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      John Murray's heritage is a fascinating story in itself. For nearly a quarter of a millennium, John Murray has been unashamedly populist, publishing the absorbing, provocative, commercial and exciting. Seven generations of John Murrays fostered genius and found readers in vast numbers, until in 2002 the firm became a division of Hachette, under the umbrella of Hodder & Stoughton.
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      L P Hartley reissues

      John Murray have just published these beautiful new reissues of L.P Hartley's THE BOAT and A PERFECT WOMAN.
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      Patrick Leigh Fermor

      Artemis Cooper's biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor has garnered oustanding reviews, and it has also been shortlisted for a number of awards. These include the Waterstones Book of the Year, the National Book Awards, and the Costa Biography Award.
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    Spring 2015

    John Murray Press Catalogue

    Download the John Murray Press Spring 2015 catalogue to find out about the exciting books publishing this year.

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    John Murray

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    John Murray

    The Loney

    By Andrew Michael Hurley

    'Modern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be both' Sunday Telegraph

    If it had another name, I never knew, but the locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere between the Wyre and the Lune where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest.

    It was impossible to truly know the place. It changed with each influx and retreat, and the neap tides would reveal the skeletons of those who thought they could escape its insidious currents. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is.

    I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn't stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to. No matter how hard I tried to forget . . .

    The Loney is not just good, it's great. It's an amazing piece of fictionModern classics in this genre are rare, and instant ones even rarer; The Loney, however, looks as though it may be bothA thrilling first novelThe Loney is a stunning novel - about faith, the uncanny, strange rituals, and the oddity of human experience. Beautifully written, it's immensely entertaining, but also deep and wide. A moving evocation of desolate wilderness and a marvel of complex characterization, The Loney is one of my favorite reads of the past couple of yearsA modern classic: superbly eerie, beautifully human and immensely readableI can't remember a more confident debut: a mingling of horror, domestic strife and metaphysical ambiguities set against an arrestingly vivid landscape. BrilliantThe Loney transcends its generic roots by virtue of its depth and subtlety, imbuing horror with an intimacy, flavour and scent, meanwhile suggesting that horror's true face is meaningless, indifferent - and brilliantly blankThe Loney is one of the best novels I've read in years. From the very first page, I knew I was in the hands of a master. Atmospheric, psychologically astute, and saturated with the kind of electrifying wrongness that makes for pleasurably sleepless nightsConfident and beautifully written debut . . . moves from the strange to the downright scary. Comparisons to The Wicker Man will no doubt be made, but there are also elements of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, and the bleakness and youthful innocence of Iain Banks'The Wasp Factory. As soon as I'd finished the book I started over and re-read it. It was that goodA masterful excursion into terror. Hurley (whose remarkable talent has previously been confined to short stories) fills the larger space this debut novel gives him with a slow, inexorable build-up of menace . . . Both the obliquely suggestive and the rawly physical are put to fearful effect as jeopardy tightens around the characters. Familiar properties of the horror genre aren't spurned . . . but Hurley excitingly revivifies such material with the energy of his writing. Dankly atmospheric his eerie narrative is packed with the palpable and pungentHurley is skilled at characterisation and voice . . . An assured debut that deftly mixes elements of gothic horror and social commentary, it can be read as a chilling comedy of manners . . . There are echoes in his writing of the strange tales of Daphne du Maurier, the British horror writer Robert Aikman and even further afield, of Henry James's The Turn of the Screw . . . Where the novel really shines is in Hurley's ability to create character, setting and atmosphere. The backdrop of The Loney is a knockout - Wuthering Heights-esque. It is gothic, yet entirely believableAndrew Michael Hurley's evocation of the dampness and grey misery of his setting, The Loney, is so immersive it's almost surprising the pages aren't sodden and dripping . . . The clash between the modern and the ancient, between the urban and the rural, are horror staples from Dennis Wheatley to The Wicker Man, but Hurley's sharply drawn characters and descriptive powers dispel any sense of over-familiarity. The Loney weaves its spell slowly but once it's taken hold, it drags the reader into the darkness where faith dare not show its face for fear of being snuffed out like a sputtering candleLike the Wicker Man in prose, Andrew Michael Hurley's debut is a slow-burning tale of uniquely British terror . . . Stands out among a rising wave of literary horror. In the tradition of ghost story writer M. R. James, its fear factor depends not on monsters seen full-face but on hints, allusions and the indeterminate shapes formed in the reader's own hyper-sensitised mind . . . Hurley draws on a rich tradition and gives it his own distinctive touch. Nuanced, deliberate and building insensibly from a murmur to a shriek. The Loney is an unforgettable addition to the ranks of the best British horrorA modern suspense novel that is a masterful excursion into terrorWith splendidly idiosyncratic characters, a dank, bleak landscape and an all-pervading sense of menace, this is an eerie, disturbing read that doesn't let up until its surprise endingMost triumphantly of all, though, it is absolutely a novel of place . . . The Loney's landscape is both timeless and frightening . . . [Anderw Michael Hurley is] fantastically adept at conveying something beyond the natural or the normal without spelling it out.. He also has a talent for sheer, unadulterated ominousness . . . Most of all though, The Loney's power lies in all that Hurley dares to leave out. This is a novel of the unsaid, the implied, the barely grasped or understood, crammed with dark holes and blurry spaces that your imagination feels compelled to fill. It takes both confidence and talent to write like this and it leaves you wanting more of whatever slice of darkness Hurley might choose to dish up nextFull of unnerving horror, giving a sensation of something creeping quietly behind you and then breathing on your spine. It's beautifully written, with a sense of both poetry and plot: the coastal landscape and the very British social tensions within the church group are equally well mapped out. But Hurley also knows when to ramp up the eeriness, which moves from vaguely disquieting to full-blooded horror. It's rare for a book to make you sigh over the loveliness of the phrases while simultaneously hoping you've locked the windows, but The Loney is special in this way and othersAndrew Michael Hurley's strength is in his ability to evoke atmosphere and a sense of place . . . Hurley writes well and his mastery of dialogue is completeAlready praised by critics as an instant horror classic, The Loney is also a novel about an unhappy family, brotherhood, faith and coming of age. Hurley's curious cast of characters, a mixture of sinister locals and fellow Catholic pilgrims, are unsettling and unsettled in equal measure and expertly realised. He builds a gothic, rain-soaked and eerie atmosphere and his hints at the supernatural aspects of the story are admirably restrained. Influenced by gothic horror, detective fiction and ghost stories from the discorvery of hidden room to things that go bump in the night, Hurley never threatens to tip into parody. The result is a haunting and ambiguous novel that will keep you up at nightWith the publication of Andrew Michael Hurley's debut The Loney, every gothic bookshelf must make room for a new addition . . . Hurley's prose style is perfectly fitted to the form, mingling vivid descriptive phrases with an ear for the oddness of conversation . . . Back in the time of the guilds, an apprentice was required to submit a masterpiece to attain the status of a master craftsman. It was not the peerless and crowning achievement of a career, but the moment he showed mastery of the craft. Well, then - here is the masterpiece by which Hurley must enter the Guild of the Gothic: it pleases me to think of his name written on some parchment scroll, alongside those of Walpole, Du Maurier, Maturin and JacksonThis wonderful 'horror' novel was first published by a small, independent press, but the quality of the bone-chilling, poetic writing is too good to box up inside a genre[A] brilliantly unsettling debut . . . As things go awry, Hurley ratchets up the tension as faith and folklore prove equally menacingThe power of the writing is in the descriptions of this bleak yet strangely beautiful patch of wind-lashed Lancashire coast, the slow building of atmosphere, some memorable characters and the warming relationship between the two brothersFaith, mysticism and ritual circle around a community full of believable, complex characters, creating an atmosphere so thick and hot it will prickle the back of your neck. Gut literature at its bestFew debut novels arrive so fully formed, with such an assured command of tone. Even fewer are as spooky as The Loney, which bring to its description of the glum and sodden Lancashire coast a piercing eye for natural detail and a screw-tightening talent for instilling dread . . . [Hurley's] debut is so confident in tone and setting that I found myself having to check - flicking back to the start of my copy, Googling for info - that it wasn't a long lost classic being republished, or a pseudonymous discovery by some magus of the British weird . . . It manages to mix the rainy seascapes and half-glimpsed horrors of the supernatural tradition that evokes the tweediness, threatening comedy and intimidating countryside of Withnail and I as much it does the freaked out paganism of The Wicker Man . . . Part of its genius is to keep the creepiest of its trappings offstage . . . The result is an extraordinarily haunted and haunting novel, arrestingly in command of its unique spot in the landscape. No one who missed it the first time has much of an excuse nowFew debut novels arrive with such an assured command of tone as The Loney . . . Not one to be missedThe Loney is an uneasy stretch of land on the coast of Lancashire, with treacherous sands and sinister undercurrents - the perfect setting for this eerie, atmospheric tale of folklore, superstition and religious convictionThe gorgeous cover of this book tempts, but does not prepare you for the wonderful, Gothic and creeping horror inside . . . eerie and arresting, making a compulsively good read. Guaranteed to linger in the memory long after you've closed the last page, this is a wonderful debutSuch is the strength of Hurley's prose that even though not a great deal happens, the sense of foreboding is enough to pull you in . . . it's a tale of suspense that sucks you in and pulls you under. As yarns go, it ripsThe pleasure in Andrew Michael Hurley's debut lies in the freshness it brings to familiarity . . . The Loney is a masterclass in spinning out tensionA beautiful, thrilling and unsettling debut novel.Andrew Michael Hurley has lived in Manchester and London, and is now based in Lancashire, where he teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. He has had two collections of short stories published by Lime Tree Press. The Loney is his first novel - it was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent publisher based in Yorkshire, as a 300-copy limited-edition.A thrilling and unsettling first novel that has already received a rave review from the Sunday TelegraphThe Loney was first published in October 2014 by Tartarus Press, a tiny independent based in Yorkshire, in a 300-copy limited-edition at £35. John Murray are republishing it in August.Shortlisted for the inaugural James Herbert AwardIt was a hot book of the London book fair, and has sold to territories round the world
    John Murray

