Andrew Cowan - Worthless Men - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £8.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444759426
    • Publication date:01 Aug 2013
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444759433
    • Publication date:14 Feb 2013

Worthless Men

By Andrew Cowan

  • Hardback
  • £17.99

A novel about the First World War that is as mesmerising as it is unusual, a triumphant new work by one of the most acclaimed writers of the 90s.

It's market day in an English city two years into the Great War. The farmers are coming in from the country, the cattle are being driven through the streets and that evening a trainload of wounded soldiers is due to arrive.
At the local mansion, its new hospital tents to the ready, waits Montague Beckwith, himself a psychological casualty of the war. In the town's poorest quarter, Winnie Barley prays that Walter, her missing son, will be on the train (but that her violent husband is not). In the pharmacy, Gertie Dobson dreams of romance while her father keeps unsuitable men at bay. And everywhere is Walter, a ghostly presence who watches as the girl he loved from a distance is drawn into Montague's orbit.

Weaving together multiple viewpoints, Andrew Cowan creates a panoramic, extraordinarily vivid portrait of a place as individual as it is archetypal. Here is a community where the war permeates high and low; where the factory now produces barbed wire, the women are doing the men's jobs, and the young men are no longer so eager to answer the King's call. And here is the tragic story of a casual betrayal, and a boy who proved that those at the bottom of the heap - the worthless ones - could be the most valiant of them all.

Biographical Notes

Andrew Cowan was born in Corby and educated at the University of East Anglia. PIG, his first novel (published in 1996), was longlisted for the Booker, shortlisted for five other literary awards and won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, a Betty Trask Award, the Ruth Hadden Memorial Prize, the Authors' Club First Novel Award and a Scottish Council Book Award. He is also the author of the writing guidebook THE ART OF WRITING FICTION and four other novels: COMMON GROUND, CRUSTACEANS, WHAT I KNOW and WORTHLESS MEN, which will be published by Sceptre in 2013. He is the Director of the Creative Writing programme at UEA.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444759402
  • Publication date: 14 Feb 2013
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: Sceptre
A brilliant novel, original, powerfully written, and very moving — John Boyne
Distinguished by its remarkable close focus on life in Britain and the families back home. From multiple viewpoints, Cowan - a highly talented but still under-recognised novelist - follows working-class teenager Walter, troubled officer Montague, and the girl who attracts them both, beautiful Gertie, the daughter of their local chemist-cum-vet-cum-abortionist. Both Montague and Gertie's father have a keen amateur interest in "eugenical science", which held out a crazed initial hope that the war would be good for the fitness of the species . . . memorable for its time-travelling density of period evocation — Phil Baker, The Sunday Times
Provincial realism it may be; to suggest it's nothing special is too modest by half. — Guardian
A wonderful and moving book, wholly original in its treatment of the war's bleak surrealism. I was completely transported. It's sensuous and funny and somehow manages never to be moralising. — Tessa Hadley
Cowan's serious-minded project suggests, intriguingly, an un-spoken truth - that the lack of all those young soldiers on the home front meant a calmer, saner society . . . Yet this is no romanticised history - Cowan never lets us forget the earthy truths of life — Jonathan Barnes, Literary Review
Andrew Cowan's fifth novel takes a loud subject - the First World War; its casualties and the disastrous effect it has on an English town - and quietens it with detail . . . it is heartening to see a writer with several books behind him take a risk. — Lesley McDowell, Glasgow Herald
Packed with beautiful period details . . . His style is creative but the creativity serves the story and there's never the feeling, as can be the case, of the style getting in the way of the lives of these people. The result is a haunting, and often moving, record of life in a market town during the Great War. — Bookbag
His voices ring so true they break your heart. This novel has the feel of an elegiac poem and is an absolute delight to read. — We Love This Book
Coronet

On The Up

Alice O'Keeffe
Authors:
Alice O'Keeffe

Hodder & Stoughton

The Vanished Bride

Bella Ellis
Authors:
Bella Ellis

The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered.The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

