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Ackroyd, Peter - Trial of Elizabeth Cree
(Doubleday US 1995 HC/DJ 50:-)

Mixing history with liberal doses of invention, Ackroyd presents a dark, atmospheric portrait of Victorian London. While bringing in everyone from an elderly Karl Marx to a youthful George Gissing, he focuses on Elizabeth Cree, who is on trial for her husband's murder. Ackroyd uses the transcripts of Cree's trial to set the stage for a series of flashbacks tracing her squalid beginnings in Lambeth Marsh, her days in comedian Dan Leno's music hall troupe, and her eventual marriage to journalist John Cree. Set against this is a diary, purportedly by John, that details the murderous exploits of the "Limehouse Golem." In Elizabeth's pathology, Ackroyd finds a harbinger for the social malignancies of our own age. An intellectually stimulating, if grisly, historical thriller.
Adams, Richard - Watership Down
(Rex Collings UK 1975 HC/DJ 80:-)

"Watership Down" has been a staple of high-school English classes for years. Despite the fact that it's often a hard sell at first (what teenager wouldn't cringe at the thought of 400-plus pages of talking rabbits?), Richard Adams's bunny-centric epic rarely fails to win the love and respect of anyone who reads it, regardless of age. Like most great novels, Watership Down is a rich story that can be read (and reread) on many different levels. The book is often praised as an allegory, with its analogs between human and rabbit culture (a fact sometimes used to goad skeptical teens, who resent the challenge that they won't "get" it, into reading it), but it's equally praiseworthy as just a corking good adventure. The story follows a warren of Berkshire rabbits fleeing the destruction of their home by a land developer. As they search for a safe haven, skirting danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band and its compelling culture and mythos. Adams has crafted a touching, involving world in the dirt and scrub of the English countryside, complete with its own folk history and language (the book comes with a "lapine" glossary, a guide to rabbitese). As much about freedom, ethics, and human nature as it is about a bunch of bunnies looking for a warm hidey-hole and some mates, Watership Down will continue to make the transition from classroom desk to bedside table for many generations to come.
Anonymous - Primare Colors
(Chatto & Windus UK 1996 HC/DJ 80:-)

The most talked-about political novel ever written, Primary Colors is the story of an ambitious, idealistic, womanizing young Southerner whirling his way to the White House. Here are the power plays, the media frenzy, and the pace and sheer craziness of a presidential campaign portrayed with more drama, humor, and insight than ever before. Now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures , this novel makes you wonder: Can a total political animal be America's best hope?
Archer, Jeffrey - Fouth Estate
(Harper Collins UK 1996 HC/DJ 60:-)

Lubji Hoch survived World War II on luck, guts, and ruthlessness. At the war's end, renamed Richard Armstrong, he buys a floundering newspaper in Berlin and deviously puts his competitors out of business. But it isn't enough. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Keith Townsend, the Oxford-educated son of a millionaire newspaper owner, takes over his family's business. His energy and brilliant strategic thinking quickly make him the leading newspaper publisher in Australia. Still, he longs to move on to the world stage.
Askew, Rilla - The Mercy Seat
(Viking US 1997 HC/DJ 80:-)

Eleven-year-old Mattie Lodi narrates most of this story about the utter destruction of her family, which begins in 1888 when her renegade uncle's criminal activities force the family to leave their native Kentucky for the wild, lawless Indian Territory. By the time they settle in Oklahoma, Mattie's mother and sister are dead, her brother is brain-damaged, and her father has withdrawn into impenetrable silence. Then a violent feud begins to stew between him and his brother. Mattie tries to hold her family together but eventually becomes the catalyst for the bloody climax to the feud.
Bragg, Melvyn - Credo
(Sceptre UK 1996 HC/DJ 80:-)

"Credo" tells the story of a young Irish princess named Bega, and the two loves of her life - her God and a young nobleman called Padric - a lifelong tug between this earth and the next, romance and faith. The story is set in seventh century Britain, and Melvyn Bragg has really done his homework, describing life in Anglo Saxon times in rich detail. Many of the characters are based on historical figures too, St Bega being the main one, and the story hinges around real events. It's quite a fascinating period in English history, and an important one in the story of Christianity, and Credo hits a satisfying balance between love story, adventure, and historical exploration. These were savage times, and Bragg doesn't gloss over the brutality. He doesn't dwell on it either, but sensitive readers should be warned that there are some genuinely horrible moments. First Edition
Burke, James Lee - Heartwood
(Doubleday US 1999 HC/DJ 80:-)

Whether he's writing about the Louisiana Bayou Country (in his Dave Robicheaux books) or the Texas hill towns around Austin (in his series about former Texas ranger Billy Bob Holland), James Lee Burke has deep roots in the American soil that link him to some of the great adventure writers of the past such as Jack London and Mark Twain. Like them, Burke writes novels illustrating how failure shapes a man much more than success does.

