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Sebastian Faulks was born and brought up in Newbury, Berkshire. He worked in journalism before starting to write books. He is best known for the French trilogy, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, Birdsong and Charlotte Gray (1989-1997) and is also the author of a triple biography, The Fatal Englishman (1996); a small book of literary parodies, Pistache (2006); and the novels Human Traces (2005) and Engleby (2007). He lives in London with his wife and their three children. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1993 and appointed CBE for services to literature in 2002. He lives in London with his wife and their three children.
Pistache (pis-tash): a friendly spoof or parody of another's work. [Deriv uncertain. Possibly a cross between pastiche and p**stake.].
Many of the writings included in this anthology have never been published before, war memories culled from letters, diaries and memoirs reflecting the extremes as experienced by those who fought and were left behind. Not restricted to the trenches, A Broken World reflects all arenas of the war, land, sea and air. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Those Who Marched Away: An Anthology of the World's Greatest War Diaries, Alain & Iren Taylor (Editors) Letters from a Lost Generation: First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends, Mark Bostridge and Alan Bishop (Editors)
One of our Books of the Year 2014. Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2014. This is Sebastian Faulks’ homage to P G Wodehouse and a very fine one it is too. Faulks captures the Wodehouse spirit in a knowing and sympathetic way. The characters are varied and delicious, like luxurious chocolate. The plot skips along without missing a beat and the twists and turns have you rooting for Bertie Wooster and Jeeves all along the country miles and fraudulent games in the pursuit of the lovely Amelia, whose father, Sir Henry Hackwood, is in a spot of bother. Naturally the plot is convoluted with every character playing for their own ends except, of course, our righteous Bertie. This is classic stuff which Wodehouse fans will delight in.
Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks’ dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities. From the pain and drama of these highly particular lives emerges a mysterious consolation: the chance to feel your heart beat in someone else’s life. Listen to an audio extract by clicking the orange arrow below. A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks by Random House Audiobooks
One of our Great Reads you may have missed in 2011. After reading this collection of essays I enjoyed seeing the BBC2 series with Sebastian Faulks describing some of the most memorable heroes and villains from the English Novel. Characters that have become part of our lives, many like Sherlock Holmes, Mr Darcy and Jeeves inhabiting that hazy ground between fiction and reality. Ranging across 250 years, Sebastian Faulks’ passion and opinions should spark many readers and viewers into re-examining the novels for themselves. The Lovereading view... Faulks on Fiction is bestselling author Sebastian Faulks' personal journey through British literary history, in which he explores some of the most memorable characters ever to spark readers' imaginations and examines the lasting impact of the characters from the greatest novels on the British psyche. From Sebastian Faulks: 'The characters who appear in these pages are still alive to me and thousands, probably millions, of readers. I hope this book can at least be read as a prolonged and heartfelt thank you letter from a reader for all that he has learned from living people created in the minds of others.' Like for Like Reading: Curiosities of Literature, John Sutherland How Fiction Works, James Wood
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 14 October 2010. This is Sebastian Faulks' first novel set in present day Britain. Here he explores our lives from the polar extremes of a rich but morally bankrupt hedge fund manager to fundamentalist Islamic students - and most of us in between. With customary literary insight, Faulks reveals a world that is diverging rather than converging. A society but certainly not a community.
James Wilby reads Sebastian Faulks' fascinating literary and social history of the British novel. After reading this collection of essays I look forward to seeing the BBC2 series with Sebastian Faulks describing some of the most memorable heroes and villains from the English Novel. Characters that have become part of our lives, many like Sherlock Holmes, Mr Darcy and Jeeves inhabiting that hazy ground between fiction and reality. Ranging across 250 years, Sebastian Faulks’ passion and opinions should spark many readers and viewers into re-examining the novels for themselves.From Sebastian Faulks:'The characters who appear in these pages are still alive to me and thousands, probably millions, of readers. I hope this book can at least be read as a prolonged and heartfelt thank you letter from a reader for all that he has learned from living people created in the minds of others.'
This is a brilliant book: disturbing, amusing, thought-provoking, playful, real, unreal. All the usual Faulks intelligence and enjoyment of language is here. Yet Engleby is different from his other books. This time, you get the feeling Faulks has let you into his own life: school, university, Notting Hill, journalism (the interviews with Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone just can’t have been made up). There is a catharsis here – and, despite the disturbances in Mike Engleby’s brain, you can feel Faulks really enjoying his writing, making this book perhaps more approachable than some of his other subjects.Time is one of the themes running through Engleby. Make sure you take time to read it.
This is an unabridged audiobook title. This is a brilliant book: disturbing, amusing, thought-provoking, playful, real, unreal. All the usual Faulks intelligence and enjoyment of language is here. Yet Engleby is different from his other books. This time, you get the feeling Faulks has let you into his own life: school, university, Notting Hill, journalism (the interviews with Jeffrey Archer and Ken Livingstone just can’t have been made up). There is a catharsis here – and, despite the disturbances in Mike Engleby’s brain, you can feel Faulks really enjoying his writing, making this book perhaps more approachable than some of his other subjects. This is an Unabridged audiobook title, which includes every word that you would otherwise find in the printed edition. Don’t forget, if the story was meant to be shorter the author would have written less! Click here to take a peek at our selection of Unabridged audiobooks. You might be interested to know the abridged audiobook version runs to only 49% of the full length.
