World Book Club talks to one of the world’s leading thriller writers, British-born Lee Child.
Killing Floor is the first book in the internationally popular Jack Reacher series and presents the all-action hero for the first time, as the tough ex-military cop of no fixed abode: a righter of wrongs, and not a man to mess with.
Early one morning Reacher jumps off a bus in the middle of nowhere and walks 14 miles down an empty country road. The minute he reaches the town of Margrave he is thrown into jail. As the only stranger in town a local murder is blamed on him, but as nasty secrets leak out, and the body count mounts, one thing is for sure: They picked the wrong guy to take the fall.
Chan Koonchung - The Fat Years
This month's World Book Club once again comes from China's capital Beijing. Lawrence Pollard interviews acclaimed and controversial writer Chan Koonchung about his much debated dystopian novel The Fat Years from a buzzy local bookstore in the city centre, filled with an audience of excited readers ready with their questions for the author.
Chan’s speculative fiction, The Fat Years, has been described as giddily daring. It imagines a time in the near future where China is the world’s dominant power and all Chinese are beamingly happy, all but our heroes who come to realise that a month has gone missing from history. No-one remembers it, no-one cares, so they set out to find it. The Fat Years has never been officially published in mainland China but has quite a reputation. Listen in and find out why.
(Photo credit: Colin McPherson/Corbis/Getty Images.)
Lijia Zhang: Lotus
This month BBC World Book Club comes from Beijing with Lawrence Pollard.
The programme is a guest of the Bookworm, three rooms and a roof terrace full of books in Chinese and English, a fixture on the literary scene here for over a decade.
Bestselling Chinese writer Lijia Zhang answers questions about her novel Lotus. Lijia taught herself English while working in a missile factory in a bid to become a writer and a journalist, and she’s written Lotus in English. It’s the story of a young migrant worker from the country who ends up as a prostitute in Shenzen, the economic powerhouse of Southern China. It’s also a deeply researched picture of the people who look up at the economic miracle from beneath and their struggles for dignity, love and a future they can believe in.
(Image: Lijia Zhang. Credit: Will Baker.)
Kate Atkinson: Life After Life
This month on World Book Club award-winning British writer Kate Atkinson discusses her celebrated novel Life After Life. In it Atkinson poses the question: What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born and then dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she?
Presented by Harriett Gilbert.
James Ellroy - American Tabloid
On this month’s World Book Club, as he turns seventy, another chance to hear acclaimed American writer James Ellroy, who over a span of fifteen years worked on a massive fictional chronicle of 1960s America.
American Tabloid, the first of the three books, exposes the underbelly of a country on the threshold of Kennedy's golden age, and follows three men close to the tentacles of power in a conspiracy with the Mafia that leads to the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba and the assassination of JFK in Dallas. Brutally brilliant and profane, the book bursts at the seams with crooked policemen, corrupt politicians, mobsters and hitmen, all driven by a desire for power, money and the settling of old scores.
Image: James Ellroy (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)