Central to Burke's second Billy Bob novel is Wilbur Pickett. Wilbur had a brief moment of glory as a rodeo cowboy before sliding into a downward cycle of luckless enterprises. He ends up laboring for a wealthy family, the Dietrichs, in the Texas town of Deaf Smith.

The Dietrichs accuse Wilbur of stealing some bearer bonds, and Billy Bob--now a defense attorney--reluctantly take his case. He is hesitant (because he idolizes Peggy Jean Dietrich), and for good reason: Billy Bob discovers that her husband Earl may be involved in shady, even violent, business practices.

Other ghosts from the past also haunt Billy Bob: he accidentally killed his former partner on a drug raid in Mexico and still hears his voice. And then there's Holland's illegitimate son Lucas, who is growing up with problems of his own. The weight of all this back-story might overwhelm a lesser writer, but Burke manages to make it seem as natural as the soft wind that stirs the tumbleweed in the town of Deaf Smith.
Carr, Caleb - Killing Time
(Random House US 2000 HC/DJ 50:-)

Set about 25 years ahead, the first-person narrative describes the grim adventures of Gideon Wolfe, a bestselling author who joins forces with a band of outsiders intent on alerting the world to the dangers of excess information untempered by wisdom.

By 2023, the Internet has multiplied wildly the ability of power possessors to deceive the general populace, resulting in a globe devastated by ecological blight and filled with near-zombies glued to computer screens. Some groups have escaped this fate, particularly those living in unwired if disease-ravaged areas of Africa and Asia and a few, led by the enormously wealthy and brilliant brother-and-sister team of Malcolm and Larissa Tressalian, have vowed to fight it.
Cave, Nick - And the Ass saw the Angel
(Black Spring UK 1898 HC/DJ 500:-)

Cave’s only novel to date takes on the southern gothic in this bizarre baroque tale. Born mute to a drunken mother and a demented father, tortured Euchrid Eucrow finds more compassion in the family mule than in his fellow men. But he alone will grasp the cruel fate of Cosey Mo, the beautiful young prostitute in the pink caravan on Hooper’s Hill. And it is Euchrid, spiraling ever deeper into his mad angelic vision, who will ultimately redeem both the town and its people.
Cruz Smith, Martin - December 6
(Simon & Schuster US 2002 HC/DJ 80:-)

This slickly plotted, exotically atmospheric thriller opens in Tokyo just a few days before bombs start raining on Pearl Harbor. There we meet roguish Harry Niles, the culturally conflicted son of religious missionaries and owner of the Happy Paris, a club known for its enigmatic jukebox jockey, Michiko, who also happens to be Harry's mistress. With war rumors rampant, Harry--distrusted by both U.S. and Japanese authorities--"was skipping town. Any sane person would." He has a seat waiting on what may be the final flight out to Hong Kong, and plans to escape from there to the States with a British diplomat's wife. But first, there are business and personal affairs to settle, not the least of which is an oil-tank con he's been running on the Imperial Navy--a desperate strategy to stop his beloved Japan from entering into self-destructive conflict with America. Harry also has to duck a sword-wielding military fanatic, who's seeking revenge for a long-ago incident that cost him honor, and bid sayonara to Michiko, a woman as scary as she is seductive. (Oh, well, at least they'll always have the Happy Paris.) First Edition
Cruz Smith, Martin - Wolves eat Dogs
(Simon & Schuster US 2004 HC/DJ 80:-)

"Why would anyone jump out a window with a saltshaker?" A good question, especially when the suicide victim is Pasha Ivanov, a Moscow physicist-turned-billionaire businessman--a "New Russian" poster boy, if ever there was one--with several homes, a leggy 20-year-old girlfriend ("the kind [of blonde] who could summon the attention of a breeze"), and every reason to be contented in his middle age. So, wonders Senior Investigator Arkady Renko, in Martin Cruz Smith's Wolves Eat Dogs, what provoked Ivanov to take a header from his stylish 10th-floor apartment? And how does it relate to the shaker clutched in his dead hand or the hillock of table salt found on his closet floor? First Edition.
DeLillo, Don - Underworld
(Scribner US 1997 HC/DJ 100:-)

