The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, May 2001 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


VINTAGE have been bringing out a large number of literary titles. There are three more in their collection of Graham Greene's novels. The first is Stamboul Train ([pound]6.99. 216 pages), first published in 1932 and although his fourth novel, the one which established his reputation as a great writer. The other two titles are: The Power and the Glory ([pound]6.99. 222 pages), published in 1940 and Our Man in Havana ([pound]6.99. 220 pages), published in 1958. This Random House imprint has also recently brought out: Elizabeth Bowen's The Shelbourne ([pound]6.99. 163 pages); W. Somerset Maugham's The Painted Veil ([pound]6.99. 213 pages), The Summing Up ([pound]6.99. 305 pages) and The Narrow Corner ([pound]6.99. 211 pages); and Isaac Bashevis Singer's Old Love ([pound]6.99. 273 pages) and Passions and Other Stories ([pound]6.99. 287 pages). They have also published a paperback edition of Martin Amis's autobiography, Experience ([pound]7.99. 401 pages).

VINTAGE's large output also includes three new history titles: David Starkey's Elizabeth ([pound]7.99. 372 pages), first published by Chatto and Windus last year in conjunction with the BBC Television series and now revised and updated -- tele-biography at its best; Ricardo Orizio's Lost White Tribes ([pound]7.99. 271 pages), a journalist's record of those ex-colonials now living in reduced circumstances in former colonies; and, finally, Michael Ignatieff's Virtual War: Kosovo and Beyond ([pound]7.99. 249 pages) in which the author looks at Nato's air-war against Serbia.

Among recent releases from PIMLICO are two titles by the biographer and historian, Piers Brendon. The first is Winston Churchill: A Brief Life ([pound]12.50. 234 pages) which gives readers a good (and short) introduction to the great man's life and achievements. The second is The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s ([pound]12.50. 699 pages) which covers the years between the onset of the Great Depression and the outbreak of the Second World War. Also from PIMLICO are reissues of two American travel books by William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways: A Journey into America ([pound]12.50. 421 pages) and A Voyage Across America ([pound]12.50. 506 pages) and of John Prebble's Mutiny: Highland Regiments in Revolt 1743-1804 ([pound]12.50. 542 pages) last in print in 1975. It remains an invaluable insight into the role of Scotland's regiments in the British Army during this period: without them Britain would have had no army. The problems faced by the soldiers led to frequent mutinies and this, the first study of the m, remains essential reading.

New paperback releases from OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS include a variety of titles. David Cressy's Agnes Bowker's Cat: Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England ([pounds]9.99. 351 pages) in which the historian looks at the more bizarre aspects of English life in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Brigitte Hamann's Hitler's Vienna: A Dictator's Apprenticeship ([pound]12.99. 482 pages) is a fascinating account of Hitler's early years -- up to the age of twenty-four -- and of the impact on him of his time in the Austrian capital after the tragic collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918-1919. It is a marvellous example of history and biography working together to show the influence of a man's surroundings on his development. …

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