Best of
Fiction

1937

The Hobbit or There and Back Again


J.R.R. Tolkien - 1937
    Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent. The text in this 372-page paperback edition is based on that first published in Great Britain by Collins Modern Classics (1998), and includes a note on the text by Douglas A. Anderson (2001). Unforgettable!

The Hobbit, Part One


J.R.R. Tolkien - 1937
    He was just about to step out onto the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug's left eye. He was only pretending to be sleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance!Whisked from his comfortable hobbit-hole by Gandalf the wizard and a band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

The Complete Works of O. Henry


O. Henry - 1937
    Henry's short stories are known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings.

Journey by Moonlight


Antal Szerb - 1937
    The trouble began in Venice ...'Mihály has dreamt of Italy all his life. When he finally travels there on his honeymoon with wife Erszi, he soon abandon her in order to find himself, haunted by old friends from his turbulent teenage days: beautiful, kind Tamas, brash and wicked Janos, and the sexless yet unforgettable Eva. Journeying from Venice to Ravenna, Florence and Rome, Mihály loses himself in Venetian back alleys and in the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, driven by an irresistible desire to resurrect his lost youth among Hungary's Bright Young Things, and knowing that he must soon decide whether to return to the ambiguous promise of a placid adult life, or allow himself to be seduced into a life of scandalous adventure.Journey by Moonlight (Utas és Holdvilág) is an undoubted masterpiece of Modernist literature, a darkly comic novel cut through by sex and death, which traces the effects of a socially and sexually claustrophobic world on the life of one man.Translated from the Hungarian by the renowned and award-winning Len Rix, Antal Szerb's Journey by Moonlight (first published as Utas és Holdvilág in Hungary in 1937) is the consummate European novel of the inter-war period.

The Citadel


A.J. Cronin - 1937
    Based on Cronin's own experiences as a physician, The Citadel boldly confronts traditional medical ethics, and has been noted as one of the inspirations for the formation of the National Health Service.The Citadel has been adapted into several successful film, radio, and television productions around the world, including the Oscar-nominated 1938 film starring Ralph Donat, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Richardson, and Rex Harrison.

Theatre


W. Somerset Maugham - 1937
    Somerset Maugham–the author of the classic novels Of Human Bondage and Up at the Villa–introduces us to Julia Lambert, a woman of breathtaking poise and talent whose looks have stood by her forty-six years. She is a star stage actress England–so good, in fact, that perhaps she never stops acting.It seems that noting can ruffle her satin feathers, until a quiet stranger who challenges Julia's very sense of self. As a result, she will endure rejection for the first time, her capacity as a mother will be affronted, and her ability to put on whatever face she desired for her public will prove limited. In Theatre, Maugham subtly exposes the tensions and triumphs that occur when acting and reality blend together, and–for Julia–ultimately reverse.

Northwest Passage


Kenneth Roberts - 1937
    The first half is a carefully researched, day-by-day recreation of the raid by Rogers' Rangers on the Indian village at Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec (or Saint Francis, to the Americans troops), a settlement of the Abenakis, an American Indian tribe. The second half of the novel covers Rogers' later life in London, England and Fort Michilimackinac, Michigan. Roberts' decision to cover the novel's material in two distinct halves followed the actual trajectory of Rogers' life.

Jane of Lantern Hill


L.M. Montgomery - 1937
    Jane always believed her father was dead until she accidentally learned he was alive and well and living on Prince Edward Island. When Jane spends the summer at his cottage on Lantern Hill, doing all the wonderful things Grandmother deems unladylike, she dares to dream that there could be such a house back in Toronto... a house where she, Mother, and Father could live together without Grandmother directing their lives — a house that could be called home.

