The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more—to find the answer to the question: "And then what happened?" The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal.
"Tales of the Macabre"
This novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. A number-one best seller in the UK, The Gospel of Loki tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos; his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin; through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard.
‘Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you’ll find another story.’ Conjured from a wickedly imaginative pen, here is a new collection of short stories that showcases Joanne Harris’s exceptional storytelling art. Sensuous, wicked, mischievous, uproarious and wry, here are tales that combine the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality.
"Friendship, shelter and a useful tool - - -"
When the widowed Framboise moves back to the village of Les Laveuses, where she grew up, she is pleased to discover that no-one recognises her. She soon forges a new life for herself there, and before long has established a profitable creperie.
Seven o'clock on a Monday morning, 500 years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again...Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith's world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, fairies, goblins, magic, glamours: all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The "ruinmark" she was born with on her palm proves it.
Since she was a little girl, the wind has dictated every move Vianne Rocher has made, buffeting her from place to place, from the small French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes to the crowded streets of Paris. Cloaked in a new identity, that of widow Yanne Charbonneau, she opens a chocolaterie on a small Montmartre street, determined to still the wind at last and keep her daughters, Anouk and the baby, Rosette, safe.
"Enjoyed this very much"
For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than 30 years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing, and Straitley is finally contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets.
Best-selling author Joanne Harris joins Elise Italiaander in the Audible Studios for an exclusive interview.
When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the beautiful French village in which eight years ago she opened a chocolate shop and first learned the meaning of home. But returning to one's past can be a dangerous pursuit. Vianne, with her daughters, Anouk and Rosette, finds Lansquenet changed in unexpected ways: women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea - and there, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church, a minaret. Most surprising of all, her old nemesis, Father Francis Reynaud, desperately needs her help.
"Charming and thoughtful."
Der Weltbestseller endlich als Hörbuch, mit der deutschen Synchronstimme von Juliette Binoche! Ist Vianne Rocher eine Magierin? Sie verzaubert die Menschen mit ihren selbstgemachten Pralinés und Schokoladenkreationen. In dem französischen Städtchen, in dem sie sich niederlässt, gewinnt sie rasch Zugang zu allen Herzen. Mit einer Ausnahme...
When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as the ultimate sin.
At St Oswald’s, a long-established boys’ grammar school in the north of England, a new year has just begun. For the staff and boys of the school, a wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and Information Technology rule the world; and Roy Straitley, the eccentric veteran Latin master, is finally – reluctantly – contemplating retirement. But beneath the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the school, a darker undercurrent stirs.
"a good mystery"
Disillusioned by adulthood, and longing for the past, Jay Mackintosh's memories are revived by the mysterious delivery of a home-brewed bottle of wine, from long-vanished friends.
"Read the book instead"
Henry Chester, a domineering and puritanical Victorian artist, is in search of the perfect model. In nine-year-old Effie he finds her. Ten years later, lovely, childlike and sedated, Effie seems the ideal wife. But something inside her is about to awaken. Drawn by her lover, Mose, into a dangerous underworld of intrigue and blackmail, she meets Fanny Miller, the brothel-keeper, and her shadowy daughter, Marta - murdered ten years ago on the day of Henry's weekly visit...
It's been 500 years since the end of the world, and society has built itself anew. The old Norse gods are no longer revered. Their tales have been banned. Magic is outlawed, and a new religion - the Order - has taken its place. In a remote valley in the north, 14-year-old Maddy Smith is shunned for the ruinmark on her hand - a sign associated with the Bad Old Days. But what the villagers don't know is that Maddy has skills.
After 30 years at St Oswald's Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go. Each class has its clowns, its rebels, its underdogs, its 'Brodie' boys who, whilst of course he doesn't have favourites, hold a special place in an old teacher's heart. But every so often there's a boy who doesn't fit the mould. A troublemaker. A boy with hidden shadows inside.
Seeking refuge and anonymity in the cobbled streets of Montmartre, Yanne and her daughters, Rosette and Annie, live peacefully, if not happily, above their little chocolate shop. Nothing unusual marks them out; no red sachets hang by the door. The wind has stopped, at least for a while. Then into their lives blows Zozie de l'Alba, the lady with the lollipop shoes, and everything begins to change.
In the year 1605, a young, pregnant widow seeks sanctuary at the Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-mer. After the birth of her daughter, she takes up the veil, and a new name, Soeur Auguste. But the peace she has found is shattered five years later by the events that follow the death of her kind benefactress, the Reverend Mother.
"Dark but compelling"
With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge. But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds.
It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead. When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she has no choice but to follow the wind that blows her back to Lansquenet, the village in south-west France where, eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop.
"Vianne Never Stays Long Enough"