While Eisenstein documented the forces of totalitarianism and Stalinism upon the faces of the Russian peoples, DeLillo offers a stunning, at times overwhelming, document of the twin forces of the cold war and American culture, compelling that "swerve from evenness" in which he finds events and people both wondrous and horrifying. Underworld opens with a breathlessly graceful prologue set during the final game of the Giants-Dodgers pennant race in 1951. Written in what DeLillo calls "super-omniscience" the sentences sweep from young Cotter Martin as he jumps the gate to the press box, soars over the radio waves, runs out to the diamond, slides in on a fast ball, pops into the stands where J. Edgar Hoover is sitting with a drunken Jackie Gleason and a splenetic Frank Sinatra, and learns of the Soviet Union's second detonation of a nuclear bomb. It's an absolutely thrilling literary moment. When Bobby Thomson hits Branca's pitch into the outstretched hand of Cotter--the "shot heard around the world"--and Jackie Gleason pukes on Sinatra's shoes, the events of the next few decades are set in motion, all threaded together by the baseball as it passes from hand to hand.
Doctorow, E.L. - The March
(Random House US 2005 HC/DJ 80:-)

Sherman's march through Georgia and the Carolinas produced hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold collateral damage. In this powerful novel, Doctorow gets deep inside the pillage, cruelty and destruction—as well as the care and burgeoning love that sprung up in their wake. William Tecumseh Sherman ("Uncle Billy" to his troops) is depicted as a man of complex moods and varying abilities, whose need for glory sometimes obscures his military acumen. Most of the many characters are equally well-drawn and psychologically deep, but the two most engaging are Pearl, a plantation owner's despised daughter who is passing as a drummer boy, and Arly, a cocksure Reb soldier whose belief that God dictates the events in his life is combined with the cunning of a wily opportunist. Their lives provide irony, humor and strange coincidences. Though his lyrical prose sometimes shades into sentimentality when it strays from what people are feeling or saying, Doctorow's gift for getting into the heads of a remarkable variety of characters, famous or ordinary, make this a kind of grim Civil War Canterbury Tales. On reaching the novel's last pages, the reader feels wonder that this nation was ever able to heal after so brutal, and personal, a conflict.
Drury, Allen - A Shade of Difference
(Doubleday US 1962 HC/DJ 60:-)

The sequel to the Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller ADVISE AND CONSENT. From Allen Drury, the 20th Century grand master of political fiction, a novel of the United Nations and the racial friction that could spark a worldwide powderkeg.

International tensions rise as ambassadors and politicians scheme, using the independence of a small African nation as the focal point for hidden agendas. A cascade of events begun in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations could lead to the weakening of the United States, the loss of the Panama Canal, and a possible civil war.

Allen Drury paints a vivid and laseraccurate portrait of Washington and international politics, from top secret conferences, to elite cocktail parties, club luncheon rooms, and the private offices of the key players in government. A novel as relevant today as when it was first published.
Drury, Allen - Advise and Consent
(Collins UK 1960 HC/DJ 80:-)

ADVISE AND CONSENT is a study of political animals in their natural habitat and is universally recognized as THE Washington novel. It begins with Senate confirmation hearings for a liberal Secretary of State and concludes two weeks later, after debate and controversy have exploded this issue into a major crisis.
Drury, Allen - The Promise of Joy
(Michael Joseph UK 1974 HC/DJ 50:-)

The ADVISE AND CONSERT series is a landmark of political fiction, displaying a depth of insider Washington knowledge and a canvas of compelling characters that catapulted each novel to the top of the bestseller lists.

At the end of the previous novel, PRESERVE AND PROTECT, Allen Drury left his readers with one of the greatest cliffhangers of all time. After an assassin’s bullet rings out, we are left to wonder who was killed — the Liberal Vice President Ted Jason, or staunch Conservative Presidential Candidate Orrin Knox? The answer to that question was so large that Drury had to write two novels, one exploring the full ramifications of each outcome.

In THE PROMISE OF JOY, with his Vice President Ted Jason and his wife Beth Knox dead at the hands of an assassin, newly elected President Orrin Knox contends with a game of one-upmanship between the Soviet Union and China. The United States, guided by Knox’s inflexible will, begins to assist rebels seeking to break away from their Communist overlords, despite mounting pressure from the international community and within the U.S. When nuclear war breaks out between Russia and China, President Orrin Knox, aided and opposed by the media, senators, congressmen, cabinet officials, ambassadors, and the people, must act to safeguard peace and democracy in America and the entire world.
Eco, Umberto - Island of the Day Before
(Harcourt Brace & Co US 1995 HC/DJ 100:-)

As part of a cabal instigated by French Cardinal Mazarin and his protege Colbert, Robert della Griva has been traveling in disguise on an English ship whose mission is to discover the Punto Fijo, the means by which navigators can plumb "the mystery of longitude." Cast adrift during a storm, Roberto fetches up against another ship, the Daphne, whose crew has mysteriously vanished. Although the vessel is moored only a mile from an enchanting island (the two may be on opposite sides of the date line, giving the book its title), Roberto, a nonswimmer, is as marooned as though in mid-ocean. The text consists of a third-person narrator's retelling of Roberto's manuscript recounting his adventures on the ship and such previous experiences as his participation in the siege of Casale and life among the erudite of Paris.
Edmondson, Adrian - The Gobbler
(Heinemann UK 1995 HC/DJ 120:-)

Julian Mann, the hard drinking, preening, and sexually provocative star of the TV sitcome Richard the Nerd, feels caught on the horns of a dilemma: should he be concentrating on his career, which is on the slide after an unseemly bout of fisticuffs at the BAFTA awards; or following his baser instincts and bedding every young girl in sight?

