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Love is Blind

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future – and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie’s love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the nineteenth century becomes the twentieth.

Love is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man’s life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the twentieth century.

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Sweet Caress

THE TOP TEN SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

Amory’s first memory is of her father doing a handstand. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.

A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for fashionable magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 1920s, to New York of the 1930s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons.

In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date.

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Solo

Spanning three continents, Bond’s new mission takes an unexpected turn whilst in Africa, forcing him to go ‘solo’ on a trip to America. Boyd comments on his choice of title: ‘In my novel, events conspire to make Bond go off on a self-appointed mission of his own, unannounced and without any authorization – and he’s fully prepared to take the consequences of his audacity.’

In Solo, Boyd returns to classic, literary Bond: James Bond the human being, not James Bond the superagent. Whilst naturally there will be cocktails, cars and women, Boyd will reveal the man behind the icon, from his emotions, quirks and flaws, to his sartorial taste.

Combining all the glamour and excitement of Ian Fleming’s original novels with the masterful storytelling of William Boyd, Solo is a stylish, period novel featuring 007 as a veteran agent at 45. In true Bond style the plot remains under wraps until publication on 26 September 2013.
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Waiting For Sunrise

Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.

Later the same day they meet again, and a more composed Hettie Bull introduces herself as an artist and sculptor, and invites Lysander to a party hosted by her lover, the famous painter Udo Hoff. Compelled to attend and unable to resist her

electric charm, they begin a passionate love affair. Life in Vienna becomes tinged with the frisson of excitement for Lysander. He meets Sigmund Freud in a café, begins to write a journal, enjoys secret trysts with Hettie and appears to have been cured.

London, 1914. War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence – a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain’s safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life.

Moving from Vienna to London’s west end, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva,Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force from the bestselling author of Any Human HeartRestless and Ordinary Thunderstorms.

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Ordinary Thunderstorms

A thrilling, plot-twisting novel from the author of the Richard & Judy bestseller Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year

What is the devastating effect on your life when, through no fault of your own, you lose everything — home, family, friends, job, reputation, passport, money, credit cards, mobile phone — and you can never get them back? This is what happens to a young man called Adam Kindred, one May evening in Chelsea, London, when a freakish series of malign accidents and a split-second decision turns his life upside down for ever.

The police are searching for him. There is a reward for his capture. A hired

killer is stalking him. He is alone and anonymous in the huge, pitiless modern city. Adam has nowhere to go but down — underground. He decides to join that vast army of the disappeared and the missing that throng the lowest level of London’s population as he tries to figure out what to do with his life and struggles to understand the forces that have made it unravel so spectacularly. His quest will take him all along the River Thames, from affluent Chelsea to the sink estates of the East End, and on the way he encounters all manner of London’s denizens — aristocrats, prostitutes, priests and policewomen amongst them — and version after new version of himself.

Ordinary Thunderstorms, William Boyd’s electric follow-up to Costa Novel of the Year Restless is a heart-in-mouth conspiracy novel about the fragility of social identity, the scandal of big business, and the secrets that lie hidden in the filthy underbelly of every city.

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Restless

Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2006

It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian émigrée living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious Englishman and under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one, including those she loves most. Since then Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as the very English wife and mother Sally Gilmartin — but once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment. This time though Eva can’t do it alone: she needs her daughter’s help.

 

Now a major two-part BBC One series starring Hayley Atwell and Charlotte Rampling, directed by Edward Hall (Spooks).

 

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Buy Restless in audio CD.
Buy the US edition of Restless.

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Nat Tate – An American Artist 1928 – 1960

Artist Nathwell Tate was born in 1928 in Union Beach, New Jersey. On January 8 1960 he contrived to round up and burn almost his entire output of Abstract Expressionism. Four days later he killed himself. This book offers an account of Tate’s life and work which can be seen either as straight art biography or as fiction. It is an investigation of the blurry line between the invented and the authentic, the wholly false and the utterly real.

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Any Human Heart

Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary, and Logan Mountstuart’s — lived from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century — is a rich tapestry of both. As a writer who finds inspiration in Paris and London, as a spy betrayed in the war and as an art-dealer in ’60s New York, Logan mixes with the men and women who shape his times. But as a son, friend, lover and husband, he makes the same mistakes we all do in our search for happiness. Here, then, is the story of a life lived to the full — and a journey deep into a very human heart.

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Armadillo

One winter’s morning, Lorimer Black – young, good-looking, but with a somewhat troubled expression – goes to keep a perfectly routine business appointment and finds a hanged man. A bad start to the day, by any standards, and an ominous portent. Sure enough, Lorimer’s life is duly turned upside down and inside out in ways he could never have foreseen.

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The Blue Afternoon

Winner of the 1993 Sunday Express Book of the Year Award

Los Angeles 1936. Kay Fischer, a young, ambitious architect, is shadowed by Salvador Carriscant, an enigmatic stranger claiming to be her father. Within weeks of their first meeting, Kay will join him for an extraordinary journey into the old man’s past, initially in search of a murderer, but finally in celebration of a glorious, undying love.

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Brazzaville Beach

‘I live on Brazzaville Beach … I am here because two sets of strange and extraordinary events happened to me … One in England, first, and then one in Africa’

On Brazzaville Beach, on the edge of Africa, Hope Clearwater examines the complex circumstances that brought her there. Sifting the details for evidence of her own innocence or guilt, she tells her engrossing story with a blunt and beguiling honesty that not only intrigues and disturbs but is also completely enthralling.

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The New Confessions

The New Confessions is the outrageous, extraordinary, hilarious and heartbreaking autobiography of John James Todd, a Scotsman born in 1899 and one of the great self-appointed (and failed) geniuses of the twentieth century.

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Stars and Bars

Henderson Dores is an Englishman in New York – and completely out of his depth.

He should be concentrating on his job as an art assessor, but his complicated personal life keeps intruding. And that’s before we even get to his sense of alienation, of being a fish out of water. For Henderson is a shy man lost in a country of extraverts and weirdos. Subway poets, loony millionaires, Bible-bashers and sharp-suited hoods stalk him wherever he goes. But it is only when he’s sent to America’s deep South to examine a rare collection of paintings that matters take a life-threatening turn. Still, if it doesn’t kill you, they say it can only make you stronger . . .

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An Ice-Cream War

An Ice-Cream War is William Boyd’s sparkling debut novel on the grimly comic side of conflict, published as a Penguin Essential for the first time.

‘What do you think would happen if I shot an elephant in the balls?’
‘I think it would hurt a great deal.’

Millions die on the Western Front but in East Africa a quite different war is being waged – one with little point and which is so ignored that it will carry on after the Armistice because no one bothers to tell both sides to stop.

As the conflict sweeps up natives and colonials, so those left at home and those fighting abroad find themselves unable to escape the tide of history bearing down on them.

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A Good Man in Africa

Escapee from suburbia, overweight, oversexed …

Morgan Leafy isn’t overburdened with worldly success. Actually, he is refreshingly free from it. But then, as a representative of Her Britannic Majesty in tropical Kinjanja, it was not very constructive of him to get involved in wholesale bribery. Nor was it exactly oiling his way up the ladder to hunt down the improbably pointed breasts of his boss’s daughter when officially banned from horizontal delights by a nasty dose …

Falling back on his deep-laid reserves of misanthropy and guile, Morgan has to fight off the sea of humiliation, betrayal and ju-ju that threatens to wash over him.

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The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth

A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs – seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute. A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life. A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter. And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd’s powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers.

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