    Black Box Thinking

    By Matthew Syed

    What links the Mercedes Formula One team with Google?

    What is the connection between Dave Brailsford's Team Sky and the aviation industry?

    What links the inventor James Dyson and the basketball player Michael Jordan?

    They are all Black Box Thinkers.

    Whether developing a new product, honing a core skill or just trying to get a critical decision right, Black Box Thinkers aren't afraid to face up to mistakes. In fact, Black Box Thinkers see failure as the very best way to learn. Rather than denying their mistakes, blaming others, or attempting to spin their way out of trouble, these institutions and individuals interrogate errors as part of their future strategy for success.

    How many of us can say that we have such a healthy relationship with failure?

    Learning from failure has the status of a cliché, but this book reveals the astonishing story behind the most powerful method of learning known to mankind, and reveals the arsenal of techniques wielded by some of the world's most innovative organizations. It also reveals the dangers of failing to learn from mistakes. In healthcare, hundreds of thousands of patients die from preventable medical errors every year due to a chronic lack of Black Box Thinking

    Using gripping case studies, exclusive interviews and really practical takeaways, Matthew Syed - the award-winning journalist and best-selling author of Bounce - explains how to turn failure into success, and shows us how we can all become better Black Box Thinkers.

    Creative breakthroughs always begin with multiple failures. This brilliant book shows how true invention lies in the understanding and overcoming of these failures, which we must learn to embraceMatthew Syed has issued a stirring call to revolutionise how we think about success -- by changing our attitude to failure. Failure shouldn't be shameful and stigmatising, but exciting and enlightening. Full of well-crafted stories and keenly deployed scientific insights, BLACK BOX THINKING will forever change the way you think about screwing upRetrieval was Matthew Syed's forte when he was England's number one table tennis player. You couldn't get anything past him. And retrieval is the subject of this extraordinarily wide-ranging book. Retrieval of hope, retrieval of experience - not just a true sportsman's determination to retrieve success from the lessons of failure, but a true humanitarian's too. A book that dares us to do betterColumnist for The Times and bestselling author of Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice Matthew Syed argues that the key to success is a positive attitude to failure.

    Matthew Syed is a leading columnist and feature writer for The Times. He makes authored features for the BBC current affairs programme Newsnight and regularly appears on CNN International and World Service TV. Matthew graduated from Oxford University with a prize winning First in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Before becoming a writer Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade, three times Commonwealth Champion, and he twice represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games.

    Matthew Syed's first book, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and became a UK best-seller.

