'I consider myself a poet first and a musician second' 'It ain't the melodies that're important man, it's the words' Two quotes from Dylan himself that underline the importance of this book. Dylanology thrives. There is no shortage of books about him and many of them will be dusted off for his 70th birthday. This one, however, stands on its own both for its unusual approach and for the virtuosity of its execution. Ricks's scheme, aptly, is to examine Dylan's songs through the biblical concepts of the seven deadly Sins, the four Virtues, and the three Heavenly Graces. He carries it off with panache. Ricks may be the most eminent literary critic of his generation but nobody should feel his book is one of earnest, unapproachable exegesis, on the contrary it has a flamboyance, almost effervescence about it that is captivating. Ricks boldly and successfully judges Dylan as a poet not a lyricist and in his tour-de-force makes endless illuminating comparisons with canonical writers such as Eliot, Hardy, Hopkins and Larkin.
The Complete Edition.
Includes the engraved frontispiece and (fictional) dedication and with a new preface by Ian Rankin.
It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.
Hogg's book is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events: is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?
'Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation.' Ian Rankin 'One of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely.' Philip Pullman 'A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance.' Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement 'Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what makes it at once so gripping ad yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature.' James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack
Alessandro Baricco re-creates the siege of Troy through the voices of 21 Homeric characters. Sacrificing none of Homer's panoramic scope, Baricco forgoes Homer's detachment and admits us to realms of subjective experience his predecessor never explored. From the return of Chryseis to the burial of Hector, we see through human eyes and feel with human hearts the unforgettable events first recounted more than 3,000 years ago events arranged not by the whims of the gods in this instance but by the dictates of human nature. With Andromache, Patroclus, Priam, and the rest, we are privy to the ghastly confusion of battle, the clamour of the princely councils, the intimacies of the bedchamber until finally only a blind poet is left to recount secondhand the awful fall of Ilium. Imbuing the stuff of legend with a startlingly new relevancy and humanity, Baricco gives us The Iliad as we have never known it. His transformative achievement is certain to delight and fascinate all the readers of Homer's indispensable classic.
Jacob and Edna have fallen on hard times. They haven't lost everything the way others have, but they have lost enough. When one of their hens stops laying eggs, it seems like the final straw. Jacob is determined to solve the mystery. What he discovers is as heartbreaking as it is revelatory.
This is just one of the remarkable stories in Burning Bright - an award-winning collection that confirms why Ron Rash has won comparisons with John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy and Gabriel García Màrquez.
It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, as Ron Rash does with the rugged, brutal landscape of the Appalachian Mountains. At the same time, again and again he conjures characters that live long in the mind after their stories have been told.
The Gift has come to be regarded as a modern classic. This inspiring examination of the "gift economy" is even more relevant now than when it originally appeared - a brilliantly argued defence of the place of creativity in our increasingly market-orientated society. The Gift takes as its opening premise the idea that a work of art is a gift and not a commodity. Hyde proceeds to show how "the commerce of the creative spirit" functions in the lives of artists and within culture as a whole, backing up his radical thesis with illuminating examples from economics, literature, anthropology and psychology. Whether discussing the circulations of gifts in tribal societies, the ethics of usury, the woman given in marriage or Whitman's Leaves of Grass, this wide-ranging book is as entertaining as it is ground-breaking, a masterful analysis of the creative act in all its manifestations. It is in itself an extraordinary gift to all who discover it.
Great photographs change the way we see the world; The Ongoing Moment changes the way we look at both. Focusing on the ways in which canonical figures like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Andryes'>#233; Kertyes'>#233;sz, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, and William Eggleston have photographed the same thingsyes'>#8212;barber shops, benches, hands, roads, signsyes'>#8211;awardwinning writer Geoff Dyer seeks to identify their signature styles. In doing so, he constructs a narrative in which these photographersyes'>#8211;many of whom never metyes'>#8211;constantly encounter one another. The result is a kaleidoscopic work of extraordinary originality and insight.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Jimi Hendrix 'transgressed many boundaries; both arbitrary musical definitions separating blues and soul or jazz and rock, and also those fundamental divides between the archaic and the avant-garde, between individualist and collectivist philosophies,between blacks and whites, between America and Britain, between passive acquiescence and furious resistance,between lust for life and obsession with death.' Charles Shaar Murray Crosstown Traffic charts the routes Hendrix took to arrive at his 'unique musical formulation'. The result is a bravura study of his art and life that has become established as the definitive work on 'the most eloquent instrumentalist ever to work in rock.' Winner of the Ralph Gleason Music Book Award on first publication, this brilliant and ambitious book, hailed as 'the most compelling and literate essay on rock since Greil Marcus' Mystery Train, is being reissued with an updated introduction.
