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In the Listening Summertime of the Dead By Paul Newman
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In this fascinating anthology there are many arresting short stories, among them 'Ogmios' in which a supercilious young writer brings out a book on a Celtic theme and later, in the sacred town of... More > Glastonbury, comes face to face with the two last surviving worshippers of the deity he has treated flippantly. 'Ironclaw’s Last Stand' is about two bears who escaped from the Paris Garden, the bearpit of Shakespeare’s London, and traversed the countryside, plundering and ravaging until they came to Great Hurt Wood. ‘The Spectre’ is about the teacher at the Vienna Academy who interviewed Adolf Hitler and thought him unsuitably to study art – did this decision quicken the onset of the holocaust? ‘Disastertecture’ is about an architecture of despair, especially constructed to pre-empt nuclear war and 'The Crying in the Garden' portrays an elderly couple who are awarded the prize of a Weeping Man to stand in their ornamental garden.< Less
The Name of the Wind By Paul Newman
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The action takes place amid a suburban family during a spell of freezing weather. The father, Gregory, labours under the delusion he is a ‘great comedian’ and that his routine has the... More > ‘true paranoid despair’ of the twentieth century. To the chagrin of his careworn wife, Mabel, he pins his future on that vain hope; and she also fails to realistically connect to her present situation, harking back constantly to the barren bleak relationship she formerly had with a sinister scientist called Robert Garstin. And Gregory and Mabel’s daughters, too, have problems: Daphne is involved with a brash young American salesman, Bill, while Alice has a mysterious fiancé, Derek, who permanently wears a bowler hat and insists on eating only ice cream. When Derek is invited to tea, both parents are alarmed to find out he is a snowman. But despite his dismal, short-lived prospects, Derek burns with a hard gem-like flame.< Less
The Art of Despair - Royal By Paul Newman
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‘The Art of Despair’ is about a young accountant, a girl named Isobel Daring, a sinister man named Hubert Shattering and a remarkable painting: art, desire and corruption are ingeniously... More > combined in a story of desire and spiritual and sexual desolation. ‘The Bleeding King’ is about redemption, loss and the nature of historic atrocities: a tyrant returns in shrunken, wizened forms and relives his life and crimes in the company of a young adolescent girl. ‘Forever Falling’ centres on Judas and the fall of man seen through the eyes of a fashion-conscious outcast. ‘Sanctorum’ concerns the deletrious affects of an aftershave or scent that was devised with a moral rather than an fragrant intention. By way of prize coupons and the compulsion to acquire a full set, ‘The Crying in the Garden’ evokes the problem of the griefs of others, lingering beyond the sphere of our influence – what can we do with those whose only heritage is their sorrow and lack of a proper home?< Less