Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenches of No Man's Land, Sebastian Faulks creates a world of fiction that is as tragic as A Farewell to Arms and as sensuous as The English Patient. Crafted from the ruins of war and the indestructibility of love, Birdsong is a novel that will be read and marveled at for years to come.
IN 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission:to run an apparantly simple errand for a British special operations group and to search for her lover, an English airman called Peter Gregory, who has gone missing in action. In the small town of Lavaurette, Sebastian Faulks presents a microcosm of France and its agony in 'the black years', here is the full range of collaboration, from the tacit to the enthusiastic, as well as examples of extraordinary courage and altruism. Through the local resistance chief Julien, Charlotte meets his father a Jewish painter whose inspiration has failed him. In Charlotte's friendship with both men, Faulks opens up the theme of false memory and of paradises--both national and personal--that appear irredeemably lost. In a series of shocking narrative climaxes in which the full extent of French collusion in the Nazi holocaust is delineated, Faulks brings the story to a resolution of redemptive love. In the delicacy of its writing, the intimacy of its characterisation and its powerful narrative scenes of harrowing public events, Charlotte Gray is a worthy successor to Birdsong.
Written with a comparable passion, power and breadth of vision, Charlotte Gray is Sebastian Faulks's first novel since Birdsong. It is 1942. London is blacked out, but France is under a greater darkness, as the Vichy regime clings ever closer to the Nazi occupier in their danse macabre. From Edinburgh, Charlotte Gray, a volatile but determined young woman, travels south. In London she conceives a dangerous passion for an English airman. Charlotte goes to France on an errand for a British organisation helping the Resistance and for her own private purposes. Unknown to her, she is also being manipulated by people with no regard for her safety. As the weeks go by Charlotte finds that the struggle for France's soul is intimately linked to her battle to take control of her own life. Charlotte Gray examines the lost domains of the past, the limits of memory and the redemptive power of art. It is also a brilliant evocation of life in Occupied France, filled with memorable characters, such as Julien Levade, the local resistance leader, and his father, a painter and reformed libertine. As the people in the village of Lavaurette prepare to meet their terrible destiny, the truth of what took place in 'the dark years' is finally revealed. These harrowing scenes are presented with the passion and narrative power that readers will recall from Birdsong.
Devil May Care will be published in May 2008 to celebrate the Centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. This new instalment in the adventures of the world's most iconic spy has been written by one of Britain's most admired novelists, Sebastian Faulks. "My novel is meant to stand in the line of Fleming's own books, where the story is everything. " said Faulks, "In his house in Jamaica, Ian Fleming used to write a thousand words in the morning, then go snorkelling, have a cocktail, lunch on the terrace, more diving, another thousand words in late afternoon, then more Martinis and glamorous women. In my house in London, I followed this routine exactly, apart from the cocktails, the lunch and the snorkelling. " Picking up from where Fleming left off in 1966 with The Living Daylights / Octopussy, Faulks has written the perfect continuation of the James Bond legacy. Devil May Care is set during the Cold War and features all the glamour, thrills and excitement that one would expect from any adventure involving Bond hellip; James Bond.
Sebastian Faulks's new novel is a bolt from the blue: contemporary, demotic, angry, heart-wrenching, and funny, in the deepest shade of black. Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, he rises without trace in Thatcher's England and scorches through the blandscape of New Labour. In the course of his brief, incandescent career, he and the reader encounter many famous people -- actors, writers, politicians, household names -- but by far the most memorable is Engleby himself. Sebastian Faulks's new novel can be read as a lament for a generation and the country it failed. It is also a meditation on the limits of science, the curse of human consciousness and on the lyrics of 1970s' rock music. And beneath this highly disturbing surface lies an unfolding mystery of gripping narrative power. For when one of Mike's contemporaries unaccountably disappears, the reader has to ask: is even the shameless Engleby capable of telling the whole truth?
In The Fatal Englishman, his first work of nonfiction, Sebastian Faulks explores the lives of three remarkable men. Each had the seeds of greatness; each was a beacon to his generation and left something of value behind; yet each one died tragically young. Christopher Wood, only twenty-nine when he killed himself, was a painter who lived most of his short life in the beau monde of 1920s Paris, where his charm, good looks, and the dissolute life that followed them sometimes frustrated his ambition and achievement as an artist. Richard Hillary was a WWII fighter pilot who wrote a classic account of his experiences,The Last Enemy, but died in a mysterious training accident while defying doctor's orders to stay grounded after horrific burn injuries; he was twenty-three. Jeremy Wolfenden, hailed by his contemporaries as the brightest Englishman of his generation, rejected the call of academia to become a hack journalist in Cold War Moscow. A spy, alcoholic, and open homosexual at a time when such activity was still illegal, he died at the age of thirty-one, a victim of his own recklessness and of the peculiar pressures of his time. Through the lives of these doomed young men, Faulks paints an oblique portrait of English society as it changed in the twentieth century, from the Victorian era to the modern world.
A story of love and conscience, will and desire, which begins when a mysterious young girl arrives to take up a post at the seedy Hotel du Lion D'Or in a small French town in the mid-1930s.
"Beautifully written and--extraordinarily moving."--The Sunday Times (London)From the author of the international bestseller Birdsong, comes a haunting historical novel of passion, loss, and courage set in France between the two world wars. This Vintage Original edition marks its first appearance in the United States.On a rainy night in the 1930s, Anne Louvet appears at the run-down Hotel du Lion d'Or in the village of Janvilliers. She is seeking a job and a new life, one far removed from the awful injustices of her past. As Anne embarks on a torrential love affair with a married veteran of the Great War, The Girl at the Lion d'Or fashions an unbreakable spell of narrative and atmosphere that evokes French masters from Flaubert to Renoir. "This moving and profound novel is perfectly constructed, and admirable in its configurations of place and period."--The Times (London)"I would urge those who appreciated--The French Lieutenant's Woman to try this one--. They may well think it superior."--Sunday Telegraph (London)
Sixteen-year-old Jacques Rebière is living a humble life in rural France, studying butterflies and frogs by candlelight in his bedroom. Across the Channel, in England, the playful Thomas Midwinter, also sixteen, is enjoying a life of ease-and is resigned to follow his father's wishes and pursue a career in medicine. A fateful seaside meeting four years later sets the two young men on a profound course of friendship and discovery; they will become pioneers in the burgeoning field of psychiatry. But when a female patient at the doctors' Austrian sanatorium becomes dangerously ill, the two men's conflicting diagnosis threatens to divide them--and to undermine all their professional achievements. From the bestselling author of Birdsong comes this masterful novel that ventures to answer challenging questions of consciousness and science, and what it means to be human.
An eBook short.A dispatch from the underground world of Birdsong, a story of love and World War I. In a stagnant war of trenches and barbed wire, there is one final desperate front: underground. Jack Firebrace is part of an elite group of British tunnellers, miners by profession, without the military training of infantry but facing unfathomable dangers just the same, forty-five feet underground with several hundred thousand tons of France above their heads.Birdsong, published to international critical and popular acclaim, has become the canonical novel of romance and devastating violence in World War I. In this selection, we are introduced to Jack Firebrace, one of the novel's central characters, and are given an unforgettable portrait of the lives of soldiers in an unimaginable position.