This collection marks the arrival of a major new talent in Scottish poetry. Kevin MacNeil's voice and vision, while rooted in the Hebridean islands, is open to a wide range of cultures, not only those of Scotland - from Gaeldom to urban Scotland - but to the wider European and American mind and, through his interest in Zen Buddhism, to Japanese and Chinese culture. With astonishing freshness and versatility, MacNeil's poetry creates powerful connections and new combinations -he has wit as well as feeling, a powerful sense of the past and the local while being resolutely turned towards the future and the cross-cultural.
The Blue Mountain is the first novel by one of Israel's most important and acclaimed contemporary writers and as with all his writing is a virtuoso example of Shalev's skill as a storyteller. Published to outstanding reviews all over the world, its publication in Britain re-affirms his reputation as a major international writer. Set in a small rural village prior to the creation of the State of Israel, this funny and hugely imaginative book paints an extraordinary picture of a small community of Ukrainian immigrants as they succeed in pioneering a new life in a new land over three generations. The Blue Mountain transcends its time and place by touching on issues of universal relevance whilst never failing to entertain and engage the reader. As with Four Meals, the writing is lyrical and of exceptional quality and illustrates why Shalev has been steadily winning over an ever-increasing number of fans worldwide.
They call me Jax, though my real name's Eva / The whole of the Jackson Five rolled into one serious diva / No.1 on the guest list, top of the charts / When I make my grand entrance, the sea of sequins parts...' From Hamburg to Jo'burg, Oslo to Soho, Patience Agbabi follows her critically acclaimed debut collection R.A.W., with Transformatrix, an exploration of women, travel and metamorphosis. Inspired by 90s poetry, 80s rap and 70s disco, Transformatrix is a celebration of literary form and constitutes a very potent and telling commentary on the realities of late twentieth century Britain. It is also a self-portrait of a poet whose honesty, intelligence and wit manages to pack a punch, draw a smile and warm your heart all at once.
Four Meals is the extraordinary story of Zayde, his enigmatic mother Judith and her three lovers. When Judith arrives in a small, rural village in Palestine in the early 1930s, three men compete for her attention: Globerman, the cunning, coarse cattle-dealer who loves women, money and flesh; Jacob, owner of hundreds of canaries and host to the four meals which lend the book its narrative structure; and Moshe, a widowed farmer obsessed with his dead wife and his lost braid of hair which his mother cut off in childhood. During the four meals, which take place intermittently over several decades, Zayde slowly comes to understand why these three men consider him their son and why all three participate in raising him.
A superb new collection of haiku and other short poetic forms on the theme of Glasgow - its people, landscape, culture. As always, Spence is uniquely illuminating, witty and delightful. Incorporating some of the poems which appeared decades ago in the much sought-after collection of the same title, Glasgow Zen includes mostly new material from this highly popular and exquisite poet.
Edited and introduced by Andrew Tod.
'I was born on the 7th May 1797 of a Sunday evening at No. 5 N. side of Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, in my father's own lately built house and I am the eldest of five children he and my mother raised to maturity.' Thus opens one of the most famous set of memoirs ever written. Since its first bowdlerised edition in 1898, they have been consistently in print. This is the first ever complete text.
Written between 1845 and 1854 the memoirs were originally intended simply for Elizabeth's family, but these vivid and inimitable records of life in the early 19th century, and above all on the great Rothiemurchus estate, full of sharp observation and wit, form an unforgettable picture of her time. The story ends with the thirty-three-year-old Elizabeth finding her own future happiness in marriage to an Irish landowner, Colonel Smith of Baltiboys.
'A masterpiece of historical and personal recall.' Scotsman
Edited and Introduced by Patricia Pelly and Andrew Tod.
'They have made an Irishwoman of you now, and may they know the value of the daughter they adopted into their country.' Elizabeth Grant's sister The early life of Elizabeth Grant of Rothiemurchus, so memorably recorded in her Memoirs of a Highland Lady has had an avid readership since the book's first publication in 1898. This volume takes up the story after she arrives in Ireland, following her marriage to Colonel Smith of Baltiboys.
This journal, begun in 1840, will be recognisable to her many followers by the charm, vigour and intelligence that fill every page. They vividly depict the day to day life of her family, her immense efforts to improve the Baltiboys estate and how she coped with the terrible ravages of famine. Her sharp observations of all classes of society however, from corrupt landowners to the poor and often dissolute farm-workers, make this book a memorable and important chronicle of her times and a unique contribution to the social history of Ireland.
