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This is it. The place for the greatest writing: stories that transcend all other ‘genres’. Literary fiction goes above and beyond any specific genre in order to deliver stories that strike at the heart of what it means to be human.
Winner of the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015. Rural Montana in the 80s. Pete Smith is a young social worker with huge problems of his own. In attempting to return a near-feral lad to his family he becomes obsessed with the reclusive mountain people fearing the end of the world. All the way through this impressive book Pete is rescuing children from dysfunctional homes. The tale is told in a gentle rural vernacular that sings. Beside it is an interview or confession questioning his daughter’s reaction to we know not what. These sections build the mystery. It is an amazing book, multi-layered, hypnotic, compulsive and beautifully written. A big American novel not to be missed.The CWA judges said of the book: "A powerful evocation of the rural America time has forgotten and the casualties in its wake. Both harrowing and life enhancing, a towering achievement and insight into a world many of us would rather ignore."
February 2015 Debut of the Month. A quietly, deep and fascinating debut novel proving that communication doesn't have to be a nonsense of chatter or commotion. The author explores friendship, faith, desire, retreat and the gentle strength of women in the thirteenth century. Father Ranaulf is newly in charge of the Priory’s manuscripts and confessor for Sarah who has chosen at seventeen to become an Anchoress, shut away from the world, giving herself to prayer and service to God. Entirely captivating, Sarah’s story takes you by the hand and leads you in contemplation, through heartbreak, suffering and understanding. The author has the ability to evoke emotions with a whisper, with a suggestion, letting you reach a level of awareness alongside Sarah and Ranaulf. Clever and stimulating this is a surprisingly beautiful read. ~ Liz Robinson
One of our Books of the Year 2015. It is almost impossible to talk about how good Neil Gaiman’s writing is in a short review like this; once started it is hard to stop. He is wonderful. Truly. Dark, mystical, poetic, surprising; one of the greatest living writers we have. I am so in love with his brain it’s crazy. There is nothing that does not happen or cannot exist. His lyrical prose pulls you in and takes you willingly to impossible places. Remember to read the whole thing; notes, introduction, epilogues, everything, because he hides beautiful secrets in the bits that can be boring from other authors. He is amazing, an international treasure. These stories are creepy and beautiful, dark and hopeful, with hidden twists and layers you do not expect. Like I said, it is good. Really good. And check out his other works; his first story collection was Smoke and Mirrors. February 2015 eBook of the Month.
Holy Cow by David Duchovny is a comic delight that will thrill fans of Jasper Fforde and Ben Aaronovitch. And anyone who enjoys a witty wisecrack in a novel. Elsie Bovary is a cow and a pretty happy one at that. Until one night, Elsie sneaks out of the pasture and finds herself drawn to the farmhouse. Through the window, she sees the farmer's family gathered around a bright Box God - and what the Box God reveals about something called an 'industrial meat farm' shakes Elsie's understanding of her world to its core. The only solution? To escape to a better, safer world. And so a motley crew is formed: Elsie; Shalom, a grumpy pig who's recently converted to Judaism; and Tom, a suave turkey who can't fly, but can work an iPhone with his beak. Toting stolen passports and slapdash human disguises, they head for the airport ...Elsie is a wise-cracking, slyly witty narrator; Tom dispenses psychiatric advice in a fake German accent; and Shalom ends up unexpectedly uniting Israelis and Palestinians. David Duchovny's charismatic creatures point the way toward a mutual understanding and acceptance the world desperately needs.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015. A beautifully told story of war and dementia. Luke is serving in Afghanistan. His grandmother Anne is slipping into dementia in her sheltered flat in Scotland. This powerful and moving book tells their linked stories and draws us back into Anne’s past. So we follow two stories, Anne descending into a shadowy world of her own and thinker Luke in an all too real and horrific one. Both are beautifully realised. In the final section the two come together and Luke takes Anne to Blackpool where he learns about his grandmother’s life as a photographer and hears family secrets long buried. This is a terrific book, once started you will find it difficult to draw away. It is great stuff from a writer at the height of his powers. ~ Sarah Broadhurst February 2015 Book of the Month.
In an isolated trailer home in the far north of Japan, an old criminal scrutinizes his tattooed skin while he waits for the past to catch up with him. A year later, the life of a young policeman breaks down as he investigates a tattooed corpse and the history of death and guilt embedded in its skin. The grief of a young computer programmer who cannot erase the ghostly memories of his twins. The vicious logic of the games played by children while their parents sip drinks under parasols. And London Zoo, where the disappearance of dead animals is blamed on the 'Featherman', an eerie bodysnatcher who passes through London's wastelands and derelict spaces, leaving no trace for the feathers of green humming-birds.
February 2015 Book of the Month. This is indeed a novel for obviously all the conversations are imagined but it is so bound in fact it might easily be non-fiction. A huge amount of history and copious potted biographies make for a fascinating and enthralling read, plus a family tree showing how the Greys, Tudors and Stuarts link. All that is just add-ons, the story itself is riveting. It is the tale of the two Grey sisters after the execution of Lady Jane and told in their voices, plus that of a court portrait painter, Levina. It adds nothing to the tale that we don’t already know but it is beautifully done. Click here to see Queen's Gambit by the same author.
