Alma Books – now available as eBooks

We are slowly making our books available as eBooks, and the first in the new eBook series are below – available through all the major eBook retailers, including Amazon’s kindle, Apple’s iBooks, Kobo, and many more besides.

 

9781846884122

Silent Music

Jane Hawking

Growing up in London in the aftermath of the Second World War, Ruth is an observant and thoughtful child who finds herself in a confusing and mysterious adult world. She seeks refuge in her memories of her idyllic stays with her grandparents in the picturesque East Anglian countryside – which provide comforting visions of a simpler life. As she comes to terms with her surroundings and her own adolescence, Ruth finds the motivation to pursue the tantalizing dream which has governed her childhood, and discovers some family secrets along the way.

A coming-of-age novel about the unpredictable nature of human behaviour and about taking control of one’s destiny, Silent Music is a timeless portrait of post-war Britain, as well as a lyrical paean to hope and aspiration.

eBook ISBN 9781846884184

 

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Love in Small Letters

Francesc Miralles

When Samuel wakes up on 1st January, he is convinced that the year ahead will bring nothing exciting or unusual – until a strange visitor bursts into his flat, determined not to leave. The appearance of Mishima, a stray cat, leads Samuel to a strange encounter with the enigmatic Valdemar and his neighbour Titus, with whom he had previously never exchanged a word, and is the catalyst for the incredible transformation that is about to occur in the secluded world he has built around himself.

As unexpected friendships develop out of these encounters and a childhood love is reignited, Samuel discovers, for the first time in his life, how small everyday acts can have the power to unleash a hurricane of feeling and awaken the heart from its slumber.

eBook ISBN 9781846883408

 

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Wabi-Sabi

Francesc Miralles

Living apart from his girlfriend Gabriela, university lecturer Samuel is shaken from his humdrum existence when he receives an enigmatic postcard from Japan and the unexpected visit at work of a girl trying to identify the language of a strange, haunting song.

This sets Samuel on a quest that will take him to Kyoto, not only to discover the meaning of the cryptic message, which may hold the key to some of his unanswered questions, but also to find enlightenment, a new equilibrium and a reappreciation of the small joys of life. Written with Miralles’s trademark wit and lightness of touch, Wabi-Sabi is a delightful tale about love and bridging cultural divides.

eBook ISBN 9781846884078

 

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The Insect Farm

Stuart Prebble

Brothers Jonathan and Roger Maguire each have an obsession. For Jonathan, it is his beautiful and talented girlfriend Harriet. For Roger, it is the elaborate universe he has constructed in a shed in their parents’ garden, populated by millions of tiny insects.

But Roger lives in an impenetrable world of his own and, after the mysterious death of their parents, Jonathan is forced to give up his studies to take care of him. This obligation forces Jonathan to live apart from Harriet – further fuelling his already jealous nature.

Their lives are abruptly shattered by a sudden and violent death, and Jonathan is drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with the police. Does Roger know more than he is letting on? A cleverly plotted mystery with a shock ending, The Insect Farm – Stuart Prebble’s awaited new novel – will linger long in the mind of its readers.

eBook ISBN 9781846883613

 

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Buddhaland Brooklyn

Richard C. Morais

A novel about clashing civilizations and the search for truth across cultural divides

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, the introverted monk Seido Oda is ordered by his superior to leave behind his peaceful refuge in the remote mountains of Japan and set up a temple in Brooklyn’s Little Calabria. There Oda is confronted with an uphill struggle to get to understand the ways of his new host country, and finds his patience and beliefs tested by a motley crew of misguided American Buddhists – a shock which will enable him to come to terms with painful memories of his past and finally experience that sense of belonging he has always sought.

Featuring rich descriptions of idyllic Japanese landscapes and the gritty chaos of New York, and a cast of eccentric, larger-than-life characters, Buddhaland Brooklyn– Richard C. Morais’s second novel after the acclaimed The Hundred Foot Journey – is an entertaining and edifying meditation on faith, cultural divides and the meaning of true acceptance.

eBook ISBN 9781846882739

 

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

Richard C. Morais

Now a major motion picture starring Helen Mirren, directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Juliet Blake, Dreamworks and Participant Media

The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji, a boy from Mumbai who embarks, along with his boisterous family, on a picaresque journey first to London and then across Europe, before they ultimately open a restaurant opposite a famous chef, Madame Mallory, in the remote French village of Lumière. A culinary war ensues, pitting Hassan’s Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Michelin-starred cordon bleu, until Madame Mallory realizes that Hassan is a cook with natural talents far superior to her own.

