Napoleon, escaped from Elba, pursues his enemies across Europe like a vengeful phoenix. If he can corner the British and Prussians before their Russian and Austrian allies arrive, his genius will lead the French armies to triumph at Waterloo. In the Balkans, preparing a thrust northwards into Central Europe to block the Russians and Austrians, a horde of Muslim mercenaries is gathering.
As a young, ambitious soldier, Winston Churchill managed to get himself posted to the 21st Lancers in 1899 as a war correspondent for the Morning Post - and joined them in fighting the rebel Boer settlers in South Africa. In this conflict, rebel forces in the Transvaal and Orange Free State had proclaimed their own statehood, calling it the Boer Republic.
"Lots of fun for war enthusiats."
It was planned as an act of charity: a new piano for the parish hall, an amusing play to finance the gift. But its execution was doomed when Miss Campanula sat down to play. A chord was struck, a shot rang out and Miss Campanula was dead. A case of sinister infatuation for the brilliant Chief Detective-Inspector Alleyn.
"A thoroughly entertaining read."
Having survived a long and desperate adventure in the Great South Sea, Captain Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin return to England to very different circumstances. For Jack it is a happy homecoming, at least initially, but for Stephen it is disastrous: his little daughter appears to be autistic, incapable of speech or contact, while his wife, Diana, unable to bear this situation, has disappeared, her house being looked after by the widowed Clarissa Oakes.
"Still going strong"
H.M.S. Surprise, the third in O'Brian's acclaimed Aubrey-Maturin series, follows the variable fortunes of Captain Jack Aubrey's career in Nelson's navy, as he attempts to hold his ground against admirals, colleagues, and the enemy, and accepts a commission to convey a British ambassador to the East Indies. The voyage leads him and his friend Stephen Maturin to the strange sights and smells of the Indian subcontinent, and through the archipelago of Spice Islands where the French have superiority.
"A well spoken story."
Trapped in a London flat, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor.Rose Tremain awakens the senses in this diverse collection of short stories.
"Mixed Bag (but the good stories are really good)"
This original audiobook considers one of the most extraordinary scientific and political stories of our time: how in the 1980s a handful of scientists came to believe that mankind faced catastrophe from runaway global warming, and how today this has persuaded politicians to land us with what promises to be the biggest bill in history. Christopher Booker interweaves the science of global warming with that of its growing political consequences, showing how just when the politicians are threatening to change our Western way of life beyond recognition, the scientific evidence behind the global warming theory is being challenged like never before.
"Finally, an explanation."
Life ashore may once again be the undoing of Jack Aubrey in The Yellow Admiral, Patrick O'Brian's best-selling novel and eighteenth volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series. Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the admiralty by his erratic voting as a member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates.
The most terrible emergency in Britain's history, the Second World War, required an unprecedented national effort. An exhausted country had to fight an unexpectedly long war and found itself much diminished amongst the victors. The outcome of the war was nonetheless a triumph, not least for a political system that proved well adapted to the demands of a total conflict and for a population who had to make many sacrifices but who were spared most of the horrors experienced in the rest of Europe.
"Great Performance, Biased with out a warning!"
When his father dies, Carl Martin, a philosophy graduate and struggling novelist, inherits a house in a trendy London neighborhood. Carl needs cash, however, so he rents the upstairs room and kitchen to the first person he interviews, Dermot McKinnon. That was colossal mistake number one. Mistake number two was keeping his father's bizarre collection of homeopathic "cures" that he found in the medicine cabinet, including a stash of controversial diet pills.
In the waning months of the second World War, a group of children discover an earthen tunnel in their neighborhood outside London. Throughout the summer of 1944 - until one father forbids it - the subterranean space becomes their "secret garden," where the friends play games and tell stories. Six decades later, beneath a house on the same land, construction workers uncover a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female.
"Kept unfolding more twists and turns"
The Age of Genius explores the eventful intertwining of outward event and inner intellectual life to tell, in all its richness and depth, the story of the 17th century in Europe. It was a time of creativity unparalleled in history before or since, from science to the arts, from philosophy to politics. Acclaimed philosopher and historian A. C. Grayling points to three primary factors that led to the rise of vernacular (popular) languages in philosophy, theology, science, and literature.
"Today is a function of the 17th century"
Captain Jack Aubrey, RN, arrives in the Dutch East Indies to find himself appointed to the command of the fastest and best-armed frigate in the Navy. He and his friend Stephen Maturin take passage for England in a despatch vessel. But the War of 1812 breaks out while they are en route. Bloody actions precipitate them both into new and unexpected scenes where Stephen's past activities as a secret agent return on him with a vengeance.
"Cloak-and-Dagger During the War of 1812--"
Jim, the first mate aboard a small steamer named the Patna, travels from port to port in the Pacific Ocean. When the ship hits floating wreckage, Jim and the crew are forced to abandon it, leaving hundreds of ethnic travelers onboard. However, Jim's reprehensible actions are soon discovered by the court, and he is compelled to face his guilt and redeem himself - a journey that leads him to a remote exotic location where he is revered as the Lord, "Tuan Jim".
"Extravagant wording from another age."
It is the 1650s and Spain considers the Caribbean to be its own private sea, but England, Holland, and France conspire to battle for freedom on the oceans. Set in days littered with the plunder of piracy; Ned Yorke, a loyal Royalist living in Barbados has a small vessel and devoted crew and together they sail, hunted by Roundheads and Spaniards, determined to pay whatever the price for freedom from tyranny. What transpires is a colourful, dramatic retelling of historical events surrounding the capture of Jamaica and the infamous raid on Santiago.
"It is like the wild west but seagoing justise"
Master and Commander is the first of Patrick O’Brian’s now famous Aubrey-Maturin novels, regarded by many as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. It establishes the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey RN and Stephen Maturin, who becomes his secretive ship’s surgeon and an intelligence agent. It displays the qualities which have put O’Brian far ahead of any of his competitors.
"Looking at the Sea with Loving Relish"
This tale begins with Jack Aubrey arriving home from his exploits in the Mediterranean to find England at peace following the Treaty of Amiens. He and his friend Stephen Maturin, surgeon and secret agent, begin to live the lives of country gentlemen, hunting, entertaining, and enjoying amorous adventures. Their comfortable existence, however, is cut short when Jack is overnight reduced to a pauper with enough debts to keep him in prison for life. He flees to the continent to seek refuge.
"A brilliant series performed beatifully"
It is still the War of 1812 and Jack Aubrey - with his tetchy, sardonic friend Stephen Maturin - has set course across the South Atlantic to intercept a powerful American frigate outward bound to play havoc with the British whaling trade. If they do not come up with her before she rounds the Horn, they must follow her into the Great South Sea and as far across the Pacific as she may lead them.
Commissioned to rescue Governor Bligh of Bounty fame, Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend and surgeon Stephen Maturin sail the Leopard to Australia with a hold full of convicts. Among them is a beautiful and dangerous spy - and a dangerous disease which decimates the crew.
Maurice Questing was left to die in a pool of boiling mud. Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn knew that any number of people could have killed him: the English exiles he'd hated, the New Zealanders he'd despised or the Maoris he'd insulted. Even the spies he'd thwarted - if he wasn't a spy himself.
"Love, love, love this story"