Related to: 'Michael Caine'

Hodder & Stoughton

Muhammad Ali: A Memoir

Michael Parkinson
Authors:
Michael Parkinson

Sir Michael Parkinson interviewed Muhammad Ali four times and in this memoir you are given a ringside seat for all of the interviews.Muhammad Ali was God's Gift to the interviewer. Funny, articulate, outspoken with a fascinating life story, unparalleled talent and controversial views. These 4 interviews charted Ali's life, revealing significant phases at different times, charting the rise and fall of this kaleidoscope of a man.In Muhammad Ali: A Memoir Sir Michael Parkinson will bring his award-winning journalistic talents to bear on this extraordinary man. The book will mix personal recollections of the times they met with selected transcripts of the famous and, in the case of the 1974 meeting, infamous interviews all brought together and contextualised by a sober and honest assessment of the life and times of a figure that, it is certain, we will never see the like of again. Muhammad Ali: A Memoir is a fresh, revealing and personal account of the life of the most important and enduring cultural figures of our age.

Hodder & Stoughton

Leading

Alex Ferguson
Authors:
Alex Ferguson

'One of the World's all-time great leaders'Professor Anita Elberse, Harvard Business SchoolWhat does it take to lead a team to world-class success over a sustained period of time?Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the few leaders who truly knows. In his 38 years in management, Sir Alex won an astonishing 49 trophies and helped grow Manchester United into one of the biggest commercial brands in the world. In this inspirational and straight-talking book, Sir Alex reveals the secrets behind his record-breaking career.LEADING is structured around the key skills that Sir Alex values most highly. It includes subjects we immediately associate with his managerial style: Discipline, Control, Teamwork and Motivation. But it also addresses subjects that are less obvious but no less important when seeking success: Delegation, Data Analysis and Dealing with Failure.Written with the investor Sir Michael Moritz, a longstanding friend of Sir Alex, LEADING is packed with insight, wisdom, humour and honesty. The individual stories inevitably concern themselves with football, and the phenomenal success that came along the way, but the lessons can be applied by anyone. Whether you run a business, teach in a classroom, or work in a small team, LEADING will help you become a better leader.

Two Roads

Trumbo

Bruce Cook
Authors:
Bruce Cook

NOMINATED FOR OSCAR, BAFTA AND GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (BRYAN CRANSTON, BEST ACTOR)Dalton Trumbo was the central figure of the infamous 'Hollywood Ten,' the screenwriters who, during the McCarthy era, were charged by the House Committee on Un-American Acitivities for their associations with the Communist Party. Due to their refusal to cooperate during the investigation, Trumbo and his fellow screenwriters were declared in contempt of Congress and were ultimately blacklisted from Hollywood and some were even jailed. Although Trumbo was one of several hundred writers, directors, producers, and actors who were deprived of the opportunity to work in the motion picture industry from 1947 to 1960, he won an Oscar under the pseudonym Robert Rich for The Brave One in 1956, and he was the first to see his name on the big screen again in 1960 with Exodus, one of the year's biggest movies.All his life Trumbo was a radical of the homegrown, independent variety. From his early days in Colorado, where his grandfather was a county sheriff, to his time in Los Angeles, where he organized a bakery strike and was even a bootlegger, to his time as an author when he wrote the powerful pacifist novel Johnny Got His Gun, to his heyday as a top-paid (and frequently broke) Hollywood screenwriter-where his credits include Roman Holiday, Spartacus, Papillon, Lonely Are the Brave, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, The Brave One, and Kitty Foyle-his life rivaled anything he had created.Written with Dalton Trumbo's full cooperation, at a moment when he himself did not know how much time he had left, Trumbo is a candid tale of a colorful figure who was at the epicenter of a tumultuous period in recent American history.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Complete NIV Audio Bible

New International Version
Authors:
New International Version

Ever since he became a Christian at the age of forty, it has been Poirot actor David Suchet's dream to make an audio recording of the whole Bible. In between filming the final episodes of Poirot, David Suchet spent over 200 hours in the recording studio to create the very first full-length audio version of the NIV Bible spoken by a single British actor. This 80-hour recording comes on six MP3 CDs. It can be used on any device that displays the MP3 symbol. You can transfer the audio files for your personal use onto your computer, smartphone, MP3 player and other compatible devices. It is also available separately as an audio digital download. Ebooks of each section of the Bible - enhanced with Suchet's audio narration - are also available.

