The Lottery – Shirley Jackson

“The people of the village began to gather in the square…. around ten o’clock; in some towns there were so many people that the lottery took two days” Published: 2014 (First in 1948) Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics Genre: Short Story/Thriller This little edition of The Lottery is barely 12 pages long but don’t let that…

The Sea Close By – Albert Camus

“…I wake up at night, and, still half-asleep, think I hear the sound of the waves and the breathing of the waters. Fully awake, I recognise the wind in the trees and the sad murmur of the empty town.” Published: 2013 Publisher: Penguin Genre: Essays This year marks the centenary of French author, philosopher and…

Hawksmoor – Peter Ackroyd

“I lack the World, for I move like a Ghost through it.” Published: 1985 (1st Edition) Publisher: Penguin Genre: Modern Classic/Crime The detective Nicholas Hawksmoor investigates a series of mysterious murders which all occur on the sites of seven churches, designed and built 250 years previously by the brilliant architect Nicholas Dyer. Set in London,…

Regeneration – Pat Barker

“The road smelled of hot tar, moths flickered between the trees, and when at last, turning up the drive into Craiglockhart, he stopped and threw back his head, the stars burst on his upturned face like spray.” Published: 1991 Publisher: Penguin Genre: War Fiction Pat Barker’s first novel Regeneration focuses on Dr W. H Rivers,…

Into The Woods – John Yorke

“Once upon a time, in such and such a place, something happened…” Into The Woods, subtitled A Five Act Journey into Story is a book about story-telling. We all know what a story is, and books that tell us how to write the supposedly perfect novel/screen-play/short-story etc are everywhere. But what these books never address is just why we tell…

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

“The place, with its grey sky and withered garlands, its bared spaces and scattered dead leaves, was like a theatre after a performance all strewn with crumpled playbills.” Published in 1898, ‘The Turn of the Screw’ is an unusually ambiguous ‘ghost story’ novella set in Bly, a huge country house in Essex in the 1840’s.…

Parade’s End – Ford Madox Ford

“…the band would play Land of Hope and Glory, and then the adjutant would say: There will be no more parades…. Don’t you see how symbolical it was—the band playing Land of Hope and Glory, and then the adjutant saying: There will be no more parades?…” ‘Parade’s End’ is actually made up of four single…