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      About John Murray

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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

    What we believe

    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 tensionThis haunting novel explores the horror of religious mania combined with a lingering supernatural elementA word-of-mouth hit . . . unsettling and atmosphericPraised as 'an amazing piece of fiction' by Stephen King and compared to The Wicker Man, The Loney was a massive word-of-mouth hit when it was first released last year. Set on a 'wild and useless length' of coastline in northwest England, Hurley's debut novel begins with a body in the bay and gets more sinister from there. An old house, a religious retreat and some distinctly unwelcoming locals feature in another fine addition to the British gothic canonThe Loney, a debut novel set in seventies Lancashire that conjured an oppressive sense of dread through its Wicker Man-ish conflict between Catholicism and folk beliefs, began life with the small press Tartarus but was republished by John Murray in August to riotous acclaimA 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 betterExcellent . . . Together with his pervious book it adds up to a persuasive account of human accomplishment . . . This book is a sustained argument about the damage done by the growth of blame culture in Britain and America . . . Syed's lively book is a powerful warning of the damage such a culture can do.Columnist 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

    Fascinating Footnotes From History

    By Giles Milton

    'Giles Milton is a man who can take an event from history and make it come alive . . . an inspiration for those of us who believe that history can be exciting and entertaining' Matthew Redhead, The Times

    Did you know that Hitler took cocaine? That Stalin robbed a bank? That Charlie Chaplin's corpse was filched and held to ransom?

    Giles Milton is a master of historical narrative: in his characteristically engaging prose, Fascinating Footnotes From History details one hundred of the quirkiest historical nuggets; eye-stretching stories that read like fiction but are one hundred per cent fact.

    There is Hiroo Onoda, the lone Japanese soldier still fighting the Second World War in 1974; Agatha Christie, who mysteriously disappeared for eleven days in 1926; and Werner Franz, a cabin boy on the Hindenburg who lived to tell the tale when it was engulfed in flames in 1937. Fascinating Footnotes From History also answers who ate the last dodo, who really killed Rasputin and why Sergeant Stubby had four legs.

    Peopled with a gallery of spies, rogues, cannibals, adventurers and slaves, and spanning twenty centuries and six continents, Giles Milton's impeccably researched footnotes shed light on some of the most infamous stories and most flamboyant and colourful characters (and animals) from history.

    (Previoulsy published in four individual epub volumes: When Hitler Took Cocaine, When Stalin Robbed a Bank, When Lenin Lost His Brain and When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep.)

    Occasionally, a book comes along that needs remarkably little explanation. Fascinating Footnotes From History is, quite literally, a collection of fascinating footnotes from history. Giles Milton hit the bullseye the day he came up with that title. Milton is a popular historian, in the best sense of those words. He writes incredibly readable narrative histories that tell you stories you didn't know before with a quiet, dry wit that is never allowed to overwhelm the material . . . Milton's delicious book is full of such tasty morselsA collection of short, fascinating, true stories; the perfect commuter read.

    Giles Milton is a writer and historian. He is the internationally bestselling author of Nathaniel's Nutmeg, Big Chief Elizabeth, The Riddle and the Knight, White Gold, Samurai William, Paradise Lost, Wolfram and Russian Roulette. He has also written three novels and three children's books. He lives in south London.

    Find out more about Giles and his books on his website,, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at

    Bestselling author of Nathaniel's NutmegA collection of short, fascinating, true stories; the perfect commuter readIncludes new stories not already featured on Giles's very popular blog; he receives 1,000 hits a day, now totalling more than 1,000,000 viewsGiles is a well-respected and popular author - his previous books have been translated worldwide into 17 languages and have sold almost 750,000 copies
    John Murray

    Natural Histories

    By Brett Westwood, Stephen Moss

    Prepare to dive to the depths of the sea with 100-foot-long giant squid, travel through space after the meteorites shooting into our atmosphere and join a dangerous expedition to Antarctica to find the Emperor Penguin egg. Discover fleas dressed by nuns, a defeated prince hiding from his enemies in an oak tree and the plant whose legendary screams could drive you mad . . .

    Accompanying Radio 4's acclaimed six-month series with the Natural History Museum, Natural Histories tells the riveting stories of how our relationships with twenty-five unexpected creatures have permanently changed the way we see the world. Packed full of fascinating science, history and folklore, this beautiful book brings you face to face with nature, in all its wonder, complexity and invention.

    Fresh from winning the Thomson Reuters prize for Tweet of the Day, Brett Westwood and Stephen Moss have written another imaginative and inspiring book. Each chapter explores a different species or phenomena, often taking a fascinating object in the museum's collection as a starting point. From rock pools and blackberry picking to a shipwreck thousands of miles from land; and from David Attenborough on gorillas to Monty Python on dinosaurs, this is a book for anyone curious about the world we live in. You'll never take nature for granted again.