Bertie Wooster (a young man about town) and his butler Jeeves (the very model of the modern manservant)--return in their first new novel in nearly forty years: Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks. P.G. Wodehouse documented the lives of the inimitable Jeeves and Wooster for nearly sixty years, from their first appearance in 1915 ("Extricating Young Gussie") to his final completed novel (Aunts Aren't Gentlemen) in 1974. These two were the finest creations of a novelist widely proclaimed to be the finest comic English writer by critics and fans alike. Now, forty years later, Bertie and Jeeves return in a hilarious affair of mix-ups and mishaps. With the approval of the Wodehouse estate, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks brings these two back to life for their legion of fans. Bertie, nursing a bit of heartbreak over the recent engagement of one Georgina Meadowes to someone not named Wooster, agrees to "help" his old friend Peregrine "Woody" Beeching, whose own romance is foundering. That this means an outing to Dorset, away from an impending visit from Aunt Agatha, is merely an extra benefit. Almost immediately, things go awry and the simple plan quickly becomes complicated. Jeeves ends up impersonating one Lord Etringham, while Bertie pretends to be Jeeves' manservant "Wilberforce,"--and this all happens under the same roof as the now affianced Ms. Meadowes. From there the plot becomes even more hilarious and convoluted, in a brilliantly conceived, seamlessly written comic work worthy of the master himself. A Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2013
Focusing on a richly significant time in our recent past, Sebastian Faulks, the bestselling author of Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, has written his first novel set in America. The year is 1960--a fascinating moment of transition in our country, when the comfortable Eisenhower years were drawing to a close and the ruthlessly competitive Nixon/Kennedy presidential campaign signaled the beginning of a starkly different decade. Mary van der Linden has recently moved from London to Washington, D.C., with her two children and her loving, admired husband, Charlie, who is posted to the British Embassy. Nearly forty, Mary has spent a lifetime as a loyal daughter, wife and mother. But in this year of so much change, she feels compelled to break away from her familiar world and is drawn to the freedom of New York City, which is effervescent with parties, jazz, three- martini lunches, girls in their summer dresses and men in their Sinatra hats and big ties. Greenwich Village is still charmingly bohemian, and Miles Davis's hit tune "On Green Dolphin Street" is playing everywhere. Mary finds a hotel room in New York and then finds a lover, while back in Washington her husband drinks to forget the demands of his job, the absence of his wife and the Cold War paranoia that has overtaken the capital. Faulks breaks new ground with this novel: It is a love story, not a war story, and it is set in America rather than France. Yet readers of his two previous bestselling novels will recognize the close focus of the historical setting, the unforgettable characters and the gathering emotional power of the narrative. On Green Dolphin Street is a dramatic, tremendously moving novel that is certain to extend the American audience for this prodigiously talented author's work.
Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire. Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father is too ashamed to acknowledge his son. A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar and sings four songs that send shivers through the skull. Through desperation and desire, soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of a connection -- some key to understanding what makes us the people we become. Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks' dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities.
In this powerful anthology, Sebastian Faulks, author of the international bestseller Birdsong, and Jörg Hensgen have put together some of the finest fictional writing about war in the 20th century. Whether reporting with sober clarity or raw despair, the assembled novelists each found a way to transcend the facts of death and metal, tanks and blood. Many of the writers are concerned with battle, but others dwell on moments of calm, love, and friendship. From revolutionary Russia to Republican Spain; from the trenches of the Western Front to the skies over Korea and the jungles of Vietnam, this is a book filled with heroism and horror, savagery and compassion, and lightning-flashes of anarchic humor.
A powerful contemporary novel set in London from a master of literary fiction. London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Over seven days we follow the lives of seven major characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career; a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland; a young lawyer with little work and too much time to speculate; a student who has been led astray by Islamist theory; a hack book-reviewer; a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV; and a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop. With daring skill, the novel pieces together the complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life. Greed, the dehumanising effects of the electronic age and the fragmentation of society are some of the themes dealt with in this savagely humorous book. The writing on the wall appears in letters ten feet high, but the characters refuse to see it - and party on as though tomorrow is a dream. Sebastian Faulks probes not only the self-deceptions of this intensely realised group of people, but their hopes and loves as well. As the novel moves to its gripping climax, they are forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they inhabit. From the Hardcover edition.
The new bestseller from the author of Birdsong and A Week in December. "You don't live the life I have without making some enemies."Having accepted a strange but intriguing invitation to a French island, psychiatrist Robert Hendricks meets the man who has commissioned him to write a biography. But his subject seems more interested in finding out about Robert's past than he does in revealing his own. For years, Robert has refused to discuss his past. After the war ended, he refused to go to reunions, believing in some way that denying the killing and the deaths of his friends and fellow soldiers would mean he wouldn't be defined by the experience. Suddenly, he can't keep the memories from overtaking him. But can he trust his memories and can we believe what other people tell us about theirs?Moving between the present and past, between France and Italy, New York and London, this is a powerful story about love and war, memory and desire, the relationship between the body and the mind. Compelling and full of suspense, Where My Heart Used to Beat is a tender, brutal and thoughtful portrait of a man and a century, which asks whether, given the carnage we've witnessed and inflicted over the past one hundred years, people can ever be the same.
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