His twin dreams of comic immortality and a penthouse flat full of booze and young models seem to be frustrated by his wife and children; by Tom, his wife's best friend from university days, a pretentious 'National Theatre Player' who appears to be competing with Julian on the small sreen and in the bedroom; by the tax man, who's chasing him for sixty thousand pounds; and by Lillith, a psychotic fan, and member of a strange Herculean cult whose eight-year cycle of death and regeneration might augur Julian's imminent nemesis...
Frazier, Charles - Cold Mountain
(Atlantic Monthly US 1997 HC/DJ 80:-)

The hero of Charles Frazier's beautifully written and deeply-imagined first novel is Inman, a disillusioned Confederate soldier who has failed to die as expected after being seriously wounded in battle during the last days of the Civil War. Rather than waiting to be redeployed to the front, the soul-sick Inman deserts, and embarks on a dangerous and lonely odyssey through the devastated South, heading home to North Carolina, and seeking only to be reunited with his beloved, Ada, who has herself been struggling to maintain the family farm she inherited. Cold Mountain is an unforgettable addition to the literature of one of the most important and transformational periods in American history.
Friedman, Kinky - The Christmas Pig
(Simon & Schuster US 2006 HC/DJ 50:-)

King Jonjo Mayo the First is in a bind. Every Christmas, he commissions an artist to paint a traditional nativity scene to be dramatically revealed after midnight mass. This year, though, the date is mere weeks away, and he still has not yet found his painter. The king decides to take a chance on a peculiar, mute boy whose artistic genius and clairvoyance are rumored throughout the kingdom. He sends three valiant, if begrudging, knights to seek out the boy in the remote countryside. Finally, they find Benjamin -- and he is, indeed, peculiar. Nobody knows if the child is up to the task, but the king's Christmas tradition -- and Benjamin himself -- might just be saved by a Christmas miracle that comes in the form of a very special pig -- who is rather peculiar herself.
Harris, Thomas - Hannibal
(Delacorte Press US 1999 HC/DJ 80:-)

Horror lit's head chef Harris serves up another course in his Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter trilogy, and it's a pièce de résistance for those with strong stomachs. In the first book, Red Dragon (filmed as Manhunter), Hannibal diabolically helps the FBI track a fascinating serial killer. (Takes one to know one.) In The Silence of the Lambs, he advises fledgling FBI manhunter Clarice Starling, then makes a bloody, brilliant escape. Years later, posing as scholarly Dr. Fell, curator of a grand family's palazzo, Hannibal lives the good life in Florence, playing lovely tunes by serial killer/composer Henry VIII and killing hardly anyone himself. Clarice is unluckier: in the novel's action-film-like opening scene, she survives an FBI shootout gone wrong, and her nemesis, Paul Krendler, makes her the fall guy. Clarice is suspended, so, unfortunately, the first cop who stumbles on Hannibal is an Italian named Pazzi, who takes after his ancestors, greedy betrayers depicted in Dante's Inferno. First Edition
Heller, Joseph - Good as Gold
(Simon & Schuster US 1979 HC/DJ 80:-)

Bruce Gold, a middle-aged, Jewish professor of English literature, finds himself on the brink of a golden career in politics -- and not a moment too soon, as Gold yearns for an opportunity to transform a less-than-picture-perfect life: His children think little of him, his intimidating father endlessly bullies him, and his wife is so oblivious that she doesn't even notice he's left her. As funny as it is sad, Good as Gold is a story of children grown up, parents grown old, and friends and lovers grown apart -- a story that is inimitably Heller.
Horwood, William - Duncton Wood
(Country Life UK 1980 HC/DJ 80:-)

"Duncton Wood" and the subsequent novels in the series revolve around the moles that inhabit the United Kingdom. The mole communities (referred to as "Moledom") are anthropomorphically portrayed as intelligent societies with their own social organization, history and written form of communication. The extent of animal personification is not unlike that of Richard Adams' Watership Down, to which Horwood's series is often favourably compared[citation needed], in that the moles are limited to the physical behaviours of their real-world burrow-dwelling counterparts, and neither wear clothing nor exhibit any special technological aptitude. The central focus of the Duncton series is the Stone, a fictitious mole religion based on the standing stones and stone circles of Britain. As such, the novels are predominantly set in and around locales known for their megaliths, such as Avebury and Rollright.
Horwood, William - The Willows in Winter
(St Martins US 1984 HC/DJ 80:-)

