The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, May 2005 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


Newly released titles from VINTAGE begin this month's column because the company is reissuing the novels of two of the last century's greatest writers, Graham Greene and William Faulkner. The works of Graham Greene that have been reprinted in the Vintage Classics series include some of his best known titles which range over forty-two years of the novelist's life. In chronological order they are: A Gun for Sale ([pounds sterling]6.99), The Confidential Agent ([pounds sterling]6.99), The Power and the Glory ([pounds sterling]7.99) which has a superb introduction by John Updike, Loser Takes All ([pounds sterling]6.99), The Third Man and The Fallen Idol ([pounds sterling]6.99) with an introduction by Ian Thomson, Our Man in Havana ([pounds sterling]6.99) with its story of the world's most famous vacuum cleaner salesman and, finally, The Human Factor ([pounds sterling]6.99). The three Faulkner titles reprinted begin with his 1929 novel, The Sound and the Fury which marked the turning point in his career. Afterwards came Absalom, Absalom! and Light in August. All three are priced at [pounds sterling]7.99.

Also from VINTAGE we have Cervantes' Don Quixote ([pounds sterling]8.99) in a new translation by Edith Grossman and introduced by Harold Bloom. This first appeared in the U.S. and was published in hardback in the U.K. by Secker & Warburg last year to great praise. The final title is Helena Kennedy's Just Law: The Changing Face of Justice and Why It Matters To Us All ([pounds sterling]8.99), a look at the rule of law as it is affected by Blairite innovations.

PENGUIN BOOKS have published The Coming of the Third Reich ([pounds sterling]9.99) by Prof. Richard J. Evans. When published in hardback in 2003 this was highly praised as one of the best studies of how and why the Nazis came to power in Germany. Also from Penguin we have, in their Penguin Classics series, The Wonderful Adventures of Mrs Seacole in Many Land ([pounds sterling]9.99), the autobiography of a West Indian woman who was involved in the Crimean War at the same time as Florence Nightingale and who then wrote up her adventures in 1857.

There are several new titles from HARPER PERENNIAL and both deal with history. The first is Francis Pryor's Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans ([pounds sterling]9.99) in which the author uses his mastery of archaeological research to trace the hidden eras in our history. The second title deals with a far different era. It is Andrew Meier's Black Earth: Russia after the Fall ([pounds sterling]9.99), the award-winning study of Russia after the disintegration of the U.S.S.R. This paperback edition has new material incorporating the tragedy and significance of the continuing crisis in Chechnya and the Beslan school siege.

PHOENIX has brought out A.N. Wilson's London: A Short History ([pounds sterling]7.99), a personal survey of the capital's history from its greatest chapters to its most absurd--the building of the Greenwich Dome. Other new titles include Thomas Keneally's Lincoln ([pounds sterling]6.99), a biography of the man now famous for his beautiful thighs and for his reputation as the U.S.'s first gay president, Gordon S. Wood's The American Revolution: A History ([pounds sterling]6.99), first published in the U.S., and Joe Jackson's A Furnace Afloat: The Wreck of the Hornet and the 4,300 Mile Voyage of Its Survivors ([pounds sterling]7. …

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