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Brought to you by Penguin. A vastly entertaining and unique history of the interaction between spying and showbiz, from the Elizabethan age to the Cold War and beyond. Throughout history, there has been a consistent crossover between show business and espionage, often producing some of the most extraordinary undercover agents, and occasionallyleading to disastrous and dangerous failures. The fact that one relies on publicity and the other on secrecy might seem to rule out a successful symbiosis; but as both require high levels of creative thinking, improvisation, disguise and role-play, they inevitably attract some remarkably similar personalities. Stars and Spies is the first history of the interplay between the two worlds. We travel back to the golden age of theatre and intelligence in the reign of Elizabeth I, where we meet the playwright and spy Christopher Marlowe. In the Restoration we encounter in Aphra Behn the first professional female playwright and the first female spy to work for the British government. We visit Civil War America, Tsarist Russia and fin de siècle Paris where some writers, actors and entertainers become efficient and vital agents, while others are put under surveillance by the burgeoning intelligence services. And as the story moves through the twentieth century and beyond, and the role of spying in word affairs becomes more central, showbiz provides essential cover for agents to gather information while hiding in plain sight. The astonishing array of those who were drafted into the intelligence services includes Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene, Noel Coward and Alexander Korda. At the same time, spying enters mainstream popular culture, from the adventures of James Bond to the thrillers of John le Carré and long-running TV series such as The Americans. Written by two experts in their fields - Christopher Andrew, arguably the world's leading intelligence historian, and theatre producer and entertainment historian Julius Green - Stars and Spies is a unique and highly entertaining examination of the fascinating links between the intelligence services and show business. © Chris Andrew, Julius Green 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021Show more
Eight BBC Radio crime dramas featuring Golden Age detective Gideon Fell, starring Donald Sinden With his cape, canes and shovel hat, portly amateur sleuth Dr Gideon Fell cuts an eccentric figure - but his odd appearance belies his sharp intellect and astonishing faculty for deduction. Created by crime novelist John Dickson Carr, and supposedly based on fellow author G. K. Chesterton, Dr Fell appeared in 23 novels between 1933 and 1967. This radio collection comprises all eight of the BBC adaptations based on Carr's bestselling books. The Hollow Man - Dr Gideon Fell becomes embroiled in an intriguing locked room mystery when an illusionist threatens an eminent professor. The House in Gallows Lane - 1936, and the peace of a small English village is disrupted by a mysterious death in this captivating drama adapted from the novel Till Death Do Us Part. To Wake the Dead - On the eve of King George VI's coronation, a woman is murdered in a grand London hotel. But this death is not the first of its kind... The Blind Barber - When a brutal killing takes place on an ocean liner, the engraving on the murder weapon provides a vital clue. The Black Spectacles - Three people witness a murder, yet none of them can agree about what they have seen. The Mad Hatter Mystery- A young journalist is found murdered at Traitors' Gate in fog-bound London, a crossbow through his heart and a top hat on his head. He Who Whispers - Dr Fell becomes involved in a seemingly supernatural murder, in which the victim was found entirely alone at the top of an isolated medieval tower in France. Below Suspicion - The stifling respectability of a South London suburb is rocked by a spate of ruthless poisonings - and as Fell investigates, he uncovers a sinister black magic cult... Donald Sinden stars as Gideon Fell, with John Hartley as Superintendent Hadley. Among the supporting casts are Nigel Davenport, Wendy Craig, Patrick Allen, Andrew Wincott and James Fleet. Written by John Dickson Carr Dramatised by Peter Ling Produced and directed by Enyd Williams © 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (p) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution LtdShow more
Former Tornado Navigator John Nichol tells the incredible story of the RAF Tornado force during the First Gulf War in 1991; the excitement and the danger, the fear and the losses. It is an extraordinary account of courage and fortitude. 'We were doing about 620 miles-per-hour, 200 feet above the desert, in total darkness. Everything was running on rails as we approached the target. Then all hell broke loose. I remember the missile being fired at us; I broke left and shouted, "Chaff!" 'All I could see was a flame, like a very large firework, coming towards me. Then there was a huge white flash. I remember an enormous wind and then I was knocked unconscious. My last thoughts were that I was going to die.' In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait, setting in motion a chain of events that had unimaginable political, military and personal repercussions, which still reverberate around the globe today. This is the story of the aircrew at the heart of Operation Desert Storm, almost none of whom had any prior experience of armed combat. It is the story of the Tornado's missions, of those who did not return - and of the families who watched and waited as one of the most complex conflicts in recent history unfolded live on television. It is a story of untold fear and suffering, and astounding courage in the face of hitherto unimaginable adversity.Show more