Teach Yourself

Keep Talking English Audio Course - Ten Days to Confidence

Rebecca Moeller
Authors:
Rebecca Moeller
Teach Yourself

Get Talking and Keep Talking English Total Audio Course

Rebecca Moeller
Authors:
Rebecca Moeller

Learn essential American and British English in this two-level complete beginner audio programme. This great-value pack contains two courses: Get Talking English in Ten Days and Keep Talking English - Ten Days to Confidence. Together they map to A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages.The courses are packed with great learning features to get you listening and speaking English with ease and confidence.This pack contains:-Two MP3 CDs of audio files you can download to your computer or play in an MP3 CD player-A handy phrasebook of all the key vocabulary and phrases-Coursebook PDFs in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese for reading and writing practice-Choose your learning language: English, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese-MP3 format lets you learn on the go-Practise the words and phrases you need for:-meeting colleagues and friends-booking a hotel-making plans-shopping and ordering food and drinks-going for a job interview-visiting a colleague's home and more-Progress in your understanding of naturally-paced conversations-Use the learning plus sections to extend your vocabulary-Personalize the language with interactive role-plays -Perfect your pronunciation and sound more natural*This course is also ideal for use in the classroom for extra listening and speaking practice.*Rely on Teach Yourself, trusted by language learners for over 75 years.

Teach Yourself

Get Talking English in Ten Days Beginner Audio Course

Rebecca Moeller
Authors:
Rebecca Moeller

Learn essential American and British English in this complete beginner audio course. This course contains:-One MP3 CD of audio files you can download to your computer or play in an MP3 CD player-A handy phrasebook of vocabulary and phrases-Coursebook PDFs in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese for reading and writing practiceGet Talking English in Ten Days maps to A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages.-Choose your learning language: English, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese-MP3 format lets you learn on the go-Practise the words and phrases you need for meeting colleagues and friends, booking a hotel, making plans, shopping and more-Progress in your understanding of naturally-paced conversations-Use the learning plus sections to extend your vocabulary-Personalize the language with interactive role-plays -Perfect your pronunciation and sound more natural*This course is also ideal for use in the classroom for extra listening and speaking practice.*Rely on Teach Yourself, trusted by language learners for over 75 years.

Hodder & Stoughton

How Do We Fix This Mess? The Economic Price of Having it all, and the Route to Lasting Prosperity

Robert Peston
Authors:
Robert Peston

'Robert Peston's compelling account of global financial meltdown is a must-read..' - The ObserverFormer economics editor of BBC news explains the recent global economic mess and how to escape it - in his characteristically straightforward way. 'How do we fix this mess? I don't know. But don't stop reading now. Perhaps if we have a clearer understanding of what went wrong, we'll have a better idea of what needs to be done. This book is a map of what needs to be fixed.'The record-breaking unbroken growth between 1992 and 2008 wasn't the economic miracle that it seemed. It was based on a number of dangerous illusions - most notably that it didn't matter that the UK and US year after year consumed more than they earned.But we couldn't go on increasing our indebtedness forever. The financial crash of 2007/8 and the subsequent economic slump in much of the west was the moment when we realised we had borrowed more than we could afford to repay.So who got it wrong? Bankers, investors and regulators? And were they greedy, stupid or asleep? What was the role of government? And what part did we, as consumers, play in all this?How do we get through this difficult period of transition to a more sustainable economy, one based on investment and exports, rather than on borrowing and consumption? With the same probing lucidity he brought to WHO RUNS BRITAIN?, Robert Peston takes us step-by-step towards a common sense way to fix this mess.

