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Recommended Reading

[ Edited ]
Untitled More Great Books from Arthur Phillips

The Egyptologist
This darkly comic labyrinth of a story opens on the desert plains of Egypt in 1922, then winds its way from the slums of Australia to the ballrooms of Boston, by way of Oxford, the battlefields of the First World War, and a royal court in turmoil. Just as Howard Carter unveils the tomb of Tutankhamun, making the most dazzling find in the history of archaeology, Oxford-educated Egyptologist Ralph Trilipush is digging himself into trouble, having staked his professional reputation and his fiancée's fortune on a scrap of hieroglyphic pornography. Meanwhile, a relentless Australian detective sets off on the case of his career, spanning the globe in search of a murderer. And another murderer. And possibly another murderer. The confluence of these seemingly separate stories results in an explosive ending, at once inevitable and utterly unpredictable.

Prague
Prague depicts an intentionally lost Lost Generation as it follows five American expats who come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune - financial, romantic, and spiritual - in an exotic city newly opened to the West. They harbor the vague suspicion that their counterparts in Prague, where the atmospheric decay of post-Cold War Europe is even more cinematically perfect, have it better. Still, they hope to find adventure, inspiration, a gold rush, or history in the making. What they actually find is a deceptively beautiful place that they often fail to understand.

Additional Recommended Reading

The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers, and Two Stories
Henry James
One of literature's most gripping ghost stories depicts the sinister transformation of two innocent children into flagrant liars and hypocrites. An elegantly told tale of unspoken horror and psychological terror that creates a complete feeling of dread and uncertainty. This collection -- including “The Beast in the Jungle” and “The Jolly Corner” -- features James’s finest supernatural tales, along with criticism, a discussion of the legacies of James’s writing, and provocative study questions.

Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson
First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers -- and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

Unburied
Charles Palliser
In Victorian England, Dr. Courtine is invited to spend the days before Christmas with Austin, a friend from his youth, in the Cathedral Close of Thurchester. Courtine hopes to research an unsolved mystery at the cathedral library, but when Austin captivates him with the story of the town ghost -- a macabre tale of murder and deception dating back two centuries -- Courtine finds himself drawn instead into a haunting world of avarice, skullduggery, and exceptional evil. Daring, unpredictable, atmospheric, The Unburied is a dazzling entry in the canon of classic Victorian masterpieces of suspense.

Affinity
Sarah Waters
An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women's ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London's grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank's murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by one apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a seance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman profoundly disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina's gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina's freedom, and her own.

Message Edited by Barbara on 08-15-2007 11:03 AM
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