Full of eccentric characters, hilarious cultural mishaps, vivid settings and delicious meals described in rich, sensuous detail, Hassan’s charming account lays bare the inner workings of the elite world of French haute cuisine and provides a life-affirming and poignant coming-of-age tale.

eBook ISBN 9781846881237

 

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The Theory of Everything: The Screenplay

Anthony McCarten

Based on Jane Hawking’s best-selling memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, Anthony McCarten’s screen adaptation for the hit movie The Theory of of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, is one of the most talked about and award-worthy scripts of the film season.

In the film, we follow Jane and Stephen Hawking from their first meeting to the first signs of Stephen’s illness and their wedding, through to the challenges of having to deal with disability and unexpected success – and the strain this puts on the loving couple’s relationship.

The result is a feat of cinematic brilliance and screenwriting bravura from the author of several acclaimed novels.

eBook ISBN 9781846883750

 

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Sweet Dreams, Little One

Massimo Gramellini

The story of a lifelong search for happiness

It’s early morning on New Year’s Eve, and nineyear- old Massimo wakes up to a long, doleful cry and the disconcerting image of his dad being supported by two strangers. Inexplicably, his mother has disappeared, leaving only a vague trail of perfume in his room and her dressing gown bundled up at the foot of his bed. Where has she gone? Will she ever come back? And will Massimo be able to say sorry, after quarrelling with her the night before?

At turns poignant and funny, Sweet Dreams, Little One – the most successful book to come out of Italy last year, and an international sensation – is the story of a secret which has been kept hidden for forty years and the uplifting tale of a boy who, as he grows into an adult, has to learn how to cope with the pain of bereavement and the demons of his own nightmares.

eBook ISBN 9781846883248

 

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The Flower Plantation

Nora Anne Brown

A novel about how love can triumph over the madness of genocide and war

Arthur Baptiste knows little of Rwanda’s past and is unaware of its emerging troubles. He lives with his half-Tutsi, half-Belgian father and English mother on a flower plantation, where he talks to no one – not even the butterflies he avidly collects.

Beni, the cook’s granddaughter, is a child much like Arthur, but one who lives in a world far different from his own. Their friendship will take them from innocent adventures to dangerous encounters and on towards dark revelations.

As the years pass and conflicts erupt outside the plantation, Arthur comes to realize that the safe haven of his childhood and the entire country around it is about to be torn apart.

eBook ISBN 9781846882920

 

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Vanilla Salt

Ada Parellada

The perfect condiment to happiness

Àlex is a brilliant Catalan chef, but he struggles to fill his restaurant because of his gruff, eccentric personality and his refusal to use ingredients that trace their culinary origins to America, such as potatoes and tomatoes. When he meets the young, enthusiastic and beautiful Canadian Annette, he finds his ideas and narrow-minded outlook challenged, and discovers that they are both concealing painful pasts.

Written by one of the most acclaimed Iberian chefs, Vanilla Salt is a sensual and mouth-watering exploration of the kitchen and the human heart, as well as a tale of simmering passions and the need to confront personal truths.

eBook ISBN 9781846883422

 

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The Skinning Tree

Srikumar Sen

Winner of the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia Prize

Set against the Japanese advance on India during the Second World War, The Skinning Tree centres on the nine-year-old Sabby, who lives in a Calcutta family where sophisticated British habits such as bridge and dinner parties co-exist with Indian values and nationalism. When he is sent to a boarding school in northern India, that world is soon forgotten as he’s subjected with his fellow pupils to the teachers’ draconian regime.

The boys themselves take on their educators’ cruel traits, mindlessly killing animals and hanging their skins on a cactus, before their thoughts turn to even more sinister schemes. Conspiratorial whisperings and plans of revenge spiral into a tragedy engulfing Sabby, in an engrossing novel exploring human nature’s darkest facets.

eBook ISBN 9781846883002

 

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The Summer of Broken Stories

James Wilson

A powerful novel of friendship, rebellion and betrayal

England, 1950s. While out playing in the woods, ten-year-old Mark meets a man living in an old railway carriage. Despite his wild appearance, the stranger, who introduces himself as Aubrey Hillyard, is captivating – an irreverent outsider who is shunned by Mark’s fellow villagers, and a writer to boot. Aubrey encourages Mark to tell stories about his own make-believe world, and in return he informs the boy about a novel he is writing – a work of ominous science fiction.

