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Soft backs, harder edges

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Books: Socialist Worker looks at some of the enjoyable books that are just out in paperback
Issue 1901

Vernon God Little

DBC Pierre £7.99

An award-winning satire on US society, its materialistic obsessions, its exploitative media and its criminal injustice system. Vernon Gregory Little finds his ordinary, angsty teenage life transformed after a shooting (like the Columbine massacre) at his school.

His sleepy town, the barbecue-sauce capital of Texas, is turned upside down by a media invasion. The hapless Vernon is made the scapegoat for the killings after a manipulative media man takes a liking to his mum and a disliking to him. Vernon is forced to flee from the forces of the law. He has to escape his enemy’s final revenge-turning death row into a reality TV show!

No Reason to Die

Hilary Bonner £9.99

A chance drink in a pub brings a journalist into contact with a terrified young soldier from a local barracks. When the young recruit is killed, the journalist sets out to discover why and finds other young soldiers have died violent deaths at the barracks.

The search to uncover the truth leads to confrontation with the military top brass. The story should sound familiar. The book is dedicated to the young soldiers who died at the Deepcut army barracks.

It is fitting that this exciting novel shows the heroism of ordinary people fighting for justice as well as the extent of cover-ups in high places.

Oryx and Crake

Margaret Atwood £6.99

One reviewer called this book “an imaginative text for the anti-globalisation movement”. In it, a terrifying vision of the future unfolds, one which has unnerving parallels with our own world.

Oryx and Crake are the children of privileged workers. They grow up living well away from the Pleeblands-where the rebellious, disease-ridden masses are trapped. After leaving college, Crake embarks on a Paradise Project aimed at altering embryos to create perfect human beings-and disaster strikes.

This is a gripping read, and a chilling vision of what could happen if corporate power and social injustice spiral out of control.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon £6.99

When a dog is found stabbed to death in a neighbour’s garden, 15 year old Christopher sets out to solve the mystery of what happened. Christopher suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition like autism. So he is brilliant at solving complex mathematical problems, but he cannot solve the problems associated with emotions and relationships.

When Christopher’s investigation into the dog becomes a quest to find the truth about his dead mother, we see Christopher’s family unravelling around him. This book is a compelling and emotionally engaging read.

The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown £6.99

A blockbuster bestseller that is both conspiracy theory thriller and an art history lesson. It will change the way you look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous paintings. Robert Langdon is called in when the elderly curator of the Louvre gallery in Paris is found dead. Strange symbols have been left next to the body.

Langdon joins forces with Sophie Neveu, a French code expert, to crack the secrets before they are seized by a fanatical Catholic sect intent on burying the truth forever.

Dealing with everything from women’s oppression to the search for the Holy Grail, this novel keeps you hooked until the very last page.


Ricky Tomlinson £7.99

Acclaimed autobiography charting Ricky Tomlinson’s life from poverty-stricken childhood to striking trade union activist and socialist imprisoned for his views and finally to TV star.

Star of the Sea

Joseph O’Connor £6.99

Marvellous novel about Irish people fleeing the great potato famine in 1847. It deals with imperialism, class divisions and resistance.

Born Under Punches

Martyn Waites £6.99

A thriller looking at the 1984-5 miners’ strike showing both the resistance and the terrible price paid by working class people for the defeat of that strike.

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