An underaged spy, a legendary party host, madness in the Caribbean, a supernatural portrait, and a world of artificial bliss
Profile #33: Kim by Rudyard Kipling. Profile by Niki Seth Smith
Kimball O'Hara is an orphaned white boy, raised on the chaotic backstreets of Lahore. With an old Tibetan Lama as friend and spiritual guide, he embarks on an epic journey across the Indian subcontinent. But before long he is drawn into the British Empire's original espionage war with Russia, known simply as the Great Game.
Profile #34: The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. Profile by Michael Tompkins and Chris Brocklebank
The parties he throws in his Long Island mansion are legendary, the rumours about his past legion. But there is only one thing the mysterious and fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby wants – to recapture his first love. Yet when Daisy Buchanan reappears in his life, she sparks a chain of events that lead to tragedy and destruction.
Profile #35: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys. Profile by Katharine Peddie
Jean Rhys’s vivid prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s classic charts the descent of the spirited young Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway, first wife of Edward Rochester, to the despairing and deranged Bertha Mason, Jane Eyre’s madwoman in the attic.
Profile #36: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Profile by Chloé Harmsworth
A handsome but selfish young man sits for a portrait painter. Seeing the result, he makes an impulsive wish: that age and corruption should be visited on the picture instead of his own face. Apparently freed from the consequences of his actions, the perennially beautiful Dorian Gray embarks on a life of destructive vice that ultimately leads to his own downfall.
Profile #37: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Profile by Vidette Stonehouse
632 years After Ford, the civilised world has never been so clean, safe and comfortable. Parenting and literature have been abolished, and all castes have been conditioned to enjoy perfectly satisfied lives of sport, sex and hedonism. So why is John the Savage, the Shakespeare-quoting innocent raised on a remote reservation, so repelled by it all?