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Notes from UndergroundThe unnamed narrator of the novel, a former government official, has decided to retire from the world and lead a life of inactivity and contemplation. His fiercely bitter, cynical and witty monologue ranges from general observations and philosophical musings to memorable scenes from his own life, including his obsessive plans to exact revenge on an officer who has shown him disrespect and a dramatic encounter ...
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A Dog's HeartWhen a stray dog dying on the streets of Moscow is taken in by a wealthy professor, he is subjected to medical experiments in which he receives various transplants of human organs. As he begins to transform into a rowdy, unkempt human by the name of Poligraf Poligrafovich Sharikov, his actions distress the professor and those surrounding him, although he finds himself accepted into the ranks of the Soviet state. ...
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Childhood Memories and Other StoriesGiuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, the author of one of the most poignant and enduringly popular novels of the twentieth century, left only a few other pieces of fiction when he died prematurely at the age of sixty. Childhood Memories and Other Stories, here presented in a new translation by Stephen Parkin and including previously deleted passages and the unpublished fragment 'Torretta', collects all of Lampedusa's ...
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George Silverman's ExplanationAfter a traumatic early childhood spent living in poverty in a Preston cellar, the suddenly orphaned George Silverman grows up convinced that he is at fault for all the misfortunes in his life. Hoodwinked by hypocritical clergymen and exploited by his employer, he finds himself forsaking love and facing professional ruin. One of Dickens's very last writings, 'George Silverman's Explanation' is a dark and psychologically ...
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Heart of Darkness and the Complete Congo DiaryOn a boat in the Thames estuary, Marlow tells his travelling companions of his reconnaissance expedition for a Belgian trading company to its most remote outpost in central Africa, which brought him on the trail of the elusive Kurtz, a brilliant idealist gone rogue. His account relates not only the perils he encounters on his quest, but also the deterioration of his state of mind as he is confronted with a world ...
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Tales of the Jazz AgePart of Alma Classics Fitzgerald's mini-series. Lavishly produced edition with flaps and b&w plates. A collection of early short stories which helped make Fitzgerald's name, Tales of the Jazz Age combines period pieces - the most notable of which is the novella-length 'May Day' - with more fanciful creations, such as the fantastical 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button', recently made into a Hollywood film.
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The Last TycoonMonroe Stahr is a film producer at the height of his career, revered by the industry and in control of every aspect of his business empire. In his ruthless rise to the top, the young widower has had little time for sentiment, until he meets the beguiling Kathleen Moore, and the two embark on an intense but ill-fated relationship.
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The DoubleConstantly rebuffed from the social circles he aspires to frequent, the timid clerk Golyadkin is confronted by the sudden appearance of his double, a more brazen, confident and socially succesful version of himself, who abuses and victimizes the original. As he is increasingly persecuted, Golyadkin finds his social, romantic and professional life unravelling, in a spiral that leads to a catastrophic denouement.
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Diaries and Selected LettersThe career of Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of Master and Margarita - now regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century literature - was characterized by a constant and largely unsuccessful struggle against state censorship. This suppression did not only apply to his art: in 1926 his personal diary was seized by the authorities. From then on he confined his thoughts to letters to his friends and family, ...
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The Pink HotelA seventeen-year-old London girl flies to Los Angeles for the funeral of her mother Lily, from whom she was separated in her childhood. After stealing a suitcase of letters, clothes and photographs from her mum's bedroom at the top of a hotel on Venice Beach, the girl spends her summer travelling around Los Angeles in a bid to track down the men who knew her mother. As she discovers more about Lily's past and ...
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The Beautiful and DamnedThe heir to his grandfather's considerable fortune, Anthony Patch is led astray from the path to gainful employment by the temptations and distractions of the 1920s Jazz Age. His descent into dissolution and profligacy is accelerated by his marriage to the attractive but turbulent Gloria, and the couple soon discover the dangerous flip side of a life of glamour and debauchery.
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This Side of ParadiseThis Side of Paradise charts the life of Amory Blaine, an ambitious young man loosely based on Fitzgerald himself, as he moves from his well-heeled Midwest home to study at Princeton and then starts frequenting the circles of high society as an aspiring writer. Experiencing failure and frustration in love and in his career, Blaine finds his youthful enthusiasm gradually giving way to disillusionment, cynicism ...
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Tender is the NightWhile holidaying at a villa on the French Riviera, Dick and Nicole Diver, a wealthy American couple, meet the young film star Rosemary Hoyt. Her arrival causes a stir in their social circle and exposes the cracks in their fragile marriage. As their relationship unravels, the glimpses of their troubled past emerge, and a series of disturbing events unfolds.
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All the Sad Young MenPublished a year after The Great Gatsby, this short-story collection showcases many of the celebrated novel's themes, as well as its unique writing style. Two of the most famous tales, the beautifully elegiac 'The Rich Boy' and 'Winter Dreams', deal with wealthy protagonists - the old-money Anson Hunter and the self-made man Dexter Green - as they come to terms with lost love; while 'Absolution', in which a ...
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White GuardSet in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev during the chaotic winter of 1918 - 19, The White Guard, Bulgakov's first full-length novel, tells the story of a Russian-speaking family trapped in circumstances that threaten to destroy them. As in Tolstoy's War and Peace, the narrative centres on the stark contrast between the cosy domesticity of family life on the one hand, and wide-ranging and destructive historical ...
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The Captain's DaughterThe inexperienced and impetuous young nobleman Pyotr Grinyev is sent on military service in a remote fortress, where he falls in love with Masha, Captain Mironov's daughter - but then the ruthless Cossack Pugachev lays siege to the stronghold, setting in motion a tragic train of events. This volume also contains another work by Pushkin on the same theme, The History of the Pugachev Rebellion, which presents ...
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Sakhalin IslandIn 1890, the thirty-year-old Chekhov, already knowing that he was ill with tuberculosis, undertook an arduous eleven-week journey from Moscow across Siberia to the penal colony on the island of Sakhalin. Now collected here in one volume are the fully annotated translations of his impressions of his trip through Siberia, and the account of his three-month sojourn on Sakhalin Island, together with author's notes, ...
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The Master and MargaritaRussia's literary world is shaken to its foundations when a mysterious gentleman - a professor of black magic - arrives in Moscow, accompanied by a bizarre retinue of servants. It soon becomes clear that he is the Devil himself, come to wreak havoc among the cultural elite of a disbelieving capital. But the Devil's mission quickly becomes entangled with the fate of the Master - a man who has turned his back ...
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Humiliated and InsultedOscar Wilde claimed that Humiliated and Insulted is not at all inferior to the other great masterpieces and Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have wept over it. Its construction is that of an intricate detective novel, and the reader is plunged into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma and, above all, unrequited love and irreconcilable relationships. At the centre of the story are a young struggling author, ...
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Living SoulsA wide-ranging Russian novel dealing with the ideas of language, power, and national identity, this comic and thought-provoking work has tremendous relevance to the present day
In a world a few decades from now, Russia has descended into a farcical civil war. With an extreme right-wing cult in power, racial tensions have divided the country into the Varangians - those who consider themselves to be the original ...
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The Diaries of Sofia TolstoyWhen Sofia Behrs married Count Leo Tolstoy, the author of "War and Peace", husband and wife regularly exchanged diaries covering the years from 1862 to 1910. Sofia's life was not an easy one: she idealized her husband, but was tormented by him; even her many children were not an unmitigated blessing. In the background of her life was one of the most turbulent periods of Russian history: the transition from old ...
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