With its in-depth look at some of the themes and real-life stories behind the fiction, The Dan Brown Companion gives a unique insight into the world of one of the most successful bestselling novelists of our time.A huge Dan Brown following has emerged, determined to walk in the footsteps of his lead character Robert Langdon and to delve deeper into the fiction. Simon Cox, bestselling author of Cracking the Da Vinci Code and Illuminating Angels and Demons, now brings us this definitive guide.Questions are answered and plots thickened as we look for the clues that inspired Dan Brown. From the death of popes to the Priory of Sion, the mystery of Rennes-le-Château to the Illuminati, all the facts are finally laid bare.The Dan Brown Companion is an exceptional guide to the real world of mystery and intrigue that lies at the heart of the Robert Langdon novels and is a must-have for all Dan Brown fans.
Hunter Davies's first major interview was with John Masefield for The Sunday Times in 1963. In the years since, he has interviewed many of the most famous people that the late twentieth century has to offer, from James Baldwin and Orson Welles to Jack Nicholson and Salman Rushdie. in an eclectic and highly readable selection, we learn that Noel Coward enjoyed watching operations and considered himself 'about as decadent as a suet pudding', David Hockney dyed his hair because 'blonds have more fun', and Anthony Burgess had yet to touch the body of an Englishwoman. Christy Brown concedes 'I'm just a run-of-the-mill genius', while Alan Sugar admits 'I'm a miserable sod'. The book opens with a specially written introduction in which Hunter Davies explores the art of the Celebrity Interview, and turns the tables to interview fellow practitioners, such as Lynn Barber and Angela Lambert.
Scotland may not have won a World Cup (yet!), but many of the country's sportsmen and women are revered as global legends, including Olympic and US Open champion Andy Murray and winner of six Olympic gold medals, Sir Chris Hoy. In football, the likes of Denis Law, 'Slim' Jim Baxter and Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone would not have looked out of place in the canary yellow of Brazil, while managers Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Jock Stein have become part of football folklore, as has Sir Alex Ferguson in more recent times.Amazingly, Scots have reached the top in just about every major sport: Jim Clark and Sir Jackie Stewart in Formula One; Andy Murray in tennis; Ken Buchanan and Benny Lynch in the boxing ring; Chris Hoy in cycling; sprinters Allan Wells and Eric Liddell on the Olympic track; and, as befits a nation renowned as 'the home of golf', Sandy Lyle was recognised as the greatest player on the planet upon winning the Masters in 1988.Scottish sport is the richest of tapestries and in Scottish Sporting Legends the cream of the crop are entertainingly profiled in a revealing collection of pen portraits of stars past and present.
The Royal Scots are Scotland's oldest infantry regiment, with a tradition that stretches back to 1633. This first concise history of the regiment is based largely on the recollections of several generations of Royal Scots - men like Private McBane, who carried his three-year-old son into battle at Malplaquet, and Private Begbie, the youngest soldier to serve in the First World War. These first-hand accounts take the reader through the great wars of the eighteenth century, when Britain was a rising global power, through the setbacks and the triumphs of the Napoleonic Wars and on to the glorious years of the nineteenth century. The two world wars of the twentieth century saw the Royals expand in size, and there are full accounts of its meritorious service on all the main battle fronts. More recently, the regiment has been involved in operations in the Balkans and Iraq. In 2006, in one of the most radical changes in the country's defence policy, the Royal Scots will be amalgamated into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. Royal Scots is, therefore, a timely celebration of the British Army's most venerable regiment, right of the line and second to none.
