In his two earlier novels, Alistair Mair dealt with both human psychological problems and slightly more humorous financial difficulties. In this, his third novel, he deals with the problem of a young woman doctor and a rather older man, brought together by tragedy and separated by the almost insoluble difficulties of modern life; social inequality, difference in religion, opposing outlooks on all conventional life.
Hugh Collins, a restless socio-anthropologist whose researches had taken him to many strange places, decided that the time to settle down in the northwest of Scotland, in the country he had known and loved as a boy. One night, on board ship off the African coast, a man died a very peculiar death. This death was unexplained then, and might have remained so, had his young cousin Bill never met the Minister’s daughter.
The Next Great War begins, and soon all Europe is involved. The war lasts a year - and then the women, robbed of husbands and sweethearts and sons, grow doubtful of the benefits of military policy, and begin to think that victory will come too late to do them any good. But what can they do? A remedy was discovered by Aristophanes about 2,350 years ago. It is re-discovered and reapplied. And it is again successful.
Mr. Darby is a thoroughly agreeable gentleman of modest circumstances and romantic leanings who suddenly inherits a fortune of millions. Here at last he has a chance to indulge his tastes and fancies: He can smoke the most expensive cigars, drink champagne, and become a patron of the arts. But, best of all, he is able, after all these years, to fulfill his dream of travel in the remote and fascinating parts of the world, beneath the tropic suns, through the jungle and beside the azure seas. Life has suddenly become very important and beautiful and exciting to Mr. Darby.
"When the giants fell, old bones revived" - there is the rubric for Eric Linklater's new story. There may be no historical foundation for his tale of a fantastic war, in the First century A.D., between the giant Furbister and the abominable Od McGammon, his neighbour in the south-west of Scotland; but their quarrel - which provides a background to the engaging love-story of the willful poet Albyn and the delightful Princess Liss - has a real enough interest and no small significance in our equally strange world of today.
A hard-hitting series of anti-corruption articles and a new girlfriend mean that, for the first time since his wife and child were murdered, investigative reporter Stephen Larkin is happy in Newcastle. It’s a shame, then, that his work is about to take him south. A friend of his, police inspector Henry Moir, has lost his youngest daughter, an HIV-positive heroin addict named Karen. Her last known location was London, which Larkin once called home, so Moir asks the reporter to act as tour guide to the capital’s hellish underworld.
With Redeeming Features, set mainly in New York, London, Arizona, and various parts of Europe, British designer Nicholas Haslam has written a completely engaging memoir about pretty much everyone you have ever heard of anywhere in the 20th and 21st centuries. Like a "WASP Zelig", from the 1950s until 2008, the frenetically social and ebullient Haslam has managed, according to Vanity Fair, to "pop up from decade to decade alongside some of the most fascinating people in our cultural history."
"What a terrible book"
It is 1837, and for the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain and his rag-tag pirate crew, life on the high seas has gotten a little dull. With nothing to do but twiddle their hooks and lounge aimlessly on tropical beaches, the Captain decides it's time they had an adventure. A surprisingly successful boat raid leads them to the young Charles Darwin, in desperate need of their help. And so the pirates set forth for London in a bid to save the scientist from the evil machinations of a diabolical Bishop.
A Lion Called Christian relates how Anthony ‘Ace’ Bourke and John Rendall visited London from Australia in 1969 and bought a boisterous lion cub in Harrods. For a while, the three of them lived together as flatmates on the King’s Road, Chelsea, where Christian became a local celebrity. But he was growing up, fast, and even the church garden in which he exercised was becoming too small for him.
Set in contemporary Dublin and the surrounding countryside, Ghosts and Lightning is a picaresque account of Denny Cullen's life after he is called back home to attend his mother's funeral. Denny - a sweet-natured but disillusioned young man who feels powerless in the face of death, dope, and the dole queue---is the steadiest in a cast of unstable characters.