Mulholland Books

The Art of Dying

Douglas Lindsay
Authors:
Douglas Lindsay

DI WESTPHALL.No ordinary detective.No ordinary investigations.A twisting new crime series set in the Scottish Highlands. For fans of James Oswald and John Connolly.'Douglas Lindsay is an underrated writer with an eccentric, blisteringly satirical voice . . . enjoyably bizarre. I loved it' Sunday Express When businessman Thomas Peterson is killed outside a football ground in the Highlands, there are several witnesses. Yet the hunt for the killer is proving as futile as the search for a motive.Possible connections to Russian money and an eerie retirement home are soon thrown into the mix. To further complicate things, DI Westphall's MI6 past is coming back to haunt him. Guilt stalks his dreams, but could there be a message in these nightmares?Westphall is in danger of losing his head just when he needs it the most. He must find answers, and fast, before the murderer strikes again.Praise for the DI Westphall series'Richly atmospheric . . . Lindsay solidifies his place as one of the rising stars of tartan noir' Publishers Weekly'The Boy in the Well is a dark and satisfying mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the company of DI Ben Westphall, a compelling personality . . . This one comes thoroughly recommended' James OswaldA darkly atmospheric thriller with a labyrinthine plot with more twists than a Grand Prix track. (Michael Wood, author of the DCI Matilda Darke series)A really addictive plot, and so atmospheric. Clever and unexpected (S D Sykes, author of the Oswald de Lacy series)'A Tartan Noir tour de force. Lindsay writes with an economy and skill all too rare in modern fiction . . . Brilliant' Tony Black, author of the DI Bob Valentine series

Hodder & Stoughton

Beyond the Wild River

Sarah Maine
Authors:
Sarah Maine

From the author of The House Between Tides, winner of the Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year, comes an atmospheric and stunningly evocative historical novel. Perfect for fans of Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent.'Beautifully told and quietly absorbing' - Kate RiordanScotland,1893. Nineteen-year-old Evelyn Ballantyre, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, has rarely strayed from her family's estate in the Scottish Borders. She was once close to her philanthropist father, but his silence over what really happened on the day a poacher was shot on estate land has come between them. An invitation to accompany her father to Canada is a chance for Evelyn to escape her limited existence. But once there, on the wild and turbulent Nipigon river, she is shocked to discover that their guide is James Douglas, Ballantyre's former stable hand, and once her friend. He disappeared the night of the murder, charged with the shooting. Evelyn never believed that James was guilty - and her father's role in the killing has always been mysterious. What does he have to hide? In the wild landscape of a new world, far from the constraints of polite society, the secrets and lies surrounding that night are finally stripped away, with dramatic consequences.***'Maine writes beautifully about the wilderness' The Times'Riveting' Publishers Weekly'Stunning' Booklist'Maine's gift of setting the mood shines' RT Reviews(P) 2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Mulholland Books

Boy in the Well

Douglas Lindsay
Authors:
Douglas Lindsay

DI WESTPHALL.No ordinary detective.No ordinary investigations.A twisting new crime series set in the Scottish Highlands. For fans of James Oswald and John Connolly.'A dark and satisfying mystery . . . This one comes thoroughly recommended' James OswaldThe body of a young boy is discovered at the bottom of a well that has been sealed for two hundred years. Yet the corpse is only days old . . .No one comes forward to identify #Boy9, and DI Ben Westphall's only suspects are the farmers on whose land the well sits. They certainly seem as though they have something to hide. But it might not be what he thinks.Soon, similarities from an old crime emerge and Westphall must look to the past to piece together the dark and twisted events taking place in the present.

Two Roads

M for Mammy

Eleanor O’Reilly
Authors:
Eleanor O’Reilly
Sceptre

Love Without End

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
Hodder & Stoughton

The Only Woman in the Room

Marie Benedict
Authors:
Marie Benedict

The New York Times and USA Today BestsellerHedy Lamarr possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her.A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionised modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

Hodder Paperbacks

Seeing Red

Sandra Brown
Authors:
Sandra Brown
Sceptre

Things to Make and Break

May-Lan Tan
Authors:
May-Lan Tan

SHORTLISTED FOR THE GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARDA motorcycle courier finds a cache of nude photos in her boyfriend's desk. The daughter of East German emigrants encounters her doppelgänger, who has crossed another cultural divide. Twin brothers fall for the same girl. When a stripper receives an enigmatic proposal from a client, she accepts, ignorant of its terms.Shadows, doubles, and the ghosts of past and future lovers haunt these elegantly structured and often hallucinatory stories. The language is hypnotic, deadpan, intense; the sentences jewel-hard and sublime. Things to Make and Break is the work of a stylish, exuberant new voice in modern fiction.'Quite dazzling' TLS

Two Roads

The Cactus

Sarah Haywood
Authors:
Sarah Haywood

A RICHARD AND JUDY AUTUMN BOOK CLUB PICKLONGLISTED FOR THE BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD'One of the funniest, quirkiest books either of us has read for a long time ... stand by for a slam-bam finish' Richard & Judy Book Club'The Cactus will be compared to Gail Honeyman's 2017 hit, the appealingly eccentric Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' Sunday Times It's never too late to bloom ... People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself.Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward - a safe distance away in Birmingham. She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. And things can only get worse ... at least in Susan's eyes. This sparkling debut is a breath of fresh air with real heart and a powerful emotional punch. In Susan we find a character as exasperating and delightful as The Rosie Project's Don Tillman. An uncompromising feminist and a fierce fighter, it's a joy to watch her bloom.'Quirky, poignant and extremely readable' Sunday Mirror'Brilliantly comic' The Lady'Wonderfully funny and astute' Red'Funny, compelling, well-written...for fans of Marian Keyes who demand a bit of grit in their comic writing' Emerald Street