The Land of Green Ginger


Noel Langley - 1937
    The Genie of the Lamp announces that Abu Ali should be the child's name and that his destiny is to rescue the magician who created The Land of Green Ginger (a sort of fabulous floating garden) and then turned himself into a Button-Nosed Tortoise by mistake. Abu Ali is told he is the only one who can find the peripatetic island, locate the Button-Nosed Tortoise and reverse the spell. And so begins a series of adventures that invoke a memorable cast of characters, some despicable, some feckless and some (no surprise) beautiful and feisty. It's all here - Flying Carpets, Green Dragons, Magic Phoenix Birds, Boomalakka Wee, the dysfunctional infant son of the Genie of the Lamp, the displaced mouse who was supposed to have been a donkey, even Omar Khayyam himself... adding up to a fantastical tale of adventure and mayhem, fabricated by the screenwriter of The Wizard of Oz and illustrated by the inimitable and beloved Edward Ardizzone. The Land of Green Ginger was first published in 1937, revised and expanded in 1966, and republished again in 1975, the text on which this edition is based.

The Thing on the Doorstep


H.P. Lovecraft - 1937
    Lovecraft, part of the Cthulhu Mythos universe of horror fiction. It was written in August 1933, and first published in the January 1937 issue of Weird Tales.Daniel Upton, the story's narrator, begins by telling that he has killed his best friend, Edward Derby, and that he hopes his account will prove that he is not a murderer ...

Summer Moonshine


P.G. Wodehouse - 1937
    Summer Moonshine involves Sir Buckstone Abbott trying to sell what is probably the ugliest home in England, as well as a complicated love quadrangle.

The Education of Hyman Kaplan


Leo Rosten - 1937
    Over the next two years the magazine ran all 15 of the original stories that were eventually published in 1937 as The Education of Hyman Kaplan.

The Family from One End Street


Eve Garnett - 1937
    The father is a dustman and the mother a washerwoman, but because they are poor the children find even greater opportunities for adventure in their ordinary lives.

World Light


Halldór Kiljan Laxness - 1937
    The indifference and contempt of most of the people around him only reinforces his sense of destiny, for in Iceland poets are as likely to be scorned as they are to be revered. Over the ensuing years, Olaf comes to lead the paradigmatic poet's life of poverty, loneliness, ruinous love affairs, and sexual scandal. But he will never attain anything like greatness.As imagined by Nobel Prize winner Halldor Laxness in this magnificently humane novel, what might be cruel farce achieves pathos and genuine exaltation. For as Olaf's ambition drives him onward-and into the orbits of an unstable spiritualist, a shady entrepreneur, and several susceptible women-World Light demonstrates how the creative spirit can survive in even the most crushing of environments, and even the most unpromising human vessel.

Wolf Among Wolves


Hans Fallada - 1937
    Set in Weimar Germany soon after Germany's catastrophic loss of World War I, the story follows a young gambler who loses all in Berlin, then flees the chaotic city, where worthless money and shortages are causing pandemonium. Once in the countryside, however, he finds a defeated German army that has camped there to foment insurrection. Somehow, amidst it all, he finds romance - it's The Year of Living Dangerously in a European setting. Fast-moving as a thriller, fascinating as the best historical fiction, and with lyrical prose that packs a powerful emotional punch, Wolf Among Wolves is the equal of Fallada's acclaimed Every Man Dies Alone as an immensely absorbing work of important literature.

Baby Island


Carol Ryrie Brink - 1937
    They're not the only survivors; with them are four babies. Immediately the sisters set out to make the island a home for themselves and the little ones. A classic tale of courage and dedication from a Newbery Medalist author.

They Came Like Swallows


William Maxwell - 1937
    It tells of an ordinary American family overtaken by the devastating epidemic of the Spanish influenza of 1918. The book begins on the day before the armistice in a small midwestern town, and the events are seen from the perspective, in turn, of eight-year-old Peter Morison--called Bunny; of his older brother, Robert; and of their father. They are witnesses to a domestic tragedy that is written with beauty and a quite magnificent tenderness. William Maxwell has been described by The Washington Post as "one of America's most distinguished and distinctive stylists." John Updike has said that "Maxwell's voice is one of the wisest in American fiction; it is, as well, one of the kindest." The Times Literary Supplement declares that "Maxwell offers us scrupulously executed, moving landscapes of America's twentieth century, and they do not fade." The Saturday Review said,"They Came Like Swallows is one of those rare tales in which child-hood is reflected in the simplicity and intensity of its own experience."

