Jed Mercurio (MBChB Medicine, 1991) is a television writer, producer, director and novelist. He left his job as a junior doctor to take up writing for television, creating Cardiac Arrest, Bodies, and the acclaimed Line of Duty. He has also written the novels Bodies, Ascent, and American Adulterer.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
In prose that’s as brutal as it is beautiful, McCarthy creates a revisionist portrait of the Old West, following a teenage boy’s travels with a vengeful gang of white men hunting Native Americans near the Mexican border. Their de facto leader, the Judge, is one of literature’s most disturbing characters, and the novel’s themes grow deeper as the story progresses.
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
I’ve enjoyed all Houellebecq’s novels for their frankness and humour. This was the novel by which I discovered his writing. Though not as politically provocative as his most recent, Submission, this is no less pointed. Houellebecq depicts in an amusingly matter-of-fact style the nihilistically loveless lives of two French half-brothers.
The Damned Utd by David Peace
Unusually for a literary novelist, Peace takes as his subject a footballing icon, Brian Clough, and explores his career through his infamously short-lived tenure as the manager of Leeds United in the early 1970s. The author employs abundant artistic licence to create an intensely enthralling psychological portrait of Clough.
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Heller’s satire of a World War 2 American bomber base is funny, sardonic, and disturbing. With a large and vivid cast of characters, it’s one of the all-time great war novels. The protagonist, a bombardier named Yossarian, challenges the paradox of a military regulation that excuses insane aircrew from flying duties, yet any airman claiming insanity to avoid combat is deemed sane for not wishing to risk his life.
The Hunters by James Salter
Set during the Korean War, this debut novel originated from an American fighter pilot who progressed to a lauded literary career with such works as A Sport and a Pastime. It follows a crack Air Force pilot whose unlucky streak raises doubts in himself and in others regarding his ability. Salter explores the fine margins of success and reputation among an elite corps of fighting men and in so doing addresses much larger themes.
For your chance to win these five books, answer the following question:
Which famous football manager is the subject of The Damned United?