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Charles Williams was one of the pre-eminent authors of American crime fiction. Many of his novels were adapted for the screen, such as Dead Calm and Don't Just Stand There!, for which Williams wrote the screenplay. He died in California in 1975.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. By a long arm, the reprint of the month. Charles Williams was, alongside Jim Thompson and David Goodis, one of the savage poets of the noir heyday (DISCLAIMER: I used to publish all three back when) and his torrid tales of small town American South (THE HOT SPOT) and marine thrillers (DEAD CALM) have never been bettered for atmosphere and tension, and have proven plum subjects for many filmmakers. When his wife's lover is shot, John Warren is quickly fingered as the main suspect and struggles to prove otherwise as a whirlpool of betrayal, concealed passions and panic begins to engulf him. Once filmed by Truffaut as 'Vivement Dimanche' and transposed to a less stifling French environment, this is crime writing at its most economic and breathless but no less gripping for that.
Financial magician, flamboyant politician, minister in both world wars, press baron, serial philanderer, Winston Churchill's boon companion in the dark days of 1940-41 and in his later years, Max Beaverbrook was without a doubt one of the most colourful characters of the first half of the twentieth century. Born and brought up in the Scottish Presbyterian fastness of northeast Canada, he escaped to make his fortune in Canadian financial markets. By 1910, when he migrated to Britain at the age of thirty-one, he was already a multimillionaire. With a seat in the House of Commons and then a peerage, he came to know all the senior figures in both British and Canadian politics. In acquiring the Daily Express, he not only built it into a news empire but used its considerable influence to campaign for his own pet causes. As Charles Williams's sweeping biography shows, Beaverbrook was loved and loathed in equal measure. Nevertheless, Williams brings to life a rounded character, with all its flaws and virtues. Above all, it is a story of eighty years of entrepreneurism, political dogfights, wars, sex and grand living, all set in the rich tapestry of the dramatic years of the twentieth century.
This is a new collection of Williams's literary essays, taken from books, pamphlets and periodicals long out of print. The title essay develops William's theory of poetry but is also a covert homage to the woman who was his second and unacknowledged love. These essays cover nearly all his literary interests and the final one shows his sympathy for left-wing political ideas arising from his own poverty-ridden childhood. All shed light not only on their subject but also on Williams himself. Williams projected a collection of his essays with this title but did not in fact complete one. The editor has provided references for Williams's numerous literary allusions.