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The Collected Novels Volume Two: The Broken Chariot, The German Numbers Woman, and The Lost Flying Boat

1,287 pages21 hours


These later novels from the bestselling author of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner, “one of the best English writers,” reflect his imaginative scope (The New York Times).
British novelist Alan Sillitoe “powerfully depicted revolt against authority by the young and working class” in his best-known works of fiction (The Washington Post). Both The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning were international bestsellers and made into acclaimed films. The prolific, award-winning author wrote over fifty books, including the three novels collected in this volume: a coming-of-age story about a young man who reinvents himself, a thriller featuring a blind veteran who thwarts a high-seas heroin heist—for love, and a seafaring search for Nazi treasure.
The Broken Chariot: Class and identity are lifelong struggles for Herbert Thurgarton-Strang, born in India but sent away at seven to a boarding school in England. At seventeen, the rebellious young man finally breaks free from school and heads into the industrial slums of Nottingham, where he reinvents himself as “Bert Gedling”—a working-class lathe man, a drinker, a womanizer, and eventually a soldier. He continues to adapt his character on his tour of duty, and when he returns to England he transforms once again—but this time the fictions he constructs will follow the truth of his heart.
“[Tackles] the issue of class in a way that is often surprising and always entertaining.” —Yorkshire Post
The German Numbers Woman: Blinded in the war, RAF veteran Howard views the world through radio waves, eavesdropping on global affairs and secret transmissions with his mastery of Morse code. But when he becomes obsessed with the voice of a female sailor and her mysterious communications, his own relationship with his wife begins to dissolve. To bring her husband back, she introduces him to Richard, a fellow code-breaking buff. But when Richard’s dealings in the black market send the female sailor on a dangerous drug run, Howard sets off to save her.
“Sillitoe still effectively portrays the psychological idiosyncrasies of British reserve with chilling detail and a tender appreciation for obsessive loners.” —Publishers Weekly
The Lost Flying Boat: A top-secret mission sends a crew of Royal Air Force veterans from South Africa to the subarctic Kerguelen Islands. At the helm of the seaplane Aldebaran sits the monomaniacal Captain Bennett, a man hell-bent on unearthing a treasure buried by the Germans in the final days of World War II. On the seaplane’s radio is the young wireless operator Adcock, a man whose morals are soon put to the test as machine guns are mounted on the flying boat’s turrets and the thirst for gold may cost the crew their lives.
“Remarkably credible . . . [Sillitoe’s] treasure-seekers are well-observed human beings.” —The Sunday Telegraph

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