As the meddling villagers plot to drive Aubrey out, Mark finds himself caught between two worlds – yet convinced that he must help Aubrey prevail at any cost. Dealing with powerful themes of friendship, rebellion and betrayal, The Summer of Broken Stories is James Wilson’s long-awaited new novel.

eBook ISBN 9781846883729

 

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First Impressions

Charlie Lovett

A novel about old books, young love and Jane Austen

Book lover and Jane Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has barely started her new job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure publication: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their enquiry draws Sophie into a web of mystery surrounding the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice, with ultimately dangerous consequences.

In a narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest, which also sees her dealing with several love interests on the way, and the young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the ageing cleric Richard Mansfield, Charlie Lovett – who first delighted readers with his bestselling debut The Bookman’s Tale – weaves a romantic, suspenseful and compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.

eBook ISBN 9781846883392

 

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The Bookman’s Tale

Charlie Lovett

After the death of his wife, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from the States to the English countryside, where he hopes to rediscover the joys of life through his passion for collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens an eighteenth-century study on Shakespeare forgeries, he is shocked to find a Victorian portrait strikingly similar to his wife tumble out of its pages, and becomes obsessed with tracking down its origins. As he follows the trail back to the nineteenth century and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter learns the truth about his own past and unearths a book that might prove that Shakespeare was indeed the author of all his plays.

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books and literature – in particular the golden age of Shakespeare, Jonson and Marlowe – The Bookman’s Tale is a sparkling novel and an engrossing exploration of one of literature’s most tantalizing mysteries.

eBook ISBN 9781846883057

 

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The Scent of Lemon Leaves

Clara Sánchez

A novel about memory, friendship and deception

Having left her job and boyfriend, thirty year old Sandra decides to stay in a village on the Costa Blanca in order to take stock of her life and find a new direction. She befriends Karin and Fredrik, an elderly Norwegian couple, who provide her with stimulating company and take the place of the grandparents she never had. However, when she meets Julián, a former concentration-camp inmate who has just returned to Europe from Argentina, she discovers that all is not what it seems and finds herself involved in a perilous quest for the truth.

As well as being a powerful account of self-discovery and an exploration of history and redemption, The Scent of Lemon Leaves is a sophisticated and nail-biting page-turner by one of Spain’s most accomplished authors.

eBook ISBN 9781846881985

 

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Desire for Chocolate

Care Santos

Winner of the Ramón Llull Prize 2014

Three women, three centuries and the same porcelain chocolate pot: Sara, the scion of a dynasty of chocolatiers from Barcelona, who prides herself on maintaining the family tradition; Aurora, the daughter of a nineteenth-century maidservant, for whom chocolate is a forbidden luxury; Mariana, the wife of a famous seventeenth-century chocolate manufacturer, an official purveyor to the French court and the inventor of a revolutionary chocolate mill.

In Desire for Chocolate, Care Santos takes us on a spellbinding journey, masterfully juxtaposing the destinies of her protagonists, chronicling the history of our favourite confection and exploring Europe’s changing social norms. Luscious and addictive, this novel will delight the reader’s senses from start to finish.

eBook ISBN 9781846883699

 

 

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The Art of Leaving

Anna Stothard

A haunting story about saying goodbye – showing that even freedom may have its cost after all

Leaving comes naturally to Eva Elliott: she spent her childhood abandoning schools and cities. Now she enjoys the thrill of saying goodbye much more than the butterflies of a first smile or kiss. There’s so much more potential in walking away, and Eva has a dangerously vivid imagination.

During a rainy summer in London, where Eva lives in a rackety Soho flat with her boyfriend, she dreams of exit strategies. She becomes fascinated by a golden eagle who has escaped the Zoo to roam the city, and thinks up stories about the ghostly figure of a girl who lurks in the window of a strip club opposite her office. When a beguiling stranger called Grace turns up in Eva’s life armed with a conspiratorial smile and an unsettling secret, Eva is left unsure what is in her head and what is reality.

eBook ISBN 9781846882722

 

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The Pink Hotel

Anna Stothard

Longlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize 2012

A seventeen-year-old London girl flies to Los Angeles for the funeral of her mother Lily, from whom she was separated in her childhood. After stealing a suitcase of letters, clothes and photographs from her mum’s bedroom at the top of a hotel on Venice Beach, the girl spends her summer travelling around Los Angeles in a bid to track down the men who knew her mother. As she discovers more about Lily’s past and tries to re-enact her life, she comes to question the foundations of her own personality.