Created in 1961 as a result of the amalgamation of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders and the Seaforth Highlanders, the Queen's Own Highlanders embody the history and traditions of some of Scotland's oldest Highland regiments. Two great Highland families - Cameron of Lochdarroch and Mackenzie of Seaforth - were involved in the formation of the antecedent regiments and their tartans were incorporated in their successor's uniform.During its long history, the regiment has served in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimea, the Indian Mutiny, the Boer War and the two World Wars of the twentieth century. After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke of Wellington specifically mentioned the Cameron Highlanders in his dispatches as a result of the bravery shown by Piper Kenneth Mackay, who left the safety of the regiment's defensive square to encourage the men by playing the traditional rallying tune 'Cogadh no Sith' (War or Peace - the True Gathering of the Clans).In 1994, the Queen's Own Highlanders amalgamated with the Gordon Highlanders, and in 2006 they became the 4th Battalion of the new Royal Regiment of Scotland. This account of the regiment is therefore a timely memorial to its long and distinguished history.
The pre-dawn arrests of the last remaining mafiosi in December 2008 signalled the end of the Sicilian Mafia as we know it. In Mafia: Inside the Dark Heart, A.G.D. Maran charts the complete history of the world's most infamous criminal organisation, from its first incarnation as an alternative form of local government in the Sicilian countryside and arguable force for 'good' to the more familiar form that has been immortalised in films such as The Godfather, and its final defeat after a long-awaited change of attitude by the Italian government.The author has used his many Italian contacts and a decade of exhaustive research to bring to life the story of the Sicilian Mafia while also exploring the links to the Cosa Nostra in America. Along the way, he asks many provocative questions, including: Why was Lucky Luciano, the father of modern organised crime, freed from a life sentence in America and deported to Italy, allowing him to organise the international drug trade?
Was the Mafia involved in the death of Pope John Paul I?
Why did the Mafia murder Roberto Calvi, known as God's Banker?
What is the relationship between the Mafia and Freemasonry?
Why did successive Italian governments fail to tackle the Mafia?
Why did it take 40 years to find the Last Godfathers?These and many other riveting issues are covered in Maran's refreshing new take on a perennially enthralling subject.
On 23 October 2009, British couple Paul and Rachel Chandler were kidnapped from their sailing boat in the archipelago of the Seychelles. Their yacht, Lynn Rival, was recovered six days later by naval forces, abandoned off the central Somali coast.After the attack, Paul and Rachel were taken first onto a previously hijacked merchant ship and then to Somalia, where they were held for over a year, enduring threats and intimidation while their captors tried to extort millions of dollars from their family.In this remarkable book, the Chandlers recount their terrifying ordeal, revealing the inspiring and poignant story behind the dramatic headlines. At the heart of their survival was their unshakeable belief in each other and their determination to survive, making Hostage an unlikely love story; for Paul and Rachel, death, at times, seemed preferable to being separated.
During the last months of Hitler's Berlin, an estimated 30,000 German teenagers perished defending their beloved Fhrer in the Russian onslaught. Armin Lehmann was one of the few boy soldiers who escaped the bloodbath. Like every other member of the Hitler Youth, Armin would have given his life gladly for his leader, but he was not to be sacrificed to the enemy at the gate. Instead, he was chosen to serve in the German High Command's bunker complex. It was a stroke of fate that brought him into the company of the most notorious Nazis of Hitler's hated Reich, including Martin Bormann, Goebbels and, of course, the Fhrer himself. When Hitler greeted Armin, the 16-year-old boy knew he had been granted a unique part in history.In Hitler's Bunker is Armin's eyewitness account of the Nazi apocalypse. It is also the story of how his unquestioning fanaticism won him that role in the final act of the Third Reich. It takes us back to his boyhood and the brutal SS father who instilled the Nazi's hateful creed in his son. It follows Armin's odyssey through the ranks of the Hitler Youth and shares his teenage anguish over his doomed love for a beautiful German nurse. It is the story of Armin's gradual realisation of the full horror of what he had been part of, and recounts his quest for the truth, which took him in the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandi and to a meeting with Albert Schweitzer, the missionary and theologian. Above all, In Hitler's Bunker is the story of how one man, instead of running away from his past, confronted it and found peace, at last.