Hodder & Stoughton

Love is the Cure

Elton John
Authors:
Elton John

In the 1980s, Elton John saw friend after friend, loved one after loved one, perish needlessly from AIDS. In the midst of the plague, he befriended Ryan White, a young Indiana boy ostracized by his town and his school because of the HIV infection he had contracted from a blood transfusion. Ryan's inspiring life and devastating death led Elton to two realizations: His own life was a mess. And he had to do something to help stop the AIDS crisis. Since then, Elton has dedicated himself to overcoming the plague and the stigma of AIDS. He has done this through the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which has raised and donated $275 million to date to fighting the disease worldwide. Love Is The Cure is Elton's personal account of his life during the AIDS epidemic, including stories of his close friendships with Ryan White, Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, and others, and the story of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. With powerful conviction and emotional force, Elton conveys the personal toll AIDS has taken on his life - and his infinite determination to stop its spread. Elton writes, 'This is a disease that must be cured not by a miraculous vaccine, but by changing hearts and minds, and through a collective effort to break down social barriers and to build bridges of compassion. Why are we not doing more? This is a question I have thought deeply about, and wish to answer - and help to change - by writing this book.' The sale of Love Is the Cure will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Nicholas Brealey International

When Teams Collide

Richard Lewis
Authors:
Richard Lewis

International teams are rapidly becoming the central operating mode for global enterprises. They are often agile and perceptive, know local markets better than HQ does, lead innovation and exploratory ventures, and are more culturally aware than their parent company. But how much autonomy should they be allowed? How can we get things done with colleagues who have different worldviews? How can we strike a balance between core values and the necessary diversity - and is diversity within the team a strength or a hindrance? What is the role of the team leader in all of this? How do you establish team trust? How important is team humor? Who decides the team's ethics? What misunderstandings can arise in a virtual team, lacking face-to-face contact? In answering these and other questions, Richard D. Lewis draws on 30 years experience mediating with hundreds of international teams in two dozen countries. Generously illustrated with explanatory diagrams, When Teams Collide analyses profiles of 24 different nationalities and suggests how they should be led for best results. Commenting on vital considerations of leadership, team trust, ethics and humor, the author also evaluates the relationship between teams and HQ. Applying the cultural concepts in the bestselling When Cultures Collide specifically to team leadership, this is a wide-ranging and compelling account of how to handle what is a difficult and sensitive task.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Elephant to Hollywood

Michael Caine
Authors:
Michael Caine
Two Roads

The Wolf of Wall Street

Jordan Belfort
Authors:
Jordan Belfort

NOW AN AWARD-WINNING MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE, STARRING LEONARDO DICAPRIO, MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY AND JONAH HILL.'What separates Jordan's story from others like it, is the brutal honesty.' - Leonardo DiCaprioBy day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex, and international globe-trotting. From the binge that sunk a 170-foot motor yacht, crashed a Gulfstream jet, and ran up a $700,000 hotel tab, to the wife and kids who waited for him for at home, and the fast-talking, hard-partying young stockbrokers who called him king and did his bidding, here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called... THE WOLF OF WALL STREET In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. In this astounding and hilarious tell-all autobiography, Belfort narrates a story of greed, power, and excess no one could invent - the story of an ordinary guy who went from hustling Italian ices at sixteen to making hundreds of millions. Until it all came crashing down.

Chapter One

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's acclaimed TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, now a major film.

Elton John

Elton John is one of the most esteemed, beloved, and best-selling songwriters, performers, and recording artists in history. His monumental career has spanned five decades, during which time he has sold 250 million records worldwide. His single, 'Candle in the Wind 1997,' a tribute to his friend Princess Diana, is the best-selling single in Billboard history. Elton John has received numerous Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for The Lion King, and Tony Awards for The Lion King, and Aida, and Billy Elliot. In 1998, the Queen of England knighted him Sir Elton John, CBE. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004, he received the Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime contributions to American culture and excellence through the performing arts. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), founded in 1992, has raised $275 million to fight the AIDS epidemic and help those affected by it. EJAF has supported hundreds of projects in 55 countries.

Hodder & Stoughton to publish new book from Sir Alex Ferguson this autumn.

