Fiction

We hold a  few hundred fiction titles at any one time including short stories, together with a carefully curated section of Oxford World Classics. Look out for Auster, Banville, Carey, Dunmore, Easton Ellis, Faulks, Gardham, Hosseini, Ishiguro, James, Kundera, LeCarre, Mantel, Naipul, O'Connor, Palahniuk, Quality, Roth, Shteyngart, Tan, Updike, Vonnegut, Winton, Ex-Libris, Yates, Zweig.  We also stock a wide range of titles for children of all ages.  (We can always order in for you too and/or deliver).  Current stock includes:

THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH - RICHARD FLANAGAN   A savagely beautiful novel about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.  The heart of the tale is the experience of prisoners of war working on the Japanese death railway in Burma during the second world war. Graphically grim at times, this epic novel centres on one Tasmanian's tenacity, humanity, and leadership,  in this hell.  Quietly stunning prose seems to make momentary details - motes of dust observed in bookshop before a mutually intoxicating meeting; a high dark green wall of rainy jungle - jump off the page. (Vintage, 2015, PB, 464pp, 9780099593584, £8.99)

HARVEST - JIM CRACE A spare, haunting book that offers a peasant's-eye view of a catastrophic week in an unnamed and remote feudal village. Interlopers arrive and the irruption marks the end of an age-old way of life. Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, it is one to savour - Crace has said that this is his last novel. (Books of the Year Financial Times)

There are three novels I've pressed most enthusiastically on people this year. Jim Crace's Booker-shortlisted Harvest, about land enclosure and dispossession, transports the reader into a past that feels more present than the world outside, yet also sheds an uneasy light on today. (Best Fiction of 2013 Guardian) (Picador, 2014, PB, 288pp, 9780330445672, £7.99)

 

THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS - TAN TWAN ENG SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012. Malaya, 1949. After studying law at Cambrige and time spent helping to prosecute Japanese war criminals, Yun Ling Teoh, herself the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle fringed plantations of Northern Malaya where she grew up as a child. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the Emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in Kuala Lumpur, in memory of her sister who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses, but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice 'until the monsoon comes'. Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to her sensei and his art while, outside the garden, the threat of murder and kidnapping from the guerrillas of the jungle hinterland increases with each passing day. But the Garden of Evening Mists is also a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? Why is it that Yun Ling's friend and host Magnus Praetorius, seems to almost immune from the depredations of the Communists? What is the legend of 'Yamashita's Gold' and does it have any basis in fact? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all? (Myrmidon, 2012, Trade PB, 448pp, isbn 9781905802623, £12.99)

THE GRANTA BOOK OF THE AFRICAN SHORT STORY

 Edited and with an introduction by Helon Habila, this anthology presents diverse and dazzling work from all over the continent - from Morocco to Zimbabwe, Uganda to Kenya. Here we discover younger, newer writers - contrasted with some of their older, more established peers - to give a fascinating picture of a more liberated Africa. These writers are characterized by their engagement with the wider world and the opportunities offered by the end of apartheid, the end of civil wars and dictatorships, and the possibilities of free movement around the world. Their work is inspired by travel and exile. (Granta, 2012, PB, 378pp, isbn9781847083333 , £12.99)

THE GREATCOAT - SUSAN HILL  In the winter of 1952, Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband Philip, a GP.  With Philip spending long hours on call, Isabel finds herself isolated and lonely as she strives to adjust to the realities of married life. Woken by intense cold one night, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat at the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under it for warmth, she starts to dream, and not long afterwards hears a knock at her window.  Outside is a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in. Thus starts an intense affair, though the disturbing truth about Alec's life is yet to emerge. A customer came back raving about this spooky yarn recently, saying that the author skilfully pulls the reader into the mind of Isabel, to share in an increasing sense of disorientation and time-slippage.  For lovers of M.R. James and Susan Hill. (Hammer, PB, 2012, 272pp, isbn 9780099564942, £7.99).

LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN - COLUM MCCANN  It's New York, August 1974: a man is walking in the sky. Between the newly built Twin Towers, the man twirls through the air. Far below, the lives of complete strangers spin towards each other: Corrigan, a radical Irish monk working in the Bronx; Claire, a delicate Upper East Side housewife reeling from the death of her son; Lara, a drug-addled young artist; Gloria, solid and proud despite decades of hardship; Tillie, a hooker who used to dream of a better life; and Jazzlyn, her beautiful daughter raised on promises that reach beyond the skyline of New York. In the shadow of one reckless and beautiful act, these disparate lives will collide, and be transformed for ever. (Bloomsbury, 2009, PB, 356pp, isbn 9781408801185, £7.99)

BREATH - TIM WINTON Bruce Pike can hear the sea at night and longs to go to the shore. When he befriends Loonie, his small town's wild boy, that dream is realised.  Together intoxicated by the treacherous power of the waves, Pike discovers a new level of exhileration, falls in love and understands the true meaning of fear.  "A love letter to the sea and a moving coming of age story...Rapturous" Sunday Telegraph. (Picador, 2008, PB, 246pp, isbn 9780330455725, £7,99)

DEATH AND THE PENGUIN - ANDREY KURKOV  Death and the Penguin is a novel by Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov. Originally published in 1996 in Russian, it was eventually translated and published in English in 2001.  Viktor is an aspiring writer with only Misha, his pet penguin, for company.  Although he would prefer to write short stories, he earns his living composing obituaries for a newspaper.  But when he opens the newspaper to find his work in print for the first time, his pride swiftly turns to terror.  He and Misha have been drawn into a trap from which there appears to be no escape. "A chilling black comedy" The Guardian. (Vintage, 2003, PB, 228pp, isbn 9781860469459, £7.99)

OPENING TIMES

Tuesday to Saturday 10 - 5

 

Tweets from Mattbirch24Matt @Mattbirch24Matt