Based on the only interviews ever carried out with the two main conspirators of the 11th September attacks, MASTERMINDS OF TERROR is the incredible account of how Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed plotted the assaults on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill in 2001. Using unique investigative material, the authors build a vivid picture of how the catastrophic acts of terrorism were devised over the course of two years and provide incredible material relating to the covert operations that preceded the disaster, the majority of which is previously unpublished. The book contains the full written justification for the attacks by Binalshibh, as well as the entire text of Fouda's interview with the terrorists, which was carried out in hiding as both men were being hunted down. Also included are interviews with close relatives of the hijackers, revelations of Mohammed's connections with the first attack on the Twin Towers in 1993, details of the role played by Binalshibh and Mohammed in the killing of WALL STREET JOURNAL reporter Daniel Pearl, how the two men built al-Qaeda's Far Eastern network, and an expose of the secret communications between Binalshibh and 11th September hijack leader Mohammed Atta. Ambitious and vast in scope, MASTERMINDS OF TERROR contains extensive original material on Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaede organisation and offers astonishing
Few cities in the world abound with so many extraordinary stories as Glasgow. The city has been the silent witness to some of the most significant events of the past century, from major triumphs to cataclysmic calamities, and the best of these anecdotes are compiled here to form this unique collection.Amongst the notable events revisited are the launching of the Queen Mary, which captivated the city's inhabitants in 1934, the victorious 16-month work-in campaign by the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in the early 1970s, the Ibrox disaster of 1971 and the plague that gripped the Gorbals in 1900.Some of Glasgow's most successful people are also covered, including Clydeside revolutionary John Maclean, founder of the Barras Maggie McIver and the inimitable Billy Connolly, whose humour and colourful personality are synonymous with the city.From the Battle of George Square to the bravery of the Glasgow people during the Blitz, Great Glasgow Stories provides an all-encompassing view of the city throughout the eras.
Not only has Glasgow produced some incredible personalities, it has also been witness to some of the greatest happenings of our times. These outstanding people and epoch-making events are featured in Glasgow: Tales of the City. As a result of painstaking research, some startling new facts have emerged about the life and times of some of the city's most interesting characters. The many individuals documented in this book include the world's greatest pilot, whose many flying feats are still held in great awe today and unlikely ever to be repeated. He was hailed as a hero in America, they gave a him a ticker-tape reception in New York and Hollywood begged him to be a star. More recently, Glasgow was popularised by a TV programme about the city's tough police officer Taggart. The role of the Glasgow detective made Mark McManus one of Scotland's first international TV stars, and Mark's own life story makes equally compelling reading.Before Billy Connolly, Glasgow's greatest-ever comedian was Lex McLean. He smashed all the box-office records in a Glasgow theatre and became a legend in his own lifetime. His story has never before been told in such detail. This is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating studies of Scotland's largest city ever published.
'Before Benny, nobody from the Gorbals became World Champion of anything...'Benny Lynch was Scotland's first World Boxing Champion and the most talked-about British sportsman of his generation. In fact, many consider him to be the finest fighter the country has ever produced.Benny is the amazing account of how Lynch battled his way above and beyond the 'fifty-shilling men' of his home town of Glasgow to become the champion of Scotland, Britain, Europe and the world, earning a reputation as one of the greatest pugilists of all time. But this absorbing biography also details how his career sadly came to a premature halt because of Lynch's alcoholism, which destroyed his health and led to him being abandoned by his countless followers. It took his tragic death at the age of only 33 to restore the fallen idol to legendary status again.The gritty reality of the daily grind of life in the Depression-era Gorbals is captured vividly in this remarkable story of the rise and tragic fall of a fighting legend.
