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Alan Clark was educated in Scotland, where he wrote his first children’s novel at the age of twelve. He dropped out of King’s College London and landed in the advertising business in which, as a copywriter and creative director, he has won several international awards. In recent times he has digressed into travel journalism, specialising in the western Mediterranean, and has also compiled a quiver full of celebrity profiles, ranging from film stars and theatrical knights to bishops and duchesses. He finally got around to writing this novel when author Sue Townsend bluntly informed him that he had wasted his life so far.
Funny, sharp, moving and very assured writing for a debut novelist, Rory's Boys is about one man's struggle to accept who he is and about the need most of us have to find some sort of family.
Futuristic novel about the life of a computer hacker kept alive by the government and his efforts to save the world from a dangerous threat from the past.
On the outbreak of war in 1914, the armies of the Western Front soon became bogged down in the mud of Flanders and it is these events that many people associate most strongly with the First World War but its origins and the strategy which governed all but its closing months lay in the East. In the wide plains and forests of the Eastern Europe the three great Empires Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary grappled in a series of titanic but little known battles involving millions of men and hundreds of miles of front. It was the Germans, with their excellent equipment and intelligent leadership who dominated the battlefield, even when outnumbered. The Russian and Hapsburg armies moved across a truly Napoleonic canvas with huge masses of cavalry, infantry and baggage. Shortly after the outbreak of war the Russian 'steamroller' had lurched into Prussia only to be hurled back amid the marshes of Tannenberg. Later defeats were caused by the Russian revolution itself with the downfall of the Tsar and the mutiny of their soldiers. For three years the fighting swung indeterminately back and forth and Alan Clark in the Suicide of the Empires, first published in 1971, describes in clear terms the campaigns which provoked the downfall of three great empires and left the world changed forever.
Aces High is the vivid chronicle of aerial warfare over the Western Front in World War One and the personalities that characterised the era. These were the airmen who became legends in their own lifetimes: Albert Ball, Manfred von Richthofen (also known as the Red Baron), Mick Mannock, Rene Fonck and Georges Guynemer. The key to maintaining military superiority was by perfecting the aeroplane, which meant many of these pilots were flying dangerous, untested machines. From the birth of powered flight for reconnaissance purposes to the development of strategic bombing and the creation of the Royal Air Force in 1918, this was as much a war of technological advances as it was of skill and endurance.
First published in 1969, this is a tale of a skilful mixture of ageing flyers, with planes to match, battling their way through arms smuggling, Middle East intrigue and the tale of a fabulous sword which once belonged to Richard the Lion-Heart.
First published in 1963, Summer Season records several anxious days in the life of Kenneth Crane, unemployed graduate. Crane has taken a temporary post as tutor to the young son of a luminary in a small seaside town. Crane finds life difficult enough, but almost intolerably so when he finds himself number-one suspect on a possible murder charge. For the delectable Kitty du Chair, by even contemporary standards a remarkably advanced teen-ager, disappears. She has been seen consorting with Crane. The police close in and Crane's behaviour becomes more erratic (and hilarious). Summer Season is like a Jacques Tati film, having the same dream-like, almost surrealist quality. The humour is infectious and will be caught by very many readers.
Some of the most talked about books of recent years, Alan Clark's diaries provide a witty and irreverant insider's account of political life in Britain. Now in one volume. 'From the moment the first scabrous and brilliant volume was published, people wanted more. Now they have it and they will not be disappointed... These diaries are not wonderful simply because they show a politician unafraid to say what he thinks, and refusing to suck up to those whom he represents. They are great because they show all sides of a man who was, within his complex personality, arrogant, sensitive, loyal, unfaithful, patriotic, selfish, selfless, and - at all times - completely Technicolour' Simon Heffner, DAILY MAIL
Against the backdrop of Nashville, Tennessee, local author Alan Clark depicts the lives of four strangers who become friends during a period of challenge in each of their lives. Will their new friendships help each other through their personal turmoil?