    A cultural history of the natural world in 25 species -- accompanying the landmark series from Radio 4 and the Natural History Museum

    Brett Westwood is an award-winning producer, presenter and naturalist. He presented the radio series of Natural Histories. His other acclaimed radio series range from Tweet of the Day (winner of Best Radio Series 2014) to Brett Westwood's Diaries. He is also a consultant for Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

    Stephen Moss is a TV producer and best-selling author whose books include Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and The Bumper Book of Nature. The book of Tweet of the Day (which he co-wrote with Brett) won the Thomson Reuters Prize 2014. His TV credits include Birds Britannia, Britain's Big Wildlife Revival and Springwatch.

    Tie-in with Radio 4 and the Natural History Museum's landmark SIX MONTH LONG seriesIn a similar mould to Radio 4's tie-in with the British Museum, A History of the World in 100 Objects which has sold 500,000+ copiesJoint publicity campaign with the Natural History Museum involves many special events; lots of interest from press and festivals already
    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 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


    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

    Beasts of No Nation

    By Uzodinma Iweala

    Official tie-in to the Netflix Original Film featuring Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre).

    Agu is just a boy when war arrives at his village. His mother and sister are rescued by the UN, while he and his father remain to fight the rebels. 'Run!' shouts his father when the rebels arrive. And Agu does run. Straight into the rebels' path. In a vivid, sparkling voice, Agu tells the story of what happens to him next; his life as a child-soldier. His story is shocking and painful, and completely unforgettable.

    Beasts of No Nation gives us an extraordinary portrait of the chaos and violence of war.

    For a sneak peak of the Netflix Original Film of Beasts of No Nation, have a look at the trailer:

    A work of visceral urgency and power: it heralds the arrival of a major talentExtraordinary . . . you don't come across writing like this very oftenSo scorched by loss and anger that it's hard to hold and so gripping in its sheer hopeless lifeforce that it's hard to put downA harrowing and compelling vision . . . the narrator's voice is so authentic you have to check you are still reading fiction . . . This is a novel which leaves an impression like a blood-soaked hand print, disturbing not only for the terror around this cleaving, pulverising slayer, but the terror turning to 'ennui' within him. To call it shocking would be to do it a disservice. To call the writing beautiful would hardly be praise. To call the book staggering would be an understatementThe power of his material and its hideous relevance rolls all before it . . . This book about children that is in no sense a children's book deserves to be readAn extraordinary book . . . horrifying expose . . . vivid . . . . It casts a powerful, if gruesome spellIweala makes a compelling story from experience which in its nature defies articulation . . . Uzodinma Iweala's is a confident and promising new voiceGives a name, a voice and a heart to one of Africa's innumerable child soldiers . . . This is urgent writing, starkly unsentimental and convincingCompelling . . . perturbing, painful and powerfulStream-like sentences that convey irrestible, rushing activitiy . . . Iweala's powerful debut recalls Saro-Wiwa's first-person masterpiece of a soldier-boyA simple and brutal account of war . . . Beasts of No Nation is a raw, compelling first novelOfficial Netflix Original Film tie-in about the experiences of Agu, a child-soldier fighting in an Africian civil war.Uzodinma Iweala is a Nigerian born in the United States. He currently lives in New York City. His first novel, Beasts of No Nation, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.Official tie-in to the Netflix film featuring Idris Elba (Thor, Prometheus and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and directed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre)Beasts of No Nation is Netflix's first full-length original film release - they have already had a lot of success with the series Orange is the New Black and House of CardsNetflix are planning a one-week theatrical release of Beasts of No Nation so it can be entered for the BAFTAS and other prizesNetflix has 66 million members worldwide - they will have trailers and banners of Beasts of No Nation on their site which viewers will see as soon as they log on. They are also planning on using Uzo in the film publicity campaignPresents a shocking portrait of war with an immediacy rarely achieved in fiction'In Beasts of No Nation Uzodinma Iweala has crafted a voice that is equal to the demands of a blood-soaked reality. This is a work of visceral urgency and power: it heralds the arrival of a major talent' Amitav GhoshWritten in a vivid and direct style that is utterly compelling
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    John Murray

    Thing Explainer

    By Randall Munroe

    From the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro.

    It's good to know what the parts of a thing are called, but it's much more interesting to know what they do. Richard Feynman once said that if you can't explain something to a first-year student, you don't really get it. In Thing Explainer, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 (or the ten hundred) most common words.