Every week for much of the year, millions of Brits view and vote on Strictly Come Dancing, with the salsa being one of the most popular dances. Dark, enticing Afro-Caribbean rhythms; moving bodies gently interlaced, responding to the music: at first sight, salsa dancing seems to recover something our regimented British lives suppress. For not much more than a fiver, salsa can reconnect us with our bodies. So we seem to think: with perhaps a million Britons taking a class every week, salsa is statistically our national dance.Matt Rendell learned salsa the British way, as an adult, rote-learning figures and routines. His Colombian wife, Vivi, acquired salsa in early childhood from her parents and grandparents; the dance made her part of her community.A love story about two people from cultures at sometimes comical cross-purposes, Salsa for People Who Probably Shouldn't explores how the world's most popular dance went global, how it reached the UK and whether the saucy, salacious salsa of our national fantasy life is really as exotic as we like to think.
The unprecedented success of Nottingham Forest under master manager Brian Clough is one of the greatest stories in football folklore. Winning the European Cup in 1979 and 1980 were the remarkable highlights of that era in the club's history. And the player at the heart of those Forest glories was winger John Robertson, who fashioned the goal that conquered Europe a first time and then scored the match-winner as Clough's side retained the trophy.His unkempt and unshaven appearance made him the most unlikely of footballers but his artistry and vision made him the creative on-the-field force behind a Forest side that swept all before them. After retiring from playing, Robertson went on to strike up a wonderfully successful managerial partnership with Martin O'Neill at Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa. Yet, amid his years of football fame, Robertson has known moments of deep personal tragedy, with the death of his daughter, who had cerebral palsy, at the age of 13 and the loss of his elder brother in a car crash.In John Robertson: Super Tramp, the footballing legend reveals all in a humorous and touching memoir that switches engagingly between footballing glory and personal heartache.
From running with the infamous Calton Tongs to running Calton Athletic, David Bryce's life story is a remarkable account of crime, violence, alcoholism and drug addiction in Glasgow's gangland.A respected 'hard man', Bryce worked his way through most of HM's prisons in Scotland before an epiphany in 1977 made him realise that he was a hopeless alcoholic who needed help. A five-year battle followed, during which he sank into the abyss of heroin addiction before finally getting clean. In 1985, in an effort to help others who were struggling against substance abuse, Bryce set up Calton Athletic, a football team and social group made up solely of recovering drug addicts. Reformed gangster Jimmy Boyle was one of the first to have faith in Bryce and Calton Athletic, but the club eventually won widespread respect. Gordon Brown, then a young MP, was so impressed that he wrote an article for The Observer which led to a TV film starring Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane. In the '90s, Ewan McGregor, Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting crew sought Bryce's advice and friendship during the making of the internationally acclaimed cult film, while Robbie Williams begged to switch nationality and play for Calton Atheltic in an 'England v. Scotland' celebrity charity match.Bryce's uncompromising belief that the only way to come off drugs is to go cold turkey and stay completely clean saw him clash with government agencies over the 'harm-reduction' policy of recent years. The club's statutory funding was withdrawn in 1998, but today Calton Athletic are still providing an invaluable lifeline while the 'official' drugs policy has become increasingly discredited.Alive and Kicking is an inspirational tale of survival and success against the odds.
'Clutching in my hand my seven copper pennies, I ran down the two flights of stone stairs from our tenement flat and through the East End to Kinloch Street, where, puffing a bit, I joined the queue of other wee boys lining up to place their coins on the brass plate above the iron turnstile, push hard against it, then climb up onto the dirt terracing and into Paradise. The rest of the world called it Celtic Park.'This is a story seen through green-and-white spectacles. It begins when nine-year-old Glaswegian John Cairney walks through the boys' gate at Celtic Park and embarks on a series of adventures that, over the years, take him all over Scotland and beyond.The Sevenpenny Gate is about a search for heroes, Celtic heroes. It is also the tale of an East End club of humble Irish origins that has developed into a worldwide brand and continues to command the devotion of its fans, even with the Celtic diaspora now spread across the globe.
