John Lanchester's Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay is the unbelievable true story of the economic crisis. We are, to use a technical economic term, screwed. The cowboy capitalists had a party with everyone's money and now we're all paying for it. What went wrong? And will we learn our lesson - or just carry on as before, like celebrating surviving a heart attack with a packet of Rothmans? John Lanchester travels with a cast of characters - including reckless banksters, snoozing regulators, complacent politicians, predatory lenders, credit-drunk spendthrifts, and innocent bystanders to understand deeply and genuinely what is happening and why we feel the way we do. 'Devastatingly funny ... the route map to the crazed world of contemporary finance we have all been waiting for' Will Self 'Bang on the money' Independent 'Explains the crisis in a way that actually sticks ... to my amazement, I finally grasp it' Janice Turner, The Times 'Endlessly witty ... will turn any reader into an expert within the space of 200 pages' Jonathan Coe 'Terrific ... there is no better guide to the crazy world of high finance' GQ John Lanchester is a journalist, novelist and winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award. His fiction includes Mr Philips, The Debt to Pleasure and Capital. He is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the New Yorker, with a monthly column in Esquire.
Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall-an enormous concrete barrier around its entire coastline. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and are a constant threat. Failure will result in death or a fate perhaps worse: being put to sea and made an Other himself. Beset by cold, loneliness, and fear, Kavanagh tries to fulfill his duties to his demanding Captain and Sergeant, even as he grows closer to his fellow Defenders. A dark part of him wonders whether it would be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if he had to fight for his life... John Lanchester-acclaimed as "an elegant and wonderfully witty writer" (New York Times) and "a writer of rare intelligence" (Los Angeles Times)-has written a taut, hypnotic novel of a broken world and what might be found when all is lost. The Wall blends the most compelling issues of our time-rising waters, rising fear, rising political division-into a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival.
Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall an enormous concrete barrier around its entire border. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and attack constantly. Failure will result in death or a fate perhaps worse: being put to sea and made an Other himself. Beset by cold, loneliness, and fear, Kavanagh tries to fulfill his duties to his demanding Captain and Sergeant, even as he grows closer to his fellow Defenders. And then the Others attack. . . .
Spurred on by admiration for his novelist half-brother and irritation at the biography written about him by Mr Goodman (‘his slapdash and very misleading book’), the narrator, V, sets out to record Sebastian Knight’s life as he understands it. But buried amid the extensive quoting, digressions, seeming explanations and meaningful digs at Mr Goodman, Sebastian’s erratic and troubled persona remains as elusive as ever. As does the narrator’s. Do they exist or are they an illusion? In the unresolved confusion between the real and unreal there are no answers, for this is a book that defies summing up in its quest for human truth.
In this acclaimed memoir from the award-winning author of Fragrant Harbour and Capital, John Lanchester pieces together his family's past and uncovers their extraordinary secrets - from his grandparents' life in colonial Rhodesia to his mother's time as a nun - with clear-eyed compassion. A true story of family intrigues, of secrets and lies, as they unfold across three generations.
Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel and a New York Times Notable Book, The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food. Traveling from Portsmouth to the south of France, Tarquin Winot, the book’s snobbish narrator, instructs us in his philosophy on everything from the erotics of dislike to the psychology of the menu. Under the guise of completing a cookbook, Winot is in fact on a much more sinister mission that only gradually comes to light.
For two years before and after the 1948 Communist Revolution, David Kidd lived in Peking, where he married the daughter of an aristocratic Chinese family. "I used to hope," he writes, "that some bright young scholar on a research grant would write about us and our Chinese friends before it was too late and we were all dead and gone, folding into the darkness the wonder that had been our lives." Here Kidd himself brings that wonder to life.
The author of "The Debt to Pleasure" digs into his family's
extraordinary past in a memoir as enthralling as his finest fiction
"Family Romance" is a beautifully written memoir in which John Lanchester joins the dots of his parents' history, their extraordinary secrets and the shape of their shared life. From his grandparents' beginnings in rural Ireland and colonial Rhodesia, Lanchester navigates through his parents lives: his father Bill's devastating war-time separation from his parents; his mother Julia's tragic first love, her decision to become a nun and her adoption of a new identity. Lanchester illuminates their characters and Julia's motives with moving insight. "Family Romance" is a book about reticence and its costs. It is a story about love and fearing the strength of your own feelings; about family ties, and the flight from family, and the deep human need to keep secrets.
Mr Phillips is a married accountant. He prepares for work, but this is the day on which he will chat with a pornographer, stalk a TV mini-celebrity, have lunch with a record mogul, and get caught up in a bank robbery. Why is Mr Phillips not at work?
'My parents didn't go in for directly telling me things...Some dots were scattered around, and I was given an opportunity, if I felt so inclined, to join them up'. "Family Romance" is a beautifully written memoir in which John Lanchester joins the dots of his parents' history, their extraordinary secrets and the shape of their shared life. From his grandparents' beginnings in rural Ireland and colonial Rhodesia, Lanchester navigates through his parent's lives: his father Bill's devastating war-time separation from his parents; his mother Julia's tragic first love, her decision to become a nun and her adoption of a new identity. Lanchester illuminates their characters and Julia's motives with moving insight. 'I grew up with a sense that there was another, fuller, darker narrative looming behind the various shorter stories Julia told so well and so funnily'. "Family Romance" is a book about reticence and its costs. It is a story about love and fearing the strength of your own feelings; about family ties, and the flight from family, and the deep human need to keep secrets.
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