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BIRDS WITHOUT WINGS tells of the inhabitants of a small coastal town in South West Anatolia in the dying days of the Ottoman empire: Iskander the Potter and fount of proverbial wisdom; Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty who is courted almost from infancy by Ibrahim the Goatherd, their great love culminating in tragedy and madness; Karatavuk and Mehmet-ik, childhood friends who play in the hills above the town, Mehmet-ik teaching the illiterate Karatavuk how to write Turkish in Greek letters; the two holy men of different faiths, Father Kristoforos and Abdulhamid Hodja, who greet each other with the words 'infidel efendi'; the landlord Rustem Bey, his wife's adultery and stoning, and his journey to Istanbul in search of a Circassian mistress. It tells also of Mustafa Kemal, the man of destiny, who by virtue of military genius and sheer bloody- mindedness defeats the Franks and reshapes the whole region in his image. When jihad is declared against the Allies the young men of the town are sent to war. Karatavuk soon finds himself at Gallipoli where he experiences the intimate brutality of trench warfare, the loss of many comrades and of his own innocence. As the great world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, hunger grips the town and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed. Epic, yet profoundly humane, BIRDS WITHOUT WINGS is a glorious novel by one of our finest and best- loved novelists.
Extravagant, inventive, emotionally sweeping,Corelli's Mandolinis the story of a timeless place that one day wakes up to find itself in the jaws of history. The place is the Greek island of Cephallonia, where gods once dabbled in the affairs of men and the local saint periodically rises from his sarcophagus to cure the mad. Then the tide of World War II rolls onto the island's shores in the form of the conquering Italian army. Caught in the occupation are Pelagia, a willful, beautiful young woman, and the two suitors vying for her love: Mandras, a gentle fisherman turned ruthless guerilla, and the charming, mandolin-playing Captain Corelli, a reluctant officer of the Italian garrison on the island. Rich with loyalties and betrayals, and set against a landscape where the factual blends seamlessly with the fantastic,Corelli's Mandolinis a passionate novel as rich in ideas as it is genuinely moving.
England, late 1970s. Forty-something Chris is trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. Roza, in her twenties, the daughter of one of Tito's partisans, has only recently moved to London from Yugoslavia. One evening, Chris mistakes her for a prostitute and propositions her. Instead of being offended, she gets into his car. Over the next months Roza tells Chris stories of her past. She's a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life as she retells it-and Chris is rapt. This deeply moving novel of their unlikely love is also a brilliantly subtle commentary on the seductive power of storytelling.
In 1998, Louis de Bernieres--acclaimed author of Corelli's Mandolin--came upon a bronze statue in a town on Australia's northwestern coast and was immediately compelled to know more about "Red Dog." He did not have to go far: everyone for hundreds of miles in every direction seemed to have a story about Red Dog. He was a Red Cloud Kelpie, a breed of sheepdog known for its energy and cleverness. But Red Dog was a kind of ultra-Kelpie, energetic and clever enough for an entire breed in himself.Dubbed a "professional traveler" rather than a stray, Red Dog established his own transportation system, hitchhiking between far-flung towns and female dogs in cars whose engine noises he'd memorized and whose drivers he'd charmed. The call of the wild was matched by the call of the supper dish; Red Dog's appetite was as legendary as his exploits. Everyone wanted to adopt him (one group of workers made him a member of their union), but Red Dog would be adopted by--or, more precisely, he would adopt--only one man: a bus driver whose love life quickly began to suffer and who never quite recovered from Red Dog's relentlessly affectionate presence.Independent, clever, sly, stubborn, courageous and foolhardy, impatient with boredom and the boring, Red Dog endeared himself to (almost) everyone who crossed his path. These funny, surprising, and touching stories of his life are certain to endear him to every reader.
With the same ebullient storytelling, luxuriant prose, and irrepressible eroticism he brought to The War of Don Emmanuel s Nether Parts and Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, Louis de Bernières continues his chronicle of Cochadebajo, the Andean village where macho philosophers, defrocked priests, and reformed (though hardly inactive) prostitutes cohabit in cheerful anarchy. But this unruly utopia is imperiled when the demon-harried Cardinal Guzman decides to inaugurate a new Inquisition, with Cochadebajo as its ultimate target. On his side, the Cardinal has an army of fanatics who are all too willing to destroy bodies in order to save souls. The Cochadebajeros have precious little ammunition, unless you count chef Dolores's incendiary Chicken of a True Man, and a civil defense that deems nothing more crucial than the act of love. Part epic, part farce, The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman confirms de Bernières's reputation as England's answer to Gabriel García Márquez.
This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny. "Walks a precarious edge between slapstick and pathos, never once losing its balance."--Washington Post Book World.
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