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“So inviting you might find yourself tempted to give the experience a whirl and ride the Italian trains yourself, book in hand.”—Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review Tim Parks’s books on Italy have been hailed as "so vivid, so packed with delectable details, [they] serve as a more than decent substitute for the real thing" (Los Angeles Times Book Review). Now, in his first Italian travelogue in a decade, he delivers a charming and funny portrait of Italian ways by riding its trains from Verona to Milan, Rome to Palermo, and right down to the heel of Italy.

Parks begins as any traveler might: "A train is a train is a train, isn’t it?" But soon he turns his novelist’s eye to the details, and as he journeys through majestic Milano Centrale station or on the newest high-speed rail line, he delivers a uniquely insightful portrait of Italy. Through memorable encounters with ordinary Italians—conductors and ticket collectors, priests and prostitutes, scholars and lovers, gypsies and immigrants—Parks captures what makes Italian life distinctive: an obsession with speed but an acceptance of slower, older ways; a blind eye toward brutal architecture amid grand monuments; and an undying love of a good argument and the perfect cappuccino.

Italian Ways also explores how trains helped build Italy and how their development reflects Italians’ sense of themselves from Garibaldi to Mussolini to Berlusconi and beyond. Most of all, Italian Ways is an entertaining attempt to capture the essence of modern Italy. As Parks writes, "To see the country by train is to consider the crux of the essential Italian dilemma: Is Italy part of the modern world, or not?"

“Better than Silence of the Lambs . . . Macabre fun orchestrated with immaculate precision. It’s a killer” (Los Angeles Times).
 
Morris Duckworth teaches English to the pampered rich of Verona and is not pleased. Living a meager existence in a squalid apartment, he regards his privileged students with envy and disdain, first wreaking revenge by petty theft and then, like all good criminals, graduating to grander larceny. When one of those students, a beautiful but vapid heiress, falls in love with him, Morris can almost smell upward mobility. However, after the girl’s mother—much to his chagrin—unequivocally forbids her from seeing him, he hits upon the perfect scheme: He convinces the besotted girl to run off with him, then sends ransom notes to her family.
 
Following a frightening logic, Morris’s subversions become deeper and darker. Soon events are spiraling with eerie momentum into a nightmare of deception and violence. As Publishers Weekly observed about the protagonist, “So deft is Parks’s dissection of Morris’s pathology that this taut narrative gains in suspense and surprise and sweeps to a shocking conclusion.”
 
“As always, Mr. Parks’s principal strength is in his crisp, unsentimental, grimly comic portrayal of characters on the edge . . . Continued evidence of Mr. Parks’s edgy, restless talent.” —The New York Times
 
“Parks turns up the heat, with wonderfully scary results . . . His move into the suspense field is a triumph.” —Kirkus Reviews
The author of Europa—shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize—delivers “a dense, intriguing novel, prickly and strange” (Financial Times).
 
Why would a man who has it all suddenly turn his back on the world at the height of his power? A celebrated journalist, broadcaster, and documentary filmmaker, Harold Cleaver has just trounced the president in a damning television interview. But balancing Cleaver’s success is the unbearable scrutiny of his elder son’s equally damning roman à clef, Under His Shadow. Overweight and overwrought, Cleaver abruptly abandons his home, his wife, his mistresses, and, above all, television, the glowing box that brought him identity and power. He retreats high into the mountains to evade the numbing hold of e-mail, cell phones, and the endless chatter of public discourse. Weeks later—snowed in at five thousand feet, harangued by voices from the past, and humiliated by his inability to understand the locals on whom he relies for food and whiskey—Cleaver discovers that nowhere is so noisy and dangerous as the solitary mind.
 
