I think often there is a direct relationship between the type of movies people like and type of writer/books that they also like to read. For instance, it is not a big suprise that someone who likes the movies of David Lynch might also like the books or short stories of Kafka. Since everyone writing in this forums has a pretty sophisticated taste in movies, I was wondering what are some writers or novels that you like to read?
Some of my favorite books are:
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- by James Joyce
Rules of Attraction and The Informers- by Bret Easton Ellis
Running with Scissors and Dry- by Augusten Burroughs
Trainspotting- Irvine Welsh
Fight Club- Chuck Palahniuk
Grendel- by John Gardner
Wide Sargasso Sea- by Jean Rhys
The Trial and Amerika- by Kafka
About a Boy-by Nick Hornby
Saturday- by Ian McEwan
1984- George Orwell
Too Loud a Solitude- Bohumil Hrabal
Fahrenheit 451- by Ray Bradbury
And, also anything written by J. D. Salinger, especially “Catcher in The Rye”…
And my recent favorites are:
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow- by Faiza Guene
Lovely Bones-by Alice Sebold
I just realize I forgot to add one of my all time favorite novels; “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov. I think this book is one of the most lyrical and touching novels of English Language. It is quite impressive that English wasn’t even Nabokov’s native language…
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
All the Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
Watchmen – Alan Moore
Memories of My Melancholy Whores – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Mysteries of Pittsburgh – Michael Chabon
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
Sandman – Neil Gaiman
Out of the books listed above I’d say All the Pretty Horses is my favorite, with Never Let Me Go and Watchmen also high up on the list. Right now I’m reading How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers, then I’ll probably read Lolita, then Blood Meridian, Confederacy of Dunces, Life of Pi, Bruce Campbell’s Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, and a few others.
Such a great List Akira. I also loved Never Let Me Go, which was an incredibly original take on Sci-Fic novel. And, of course, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Mysteries of Pittsburgh both were really great as well. Now I would like to read Chabon’s “Wonder Boys,” I absolutely loved the movie, so I am looking forward to the book…
I haven’t seen the movie nor read the book of Wonder Boys, but I really enjoy Chabon’s work so I’ll probably get to it eventually. Have you read other Joyce works? I would like to read his work and want to know which would be the best for a first timer.
Joyce: for ease, “Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man”. “Finnegans Wake” is probably his greatest work (and my favorite book). But it took me 2 years to read.
Jorge Luis Borges is someone whose work I have been exploring of late.
“El Aleph” and “Labyrinths” left mental scars. It’s in “Labyrinths” that you can find the short story “The Library of Babel”, which is incredible.
Does anybody like Paul Auster? (“Travels in the Scriptorium” is his latest book, and it’s good, although it doesn’t exceed his breakthrough work “The New York Trilogy”). And Angela Carter (her short story collection “Black Venus” I’ve carried all over the world). Michael Ondaatje wrote a book called “Coming Through Slaughter”, which I can’t get out of my head, mainly because it’s a geography of a human life guessed at through imagination, and it ghost dogged me long after I finished reading.
This is stuff I come back to all the time, amongst others. I recently started to read Haruki Murakami’s book about the Tokyo subway sarin gas terrorism, “Underground” – a dry insight into contemporary Japan told through survivor interviews. His writing is very powerful and beautiful. “The Elephant Vanishes” is one of the most brilliant collection of short stories ever put to paper.
And I always keep Bukowski close, because he’s my best friend when the world gets cold and dark..
Autobiography by John Cowper Powys (my absolute favorite)
Magister Ludi: The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse (translation into English)
Sansho Dayu by Mori Ogai (in Japanese)
Summer of the Beautiful White Horse by William Saroyan (great short story)
The One-Armed Queen by J. Yolen (quality young adult literature)
Le Petit Prince by Antoine St. Exupéry (in French)
I should be a more avid reader but Bret Easton Ellis, Kurt Vonnegut, and Vladimir Nabokov have such an awesome collection of words typed out that I can hardly think of reading anything more.
these are a few of my favorites of the 20th century
J. G. Ballard- The Atrocity Exhibition
Vladimir Nabokov- Pale Fire, Lolita
Malcolm Lowry- Under the Volcano
F. Scott Fitzgerald- all
James Joyce- Finnegans Wake
William s. Burroughs- Naked Lunch, Junky
Hunter s. Thompson- all
Jack Kerouack- all
Jonathan Latimer- Solomons Vineyard
Ah, yeah, The Atrocity Exhibition. Good stuff.
Accidentally posted twice.
I am very into basically every book by Dave Eggers, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and J.D. Salinger. I would like to start reading Michael Chabon, Cormac McCarthy, Leo Tolstoy, and Fyodor Dostoevsky but simply have not had the time to tackle everything.
Albert Camus-L’Étranger (The Stranger)
Yes Toby- I am a big early Paul Auster fan especially the trilogy and “Leviathan”, the fabrics and mysteries of our connections are so perfectly open-ended! And I do agree about the link between our Lit taste and cinema. here are some of my favs:
A heart so white – Javiar Marias (absolute fav!)