More Than Somewhat


Damon Runyon - 1937
    Full of memorable characters and masterfully composed narrative, these short stories constitute a wonderful addition to any personal library, and are not to be missed by discerning collectors of Runyon's work. The stories contained herein include: Beach of Promise, Romance in the Roaring Forties, Dream Street Rose, The Old Doll's House, Blood Pressure, The Bloodhounds of Broadway, Tobias the Terrible, The Snatching of Bookie Bob, The Lily of St. Pierre, Earthquake, and more. Alfred Damon Runyon (1880 1946) was an American newspaperman and author, best remembered for his short stories about the world of Broadway in New York City that resulted from the Prohibition era. This volume is being republished now in an affordable, modern edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author."

Daphne Deane


Grace Livingston Hill - 1937
    Then she falls helplessly in love with architect Keith Morrell, who is investigating a series of mysterious happenings at his deserted family home--and who is engaged to another woman! Suddenly Daphne finds herself drawn into a world of money and social intrigue as her faith is tested to its limits.

Last and First Men/Star Maker


Olaf Stapledon - 1937
    In Last and First Men the protagonist is "mankind" in an ultimate definition — intelligence. Star Maker, in a sense its sequel, is concerned with the history of intelligence in the entire cosmos.

Sunrise


Grace Livingston Hill - 1937
    So, when he is fired from the bank the same day it is robbed, the blame quickly falls to him. Unable to defend himself, Jason flees town. Joyce begs her wealthy friend Rowan to help prove Jason’s innocence, but now Rowan has also gone missing.

Descent into Hell


Charles Williams - 1937
    The key to Williams' mystically oriented theological thought, Descent into Hell (arguably Williams' greatest novel) is a multidimensional story about human beings who shut themselves up in their own narcissistic projections, so that they are no longer able to love, to 'co-inhere.' The result is a veritable hell.

Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field


Eleanor Farjeon - 1937
    The girls are the daughters of the couples mentioned at the end of "Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard."

Silver Snaffles


Primrose Cumming - 1937
    Jenny, the heroine of Silver Snaffles, talks to Tattles the pony every day, and then, one day, he says: “Through the Dark Corner, and the password is Silver Snaffles.”This is the start of Jenny’s adventures with the ponies.

Towers in the Mist


Elizabeth Goudge - 1937
    The book has that indescribable quality, charm." (B-O-T Editorial Review Board)

The Favorite Short Stories of W. Somerset Maugham


W. Somerset Maugham - 1937
    Harrington's washing.--The human element.--The alien corn.--The vessel of wrath.--The door of opportunity.--Neil MacAdam.

The Marx Brothers: Monkey Business / Duck Soup / A Day at the Races


S.J. Perelman - 1937
    How many times have you missed the best bits of a Marx Brothers movie, failing to catch Groucho's famous one-liners because you were still laughing at the bit with Harpo and the zipped-up banana? And what about the lemonade stall? The mirror section? And the blue-tined ballet sequence?This book offers what the videos can't, ant that's a short cut to some of the funniest films of all time -- Monkey Business (1931), Duck Soup (1933), and A Day at the Races (1937) -- scripted by some of the wittiest screenwriters Hollywood ever produced.In addition to a generous number of stills from each movie, this bumper edition also includes a cast and production crew list for movie buffs as well as an Introduction by Karl French.

Famine


Liam O'Flaherty - 1937
    It is a masterly historical novel, rich in language, character, and plot--a panoramic story of passion, tragedy, and resilience.

The Far Distant Oxus


Katharine Hull - 1937
    He opened it to find the manuscript of this book written by two schoolgirls, during the winter and spring terms, to the detriment of their school work. He began reading it with deep mistrust but soon found himself unable to stop.A party of children stay in a farmhouse on Exmoor, meet other like-minded children, have all sorts of adventures, mostly on horseback but also on a raft on the river. They have the sort of holiday that everybody would like to have if only they could!

