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The Stand

In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookstores and beg them not to buy it. The Stand is like that. You either love it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it. Stephen King’s most popular book, according to polls of his fans, is an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus is accidentally released from a U.S. military facility and wipes out 99 and 44/100 percent of the world’s population, thus setting the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil. “I love to burn things up,” King says. “It’s the werewolf in me, I guess…. The Stand was particularly fulfilling, because there I got a chance to scrub the whole human race, and man, it was fun! … Much of the compulsive, driven feeling I had while I worked on The Stand came from the vicarious thrill of imagining an entire entrenched social order destroyed in one stroke.” There is much to admire in The Stand: the vivid thumbnail sketches with which King populates a whole landscape with dozens of believable characters; the deep sense of nostalgia for things left behind; the way it subverts our sense of reality by showing us a world we find familiar, then flipping it over to reveal the darkness underneath. Anyone who wants to know, or claims to know, the heart of the American experience needs to read this book. –Fiona Webster SUMMARY: Arguably the greatest horror novel ever written by the greatest horror novelist, this is a true Modern Classic that was first published in 1978, and then re-published in 1990, complete and unabridged, with 150,000 words cut from the first edition restored, and now accompanied by unusual and imaginative line art. The total copies for both editions, in hardcover and paperback, exceeds 4 million worldwide. The Stand is a truly terrifying reading experience, and became a four-part mini-series that memorably brought to life the cast of characters and layers of story from the novel. It is an apocalyptic vision of the world, when a deadly virus runs amok around the globe. But that lethal virus is almost benign compared to the satanic force gathering minions from those still alive to destroy humanity and create a world populated by evil. Stephen King is a brilliant storyteller who has the uncanny gift of putting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, giving readers an experience that chills and thrills on every page. SUMMARY: This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral comlexity of a true epic.For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King’s gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival. SUMMARY: This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral comlexity of a true epic.For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King’s gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.

The Spy Who Loved Me: A James Bond Novel

EDITORIAL REVIEW: A beautiful girl with a sensual past, Vivienne Michell is different from all the women Bond has known before. When she is confronted with two evil killers there is only one man who can save her – Bond himself.

The Sorcerer of the North

SUMMARY: Several years have passed since the apprentice and his master, Will and Halt, first met, and Will is finally a full-fledged Ranger with his own fief to look after. The fief seems sleepyĀ-boring, evenĀ-until Lord Syron, master of a castle far in the north, is struck down by a mysterious illness. Joined by his friend Alyss, Will is suddenly thrown headfirst into an extraordinary adventure, investigating fears of sorcery and trying to determine who is loyal to Lord Syron. As Will battles growing hysteria, traitors, and most of all, time, Alyss is taken hostage, and Will is forced to make a desperate choice between his mission and his friend.

The Sittaford Mystery

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Agatha Christie is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you’re invited to read…THE SITTAFORD MYSTERYM-U-R-D-E-R. It began as an innocent parlor game intended to while away the hours on a bitter winter night.But the message that appeared before the amateur occultists at the snowbound Sittaford House was spelled out as loud and clear as a scream. Of course, the notion that they had foretold doom was pure bunk. Wasn’t it? And the discovery of a corpse was pure coincidence. Wasn’t it? If they’re to discover the answer to this baffling murder, perhaps they should play again. But a journey into the spirit world could prove terribly dangerous-especially when the killer is lurking in this one.AUTHORBIO: AGATHA CHRISTIE is the world’s best known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 80 novels and short story collections, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. Agatha Christie also wrote under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. As well, she wrote four non-fiction books including an autobiography and an entertaining account of the many expeditions she shared with her archaeologist husband, Sir Max Mallowan. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

The Silver Swan

SUMMARY: It has been two years since the events of Christine Falls, the bestselling novel that introduced the world to an irascible Dublin pathologist named Quirke. Quirke’s beloved Sarah has died, his surrogate father lies paralyzed by a stroke, and he’s been sober for half a year. When a near-forgotten acquaintance asks him to cover up his beautiful young wife’s apparent suicide, Quirke knows he should stay clear, for the sake of his sobriety and his peace of mind. But his old itch is irresistible, and before long he is probing further into the circumstances of Deidre Hunt’s death, into a web of drugs and illicit sex that may have snared his own daughter, Phoebe. With its vivid, intense evocation of 1950s Dublin, and intricate, psychologically complex storyline, The Silver Swan is “even more engrossing than last year’s Christine Falls” (Entertainment Weekly).

The Silver spike

SUMMARY: …embedded in the trunk of the scion of the godtree, it contains the essence of the maddest of the Ten Who Were Taken…The Dominator. Defeated by the Lady and cast from this world, all that was left of him was a foul trace of lingering evil. But the graveyard that was once the Barrowland contains more secrets than dead. All who would possess the power of the Dominator are drawn to the spike. A foolhardy band of thieves is the first to reach it, and a rapacious and malign spirit is unleashed on an unwary world. The forces gather, sides are drawn, and mortal men can only die as the Dark Lords battle for domination.

The silver chair

SUMMARY: Two English children undergo hair-raising adventures as they go on a search and rescue mission for the missing Prince Rilian, who is held captive in the underground kingdom of the Emerald Witch.

The Silence of the Lambs

SUMMARY: As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him.That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of The Silence of the Lambs–an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.

