Vanishing Games: A novel
Product rating: 4.6 with 34 reviews
The gritty, riveting, highly anticipated sequel to the national (and international) best seller Ghostman, by the critically acclaimed and award-winning Roger Hobbs
It’s just before dawn on the South China Sea when three experienced pirates open fire on a small smuggling yacht. Their target: a bag of uncut sapphires worth millions. But when one of them stumbles across an enormous treasure that wasn’t on the manifest, everything goes sideways. Within minutes two of them are dead, leaving the third, a coldblooded psychopath, to claim both the sapphires and the mysterious windfall for himself. If he disappears, he won’t just be wealthy. He’ll have the power to change the course of history.
His boss, Angela, isn’t about to let that happen. She calls in a favor from her onetime protégé: a fixer sometimes known as Jack, or more often as simply the Ghostman. Within hours he’s flying halfway around the world to find her in the glimmering neon slums of Macau. Jack has no real name, no address and no fingerprints—but given the right motivation, he can make serious problems vanish. Though the two haven’t talked since they botched a job six years ago, as soon as Jack’s off the plane they’re back together again, facing down a crime boss, a hit man and a conspiracy bigger than anything they’ve ever encountered and more dangerous than they could’ve imagined.
Their partnership—between people with no lasting relationships whatsoever—is at the very heart of a novel that will cement Roger Hobbs’s status as one of our most talented crime writers.
Posted in Literary Tagged with: Games, Knopf, Novel, Vanishing
The Bangkok Asset: A novel
Product rating: 4.2 with 12 reviews
Sonchai Jitpleecheep—the brash and beguiling Royal Thai Police Force detective who has been our guide through John Burdett’s five previous acclaimed Bangkok novels—is back. The former monk and devout Buddhist, forever battling to protect his karma from the assaults of morally compromising cases, is now faced with the most horrifying technological innovation to make its way to the streets of Bangkok, and a conspiracy of almost unfathomable reach.
With Sonchai on this case is the young female inspector Krom. Like Sonchai, she’s an outsider on the police force, but unlike him, she is socially savvy and a technological prodigy. When they’re called to a demonstration—in the midst of a typhoon—of the deadly, superhuman strength of an American man who is seemingly controlled by a CIA operative, they have no idea what they’re actually witnessing or why. Their reliably obtuse and unequivocally crooked boss, Colonel Vikorn, explains some of it, but the most telling questions remain unanswered: Could the Americans have figured out a way to create a physically and psychologically enhanced supersoldier? Are they testing him—or it—on Thai soil? And why is everyone, from the Bangkok police to the international community, so eager to turn a blind eye?
Searching for the answers to these questions, Sonchai and Krom find themselves in a remote Cambodian jungle compound for aging American ex-soldiers, where they will discover just how far a government will go to protect its worst secrets—both past and present. But the case will also have much more personal repercussions for Sonchai, shaking his world to its very foundation and perhaps finally forcing him to confront his long-lost American father.
Posted in Literary Tagged with: Asset, Bangkok, Knopf, Novel
The Gods of Tango: A novel
Product rating: 4.5 with 16 reviews
February 1913: seventeen-year-old Leda, clutching a suitcase and her father’s cherished violin, leaves her small Italian village for a new home (and husband) halfway across the world in Argentina. Upon her arrival in Buenos Aires, Leda is shocked to find that her bridegroom has been killed. Unable to fathom the idea of returning home, she remains in this unfamiliar city, living in a commune, without friends or family, on the brink of destitution. She finally acts on a passion she has kept secret for years: mastering the violin. Leda is seduced by the music that underscores life in the city: tango, born from lower-class immigrant voices, now the illicit, scandalous dance of brothels and cabarets. Leda knows, however, that she can never play in public as a woman, so she cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and, as a young man, joins a troupe of musicians bent on bringing tango into the salons of high society. As time progresses, the lines between Leda and her disguise will begin to blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed will reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her music career but her life itself.
