Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Digital

  • Wiliam Boyd, winner of the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham Awards, introduces unlikely heroes desperate to redeem their unsatisfying lives.
    From California poolsides to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, here is a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman impresses a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." In the title story, an arrogant, sadistic American pilot in Vietnam underestimaets the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes a member of his maintenance crew. With droll humor and rare compassion, Boyd's enthralling stories remind us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.

  • "Rich in character and incident, An Ice-Cream War fulfills the ambition of the historical novel at its best."
    --The New York Times Book Review
    Booker Prize Finalist
    "Boyd has more than fulfilled the bright promise of [his] first novel. . . . He is capable not only of some very funny satire but also of seriousness and compassion." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
    1914. In a hotel room in German East Africa, American farmer Walter Smith dreams of Theodore Roosevelt. As he sleeps, a railway passenger swats at flies, regretting her decision to return to the Dark Continent--and to her husband. On a faraway English riverbank, a jealous Felix Cobb watches his brother swim, and curses his sister-in-law-to-be. And in the background of the
    world's daily chatter: rumors of an Anglo-German conflict, the likes of which no one has ever seen.
    In An Ice-Cream War, William Boyd brilliantly evokes the private dramas of a generation upswept by the winds of war. After his German neighbor burns his crops--with an apology and a smile--Walter Smith takes up arms on behalf of Great Britain. And when Felix's brother marches off to defend British East Africa, he pursues, against his better judgment, a forbidden love affair. As the sons of the world match wits and weapons on a continent thousands of miles from home, desperation makes bedfellows of enemies and traitors of friends and family. By turns comic and quietly wise, An Ie-Cream War deftly renders lives capsized by violence, chance, and the irrepressible human capacity for love.
    "Funny, assured, and cleanly, expansively told, a seriocomic romp. Boyd gives us studies of people caught in the side pockets of calamity and dramatizes their plights with humor, detail and grit." --Harper's
    "Boyd has crafted a quiet, seamless prose in which story and characters flow effortlessly out of a fertile imagination. . . . The reader emerges deeply moved." --Newsday
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • In the small African republic of Kinjanja, British diplomat Morgan Leafy bumbles heavily through his job. His love of women, his fondness for drink, and his loathing for the country prove formidable obstacles on his road to any kind of success. But when he becomes an operative in Operation Kingpin and is charged with monitoring the front runner in Kinjanja';s national elections, Morgan senses an opportunity to achieve real professional recognition and, more importantly, reassignment.
    After he finds himself being blackmailed, diagnosed with a venereal disease, attempting bribery, and confounded with a dead body, Morgan realizes that very little is going according to plan.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Sharply observed and brilliantly plotted, Stars and Bars is an uproarious portrait of culture clash deep in the heart of the American South, by one of contemporary literature's most imaginative novelists.
    A recent transfer to Manhattan has inspired art assessor Henderson Dores to shed his British reserve and aspire to the impulsive and breezy nature of Americans. But when Loomis Gage, an eccentric millionaire, invites him to appraise his small collection of Impressionist paintings, Dores's plans quite literally go south. Stranded at a remote mansion in the Georgia countryside, Dores is received by the bizarre Gage family with Anglophobic slurs, nausea-inducing food, ludicrous death threats, and a menacing face off with competing art dealers. By the time he manages to sneak back to New York City-sporting only a cardboard box-Henderson Dores realizes he is fast on the way to becoming a naturalized citizen.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • In this extraordinary novel, William Boyd presents the autobiography of John James Todd, whose uncanny and exhilarating life as one of the most unappreciated geniuses of the twentieth century is equal parts Laurence Stern, Charles Dickens, Robertson Davies, and Saul Bellow, and a hundred percent William Boyd.
    From his birth in 1899, Todd was doomed. Emerging from his angst-filled childhood, he rushes into the throes of the twentieth century on the Western Front during the Great War, and quickly changes his role on the battlefield from cannon fodder to cameraman. When he becomes a prisoner of war, he discovers Rousseau's Confessions, and dedicates his life to bringing the memoir to the silver screen. Plagued by bad luck and blind ambition, Todd becomes a celebrated London upstart, a Weimar luminary, and finally a disgruntled director of cowboy movies and the eleventh member of the Hollywood Ten. Ambitious and entertaining, Boyd has invented a most irresistible hero.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

empty