Leading by Alex Ferguson

Hodder & Stoughton have acquired an inspirational new book about leadership from the most successful British football manager of all time - Sir Alex Ferguson.

An excerpt from the Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing

CLOUD ATLAS, by David Mitchell

Read an excerpt of David Mitchell's international bestseller, CLOUD ATLAS, now also releasing as a film.

Chapter One

BROKEN HARBOUR, by Tana French

Read the first chapter of Tana French's newest novel, BROKEN HARBOUR.

Reading Group Guide

DIFFERENT SEASONS by Stephen King

Reading group guide for use with DIFFERENT SEASONS by Stephen King.

My South Africa

Deon Meyer on the new South Africa

If books are windows on the world,1 crime fiction mostly provides a view of the underbelly and back alleys of cities and countries. This is my only genuine regret writing as an author in this genre. Because the real South Africa, the one that I love so passionately, is very different from the narrow and dim view my books probably allow. It is also quite unlike the one you see in those pessimistic fifteen second television news reports in the UK, Europe or Australia. So let me try and set the record straight. My country is breathtakingly beautiful – from the lush, sub-tropical east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, to the serene semi-desert stretching along the Atlantic in the west (which blooms in inde- scribable colour and splendour in Spring). In between, there’s the magnificence of the Lowveld, the Bushveld, the Highveld, the towering Drakensberg mountains, the aching vastness of the Karoo and the dense silence of the Knysna forests . . . Diversity is everywhere. In the climate (mostly perfect sunshine and balmy weather, but we have extremes too, summer highs of more than 50°C in Upington, and winter lows of -15°C in Sutherland – both in the same Northern Cape province), and in the cities (Durban is an intoxicating fusion of Zulu, Indian and British colonial cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of Malay, Dutch-Afrikaans and Xhosa, Johannesburg is . . . well, modern African-cosmopolitan, utterly unique, and always exciting). The biodiversity of South Africa is truly astonishing. “With a land surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres representing just 1% of the earth’s total land surface, South Africa boasts six biospheres, and contains almost 10% of the world’s total known bird, fish and plant species, and over 6% of the world’s mammal and reptile species.”2 Of course we are also world-famous for our huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks – both public and private – encompassing every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species, including Africa’s Big Five: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.3 But most of all, the diversity is in the people who constitute the Rainbow Nation. Our black ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.The so-called ‘coloured’ (no, it’s not a derogatory term over here) population is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape region, and come from a combination of ethnic backgrounds including Malay, White, Khoi, San, and Griqua. White South Africans are descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers. And our Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of more than fifty million people is made up of African (40.2 million, or 79.5%),White (4.6 million, or 9.0%), Coloured (4.5 million, or 9.0%), and Indian/Asian (1.3 million, or 2.5%). And, having travelled most of the world, I can confidently say, you won’t find friendlier, more hospitable and accommodating people anywhere, irrespective of their race, culture, language or creed. We have nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Free State, and Western Cape) and eleven official languages: Afrikaans (13%), English (8%), isiNdebele (1.6%), isiXhosa (18%), isiZulu (24%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Sesotho (8%), Setswana (8%), siSwati (3%),Tshivenda (2%), and Xitsonga (4%).4 Throw all of this together in a democracy not quite twenty years old (a tempestuous teenager, if ever there was one), and you get an effervescent, energetic, dynamic, and often a little chaotic, melting pot – of cultures, people, views, politics, opinions, and circumstance. After the tragedy and oppression of Apartheid, we are still very much coming to terms with – and are sometimes a little overwhelmed by – all the facets of the freedom-diamond. Which means that we argue incessantly, shout, point fingers, blame, accuse, denounce, complain, and criticize, mostly loudly and publicly, like all enthusiastic democrats should. But when our beloved Bafana-Bafana (the national football team), Springboks (our twice World Cup-winning rugby team) or Proteas (the cricket guys) walk onto the field, we stand united, shoulder to shoulder. And mostly, in our day-to-day-lives, we get along rather well. We increasingly study and work and live and love and socialise together, in great harmony. Of course, we have our problems. Poverty is the major one. “There is a consensus amongst most economic and political analysts that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty – with the poorest 15% in a desperate struggle to survive.” However, we are making steady progress. The percentage of the South African population with access to clean drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994, to 93% in 2011. Access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994, to 84% in 2011.5 In 2010, 13.5 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants, 8.5 million of whom were children, 3.5 million pensioners and 1.5 million people with disabilities. In 1994, only 2.5 million people had access to social