Both a war novel of the first order and a love story of devastating power, In the Light of Morning is a magnificent new work by one of Britain's finest writers, Tim Pears, the highly acclaimed author of Disputed Land and Landed. It is May 1944 and in Eastern Europe the Second World War is reaching a dramatic and bloody crescendo. High above the mountains of occupied Slovenia an aeroplane drops three British parachutists - brash MP Major Jack Farwell, radio operator Sid Dixon, and young academic Lieutenant Tom Freedman - sent to assist the resistance in their battle against the Axis forces. Greeted upon arrival by a rag-tag group of Partisans, the men are led off into the countryside. It is early summer, and the mountains and forests teem with life and colour. Despite the distant crackle of gunfire, the war feels a long way off for Tom. The Partisans, too, are not what he was expecting - courageous, kind, and alluring, especially Jovan, their commander, and the hauntingly beautiful Marija. Yet after a series of daring encounters, the enemy's net begins to tighten. They find evidence of massacres, of a dark and terrible band of men pursuing them through the wilderness. As the Partisans stumble their way towards a final, tragic battle, so the relationships within the group begin to fray, with Tom finding himself forced to face up to his deepest, most secret desires.
February 2015 MEGA Debut of the Month. Etta, after being married to Otto for many years, decides, aged 82, that she wants to see the sea before she dies so she sets off from their farm in the middle of Canada to walk to the coast – alone. On her journey she is joined by a lovely companion, James. The narrative moves backwards and forwards in time. As she travels we learn about their separate childhoods, how Russell, an only child, moved into a neighbouring farm and was absorbed into Otto’s large family. We learn how both boys meet Etta when she becomes the local school teacher. Russell had a childhood accident so when war breaks out he is unable to join the army and becomes very friendly with Etta while Otto is serving his country. As Etta’s journey progresses somehow the link between the characters seems to strengthen and in a way their past histories become blurred and mixed so that in the end the true events are puzzling, left for you to interpret. Hypnotic and a joy to read, this is a delightful, fascinating tale, magical, lyrical, a very special book indeed.
A surprising and hauntingly insightful story, that takes you gently by the hand on an intimate journey; emotionally, reflectively and in time. The author has the ability to weave the past, present and place in a beautiful, heartfelt dance. The fascinating premise merges the distance in time, essentially creating vividly real locations and bringing the past to life. It’s easy to become caught up in, to believe in and feel at one with the characters. This original and heartrending story twists your thoughts and feelings without ever losing the essence of compassion, empathy and optimism that permeates through its velvety depths, ensuring an entirely captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson
Fifteen short stories, his first collection since 1997 although only five are new. The other ten have been either broadcast and then printed or published in magazines. He is a very fine writer teasing out the idiosyncrasies of his characters in ordinary circumstances, all is neat and tidy and as it should be, beautifully described and then suddenly there is an underlying menace. If you are a short story fan these are glorious. A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'These stories are a slight departure for Galley Beggar Press. We generally champion less well know writers and - as I’m guessing you already know - DJ Taylor has already made his reputation. It’s also a departure because it's our first collection of short stories. Part of the reason we’ve published it is because we believe that short stories deserve more coverage. This is a book that proves how artistically important and rewarding the form can be. But the main reason we’ve put it out there is simply that it’s bloody good. We love these stories. They’re moving and resonant and quietly haunting - as well as often very funny. Hopefully people will be enjoying them for many years to come.' Sam Jordison, Galley Beggar Press
A brilliant tale written from the point of view of a single dad of two bruised kids, especially the boy, for their mum, Paula, suffering from bipolar disease, walked out. Dad, Vinnie, is a taxi driver so he can be there for the kids when needed. A good man. He begins to build a life with a traumatised car accident victim, Ellen, who uses his cab weekly for her physio. She lost her husband in the accident. Vinnie and Ellen’s charming relationship is shattered by the re-emergence of Paula. This is a highly perceptive tale of single parenthood beautifully observed. Full of home truths and delivered with a touch of humour, it’s a rewarding read. Highly recommended.
Insightful, International, Thought-provoking
Literary fiction is a bit of a “catch-all” phrase. Some call it “Serious Fiction” but we prefer to think of it as all of the greatest stories ever told, all in one place. This is where you will find literary classics from literary masters past and present.
Why not have a look at our monthly featured titles for inspiration? Revisit old friends? Discover new ones? Or finally read that book that your friends have been banging on about for ages? Whatever your reasons, settle down with your favourite tipple, unwind and open your mind with the home-spun brilliance of authors like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, David Nicholls and Zadie Smith; or those from further afield: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Haruki Murakami, Ben Okri, Jostein Gaarder and so many more. There are obviously so many to choose from, you could get lost in the Sea of Choices.
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