    Matthew Syed's previous book Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice (Fourth Estate, 2011) sold over 100,000 copies through UK Bookscan and has been translated into more than 10 languages. It drew comparisons to Freakonomics and praise from bestselling authors such as Dan Ariely.Matthew Syed is a columnist and feature writer for The Times, makes authored features for BBC Newsnight and regularly appears on CNN International and World Service TV.Matthew travels around the world to give keynote presentations, including Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. He gives business talks to major international corporate clients, including Goldman Sachs, BP, Rolls Royce, McKinsey, Manchester United, Oxford University and Vodaphone.
    John Murray


    By Jo McMillan

    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit meets Goodbye Lenin.

    'I hadn't expected the Berlin Wall to be clean and white and smooth. It looked more like the edge of the swimming baths than the edge of the Cold War. On the grass of No-man's Land, fat rabbits ate and strolled about as if they'd never been hunted and nothing could disturb them. This was their land and they ruled it, and there were three parts to Berlin: East, West and Rabbit.'

    It is 1978, Jess is thirteen and she already has a reputation - as the daughter of the only communist in town. But then, it's in the blood. The Mitchells have been in the Party since the Party began. Jess and her mother Eleanor struggle to sell socialism to Tamworth - a sleepy Midlands town that just doesn't want to know.

    So when Eleanor is invited to spend a summer teaching in East Germany, she and Jess leap at the chance to see what the future looks like. On the other side of the Iron Curtain they turn from villains into heroes. And when Eleanor meets widower Peter and his daughter, Martina, a new, more peaceful life seems possible.

    But the Cold War has no time for love and soon the trouble starts. Peter is dispatched for two years of solidarity work in Laos. Friends become enemies, and Jess discovers how easy it is to switch sides, and how sides can be switched for you, sometimes without you even knowing.

    Motherland is a tender mother-daughter story and a tragi-comic portrait of a childhood overcome with belief. It's about loss of faith and loss of innocence, and what it's like to grow up on the losing side of history.

    Funny, smart, and packed full of all the melancholy you would expect from a novel that slowly sheds a child's innocenceThere's a great deal of humour in Motherland, all underpinned with a sober tone . . . Jess makes an engaging narratorIn its warm and witty portrait of offbeat mother-daughter relations, Motherland often recalls Nina Stibbe's Man At The Helm. Jess's gift for wry observations also gives rise to some wonderfully quotable linesMotherland cuts a swathe through history without feeling like a lesson . . . Even though Motherland is full of historical detail, between 1980s Tamworth and the GDR, the oppression of the era never overwhelms. At the heart, and most important are the human relationships and which bonds surviveI'm sure that these are characters (and the voice of a new novelist) that I for one will gladly revisit over and over again . . . A beautiful story tinged with fun, sadness and insightA delightful tragi-comic novel, primarily about a mother/daughter relationship (hence the title) and also about coming of age and disillusionment . . . Motherland combines a teenager's cold-eyed view of adult absurdities and a wistfulness for lost certainties; a compelling blendA funny and poignant first novelThis assured debut from Jo McMillan was a delight from start to finish; I was immediately drawn into the lives of the main characters and was sorry to get to the end. McMillan is now based in Berlin and she writes convincingly of both sides of the Cold War, she has a very distinct voice and will be a writer to watch in the futureMcMillan's writing is excellent; she captures brilliantly the voice of Jess, naive and committed at the start of the book, knowing and more questioning by the end. Although there's perhaps a certain irony in places in her portrayal of the various members of the counter-culture groups, she never belittles their belief and their faith in their cause . . . Motherland is McMillan's debut, and it's an excellent one - highly recommended!For those of us who remember how well youthful politics wrap can entangle teenage love, this funny, sweet, sad first novel is both a delight and a glorious journey back to a time and place many of us only recall with a wry shake of the headAn ambitious coming-of-age novel from debut author Jo McMillan, which is wonderfully written and filled with quirky details and descriptions . . . A touching and poignant read, which uniquely explores this period in time in a way in which few other authors have attempted toGenuinely funnyA touching and poignant read, which uniquely explores this period in time in a way in which few other authors have attempted toAn ambitious coming-of-age story, filled with quirky details and descriptionsIt's an ambitious coming-of-age novel from debut author Jo McMillan, which is wonderfully written and filled with quirky details and descriptions . . . a touching and poignant read, which uniquely explores this period in time in a way in which few other authors have attempted toThe book (sometimes very funny, sometimes desperately embarrassing and sad, always absorbing and moving) is full of her ineradicable love for her batty, determined Stalinist mother . . . I urge you to [read it]A charming, witty and original debut reminiscent of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.Jo McMillan grew up in the UK and has lived and worked in China and Malaysia. She is currently based in Berlin. Motherland is her first novel.An original, melancholic, yet often humorous debut from an exciting new authorDeals with universal themes such as the mother-child relationship, which everyone can relate to, but is set originally against the backdrop of the legacies of the Second World War and the on-going Cold WarHas a wonderful 1970s West Midlands period setting as well as dealing with the realities of East Germany at that timeReminiscent of Jeanette Winterson's Oranges are not the only Fruit, as well as Goodbye Lenin
    John Murray

    Good Ideas

    By Michael Rosen

    We live in a world surrounded by all the stuff that education is supposed to be about: machines, bodies, languages, cities, votes, mountains, energy, movement, plays, food, liquids, collisions, protests, stones, windows. But the way we've been taught often excludes all sorts of practical ways of finding out about ideas, knowledge and culture - anything from cooking to fixing loo cisterns, from dance to model making, from collecting leaves to playing 'Who am I?'. The great thing is that you really can use everything around you to learn more.

    Learning should be much more fun and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster, father of five and all-round national treasure, Michael Rosen wants to show you how. Forget lists, passing tests and ticking boxes, the world outside the classroom can't be contained within the limits of any kind of curriculum - and it's all the better for it.

    Long car journeys, poems about farting, cake baking, even shouting at the TV can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Packed with enough practical tips, stories and games to inspire a legion of anxious parents and bored children, Good Ideas shows that the best kind of education really does start at home.

