'A parish child - the orphan of a workhouse - the humble, half-starved drudge - to be cuffed and buffeted through the world, despised by all, and pitied by none'
Dark, mysterious and mordantly funny, Oliver Twist features some of the most memorably drawn villains in all of fiction - the treacherous gangmaster Fagin, the menacing thug Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger and their den of thieves in the grimy London backstreets. Dicken's novel is both an angry indictment of poverty, and an adventure filled with an air of threat and pervasive evil.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
Each house on Pepys Road, an ordinary street in London, has seen its fair share of first steps and last breaths, and plenty of laughter in between. But each of the street’s residents—a rich banker and his shopaholic wife, a soccer prodigy from Senegal, Pakistani shop owners, a dying old woman and her graffiti-artist son—is receiving a menacing postcard with a simple message: "We Want What You Have." Who is behind this? What do they really want? In Capital, John Lanchester ("an elegant and wonderfully witty writer"—New York Times) delivers a warm and compassionate novel that captures the anxieties of our time—property values going up, fortunes going down, a potential terrorist around every corner—with an unforgettable cast of characters.
Charles Dickens's second novel tells the tale of an orphan's rise from poverty to prosperity. Oliver's adventures on the streets of London will enchant modern readers, whether or not they are familiar with his story. A sharp satire of Victorian values as well as a heartwarming coming-of-age narrative, OLIVER TWIST is one of the most loved and enduring classics of Western literature.
London, 1958. A new phenomenon is causing a stir: the teenager.
In the smoky jazz clubs of Soho and the coffee bars of Notting Hill the young and the restless – the absolute beginners – are revolutionising youth culture and forging a new carefree lifestyle of sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll. Moving in the midst of this world of mods and rockers, Teddy gangs and trads., and snapping every scene with his trusty Rolleiflex, is MacInnes’ young photographer, whose unique wit and honest views remain the definitive account of London life in the 1950s and what it means to be a teenager.
In this twentieth century cult classic, MacInnes captures the spirit of a generation and creates the style bible for anyone interested in Mod culture, and the changing face of London in the era of the first race riots and the lead up to the swinging Sixties...
Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old sisters with an intense attachment to each other. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. Their English aunt Elspeth Noblin has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions for this inheritance: that they live in the flat for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the girls’ aunt Elspeth and their mother, Edie.
The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Stella Gibbons, and other luminaries are buried. Julia and Valentina become involved with their living neighbors: Martin, a composer of crossword puzzles who suffers from crippling OCD, and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. They also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including—perhaps—their aunt.
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Jarvis Stringer is a young man of many peculiarities, but no obsession has taken hold quite like that of writing the strange and twisting history of the London Underground. To finance his project, he rents out cheap rooms in the long-disused West Hampstead schoolhouse he inherited—a crumbling monument to morbid local lore.
The boarders, each eking out their invisible lives above—and beneath—the city’s surface, are a collection of strays, waifs, subway buskers, and loners, who are raising the concern of Jarvis’s relatives and more proper neighbors. But even Jarvis has become suspicious. One of his outcasts may be a killer who’s plotting something unforgettable and catastrophic—and Jarvis himself has unwittingly become a conspirator.
“A jolting novel of psychological suspense,” King Solomon’s Carpet was the recipient of the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award (The New York Times Book Review).
'Trollope did not write for posterity,' observed Henry James. 'He wrote for the day, the moment; but these are just the writers whom posterity is apt to put into its pocket.' Considered by contemporary critics to be Trollope's greatest novel, The Way We Live Now is a satire of the literary world of London in the 1870s and a bold indictment of the new power of speculative finance in English life. 'I was instigated by what I conceived to be the commercial profligacy of the age,' Trollope said.
His story concerns Augustus Melmotte, a French swindler and scoundrel, and his daughter, to whom Felix Carbury, adored son of the authoress Lady Carbury, is induced to propose marriage for the sake of securing a fortune. Trollope knew well the difficulties of dealing with editors, publishers, reviewers, and the public; his portrait of Lady Carbury, impetuous, unprincipled, and unswervingly devoted to her own self-promotion, is one of his finest satirical achievements.
His picture of late-nineteenth-century England is a portrait of a society on the verge of moral bankruptcy. In The Way We Live Now Trollope combines his talents as a portraitist and his skills as a storyteller to give us life as it was lived more than a hundred years ago.
Bridget Jones's Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud account of a year in the life of a thirty-something Singleton on a permanent doomed quest for self-improvement. Caught between the joys of Singleton fun, and the fear of dying alone and being found three weeks later half eaten by an Alsatian; tortured by Smug Married friends asking, "How's your love life?" with lascivious, yet patronizing leers, Bridget resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult and learn to program the VCR. With a blend of flighty charm, existential gloom, and endearing self-deprecation, Bridget Jones's Diary has touched a raw nerve with millions of readers the world round. Read it and laugh—before you cry, "Bridget Jones is me!"
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A master of epic historical fiction, Edward Rutherford gives us a sweeping novel of London, a glorious pageant spanning two thousand years. He brings this vibrant city's long and noble history alive through his saga of ever-shifting fortunes, fates, and intrigues of a half-dozen families, from the age of Julius Caesar to the twentieth century. Generation after generation, these families embody the passion, struggle, wealth, and verve of the greatest city in the Old World.
Praise for London
“Remarkable . . . The invasion by Julius Caesar’s legions in 54 B.C. . . . The rise of chivalry and the Crusades . . . The building of the Globe theatre . . . and the coming of the Industrial Revolution. . . . What a delightful way to get the feel of London and of English history. . . . We witness first-hand the lust of Henry VIII. We overhear Geoffrey Chaucer deciding to write The Canterbury Tales. . . . Each episode is a punchy tale made up of bite-size chunks ending in tiny cliffhangers.”—The New York Times
“Hold-your-breath suspense, buccaneering adventure, and passionate tales of love and war.”—The Times (London)
“Fascinating . . . A sprawling epic.”—San Francisco Chronicle
You leave the pretty wife you’re never faithful to,
You cross the sea to find those streets that’s paved with gold,
And all you find is Brixton cell that’s oh! so cold.’
London, 1957. Victoria Station is awash with boat trains discharging hopeful black immigrants into a cold and alien land. Liberal England is about to discover the legacy of Empire. And when Montgomery Pew, a newly appointed assistant welfare officer in the Colonial Department, meets Johnny Fortune, recently arrived from Lagos, the meeting of minds and races takes a surprising turn...
Colin MacInnes gives London back to the people who create its exciting sub-culture. Hilarious, anti-conventional, blisteringly honest and fully committed to youth and vitality, City of Spades is a unique and inspiring tribute to a country on the brink of change.
East London, 1888-a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths.
Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, a bright and defiant young woman dares to dream of a life beyond tumbledown wharves, gaslit alleys, and the grim and crumbling dwellings of the poor.
Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.
But Fiona's dreams are shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death at the dark man's hands, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit-and the ghosts of her past-propel her rise from a modest west side shopfront to the top of Manhattan's tea trade.
Authentic and moving, Jennifer Donnelly's The Tea Rose is an unforgettable novel.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the 1891 first edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.