Today: April 10, 2024

The Lowdown On Lockdown Reads

With many of us still languishing in self-isolation—and the rest of us looking for ways to fill the locked-down weekends—there’s never been a better time to lose yourself in a good book. Fortunately The Folio Society’s latest releases include two big name novels which, even if you haven’t read the book, you sure to be familiar with.

Illustration ©2020 Oliver Barrett from The Folio Society edition of Killing Floor.

Killing Floor is the first ever illustrated edition of Lee Child’s celebrated debut novel, which sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide, was adapted twice for cinema, and will soon be a new Amazon TV series.

The story follows protagonist Jack Reacher, an ex-military police officer, who arrives in the town of Margrave outside Georgia looking for a place to stretch his legs. Within hours Reacher has the local police force forcing shotguns in his face, but it seems they have chosen the wrong stranger to make an enemy of…

Artist Oliver Barrett electrifies the story with dazzling illustrations, imagined like never before. Barrett places Reacher at the heart of most of the images, the lynchpin around which the bloody action revolves. As the reader delves deeper into Child’s captivating plot, the illustrations become even more menacing and exhilarating.

Illustration ©2020 Oliver Barrett from The Folio Society edition of Killing Floor.

About illustrating The Folio Society edition, Barrett said: “When it came to choosing which scenes to illustrate, I was fortunate that The Folio Society team had provided some options in addition to the ones I had earmarked during my reading. However, I wanted another set of eyes and ideas to open up more possibilities, so I enlisted the services of my quick-reading mom! It was pretty cool to have conversations with her about whether a Bentley driving through burning bank notes or police officers screaming with shotguns made for compelling illustrations.”

He continues:  “Also, for some the illustrations featuring Reacher, I used myself as reference. I am actually Jack Reacher.”  Beautifully housed in a striking red cloth binding and metallic slipcase, this is the ultimate collector’s edition of Child’s heart-quickening narrative. We promise that once you’re on-board this juggernaut of a story, there’s no getting off.

Illustration © Matt Griffin from The Folio Society edition of Rendezvous with Rama.

Next up is Arthur C Clarke’s masterpiece, Rendezvous With Rama which explores what happens when an alien life comes into our Solar System. Commander Norton and the crew of the Endeavour investigate Rama, an enormous metal cylinder, clearly crafted with purpose by intelligent beings. What they find is completely spellbinding, as is the story that follows.

One of Clarke’s most celebrated novels, Rama has been in film development hell for almost decade—so now is the prefect time to read it, before it gets the green-light.

Stunning illustrations by Matt Griffin encapsulate this vast unknown beautifully. The artist pairs saturated bursts of colour alongside a magnificent black and white title page image of a cityscape, creating a mesmerising visual effect.

In John Clute’s new introduction, he explains that the joy in reading Rendezvous With Rama comes from Clarke’s mastery at describing something ‘beyond our species’ wildest imaginings’. As is often the case with scientific discovery in the real world, Clute explains, ‘there is no answer within, only the wonders before our eyes’.

Both titles are available exclusively from The Folio Society –

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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