    Many of the things we use every day - like our food-heating radio boxes ('microwaves'), our very tall roads ('bridges'), and our computer rooms ('datacentres') - are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells). Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button?

    In Thing Explainer, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone -- age 5 to 105 -- who has ever wondered how things work, and why.

    A brilliant concept. If you can't explain something simply, you don't really understand it. And Randall Munroe is the perfect guy to take on a project like this . . . If you know Munroe's previous work, it will come as no surprise that parts of Thing Explainer are laugh-out-loud funny . . . filled with cool basic knowledge about how the world works. If one of Munroe's drawings inspires you to go learn more about a subject-including a few extra terms-then he will have done his job. He has written a wonderful guide for curious mindsFrom the No. 1 bestselling author of What If? - the man who created xkcd and explained the laws of science with cartoons - comes a series of brilliantly simple diagrams ('blueprints' if you want to be complicated about it) that show how important things work: from the nuclear bomb to the biro.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. Randall's website xkcd has over a billion page hits a year and over 1.6 million visits a month from the UK aloneAll-new content -- a must-buy for xkcd's millions (no hyperbole) of fansThink MAPS meets WHAT IF - and everyone who bought either book is going to be desperate to own a copyHigh profile author tour in early December. (Last time people queued for three hours to get Randall to sign their books.)
    John Murray

    The Invention of Nature

    By Andrea Wulf


    'Dazzling' Literary Review

    'Brilliant' Sunday Express

    'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist

    'A superb biography' The Economist

    'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday

    Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon.

    His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.

    Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.

    A big, magnificent, adventurous book - so vividly written and daringly researched - a geographical pilgrimage and an intellectual epic! Brilliant, surprising, and thought-provoking . . . a major achievementA truly wonderful book . . . Andrea Wulf has told the tale with such brio, such understanding, such depth. The physical journeyings, all around South America when it was virtually terra incognita, are as exciting as the journeys of Humboldt's mind into astronomy, literature, philosophy and every known branch of science. This is one of the most exciting intellectual biographies I have ever read, up there with Lewes's Goethe and Ray Monk's WittgensteinAndrea Wulf's marvellous book should put this captivating eighteenth century German scientist, traveller and opinion-shaper back at the heart of the way we look at the world . . . irresistible and consistently absorbing life of a man whose discoveries have shaped the way we seeAndrea Wulf is a writer of rare sensibilities and passionate fascinations. I always trust her to take me on unforgettable journeys through amazing histories of botanical exploration and scientific unfolding. Her work is wonderful, her language sublime, her intelligence unflaggingEngrossing . . . Wulf successfully combines biography with an intoxicating history of his timesExtraordinary, and often still sadly relevant tooThe phrase 'lost hero of science' in the subtitle of [Wulf's] book is no exaggeration . . . A big book about a big subject, written with scholarship and enthusiasmIn her coruscating account, historian Andrea Wulf reveals an indefatigable adept of close observation with a gift for the long view[A] gripping study . . . No one who reads this brilliant book is likely to forget HumboldtThis book sets out to restore Humboldt to his rightful place in the pantheon of natural scientists. In the process Wulf does a great deal more. This meticulously researched work - part biography, part cabinet of curiosity - takes us on an exhilarating armchair voyage through some of the world's least hospitable regionsThrilling . . . It is impossible to read The Invention of Nature without contracting Humboldt fever. Wulf makes Humboldtians of us all . . . At times The Invention of Nature reads like pulp explorer fiction . . . She has gone to near-Humboldtian lengths to research her bookEngrossing . . . Andrea Wulf magnificently recreates Humboldt's dazzling, complex personality and the scope of his writingA rollicking adventure story . . . a fascinating history of ideas, in which Wulf leads us expertly along a series of colourful threads that emanate from the great tapestry of Humboldt's life and work . . . What really fascinated me about The Invention of Nature is how relevant Humboldt's ideas are today . . . Arriving in South America, Darwin took his first steps in the tropical forest and exclaimed: "I formerly admired Humboldt, I now almost adore him". Readers of Wulf's marvellous new book may feel the same wayWulf's telling of his life reads like a Who's Who of his age . . . in its mission to rescue Humboldt's reputation from the crevasse he and many other German writers and scientists fell into after the Second World War, it succeedsWulf's biography is a magnificent work of resurrection, beautifully researched, elegantly written, a thrilling intellectual odysseyWulf's brilliant biography traces [Humboldt's] daring travels in South America and across the Andes, his sojourns in Berlin, Paris and London, and the intellectual circles he moved inAndrea Wulf is clearly as passionate about this remarkable man as his peers and successors were, and she does an impressive job of capturing the scale and scope of Humboldt's substantial achievementsIn a superb biography, Andrea Wulf makes an inspired case for Alexander von Humboldt to be considered the greatest scientist of the 19th century . . . Ecologists today, Ms Wulf argues, are Humboldtians at heart. With the immense challenge of grasping the global consequences of climate change, Humboldt's interdisciplinary approach is more relevant than everWe all know who Darwin was because he came up with that memorable line about us all being descended from apes, but, as he himself would readily have admitted, the great man would never have arrived at his great theory had it not been for the very considerable influence of Alexander von Humboldt . . . Given the magnitude of his influence, why Humboldt isn't a household name today is a mystery . . . On the evidence of this wonderful book, however, he should be hastily added to every school syllabus in the landDarwin pronounced him the greatest scientific traveller who ever lived, but the brilliant German Alexander von Humboldt left no groundbreaking theory or world-changing book. Wulf sets out to restore his diminished reputation, and has given us the most complete portrait of one of the world's most complete naturalistsWulf's narrative relates Humboldt's life and ideas at a good pace and with a strong eye for the details which will attract the reader's attentionWulf imbues Humboldt's adventures there with something of the spirit of Tintin, relishing the jungles, mountains and dangerous animals at every turn . . . [she] has an unfailing ability to spot an interesting quotation or a curious situation. She is very good on the cities where Humboldt lived and the rival atmospheres of Paris and Berlin . . . a superior celebration of an adorable figureThis ambitious book restores Humboldt to his rightful place in the pantheon of scientific history. The best chapters describe his exciting travelsBefore Longitude no one remembered John Harrison. The Invention of Nature does the same for Alexander von HumboldtAndrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in England. She is the author of several acclaimed books. The Brother Gardeners won the American Horticultural Society Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her book Founding Gardeners was on the New York Times bestseller list. Andrea has written for many newspapers including the Guardian, LA Times and New York Times. She was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013 and a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. She appears regularly on TV and radio.Humboldt was the first modern scientist - giving us isobars on weather maps, the idea of global vegetation zones and the concept of climate Find out why Humboldt is the father of environmentalism. Discover why Darwin loved him and Napoleon hated him.Climate change is always in the news: it's high time we rediscovered Humboldt's interdisciplinary approachAndrea Wulf is an award-winning historian with a rapidly increasing public profile. She co-presented a successful BBC TV series in 2014More places (and species) are named after Humboldt than anyone else: it's time to find out whyDiscover how Humboldt's nature writing influenced the revolutions in South America
    John Murray

