Rogue Male

Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male is one of the great, heart-imperiling suspense stories of all time, and yet --does it bump off all its admirers? -- it seems to be forever going out of print. Now this truly literate thriller, whose fine writing amplifies the sense of excruciating predicament, is back again to fry the nerves of another generation of readers. First published in 1939 (and later made into the 1941 film Man Hunt), the book begins in a Europe infested with dictators, one of whom our hero, an Englishman skilled at hunting, attempts to assassinate. After being caught and tortured, he is thrown off a cliff to his apparent death. But lo! he survives, battered but tenacious, and the hunt for the hunter is on. His pursuers -- a rum lot ranging from a dull brute to an insidious would-be gentleman of malign foreign make -- chase him across the English Channel, into Dorset, and to ground in a hollowed-out bank verging an ancient, hawthorn-hedged lane. There, prey to "carrion thought" though he may be, he rouses himself to further prodigies of resourcefulness and a stab at revenge. What we have here is an existential meditation on the animal within and the nature of freedom, as well as -- don't look so glum -- an absolutely blood-curdling tale of foul duplicity and vicious expedient, an enthralling portrayal of endurance and ingenuity, and a moving celebration of nature and the English countryside. -

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).