“It’s impossible not to admire Parks’s virtuosity.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
“Parks gives readers a robust protagonist riddled with doubt, and the path he sends him down is both treacherous and cathartic.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“In a character portrait fairly shimmering with intelligence, Parks moves with facility from slapstick scenes depicting Cleaver’s towering ego to surprisingly tender moments as the great man acknowledges that he is deeply flawed and forgives himself for it.” —Booklist
 
“Never has the need to empty one’s mind been as convincingly, or as brilliantly, illustrated as in Tim Parks’s full-blooded Cleaver.” —Irish Times
The first Duckworth novel is "Better than Silence of the Lambs . . . Macabre fun orchestrated with immaculate precision. It's a killer" (Los Angeles Times)

Morris Duckworth teaches English to the pampered rich of Verona, and Morris is not pleased. Living a meager existence in a squalid apartment, he regards his privileged students with envy and disdain, first wreaking revenge by petty theft, and then, like all good criminals, graduating to grander larceny. When one of those students, a beautiful but vapid heiress named Massimina, falls in love with him, Morris can almost smell upward mobility. However, after the girl's mother—much to his chagrin—unequivocally forbids her from seeing him, he hits upon a perfect scheme: he convinces the besotted girl to run off with him, then sends ransom notes to her family. Following a frightening logic, Morris's subversions become deeper and darker. Soon events are spiraling with eerie momentum into a nightmare of deception and violence.

The first novel in what has become the Duckworth in Verona trilogy, Cara Massimina is a comic thriller that will leave readers laughing out loud in mortified delight.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
A museum exhibit celebrating the art of killing turns deadly in this “fiendishly clever pitch-black comedy” skewering the contemporary Italian art world (The Australian).

Morris Duckworth has a dark past. Having married and murdered his way into a wealthy Italian family, he has become a respected member of Veronese business life. But it’s not enough.

Never satisfied with being anything short of the best, Duckworth plans to put on the most exciting art exhibition of the decade, based on a subject close to his heart: killing. All the great slaughters of scripture and classical times will be on show, from Cain and Abel to Brutus and Caesar. But as Duckworth meets resistance from the director of Verona’s Castelvecchio museum, everything starts to unravel. His children are rebelling, his mistress is asking for more than he wants to give, his wife is increasingly attached to her aging confessor, and, worst of all, it’s getting harder to ignore the ghosts that swirl around. The shame of it is that Duckworth really did not want to have to kill again.

Tim Parks’ acclaimed Duckworth trilogy has been thirty years in the making. In Painting Death, he brings it and his serial-killer alter ego to a very fitting—and very funny—end.

“Duckworth is a worthy heir to a tradition of seductive, cultured literary monsters that include Humbert Humbert and Hannibal Lecter.” —The Sunday Times

“Neatly written, full of calamitous moments in which the comedy is suddenly elbowed aside by genuine emotion.” —Spectator

“Colorful, often amusing . . . Parks uses the museum intrigue to draw, as he has done in his more serious efforts, a vivid, impressionistic portrait of contemporary Italy.” —The New York Times

The second Duckworth novel is "A wild and wacky thriller that's like sharing a roller-coaster ride with a suave maniac" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

Morris Duckworth can't get over Massimina, or Mimi, as he likes to refers to her. But then, he should have thought of that before he kidnapped and killed her. Only now, living in Verona and married to Mimi's sister, does he appreciate how much he misses her and how blindly he has stumbled into a trap of fate. Struggling to adjust to his good fortune, with a lavish house and cushy job, our unsavory hero finds that his new success is rife with tribulation: not least his pushy bride's staggering sexual appetite and his nosy brother-in-law's meddling questions. So when he visits Mimi's grave and her charming photograph winks at him, he's ready for her advice.

Mimi seems to be suggesting a path to Christian redemption: he will help the poor African immigrants of Verona. But is his sudden altruism genuine or a cover for further malfeasance? And why, despite his apparent sincerity, are those who get in his charitable way so prone to "accidents"? The dark and funny sequel to Cara Massimina, Mimi's Ghost is the ultimate comedy of self-justification.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
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