'With his Diaries, he has written himself into the life of our times with a panache and candour that ranks him next to Boswell or Pepys' The Times The first two volumes of Alan Clark's were irresistible, irreverent, infamous, outrageous. This last volume is a fitting finale to the work of a man who has been described as 'the best diarist of his century'. The third volume begins in 1991 with Alan Clark contemplating quitting as an MP. Life at Saltwood Castle, his home, hangs heavy; then comes the Scott inquiry and the Matrix Churchill affair. Publication of the first volume of the Diaries leads 'the coven', a family of former girlfriends, to sell their story to the NEWS OF THE WORLD. This volume follows his attempts to return to Westminster, an affair that threatens his marriage, and closes with the tragedy of his final months when he is diagnosed with a brain tumour, but keeps his diary until he can no longer focus on the page.
Alan Clark's passion for cars - that he bought, drove and wrote about over 50 years Alan Clark was passionate about cars from an early age. He bought his first car - a secondhand 6.5 litre Bentley - while still a schoolboy at Eton and without a driving licence. By the time he was 24 he had been banned from driving three times, not only for speeding but in one instance for driving an open Buick Roadster with a girl on his lap. He dealt in 'classic' and vintage cars and soon built up an impressive stable of his own. One of his first published pieces of journalism appeared in the US magazine, Road and Track, for which he was briefly UK correspondent. BACK FIRE, the title of a column he wrote in Thoroughbred and Classic Cars magazine, ran for three years until his death in September 1999. Alan Clark's elder son, James Clark - who has inherited his father's motoring enthusiasms - provides a Prologue; Alan Clark's widow Jane writes a moving Afterword.
The first volume of the 20th century's most phenomenally successful diaries, published alongside first paperback of THE LAST DIARIES. INTO POLITICS begins in 1973 with Clark's selection as Tory candidate for Nancy Astor's old seat in Plymouth (rival candidates included future Conservative luminaries Michael Howard and Norman Fowler). Alan Clark describes his election to the Commons in the 1974 general election; his years as a backbencher coincide with Edward Heath as PM, his downfall and the arrival of Margaret Thatcher. This volume ends with the inside story of the Falklands War. In his private life Alan and his wife Jane and their two young sons take over Saltwood Castle, previously the home of his father Kenneth (Civilisation) Clark. His enthusiasms for the estate, skiing, fast cars and girls are never far away.
The classic account of the war on the Eastern Front between the Russians and the Germans - the greatest clash of arms the world has ever seen. Carefully researched and beautifully written, this book is a classic of military history. Alan Clark vividly narrates the course of the dramatic and brutal war between the German and Russians on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. From the invasion of Russia mounted on Midsummer's Day 1941 and the German Army's advance to the outskirts of Moscow, to the terrible turning point of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of the Nazis at the Fall of Berlin after the hard years of fighting and advance by the Red Army, this is epic history narrated by a master.
The landmark expose of incompetent leadership on the Western Front - why the British troops were lions led by donkeys On 26 September 1915, twelve British battalions - a strength of almost 10,000 men - were ordered to attack German positions in France. In the three-and-a-half hours of the battle, they sustained 8,246 casualties. The Germans suffered no casualties at all. Why did the British Army fail so spectacularly? What can be said of the leadership of generals? And most importantly, could it have all been prevented? In The Donkeys, eminent military historian Alan Clark scrutinises the major battles of that fateful year and casts a steady and revealing light on those in High Command - French, Rawlinson, Watson and Haig among them - whose orders resulted in the virtual destruction of the old professional British Army. Clark paints a vivid and convincing picture of how brave soldiers, the lions, were essentially sent to their deaths by incompetent and indifferent officers - the donkeys. `An eloquent and painful book... Clark leaves the impression that vanity and stupidity were the main ingredients of the massacres of 1915. He writes searingly and unforgettably' Evening Standard