    'Why curiosity is the key to life . . . inspiring and entertaining and thrilling. Michael Rosen, poet, broadcaster and former children's laureate, who is so genuinely passionate, so enthusiastic, so in touch with what it is like to be a child . . . has written a book about how to educate kids at home. It's playful and eclectic . . . about telling stories and collecting stones, messing about with the wires in old plugs and recounting Greek myths.'Why curiosity is the key to life . . . inspiring and entertaining and thrilling. Michael Rosen, poet, broadcaster and former children's laureate, who is so genuinely passionate, so enthusiastic, so in touch with what it is like to be a child . . . has written a book about how to educate kids at home. It's playful and eclectic . . . about telling stories and collecting stones, messing about with the wires in old plugs and recounting Greek myths.A spirit of enquiry makes learning child's play . . . Nothing ever seems to have come over as boring to Rosen as he roams cheerfully over his childhood memories . . . Science experiments in the bath, singing rounds, days out, quizzes and puzzles are all recruited as practical ways of discovering more about the ideas, knowledge and culture surrounding us but often simply taken for granted. Rosen includes so many ideas for making family life a springboard for further exploration [that] it would be hard for an adult to come away from this engaging study without at least one very good idea for what to do next when there seems nothing else to doA spirit of enquiry makes learning child's play . . . Nothing ever seems to have come over as boring to Rosen as he roams cheerfully over his childhood memories . . . Science experiments in the bath, singing rounds, days out, quizzes and puzzles are all recruited as practical ways of discovering more about the ideas, knowledge and culture surrounding us but often simply taken for granted. Rosen includes so many ideas for making family life a springboard for further exploration [that] it would be hard for an adult to come away from this engaging study without at least one very good idea for what to do next when there seems nothing else to doA truly wonderful book . . . engaging, thoughtful and very, very practicalA truly wonderful book . . . engaging, thoughtful and very, very practicalOffers thought provoking advice to parents in how to broaden the minds of their broodOffers thought provoking advice to parents in how to broaden the minds of their broodMy favourite book on parenthood . . . A politics that neither takes childhood and parenting seriously nor can have a laugh in the process deserves to inspire nothing much more than apathy and antipathy. Michael Rosen is the polar opposite to such twin barbs, he cares about children, deeply and is richly amusing . . . extraordinarily goodMy favourite book on parenthood . . . A politics that neither takes childhood and parenting seriously nor can have a laugh in the process deserves to inspire nothing much more than apathy and antipathy. Michael Rosen is the polar opposite to such twin barbs, he cares about children, deeply and is richly amusing . . . extraordinarily good'Michael Rosen, poet, broadcaster and former children's laureate, who is so genuinely passionate, so enthusiastic, so in touch with what it is like to be a child . . . has written a book about how to educate kids at home' GuardianMichael Rosen is an acclaimed poet whose many books have won a number of prizes. We're Going on a Bear Hunt has sold over 8,000,000 copies worldwide and he was Children's Laureate between 2007 and 2009. A popular broadcaster, he has presented Radio 4's Word of Mouth since 1996. But he also has a PhD in education, five honorary doctorates and is Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. His monthly letter to the education secretary 'Dear Mr Gove', published in the Guardian, has become required reading for parents and teachers.The Dangerous Book for Boys meets Homework for Grown UpsWe're Going on a Bear Hunt has sold EIGHT MILLION COPIES worldwide. This is a book for parents everywhere who want to borrow a bit of Michael's adventurous and playful take on learning.Blanket publicity and feature coverage expected and great POS, bookseller activities and innovative marketing campaign planned.A much loved author with a fantastic profile: Rosen has presented Radio 4's Word of Mouth programme since 1998, writes a monthly 'Dear Mr Gove' column for the Guardian and is in constant demand.With witty illustrations and great design -- this is going to be a beautiful book and a perfect present for Christmas 2014.
    John Murray


    By Edith Pearlman

    'Prepare to be dazzled. Edith Pearlman's latest, elating work confirms her place as one of the great modern short-story writers' Sunday Times

    'A genius of the short story' Guardian

    'A moreish treat from a master of the form' New Statesman

    'This majestic new collection is cause for celebration' Scotsman

    'A fortifying pleasure to read' Financial Times

    'One of the most essential short-story visionaries of our time' New York Times

    Over the last few decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the great short-story writers.

    The stories in Honeydew are unmistakably by Pearlman; whole lives in ten pages. They are minutely observant of people, of their foibles and failings, but also of their moments of kindness and truth. Whether the characters are Somalian women who've suffered circumcision, a special child with pentachromatic vision or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them with generosity.

