Thursday, January 20, 2011

Books around the world

Once again, I've trawled the bookshelves for some interesting books that caught my attention and may catch yours. And as the post says (and seen from my previous posts here, here, here and here), some of these books come from all over the world, providing us with some information what books the world is reading (and writing).

Admittedly, most of the books in this batch seem to be localized either in UK or in the US. But what the heck, you can't always get what you want.

Thus, without further distraction, I present the first books that hopefully gets you reading (and buying) for the year 2011:

The First Stone by Elliot Hall
Private eye Felix Strange doesn't work homicide cases. He saw enough dead bodies fighting in Iran, a war that left him with a crippling disease that has no name and no cure. So when Strange is summoned to a Manhattan hotel room to investigate the dead body of America's most-loved preacher, he'd rather not get involved.

Strange has a week to find the killer, and even less time to get the black-market medicine he needs to stay alive. In an America where biblical prophecy is foreign policy, Strange knows that his hiring is no accident. He can't see all the angles, and he knows he's being watched. In a race against time Strange must face religious police, organized crime and a dame with very particular ideas, while uncovering a conspiracy that reaches the very heart of his newly fundamentalist nation.

One of the most stunningly original debut crime novels ever written, The First Stone is both an epic of the imagination and an action-packed mystery set in a time and place too chillingly close to our own. It is the first in an ambitious trilogy that pays homage to the genius of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy, while offering a wholly original take on the noir genre.
The Broken World by Tim Etchell
Writing an online ‘walk-through’ to a computer game of Borgesian complexity can take up a lot of time. So much so, it can be difficult to see things turning sour in the real world. As our narrator grapples with his players’ guide, life starts to intrude in troublesome ways. Things aren’t going so well with the live-in girlfriend and the job preparing ‘cooked circular food’ is getting increasingly hard to stomach. To top it all, the best friend is clearly depressed and acting weirder by the day. But despite all this, his attention is focussed on The Broken World – an engrossing, possibly addictive, adventure that takes him from town to town in a struggle with zombies, agents, puzzles and mysteries. It’s not clear which of these worlds - the real or the online - is the more challenging, or where survival tips are more urgently needed. What is clear is that he must work out solutions to problems involving life and love and happiness, not just in The Broken World, but in the real one too.
The Stranger by Max Frei
The millions-selling fantasy epic of the new Russian literary icon-a freeloading freebooter who finds a new home in a magical world

Max Frei's novels have been a literary sensation in Russia since their debut in 1996, and have swept the fantasy world over. Presented here in English for the first time, The Stranger will strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Part fantasy, part horror, part philosophy, part dark comedy, the writing is united by a sharp wit and a web of clues that will open up the imagination of every reader.

Max Frei was a twenty-something loser-a big sleeper (that is, during the day; at night he can't sleep a wink), a hardened smoker, and an uncomplicated glutton and loafer. But then he got lucky. He contacts a parallel world in his dreams, where magic is a daily practice. Once a social outcast, he's now known in his new world as the "unequalled Sir Max." He's a member of the Department of Absolute Order, formed by a species of enchanted secret agents; his job is to solve cases more extravagant and unreal than one could imagine-a journey that will take Max down the winding paths of this strange and unhinged universe.
The Serialist by David Gordon
Harry Bloch is a struggling writer who pumps out pulpy serial novels—from vampire books to detective stories—under various pseudonyms. But his life begins to imitate his fiction when he agrees to ghostwrite the memoir of Darian Clay, New York City’s infamous Photo Killer. Soon, three young women turn up dead, each one murdered in the Photo Killer’s gruesome signature style, and Harry must play detective in a real-life murder plot as he struggles to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.

Witty, irreverent, and original, The Serialist is a love letter to books—from poetry to pornography—and proof that truth really can be stranger than fiction.
So, tell me, any of these books whet your appetite?

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