The Road. Cormac McCarthy. Picador, 2009.
This book, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and which recently also appeared in a movie version at cinemas worldwide, tells the story of a father and his young son who walk alone through a ravaged America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the scorched landscape save the ash on the wind. To defend themselves against the men who stalk the road, they have nothing but a pistol, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food, and each other. “You will read on, absolutely convinced, thrilled, mesmerised,” The Guardian wrote in its review of the book. “All the modern novel can do is done here.”
A Warrior’s Life. A Biography of Paulo Coelho. Fernando Morais. Harper Collins, 2008.
A Warrior’s Life is the definitive, authorised biography of one of the world’s most popular and widely read authors – and the story of how his enormously popular novel The Alchemist came to be. Fernando Morais, a Brazilian biographer and a groundbreaking journalist, traces Coelho’s roots in Brazil to his time as a musician and pop lyricist to his wild days of rock and roll to the publication of the The Alchemist and beyond, telling the true tale of one of the most adored authors of our time.
The Incredible Human Journey (paperback). Alice Roberts. Bloomsbury, 2010.
The paperback version of the Incredible Human Journey, the story of how we colonised the planet, is now on sale. The book traces the footsteps of Homo sapiens all around the world, striving to discover who we are and where we come from. Alice Roberts has been travelling the world – from an Ethiopian desert to the Malay Peninsula and from the Russian steppes to the Amazon basin – in order to understand the challenges that early humans faced as they settled the continents.
The Last Man. Mary Shelley. Oxford University Press, 2008.
The Last Man is published as a part of the Oxford World’s Classics series, in an edited version and with an introduction written by Morton D. Paley, a professor of English from the University of California, Berkeley. This is a futuristic story of tragic love and of the gradual extermination of the human race by plague. It is Mary Shelley's most important novel after Frankenstein. With intriguing portraits of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, the novel offers a vision of the future that expresses a reaction against Romanticism and demonstrates the failure of the imagination and of art to redeem the doomed characters.
This column is a selection by The Slovak Spectator of English-language books recently released in Slovakia; it does not represent an endorsement of any of the books selected. The column is prepared in cooperation with the Oxford Bookshop at Laurinská 9 in Bratislava.
28. Jun 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff