Related to: 'You Know What You Could Be'

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Erotic Vagrancy

Roger Lewis
Authors:
Roger Lewis

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were a Sixties supercharged couple in an era of supercharged couples. As a pairing they were fantasy figures, impossibly desirable. Liz supple and soft, in perfumes and furs - yet with something demonic and lethal about her. Dick, in turn, with his ravaged, handsome face, looked as though lit by silver moonlight - poised to turn into a wolf. Roger Lewis uses this glamorous and damaged pair as the starting point to tell the story of an age of excess: the freaks and groupies, the private jets and jewels and the yachts sailing in an azure sea; the magnificent bad taste and greed. It is about the clash of worlds: the filth and decay of South Wales and the grandeur and elegance of Old Hollywood; the fantasies we have about film stars and the fantasies the Burtons had about each other.

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A Field Guide to Reality

Joanna Kavenna, Oly Ralfe
Contributors:
Joanna Kavenna, Oly Ralfe

'An extraordinary, wise, funny, adventurous and hallucinogenic book that combines fiction with gleefully warped fact. Kavenna explores the complex nature of reality and perception with vast imaginative energy and a generous spirit.' A. L. KennedyEliade Jencks knows the only reason people call at midnight is to tell you someone has died. Professor Solete was one of her few friends. Perhaps her only friend. But his friends don't think much of her - a vague, scruffy waitress, impatient with philosophical onanism at parties. Naturally, they're horrified to find out that Solete has left her his Field Guide to Reality.The Guide has taken on legendary proportions among the celebrated minds of Oxford. The work of a lifetime, it purportedly advances Solete's great philosophical Theory of Everything and even defines the very nature of reality. A big, important book. Only, they can't find it.So, baffled, grieving, and slightly annoyed, Eliade sets out on a quest for the missing manuscript, and falls down a rabbit-hole of metaphysical possibility. From a psychotropic tea party to the Priests of the Quantum Realm, she trips her way through Solete's wonderland reality and, without quite meaning to, bursts open the boundaries of her own. In this clever, darkly ironic and moving novel, Granta Best of Young British author Joanna Kavenna displays fearless originality and dread wit in confronting the strangeness of reality and how we contend with the disappearance of those we love. Beautiful original drawings by Oly Ralfe illustrate this haunting tale of bringing light to an empty room.

Quercus

Dead Gods: The 27 Club

Chris Salewicz
Authors:
Chris Salewicz

Robert Johnson. Brian Jones. Jimi Hendrix. Janis Joplin. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse. They were inspirational, controversial, talismanic and innovative. They lead lives full of myth, scandal, sex, drugs and some of the most glorious music that has ever heard. Though each of their lives were cut tragically short at the age of 27, they would all leave the world having changed it irrevocably. Chris Salewicz tells, in intimate detail, the stories behind these compelling figures. From Robert Johnson and his legendary deal with the devil, to Jimi Hendrix appearing like a psychedelic comet on the London scene, through to Amy Winehouse's blazing talent and her savage appetite for self-destruction.

Quercus

America's Mistress

John L. Williams
Authors:
John L. Williams
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Fair Helen

Andrew Greig
Authors:
Andrew Greig

Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2014. 'One of the best historical novels of recent years, Greig dusts off the past and presents it with tremendous skill' - Literary Review 'A Triumph of suspense' - Guardian Saltire Award-winning author Andrew Greig reimagines the Border Ballad Fair Helen of Kirkconnel Lea as a dark romance and stirring adventure. Often called the Scottish Romeo & Juliet, here it is re-presented as the source of an equally famed, more complex drama. The Scottish Borderlands, 1590s Harry Langton is called back to the country of his childhood to aide an old friend, Adam Fleming, who believes his life is in danger. He's fallen for Helen of Annandale and, in turn, fallen foul of her rival, Robert Bell: a man as violent as he is influential. In a land where minor lairds vie for power and blood feuds are settled by the sword, Fleming faces a battle to win Helen's hand. Entrusted as guard to the lovers' secret trysts, Langton is thrust into the middle of a dangerous triangle; and discovers Helen is not so chaste as she is fair. But Langton has his own secrets to keep - and other friends to serve. Someone has noticed his connections, and recruited him in their bid to control the hierarchy of the Border families; someone who would use lovers as pawns in a game of war.

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Fair Helen

Andrew Greig
Authors:
Andrew Greig
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The Return of John Macnab

Andrew Greig
Authors:
Andrew Greig
Quercus

A Year with Rudolf Nureyev

Derek Robinson, Simon Robinson
Authors:
Derek Robinson, Simon Robinson

Here, for the first time, is an intimate and fascinating portrait of Rudolf Nureyev off-stage - a man who was an exacting, unpredictable, parsimonious and often immature individual, yet who, at the same time, aroused great affection in a host of friends. Simon Robinson frankly recalls his eventful year working for Nureyev. He did everything for this hopelessly impractical dancer except be his lover, much to Nureyev's disappointment. It was the Russian's insatiable sexual appetite that eventually destroyed him.Nureyev had six houses on three continents but no staff in any of them and he couldn't cook, drive, write a letter, tie a necktie or even change a light bulb. In 1990 Simon Robinson, until then professional crew on a racing yacht, became his PA. For the next twelve months they travelled from the Caribbean to America to Europe, living in luxury in Nureyev's New York and Paris apartments and in spartan isolation on his tiny Mediterranean island. Nureyev's explosive nature was exhausting to live with and many times during their year together Robinson nearly quit - and Nureyev nearly sacked him. It didn't happen, however, because Nureyev needed his PA's calm reliability to ballast his own rocky life, and because Robinson knew that genius must make its own rules.