    Dead Lions

    By Mick Herron

    Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award
    A BBC Front Row best crime novel of the year
    A Times crime and thriller book of the year

    London's Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what's left of their failed careers. But now the 'slow horses' have a chance at redemption.

    An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient secrets that seems to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, and a decades-old conspiracy with a brand-new target: London's newest, tallest skyscraper . . .

    Herron may be the most literate, and slyest, thriller writer in English todaySmart, sharp British wit at its finest. A uniquely brilliant take on the British spy novelDelightful . . . with a dry humour reminiscent of Greene and WaughWinner of the CWA Gold Dagger AwardMick Herron is a novelist and short story writer whose books include the Slough House series, the first of which - the Steel-Dagger nominated Slow Horses - has been described as the 'most enjoyable British spy novel in years'. The second Slough House novel, Dead Lions, won the 2013 CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger, and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the best 25 crime novels of the past five years. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

    Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award
    A BBC Front Row best crime novel of the year
    A Times crime and thriller book of the year

    London's Slough House is where washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what's left of their failed careers. But now the 'slow horses' have a chance at redemption.

    An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. As the agents dig into their fallen comrade's circumstances, they uncover a shadowy tangle of ancient secrets that seems to lead back to a man named Alexander Popov, and a decades-old conspiracy with a brand-new target: London's newest, tallest skyscraper . . .

    'Delightful . . . with a dry humour reminiscent of Greene and Waugh' Sunday Times

    'A wickedly clever send-up of the classic British spy novel' Crime Writers' Association
    @johnmurrays #SloughHouse

    Winner of the 2013 CWA Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year, a BBC Front Row Best Crime Novel of 2013, a Times Crime and Thriller Book of the Year and a Sunday Times Top 50 Crime and Thriller Book of the Past Five YearsThe first two books in the series have received great praise on both sides of the Atlantic - we should be able to build on this already-established platformWitty, smart and well-plotted novels - the central character, Jackson Lamb, is a brilliant creationTV rights to the series have been bought by See Saw, who made The King's Speech, Shame and Top of the Lake