'I consider myself a poet first and a musician second' 'It ain't the melodies that're important man, it's the words' Two quotes from Dylan himself that underline the importance of this book. Dylanology thrives. There is no shortage of books about him and many of them will be dusted off for his 70th birthday. This one, however, stands on its own both for its unusual approach and for the virtuosity of its execution. Ricks's scheme, aptly, is to examine Dylan's songs through the biblical concepts of the seven deadly Sins, the four Virtues, and the three Heavenly Graces. He carries it off with panache. Ricks may be the most eminent literary critic of his generation but nobody should feel his book is one of earnest, unapproachable exegesis, on the contrary it has a flamboyance, almost effervescence about it that is captivating. Ricks boldly and successfully judges Dylan as a poet not a lyricist and in his tour-de-force makes endless illuminating comparisons with canonical writers such as Eliot, Hardy, Hopkins and Larkin.
The Complete Edition.
Includes the engraved frontispiece and (fictional) dedication and with a new preface by Ian Rankin.
It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.
Hogg's book is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events: is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?
'Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation.' Ian Rankin 'One of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely.' Philip Pullman 'A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance.' Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement 'Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what makes it at once so gripping ad yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature.' James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack
Alessandro Baricco re-creates the siege of Troy through the voices of 21 Homeric characters. Sacrificing none of Homer's panoramic scope, Baricco forgoes Homer's detachment and admits us to realms of subjective experience his predecessor never explored. From the return of Chryseis to the burial of Hector, we see through human eyes and feel with human hearts the unforgettable events first recounted more than 3,000 years ago events arranged not by the whims of the gods in this instance but by the dictates of human nature. With Andromache, Patroclus, Priam, and the rest, we are privy to the ghastly confusion of battle, the clamour of the princely councils, the intimacies of the bedchamber until finally only a blind poet is left to recount secondhand the awful fall of Ilium. Imbuing the stuff of legend with a startlingly new relevancy and humanity, Baricco gives us The Iliad as we have never known it. His transformative achievement is certain to delight and fascinate all the readers of Homer's indispensable classic.
Jacob and Edna have fallen on hard times. They haven't lost everything the way others have, but they have lost enough. When one of their hens stops laying eggs, it seems like the final straw. Jacob is determined to solve the mystery. What he discovers is as heartbreaking as it is revelatory.
This is just one of the remarkable stories in Burning Bright - an award-winning collection that confirms why Ron Rash has won comparisons with John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy and Gabriel García Màrquez.
It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, as Ron Rash does with the rugged, brutal landscape of the Appalachian Mountains. At the same time, again and again he conjures characters that live long in the mind after their stories have been told.
Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski, returns, revelling in his eternal penchant for booze, women and horse-racing as he makes the precarious journey from poet to screenwriter. Based on Bukowski's experiences when working on the film Barfly, the absurdity and egotism of the film industry are laid bare in this deadpan, touching and funny glimpse into the endless negotiations and back-stabbings of La-la land. Hollywood is an irreverent roman - clef that serves up the beating heart of Hollywood with razor-sharp humour.
A powerful debut from an Australian novelist that features one of the most likeable but contrary figures you are likely to meet in contemporary fiction. Lou Connor, a gifted, unhappy sixteen-year-old, is desperate to escape her life of poverty in Sydney. When she is offered an exchange student placement at a school in America it seems as if her dreams will be fulfilled. Her host family has a beautiful house in Illinois and couldn't be more welcoming . . . until she starts to be distubed by the suffocating and repressed atmosphere of their suburban mansion and things begin to go terribly wrong. How the Light Gets In is an acutely observed story of adolescence, reminiscent of American Beauty in its dissection of engrained prejudices and middle-class hypocrisy. In Lou Connor, Hyland has created a larger-than-life protagonist who mesmerises the reader with her vivacity and vulnerability, from hopeful beginning to unexpected, haunting end.
There's nothing moving outside. No cars. No buses. No people. No birds. Nothing. No one. Anywhere. An ordinary man wakes up on an ordinary day to find that he's the only living creature in the entire city. The radio and TV are suddenly filled with white noise, there's no newspaper, the Internet is down and no one's answering the phone. Jonas is the last living being on the planet. What happened? How? Why? And why is he still here? Thriller and philosophical investigation wrapped up in an intensely compelling, eerie mystery, Night Work is compulsive and exhilarating - but don't read it when you're all alone...
Jim Dodge said he would consider publishing a volume of poetry if he lived to the millennium. Happily he did, and Rain on the River is the immediate result - work selected from his Tangram chapbooks, broadsides, and Solstice poems, accompanied by three dozen new poems. If you've enjoyed his fiction, Dodge's first collection of poems and short prose offer similar pleasures: a splendid ear for language, great emotional range and subtlety, a sharp eye for the illuminating detial, and a sensibility that encompasses outright hilarity, savage wit, and tender marvel - all made eminently accessible through writing of uncompromising clarity and grace.
First published in 1971, Revenge of the Lawn is Richard Brautigan in miniature and contains new fewer than 62 ultra-short stories set mainly in Tacoma, Washington (where the author grew up) and in the flower-powered San Francisco of the late fifties and early sixties. In their compacted form, which ranges from the murderously short 'The Scarlatti Tilt' to one-page wonders like the sexually poignant poetry of 'An Unlimited Supply of 35 Millimetre Film', Brautigan's stories take us into a world where his fleeting glimpses of everyday strangeness leaves stories and characters resonating in our heads long after they're gone. Revenge of the Lawn is Brautigan's only collection of short fiction and is generally regarded as the most autobiographical of his published work.
