Michael Young est convaincu que sa thèse d’histoire va lui rapporter un doctorat, un tranquille poste académique, un vénérable éditeur universitaire et le retour de sa difficile petite amie Jane.
Mais un historien devrait savoir que l'on ne peut prédire l’avenir…
Sa rencontre avec Leo Zuckermann, vieux physicien obsédé par le génocide juif, va les amener à semer aux quatre vents les pages de la thèse, mais aussi à tourner celles de l’histoire. Et après leur expérience rien – passé, présent ou futur – ne sera plus jamais pareil.
"'Stephen Fry is one of the great originals… This autobiography of his first twenty years is a pleasure to read, mixing outrageous acts with sensible opinions in bewildering confusion… That so much outward charm, self-awareness and intellect should exist alongside behaviour that threatened to ruin the lives of innocent victims, noble parents and Fry himself, gives the book a tragic grandeur and lifts it to classic status.' Financial Times; 'A remarkable, perhaps even unique, exercise in autobiography… that aroma of authenticity that is the point of all great autobiographies; of which this, I rather think, is one' Evening Standard; 'He writes superbly about his family, about his homosexuality, about the agonies of childhood… some of his bursts of simile take the breath away… his most satisfying and appealing book so far' Observer"
A chronic liar with few friends meets Professor Trefusis -- academic, broadcaster, polyglot and admirer of Elvis Costello -- and is led through an adventure that takes in Piccadilly rent-boys, a lost pornographic Dickens novel, international espionage and disgraceful scenes on a cricket field.
Ned Maddstone has it all. He's handsome and talented; he has the love of a beautiful woman and in 1980, he stands at the brink of a glittering future. He rounds off an outstanding public school career with a sailing trip to Scotland, which is where his fortunes enter a terrifying tailspin. Determined to honour the dying wish of his sailing instructor, Ned returns to London, where the schemes of jealous classmates catapult him into a 10-year nightmare. Confined to a solitary Hell, believed dead by all those who loved him, Ned transforms from a terminally nice guy into a creature bent on revenge, a revenge both satisfying and apocalyptic. Few writers can deliver so much in one package, but here Stephen Fry combines a riotous satire of the privileged classes with elements of the darkest thrillers. While the plot bounces from the sublime to the surreal, his characters remain acutely real. Ned's classmates, slow-witted hedonist Rufus Cade, and the Machiavellian climber Ashley Barson-Garland – who is aroused by the sight of straw boaters – are masterful creations. This novel has nothing to do with tennis, and everything to do with the cruel logic of Fate. Game, set and match to Mr Fry. – Matthew Baylis
Unravel the mysteries of language with J.P. Davidson’s remarkable Planet Word.
‘The way you speak is who you are and the tones of your voice and the tricks of your emailing and tweeting and letter-writing, can be recognised unmistakably in the minds of those who know and love you.’
From feral children to fairy-tale princesses, secrets codes, invented languages — even a language that was eaten! — Planet Word uncovers everything you didn’t know you needed to know about how language evolves. Learn the tricks to political propaganda, why we can talk but animals can’t, discover 3,000-year-old clay tablets that discussed beer and impotence and test yourself at textese — do you know your RMEs from your LOLs? Meet the 105-year-old man who invented modern-day Chinese and all but eradicated illiteracy, and find out why language caused the go-light in Japan to be blue. From the dusty scrolls of the past to the…
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