Hodder Paperbacks

End of Watch

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder Paperbacks

Small Great Things

Jodi Picoult
Authors:
Jodi Picoult

A RICHARD AND JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 PICK A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERA NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThe best books make you see differently. This is one of them. The eye-opening new novel from Jodi Picoult, with the biggest of themes: birth, death, and responsibility.When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father. What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.It is about opening your eyes. SOON TO BE A MAJOR FILM STARRING VIOLA DAVIS AND JULIA ROBERTS

Coronet

Night of Sorrows

Graham Hancock
Authors:
Graham Hancock

Cortés and his small army of Conquistadors enter Tenochtitlan, the island city of the Aztecs, as guests of the psychotic emperor Moctezuma who plans to trap them there and kill them all. In a stunning coup, Cortés acts first, taking the emperor hostage and ruling the Aztecs through him. All of Mexico seems about to fall into his hands until a report comes from the coast of the arrival of a new force of Spaniards with more than three times his numbers, sent not to strengthen him but to attack him and wrest the conquest from him. Faced with the choice of abject surrender or war with fellow Spaniards Cortés chooses war and marches out to do battle but, in so doing he fatally weakens his garrison in Tenochtitlan and throws open the doors of Hell.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

Stephen King
Authors:
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton

The Hope Family Calendar

Mike Gayle
Authors:
Mike Gayle
Sceptre

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises

Fredrik Backman
Authors:
Fredrik Backman
Coronet

Return of the Plumed Serpent

Graham Hancock
Authors:
Graham Hancock

Graham Hancock, an expert in ancient civilisations and author of the 9 million selling Fingerprints of the Gods, and expert too, on the use of hallucinogens to achieve higher states of consciousness, brings these two interests together in the second volume of the War God trilogy. The conquistador Hernán Cortés is dreaming of Tenochtitlan, the golden city of Aztecs. But in order to win the Aztecs' gold, Cortés and his small force of just five hundred men will have to defeat the psychotic emperor Moctezuma and the armies of hundreds of thousands he commands. Cortés expects that the Tlascalans, hereditary enemies of the Aztecs, will join him, but instead finds himself locked in a deadly struggle. As Cortés risks all against the Tlascalans, he plays mind games with Moctezuma, aiming to defeat the Aztec emperor psychologically before ever having to face him in battle. In this he is aided by his lover Malinal, a beautiful Mayan princess. It is from Malinal that Cortés learns of the myth of Quetzalcoatl, 'The Plumed Serpent'. She shows him how to exploit the prophecy of the fabled god king's return to weaken Moctezuma's resolve and keep alive the suspicion that the conquistador might actually be Quetzalcoatl himself.

Coronet

The Vorrh

Brian Catling
Authors:
Brian Catling

'In The Vorrh we have one of the most original and stunning works of fantasy that has ever been my privilege to read.' Alan MooreIn the tradition of China Miéville, Michael Moorcock and Alasdair Gray, B. Catling's The Vorrh is literary dark fantasy which wilfully ignores boundaries, crossing over into surrealism, magic-realism, horror and steampunk.In B. Catling's twisting, poetic narrative, Bakelite robots lie broken - their hard shells cracked by human desire - and an inquisitive Cyclops waits for his keeper and guardian, growing in all directions. Beyond the colonial city of Essenwald lies the Vorrh, the forest which sucks souls and wipes minds. There, a writer heads out on a giddy mission to experience otherness, fallen angels observe humanity from afar, and two hunters - one carrying a bow carved from his lover, the other a charmed Lee-Enfield rifle - fight to the end. Thousands of miles away, famed photographer Eadweard Muybridge attempts to capture the ultimate truth, as rifle heiress Sarah Winchester erects a house to protect her from the spirits of her gun's victims.

Hodder & Stoughton

Us

David Nicholls
Authors:
David Nicholls

David Nicholls brings to bear all the wit and intelligence that graced ONE DAY in this brilliant, bittersweet novel about love and family, husbands and wives, parents and children. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2014.'I was looking forward to us growing old together. Me and you, growing old and dying together.''Douglas, who in their right mind would look forward to that?'Douglas Petersen understands his wife's need to 'rediscover herself' now that their son is leaving home. He just thought they'd be doing their rediscovering together.So when Connie announces that she will be leaving, too, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: one that will draw the three of them closer, and win the respect of his son. One that will make Connie fall in love with him all over again.The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.What could possibly go wrong?