Quercus

27: Jimi Hendrix

Chris Salewicz
Authors:
Chris Salewicz

James Marshall 'Jimi' Hendrix is the most famous and perhaps the most innovative guitarist in music history. He died aged 27.In this thought-provoking mini-biography, acclaimed author Chris Salewicz attends not just to Hendrix's virtuoso skill, but also to his enigmatic and unpredictable character. He explores Hendrix's status as psychedelic talisman and fashion icon, detailing the attitude and style that informed his legend.27: Jimi Hendrix paints an intimate portrait of a man struggling with fame and substance abuse while mesmerizing the world. 27: Jimi Hendrix is the fourth in a series of exclusive music ebooks, an ambitious project examining the perils of genius, celebrity and excess. Other titles in the series include 27: Amy Winehouse, 27: Kurt Cobain, 27: Brian Jones, and 27: Jim Morrison.

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Greta and Cecil

Diana Souhami
Authors:
Diana Souhami

Greta Garbo first met society photographer Cecil Beaton in Hollywood in 1932. Both were caught in turbulent same-sex affairs. Yet Garbo flirted and danced with Beaton, told him he was pretty, presented him with 'a rose that lives and dies and never again returns' and at dawn drove away in her black Packard. Cecil took the rose home to England, framed it in silver and hung it above his bed. Fifteen years later Greta and Cecil met again. For her it was an idle flirtation. For him it fuelled his ambition to photograph her, to be like her and to marry her - an obsession that became a betrayal. Souhami draws on diaries, memoirs, letters, photographs and films to reveal the truth behind this fascinating and narcissistic relationship.

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At the Loch of the Green Corrie

Andrew Greig
Authors:
Andrew Greig

A homage to a remarkable poet and his world.'At The Loch of Green Corrie is more than merely elegant, more than a collection of albeit fascinating insights, laugh-out-loud observations and impressively broad erudition' - Sunday Herald'You could easily make a case that Andrew Greig has the greatest range of any living Scottish writer' - ScotsmanFor many years Andrew Greig saw the poet Norman MacCaig as a father figure. Months before his death, MacCaig's enigmatic final request to Greig was that he fish for him at the Loch of the Green Corrie; the location, even the real name of his destination was more mysterious still. His search took in days of outdoor living, meetings, and fishing with friends in the remote hill lochs of far North-West Scotland. It led, finally, to the waters of the Green Corrie, which would come to reflect Greig's own life, his thoughts on poetry, geology and land ownership in the Highlands and the ambiguous roles of whisky, love and male friendship. At the Loch of the Green Corrie is a richly atmospheric narrative, a celebration of losing and recovering oneself in a unique landscape, the consideration of a particular culture, and a homage to a remarkable poet and his world.

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Romanno Bridge

Andrew Greig
Authors:
Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig

Andrew Greig is the author of six books of poetry, two mountaineering books; two non-fiction books and six novels. He has been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize, and won the Saltire and the Scottish Book of the Year awards. He lives in Orkney and Edinburgh with his wife, the novelist Lesley Glaister.

Billy Connolly

Billy Connolly is a world-renowned, award-winning comedian, musician, presenter, author and actor.

Chris Salewicz

Chris Salewicz has been writing about music and pop culture for over 30 years. He was at the NME in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has written for the Sunday Times, the Independent, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer, Conde Nast Traveller, Q, MOJO and Uncut magazines, and countless other publications worldwide. His critically acclaimed books include Bob Marley: The Untold Story, Mick and Keith and Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer.

Derek Robinson

Derek Robinson¿s acclaimed First World War trilogy and Piece of Cake have established him as the world¿s best aviation writer and one of the top authors of war fiction.

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island, her biography of Alexander Selkirk, or as he is better known, Robinson Crusoe.

John L. Williams

John Williams is the author of six books, most noticeably his Cardiff trilogy and Bloody Valentine (which the police force tried unsuccessfully to ban). He currently writes for the Mail on Sunday, having worked for the Independent, Sunday Times, NME and as contributing editor of GQ magazine. He was born and still lives in Cardiff.

Mike Heron

Praised by Paul McCartney and Robert Plant, Mike Heron, born in Edinburgh, was a founder member of the Incredible String Band. As a solo artist he has worked with John Cale, Pete Townshend and Keith Moon. He is still writing and performing music, touring regularly with a host of musicians including his daughter Georgia and Trembling Bells.

Roger Lewis

Roger Lewis has achieved considerable word-of-mouth success with Seasonal Suicide Notes. He has also written a biography of Anthony Burgess, and Sunday Times best-selling books on Laurence Olivier, Peter Sellers and the Carry On actor Charles Hawtrey.