Related to: 'Our Imprints - Abacus'

Abacus

The Crow Road

Iain Banks
Authors:
Iain Banks

From its bravura opening onwards, THE CROW ROAD is justly regarded as an outstanding contemporary novel.'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.'Prentice McHoan has returned to the bosom of his complex but enduring Scottish family. Full of questions about the McHoan past, present and future, he is also deeply preoccupied: mainly with death, sex, drink, God and illegal substances...

Abacus

Generation X

Douglas Coupland
Authors:
Douglas Coupland

Andy, Dag and Claire have been handed a society beyond their means. Twentysomethings, brought up with divorce, Watergate and Three Mile Island, and scarred by the 80s fallout of yuppies, recession, crack and Ronald Reagan, they represent the new generation - Generation X.Fiercely suspicious of being lumped together as an advertiser's target market, they have quit dreary careers and cut themselves adrift in the California desert. Unsure of their futures, they immerse themselves in a regime of heavy drinking and working in no future McJobs in the service industry.Underemployed, overeducated and intensely private and unpredicatable, they have nowhere to direct their anger, no one to assuage their fears, and no culture to replace their anomie. So they tell stories: disturbingly funny tales that reveal their barricaded inner world. A world populated with dead TV shows, 'Elvis moments' and semi-disposible Swedish furniture.

Abacus

The Revolving Door of Life

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

For seven-year-old Bertie Pollock, life in Edinburgh's most celebrated fictional street has just got immeasurably better. The enforced absence of his endlessly pushy mother Irene - currently consciousness-raising in a Bedouin harem (don't ask) - has manifold and immediate blessings: no psychotherapy, no Italian lessons and no yoga classes. Bliss.For Scotland Street's grown-ups, life throws up some new dilemmas. Matthew makes a discovery that could make him even richer but also leaves him worried. Pat makes one that could make her poorer and her father miserable - unless that uber-narcissist, Bruce, can help her out. And the Duke of Johannesburg, we discover, isn't exactly who he says he is.From what happens behind Edinburgh Airport's luggage carousel to Machiavellian manoeuvrings at the Association of Scottish Nudists, Alexander McCall Smith guides us through the brighter, lighter and frankly unexpected side of Edinburgh life. As ever with his 44 Scotland Street series, his readers will make their own discovery: that its blend of wit and wisdom mark it out as a comedic tour de force.

Abacus

The Novel Habits of Happiness

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Isabel Dalhousie is one of Edinburgh's most generous (but discreet) philanthropists - but should she be more charitable? She wonders, sometimes, if she is too judgmental about her niece's amorous exploits, too sharp about her housekeeper's spiritual beliefs, too ready to bristle in battle against her enemies. As the editor of the Review of Applied Ethics, she doesn't, of course, allow herself actual enemies, but she does feel enmity - especially towards two academics who have just arrived in the city. Isabel feels they're a highly destabilizing influence; little tremors in the volcanic rock upon which an Enlightened Edinburgh perches. Equally troubling is the situation of the little boy who is convinced he had a previous life. When Isabel is called upon to help, she finds herself questioning her views on reincarnation. And the nature of grief. And - crucially - the positioning of lighthouses. The only questions Isabel doesn't have to address concern her personal life. With her young son and devoted husband her home life is blissfully content. Which is the best possible launching pad for the next issue of the Review - the Happiness issue. As Isabel is beginning to appreciate, happiness, for most people, is not quite what it seems . . .

Abacus

The Steep Approach To Garbadale

Iain Banks
Authors:
Iain Banks

Dark family secrets and a long-lost love affair lie at the heart of Iain Banks's fabulous new novel. The Wopuld family built its fortune on a board game called Empire! - now a hugely successful computer game. So successful, the American Spraint Corp wants to buy the firm out. Young renegade Alban, who has been evading the family clutches for years, is run to ground and persuded to attend the forthcoming family gathering - part birthday party, part Extraordinary General Meeting - convened by Win, Wopuld matriarch and most powerful member of the board, at Garbadale, the family's highland castle. Being drawn back into the bosom of the clan brings a disconcerting confrontation with Alban's past. What drove his mother to take her own life? And is he ready to see Sophie, his beautiful cousin and teenage love? Grandmother Win's revelations wll radically alter Alban's perspective for ever.

Abacus

The Slice of No.1 Celebration Storybook

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith
Abacus

Dead Air

Iain Banks
Authors:
Iain Banks

Iain Banks' daring new novel opens in a loft apartment in the East End, in a former factory due to be knocked down in a few days. Ken Nott is a devoutly contrarian vaguely left wing radio shock-jock living in London. After a wedding breakfast people start dropping fruits from a balcony on to a deserted carpark ten storeys below, then they start dropping other things; an old TV that doesn't work, a blown loudspeaker, beanbags, other unwanted furniture...Then they get carried away and start dropping things that are still working, while wrecking the rest of the apartment. But mobile phones start ringing and they're told to turn on a TV, because a plane has just crashed into the World Trade Centre...At ease with the volatility of modernity, Iain Banks is also our most accomplished literary writer of narrative-driven adventure stories that never ignore the injustices and moral conundrums of the real world. His new novel, displays his trademark dark wit, buoyancy and momentum.

Abacus

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith
Abacus

The Limpopo Academy Of Private Detection

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have always relied on the advice of the classic guide to their trade, The Principles of Private Detection. But who is the eminent author, Mr Clovis Andersen, and what if he were to come to Botswana? That seems a very unlikely possibility, and yet . . . When Mr Andersen visits Botswana on holiday, he is delighted and intrigued to stumble across a roadside sign that reveals the existence of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Professional courtesy suggests that he call and announce himself. Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti are embarking on married life and building a new house - a tricky business under any circumstances but especially hazardous when the name of the contractor is the Joy and Light Building Company.

