With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.
It's after midnight, and SFPD homicide inspector Gavin Cain is standing by a grave in the El Carmelo Cemetery when he gets the call. Cain knows there's something bad in the coffin they're about to exhume. He just doesn't know what. Only that it made a dying man certain he was going to hell. But now a chopper is on its way to take Cain to city hall on the mayor's orders, and after 30 years in the ground, the mystery of Christopher Hanley's coffin will have to wait a little longer. In its place, Mayor Castelli lays out the pieces of a different but equally disturbing puzzle.
Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texas town, patient and thoughtful. Some people think he's a little slow and boring, but that's the worst they say about him. But then nobody knows about what Lou calls his "sickness". It nearly got him put away when he was younger, but his adopted brother took the rap for that. Now the sickness that has been lying dormant for a while is about to surface again - and the consequences are brutal and devastating.
Bobby Dollar has a problem or four of epic proportions. Problem one: his best friend Sam has given him an angel's feather that also happens to be evidence of an unholy pact between Bobby's employers and those who dwell in the infernal depths. Problem two: Eligor, Grand Duke of Hell, wants to get his claws on the feather at all costs, but particularly at all cost to Bobby. Problem three: Bobby has fallen in love with Casimira, Countess of Cold Hands, who just happens to be Eligor's girlfriend.
"Poor Poor Performance"
'My name is Niquette Delongpre and on the night before my mother's forty-seventh birthday, my entire family vanished without a trace. Everyone assumed the swamp swallowed them. They were wrong . . .' Deep in the swamps outside of New Orleans, Niquette Delongpre and her family uncover a well on their property - a well that has roots all the way down into the soils of the Mississippi River. A well that brings ancient things to the surface - things that should have stayed buried.
James Frey wakes up on a plane, with no memory of the preceding two weeks. His face is cut and his body is covered with bruises. He has no wallet and no idea of his destination. He has abused alcohol and every drug he can lay his hands on for a decade - and he is aged only 23. What happens next is one of the most powerful and extreme stories ever told. His family takes him to a rehabilitation centre. And James Frey starts his perilous journey back to the world of the drug and alcohol-free living. His lack of self-pity is unflinching and searing.
The conclusion of Tad Williams' brilliant Bobby Dollar series. Bobby Dollar thinks he's seen it all - after all, he's been to Hell and back again. Literally. But he has another think coming. Sleeping Late on Judgement Day will find Bobby back in his adopted hometown of San Judas, California, trying to stay out of trouble... and failing. His love life is still a mess, there are one too many people who have it out for him, and drowning his sorrows in a nice glass of whisky won't keep the demons at bay forever.
A family watches, horrified, as their patriarch transforms into the wise-cracking lead of an old-timey minstrel show. An art collector gleefully destroys his most valuable pieces. A young artist devotes himself to a wealthy, malicious gossip, knowing that it's just a matter of time before she turns on him. In this new collection of short stories, Paul Theroux explores the tenuous leadership of the elite and the surprising revenge of the overlooked.
A chilling and dark fantasy from bestselling author Raymond E. Feist. Successful screenwriter Phil Hastings decides to move his family from sunny California to a ramshackle farmhouse in New York State. The idea is to take some time out, relax and pick up the threads of his career as a novelist. Good plan, bad choice. The place they choose is surrounded by ancient woodland. The house they choose is the centrepoint of a centuries-old evil intent on making its presence felt to intruders.
"fear-y-tale bought to life"
Dr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a groundbreaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past. Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star.
Adam Gray is the ultimate spy... As the lead agent of the US government's top-secret Persona project, he is its most valuable weapon in the War on Terror. Experimental technology enables him to take on the personality - and memories - of anyone; be it a Russian arms dealer, a high-stakes gambler or a nuclear scientist. Whatever secrets they know, he knows. But the most dangerous secrets of all... are his own.
A timely and engaging look at the new China told through the stories of its ordinary people. Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas and opportunity. Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighbourhood, forging relationships with ordinary people who see a brighter future in the city's sleek skyline.
Dr Manne isn't himself when he's called out by the police to evaluate a man suspected of psychosis. But the man is perfectly calm, and insists he's not who the police says he is. Manne isn't sure what to believe, but something definitely isn't right. Before he knows it, he's helping his patient escape from an unfamiliar psychiatric hospital. Then a careless slip on the subway leads to a horrific accident.