    Prepare to be dazzled. Edith Pearlman's latest, elating work confirms her place as one of the great modern short-story writers . . . Vivacity and zest enliven every page. Body language is wittily caught . . . Personalities are keenly explored. Honeydew elatingly continues the celebration of life's diversity to which Binocular Vision so excitingly introduced usThe world's best short story writer thrills us again. Her stories are often likened to those of Alice Munro, but the resemblance is superficial and Pearlman is the finer writer. She is sharper, harder-hitting, odder, her prose and above all her imagery more vivid and memorable . . . These stories do not give up their treasures all at once. You read them many times over and still do not exhaust their depths and subtleties, still hit upon some magnificent phrase that passed you by earlier . . . Edith Pearlman is the best short story writer in the worldHoneydew will afford an international audience another opportunity to enjoy Pearlman's distinctive and memorable fictions . . . Pearlman has been compared with, among others, John Updike and Alice Munro, but this is misleading. Pearlman's stories - slightly old-fashioned in their use of conceit; refreshingly loose in their capacity for digression or tangent; occasionally Whartonian in the bemused and acidic clarity of their narrative eye - are sui generis . . . her fiction [is] a fortifying pleasure to readOne of the most essential short story visionaries of our timeEdith Pearlman's astonishing stories have won numerous awards in America and prompted accolades here, comparing her to Chekhov, Munro and Updike. Such comparisons are not helpful, for her voice is unique; however, her literary status is indeed of the highest order, as this, her fifth collection, most joyfully demonstratesDepicting her deceptively artless way of writing that places you right by the side of her characters without you knowing how you got there . . . beautifully displays Pearlman's knack for summoning entire lives in a few simple strokes[Edith Pearlman's] elegant new collection of shrewdly observed stories dealing with love, friendship, ageing and much more delivers in every wayHoneydew is [Edith Pearlman's] best collection yetHoneydew seems likely to solidify [Pearlman's] place in the literary firmamentSmart and deeply rendered, full of striking observations and some of the best sentences you'll ever want to readThere remain a few dedicated practitioners of the short story, and Edith Pearlman is one to be cherished . . . the twenty stories [in Honeydew] are vinegary, rueful, droll, humane and endlessly inquisitive. Though intricately constructed, they are slight in drama and emphasis, set down like a light footprint that nevertheless fixes itself in one's memory as though pressed in wet cementWhat a pleasure to encounter a writer who can speak volumes in a few short sentencesPearlman's prose shimmers, and the stories are filled with beguiling details[Pearlman's] virtues are comparable to the great Alice MunroA short story collection that confirms [Pearlman's] reputation as a great writerPearlman strikes mercilessly at the pressure points of her subjects' lives in a manner reminiscent of Muriel Spark, not least because of the lightness of her touch . . . Her crowning glory, however, is her ability to distil the essence of her stories with the precise grace of a master chemist . . . a perfume of the purest emotion hangs in the air, delicately coating but never drowning Pearlman's prose . . . I'd put money on this being one of the best short story collections of the yearWill stay in the memory for a long time to comeHer characters are so real that reading the book can feel voyeuristic. America already loves Edith Pearlman. We should get in on the actPearlman strikes swiftly and mercilessly at the pressure points of her subjects' lives in a manner reminiscent of Muriel Spark, not least because of the lightness of her touchI'll never understand why short stories remain an underrated form of fiction compared to novels . . . yet the conventional publishing industry still regards short stories as a risk. Thank goodness some of them think it's a risk worth taking or we might not get little nuggets of gold like Edith Pearlman's Honeydew . . . delicate, superbly crafted stories . . . They say still waters run deep, and so it is with these thoughtful and moving tales that reflect the profound truths of our ordinary lives back at usEdith Pearlman's meticulously observed new collection . . . Such is the life-affirming power of multi prize-winning Pearlman's storytelling that there is a crumb of comfort to be derived from each resolution, however apparently desolate. She has a remarkable eye for both the ordinary and extraordinary and there is more than a faint hint of melodrama in even the most down-to-earth of domestic situations . . . Pearlman's prose is subtle, ironic and mostly unadorned so the odd metaphor has all the more effect . . . Each story is a masterpiece of economy and the collection as a whole is the perfect bedside bookThere is a whole lot of life in Honeydew, Pearlman's masterful and necessary new collection of short stories. Many of the stories in Honeydew feel almost like pocket novels. More than that: they feel like pocket Russian novels. There are so many people in this book that you're left with the impression that Pearlman hasn't written a collection of stories so much as she's written a community of themThese twenty tales by the newly crowned doyenne of the American short story are again in a class of their own. Pearlman's exquisitely precise prose brings to life whole lives and whole intricate, convincing worlds. With a profound understanding of her characters' inner life, elegant style and painterly visual imagery . . . these moving, multi-layered tales condense a novel's scope and insight into just a few pagesOnce immersed in the precision-tooled, intricate tales that make up Pearlman's latest collection, Honeydew it is hard to accede to the view that short stories somehow short-change the reader . . . each of the 20 stories here offers a distillation of a lifetime's experience. Belated realisation of what the heart desires is a recurring motif, as is a fascination with the other - other cultures, other people, other ways of being . . . she has the gravity and erudition of Tessa Hadley or Margaret DrabbleHer mastery of the short story form continues to deepen[Edith Pearlman's] majestic new collection is further cause for celebration. Pearlman excels at capturing the complex and surprising turns in seemingly ordinary lives . . . a collection abundant with stories that have an uncanny power to charm and devastate . . . Honeydew should cement her reputation as one of the most essential short story visionaries of our timeA book to dip into and savourA moreish treat from a master of the formHoneydew . . . retains the 78-year-old author's ferociously individual style, characterised by prose that is bolshie yet nuanced, elegant but not fussy, stylish without being vain . . . the dialogue is clear as water yet punches like gin, with characters memorably frothed with metaphorEdith Pearlman is a true master of the short story . . . Each short story is beautifully written. Pearlman has an enviable way with words . . . In every story her brilliant use of imagery, characterisation and moral, quite simply, cannot be faultedAn intricate and ingenious writerEdith Pearlman is the best short story writer in the world, wrote The Times of the American author's latest work. If you don't already know that, you have a very pleasurable task ahead of you . . . Frequently compared to Alice Munro and Raymond Carver, Pearlman is the sharper, more idiosyncratic and empathetic writerWhat I noticed first about these stories was their self-evident skill and polish, their energy, their arresting situations and images, their undeniable originality . . . no doubt there are readers who will find this collection irresistibleThe new collection of stories from the author of the award-winning Binocular Vision.Edith Pearlman's previous collection, Binocular Vision, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Story Prize. The author of three other collections, she has also received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in the short story. Her widely admired stories have been reprinted numerous times in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize. A New Englander by both birth and preference, Pearlman lives with her husband in Brookline, Massachusetts.On publication of her last book, Binocular Vision, Edith Pearlman was hailed as "a spectacular literary revelation" (Sunday Times); "a genius of the short story" (Guardian); "an unsung master" (The Times); "the equal of Updike or Munro" (Independent).In the US, Binocular Vision won the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Fiction.In the UK, it was the Sunday Times Fiction Book of the Year.It was a Waterstone's book club pick.
    John Murray

    What If?

    By Randall Munroe

    From the creator of the wildly popular, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

    Millions visit each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. Fans ask him a lot of strange questions: How fast can you hit a speed bump, driving, and live? When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British Empire? When will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than living? How many humans would a T Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?

    In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations and consults nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, complemented by comics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion.