'A twisted masterpiece' Guardian 1939: Adolf Hitler, fallen from power, seeks refuge in a London engulfed in the throes of a very British Fascism. Now eking a miserable living as a down-at-heels private eye and calling himself Wolf, he has no choice but to take on the case of a glamorous Jewish heiress whose sister went missing. It's a decision Wolf will very shortly regret. For in another time and place a man lies dreaming: Shomer, once a Yiddish pulp writer, who dreams lurid tales of revenge in the hell that is Auschwitz. Prescient, darkly funny and wholly original, the award-winning A Man Lies Dreaming is a modern fable for our time. 2021 Head of ZeusShow more
Brought to you by Penguin. Written between 1929 and 1954, each of these stories bears the hallmark themes that characterise Greene's great novels: betrayal and vengeance, love and hate, pity and violence. Opening with the iconic story 'The Destructors', in which a gang of schoolboys destroys a house that has survived the Blitz, Greene offers us deliciously satisfying glimpses into twenty-one worlds, with each piece written as masterfully as his novels. From the chilling climax of a children's birthday party, to a man whose youthful indiscretions come back to haunt him, these are the unmistakable work of one of the twentieth century's greatest and most adored storytellers. © Graham Greene 1954 (P) Penguin Audio 2020Show more
A complete visual guide to the universe. Take a look through the lens and discover the beauty and science of the magnificent world that is our night sky - and beyond. From the 150km- (93 mile-) -wide impact craters on the Moon to Jupiter's Great Red Spot, a swirling storm that started in the 1600s, learn all about the history of astronomy. Find out about astronomical phenomena and take a tour of the Solar System. This easy-to-follow audiobook also explains the science behind the wonders of the sky. Featuring no-nonsense advice on how to observe the skies using the naked eye, binoculars, and telescopes, Astronomy is the perfect guide for keen amateur astronomers, as well as a great reference book for the whole family. Ian Ridpath is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and lecturer on astronomy, having previously worked at the University of London Observatory. A fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, he is the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy and Norton's Star Atlas, which is considered by many to be the amateur astronomer's bible. He has written or edited more than 40 books, including several standard guides to the night sky, and many articles on astronomy. © 2018 Dorling Kindersley Ltd © 2020 DK AudioShow more
Set against the chaotic backdrop of the 1848 Revolution, Sentimental Education follows the romantic adventures of Frederick Moreau, a young law student, and his education in the affairs of the heart. Upon arriving home in Normandy, Frederick catches his first glimpse of Marie Arnoux, a mysterious and beautiful woman who leaves a lasting impression on him. Eventually they make each other's acquaintance and Marie becomes a symbol of unattainable perfection for Frederick, whose unrequited infatuation leaves him bouncing from one passion to another, falling in and out of love, money and society. An elegant portrait of lust and illusion, Sentimental Education realistically captures 19th-century French society and the obsessive occupations of the time. It stands up with the best work by Honore? de Balzac and E?mile Zola, the latter of whom praised it for its authenticity and satire.Show more
When Vale Moonwing is summoned to the Black Tower, she must prepare herself for a confrontation with the dread warlord Balthus Dire. "...exactly what you'd want a drama based on the Fighting Fantasy series to be... The tale nails the feel of the Fighting Fantasy series perfectly" - STARBURST MAGAZINEShow more
Join elven hero Vale Moonwing and adventurer Cassius Stormblade on their quest through the depths of Firetop Mountain. Can they survive the deadly traps and evade Zagor's army of the undead? Can they stay alive long enough to confront the dark warlock himself? "...exactly what you'd want a drama based on the Fighting Fantasy series to be... The tale nails the feel of the Fighting Fantasy series perfectly" - STARBURST MAGAZINEShow more
When Vale Moonwing returns to Darkwood Forest, he discovers that her old friend, the wizard Yaztromo, has vanished....himself? "...exactly what you'd want a drama based on the Fighting Fantasy series to be... The tale nails the feel of the Fighting Fantasy series perfectly" - STARBURST MAGAZINEShow more
Using forbidden Marrangha magic and the three stolen vapours, the evil sorcerer Zharradan Marr has created a creature....but for what purpose?! "...exactly what you'd want a drama based on the Fighting Fantasy series to be... The tale nails the feel of the Fighting Fantasy series perfectly" - STARBURST MAGAZINEShow more
Adventurers are once again gathering in Fang to participate in Baron Sukumvit's 'Trial of Champions' and undertake 'The Walk' through Deathtrap Dungeon...but this year the prize has changed...and the stakes have never been higher! "...exactly what you'd want a drama based on the Fighting Fantasy series to be... The tale nails the feel of the Fighting Fantasy series perfectly" - STARBURST MAGAZINEShow more
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