Related to: 'Gregory Norminton'

Sceptre

Walking Wounded

Sheila Llewellyn
Authors:
Sheila Llewellyn

'An expertly imagined novel about war's long trail of damage, and about healing intentions gone savagely wrong.' Hilary Mantel'The atmosphere of the late forties is brilliantly evoked . . . a compassionate and compelling account of post traumatic stress in veterans of the Second World War while bringing individual patients and their psychiatrists vividly to life.' Pat BarkerSet in Northfield, an understaffed military psychiatric hospital immediately before the NHS is founded, Walking Wounded is the story of a doctor and his patient: David Reece, a young journalist-to be whose wartime experiences in Burma have come back to haunt him violently; and Daniel Carter, one of the senior psychiatrists, a man who is fighting his own battles as well as those of his patients.This moving and impressive debut explores violence and how much harm it does to those forced to inflict it in the name of war. It also captures the dilemmas of the medics themselves as they attempt to 'fix' their patients, each of whom raise the question of what has happened to their humanity, what can be done to help them, and what we are willing to sacrifice in the name of healing.

Sceptre

Outskirts

John Grindrod
Authors:
John Grindrod

Forgotten edgelands, furious battles, suburban mysteries - discover the secret history of our green belts.Green belts are part of the landscape and psyche of post-war Britain, but have led to conflicts at every level of society - between conservationists and developers, town and country, politicians and people, nimbys and the forces of progress.Growing up on 'the last road in London' on an estate at the edge of the woods, John Grindrod had a childhood that mirrored these tensions. His family, too, seemed caught between two worlds: his wheelchair-bound mother and soft hearted father had moved from the inner city and had trouble adjusting. His warring brothers struggled too: there was the sporty one who loved the outdoors, and the agoraphobic who hated it. And then there was John, an unremarkable boy on the edge of it all discovering something magical.In the green belts John discovers strange hidden places, from nuclear bunkers to buried landfill sites, and along the way meets planners, protestors, foresters and residents whose passions for and against the green belt tell a fascinating tale of Britain today.The first book to tell the story of Britain's green belts, Outskirts is at once a fascinating social history, a stirring evocation of the natural world, and a poignant tale of growing up in a place, and within a family, like no other.

Coronet

Growing Up With Comedians

Roger Lewis
Authors:
Roger Lewis

A collection of portraits of some of the finest comedians of our time. From the author of the acclaimed The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, as made into an award-winning film by HBO, and the dark and scabrous Seasonal Suicide Notes, which everybody loves, here at last comes the definitive book about comic genius by a man whom the Sunday Times has hailed as 'brilliantly funny... a comic genius.'Growing up in South Wales, the precocious Roger Lewis longed to lock himself away from the world and listen to bootleg cassettes of The Goon Show and count the fucks (144) and cunts (89) uttered on the Derek and Clive Live LPs. He screamed with horror at Jimmy Clitheroe. He was a connoisseur of Norman Wisdom and Terry-Thomas. He lapped up Marx Brothers films, Ealing films, and On the Buses, which to him was as sinister as Strindberg.Once he reached university, Lewis' love for the art of comedy never waned, and he could never fathom why the grisly hairy-nosed academics considered comedy trivial, comedians frivolous. In Lewis' view, comedy has more lasting significance than tragedy - the supposed pinnacle of art - because comedy, like real life, admits to misrule and incapacity, accepts the inconsequential, harbours extravagance and eccentricity, and endorses the fact that, in the end, nothing quite adds up.This book contains incisive portraits of the world's most treasured performers and complicated personalities - from Chaplin to Tati, Hancock to Hawtrey, Laurel and Hardy to Spike Milligan, Terry Gilliam to Barry Humphries, and Arthur Lowe to Benny Hill, amongst many others. The chapters comparing Kenneth Williams with Francis Bacon, Leonard Rossiter with John Reginald Christie, Groucho Marx with A.J. Ayer, Morecambe and Wise with Gilbert and George, and Joyce Grenfell with Kathleen Ferrier, in particular, will be heralded as criticism and commentary at their most profound and creative.Growing Up With Comedians asks what lurks beneath the public face; where does talent end, ego begin, and periods of madness take over? From pompous control freaks to unpredictable originals, Lewis, as only he knows how, examines the strangeness and hidden sorrow found behind the excrutiating facades.By turns lyrical, poignant, and always insanely perceptive, Growing Up With Comedians is another unforgettable high-heat masterpiece by Roger Lewis.

Sceptre

Quicksand

Steve Toltz
Authors:
Steve Toltz

A daring, brilliant work by one of our most original and fearless novelists.'Why should I let you write about me?''Because you'll inspire people. To count their blessings.' Aldo Benjamin, relentlessly unlucky in every aspect of life, has always faced the future with despair and optimism in equal measure. His latest misfortune, however, may finally be his undoing. There's still hope, but not for Aldo.His mate Liam hasn't been faring much better - a failed writer with a rocky marriage and a dangerous job he never wanted - until he finds inspiration in Aldo's exponential disasters. What begins as an attempt to document these improbable but inevitable experiences spirals into a profound exploration of fate, fear and friendship.Anarchically funny and wildly entertaining, Quicksand is a subversive portrait of 21st-century society in all its hypocrisy and absurdity, an exquisite interpretation of suffering and resilience, and a powerful story about taking risks and finding inspiration.

Hodder & Stoughton

What Should We Tell Our Daughters?

Melissa Benn
Authors:
Melissa Benn
Sceptre

The Ship Of Fools

Gregory Norminton
Authors:
Gregory Norminton

The characters on Norminton's purgatorial 'Ship of Fools' - a ship that's going nowhere fast - bicker and struggle for attention; telling tales that bounce off one another to form a compendium of interralated stories, running from lyrical romance to scabrous satire, by way of fairy-tale and black comedy. Often wickedly funny, always stunningly written and displaying an astonishing range of voices (the prudish nun, the bawdy old woman, the penitent drunkard, and the glutton whose stomach does all the talking - to name a few) 'The Ship of Fools' is truly a treasure chest of a novel, and an example of story-telling at its very best.

Sceptre

Ghost Portrait

Gregory Norminton
Authors:
Gregory Norminton

This intimate and compelling historical novel deftly interweaves three periods in the life of 17th-century painter Nathaniel Deller: in 1650, just after Charles I's execution, the young Deller joins a political group too radical even for the Roundheads; ten years later, on the night of Charles II's return from exile, Deller is accused by his former friend Thomas Digby of betraying their ideals; and in 1680, the increasingly blind painter commissions his former pupil William Stroud to finish the portrait of his late wife, knowing this could reignite the romance between Stroud and the daughter he tyrannises.Offering a vivid picture of England spanning the English Civil War and Restoration, GHOST PORTRAIT explores the conflict between public duty and private desire, idealism and ambition.

Sceptre

Serious Things

Gregory Norminton
Authors:
Gregory Norminton

In the early 1990s, at an old-fashioned boarding school, two boys form an intense friendship that will shape the course of their lives. Bruno Jackson, the shy and lonely son of British expats, is infatuated by the glamorous but troubled Anthony Blunden. Taken under the wing of an idealistic English teacher, the boys are encouraged to explore the 'more serious things' of life beyond college. But in the hothouse of the school, a slight from their mentor seems of earth-shattering importance, with fateful consequences. Years later, with the memories of that time almost buried, Bruno leads a blameless, uneventful life. The sudden reappearance of Anthony forces him to revisit the dark corners of his past and to decide how far he's prepared to go to assuage his conscience. From the acclaimed writer of GHOST PORTRAIT and THE SHIP OF FOOLS, this is a gripping tale of vengeance, morality and the complex paths that can lead to redemption.

Sceptre

Arts and Wonders

Gregory Norminton
Authors:
Gregory Norminton

ARTS AND WONDERS spans a glorious canvas, peopled by werewolves, thieves, emperors, travelling players and a forger dwarf who takes a lifetime to learn the danger of illusions.Tomasso Grilli, a dwarf gifted with an extraordinary capacity for artistic forgery (and flexible morals) recounts the story of his life, from his base beginnings in Florence, through his apprenticeship to the painter Arcimboldo, to his life of crime in Prague and subsequent banishment, to the gilded fame he finds as 'librarian' and collector to the court of an impoverished, ignorant ruler in the German Dukedom of Felsungrunde. Grilli's ambition and dubious skills take him to the pinnacle of success only for it to collapse beneath him like the illusion it always was. Betrayed and reviled he leaves Felsungrunde, is forced to join a group of travelling players, and finally learns the value of friendship. loyalty and honesty. The extraordinary cast of characters (some based on real historical figures) includes werewolves, an occult alchemist, a bear, a dodo, a lion and a maker of mechanical dolls.

Sceptre

Going East

Matthew D'ancona
Authors:
Matthew D'ancona

London can be as pitiless as it is bountiful. No one knows that better than Mia Taylor. From a gilded life of privilege to a shabby alternative health centre in London's East End in the space of weeks. The violent tragedy that propels Mia east also pitches her unwittingly into a bigger history, a modern legend of migration and change.Mia's new life brings her into contact both with a kaleidoscope of characters who inhabit the extraordinary city of London and the burning issues that will mould its future. Politics and racism, corruption and betrayal, poverty and decadence, all smoulder side by side as the capital blazes into the new millennium.Out of the ashes emerges Mia: a troubled, questing woman who hopes to find herself by going east.

Sceptre

Worthless Men

Andrew Cowan
Authors:
Andrew Cowan

It's market day in an English city two years into the Great War. The farmers are coming in from the country, the cattle are being driven through the streets and that evening a trainload of wounded soldiers is due to arrive. At the local mansion, its new hospital tents to the ready, waits Montague Beckwith, himself a psychological casualty of the war. In the town's poorest quarter, Winnie Barley prays that Walter, her missing son, will be on the train (but that her violent husband is not). In the pharmacy, Gertie Dobson dreams of romance while her father keeps unsuitable men at bay. And everywhere is Walter, a ghostly presence who watches as the girl he loved from a distance is drawn into Montague's orbit. Weaving together multiple viewpoints, Andrew Cowan creates a panoramic, extraordinarily vivid portrait of a place as individual as it is archetypal. Here is a community where the war permeates high and low; where the factory now produces barbed wire, the women are doing the men's jobs, and the young men are no longer so eager to answer the King's call. And here is the tragic story of a casual betrayal, and a boy who proved that those at the bottom of the heap - the worthless ones - could be the most valiant of them all.

Sceptre

Lucky Bunny

Jill Dawson
Authors:
Jill Dawson

Crime is a man's business, so they say, though not according to Queenie Dove. A self-proclaimed genius when it comes to thieving and escape, she reckons she's done pretty well. Yes, she had a tough childhood in London's East End during the Depression, with a father in and out of prison. But she survived the Blitz, learned how to get by on her wits, and soon graduated from shoplifting to more glamorous crimes. Daring, clever and sexy, she thrived in the Soho of the Krays and the clubs of Mayfair, fell wildly in love, and got away with it all. Or did she? For beneath Queenie's vivacious, unrepentant account lies another story - of punishment and loss, and a passionate relationship that turns sour. To the end, she believes she was lucky, but did she simply play the hand that fate dealt her? Vividly portraying the times and circles she moved in, Lucky Bunny captures an intriguing, engaging woman as it questions how far we are in control of our own lives.

Hodder & Stoughton

From the Heart

Kym Marsh
Authors:
Kym Marsh

KYM MARSH is one of our most-loved stars, but her life has been a rollercoaster ride through love, laughter and tears.Now Kym's ready to tell her full story for the first time, describing her difficult childhood growing up on a council estate in Wigan, and struggling at school with bullying and an eating disorder.She describes falling in love at 17 and finding herself pregnant while still a teenager. By the time she was 21, she was a single mum with two very young children, David and Emily, and it was a real struggle to make ends meet.But Kym had always dreamt of performing and even though the odds were stacked against her, she was determined to make her dream a reality. One day she auditioned for a new TV show called Popstars and her life changed forever.Kym now stars in the nation's favourite soap, Coronation Street. But her life off-screen hasn't been easy. She reflects on her marriage to Jack Ryder and how hard she tried to make it work. Kym found new love with Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas and after tragically losing their first baby Archie in 2009, the couple were over the moon to welcome little Polly Lomas into the world earlier this year.Entertaining, funny and incredibly honest, From the Heart is a fantastic read all about how sometimes the best things happen in life when you refuse to give up hope.

John Murray

River of Smoke

Amitav Ghosh
Authors:
Amitav Ghosh

In September 1838 a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured laborers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the seas settle, five men have disappeared - two lascars, two convicts and one of the passengers. Did the same storm upend the fortunes of those aboard the Anahita, an opium carrier heading towards Canton? And what fate befell those aboard the Redruth, a sturdy two-masted brig heading East out of Cornwall? Was it the storm that altered their course or were the destinies of these passengers at the mercy of even more powerful forces?On the grand scale of an historical epic, River of Smoke follows its storm-tossed characters to the crowded harbors of China. There, despite the efforts of the emperor to stop them, ships from Europe and India exchange their cargoes of opium for boxes of tea, silk, porcelain and silver. Among them are Bahram Modi, a wealthy Parsi opium merchant out of Bombay, his estranged half-Chinese son Ah Fatt, the orphaned Paulette and a motley collection of others whose pursuit of romance, riches and a legendary rare flower have thrown together. All struggle to cope with their losses - and for some, unimaginable freedoms - in the alleys and crowded waterways of 19th century Canton. As transporting and mesmerizing as an opiate induced dream, River of Smoke will soon be heralded as a masterpiece of twenty-first century literature.

Hodder & Stoughton

Starter For Ten

David Nicholls
Authors:
David Nicholls

It's 1985 and Brian Jackson has arrived at university with a burning ambition - to make it onto TV's foremost general knowledge quiz. But no sooner has he embarked on 'The Challenge' than he finds himself falling hopelessly in love with his teammate, the beautiful and charismatic would-be actress, Alice Harbinson.When Alice fails to fall for his slightly over-eager charms, Brian comes up with a foolproof plan to capture her heart once and for all. He's going to win the game, at any cost, because - after all - everyone knows that what a woman really wants from a man is a comprehensive grasp of general knowledge . . .Starter for Ten is a comedy about love, class, growing-up and the all-important difference between knowledge and wisdom. Are you up to the challenge of the funniest novel in years?

Hodder Paperbacks

Spike Milligan

Humphrey Carpenter
Authors:
Humphrey Carpenter

Spike Milligan was one of our best-loved comics as well as one of our most original. In this first major assessment of Spike's life and career, the highly respected biographer Humphrey Carpenter has - through copious research and access to many of those closest to the great man - unearthed a character who could be as difficult and contradictory as he was generous and talented. The creator of The Goons was to influence a whole generation of comics, yet was never to feel fully valued. His periods of depression were matched by periods of high creativity - there were poems, novels, volumes of biography, as well as TV series and a one-man show as Spike searched for his best means of expression. There was also, as revealed here, his inveterate womanising. Married three times and with four children to whom he was devoted, two illegitimate children were to remain barely acknowledged.Detailing both his private and professional life, Humphrey Carpenter gives us the most revealing portrait yet of this highly complex genius.

Sceptre

McCarthy's Bar

Pete Mccarthy
Authors:
Pete Mccarthy

Pete McCarthy's tale of his hilarious trip around Ireland has gained thousands of fans all over the world. Pete was born in Warrington to an Irish mother and an English father and spent happy summer holidays in Cork. Years later, reflecting on the many places he has visited as a travel broadcaster, Pete admits that he feels more at home in Ireland than anywhere. To find out whether this is due to rose-coloured spectacles or to a deeper tie with the country of his ancestors, Pete sets off on a trip around Ireland and discovers that it has changed in surprising ways. Firstly obeying the rule 'never pass a pub with your name on it', he encounters McCarthy's bars up and down the land, and meets English hippies, German musicians, married priests and many others. A funny, affectionate look at one of the most popular countries in the world.

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.

16 Hilarious Dating Profiles of Famous Fictional Characters

By Chris Cleave, 15 October 2008

Suggested Wikipedia entry for Sceptre

Chris Cleave, author of THE OTHER HAND, puts his neck on the line and lays bare the secret history of Sceptre.