Book meme

Via Tropism, Tim Pratt’s started [picked up on] a book meme. Here are my own answers. Appropriately enough I also begin with Stephen King.

1. One book that changed your life:

The Stand by Stephen King. The first fantasy book I read where the characters were like people who lived in my town and in the everyday universe I live in.

2. One book you have read more than once:

The Code of the Woosters. I don’t often reread books. I should do more. There are probably only a handful of books I’ve read multiple times, but this particular Wodehouse novel, I still reread a couple times a year. No exaggeration.

3. One book you would want on a desert island:

Probably Shakespeare’s complete works, if picking an omnibus isn’t cheating. Some of my favorites to read again and again are (in no order) Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III, Henry IVi, Henry IVii, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, Lear, Othello, and The Tempest. And there are a few important ones, like Julius Caesar, that I’ve never read at all. So that would keep me busy.

4. One book that made you laugh:

The Three Musketeers: There’s probably no writer I admire more than Dumas right now, who I’ve only read recently. He’s the master storyteller. Before I’d read this book, I assumed that the self-referential humor in various Three Musketeer film incarnations was a modern interpretation. Not so, the original is more witty, contemporary, action-packed, and sexy than any film version.

5. One book that made you cry:

Hm. Maybe Charlotte’s Web? I honestly don’t remember crying at any book. Which is weird because I cry all the time over movies and TV. Sometimes even over the lamest or most cynical manipulations, like the death of Mr. Echo on Lost. But not Starbuck, even I didn’t cry over the death (or “crossing over” or whatever the fuck) of my beloved Starbuck. I did almost fall asleep though.

6. One book you wish had been written:

Shakespeare’s autobiography. I want to know what his attitude to his own work was.

7. One book you wish had never been written:

I’m drawing a blank. I was going to pick one or all the the Dune sequels, but really the fact that there are shitty sequels doesn’t ruin my admiration of the original novel. Then I thought, maybe Dianetics, as Scientology is such an embarrassment to the SF community, which I once naively assumed would be populated by rational thinkers. I think everyone has to be free to write what they want, even if it sucks. I don’t think I’m qualified to draw a line here. Anyhow, without Scientology we would had fewer hilarious South Park episodes.

8. One book you are currently reading:

Besides The Count of Monte Cristo by the aforementioned Alexander Dumas, I’ve been reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton for awhile now.

9. One book you have been meaning to read:

I’ve got The Nymphos of Rocky Flats by Mario Acevedo tucked away, while I wait for just the right occasion. From the editorial material:

“Felix Gomez went to Iraq a soldier. He came back a vampire.

“Now he finds himself pulled into a web of intrigue when an old friend prompts him to investigate an outbreak of nymphomania at the secret government facilities in Rocky Flats.”

Which I’m guessing still won’t leave me with much of an answer for #5.

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2 thoughts on “Book meme

  1. S.R. Zalesny says:

    >Enjoyed Your list! I have read and re-read a number of books. It is not crazy, a good book re-read is discovering new facets and quirks in old friends. I entered your blog url as a favorite and will check back to see what is new with you. Hope you are writing every day. Your “stuff” sounds good.

  2. