During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had 43 aliases, 89 phone lines, and owned 25 companies throughout the world. Whether bars, recording studios, or offshore banks, all were money laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing. Marks began to deal small amounts of hashish while doing a postgraduate philosophy course at Oxford, but soon he was moving much larger quantities. At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to 50 tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organizations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA, and the Mafia. This is his extraordinary story.
Vice magazine started out as a reaction against the humourless,self-righteous posers of the end of the '90s. Originally a black andwhite fanzine, the magazine is published in 30 countries across theglobe, and has grown into a multimedia empire. A conglomerate ofwriters, photographers, artists and filmmakers, they report first-handon war, terrorism, the environment and how everything is going tohell with as much relish as they do sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -all served up with a large dose of humour. Now it's time to findout for yourself. Welcome to the world of Vice. You'll like it.
Herman had often walked these streets, eyeing the forest of tall ships, their blackened strakes handsomely curved, masts like crosses, empty of sails . . .
1841. A young Herman Melville is yet to write Moby Dick. He sets out on a voyage aboard a whaling ship. What happens on that trip will give him enough material for a lifetime of writing.
But what of the dark things Melville encounters on his journey, and the illicit relationships he embarks upon that are to torment him once he returns home to his wife Lizzie? All is revealed as Jay Parini lifts the lid on one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century . . .
Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London's East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Plucked from the jaws of death by Mr Jamrach - explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world's strangest creatures - the two strike up a friendship.
Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies, on an unusual commission for Mr Jamrach. His journey - if he survives it - will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
Is science the only path to knowledge? In this sparkling and provocative book, Jonah Lehrer explains that when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first. Taking a group of celebrated writers, painters and composers, Lehrer shows us how artists have discovered truths about the human mind - real, tangible truths - that science is only now rediscovering. We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot understood the brain's malleability; how the French chef Escoffier intuited umami (the fifth taste); how Cézanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Virginia Woolf pierced the mysteries of consciousness. It's a riveting tale of art trumping science again and again.
Beyond The Survival of the Fittest: Why Cooperation, not Competition, is the Key to Life
If life is about survival of the fittest, then why would we risk our own life to jump into a river to save a stranger?
Some people argue that issues such as charity, fairness, forgiveness and cooperation are evolutionary loose ends, side issues that are of little consequence. But as Harvard's celebrated evolutionary biologist Martin Nowak explains in this groundbreaking and controversial book, cooperation is central to the four-billion-year-old puzzle of life. Indeed, it is cooperation not competition that is the defining human trait.
On this island your friends and your enemies quickly end up the same . . .
When fifteen-year-old Catherine sees her best friend slip from a wild cliff path she vows never to say a word. But Catherine was the last person to see her alive.
Charlie is also holding back a secret from the adults on the island. As German soldiers arrive on Guernsey, he carries out an act of rebellion with consequences that will reach far into the future - and into Catherine's own life.
The Book of Lies is a powerful novel about friendship, love and betrayal. Weaving together two lives across the decades, it proves that no truth is as simple as it seems.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
*Why does your foot hit the brake pedal before you are conscious of danger ahead?*
*Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?*
*How is it possible to get angry at yourself: who, exactly, is mad at whom?*
In this sparkling and provocative book, renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain. Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synaesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence and visual illusions, INCOGNITO is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.
A haunting, compelling historical novel, The Sea Road is a daring re-telling of the 11th-century Viking exploration of the North Atlantic from the viewpoint of one extraordinary woman. Gudrid lives at the remote edge of the known world, in a starkly beautiful landscape where the sea is the only connection to the shores beyond. It is a world where the old Norse gods are still invoked, even as Christianity gains favour, where the spirits of the dead roam the vast northern ice-fields, tormenting the living, and Viking explorers plunder foreign shores.
Taking the accidental discovery of North America as its focal point, Gudrid's narrative describes a multi-layered voyage into the unknown, all recounted with astonishing immediacy and rich atmospheric detail.
May, 1831, and on a tiny island off the Isle of Man a lighthouse provides a harsh living for an unusual family. Lucy and Diya, husbandless and with three children between them, watch over the ancient light on Ellan Bride. Meanwhile the Scottish engineer, Robert Stevenson, is modernising the nation's lighthouses, and Ellan Bride and the future of the family, are under threat. When two surveyors arrive to assess the light, tension escalates to danger point.
To the River is the story of the Ouse, the Sussex river in which Virginia Woolf drowned in 1941. One midsummer week over sixty years later, Olivia Laing walked Woolf's river from source to sea. The result is a passionate investigation into how history resides in a landscape - and how ghosts never quite leave the places they love.
Along the way, Laing explores the roles rivers play in human lives, tracing their intricate flow through literature and mythology alike. To the River excavates all sorts of stories from the Ouse's marshy banks, from the brutal Barons' War of the thirteenth century to the 'Dinosaur Hunters', the nineteenth-century amateur naturalists who first cracked the fossil code. Central among these ghosts is, of course, Virginia Woolf herself: her life, her writing and her watery death.
Every family has a story. Mal was ours.
He was always different from the other kids. Larger than life. Trips to pantomimes were ruined by him stripping off his clothes. But people loved him. Especially Lou; it seemed like their love would last forever. Then something happened that changed everything . . . Mal grew up.
Bed is a coming-of-age story like no other. It chronicles what love, loss and family can do to you in a lifetime.
In the dying days of a brutal civil war, Sohail Haque stumbles upon an abandoned building. Inside, he finds a young woman whose story will haunt him for a lifetime to come . . . Almost a decade later, Sohail's sister Maya returns home after a long absence to find her beloved brother transformed. While Maya has stuck to her revolutionary ideals, Sohail has shunned his old life to become a charismatic religious leader. And when Sohail decides to send his son to madrasa, the conflict between them comes to a devastating climax. Set in Bangladesh at a time when religious fundamentalism is on the rise, The Good Muslim is an epic story about faith, family and the long shadow of war.
One last full moon - then it will all be over.
Jacob Marlowe has lost the will to live. For two hundred years he has wandered the world, enslaved by his lunatic appetites and tormented by the memory of his first and most monstrous crime. Now, the last of his kind, he knows he cannot go on.
But as Jake counts down to suicide, a violent murder and an extraordinary meeting plunge him straight back into the desperate pursuit of life - and love.
Sexy, smart, bloody and heartbreaking, The Last Werewolf takes literature by the throat.
Genesis covers some of the most famous stories of all time, including the garden of Eden, Noah's Ark and Cain and Abel. Using the emergence of the people of Israel as a starting point, it tells the story of the beginning of the world as ancient writers understood it. The text is introduced by Steven Rose.
A central theme running through the Bible, Exodus tells of the mass movement of people, including the Israelites' escape from slavery, the wanderings of Moses and his followers and the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The text is introduced by author David Grossman.
Suffering in an unjust world is the theme of this book. God punishes Job, a wealthy and pious man, after giving an assertion to Satan that his subject will never curse him. It goes on to explain why Job has suffered, raising ethical questions about the nature of divinity. The text is introduced by author Louis de Bernieres
Drawn from the wisdom of ancient oral tradition, this book contains two main doctrines: teaching the attainment of wisdom, and warning against life's pitfalls, from excessive drink to promiscuity. The text is introduced by Charles Johnson.
Ancient tradition suggests that this world-weary lament is the work of Solomon in old age. Casting its eye over the transient nature of life, the book questions the striving for wisdom and the truth, choosing instead to espouse the value of living for the moment. The text is introduced by Doris Lessing.
The only piece of erotic literature in the Bible, this book was regarded by earlier devotees as an allegory of God's love for his people. Taking the form of a poem, the song tells of two lovers praising each other's bodies. The text is introduced by A.S. Byatt
Recounting the birth, baptism, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, Matthew is regarded as the most ideological portayal of Jesus's life. Some view it as a deliberate parallel to the written teachings of Judaism while the Catholic Church sees the book as a marker for its own authority. With an introduction by A.N. Wilson
The earliest of the four Gospels, the book portrays Jesus as an enigmatic figure, struggling with enemies, his inner and external demons, and with his devoted but disconcerted disciples. Unlike other gospels, his parables are obscure, to be explained secretly to his followers. With an introduction by Nick Cave
The most literary of the gospels, this book portrays Jesus as a universal figure, quietly spreading the word of salvation. Much prominence is given to women, with stories of Elizabeth, Mary and Naim's widow, while the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are unique to this version. With an introduction by Richard Holloway.
In both the literary sense and content, this gospel differs dramatically from the others in that it expresses the movement towards agnosticism and is more concerned with explaining high concepts like truth, light, life and spirit than recounting historical fact. With an introduction by Blake Morrison