Based on the popular BBC Radio 4 series Rare Books, Rare People, Tolkien's Gown? and Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books? is a feast of the tales behind some of the most iconic titles to have graced British publishing, and fascinating anecdotes about the authors who wrote them. From Grahame Greene arranging a meeting in his hotel room to sell a signed copy of ?Lolita? for #4,000 to the author of this book, Rick Gekoski, over a glass or ten of vodka. He resold the book in his hungover stat the next day to Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin and in later years it went on to fetch $264,000 at auction in Christies to J.D. Salinger threatening a law suit, this is a gem of a book. There are stories about Talkien, Potter Orwell, Larkin, Hemingway and more, representing a treasure trove of trivia for book fans.
Rick Gekoski has been described as the Bill Bryson of the book world. Rare book dealer, academic, publisher, critic, bibliographer, and broadcaster, his BBC Radio series Rare Books, Rare People was acclaimed by The Daily Telegraph as 'one of the gems of Radio 4'. In Tolkien's Gown, a book based loosely on that hugely successful radio series, he discusses twenty great works of modern literature as both texts and objects. At once erudite and funny, the essays give a publishing biography of each book, together with comments about the author's involvement with first editions of the works. 'What is the value of a book?' he asks. The answers are both critical and financial, involving appraisals of the literary qualities of the works, together with an account of their (sometimes surprising) value in the rare book trade. His stories are fascinating and diverse, and involve memorable encounters with, among others, Graham Greene, William Golding, J.D. Salinger, Ted Hughes, Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes and Harold Pinter. Relations between book dealers and authors can be uneasy: J.D. author, Ted Hughes thinks he has been overcharged. While Graham Greene is simply delighted to have done business. For anyone who loves books, Tolkien's Gown offers a wealth of amusement and instruction, and enough literary anecdotes to last a lifetime.
Notes from a bibliophile on the lure of rare and first editions, the beauty of dust jackets, the thrill of browsing in antiquarian bookshops, the bibliomania of book thieves, movies about books, and the inner life of a reader. The Groaning Shelf is not so much a book about books as a book about books about books. These little essays capture the drama of bookish obsession, the joys and snares of the bookish life and the pleasures of bibliophily.
A No-Nonsense Guide to Words and Phrases from Other Languages
Author: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publisher: A&C Black
If you have ever been bamboozled by the use of a foreign word or phrase, or simply want to spice up your vocabulary with some well-chosen bons mots, then this is the book for you. Thousands of foreign words and phrases have been absorbed into the language and are currently used in English, from the everyday (macho, tete-a-tete, spaghetti) to the relatively obscure (ultra vires, auto-da-fe). Faux Pas focuses on familiar terms and expressions as well as those that are new, curious or amusing. Each expression is 'translated', with an indication of its language of origin and pronunciation, a comment on its usefulness and a Pretentiousness Index.
It is 1953, a heat wave is sweeping across America and the Grossmans – Ben, Addie and their two children – are moving their lives from the political heart of Washington DC to suburban Long Island. With their future uncertain, life in Long Island starts to cause problems for Ben and Addie. Both begin to wonder if they were meant for more, whether their lives might look different than they planned, and whether their marriage – their family – is worth fighting for. A Long Island Story is a portrait of a couple in crisis, of a unique and fascinating period in US history and of a seemingly perfect family fighting their demons behind closed doors.
An Introduction to Book History provides a comprehensive critical introduction to the development of the book and print culture. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery chart the move from spoken word to written texts, the coming of print, the book as commodity, the power and profile of readers, and the future of the book in the electronic age. Each section begins with a summary of the chapter's aims and contents, followed by a detailed discussion of the relevant issues, concluding with a summary of the chapter and suggestions for further reading. Sections include: the history of the book orality to Literacy literacy to printing authors, authorship and authority printers, booksellers, publishers, agents readers and reading the future of the book. An Introduction to Book History is an ideal introduction to this exciting field of study, and is designed as a companion text to The Book History Reader.
Since the appearance of The Lord of the Rings in 1954, J. R. R. Tolkien’s works have always sold briskly, appealing to a wide and diverse audience of intellectuals, religious believers, fantasy enthusiasts, and science fiction aficionados. Now, Peter Jackson’s film version of Tolkien’s trilogy—with its accompanying Rings-related paraphernalia and publicity—is playing a unique role in the dissemination of Tolkien’s imaginative creation to the masses. Yet, for most readers and viewers, the underlying meaning of Middle-earth has remained obscure. Bradley Birzer has remedied that with this fresh study. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth, Birzer explains the surprisingly specific religious symbolism that permeates Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. He also explores the social and political views that motivated the Oxford don, ultimately situating Tolkien within the Christian humanist tradition represented by Thomas More and T. S. Eliot, Dante and C. S. Lewis. Birzer argues that through the genre of myth Tolkien created a world that is essentially truer than the one we think we see around us every day, a world that transcends the colorless disenchantment of our postmodern age. “A small knowledge of history,” Tolkien once wrote, “depresses one with the sense of the everlasting weight of human iniquity.” As Birzer demonstrates, Tolkien’s recognition of evil became mythologically manifest in the guise of Ringwraiths, Orcs, Sauron, and other dark beings. But Tolkien was ultimately optimistic: even weak, bumbling hobbits and humans, as long as they cling to the Good, can finally prevail. Bradley Birzer has performed a great service in elucidating Tolkien’s powerful moral vision.
" J.R.R. Tolkien's zeal for medieval literary, religious, and cultural ideas deeply influenced his entire life and provided the seeds for his own fiction. In Tolkien's Art, Chance discusses not only such classics as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, but focuses on his minor works as well, outlining in detail the sources and influences--from pagan epic to Christian legend-that formed the foundation of Tolkien's masterpieces, his "mythology for England."
SHORTLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARDDr James Darke has expelled himself from the world. He writes compulsively in his 'coming of old age' journal; he eats little, drinks and smokes a lot; he tries to console himself with the wisdom of the great thinkers and poets, yet finds nothing but disappointment. But cracks of light start to appear in his carefully managed darkness - the tender, bruised filaments of love for his daughter and grandson. With scalding prose, ruthless intelligence and an unforgettably vivid protagonist, Darke confronts some of humanity's greatest and most uncomfortable questions about how we choose to live, and to die.