    With this book and with XKCD, you're a kid with a chemistry set all over again. [Randall Munroe's] enthusiasm for all things scientific is infectious . . . required reading for grown-ups, it's just fun to remember that science is really, really coolSmart answers to silly questions: Randall Munroe reveals allWhat If? maintains a delightfully free-wheeling tone throughout, especially when complicated calculations lead to whimsical results. Despite all the hard facts and gigantic numbers, it never feels like a textbook-and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy itThe best bathroom book you'll ever buy...Munroe takes inane, useless and often quite pointless questions asked by real humans (mostly sent to him through his website), and turns them into beautiful expositions on the impossible that illuminate the furthest reaches, almost to the limits, of the modern sciences .The first chapter, "Q. What would happen if the Earth and all terrestrial objects suddenly stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity?" ends with the anthropomorphized moon worrying over the state of the Earth, and, with the gravity generated by its own rotation around the Earth, saving our dying planet. The physics are real; so is the emotional content. . . The answers are all illustrated with xkcd's trademark stick figures.. . . . and these are eminently approachableBrilliantWhat If? includes old favorites, new inquiries and the mix of expert research and accessible wit that has made Munroe a favorite among both geeks and laymenMunroe's brilliant What-If? column-which features scientifically rigorous, utterly absurd answers to ridiculous hypotheticals-has been on the bestseller lists since it was announced in March. Today, it hits shelves and: It. Is. A. Triumph[What If?] has solved my annual birthday-present and holiday-gift dilemmas for a large group of people . . . What makes Munroe's work so fantastic is a combination of two elements: his commitment to trying to answer even the weirdest question with solid science, and his undeniable sense of humour. So, here's a "What If?" from me: If everyone on the planet simultaneously bought a copy of this book, stopped what they were doing and read it cover to cover, would modern civilization and our global economy collapse? It's worth trying the experiment.For the record, I'm loving XKCD's What If -- 'Dear Abby for mad scientists'Munroe has hit on a wonderful form of science and engineering communication that can do so much-extolling the value of analytical thinking, examining data, and doing back-of-the-envelope calculations-while entertaining readers at the same time . . . an incredibly fun book with quirky, hand-drawn picturesThoughtful, scientific, and highly entertainingIf you're the kind of person whose brain whizzes with questions, Munroe's book may calm the noise. He's done all the hard work for youXKCD is nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and lovedIt's totally brilliant and everyone who matters already knows that!Education should aim to teach people to reason confidently about problems that they have never come across before. This book is a great deal of fun, and a masterclass in such reasoning. Like all the best lessons, you only realise you've learnt something once you've finished itDangerously absorbing . . . if you have ever been gripped by an insatiable, preposterous intellectual curiosity (regardless of actual scientific knowledge), I could not think of a better book to keep you from doing that essay for an extra hour or twoThe reader is left constantly subject to outbursts of laughter, lin­gering doubts concerning the sanity of the human race, and an ever-growing fascination with the way our world and the universe works . . . Though science geeks will be the first to acknowledge Munroe's greatness, even people suffering from a chronic hatred towards anything concerned with math will find the humour and absurdity of What If? hard to resistFunny and fascinating: brilliant for dinner with matesIt will satisfy the curious and arouse curiosity in anyone who's not - and it's got great jokesAn essential holiday companion

    Science's most intriguing questions answered by the web's favourite writer, the genius behind

    Munroe's hilarious and compelling answers explain everything from the odds of meeting your one true soulmate to how many humans a rampaging T-Rex would need to eat a day.

    Randall Munroe is the creator of the webcomic xkcd and author of xkcd: Volume 0. Randall was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, and grew up outside Richmond, Virginia. After studying physics at Christopher Newport University, he got a job building robots at NASA Langley Research Center. In 2006 he left NASA to draw comics on the internet full time, and has since been nominated for a Hugo Award three times. The International Astronomical Union recently named an asteroid after him: asteroid 4942 Munroe is big enough to cause mass extinction if it ever hits a planet like Earth.XKCD has over a billion page-hits a year.XKCD was chosen by Wired as one of the 20 key influences of the last 20 years alongside Steve Jobs and online dating.XKCD is a global phenomenon, read in over 190 countries. 1,400,000 visits from the UK; 657,000 from ANZ; 624,000 from Germany each month.All kinds of high-profile fans from Brian Cox to Tim Minchin. Ben 'Bad Science' Goldacre described XKCD as 'nerd royalty, the alpha dork, there's no geek more widely cited and loved.'When XKCD self-published a book of cartoons, it sold 110,000 copies. They have a very committed fan base.




    John Murray

    Flood of Fire

    By Amitav Ghosh

    The thrilling climax to the Ibis trilogy that began with the phenomenal Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies.

    It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war.

    One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong.

    Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.

    A masterpiece . . . Flood of Fire is not just a work of literary imagination but also an exercise in deep and original historical reflectionFor the past weeks, [Amitav Ghosh] has been holed up in his Goa home, putting the finishing touches to Flood of Fire, the third part of his epic Ibis trilogy. The project has taken a decade. The three novels, starting with Sea of Poppies . . . have cemented his reputationTotally absorbingAs ever for Mr Ghosh, language is a great tumasher, and it is not surprising that he is on the shortlist for the biennial Man Booker International Prize . . . He swims with relish in a lexicon he has made his own, a rich brew of English, Bangla, Hindi, Parsi, Malay, Cantonese and pidgin at a time when free trade and imperialism were recombining Asian cultures and tongues . . . Mr Ghosh's genius is to paint this world from its teeming heart, rather than from the perspective of metropolitan centres of power in London, or, for that matter, PekingIt is a testimony to Ghosh's great skills that he can both teach us history and create believable fictional characters . . . What makes Ghosh's characters come alive all the more is the use of language . . . Ghosh, occasionally, translates, but often does not, yet pulls off this presentation of the medley of tongues his characters use with great aplombThe final instalment of an extraordinary trilogy . . . Ghosh's story roars along, constantly flipping between high seriousness and low humour. It is simultaneously wrong-footing and delightful, riveting and diverting . . . His expansive trilogy has, in fact, advanced his story by only a few years; but the ground it has covered is almost immeasurableGhosh's scrupulous depiction of army life is just one part of this tour de force of historical description. Together, the novels are a weighty and precious chronicle of those times, a compendium of lost habits, languages and attitudes . . . Flood of Fire has all the romance, subterfuge and ingenious plotting to keep Ghosh's audience firmly lagowed. But it is the integrity of his historical vision that will ensure his books outlast other literary dumbpokesThe best bits of the trilogy, however, do not merely satirize the greed and hypocrisy of the foreign traders; but allow crosscurrents of sympathy . . . full of unforgettable vignettesA huge, sprawling, rumbustious novel . . . rich and engrossing . . . a splendid adventure story, full of rich and varied characters and romantic entanglements . . . In the last chapters Amitav Ghosh pulls the strings of his enthralling trilogy together. It's a remarkable achievement: an adventure novel full of feeling, but one which also invites - even compels - you to think about the assumptions which men act uponThe star of the proceedings is the historical detail that really brings it all alive. Anyone who knows me knows my love of historical factoids and Amitav provides enough for us to luxuriate in them. The difference between the treatment of British and Indian soldiers, the colonial structure, the importance of China and the opium fields, not to mention the rituals surrounding taking opium - it's all here with much more besides, simultaneously entertaining and educating. I will definitely be going back to the beginning of the trilogy and look forward to catching upAmply justifying the hype and expectation, this is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with great verve: Flood of Fire is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story, one of the greatest literary works of our time. For Amitav Ghosh, the glittering literary prizes beckonGraphic and grippingA terrific read. I wish Amitav Ghosh could live forever, like Ganesh, the Hindu patron god of writers and complete what he once planned. Flood of Fire, alas, will have to doIf you fancy a rip-roaring story with history, an erudite critique of colonialism, funny and full of contemporary parallels, you could try Amitav Ghosh's third in his Ibis trilogy, Flood of FireFlood of Fire sweeps Amitav Ghosh majestically to the pinnacle of historical fiction writers and fittingly completes his Ibis trilogy . . . Ghosh has long set a standard for the kind of fine historical fiction writing that paints perfect pictures of what life was like for ordinary people as the world changed around them at breakneck pace. What sets him apart from other writers in this genre is his knowledge of the subject and his detailed descriptions and minute detailUnexpectedly comicGhosh's ebullient fluency in the colorful argot of the contentious worlds he brings forth distinguishes this passionately researched series as much as his wily and zealous exposure of entrenched discrimination pertaining to race, religion, gender, caste, and class. Once again Ghosh proves himself to be a virtuoso scene-setter and action writer . . . This feverishly detailed, vividly panoramic, tumultuous, funny, and heartbreaking tale offers a vigorous conclusion to Ghosh's astutely complex and profoundly resonant geopolitical sagaA rip roaring story rich with history, an erudite critique of colonialism, funny and full of contemporary parallelsSweeps Amitav Ghosh majestically to the pinnacle of historical fiction writersThe final book in the bestselling Ibis trilogy from the author of Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies.Amitav Ghosh was born in Calcutta in 1956. He grew up in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. He studied at the universities of Delhi and Oxford and published the first of eight novels, The Circle of Reason in 1986. He currently divides his time between Calcutta, Goa and Brooklyn. The first novel in the Ibis trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize.The long-awaited final book in the epic Ibis trilogyThe first book in the trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize and went on to be a major bestseller. Flood of Fire has the same prize-winning potentialThe perfect reading group book: a fascinating historical window into the opium wars, a wonderful page-turner with an exotic setting, universal themes and unusual talking pointsAmitav Ghosh is writing at the height of his powers - Flood of Fire is full of wonderfully detailed descriptions, a captivating cast and enriched with a wealth of historical detail'A tremendous novel, and if Amitav Ghosh can sustain its brilliance in the two remaining parts, his Ibis trilogy will surely come to be regarded as one of the masterpieces of twenty-first-century fiction' Literary Review on Sea of Poppies
    John Murray

    Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories

    By Thomas Grant


    'Throughout a long career, [Jeremy Hutchinson's] brilliant and stylish advocacy achieved success in cases that looked unwinnable' Helena Kennedy

    'Jeremy was not just a good lawyer; he was fearless in standing up to judges. He was the most formidable advocate of the 1960s and '70s and he had a marvellous sense of mischief' Geoffrey Robertson

    Born in 1915 into the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group, Jeremy Hutchinson went on to become the greatest criminal barrister of the 1960s, '70s and '80s. The cases of that period changed society for ever and Hutchinson's role in them was second to none. In Case Histories, Jeremy Hutchinson's most remarkable trials are examined, each one providing a fascinating look into Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history.

    Accessibly and entertainingly written, Case Histories provides a definitive account of Jeremy Hutchinson's life and work. From the sex and spying scandals which contributed to Harold Macmillan's resignation in 1963 and the subsequent fall of the Conservative government, to the fight against literary censorship through his defence of Lady Chatterley's Lover and Fanny Hill, Hutchinson was involved in many of the great trials of the period. He defended George Blake, Christine Keeler, Great Train robber Charlie Wilson, Kempton Bunton (the only man successfully to 'steal' a picture from the National Gallery), art 'faker' Tom Keating, and Howard Marks who, in a sensational defence, was acquitted of charges relating to the largest importation of cannabis in British history. He also prevented the suppression of Bernardo Bertolucci's notorious film Last Tango in Paris and did battle with Mary Whitehouse when she prosecuted the director of the play Romans in Britain.

    Above all else, Jeremy Hutchinson's career, both at the bar and later as a member of the House of Lords, has been one devoted to the preservation of individual liberty and to resisting the incursions of an overbearing state. Case Histories provides entertaining, vivid and revealing insights into what was really going on in those celebrated courtroom dramas that defined an age, as well as painting a picture of a remarkable life.

    To listen to Jeremy Hutchinson being interviewed by Helena Kennedy on BBC Radio 4's A Law Unto Themselves, please follow the link:

    You can also listen to him on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young:

