BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Go to the Listen Again page
Open Book banner
Sunday 16:00-16:30, repeated Thursday 16:00-16:30, except first Sunday in the month when it is replaced by Book Club.
Open Book spotlights new fiction and non-fiction, picks out the best of the paperbacks, talks to authors and publishers, and unearths lost masterpieces.
This week
Sunday 29th April 2007
Listen to this programme in full
Author Sebastian Faulks. Photographed by Muir Vidler.

Sebastian Faulks on his new book, Engleby, and the book of the film of the book: the art of the tie-in book jacket.
Sebastian Faulks
Sebastian Faulks is known for setting his novels, which include Birdsong and Charlotte Gray, in the past. For the first time he's written a book about contemporary Britain and narrated in the first person.

He talks to Mariella about Engleby, the story of a highly intelligent but disturbed man whose social ineptitude may have serious consequences for those around him.

Engleby - Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Hutchinson (3 May 2007)

Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Vintage

Charlotte Gray - Sebastian Faulks
Publisher: Vintage

Political Writing
Historian Peter Hennessy, winner of this year's Orwell Prize for political writing, selects four books which he thinks best demonstrate Orwell's aim of making political writing an art. 

Having it so Good: Britain in the Fifties - Peter Hennessy
Publisher: Allen Lane

The English Constitution - Walter Bagehot 
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks;

Opium of the Intellectuals - Raymond Aron 
Publisher: Transaction Publishers

This Blessed Plot - Hugo Young
Publisher: Macmillan

Harold Wilson - Ben Pimlott
Publisher: HarperCollins

Tie in book covers
'Now a major motion picture' - a familiar phrase on book covers as jackets are redesigned to reflect film versions of novels, but a phrase that can put some readers off.

Open Book talks to publishers Adam Freudenheim and Paul Baggaley, and Neill Denney from the Bookseller about the art of the tie-in covers.

William Somerset Maugham
And one of those books currently being repackaged is The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts star in a new film version of the story of an unhappy marriage, played out in 1920's China.

Literary agent and novelist Derek Johns - who first read Maugham as a teenager - joins Mariella to discuss this most prolific of authors, said to be the highest paid writer of the 1930s, but who has never been considered a literary great.

The Painted Veil - W Somerset Maugham
Publisher: Vintage

Collected Stories - W Somerset Maugham 
Publisher: Everyman's Library

Wintering - Derek Johns
Publisher: Portobello Books Ltd
E-mail Open Book with your queries or comments about the programme.

Listen Live
Audio Help

Open Book

Mariella Frostrup

Arts message boards

Drama and Readings

Join the discussion: share your critique of recent drama on Radio 4.


Art, literature, poetry, film, music: tell us what's caught your ear.

See also

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy