Related to: 'Charles Maclean'

Yellow Kite

Cosy

Laura Weir
Authors:
Laura Weir

'The slackers guide to staying in, the antidote to peak frazzle and spending too much time out on the razzle. It's time to tune in to being cosy, because tucking up inside with the ones you love is all that matters.' Laura Weir There seems to be a lot to worry about in the world right now, with Brexit looming, social media draining our time and anxiety on the rise, the public are seeking out value in the small things which are close to home that can bring us maximum simple joy in our daily lives. In this hug of a book, Laura Weir celebrates the very best of our cool and quirky traditions and habits and rituals with a big dose of comfort - think warm cups of tea, toasty open fires and windswept walks that will blow away the cobwebs. Cosy gives readers permission to batten down the hatches and switch off - it is an ode to tucking in, hunkering down and softening life's edges when we need it most.Includes illustrations by Rose Electra Harris, as well as cosy contributions from the likes of Dolly Alderton, Alice Temperley and Christoper Kane. 'A warm, generous, blanket of a book, to reach for whenever you need a dose of comfort.' Sophie Dahl'As someone who has spent the majority of their adult life hunkered down in a big jumper, dodging reasons to leave the house, Cosy is the official justification for not going out.' Alice Levine

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Expertise Economy

Kelly Palmer, David Blake
Authors:
Kelly Palmer, David Blake

The world of work is going through a large-scale transition with digitization, automation and acceleration. Critical skills and expertise are imperative for companies and their employees to succeed in the future, and the most forward-thinking companies are being proactive in adapting to the shift in the workforce. Kelly Palmer, Silicon Valley thought-leader from LinkedIn, Degreed, and Yahoo, and David Blake, co-founder of Ed-tech pioneer Degreed, share their experiences and describe how some of the smartest companies in the world are making learning and expertise a major competitive advantage.The authors provide the latest scientific research on how people really learn and concrete examples from companies in both Silicon Valley and worldwide who are driving the conversation about how to create experts and align learning innovation with business strategy. It includes interviews with people from top companies like Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Unilever, NASA, and MasterCard; thought leaders in learning and education like Sal Khan and Todd Rose; as well as Thinkers50 list-makers Clayton Christensen, Daniel Pink and Whitney Johnson. The Expertise Economy dares you to let go of outdated and traditional ways of closing the skills gap, and challenges CEOs and business leaders to embrace the urgency of re-skilling and upskilling the workforce.

John Murray Learning

The Franchising Handbook

Carl Reader
Authors:
Carl Reader

Most small business books focus on what it takes to start a small business, and not what it takes to start a franchise. At best, these books might allocate a single chapter to the concept of franchising, and at worst the author presumes that franchises are the same as any other business start-up. The world of franchising has its own nuances, and advice that works for 99% of start-ups would not apply to franchising. In fact, well-meaning advice can often be detrimental to potential franchisees.This book is focused on making sure that potential franchisees are aware of the specific journey ahead of them. As franchising is a two-way business arrangement, it includes exactly what franchisors are looking for, what can or cannot be negotiated with a franchisor, and how best to present yourself to ensure that you win the franchise you want.

Yellow Kite

Black Rainbow

Rachel Kelly
Authors:
Rachel Kelly
Hodder & Stoughton

Everybody Matters

Mary Robinson
Authors:
Mary Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton

Home Before Dark

Charles Maclean
Authors:
Charles Maclean
Chapter One

COME SUNDAY, by Isla Morley

Read the first chapter of Isla Morley's COME SUNDAY.

Chapter One

SUNNYSIDE, by Glen David Gold

Read the first chapter of Glen David Gold's SUNNYSIDE.

Chapter One

RIVER OF SMOKE, by Amitav Ghosh

Read the first chapter of Amitav Ghosh's RIVER OF SMOKE, the second book of his Ibis trilogy.

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.

John Goldsmith on The Saint

In 1953, the journalist and author Richard Usborne published a seminal book called Clubland Heroes. It was an affectionate, nostalgia-tinged analysis and celebration of the fictional gentleman-adventurers whose exploits had thrilled him when he was a boy, the protagonists of three immensely popular novelists of the inter-war period: John Buchan’s Richard Hannay, ‘Sapper’s Bulldog Drummond and Dornford Yates’s Jonathan Mansel. These characters had a great deal in common. They all enjoyed substantial private means and were rich enough not to let anything as vulgar as earning a living interfere with their adventuring. They were proudly upper-class and, except in Hannay’s case, Public School and Oxbridge. They had all had damned good wars. They drove Rolls-Royces. They were viscerally racist and anti-Semitic. They believed in rough justice, an eye for a tooth, in stepping in where plodding policemen feared to tread, or were unable to tread because of inferior birth and breeding. They regularly bumped off the villains on the grounds – if they thought about it at all – that they were simply saving the hangman the bother. Crucially, they were all members of London Clubs, those exclusive enclaves in the St. James’s area, where the elite lunched and dined in splendour, wreathed in cigar smoke, waited on by silent, obsequious servants. But there was another writer, competing in the same market, equally successful, equally adored by generations of school-boys. His name was Leslie Charteris and his hero was Simon Templar, the Saint. Usborne does not ignore Charteris and the Saint entirely. He does something rather more disagreeable: he dismisses them both in a few disparaging lines. The Saint, he feels, is a lesser character than Hannay, Drummond and Mansel; Charteris is a lesser writer than Buchan, ‘Sapper’ and Yates. In the strict technical sense, Usborne is right not to include the Saint in his pantheon because Simon Templar would not have been seen dead in one of those stuffy St. James’s clubs. Indeed, throughout the Charteris oeuvre the Saint is devastatingly satirical about the denizens of such places, with their snobbery, prejudices, prudery and superannuated political opinions. (Hannay, Drummond and Mansel were all firmly of the Conservative Right.) But in writing off the Saint as a character and Charteris as a prose stylist, Usborne was wrong. I first encountered the Saint, as I did the other three, in the 1950s when I was banged up in a prep school in Hertfordshire. Even for that dismal era, the school was a time warp, a little world of its own that would still have been comfortably familiar to Hannay, Drummond and Mansel but which would have excited the Saint’s mockery – and pity for its young inmates. We were taught to worship Games and (a grimly Protestant) God. In the Cadet Corps we were trained to bayonet the Hun – as per the First World War – rather than the Boche of the Second World War. For competitive events – almost all sporting – the school was divided into sets named after military heroes: Roberts, Kitchener, Haig and Beatty. Our physical horizons were bounded by the red-brick turrets and walls of the school buildings, reminiscent of a Victorian prison, and fenced, gated playing fields and parkland. Beyond lay forbidden territory, strictly out of bounds, inhabited mainly by dangerous ruffians called oiks. Our intellectual horizons were limited to a curriculum designed for a sole purpose: to get one into a decent public school. The food was abominable, the school rules numberless and enforced by the frequent swishing of cane and slipper. Into this narrow, isolated realm stepped the Saint. He was dashing, debonair, didn’t give a damn about rules and regulations, lived by his own code, went where he wanted to go, did what he wanted to do, leaving policeman and criminal alike gasping in his wake. He didn’t drive a boring, boxy Rolls-Royce; he drove a sleek, superfast Hirondel. He was a citizen of the world, perfectly at home in any great city where, of course, he would know which was the best hotel and the finest restaurant, and where there was always an old friend to lend a hand in his latest endeavour. He was rich, yes, but the money didn’t come from a country estate or a share portfolio: he earned it by creaming off his usual ten per cent of the booty or scooping a reward. He was a free spirit, openminded, without a racist or anti-Semitic bone in his immaculately clothed body. His adventures sprang naturally out of his globe-trotting life, his insatiable curiosity about everything and everybody, his infallible nose for a mystery, his quixotic sense of justice. He was witty. He was clever. He had style, panache. He killed, certainly, but mostly in self-defence, and his preferred modus operandi was to step deftly aside and let dog eat dog. He never displayed the sadistic relish of Bulldog Drummond, the patriotic fervour of Richard Hannay, or the Old Testament righteousness of Jonathan Mansel. Most thrilling of all, perhaps, he lived openly with a woman, Patricia Holm, who was not his wife and whose charms could be only furtively and feverishly imagined. Although I loved reading about Hannay, Drummond and Mansel, they were, in a sense, only Senior Prefects writ large. They conformed to the rules – indeed, they strictly imposed them on others. They would triumph on the cricket field, the football pitch and in the boxing ring and eventually rise to be Head Boy. The Saint, by contrast, might perhaps win the Poetry Prize but would undoubtedly be expelled. He was completely different. He was a liberator. He pointed a finger, or rather two fingers, with a cigarette held nonchalantly between them, towards a wider, more sophisticated world. He showed that silly or irksome rules could and should be circumvented, pomposity laughed at, an individual path pursued. So much for the character. What of the literary skills of his creator? It was only years later, when I had the job of adapting some of the stories for the screen, that I came fully to appreciate what a superb writer Leslie Charteris was. The first task of the adaptor is to analyse the plot. I quickly discovered that in terms of the overall impact of a given story, the plot plays a relatively minor role. Certainly, the plots are well, often brilliantly, constructed, with all the requisite twists and turns and surprises and – most important – a rigorous logic. But the real fascination lies elsewhere: in description, in the development of a particular situation or scene, above all, in dialogue. The prose is spare and sinewy where the pace of the narrative demands it, but where there is space for a pause, Charteris fills it with paragraph after paragraph, sometimes page after page, of highly entertaining, perfectly honed writing, with a lightness of touch and a refined humour worthy of P.G. Wodehouse. (‘By the tum-tum of Tutankhaman!’ the Saint exclaims to Mr Teal in the first story in the present collection. Bertie Wooster himself couldn’t have put it better.) The dyspeptic critic might dismiss all this as mere padding: Charteris either lacked the powers of invention or was simply too idle to construct an elaborate plot and made up for it by shoving in a lot of extraneous guff. This would be to miss the point completely. The minimisation of plot and maximisation of other elements is the warp and woof of the Charteris style. What other thriller writer would think of (or dare to proceed with) spicing up a murder mystery with satirical verse? And the verse itself is worthy of Ogden Nash: Trained from an early age to rule (At that immortal Public School Whose playing fields have helped to lose Innumerable Waterloos), His brains, his wit, his chin, were all Infinitesimal . . . So how does Charteris, the prose stylist, measure up to the writers Usborne set above him? Take ‘Sapper’, the nom-deplume of an offi cer-turned-prison governor called H.C. McNeile. His literary skills can most charitably be described as workmanlike. There is none of the verve, vivacity and pure relish for words that you find in Charteris. And the character of Drummond himself verges on the Fascistic. John Buchan is a much better writer, a fine writer in fact, but his plots rely unnervingly on coincidence and his attempts to reproduce the slang of the criminal classes, or even worse of Americans, are embarrassing. Dornford Yates is in a category of his own. He developed a unique style, full of archaisms and purple passages that some admire (I am one of them) and others find ludicrous. His plotting is superb, perhaps because his method was never to know himself, at the end of a day’s writing, what was going to happen next. But he is most definitely an acquired taste. By any standard, Leslie Charteris is worthy to stand beside Buchan and Yates – and well above ‘Sapper’. And in The Saint and Mr Teal he is on top form. He was twenty-six when he wrote it and it has all the freshness and vigour of an early work. The three stories are exciting, surprising, funny – and great, great fun. The character of the Saint is fully formed, with all the swashbuckling sparkle that kept him alive through the following decades and saw him emerge, in the form of the incomparable Roger Moore, as a globally recognised figure. In the late 1970s I found myself one day in a remote fishing village on the coast of Brazil. When I told the locals that I was a writer they naturally asked me what I had written. I mentioned various novels and television shows, all of which were met with blank stares. But when I mentioned the Saint faces lit up, recognition was instant. It was smiles and ecstatic cries of ‘El Santo! El Santo!’ all round. The Saint had travelled a long, long way. He is still travelling. - John Goldsmith

Chapter One: The House of Punk Sleep

WIDE AWAKE, by Patricia Morrisroe

Read an excerpt of the first chapter of Patricia Morrisroe's brilliant memoir about insomnia, WIDE AWAKE.

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Chapter One

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, by John le Carré

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Chapter One: The Old Long Since

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Chapter One: A Morning in Vermillion

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Chapter One

A MOST WANTED MAN, by John le Carré

Read the first chapter of John le Carré's A MOST WANTED MAN.