The Pink Hotel, Anna Stothard’s stunning second novel after the critical and commercial success of Isabel and Rocco, is a tale about finding love in the most unlikely of places, and how sometimes you can only know who you are by discovering who you are not.

eBook ISBN 9781846881718

 

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The Repercussions

Catherine Hall

When war photographer Jo returns from her latest assignment in Afghanistan and moves into the Brighton flat she’s just inherited, she hopes to restore equilibrium to her chaotic life. But images and events of her recent past and the reading of her great-grandmother Elizabeth’s diary haunt her night and day, forcing Jo to come to terms with demons she thought she could leave behind.

Written as a long confession to Jo’s ex-girlfriend Susie, alternating with Elizabeth’s account of nursing Indian soldiers at the Brighton Pavilion in 1915, The Repercussions – Catherine Hall’s most ambitious novel to date – is a sweeping narrative dealing with the psychological and emotional reality of war, as well as race, guilt, love and loss.

eBook ISBN 9781846883415

 

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The Tower

Alessandro Gallenzi

Amman, Jordan. As an ambitious digitization project gathers pace in a vast building outside Amman, some unpublished writings by Giordano Bruno – flawed genius of the late Renaissance, renegade philosopher, occultist with a prodigious memory – disappear together with the Jesuit priest sent by the Vatican to study them.

When the priest is found dead and a series of mysterious threats ensues, it becomes clear that the stakes are high for all the parties openly or covertly involved. What dangerous ideas were contained in the stolen manuscripts? What was the ultimate secret that Bruno tried to hide from the Holy Inquisition, even as he was persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and finally burnt alive in Rome?

In this riveting, meticulously researched new novel, Alessandro Gallenzi draws on his experience as a publisher in the digital era and casts a light on the darker side of our modern technological world, while revealing how a well-kept secret can change the course of history for ever.

eBook ISBN 9781846883439

 

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Bestseller

Alessandro Gallenzi

Jim Talbot, a writer with a dozen unpublished novels under his belt, has been roundly rejected by virtually every agent and publisher in the land, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to make his dream of literary stardom come true. Charles Randall, the eccentric founder and managing director of Tetragon Press, a small independent publisher that has managed to survive for thirty years in a fierce publishing environment dominated by corporate juggernauts, is about to be brutally sacked by a newly appointed business consultant. Inevitably, and calamitously, Charles and Jim’s paths are about to collide.

A novel of intrigue, deceit and sheer desperation, Bestseller is a caustic portrait of contemporary culture and of Britain’s obsession with fame, success and becoming the next J.K. Rowling.

eBook ISBN 9781846881381

 

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Good to be God

Tibor Fischer

Using the credit card and identity of a handcuffs salesman, professional failure Tyndale Corbett arrives in Miami for a law-enforcement conference to discover the joys of luxury hotels and above all the delight of being someone else, someone successful. Feeling his previous lack of success might be due to insufficient ambition, Tyndale decides on a new money­making scheme. He will up the ante substantially, exponentially, and pretend to be someone really important and successful: God.

His mission to convince the citizenry of Miami that he is, despite appearances, the Supreme Being results in him taking over the Church of the Heavily Armed Christ. His duties there involve him in forming a private army, hiring call girls, trafficking coke, issuing death threats, beating off church-jackers and sorting out (as almightily as possible) various problems his parishioners are having with pets. All the while he is working on his grand project, the clincher miracle: dying and coming back to life…

eBook ISBN 9781846881053

 

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The Very Thought of You

Rosie Alison

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010
Shortlisted for Amazon’s Rising Stars award 2009
Longlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2010
Longlisted for Le Prince Maurice Prize for Literary Love Stories 2010

England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes – and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences.

A story of love, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is a haunting and memorable debut.

eBook ISBN 9781846881169

 

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The Thirteenth Apostle

Michel Benoît

When his friend Andrei is mysteriously killed on a train on his way back from Rome, Father Nil, a Benedictine who teaches the Gospel of St John to novices, decides to conduct his own investigation. The dead priest possessed proof of the existence of a thirteenth apostle and an epistle stating that Jesus was nothing more than an inspired prophet, not the Son of God – two things that would spell great danger for the Church. Father Nil then discovers a previously unpublished account of the origins of Christianity. It tells of the Nazoreans – a community excluded from the official Church by Peter and Paul – who appear to have thrived until the 7th century, playing an important role in the birth of Islam. While he pushes ahead with his investigation, the Pope’s advisors, rival factions and secret societies are trying, by any means, to lay their hands on the priest’s findings. From the Mossad to Fatah, everyone seems to have a very good reason to keep the thirteenth apostle a secret…

The story of an ancient sect detailed within papyrus sheaves hidden in the caves at Qumran forms the basis of this exhaustively researched novel. The Thirteenth Apostle contains lore perhaps more familiar to fans of the Knights Templar than to readers of Dan Brown, but will excite similar passions.

eBook ISBN 9781846881206

 

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Blooms of Darkness

Aharon Appelfeld

Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012

The ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and eleven- year-old Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where one of the prostitutes has agreed to hide him. Mariana is a bitterly unhappy woman who hates what she has done to her life, and night after night Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages at the Nazi soldiers who come and go. When she’s not mired in self-loathing, Mariana is fiercely protective of the bewildered, painfully polite young boy. And Hugo becomes protective of Mariana too, trying to make her laugh when she is depressed, soothing her physical and mental agony with cold compresses.

As the memories of his family and friends grow dim, Hugo falls in love with Mariana. And as her life spirals downwards, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the adoring boy who is on the cusp of manhood. Multi-awardwinning writer Aharon Appelfeld once again crafts out of the depths of unfathomable tragedy a renewal of life and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

eBook ISBN 9781846882326

 

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White Truffles in Winter

N.M. Kelby

An extraordinary tale of France’s greatest chef, his loves and a country on the brink of war.

White Truffles in Winter imagines the world of the remarkable French chef Auguste Escoffier, who changed how we eat through his legendary restaurants at the Savoy and the Ritz. A man of contradictions – kind yet imperious, food-obsessed yet rarely hungry – Escoffier was also torn between two women: the famous, beautiful, and reckless actress Sarah Bernhardt and his wife, the independent and sublime poet Delphine Daffis. In the last year of his life, he returns to Delphine, who requests a dish in her name in the same way as he has honoured Bernhardt, Queen Victoria, and many others. But how can even the best chef in the world define the complexity of love on a single plate?

N.M. Kelby brings us the sensuality of food and love amid a world on the verge of war in this work that shimmers with beauty and longing.

eBook ISBN 9781846882692

 

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White Man Falling

Mike Stocks

Police Sub-Inspector (retired) R.M. Swaminathan has suffered a stroke while beating up a Very Guilty Suspect in the lock-up of Mullaipuram Police Station. He can no longer talk properly, command the respect of his community, or give his six daughters the bankrupting dowries they deserve. Is it any wonder that Swami has lost his pride and wants to kill himself using only a puncture-repair kit? Surely a man in these circumstances has good reason to feel cursed when a white man falls out of the sky, dying at his feet and making him a laughing stock. But as further strange incidents occur, Swami’s hometown starts to believe he is walking with God, and life changes for ever…

Mike Stocks’s tale of domestic catastrophe, accidental crime-busting, deluded matchmaking and mystical absurdity brilliantly exemplifies how sometimes in life meaningless events can produce meaningful effects.

eBook ISBN 9781846882524

 

 

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Remainder

Tom McCarthy

WINNER OF THE BELIEVER PRIZE 2008
NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

Traumatized by an accident which ‘involved something falling from the sky’ and leaves him eight and a half million pounds richer but hopelessly estranged from the world around him, Remainder’s hero spends his time and money obsessively reconstructing and re-enacting vaguely remembered scenes and situations from his past: a large building with piano music in the distance, the familiar smells and sounds of liver frying and spluttering, lethargic cats lounging on roofs until they tumble off them… But when this fails to quench his thirst for authenticity, he starts re-enacting more and more violent events, as his repetition addiction spirals out of control.

A darkly comic meditation on memory, identity and history, Remainder is a parable for modern times.

eBook ISBN 9781846881411

 

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Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke

Peter Benson

Selected for Fiction Uncovered 2012

When young Elliot gets a labourer’s job at Mr Evans’s after being sacked from a pig farm for liberating six of its sows, he thinks he’ll have even more opportunities to lean on gates or stare at fields. But his best mate Spike keeps getting him into trouble, first by showing him what is being grown in a tucked-away polytunnel, and then turning up at his caravan’s door with a van full of weed. As Elliot tries to help his friend get rid of the hot merchandise, they find themselves at the receiving end of a cruel cat-and-mouse game.

A tale of adventure with as many twists and turns as the enchanting Somerset landscape that forms its backdrop, Two Cows and a Vanful of Smoke is, above all, a celebration of the English countryside – full of magic, history and superstition – where smoke is in the air, and where not all is what it seems.

eBook ISBN 9781846882166

 

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