One of Louise Wener's favourite books. When asked on Desert Island Discs how and why he “writes women so extraordinarily well”, Faulks replied: “we are now allowed to admit I think - those wars having been fought and won - that there are small but significant differences between most men and most women. And one of the more interesting ones to play around with is the idea that men don't really inspect in a continuous way their inner lives and feelings and the development of their states of mind - whereas women tend to keep a more running audit. And it seems to me that this gives some dramatic possibility to a novelist." This is why if you saw and were disappointed by the film that this book inspired, you should give the printed word a go. Faulks has a remarkable ability to get inside people’s heads and write stories that evolve through people’s thoughts as well as actions – and this is the story of Charlotte Gray and why it is such a good book. July 2009 Guest Editor Louise Wener on Charlotte Gray by SEBASTIAN FAULKSThis is a wonderful book. A haunting story of love and war set in London and occupied France in 1942-3. It's an intensely moving and passionate novel, full of insight into the way ordinary people can so easily slip into barbarism. Tremendously effecting, it has stayed with me since I first read it some years ago. On top of the gorgeous and provocative writing, the narrative is utterly gripping and sustaining.
The events of Pietro Russell's life are told in 26 chapters. From A-Z, each chapter is set in a different place and reveals a fragment of his story. As his memories flicker back and forth through time in his search for a resolution to the conflicts of his life, his story gradually unfolds...
Sixteen-year-old Jacques Rebiere is living a humble life in rural France, studying butterflies and frogs by candlelight in his bedroom. Across the Channel, in England, the playful Thomas Midwinter, also sixteen, is enjoying a life of ease and is resigned to follow his father's wishes to pursue a career in medicine. A fateful seaside meeting four years later sets the two young men on a profound course of friendship and discovery-they will become pioneers in the burgeoning field of psychiatry. But when a female patient at the doctors' Austrian sanatorium becomes dangerously ill, the two men's conflicting diagnoses threaten to divide them and to undermine all their professional achievements.
Set before and during the great war, Birdsong captures the drama of that era on both a national and a personal scale. It is the story of Stephen, a young Englishman, who arrives in Amiens in 1910. His life goes through a series of traumatic experiences, from the clandestine love affair that tears apart the family with whom he lives, to the unprecedented experiences of the war itself.
America, 1959. With two young children she adores, loving parents back in London, and an admired husband, Charlie, working at the British embassy in Washington, the world seems an effervescent place of parties, jazz and family happiness to Mary van der Linden. But the Eisenhower years are ending, and 1960 brings the presidential battle between two ambitious senators: John Kennedy and Richard Nixon. When an American newspaper reporter called Frank Renzo dramatically enters the van der Lindens' lives, they are forced to confront the terror of the Cold War that is the dark background of their carefree existence.
London, 1980. Robert Hendricks, an established psychiatrist and author, has so bottled up memories of his own wartime past that he is nearly sunk into a life of aloneness and depression. Out of the blue, a baffling letter arrives from one Dr. Alexander Pereira, a neurologist and a World War I veteran who claims to be an admirer of Robert's published work. The letter brings Robert to the older man's home on a rocky, secluded island off the south of France, and into tempests of memories--his childhood as a fatherless English boy, the carnage he witnessed and the wound he can't remember receiving as a young officer in World War II, and, above all, the great, devastating love of his life, an Italian woman, "e;L,"e; whom he met during the war. As Robert's recollections pour forth, he's unsure whether they will lead to psychosis--or redemption. But Dr. Pereira knows. Profoundly affecting and masterfully told, Where My Heart Used to Beat sweeps through the 20th century, brilliantly interrogating the darkest corners of the human mind and bearing tender witness to the abiding strength of love.
The trail takes Bond to Paris and then Persia - where the beautiful and enigmatic twins Scarlett and Poppy lead him to Gorner's secret desert headquarters. Here, Bond uncovers Gorner's cold-blooded plans for world domination.
A Times Fiction Book of the Year 'Superb . . . weaves winningly between the present and the second world war, between Tangiers and Paris.' Observer Here is Paris as you have never seen it before - a city in which every building seems to hold the echo of an unacknowledged past, the shadows of Vichy and Algeria. American postdoctoral researcher Hannah and runaway Moroccan teenager Tariq have little in common, yet both are susceptible to the daylight ghosts of Paris. Hannah listens to the extraordinary witness of women who were present under the German Occupation; in her desire to understand their lives, and through them her own, she finds a city bursting with clues and connections. Out in the migrant suburbs, Tariq is searching for a mother he barely knew. For him in his innocence, each boulevard, Metro station and street corner is a source of surprise. In this urgent and deeply moving novel, Faulks deals with questions of empire, grievance and identity. With great originality and a dark humour, Paris Echo asks how much we really need to know if we are to live a valuable life. 'Faulks captures the voice of a century' Sunday Times 'The most impressive novelist of his generation' Sunday Telegraph