Traditionalists might well shudder at the thought of a sequel to a classic--especially one written by an author other than the original. But even devout fans of Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows will breathe more easily once they pass the first sentence of The Willows in Winter. William Horwood, while resisting slavish mimicry, remains true to the spirit of the original. Not many writers could follow such a tough act, but Horwood manages to create a story every bit as heartwarming and exciting as the first. Blustery Toad is up to his naughty old tricks, after a long period of enforced goodness. Through a comedy--and near-tragedy--of errors, Toad, along with resourceful Rat, loyal Mole, and wise Badger, is drawn into an extended wild goose chase that lasts all winter. With plummeting airplanes, tumbles in the freezing river, and courtroom high drama, this is not to be a winter of cozy hibernation. Patrick Benson's finely crosshatched illustrations transport the reader back to the familiar River and the always-looming great Wild Wood. Horwood and Benson's masterful teamwork is a tribute to the 90-year-old classic that Grahame himself would have been proud to see.
Jakes, John - On Secret Service
(Dutton US 2000 HC/DJ 100:-)

John Jakes is to historical American fiction what Stephen King is to horror: a one-man industry. Jakes, the author of over 60 books, including the eight-part Kent Family Chronicles, the North and South Trilogy, and innumerable short stories of the American West, returns to his well-trod Civil War stomping grounds in the engrossing On Secret Service. The story of a war within a war on various levels--the North v. the South, the Union's Pinkerton Detective Agency v. the Confederacy's agent provocateurs, youthful idealism v. youthful lust--On Secret Service chronicles the lives and times of four young Americans, from the war's early tremors in January 1861, through its bloody conclusion, Lincoln's assassination, and John Wilkes Booth's murder in May 1865. First Edition
Kanon, Joseph - Los Alamos
(Little Brown UK 1997 HC/DJ 50:-)

In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe is coming to an end, a former police reporter turned Army Intelligence agent named Mike Connolly arrives on the high mesa above Santa Fe, New Mexico, where J. Robert Oppenheimer and a team of scientists are rushing to finish their atomic bomb. A security man has been found battered to death, and Connolly's job is to see if it is anything more than the sordid sex crime it appears to be. Using a devilishly clever mixture of real and fictional characters, Kanon spins out a story that manages to be audacious, persuasive--and totally engrossing.
Kerr, Philip - Esau
(Henry Holt US 1997 HC/DJ 50:-)

Forget Everest. The most dangerous peak in the Himalayas is Machhapuchhare, considered so sacred that the Nepalese have banned all climbers. And no wonder, as American mountaineering ace Jack Furness discovers after an illegal entry--this is where the Yeti, a.k.a. the Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot, makes his home. Sure to be a major motion picture, this latest from the author of The Grid is an exciting if somewhat predictable (Furness's lover just happens to be a world-class paleoanthropoligist, for example) story of action, political intrigue, and moral ambiguity high above the clouds. If you don't recognize the title's source before Kerr reveals it, you've never heard Alan Bennett's hilarious "My brother is an hairy man" sermon.
Leonard, Elmore - Touch
(Arbor House US 1987 HC/DJ 80:-)

Charlie Lawson, once served as Brother Juvenal in a Catholic order; now he cares for alcoholics in a Detroit hospice. Charlie/Juvenal cures those he touches through miracles manifested by the Stigmata, the wounds of Christ that appear on Charlie's body. The phenomenon lures a flashy promoter, Bill Hill, aiming to get rich by exploiting the reclusive, gentle man who is also the intended prey of rabid right-winger August Murray. Murray plans to get the healer on his side, fighting against the ecumenism of Vatican II rules, especially the ones forbidding the Mass being said in Latin. Both Hill and Murray are losers when smart, attractive Lynn Faulkner and Charlie fall in love, before the astonishing finale that makes one believe the couple will live happily ever after.
Mailer, Norman - Castle in the Forest
(Random House US 2007 HC/DJ 100:-)