This volume tells the story of the birth of rhythm-and-blues. It records the rise and fall of Stax Records - who produced Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs - as well as other labels such as Atlantic. It profiles major artists such as Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, James Brown and Al Green.
Sweltering New York City, summer of 1841, the beautiful 'Segar Girl' Mary Rogers is brutally murdered. Popular amongst the journalistic and publishing elite, the task of finding her killer falls to High Constable Jacob Hays. At the end of a long and distinguished career Old Hays's investigation will ultimately span a decade, involving gang wars, grave robbing, and clues hidden in the poems of the hopeless romantic and minstrel of the night, Edgar Allan Poe.Superbly researched and compellingly readable, The Blackest Bird is both a richly textured and atmospheric portrait of the birth of New York, a city raging with bloodshed and duplicity, and a thrilling murder mystery.
Ever been held hostage in a dressing room with your parents? Ever been thrown off the bus in the middle of a Swedish forest or abandoned at a foreign airport? Ever been asked to play at one of the UK's biggest music festivals with musicians you've just met who are covered in blood, or taken part in a 'recording session' in a speeding Transit? If so you've probably been in The Fall. Dave Simpson made it his mission to track down everyone who has ever played in Britain's most berserk, brilliant group. He uncovers a changing Britain, tales of madness and genius, and wreaks havoc on his personal life.
Ireland, 1846. A boy on a life-changing journey which lives in the mind long after the final page. It is 1846, the height of the Great Hunger, and young Fergus is forced to grow up fast. Following the destruction of his home, he loses not only his family but everything he has ever loved. So begins an epic journey from innocence to experience that takes him from the west coast of Ireland to the docks and bordellos of Liverpool, and across the Atlantic. Along his journey he will meet bandit chiefs and railway navvies, 'pearl boys' and daring girls, and the willful Molly, who will teach him the ways of the world.
The Man with the Golden Arm tells the story of Frankie Machine, the golden arm dealer at a back street Chicago gambling den. Frankie reckons he's a tough guy in the Chicago underworld but finds that he's not tough enough to kick his heroin addiction. With consummate skill and a finely-tuned ear for the authentic dialogue of the backstreets, Algren lays bare the tragedy and humour of Frankie's world. Features the first UK publication of a foreword by Kurt Vonnegut and an afterword by Studs Terkel.
Between 1965 and 1972, political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution, from the Black Panthers to the Gay Liberation Front, from the Yippies to the IRA. Rock and soul music supplied the revolutionary tide with anthems and iconic imagery; and renowned musicians such as John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan were particularly influential in the movement. This is the definitive account of this unique period in modern history; a compelling portrait of an era when revolutionaries turned into rock stars, and rock stars dressed up as revolutionaries.
Gary and his girlfriend Charlie are struggling to keep their lives on track in an imperfect world. When the money runs out or the drugs don't work, love is not always enough. Nigel appears like a guardian angel, offering the chance to improve their fortunes, but as best intentions meet compulsive desires a dark love triangle emerges, one which will transform the fates of these three very different people for good. Under Control is an irresistibly dark modern drama, a stunningly ambitious and impressive follow-up to McNay's award-winning debut, Fresh.
Dove Findhorn is a nave country boy who busts out of Hicksville, Texas in pursuit of a better life in New Orleans. Amongst the downtrodden prostitutes, bootleggers and hustlers of the old French Quarter, Dove finds only hopelessness, crime and despair. His quest uncovers a harrowing grotesque of the American Dream. A Walk in the Wild Side is an angry, lonely, large-hearted and often funny masterpiece that has captured the imaginations of every generation since its first publication in 1956, and that rendered a world later immortalised in Lou ReedÂ´s classic song.
It is 1938 and Sigmund Freud, suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer, has been permitted by the Nazis to leave Vienna. He seeks refuge in England, taking up residence in the house in Hampstead in which he will die only fifteen months later. But his last months are made vivid by the arrival of a stranger, who comes and goes according to Freud's state of health. Who is the mysterious visitor and why has he come to tell the famed proponent of the Oedipus complex his strange story? Set partly in pre-war London and partly in ancient Greece, Where Three Roads Meet is as brilliantly compelling as it is moving. Former psychoanalyst and acclaimed novelist Salley Vickers revisits a crime committed long ago which still has disturbing reverberations for us all.
An investigation into the nature of loss, losing and being lost. Starting from the revelation that what is totally unknown to you is usually what you most need to discover, this book explores how finding that unknown quantity frequently requires getting lost to begin with.
Ten slices from the life of Bobby Gold; by night, the security chief of a mobbed-up New York City nightclub, by day, a reluctant bonebreaker and enforcer for Eddie Fish - his old college roommate, and best friend. Emerging from the "gladiator school" environment of an upstate prison with an imposing physique and a reputation for skilled brutality, Bobby's a lonely, guilt-ridden child inside a hulking body. He views the grim work of coercion, assault and even murder as jobs to be done with a craftsman's work ethic and with a minimum of force. However, the technician's pride in a job done well is failing him, his friend and protector Eddie is getting flakier and flakier and worst of all, he's falling in love with Nicole, a reckless and self-destructive female line-cook who"s been around the block a few times. Following on from his two superb novels, Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, Anthony Bourdain has produced another stunning book of crime fiction.