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. -

April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."