Mailer did Jesus in The Gospel According to the Son; now he plumbs the psyche of history's most demonic figure in this chilling fictional chronicle of Hitler's boyhood. Mailer tells the story through the eyes of Dieter, a devil tasked by Satan (usually called the Maestro) with fostering Hitler's nascent evil, but in this study of a dysfunctional 19th-century middle-class Austrian household, the real presiding spirit is Freud. Young Adolph (often called Adi) is the offspring of an incestuous marriage between a coarse, domineering civil servant and a lasciviously indulgent mom. The boy duly develops an obsession with feces, a fascination with power, a grandiose self-image and a sexually charged yen for mass slaughter (the sight of gassed or burning beehives thrills him). Dieter frets over Hitler's ego-formation while marveling at the future dictator's burning gaze, his ability to sway weak minds and the instinctive fuhrerprinzip that emerges when he plays war with neighborhood boys-talents furthered by Central Europe's ambient romantic nationalism. Mailer's view of evil embraces religions and metaphysics, but it's rooted in the squalid soil of toilet-training travails and perverted sexual urges. First Edition
Mailer, Norman - Naked and the Dead
(Allan Wingate UK-49 HC/DJ 80:-)

Hailed as one of the finest novels to come out of the Second World War, The Naked and the Dead received unprecedented critical acclaim upon its publication and has since become part of the American canon. This fiftieth anniversary edition features a new introduction created especially doe the occasion by Norman Mailer.
Written in gritty, journalistic detail, the story follows an army platoon of foot soldiers who are fighting for the possession of the Japanese-held island of Anopopei. Composed in 1948, The Naked and the Dead is representative of the best in twentieth-century American writing.
Mailer, Norman - Oswald's Tale
(Random House US 1995 HC/DJ 80:-)

Mailer opines that Lee Harvey Oswald was a sincere Marxist, a nihilist and an inveterate liar who was motivated to assassinate John F. Kennedy in order to shake up the world, to create the conditions for a new kind of society superior to American capitalism or Soviet-style communism. Oswald, he suggests, was quite possibly the lone gunman, or at least may have thought he was. In Mailer's scenario, there may have been other assassins present, unbeknownst to Oswald, conspirators working for some other group. His unconvincing analysis emerges from a labyrinthine pastiche of KGB and FBI transcripts, recorded dialogues, speculations, Oswald's letters and diary excerpts, and government memos. Mailer interviewed Oswald's widow, Marina, and also spent months in Minsk interviewing Oswald's Russian acquaintances and co-workers as well as KGB officers. Pretentiously applying the novelistic techniques used to better effect in The Executioner's Song, Mailer ploddingly recreates Oswald's day-to-day existence in the Soviet Union, then in New Orleans and Dallas in the months leading up to Kennedy's assassination. He hypothesizes that Oswald was a provocateur playing a double-edged game with the U.S. and Russian intelligence communities to further his own self-styled mission. First Edition
Mann, Thomas - Buddenbrooks
(Knopf USA 1959 HC/DJ 80:-)

"Buddenbrooks", first published in Germany in 1900, when Mann was only twenty-five, has become a classic of modem literature -- the story of four generations of a wealthy bourgeois family in northern Germany.

With consummate skill, Mann draws a rounded picture of middle-class life: births and christenings; marriages, divorces, and deaths; successes and failures. These commonplace occurrences, intrinsically the same, vary slightly as they recur in each succeeding generation. Yet as the Buddenbrooks family eventually succumbs to the seductions of modernity -- seductions that are at variance with its own traditions -- its downfall becomes certain.
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
(Knopf USA 1963 HC/DJ 80:-)

In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. "The Magic Mountain" is a monumental work of erudition and irony, sexual tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.
Michener, James - Caribbean
(Random House US 1989 HC/DJ 80:-)

In this acclaimed classic novel, James A. Michener sweeps readers off to the Caribbean, bringing to life the eternal allure and tumultuous history of this glittering string of islands. From the 1310 conquest of the Arawaks by cannibals to the decline of the Mayan empire, from Columbus’s arrival to buccaneer Henry Morgan’s notorious reign, from the bloody slave revolt on Haiti to the rise of Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Caribbean packs seven hundred dramatic years into a tale teeming with revolution and romance, authentic characters and thunderous destinies. Through absorbing, magnificent prose, Michener captures the essence of the islands in all of their awe-inspiring scope and wonder.
Michener, James - Mexico
(Randon House US 1992 HC/DJ 80:-)

Michener began this novel 30 years ago, put it aside, and until recently left it unfinished. Perhaps that is why it is less formulaic than most of his mammoth excursions into the history of particular localities. Mexican-born Norman Clay, a journalist for a New York publication, returns to his natal city to report on the bullfights that highlight its annual festival. This year two matadors are joined in a rivalry that could end in death. Michener dramatizes the contradictions of contemporary Mexico not only in the conflicting styles and backgrounds of the matadors but also through the many duplicities inherent in bullfighting itself. The contradictions of 1961 Mexico are the result of its history, which is personified by Norman Clay, with his heritage of Pre-Columbian Amerindians, Spanish clerics and conquistadors, rancheros and mestizos, and even an unreconstructed Virginia rebel who found sanctuary in Mexico following our Civil War. Not the usual dutiful slog through the generations but a more carefully constructed interweaving of present and past, and one of Michener's finest efforts.
Michener, James A - Alaska
(Guild UK 1988 HC/DJ 80:-)

