As Scheherezade proved long ago, good stories make the best bedtime entertainment. The tales collected here represent the essence of the storyteller’s art, with its ancient roots in fantastical legends and tales told around a fire.
In Bedtime Stories, great writers of the past two centuries explore the boundaries between the real and the unreal, between waking and dreaming. From the surreal night visions of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” to the unspeakable horror that haunts two little girls in A. S. Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest,” from Washington Irving’s comical “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to Ursula K. LeGuin’s sly perspective on Sleeping Beauty in “The Poacher,” these spellbinding stories transform the stuff of fables and fairy tales into high art.
Isak Dinesen, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Julio Cortázar, Steven Millhauser, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, and many more mingle their voices in this one-volume gateway to dreams–the perfect bedside companion for fiction lovers everywhere.
Published in 2011.
Published by: Everyman's Library
It's the midsummer ball at Oxford, and a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered under the stars. Included in this group is David Crimond, a genius and fervent Marxist.
Years earlier the friends had persuaded David to write a philosophical and political book on their behalf. But opinions and loyalties have changed, and on this summer evening the long-resting ghosts of the past come careering back into the present.
Published in 2003.
Awaiting New Stock
When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage.
His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his obsessions.
Published in 1999.
The Sea is John Banville's Man Booker prize-winning exploration of memory, childhood and loss.
When art historian Max Morden returns to the seaside village where he once spent a childhood holiday, he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family had appeared that long-ago summer as if from another world.
Mr and Mrs Grace, with their worldly ease and candour, were unlike any adults he had met before. But it was his contemporaries, the Grace twins Myles and Chloe, who most fascinated Max. He grew to know them intricately, even intimately, and what ensued would haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that was to follow.
Published in 2008.