The Blue Flowers
Author: Raymond Queneau
Publisher: New Directions Publishing
Only a pataphysician nurtured lovingly on surrealist excess could have come up with The Blue Flowers, Queneau's 1964 novel. At his death in 1976, Raymond Queneau was one of France's most eminent men of letters––novelist, poet, essayist, editor, scientist, mathematician, and, more to the point, pataphysician. And only a pataphysician nurtured lovingly on surrealist excess could have come up with The Blue Flowers, Queneau's 1964 novel, now reissued as a New Directions Paperbook. To a pataphysician all things are equal, there is no improvement or progress in the human condition, and a "message" is an invention of the benighted reader, certainly not the author or his perplexing creations––the sweet, fennel-drinking Cidrolin and the rampaging Duke d'Auge. History is mostly what the duke rampages through––700 years of it at 175-year clips. He refuses to crusade, clobbers his king with the "in" toy of 1439––the cannon––dabbles in alchemy, and decides that those musty caves down at Altamira need a bit of sprucing up. Meanwhile, Cidrolin in the 1960s lolls on his barge moored along the Seine, sips essence of fennel, and ineffectually tries to catch the graffitist who nightly defiles his fence. But mostly he naps. Is it just a coincidence that the duke appears only when Cidrolin is dozing? And vice versa? In the tradition of Villon and Céline, Queneau attempted to bring the language of the French streets into common literary usage, and his mad word-plays, bad puns, bawdy jokes, and anachronistic wackiness have been kept amazingly and glitteringly intact by the incomparable translator Barbara Wright.
Author: Donald E. Westlake
Publisher: Severn House Pub Limited
An early work by one of Science Fiction's grand masters Anarchaos is a planet, inhabited by humans, where anarchy is the only law; where each man protects himself as best he can; and where the weak are soon dead. Malone's brother had dies that way, and Malone has come to Anarchaos, carrying a small arsenal of weapons, to find the man who killed him, knowing that he is facing an entire planet of enemies.
Author: David Faber
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
On 30 September 1938 Neville Chamberlain flew back to London from his meeting at Munich with the German Chancellor, Adolf Hitler. As he paused on the aircraft steps, he held aloft the piece of paper which bore both his and the Führer's signature, the promise that Britain and Germany would never go to war with one another again. He had returned bringing 'Peace with honour - Peace for our Time.' Drawing on a wealth of original archival material, David Faber sheds new light on this extraordinary story, tracing the key incidents leading up to the meeting at Munich and its immediate aftermath: Lord Halifax's ill-fated visit to Hitler; Chamberlain's secret negotiations with Mussolini, and the Berlin scandal that rocked Hitler's régime. He takes us to Vienna, to the Sudetenland, and to Prague. In Berlin, we witness Hitler inexorably preparing for war; and in London, we watch helplessly as Chamberlain makes one supreme effort after another to appease Hitler.
Tel El-Kebir 1882
Author: Donald Featherstone
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
In 1881, the Egyptian army mutinied against the Khedive of Egypt and forced him to appoint Said Ahmed Arabi as Minister of War. In March 1882, Arabi was made a Pasha and from this time on acted as a dictator. Arabi demanded that the foreigners be driven out of Egypt and called for the massacre of Christians. This prompted an armed British response, first in the form of a naval bombardment of Alexandria, and then as an expeditionary force under Lieutenant-General Wolseley. This book explores the entire campaign, including Sir Wolseley's 'textbook' operation that was planned and executed with masterly competence.
Author: Herman Melville
Publisher: Harper Collins
A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: The Happy Failure by Herman Melville
The Washington Heights
Author: Paul Hammond
Publisher: KCM Publishing
Sterrett Emerson Groves is a young lawyer at a reputable Washington D.C. law firm. With a less than desirable work ethic, he relies on boldness, improvisation and sometimes drink to make it through his day successfully. His boss, Vincent Jorrigo bets the law associate’s swagger will be of use to him. It proves a costly gamble as Jorrigo wrestles with his own perilous demons. Dinah Solatoff, with her cool, Western style, turns Sterrett’s head, yet misunderstands the boy’s way of looking at things. Tired of her life as a legal secretary, she snubs him for an unlikely romance with a national politician, while Sterrett seeks out beautiful and ambitious attorney Anne Marie Smith for answers. In the background, looms a comical waste management project that means big bucks for all involved. The Washington Heights is a story of restless youth and a decision to be made, to pursue love or settle for riches. It’s also a satire of the micro-culture in the U.S. capital where contrasting agendas, lobbying and legal shenanigans are the specials of the day.
Author: Alberto Burri