It’s the summer giveaway! Here are four free books for anyone energetic enough to request them. Leave a comment if you would like one or more, and do ask for as many as interest you. I’ll do a drawing Wednesday. (N.B. The images show the editions I’m giving away.)
1 Graham Greene’s classic, The Quiet American. (You can read my post here). In this tense, fast-paced novel, the narrator, Fowler, a cynical English war correspondent in Saigon in the 1950s, has witnessed battles, bombings, and atrocities in the war between the French and the Vietminh guerrillas. The European papers are interested in very few of the incidents, so he regards himself as an observer, not an activist, until an American fanatic threatens the Vietnamese way of life and that of expatriates like Fowler.
2 Mary Wesley’s Part of the Furniture. Mary Wesley published her first novel in 1983 when she was 71. Here is the description of Part of the Furniture at Goodreads: “Early in 1941, seventeen-year-old Juno Marlowe is hurrying down a London street. Planes thunder overhead; a battery of guns opens up. She is rescued from this nightmare by a gaunt stranger who offers her the protection of his house. Given this respite from the bleakness of an existence where she has no home and family, June encounters a series of events that take her to a house in the West Country, where war only occasionally intrudes, where she may find peace, and no longer just be part of the furniture.”
3 Lawrence Durrell’s Livia. This is the second book in the Avignon Quintet, which I wrote about a few days ago here. Poetic metafiction!
4. Robert Graves’s Count Belisarius. Graves’s most famous book is the brilliant novel, I, Claudius, but I also enjoyed Count Belisarius, the story of the sixth-century general who repeatedly saved the Byzantine empire, including Rome, until the jealous emperor Justinian and other less gifted generals interfered . I wrote in more detail about it here.