With evocative scenery, prose suffused with the rhythms of the tango, and a deep, resonant core, De Robertis delivers her most accomplished novel yet.
Posted in Romance Tagged with: God's, Knopf, Novel, Tango
The Hirschfeld Century: Portrait of an Artist and His Age
Product rating: 4.6 with 5 reviews
I am down to a pencil, a pen, and a bottle of ink. I hope one day to eliminate the pencil.
Al Hirschfeld redefined caricature and exemplified Broadway and Hollywood, enchanting generations with his mastery of line. His art appeared in every major publication during nine decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, as well as on numerous book, record, and program covers; film posters and publicity art; and on fifteen U.S. postage stamps.
Now, The Hirschfeld Century brings together for the first time the artist’s extraordinary eighty-two-year career, revealed in more than 360 of his iconic black-and-white and color drawings, illustrations, and photographs—his influences, his techniques, his evolution from his earliest works to his last drawings, and with a biographical text by David Leopold, Hirschfeld authority, who, as archivist to the artist, worked side by side with him and has spent more than twenty years documenting the artist’s extraordinary output.
Here is Hirschfeld at age seventeen, working in the publicity department at Goldwyn Pictures (1920–1921), rising from errand boy to artist; his year at Universal (1921); and, beginning at age eighteen, art director at Selznick Pictures, headed by Louis Selznick (father of David O.) in New York. We see Hirschfeld, at age twenty-one, being influenced by the stylized drawings of Miguel Covarrubias, newly arrived from Mexico (they shared a studio on West Forty-Second Street), whose caricatures appeared in many of the most influential magazines, among them Vanity Fair. We see, as well, how Hirschfeld’s friendship with John Held Jr. (Held’s drawings literally created the look of the Jazz Age) was just as central as Covarrubias to the young artist’s development, how Held’s thin line affected Hirschfeld’s early caricatures.
Here is the Hirschfeld century, from his early doodles on the backs of theater programs in 1926 that led to his work for the drama editors of the New York Herald Tribune (an association that lasted twenty years) to his receiving a telegram from The New York Times, in 1928, asking for a two-column drawing of Sir Harry Lauder, a Scottish vaudeville singing sensation making one of his (many) farewell tours, an assignment that began a collaboration with the Times that lasted seventy-five years, to Hirschfeld’s theater caricatures, by age twenty-five, a drawing appearing every week in one of four different New York newspapers.
Here, through Hirschfeld’s pen, are Ethel Merman, Benny Goodman, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Katharine Hepburn, the Marx Brothers, Barbra Streisand, Elia Kazan, Mick Jagger, Ella Fitzgerald, Laurence Olivier, Martha Graham, et al. . . . Among the productions featured: Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, Rent, Guys and Dolls, The Wizard of Oz (Hirschfeld drew five posters for the original release), Gone with the Wind, The Sopranos, and more.
Here as well are his brilliant portraits of writers, politicians, and the like, among them Ernest Hemingway (a pal from 1920s Paris), Tom Wolfe, Charles de Gaulle, Nelson Mandela, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.
Sumptuous and ambitious, a book that gives us, through images and text, a Hirschfeld portrait of an artist and his age.
Posted in Collections, Catalogs & Exhibitions Tagged with: Artist, Century, Hirschfeld, Knopf, Portrait
Wind/Pinball: Two novels
Product rating: 4.0 with 3 reviews
In the spring of 1978, a young Haruki Murakami sat down at his kitchen table and began to write. The result: two remarkable short novels—Hear the Wind Sing
and Pinball, 1973
—that launched the career of one of the most acclaimed authors of our time.
These powerful, at times surreal, works about two young men coming of age—the unnamed narrator and his friend the Rat—are stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism. They bear all the hallmarks of Murakami’s later books, and form the first two-thirds, with A Wild Sheep Chase, of the trilogy of the Rat.
Widely available in English for the first time ever, newly translated, and featuring a new introduction by Murakami himself, Wind/Pinball gives us a fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings.
Posted in Coming of Age Tagged with: Knopf, novels, Wind/Pinball