In Iceberg Slim's first novel, Trick Baby, he told the unforgettable tale of White Folks, a white Negro who uses his colour as his trump card in the tough game of the Con. Blue-eyed, light-haired and fair-skinned, White Folks was to become the most incredible con man the ghetto ever spawned. Long White Con takes up where Trick Baby left off. After the death of his partner and mentor, Blue Howard, White Folks hooks up with the Vicksburg Kid, who completes his con education. Together they form a formidable duo, playing for the highest stakes, pulling off the most ambitious con of the lot - The Unhappy Virgin Game. Fleecing wealthy fools is the name of the game but when the sums involved get to the levels seen in Long White Con, the consequences of any slip can be fatal.
Like all of Iceberg Slim's work, Long White Con takes the reader into a world rarely seen in print, combining wicked humour with streetwise knowledge and philosophy. The result is another page-turning classic of hard-boiled fiction.
What happens to the father of a 13-year-old son, when he discovers that he has been infertile all his life? That intriguing question is the starting point of A Father's Affair. On his quest to discover the biological father of his son, the protagonist, Armin Minderhout, takes the reader on an extraordinary journey, one in which he is forced to reconsider everything he has ever believed in. With the page-turning suspense of a 'whodunnit', A Father's Affair probes the eternal question of how well we know the ones we love. Touching, at times extremely funny and erotically playful, it is a story of universal appeal - a stylish, acutely insightful and utterly captivating read.
In the pitch-black cell of an asylum - possibly in nineteenth-century France - an extended dialogue between the 'baron' and a disembodied 'voice' ensues. Arrested for a crime that he has no memory of, the baron swears his innocence throughout.
In contemporary France a man and his wife push one another into increasingly violent and extreme situations in what is evidently a deeply twisted marriage. There is only one possible outcome as the stakes get higher and higher. And where there is murder, there must be a murderer . . .
A book where nothing is quite as it first seems, Bernardo Carvalho's ingeniously structured novel raises disturbing questions about man's capacity to deceive and damage.
/> This is the second of several novellas featuring deceased literary figures at the heart of a murder mystery, based on a highly acclaimed Brazilian series entitled Death or Literature. Fiction in this occasional series also comes from Louise Welsh (Tamburlaine Must Die, on Christopher Marlowe) and Alberto Manguel (Stevenson Under the Palm Trees).
In 1911, in the Scottish Border village of Sprouston, the young parish minister wrote to the Daily Mail for entry forms for its sweet pea competition.The top prize was a staggering Â£1000 and organisers predicted that as many as 15,000 would enter. He could not foretell that the paper's estimate of the number of competitors would be more than doubled, or that a fortnight before the deadline a nation-wide drought would threaten the very existence of the sweet peas he was so painstakingly cultivating. This touching - and beautifully illustrated - tale is based on a true story.
I have brought you to the ring, now hop if you can.' Wallace's famous injunction before the battle of Falkirk is still remembered today. The first section of this major new biography deals with the history of Wallace and his time. According to legend, born and brought up in Elderslie, Wallace's courage and heroism during Scotland's darkest days were instrumental in creating a sense of national identity. From the early killing of the Sheriff of Lanark, Sir William Haslerigg, through his crowning triumph at Stirling Bridge to his terrible end, Wallace was unswerving in his devotion to the cause of Scottish freedom. The brutality of his end is a testament to the fear and humiliation his name inspired in Edward I.
The second section of the book studies the impact of the man and the myth on later generations. The guerrilla tactics initiated by Wallace were later used by Robert the Bruce to great success. Blind Harry's epic poem (1478) personifies the will and desire of Scottish people for independence in the figure of Wallace. Over 200 years after his death Scotland's greatest knight continues to inspire nationalists in this country and throughout the world.
Peter Reese's objective and lucid text concludes with the judgement that Wallace's martyrdom was a greater legacy to the Scots than even the achievements of his lifetime. While he was alive, the power of his personality galvanised a nation. Since his death, the memory of William Wallace has endured as an inspiration for uity.
With the economic downturn, the hysterical Swine Flu frenzy and the systemic corruption of our political system we need someone to guide us through these difficult times. Emergency tells how Strauss went from shivering the whole night through in a water-logged sleeping bag on a tracking course, with only his broken Blackberry for company, to being the well-trained and even better equipped survival expert he is today.
Encountering a host of weird and hilarious characters along the way, Strauss's timely and wry look at the The End of the World As We Know It will make you glad you chose to be on his side.