Three Greek Plays: Prometheus Bound/Agamemnon/The Trojan Women


Euripides - 1937
    Three classic Greek tragedies are translated and critically introduced byEdith Hamilton.

Alas, Poor Lady


Rachel Ferguson - 1937
    There were thousands of women who had been condemned to become distressed gentlefolk, dependent for their livelihood (unless they had been fortunate enough to inherit wealth) to seek work as governesses and companions, often in families that did not treat them well. When they could not find work they were reduced to virtual penury. In the opening, 1936, chapter the question is asked: ‘But – how does it happen? How does it happen?’The finger of blame in Alas, Poor Lady is cast less at the men (since the system favoured them in all respects why would they seek to change it?) but at the matriarch who is too lazy, too unthinking to want to change things for her numerous daughters. It is Mrs Scrimgeour in her large house in Kensington who is the real culprit, being selfish, evasive and lacking in any concern for her daughters beyond that of trying to make sure they fulfil society’s expectations of them. She fails to train them to be attractive to men or to find ways of occupying themselves; the most important thing, her daughters wearily accept, is that ‘a family of your own, one saw, saved your face’.

Lost Boy: A Novella


Thomas Wolfe - 1937
    For this special, illustrated edition, James Clark unearthed Wolfe's original manuscript for the story, which was first published in Redbook in a heavily abridged form. This edition marks the first appearance of the original novella as Wolfe wrote it and its first publication as a book. Told from four perspectives, each articulating the sentiments of a different family member, the story captures beautifully the experiences of growing up in a mountain town in North Carolina at the turn of the century and the exhilaration of traveling by train to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. It also evokes in a timeless manner the tragedy of a family losing a young and promising child. Wolfe is best known for his long, often poetic autobiographical novels. However, many critics have maintained that Wolfe's experiments with the novella form often resulted in the creation of his greatest work, and The Lost Boy is a splendid example of that view.

A Second Century of Creepy Stories


Hugh Walpole - 1937
    M. Burrage) "The Oak Saplings"* M.R. James "Mr. Humphreys and His Inheritance"* Oliver Onions "The Beckoning Fair One"* Guy de Maupassant "The Horla"* F. Marion Crawford "The Upper Berth"* Hector Bolitho "The House in Half Moon Street"* T. O. Beachcroft "The Inn in the Estuary"* Marjorie Bowen "The Crown Derby Plate"* Henry James THE TURN OF THE SCREW* Margaret Irwin "Monsieur Seeks a Wife"* Ann Bridge "The Accident"* Martin Armstrong "Mrs. Vaudrey’s Journey"* A.M. Burrage "Browdean Farm"* M. Joyce "Perchance to Dream"* Shane Leslie "The Drummer of Gordonmuir"* Rupert Croft-Cooke "Banquo’s Chair"

The Seven Who Fled


Frederic Prokosch - 1937
    It is a weird adventure of the spirit on which he leads us. For, mistake not, despite the apparently realistic description of the endless reaches of the desert, of the topless towers of the snow-capped mountains, of the huddling villages in which men rot away in poverty and disease, this Central Asia of Prokosch's is not actual place upon the face of the earth. Like Xanadu, like Arcadia, like Atlantis or Aea or Poictesme, it is a phantom manufactured by a restless mind. ...Whatever the meaning of this book, and there will be much debate on that score, its wild lyrinative splendor and its profound emotional content mark it as a memorable novel.

The Prostitute


K. Surangkhanang - 1937
    It tells the story of Reun, a young girl from up-country who is seduced by a city pimp and tricked into working as a prostitute in a Bangkok brothel. For the reader today, the novel offers a fascinating Thai reaction to the problem of prostitution in an age long before the American miliatary presence or mass tourism.

Danger in the Dark


Mignon G. Eberhart - 1937
    She was fleeing from a man she didn't love, but was going to marry, to a final meeting with a man she loved but was never going to see again.She was running through a night of wind and snow to meet love - and to find murder!

The Proud Servant


Margaret Irwin - 1937
    A tale of seduction and witchcraft and a promise made to Charles I to "raise Scotland for the King" regardless of the personal cost.