Identity- Milan Kundera
Every novel by Kawabata but especially beauty and sadness
Enduring Love by Ian McEwen (one of the finest books to be made into such an average films:(
Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
Hunger by Knut Hamsun (The finest book about the soul of a man)
The American trilogy by Richard Ford- SportsWritter, Independence day and Lay of the land
The Abortion: an historical romance by Richard Brautigan
And most of all the short stories of John Cheever and the plays of Harold Pinter.
What I loved about all your lists are the titles I have’nt heard of an will now go and look up!!
Another amazing book/short story is “Notes From The Underground” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It is such a brilliant read that one can’t stop reading until literally finishing the last page. I am still waiting for someone to make a film of this gem that will be as gripping as the book.
i am not much of a reader but i deeply enjoed immortality by kundera ,sidarta by herman esse and love 100 years of solitude by marquez
re: Notes From Underground – “I am still waiting for someone to make a film of this gem that will be as gripping as the book.” They did, I thought, although they murdered it. Oh I see what you’re saying (“as gripping as the book”). Yes. Has anyone ever made a good film out of Dostoeyevsky? Are there some authors just too deep for cinema? By which I mean: every form has its strengths and weaknesses, and it seems that film sometimes struggles to get the character, detail and richness of great novels. That said, Nabokov did an amazing job with his screenplay for Lolita. It’s a pity Dostoyevsky didn’t write any scripts.
Toby, I completely agree with you that each form has its own idiosyncratic weakness and strengths. Somethings that looks and feels perfect on paper can not be that effective visually, cause in certain cases they can’t be transfered to concrete visuals. The best example for that is I think Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past” books. I think these are the most beautiful and lyrical books I have read, and even though there are various movies that attempted to adapt certain parts of these books, they were nowhere as powerful as the books. I think sometimes certain descriptions, feelings, emotions just can’t be transfered to other forms succinctly, either its from book to film or vice versa.
Yeah Toby- one director nailed Dostoeyevsky- in a number of films, and the way he did it was by completely making the material his own, in my opinion that is the only way to adapt a book faithfully is by being as unfaithful to the lierature as possibel as it is a completely different medium! So the more you alter it but keep the kernel the same the stronger it will be as its own organic work…oh and that director was Robert Bresson. A gentle Creature and Four nights of a dreamer are both fascinating.
^ Agreed. Rivette has made a number of films resembling, but not based on Demons. I can’t think of a better director for that film.
Elric/Dkaz^^ Agree: I think this is where I get shaky with “adaptations” – unless someone absorbs the author and then secretes a completely original/personal vision of the work that inspires them, everything gets lost. I’ll check those films.
That said, Philip Kaufman’s work on “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (Kundera) was 90% true to the book and actually captured all the same magic/realist/seedy/erotic/moral/amoral and beautiful tones of the writing. I think, anyway. So it is possible. There have been some excellent representations of Graham Greene’s books/stories on the screen, also. And I’ve always liked Polanski’s “Tess” – he stays true to Hardy’s passion and anger for his character.
I guess it depends on the kind of book, and it’s time: literature written after a certain point in history was informed by a sense of the cinematic anyway, so it lends itself to film with greater ease.
Angela Carter – yes! My favorite book (ever) is The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman.
I recently read Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives, which was terrific. I’ll probably read some Juan Goytisolo next, or start on some nonfiction books (econ/globalization/poverty/development) for a project I’m researching.
Some other favorites include Ignazio Silone’s Bread and Wine, Godel Escher Bach, Everything Is Illuminated, “The Bride from Odessa”, Alain Robbe-Grillet’s La Maison de Rendez-Vous, Martin Heidegger’s “The Origin of the Work of Art”, Gilgamesh, Oryx and Crake, and of course Bresson’s on the Cinematographer.
I think reading is so important to being a good filmmaker. My favorite books of the past month are:
The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin BRockmeier
Both are AMAZING books, highly recommend them. Both already have the movie rights bought.
I live by the following
I began Le Mur(probably The wall in English) of Jean Paul Sartre today…
Olivier^ “The Wall” is one of my all time favorite short story collections, hope you will enjoy it. Sartre has an incredible and genuine talent to write about the human condition in a way that will hurt you in all the right places …I also love the varied selection of characters that appears in the stories throughout “The Wall”. “No Exit” by Sartre is also another incredible work of his…
Jack Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, James Joyce, Hunter S. Thompson, Ezra Pound, Dorothy Parker…
Haven’t read in FOREVER, but just got finished revisiting 1984. Big fan of sci-fi lit such as Dick and Gibson, had to study The Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby and enjoyed both, planning to read Sartre’s Nausea and some Nietzsche. Don’t know what the British lit class I’m taking will cover.
Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Chandler, Dostoievsky, Céline, Verne, Hugo, Balzac, Salinger, Zola, Ambrose Bierce…
Oscar Wilde, Alan Bennett, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Blake, George Orwell, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Jean-paul Sartre, Michel Foucault…