This book was nominated for Commonwealth Book Prize 2012. A story about Lagos, Nigeria and the people who used to live in it : an unemployed family man struggling to keep life and love together; a crooked policeman with a dark, violent past and an even darker future; a disenchanted youth with a cannabis-drenched philosophy and a diabolic mission; a British fun-seeker who sees a promise of gold underneath all the garbage ; a migrant from the violent, oil-rich swamplands who came to the city seeking succor but alas all he reaps is more pain; an eponymous drifter from the hot, dozy and desert north, who must now aggressively protect his simple soul and subsequently his new bride ,from the madness all around ; a ghost that refused to die. ; and many millions more , perpetually awaiting the manifestation of elusive financial miracles.
Written in 1925, the novel opens with three gentleman friends - lawyer Sir Edward Leithen, banker John Palliser-Yeates, and Cabinet member Charles Lord Lamancha - discovering that they all suffer a common and debilitating malady, a loss of zest for life, all desperate to relieve the ennui that has engulfed them. The solution can only be something devilish, with a dash of daring. Enlisting the aid of another friend, Scottish landowner Sir Archibald Roylance, the trio contrives a plot to poach game - deer or salmon - from the hereditary lands of three of Archies Highland neighbors under the guise of an assumed false identity, John Macnab. On this, they stake their reputations and the danger proves innervating. This novel is a light interlude within the Leithen Stories series - an evocative look at the hunting, shooting and fishing lifestyle in Highland Scotland.
Handsome and ambitious, Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins and make something of his life-by adopting the code of hypocrisy by which his society operates. Julien ultimately commits a crime-out of passion, principle, or insanity-that will bring about his downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical picture of French Restoration society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed, and ennui. The complex, sympathetic portrayal of Julien, the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions, makes him Stendhals most brilliant and human creation-and one of the greatest characters in European literature.