Ireland 1973: a very different world. But a tiny village in County Dublin was about to lose its innocence for ever. On a bright and sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour. No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the teenager was a Satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits. The child was never seen alive again. For the first time, in The Boy in the Attic, David Malone reveals the exact events of that summer day: how the youngster was lured to his death, how the teenager came to delve so deeply into the occult and the nightmarish scene awaiting police when they entered the attic.But there is another disturbing question - how is it that this murder, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, was barely reported upon at all? Why have you never heard of the boy in the attic until now?
Although Jan de Vries finds himself too young for an autobiography, many of his friends and patients have pushed for it. A Step At A Time recounts de Vries' amazing journey so far, beginning with his upbringing in Holland - during which he experienced the 'hunger winter' of 1944 - and charting the development of his amazing 40 year career, throughout which he earned a reputation as an enduring guru of alternative medicine.This gripping and highly entertaining book reveals much about the man and why so many turn to him in his role as a respected homeopathic doctor. Whether it is royalty, film stars, sportsmen or the general public, his clinics are all greatly overbooked, making it difficult at times to get an appointment with him. What is the secret of 'the man with the x-ray eyes', who he sees many things that others do not. Is this an extra sense, intuition, or just the experience of over 40 years of dealing with people medically? In almost 40 books written by him in his life so far, de Vries has shared a great deal of his knowledge with the world, which he has gathered by himself via independent research, and through consultation with his great teachers. However, in A Step At The Time, he reveals some of the secrets that people have always wanted to know, such as how he can consistently work over 90 hours per week and manage ten clinics throughout Britain. In this candid autobiography, he shares some of the gifts that were given to him and for which he is very thankful.
Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) - mystic, writer, poet, astrologer, sexual revolutionary, painter, mountain climber and social critic - has a terrifying reputation. The contemporary press labelled him the 'wickedest man in the world', while he called himself the 'great beast'. Crowley dabbled in the occult, supported Germany in the First World War, was addicted to opiates, and many who associated with him died tragically in mysterious circumstances.Working from the starting point that behind the demonic reputation there stood a human being, and that beyond the self-proclaimed black magician there was a man hungry for publicity and fame, Roger Hutchinson lifts the smokescreen of mythology to reveal a truly astonishing figure.Why did this curious product of the Plymouth Brethren found the first 'hippy commune' in Sicily? What led this Cambridge graduate to be celebrated 20 years after his death on the cover of The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album? Why did Mussolini expel him from Italy? Why did a British magazine label him 'the man we'd like to hang'? Roger Hutchinson reveals the real Crowley: warts, wickedness, talent, courage, cowardice and all.
Early on a wartime winter's morning in 1941, an 8,000-ton cargo ship loaded with whisky ran aground in the beautiful and treacherous seas of the Outer Hebrides. The events which followed became the stuff of folklore, and resulted in the famous fiction of Whisky Galore. But what really happened ... ?
This is the full story, unofficial and uncensored, of one of the greatest football clubs in the country. From its birth in the 1890s to its rebirth in the 1990s and up to season 2003-4, The Toon tells of a small soccer club, long in the shadow of an enormous rival, which grew to eclipse that rival - and every other club in Great Britain. Roger Hutchinson brings to life the sensational early successes of Newcastle United, recreating the great Anglo-Scottish team which dominated the Football League before the First World War. He vividly describes the helter-skelter attacking sides of the 1930s and the Cup giants of the 1950s, and gives us the European conquerors of the 1960s and the squads of the 1970s and '80s, before showing us how today's cosmopolitan side of title-chasing internationals was built.This lively, hard-hitting book portrays the brilliant management of such legends as Frank Watt and takes us down through the thrilling decades right up to the reign of Sir Bobby Robson. In its pages we see the educated play of Andy Aitken and Colin Veitch; we watch as the fast and furious centre-forward play of Jock Peddie paves the way for the era of the great Hughie Gallacher and the unique Jackie Milburn. It assesses the merits of all of their heirs, from Keegan to Beardsley, from Macdonald to Shearer, from Moncur to Dyer. Exploring and explaining the lean years as well as the successful decades, The Toon exposes the bad managers, incompetent directors and players who were unworthy of the black and white stripes. It takes an unflinching look at the lost opportunities and the Geordie footballers who went missing. But it also offers us the geniuses, the household names, the men who have lit up Tyneside and the world beyond in a hundred-year sequence of unforgettable League and Cup campaigns. Most of all, The Toon looks from the past towards a glorious future.