The Sigma Protocol

SUMMARY: Ben Hartman is vacationing in Zurich, Switzerland when he chances upon his old friend Jimmy Cavanaugh—a madman who’s armed and programmed to assassinate. In a matter of minutes, six innocent bystanders are dead. So is Cavanaugh. But when his body vanishes, and his weapon mysteriously appears in Hartman’s luggage, Hartman is plunged into an unfathomable nightmare…Meanwhile, Anna Navarro, field agent for the Department of Justice, has been asked to investigate the sudden, random deaths of eleven men throughout the world. The only thing that connects them? A secret file, over a half-century old, that’s linked to the CIA—and is marked with the same puzzling codename: Sigma.As Anna follows the connecting thread—and Hartman finds himself on the run—she ends up in the shadows of a relentless killer who is one step ahead of her…victim by victim. Now, she and Hartman together must uncover the diabolical secrets long held behind Sigma. It will threaten everything they think they know about themselves—and confirm their very worst fears…

The shadow rising

SUMMARY: The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind. In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken? In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn. In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plots the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland. In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve. Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn.

The shadow of the wind

SUMMARY: The international literary sensation-a runaway bestseller in Spain, rights sold in more than 20 countries-about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. Barcelona, 1945-just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Daniel’s father coaxes him to choose a volume from the spiraling labyrinth of shelves, one that, it is said, will have a special meaning for him. And Daniel so loves the novel he selects, The Shadow of the Wind by one Julian Carax, that he sets out to find the rest of Carax’s work. To his shock, he discovers that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book this author has written. In fact, he may have the last one in existence. Before Daniel knows it his seemingly innocent quest has opened a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets, an epic story of murder, magic, madness and doomed love. And before long he realizes that if he doesn’t find out the truth about Julian Carax, he and those closest to him will suffer horribly. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons-The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?-but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, “The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature.” An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art. Translated by Lucia Graves.

The Seville Communion

SUMMARY: A“diabolically good” hacker puts a message on the pope’s computer, pleading for him to save a seventeenth-century Spanish church—a church that is killing to defend itself.Although Our Lady of the Tears is but a crumbling baroque building in the heart of Seville, it is also the center of a multilayered mystery—one that will force ecclesiastical sleuth Father Lorenzo Quart to question his loyalty, his vow of chastity, and his faith itself.

The seven dials mystery

SUMMARY: At the home of Lord Caterham and his daughter, Lady Eileen Brent (aka Bundle), Sir Oswald and Lady Maria Coote throw a party for some weekend guests. But the young guests play a practical joke on someone who turns up murdered the following morning. It’s up to Bundle and her friends to solve the case, which only gets worse with the appearance of a second corpse. The trail of bodies leads to the mysterious Seven Dials Club. Actress Emilia Fox’s exciting reading brings Christie’s vivid mystery, first published in 1929, to scintillating life. Read by Emilia Fox.

The selfish gene

SUMMARY: Richard Dawkins’ brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands of readers to rethink their beliefs about life. In his internationally bestselling, now classic volume, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins explains how the selfish gene can also be a subtle gene. The world of the selfish gene revolves around savage competition, ruthless exploitation, and deceit, and yet, Dawkins argues, acts of apparent altruism do exist in nature. Bees, for example, will commit suicide when they sting to protect the hive, and birds will risk their lives to warn the flock of an approaching hawk. This 30th anniversary edition of Dawkins’ fascinating book retains all original material, including the two enlightening chapters added in the second edition. In a new Introduction the author presents his thoughts thirty years after the publication of his first and most famous book, while the inclusion of the two-page original Foreword by brilliant American scientist Robert Trivers shows the enthusiastic reaction of the scientific community at that time. This edition is a celebration of a remarkable exposition of evolutionary thought, a work that has been widely hailed for its stylistic brilliance and deep scientific insights, and that continues to stimulate whole new areas of research today.

The Seeress of Kell

SUMMARY: Here is the epic conclusion of David Eddings’s enthralling series The Malloreon–two magnificent novels in one volume. This monumental fantasy follows the story of two age-old opposing destinies locked in a seven-thousand-year war for control of the world, its gods, and its men. Indeed the victor will determine nothing less than the fate of all creation.Troubles mount as King Garion, Belgarath, and Polgara pursue Zandramas, the Child of Dark, across the known world. The wicked creature has abducted the King’s infant son for sinister purposes. If Garion and his companions cannot reach the Place Which Is No More, as the Seeress of Kell has warned, then Zandramas will use Garion’s son in a rite that will raise the Dark Prophecy to eternal dominion over the universe. Only the Seeress of Kell can reveal the mysterious locale, but first Garion and Polgara must fulfill an ancient prophecy in the mountain fastness of the Seers. Although Kell is closed to Zandramas, her dark magic can forcefully extract the intelligence she needs from one of Garion’s party. Setting traps and dispatching her foul minions, she is determined to claim the world for the Dark Prophecy. But Garion will let nothing stand between himself and his son. . . .

The Secret of Chimneys

SUMMARY: AGATHA CHRISTIE is more than the most popular mystery writer of all time. In a career that spans over half a century, her name is synonymous with brilliant deception, ingenious puzzles, and the surprise denouement. By virtually inventing the modern mystery novel she has earned her title as the Queen of Crime. Curious? Then you’re invited to read…A bit of adventure and quick cash is all that good-natured drifter Anthony Cade is looking for when he accepts a messenger job from an old friend. It sounds so simple: deliver the provocative memoirs of a recently deceased European count to a London publisher. But the parcel holds more than scandalous royal secrets. It contains a stash of letters that suggest blackmail — and lead to the murder of a stranger who’s been shadowing Anthony’s every move. Discovering the dead man’s identity means retracing his steps — to the rambling estate of Chimneys where darker secrets, and deadlier threats, await anyone who dares to enter.