It’s July and the World Cup fever continues! This year’s tournament is full of unexpected turns and, for those who enjoyed Jonathan Wilson’s Kick and Run: Memoir with Soccer Ball and can’t get enough of his witty and observant writing, we have great news – Jonathan Wilson is reporting on the World Cup events for the Paris Review and you can follow his entertaining articles here.
Peter Fudakowski’s breath-taking feature film Secret Sharer, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s short story The Secret Sharer, opened in the cinemas at the end of June and we were lucky enough to see it at the premiere. This stunningly shot, heart-warming tale of self-discovery, loyalty and getting to understand other cultures is a great antidote to all the football stress. Read Conrad’s original text before seeing the film to get a deeper understanding of the characters and their moral dilemmas represented in Fudakowski’s contemporary adaptation.
For those who begin their holiday season in July we recommend one of Jaime Clarke’s fast-paced and gripping novels, Vernon Downs or We’re So Famous. They both have a quest at their heart and are packed full of action, making a perfect holiday read!
Charlie Martens is desperate for stability in an otherwise peripatetic life. An explosion that killed his parents when he was young robbed him of normalcy and he was shuttled from relative to relative, left alone to decipher the world he encountered in order to cobble together an answer as to how he would live. Ever the outcast, Charlie recognizes in Olivia, an international student from London, the sense of otherness he feels and their relationship seems to promise salvation. But when Olivia abandons him, his desperate mind fixates on her favourite writer, Vernon Downs, who becomes an emblem for reunion with Olivia. Charlie’s quest takes him from Phoenix to New York City and when chance brings him into proximity to Vernon Downs, he quickly ingratiates himself into Downs’s world. Proximity invites certain temptations, though, and it isn’t long before Charlie moves dangerously from fandom to apprentice to outright possession.
Praise for Vernon Downs
“Moving and edgy in just the right way. Love (or lack of) and Family (or lack of) is at the heart of this wonderfully obsessive novel.” – Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Vernon Downs is a fascinating and sly tribute to a certain fascinating and sly writer, but this novel also perfectly captures the lonely distortions of a true obsession.” – Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
Daisy, Paque and Stella want to be famous. Inspired by their idols, Bananarama, they form a pop group of their own. But Stella heads to LA to become an actress and lusting after bad-boy rocker Bryan Metro. Paque and Daisy, without Stella, are just about ready to call it quits when two friends are mysteriously murdered. They, the last people to see the victims alive, become the prime suspects and cashing in on this sudden notoriety, record their first hit. And the adventure is only just beginning.
Praise for We’re So Famous
“Imagine Britney Spears narrating The Day of the Locust as a gentle fable and you’ll get the idea” – Bret Easton Ellis
“Jaime Clarke is a masterful illusionist; in his deft hands, emptiness seems full, teenage pathos appears sassy and charming. We’re So Famous is a blithe, highly entertaining indictment of the permanent state of adolescence that trademarks our culture, a made-for-TV world where innocence is hardly a virtue, ambition barely a value system” – Bob Shacochis
“Darkly and pinkly comic, this is the story of a trio of teenage American girls and their pursuit of the three big Ms of American life: Music, Movies and Murder. An impressive debut by a talented young novelist” – Jonathan Ames
To see the full range of Bloomsbury Reader titles and pick your summer read click here.