Hunter S. Thompson is roaring down the desert highway to Las Vegas with his attorney, the Samoan, to find the dark side of the American Dream. Armed with a drug arsenal of stupendous proportions, the duo engage in a surreal succession of chemically enhanced confrontations with casino operators, police officers and assorted Middle Americans. This stylish reissue of Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic masterpiece, a controversial bestseller when it appeared in 1971, features the brilliant Ralph Steadman illustrations of the original. It brings to a new generation the hallucinatory humour and nightmare terror of Hunter S. Thompson’s musings on the collapse of the American Dream.
Condemned for a murder he did not commit, Henri Charriere, nicknamed Papillon, was sent to the penal colony of French Guiana. Forty-two days after his arrival he made his first break for freedom, travelling a thousand gruelling miles in an open boat. He was recaptured and put into solitary confinement but his spirit remained untamed: over thirteen years he made nine incredible escapes, including from the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. This edition of Papillon, one of the greatest adventure stories ever told, includes an exclusive new essay by Howard Marks.
‘It is impossible to talk about faithfulness and unfaithfulness where we are oncerned. You and I are simply one. Neither of us can be described without the other.’ It was unthinkable that Pierre and Francoise should ever tire of each other. And yet, both talented and restless, they constantly feel the need for new sensations, new people. Because of this they bring the young, beautiful and irresponsible Xavière into their life who, determined to take Pierre for herself, drives a wedge between them, with unforeseeable, disastrous consequences… Published in 1943, ‘She Came to Stay’ is Simone de Beauvoir’s first novel. Written as an act of revenge against the woman who nearly destroyed her now legendary, unorthodox relationship with the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, it fictionalises the events of 1935, when Sartre became infatuated with seventeen-year old Olga Bost, a pupil and devotee of de Beauvoir’s. Passionately eloquent, coolly and devastatingly ironic, ‘She Came to Stay’ is one of the most extraordinary and powerful pieces of fictional autobiography of the twentieth century, in which de Beauvoir’s ‘tears for her characters freeze as they drop.’
War hero, ex-Congressman, a professor of ‘popular but somewhat notorious reputation’, television personality and husband of the rich and beautiful Deborah (’a girl who would have been bored by a diamond as big as the Ritz’), Stephen Rojack lived the American Dream. But his enviable life concealed a strange tension, the constant ‘itch to jump’, and when one day he finally cracks and strangles his luscious wife, he unleashes a personality of undreamt-of ferocity. A wanted murderer, Rojack is suddenly catapulted into an alien world of gangsters, crumbling tenements and downtown bars. Here, he meets Cherry, a small-time singer who ekes out her living in sleazy nightclubs, waiting for a break. She’s the woman Rojack falls for, dangerously, desperately, tragically… A powerful exploration of one man’s quest for depravity, An American Dream shocked the USA on first publication in 1965 with its graphic depictions of sex and violence. One of the key works of twentieth-century American literature, the novel’s white-hot prose makes it, for many, Mailer’s finest achievement.
First published in 1973, this intensely personal novel about one foot soldier’s tour of duty in Vietnam established Tim O’Brien’s reputation as the outstanding chronicler of the Vietnam experience for a generation of Americans. From basic training to the front line and back again, he takes the reader on an unforgettable journey – walking the minefields of My Lai, fighting the heat and the snipers in an alien land, crawling into the ghostly tunnels – as he explores the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war no one believes in.
Based on J. G. Ballard’s own childhood, this is the extraordinary account of a boy’s life in Japanese-occupied wartime Shanghai – a mesmerising, hypnotically compelling novel of war, of starvation and survival, of internment camps and death marches. It blends searing honesty with an almost hallucinatory vision of a world thrown utterly out of joint. Rooted as it is in the author’s own disturbing experience of war in our time, it is one of a handful of novels by which the twentieth century will be not only remembered but judged.
A thriller, a hilarious comic satire about an archetypal village police force, a surrealistic vision of eternity, the story of a tender, brief, unrequited love affair between a man and his bicycle, and a chilling fable of unending guilt, ‘The Third Policeman’ is comparable only to ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as an allegory of the absurd. Distinguished by endless comic invention and its delicate balancing of logic and fantasy, ‘The Third Policeman’ is unique in the English language.
With shameless irony and relentless high spirits Myles’ ‘Cruiskeen Lawn’ became the most feared, respected and uproarious newspaper column in the whole of Ireland from its first appearance in 1940 until his death in 1966. This wonderful selection from the ‘Cruiskeen Lawn’ columns is a modern classic that will appeal to lovers of absurdity and sharp comic observation everywhere.