In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. As his characters struggle for survival, Michener weaves together the exciting high points of Alaska’s story: its brutal origins; the American acquisition; the gold rush; the tremendous growth and exploitation of the salmon industry; the arduous construction of the Alcan Highway, undertaken to defend the territory during World War II. A spellbinding portrait of a human community fighting to establish its place in the world, Alaska traces a bold and majestic saga of the enduring spirit of a land and its people.
Reid, Van - Cordelia Underwood
(Viking US 1999 HC/DJ 50:-)

Reid's rolicking followup to the sprawling historical comedy Cordelia Underwood returns to 1890s Portland, Maine, for the further exploits of Tobias Walton and his merry, bumbling do-gooders, the Moosepathians. Mollie Peer, a suffragette reporter, senses a good story when she impulsively follows a frightened street urchin called Bird to Portland's harbor. When he is claimed by menacing Mr. Pembleton, she realizes that Bird's life is in danger, and she enlists the help of baseball player Wyckford O'Hearn. Soon they are joined by the Moosepath League's Ephram, Eagleton and Thump, gallant and well-meaning (if less than keen) gentlemen who never shirk their duty, especially when women and children are concerned. First Edition
Reid, Van - Daniel Plainway
(Viking US 2000 HC/DJ 50:-)

The rollicking adventures of Tobias Walton and the jovial Moosepath League continue in Reid's (Cordelia Underwood; Mollie Peer) engaging third novel set in 19th-century Maine. Reid ingeniously incorporates local color and history in a fast-moving tale that introduces the reader to dedicated attorney Daniel Plainway and the Dash-It-All Boys, three men who aspire to the camaraderie and renown of the Moosepath League. As the people of Portland prepare to celebrate the evolving rituals of Christmas, Walton and company become involved with Frederick and Isabelle Covington. The couple seek help from the League in searching for some mysterious runes, hoping they will prove that the Vikings preempted Columbus's discovery of the New World.
Reid, Van - Mollie Peer
(Viking US 1999 HC/DJ 50:-)

Reid's rolicking followup to the sprawling historical comedy Cordelia Underwood returns to 1890s Portland, Maine, for the further exploits of Tobias Walton and his merry, bumbling do-gooders, the Moosepathians. Mollie Peer, a suffragette reporter, senses a good story when she impulsively follows a frightened street urchin called Bird to Portland's harbor. When he is claimed by menacing Mr. Pembleton, she realizes that Bird's life is in danger, and she enlists the help of baseball player Wyckford O'Hearn. Soon they are joined by the Moosepath League's Ephram, Eagleton and Thump, gallant and well-meaning (if less than keen) gentlemen who never shirk their duty, especially when women and children are concerned.
Rutherford, Edward - Russka
(Crown US 1991 HC/DJ 100:-)

With his second sprawling historical novel, Rutherfurd moves from his hometown of Salisbury, England, the site of the bestselling Sarum , to the rich foreign soil of Russia. Though the structure and style mirror that of his first saga, Rutherfurd's close observation of Russia's religious and ethnic diversity give this epic a distinctive flavor. Focusing on the changing fortunes of the small town of Russka and its controlling families, Rutherfurd moves from the tribes of the steppes in the second century A.D. through Cossacks, Tatars, Tsars, revolution and Stalin to touch on a contemporary Russian emigre community near New York City. He weaves an expansive tapestry of Russian lore with a vivid exploration of the historical influences on the modern Russian psyche. First Edition.
Rutherford, Edward - Sarum
(Crown US 1987 HC/DJ 100:-)

A first novel, Rutherfurd's sweeping saga of the area surrounding Stonehenge and Salisbury, England, covers 10,000 years and includes many generations of five families. Each family has one or more characteristic types who appear in successive centuries: the round-headed balding man who is good with his hands; the blue-eyed blonde woman who insists on having her independence; the dark, narrow-faced fisher of river waters and secrets. Their fortunes rise and fall both economically and politically, but the land triumphs over the passage of time and the ravages of humans. Rutherfurd has told the story of the land he was born in and has told it well. First Edition.
Rutherford, Edward - The Forest
(Crown US 2000 HC/DJ 100:-)

As he did most recently - in London - Rutherfurd offers a sweeping picture of an area of England by focusing on a few families who lived there. This time he concentrates on the New Forest, part of the southern coast of England bounded by the English Channel. Rutherfurd traces the lives of peasants, smugglers, churchmen, woodsmen, and upper-class families from the 11th to the 20th centuries. These assorted men and women take part in the events surrounding the death of King Rufus (William the Conqueror's son), the failure of the Spanish Armada, England's Civil War, and more. First Edition.
Sanders, Lawrence - Capital Crimes
(Putnam US 1989 HC/DJ 60:-)