Abacus

The Perils of Morning Coffee

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Summer in Edinburgh is a season of delicate sunshine and showers, picnics with loved ones in blossoming gardens and genteel celebrations of art and music. But Isabel Dalhousie's peaceful idyll is broken when a single meeting over coffee with fellow philosopher Dr George McLeod brings an irate phone call from his wife, Roz, who implacably accuses Isabel of conducting an affair with her husband.Wounded by the injustice of Roz's wild allegation and concerned both for her standing among the gossipy group of her scholarly peers and for Roz's apparent state of hysteria, Isabel is minded to discover more about the McLeods and set the record straight before the bitterness in their marriage poisons her reputation. She turns to Millie, an old acquaintance and a university colleague of George's, for insight. Once again, in this engaging, intelligently observed novella, Alexander McCall Smith's sharp-eyed heroine Isabel is reminded to avoid jumping to hasty conclusions about the lives of others, and to value friendship wherever it's found.

Abacus

Corduroy Mansions

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

From the author of the global best-seller, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, comes a brand new serial novel set in the heart of London.'Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteelly crumbling mansion block in London's vibrant Pimlico. This is the home patch of - among others - a lovelorn literary agent, possibly the first ever nasty Liberal Democrat MP and Freddie de la Hay, an urbane terrier trained to be vegetarian and respectful of feline rights.Loafers, wine merchants, vitamin evangelists and the occasional psychoanalyst pass each other on the stairs of this delightful metropolitan des res. With his trademark wit, charm and lightness of touch, Alexander McCall Smith introduces a colourful cast of characters, full of the life, laughter and humanity so beloved in his writing.

Abacus

Tea Time For The Traditionally Built

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

It is a troublesome fact on which even Mma Ramotswe and her assistant Mma Makutsi agree: there are things that men know and ladies do not, and vice versa. It is unfortunate, for example, when Mma Ramotswe's newest client is the big-shot owner of the ailing Kalahari Swoopers, that one thing lady detectives know very little about is football. And when the glamorous Violet Sephotho sets her sights on Mma Makutsi's unsuspecting fiancé, it becomes exasperatingly clear that some men do not know how to recognise a ruthless Jezebel even when she is bouncing up and down on the best bed in the Double Comfort Furniture Shop. In her attempt to foster understanding between the sexes and find the traitor on Mr Football's team, Mma Ramotswe ventures into new territory, drinks tea in unfamiliar kitchens and learns to trust in the observational powers of small boys. And, as wise and warm-hearted as his heroine, Alexander McCall Smith reminds us that we must dig deep to uncover the goodness of the human heart.

Abacus

In The Company Of Cheerful Ladies

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Precious Ramotswe, that cheerful Botswanan private investigator of 'traditional build', is now married to Mr J.L.B. Matekoni of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. The Agency is busy, but Mma Ramotswe cannot ignore the plea which is made by a woman who comes to her with a tale of particular misfortune. Unfortunately, her attempts to help are interrupted by a close encounter between her tiny white van and a bicycle, and by a spectacular disagreement between her assistant, Mma Makutsi, and one of the apprentices at the garage. This apprentice has found a fancy girlfriend who drives a Mercedes-Benz. How can he be rescued from his folly? And as for Mma Makutsi, she has found a dancing class, and a man who may not be able to dance very well, but who admires her greatly. And all of this happens against a background of quiet sessions of bush tea, and of a land that stretches out forever under mile upon mile of empty sky...

Abacus

Rubicon

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland

'The Book that really held me, in fact, obsessed me, was Rubicon . . . This is narrative history at its best. Bloody and labyrinthine political intrigue and struggle, brilliant oratory, amazing feats of conquest and cruelty' Ian McEwan, Books of the Year, Guardian'Marvellously readable' Niall FergusonThe Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama. This was the century of Julius Caesar, the gambler whose addiction to glory led him to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of freedom would make him a byword for eloquence; of Spartacus, the slave who dared to challenge a superpower; of Cleopatra, the queen who did the same.Tom Holland brings to life this strange and unsettling civilization, with its extremes of ambition and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and desire. Yet alien as it was, the Republic still holds up a mirror to us. Its citizens were obsessed by celebrity chefs, all-night dancing and exotic pets; they fought elections in law courts and were addicted to spin; they toppled foreign tyrants in the name of self-defence. Two thousand years may have passed, but we remain the Romans' heirs.

Abacus

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Alexander McCall Smith
Authors:
Alexander McCall Smith

Wayward daughters. Missing Husbands. Philandering partners. Curious conmen. If you've got a problem, and no one else can help you, then pay a visit to Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's only - and finest - female private detective.Her methods may not be conventional, and her manner not exactly Miss Marple, but she's got warmth, wit and canny intuition on her side, not to mention Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, the charming proprietor of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors. And Precious is going to need them all as she sets out on the trail of a missing child, a case that tumbles our heroine into a hotbed of strange situations and more than a little danger . . .Delightfully different, THE NO.1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY offers a captivating glimpse of an unusual world.

'Great stories, wonderfully told'

Little, Brown

Little, Brown is the literary hardback imprint that feeds into Abacus paperback. We publish across a wide range of areas, including fiction, history, memoir, science and travel, but within this diverse list the vast majority of books have in common a strong narrative and a distinctive voice. In 2012 Little, Brown/Abacus have published 8 Sunday Times bestsellers to date.

from Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - Introduction

Alexander McCall Smith's introduction to the Abacus 40 edition of 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency': the book that made us all feel wonderful.