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Anthony Richard Masters, writer: born Esher, Surrey 14 December 1940; married 1964 Robina Farbrother (two sons, one daughter); died Hastings, East Sussex 4 April 2003
Anthony Masters was a writer, educator and humanitarian of exceptional gifts and prodigious energy. He was, in the parlance of his spiritual ancestors, the ancient mariners, that rare voyager "as gracious as a trade wind and as dependable as an anchor".
Masters embarked on his eventful and versatile career when still a teenager. Having organised a rebellion in his public school, King's College, Wimbledon, against the obligatory investment in its antiquated uniform, he found himself promptly expelled and in need of earning a living.
So he became the writer he had always wanted to be and published, in 1964, aged 23, A Pocketful of Rye, a collection of short stories of exquisite imaginative range and freshness of style which was runner-up for the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize. Masters won the prize two years later with his second book, the novel The Seahorse. Thereafter, he tested his considerable literary muscles by writing both fiction and non-fiction.
He leaves 11 works of adult fiction â€“ notably, Conquering Heroes (1969), Red Ice (1986, with Nicholas Barker), The Men (1997), The Good and Faithful Servant (1999) and Lifers (2001) â€“ and was in the process of completing another, Dark Bridges, which he thought would be his best. Many of these works carry deep insights into social problems that he gained, over four decades, by helping the socially excluded, be it by running soup kitchens for drug addicts or by campaigning for the civic rights of gypsies and other ethnic minorities.
Jenny and David twins whose close connection makes them understand each other without words also share a secret of being able to see things other people can't... When a local homeless tramp disappears from their street, they decide to look for him for as they suspect the old man is ill and in need of medical help. They find him in an abandoned cinema, which is squatted by the local vagabonds, and the old man is taken to hospital with a chest infection. Jenny and David feel good about their deed, but they soon realise that curing his body is not enough when the old man's soul is haunted by some disturbing happenings of the past. Through the desolate wastelands of the city landscape, the Ghosthunter twins bravely follow mysterious apparitions of Leslie, May and Mrs Garland, who haunt old Sid giving him no rest. Will they be able to get to the bottom of the secret? Will they come through unscathed by this strange adventure? In Deadly Games, a fantasy for children and young adults first published in 1996, Anthony Masters cleverly interweaves exciting supernatural adventures with difficult themes of homelessness and social marginalisation.
David's dad is driving him crazy. He is always moaning about his art, upsetting his mum, disregarding their sick Gran and generally making everyone miserable. Only Jan, David's kind and understanding friend, makes it all bearable. When his dad moves to Spain on the trail of his 'vision,' David follows for a holiday. But waiting for him there is the cunning orphan Miguel, vying for his dad's attention. And when Jan comes to visit, everything goes from bad to worse. Miguel goes to dangerous lengths to drive a wedge between David and those he loves. As Miguel's interference gets more and more perilous, they are all caught up in something very strange indeed, for there is a local legend about the 'Rock People,' about a curse, and revenge...In this novel for young adults, first published in 1990, Anthony Masters shares deep insight into social problems experienced by children and teenagers, and explores difficult themes of family break-ups, bullying, illness and death.
The flames flicker. The night deepens. Something's moving in the shadows. Alone on the moors they gather round the fire, all waiting to tell their own horror story. Just listen
Tonight is the night of the full moon. Eyes shine in the darkness. The howling begins. Once human, now beast, the werewolf stalks his prey. And in the heart of the forest there are stories to be told
Deserted by her husband, Anne Lucas wants him dead.Small-time villain Joe Barrington wants out from the manipulations of gangster-on-the-run Michael McMarn. Joe's brother, Eamonn Coyd, emotionally and physically scarred, wants to get him and his family abroad fast. As a result, Coyd comes up with what is to prove a deadly alliance. If Joe Barrington takes up Anne Lucas's contract on her wealthy husband, then he can not only walk away with 30,000 but bleed her financially for months to come.When Anne and her unknown contract killer begin a deadly game of mutual entrapment they run the risk of self-destruction. Behind these players moves the bizarre shadow of gangster boss, McMarn, determined to revenge himself on his renegade contract killer.I Want Him Dead is a fast moving, crisply written tale of avarice, vengeance and human frailty which grips like a vice until the final page.
First published in 1964, Anthony Masters' early collection of short stories , A Pocketful of Rye, is preoccupied with problems of social marginalisation and inequality. With his typical sensitivity, Masters observes universal human struggles caused by aging, impoverishment, alienation and disability. These short stories are touching and poignant without being sentimental or patronising.
When Jamie nearly drowns in a rough sea, his life is saved by a magnificent white Sea Horse with green eyes. One stormy night the Sea Horse comes ashore and is imprisoned in a lonely stable. First published in 1966 this fantasy fixture tells, through the mind of a small boy, the story of Jamie's quest to save the Sea Horse.
Racing along on his roller-blades, Terry feels like he is almost flying, yet he is in perfect control - until the blades take over. Terrified, he is propelled through an overgrown garden and into a sinister-looking house...
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