Irish is the story of the mass migration from Ireland to Glasgow that took place in the wake of the Great Famine of the mid-nineteenth century. It is an epic account of the coming together of a nation and a city. This is the tale of those who escaped a nightmare existence in the poorest and most deprived country in Europe and changed the city of Glasgow forever. Irish brings to life the horrot of those grim days and reveals the unimaginable suffering endured as a result of the Potatoe Blight. It describes in vivid detail the hazards and hardships faced by those fleeing Ireland in search of a better life overseas, including a startling account of one of the most deplorable maritime crimes ever committed, the voyage of the SS Londonderry. The coming of the Irish to Glasgow had a bigger impact on the city than other event. Now, for the first time, the truth about this most significant and stirring episode is vividly unfolded. It tells of the contribution made by Irish labourers in Glasgow to the Industrial Revolution; reveals that the legendary football clubs of Celtic and Rangers may never have existed were it not for the migrant's arrival; and describes the "Partick War", and the occasion of the first-ever Orange Walk.
Royal Dutch/Shell is a multinational behemoth. Every four seconds of every day, 1,200 cars fill their tanks with petrol on Shell forecourts, while at airports around the world civil airliners are refuelled with Shell aviation spirit every ten seconds. The company has long been regarded as a world leader and a model for other corporations. That is, until January 2004.In a truly dramatic statement, the company told an incredulous world that estimates of Shell's reserves had been inflated by a staggering 3.9 billion barrels. It was the first of a series of admissions that brought into question Shell's reputation for rectitude and sent its share price tumbling. Shell Shock is an engrossing account which reveals details that have never been included in any company accounts. Prominent amongst these is the confirmation that one of the corporation's two 'founding fathers', Henri Deterding, was a passionate supporter of fascist dictators such as Gmez in Venezuela, Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany. Shell Shock then exposes the company's appalling environmental record, notably in Nigeria and the United States, and reveals the possible ecological consequences of current plans to extract oil from Sakhalin Island, off Russia's Pacific coast. As the company - threatened with multi-billion-dollar legal action in America and West Africa - struggles to recover from what amounts to self-immolation, this timely account of its history shows how an internal cultural revolution and an obsession with spin besmirched the company's good name, the quality that mattered most to Shell's founders.
Mr Nasty charts the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of a wannabe player in the global narcotics business. From humble beginnings on the streets of London's East End, Cameron White rapidly ascended the drug ladder of London's club scene before notorious local criminals forced him to move to the US. There, he soon found himself aboard a cocaine-fuelled roller-coaster ride, transporting him from encounters with psychotic, crack-dealing Jamaicans in New York to luncheons with Hollywood's glitterati. The American adventure was to reach its inevitable conclusion in a drive-by shooting in the barrios of LA.Back in London, a dull nine-to-five existence did nothing to quell White's narco-inclinations. Cue a chemical vacation in Thailand and an effortless metamorphosis from recreational drug user to fully fledged smack addict in Berlin. White's eventual wake-up call came after he robbed some innocent tourists to feed his heroin habit. Stunned to realise how low he had sunk, he was determined to get clean and his gold-star efforts at rehabilitation were rewarded with an opportunity to start again in Australia. Faced with temptation once more, White's good intentions were to prove short-lived and he slid into the murky world of substance abuse in Sydney. But this time things were different and a gradual but life-defining epiphany rescued White from the edge. Mr Nasty is a thrilling yet cautionary tale of a decade lived within the narcotics underworld. Illuminating both the exciting and destructive sides of such an existence, it is ultimately a testament to how a strong will can sometimes overcome the lure of vice and break the chains of addiction.