A power-crazed holy man named Brother Kristos has slipped into the halls of the White House. To the President of the United States, he is a miracle worker-the only person who can heal his young son. But to the rest of the free world, he is a political nightmare come true. A stormy alliance between good and evil, heaven and hell...
Saylor, Steven - Roma
(St Martins USA 2007 HC/DJ 60:-)

Spanning a thousand years, and following the shifting fortunes of two families though the ages, this is the epic saga of Rome, the city and its people.
Weaving history, legend, and new archaeological discoveries into a spellbinding narrative, critically acclaimed novelist Steven Saylor gives new life to the drama of the city’s first thousand years — from the founding of the city by the ill-fated twins Romulus and Remus, through Rome’s astonishing ascent to become the capitol of the most powerful empire in history. Roma recounts the tragedy of the hero-traitor Coriolanus, the capture of the city by the Gauls, the invasion of Hannibal, the bitter political struggles of the patricians and plebeians, and the ultimate death of Rome’s republic with the triumph, and assassination, of Julius Caesar.
Sheed, Wilfrid - Boys of Winter
(Knopf US 1987 HC/DJ 60:-)

Jonathan Oglethorpe, a burnt-out editor at a distinguished New York publishing firm, lives year-round in the Hamptons, where he spends his evenings at Jimmy's Bar discussing sports and "summer people" with other New York expatriates. Oglethorpe is secretly incorporating these people into an elaborate roman a clefthat is, until he discovers that another Jimmy's regular is doing exactly the same thing. Each is a character in the other's book.
Stone, Irving - The Agony and the Ecstasy
(Doubleday US 1961 HC/DJ 80:-)

Stone took 6 years to research on his biography of Michelangelo. By the end of the book one can only marvel at the tremendous effort Stone undertook. "Agony and Ecstasy" is truly an absorbing and inspiring tale of the greatest genius in art history. Michelangelo's magnificence in sculpture, painting, architecture and poems is compellingly told. The best parts of the novel are the creations of each sculpture, Michelangelo's greatest love. Michelangelo's intensity and passion as he chisels and hammers away on his beloved marbles is vividly written and deeply moving. His rivalry with Raphael and Da Vinci, his struggles with his family, the Popes, the Medici family, his contemporaries and the tumultuous era he lived in are convincing and underlay with sadness.
Uris, Leon - Topaz
(McGraw Hill US 1967 HC/DJ 150:-)

On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, American and French intelligence agents are plunged into a maze of Cold War intrigue In Paris, 1962, French intelligence chief André Devereaux and NATO intelligence chief Michael Nordstrom have uncovered Soviet plans to ship nuclear arms to Cuba. But when Devereaux reports his findings and nobody acts—and he is targeted in an assassination attempt—he soon realizes he’s tangled in a plot far greater than he first understood.

This copy has been signed by Leon Uris!
Willard, Tom - Stone Ponies
(Tom Doherty US 2000 HC/DJ 80:-)

Tom Willard's Black Sabre Chronicles, telling the story of the Sharps family of military men and women from the Buffalo Soldier era of the Indian Wars to the present day, chronicles the effect of the controversial Vietnam War in The Stone Ponies.

Franklin LeBaron Sharps is a young paratrooper sent to Vietnam in 1965 with the celebrated 101(st) Airborne Division -- the "Screaming Eagles." The great-grandson of Sergeant Major Augustus Sharps and son of Brigadier General Samuel Sharps, a former Tuskeegee Airman, Franklin fights a war on two fronts: in Vietnam he is determined to repay the Viet Cong for their killing of his brother, and at home he fights against his father's attempts to reconcile with the family he deserted.
Wolfe, Tom - Bonfire of the Vanities
(Farrar, Strauss & Giroux US 1988 HC/DJ 80:-)

In his spellbinding first novel, Wolfe proves that he has the right stuff to write propulsively engrossing fiction. Both his cynical irony and sense of the ridiculous are perfectly suited to his subject: the roiling, corrupt, savage, ethnic melting pot that is New York City. Ranging from the rarefied atmosphere of Park Avenue to the dingy courtrooms of the Bronx, this is a totally credible tale of how the communities uneasily coexist and what happens when they collide. On a clandestine date with his mistress one night, top Wall Street investment banker and snobbish WASP Sherman McCoy misses his turn on the thruway and gets lost in the South Bronx; his Mercedes hits and seriously injures a young black man. The incident is inflated by a manipulative black leader, a district attorney seeking reelection and a sleazy tabloid reporter into a full-blown scandal, a political football and a hokey morality play.
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