grants, the majority of whom were pensioners. And since 1994, 435 houses have been built every day for the poor.6 And you might have heard about our other challenge – South Africa has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. I am most definitely going out on a limb here, but having studied the statistics, and looked at the (often unfair) comparisons over the past five years, I honestly believe we don’t quite deserve it. “. . . in relation to the overall risk of victimisation, South Africans are not much more likely to become victims of crime than people in other parts of the world,” Anthony Altbeker recently wrote in a carefully considered and exhaustively researched contribution to the marvellous Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.7 To put the matter into further perspective: In the two years leading up to the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, almost every British, French and German journalist who interviewed me, asked the same question, more or less: “How big a slaughter is it going to be for fans attending the games?” Some were downright accusatory: “How dare you host this magnificent event in such a hazardous country?” A British tabloid even predicted a ‘machete race war’ waiting for visitors.8 And how many soccer fans died during the tournament? None.9 Furthermore, the attendees who were affected by crime-related incidents represented a very meagre 0.009% of the fans. That is far, far less than, for instance, the crime rate in Wales. When World Cup tourists were asked if they would consider visiting South Africa again, 96% said ‘yes’. As a matter of fact, if you are a tourist from the Northern Hemisphere visiting my beautiful country, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than 0.67%.10 (Compare this to the fact that “the 2011 British Behaviour Abroad Report published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that the death rate (including murder and natural causes) of Britons in Thailand was forty-one per 100,000 tourists and for those visiting Germany was twenty-four. Tourists from the UK are far safer visiting South Africa”11 – with just 14.6 per 100,000.12) South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% in 2010-2011, attempted murder by 12.2%, robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%, and house robberies by 10%.13 Our police services are slowly but surely turning the tide. We struggle with inadequate service delivery, our politicians don’t always live up to our expectations, and our unemployment rate is too high. But our economy is robust, and easily out-performs first-world countries like Greece (no surprise there), Italy, and Spain. South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010. Our debt to GDP ratio is 32% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%). (The World Bank recommends a ratio of 60%.) And we are ranked first out of 142 countries in respect of regulation of security exchanges by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12.14 According to the Open Budget Index, South Africa has the most transparent budget in the world. We are the only African country that is a member of the G20. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom, South Africa ranks 31st out of 184 countries. And according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2010/11, South Africa has the 34th most efficient government out of the 139 countries ranked.15 The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top five countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at three times the global average).16 I could go on. South Africa’s learner-to-teacher ratio improved from 1:50 in 1994 to 1:31 in 2010. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12, South Africa is ranked 13th out of 142 countries for its quality of management schools. 61% of South African primary school children and 30% of high school children receive free meals as part of the school feeding scheme.17 But none of these facts and figures, as inspiring as they are, will reveal the real reason why I am so unwaveringly optimistic about my country’s future. It is one of the major reasons for the peaceful transition miracle of 1994, it is something woven into the texture of everyday South African life, hidden from the fleeting eyes of foreign journalists on a flying visit, mostly talking only to important folks: The goodwill of ordinary people. Every day, in cities, towns, and tiny villages, small acts of kindness happen between human beings. Individuals who extend a helping hand across racial, cultural, political and linguistic divides, who extend friendship and kindness and empathy. I have been witnessing this for more than forty years, and I absolutely believe it is this goodwill that will carry us through, no matter how challenging the future may be. 1 “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” - Barbara W. Tuchman, American popular historian and author, 1912-1989. 2 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/biosa.htm 3 http://www.sa-venues.com/game_lodges_nationwide_south_afr.htm
 4 http://www.safrica.info/about/facts.htm (percentages rounded off)
 5 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html
 6 Ibid. 7 Penguin, 2011. p. 47.
 8 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/129402/WORLD-CUP-MACHETE- THREAT/
 9 http://www.truecrimexpo.co.za/
 10 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/crime/crime_aprsept_ppt.pdf
 11 http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1394
 12 Ibid.
 13 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/crime/crime_statistics_show_drop_in_ murder_rate.html
 14 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html 15 Ibid.
 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.

Leslie Charteris's The Saint Steps In

Peter Robinson's introduction for

‘Sanctity does have its rewards.’ Whenever I think of the Saint, I can’t help but remember those magical Saturday mornings of my adolescence. In the early sixties, one of the highlights of my week was a Saturday morning visit to Stringers Book Exchange, in the bustling Kirkgate Market in Leeds. I would wander down the aisles listening to the stall holders shouting out their sales pitches for housewares and bolts of cloth, assailed on all sides by the smells of slightly rotten fruit and vegetables, perhaps stopping to pick up the latest Record Song Book or Melody Maker at the news stand, then I would wander on past the glistening slabs of marbled red meat displayed on the butchers’ stalls, and finally get to Stringers, where box after box of paperback books lay spread out on the trestle tables. The system was simple: Whatever you bought, you could bring back when you had finished it and get half the price you paid for it against a new purchase. Even back then, I liked to hang on to most of the books I bought, so I don’t think I took full advantage of the exchange feature. I was usually on the lookout for anything exciting – horror stories, spy stories, science fiction and crime thrillers, mostly. One of my favourites was the Saint. My eagle eye was always scanning the stacks for the stick figure with the halo, and I’m quite certain that The Saint Steps In was among one of the many Leslie Charteris books I bought there and didn’t take back to exchange. For me, the Saint beats his countless competitors – the Toff, the Baron, Sexton Blake, Bulldog Drummond et al –hands down, and he has remained one of the most enduring and best loved figures in popular culture. I wish I still had my tattered old Saint paperback collection today, but after so many years and so many moves, covering two continents, it’s a wonder I have anything left from those days at all. But now, after so many years out of print, when they were available only in obscure omnibus editions, and practically impossible to find at even the most accommodating of second-handbook shops, it’s good to have the whole series coming back in handsome and accessible paperback editions. At last, the Saint receives his due. Many people will remember the TV series, starring Roger Moore, which aired from 1962 to 1969. Good as the series was, and terrific as Sir Roger was in the title role, which fit him far more comfortably than did James Bond, there remains a huge difference between the TV Saint and the character in the books. Though most of the early black and white episodes were based on Charteris’ stories, they were adapted by a number of different screen writers and, as happens in the world of TV, often ended up being changed beyond recognition. The later, colour episodes were almost all based on original scripts, and though the Saint remained elegantly roguish and debonair throughout, he lacked some of the rougher and more foolhardy edges his character demonstrated in the books. The Saint in the books is much more violent, for example. In The Saint Steps In, Simon Templar is quite happy to keep on beating a man to a pulp, and perhaps even to pour boiling water and nitric acid over his feet, to get information, but we are given to believe that he only does that to people he knows would do the same to him! And he swears like a trooper. Charteris never gives us the actual words, of course, but his description of the string of expletives Templar unleashes when he loses a suspect is unmistakable. There was definitely a whiff of the London underworld about Simon Templar when he first emerged in the late 1920s, along with that ‘faint hint of mockery behind his clear blue eyes,’ and it stays with him throughout the series, despite the veneer of civilisation and the expensive tastes. Though he is on the side of the law, he isn’t above bending it to suit his own particular sense of justice, and while he might have played Robin Hood on occasion, his lifestyle is certainly lavish, to say the least! Though television may capture some of the witty banter of Charteris’ dialogue, it cannot reproduce the energy and playfulness of his use of language in general. He clearly loved words, loved puns, alliteration and metaphors, and his books are peppered with them. A lunch at the Grand Central Station Oyster Bar, for example, becomes, ‘He was driven by pangs of purely prosaic hunger to the Oyster Bar, where he took his time over the massacre of several inoffensive molluscs.’ As teenagers, we used to repeat these phrases to one another, and they never failed to provoke howls of laughter. Leslie Charteris moved to the USA in 1932. His first book to be set there was The Saint in New York (1935), which was followed by a number of European adventures before he returned to the USA for The Saint in Miami (1940), then The Saint Goes West (1942), which immediately precedes The Saint Steps In, which finds him moving between Washington DC, New York and Stamford, Connecticut. The book was originally serialised in Liberty Magazine in 1942, and published in volume form a year later by Hodder in the UK. The plot, such as it is, wouldn’t be out of place in an Alfred Hitchcock movie: North by Northwest, for example. A beautiful but straitlaced and enigmatic young woman called Madeline Gray comes to ask for Simon Templar’s help when she receives a threatening note. It appears that her father has invented a form of synthetic rubber that would be useful for the war effort – not to mention immensely profitable to whoever possesses it after the war – and she wants to make sure it ends up in the right hands. The formula becomes what Hitchcock called the ‘McGuffin,’ the highly sought after documents or plans that set the events of the plot in motion. Everybody wants them, but we don’t always know why, or even what they are. Soon, Templar gets a threatening note too, and then there is a scuffle in the street when it appears that someone is trying to abduct Madeline. When Templar and Madeline get to Stamford, they find that her father is missing, and then the plot thickens . . . In contrast to Madeline Gray, we also meet the rather less wholesome Andrea Quennel, who has ‘the build and beauty and colouring that Wagner was probably dreaming of before the divas took over.’ Charteris clearly enjoyed writing his descriptions of Andrea, especially her clothes, and this is where he gets to show off his love of metaphor to best advantage. ‘She wore a soft creamy sweater that clung like suds to every curve of her upper sculpture, and her lips were full and inviting.’ Charteris also has an eye for the nuances. Later in the book, Andrea wears a kind of dress that ‘would get by anywhere between a ballroom and a boudoir and still always have a faint air of belonging somewhere else.’ Throughout the book, Andrea offers the Saint anything he wants, and Madeline withholds herself. By the time of the events recounted in The Saint Steps In (1943), Simon Templar is ruing the fact that he is now far more widely known than he used to be. This he blames on the war. Instead of donning a military uniform in order to serve the Allies against the Axis powers, he has so far worked mostly behind the scenes, and has had to forge working relationships with government departments and security agencies he would once have shied away from. His new-found fame doesn’t seem to do him much harm, although he laments being ‘almost legal,’ as he still manages to carry on much as he likes. The only difference is that now he does it with the cooperation of the authorities. In The Saint Steps In, he even works with the F.B.I. How ironic Inspector Teal would find that! The presence of the war permeates The Saint Steps In, even from a distance, holding it together and providing some of its more serious moments, as when Templar contrasts the peace and beauty of New England with the distant horrors of war, the slaughter going on in Europe and the Far East. As he puts it, with characteristic understatement, ‘all that the paranoia of an unsuccessful house-painter was trying to destroy.’ Templar also becomes quite eloquent in an argument towards the end of the book, when he argues that most Americans only perceive the war as a distant event that doesn’t impinge too much on their daily lives because they haven’t felt its effects at first hand, as London did in the blitz. One wonders here where Charteris’ voice ends and Templar’s begins. Like most of the Saint stories, The Saint Steps In is a novel of adventure, mixing mystery and suspense with a fair amount of action and snappy dialogue in the vein of Raymond Chandler, whose The Lady in the Lake came out the same year. Also around the same time, RKO Pictures had more or less plagiarised the Saint for the movies and rechristened him the Falcon, with George Sanders (an ex-movie Saint) in the title role. Oddly enough, the third Falcon film, The Falcon Takes Over (1942), was based on Chandler’s Farewell, My Lovely – so, in a strange way, the Saint became Philip Marlowe, however briefly! Unlike Marlowe, though, Simon Templar doesn’t have the dubious respectability of a private detective’s licence; he does, however, have the same sense of himself as an adventurer, a sort of knight errant, as a man who, in Chandler’s words, is ‘a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it . . . The best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.’ He is, after all, the Saint.