    A fascinating look at Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history[Jeremy Hutchinson] is my hero because of what he stands for today, as he continues to speak out against what he fears to be the loss of independent representation of those not merely down on their luck but down in the gutter. He is the living symbol of all that independent criminal advocacy means for justice and the rule of lawJeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories . . . makes a compelling read, and is a real contribution to the history of twentieth-century English mentalities. It is also a first-rate lesson in simple humanity . . . The pungency, intelligence and humour of [Thomas] Grant and his subject make this the most enlivening of case-books . . . [Jeremy Hutchinson] is abundant in the qualities of empathy, consideration and humour. He manages to be both charming and shatteringly truthfulA fascinating episodic cultural history of postwar Britiain, that chronicles the end of the age of deference and secrecy, and the advent of a more permissive society . . . an impassioned defence of the criminal Bar itself . . . Grant brings out the essence of each case, and Hutchinson's role, with clarity and wit . . . a reminder of how many of the defining stories of modern times have been fought out through our courts, and changed by themGiven my automatic animus, you can imagine how confusing it was to be charmed into surrender by Thomas Grant's traversal of Hutchinson's long career as a QCJeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories reminds us of the celebrated, and infamous, cases in which Hutchinson appeared, the skills he deployed, and the importance of the criminal defence advocate to the rule of law. Reheated recollections of old cases rarely make for a tasty dish. But the ingredients of Hutchinson's casebook are exceptionally delicious, and Grant's recipe and presentation are irresistible . . . One of the merits of this entertaining collection of Jeremy Hutchinson's greatest hits is that the authentic sound of the great advocate can be heard again, loud and clear . . . Thomas Grant ensures that we understand Lord Hutchinson's achievements and the importance of the principles of criminal defence advocacy to a free societyAuthor and QC Thomas Grant does a fine job . . . Hutchinson's priceless advocacy is every bit as powerful on the page and Grant brilliantly recaptures the tensions and drama of some of the most seminal Old Bailey criminal trials of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties . . . It is hard to imagine a more interesting time for a criminal advocate to be working and this wonderful book is a celebration not just of the man but of the profession itselfAll these cases make thoroughly good reading, while vividly illuminating the morals and mores of that now distant period just a generation ago. But the sting in the tail of the book comes in the postscript by the centenarian Hutchinson himself . . . a powerful indictment of the wanton destruction by ignorant politicians of the whole edifice of British justice as he knew itAn attractive picture of a life honourably and enjoyably lived. Naturally, it supports the argument that we are a more civilised society today because of the battles which people like Hutchinson fought and won . . . So a happy century to Jeremy Hutchinson, who represented decency even when he defended indecencyHis life reads like a history of the 20th century . . . A resounding postscript written by Jeremy Hutchinson himself shows that at the age of 100, he has lost none of his extraordinary power and authorityHutchinson provides the memories and Grant puts pen to paper. The result is a multifaceted object: a celebration of a brilliant career, an explanation of the legal process and a social and cultural history of the second half of the 20th century . . . Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories is, above all, a romanceA fine reminder of the great democratic values enshrined in our legal system . . . Grant has cleverly produced what amounts to a cultural history of Britain in the rapidly changing post-war years . . . a greatly entertaining read which celebrates a barrister who stood up and argued with clarity and passion for various freedoms that we now take for grantedFascinatingOne of the most enjoyable books this summer is Jeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories, a biography by Thomas Grant of an extraordinary manSo began a career that would see Hutchinson, son of a renowned barrister, member of the artistic Bloomsbury set, prosecute and defend in some of the biggest criminal cases of the era, reshaping censorship and secrecy along the way, his life an extraordinary window into the 20th centuryAn excellent book charting some of Jeremy's more remarkable trials and his very eclectic clients, many of whom he cared for deeplyBiographies of lawyers are very rare, but Hutchinson's career was so unusually varied that it makes a splendid subject for a book . . . [Grant's] book is clearly and elegantly written, turning Hutchinson's life into a satisfying moral history of 20th-century BritainJeremy Hutchinson's Case Histories encapsulates the fascinating untold stories behind the cases defining issues of homosexuality, espionage, class and deference that dominated post-war Britain and Hutchinson's own passion for penal reformYou could tell a brief social history of Britain through the career of Jeremy Hutchinson[Jeremy Hutchinson's] life and trials are admirably captured in Thomas Grant's accessible bookA compelling portrait of the time when freedom of speech and the need to throw off censorship came to the fore, told through its great trials, from Lady Chatterley's Lover to Howard Marks.

    Thomas Grant QC is a practising barrister and author. He lives in Sussex and London.

    Jeremy Hutchinson was born in London in 1915 - this year he turns 100 years old. He read PPE at Magdalen College, Oxford, before studying law. His breakthrough case came in 1960 when Penguin Books was prosecuted under the recently enacted Obscene Publications Act 1959 for publishing Lady Chatterley's Lover. Jeremy's skill as a cross-examiner soon became legendary; it is said that he provided a partial inspiration for John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey. He retired from the bar in 1984.

    To listen to Jeremy Hutchinson being interviewed by Helena Kennedy on BBC Radio 4's A Law Unto Themselves, please follow the link:

    You can also listen to him on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs with Kirsty Young:

    A compelling portrait of Britain's post-war social, political and cultural history told through its great trials including that of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Fanny Hill, Charlie Wilson of the Great Train Robbery, Howard Marks and many moreCase Histories does full justice to the significance and complexity of these trials but their stories are told in an entertaining and accessible wayJeremy Hutchinson came prominently into the public eye as a result of a moving broadcast on Desert Island Discs in October 2013, which created a Twitter sensationJeremy Hutchinson is 100 years old in March 2015; we publish around this timeJohn Mortimor used Jeremy Hutchinson as part inspiration for the character of Horace Rumpole in Rumpole of the Bailey
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    John Murray

    The Lost Art of Having Fun

    By Gyles Brandreth, Saethryd Brandreth

    One good thing about a recession is that we need to go back to making our own fun. Games are in the Brandreths' blood, they have spent thousands of weekends and rainy holidays playing them and now Gyles, Saethryd and seven-year-old Rory want to share the very best with you. THE LOST ART OF HAVING FUN picks out over 250 games, guaranteed to make even the grumpiest child or adult laugh, and then with all kinds of interesting stories and lovely illustrations, it shows you clearly (and very entertainingly) how to play them. There are classic parlour games alongside all kinds of interesting ones you might not have come across yet.

    Nine chapters cover pretty much every eventuality: Rainy Day Games, Car Journey, Analogue Fun in a Digital World, Music and Drama, Word Games and Brainteasers, Racing Games, Party Games (split between children's birthday parties and dinner parties), Country House Weekend and last but not least Seasonal Games: Christmas, New Year and Easter. Forget consoles and board games, this beautiful book is all you need. And Queen Victoria (whose favourite games are here too) would be amused. Very amused.

    Just the thing with Christmas on the wayWelcome to the ultimate rainy-day book: three generations of the Brandreth family teach you every game you'll ever need to banish boredom from Wink Murder to Sardines and from Consequences to Squeak Piggy Squeak.Gyles Brandreth is the UK expert on all indoor games. In fact, he says modestly, he knows more about games than anyone else on the planet. He was conceived as a result of his father buying the first game of Monopoly sold in Britain, he later became European Monopoly champion, he founded the National Scrabble Championship, he has been on the word and numbers TV game COUNTDOWN since it started thirty years ago, and he features regularly on radio panel games like JUST A MINUTE and WORDAHOLICS . Gyles has written nearly 100 books covering card games, mazes, word puzzles, family games and children's games. His great-great-grandfather published a book of games in 1865 and games have played a big part in the Brandreth family life ever since, as his daughter Saethryd and grandson Rory can attest.Like the best kind of panto, this book, written by three generations of the Brandreth family will entertain everyone of all agesThe family that plays together stays together. Forget consoles and board games, this book is all you needLoads of publicity and events guaranteed, including a parlour-game playing tour of the literary festivals of BritainA beautifully illustrated and designed colour book -- the perfect gift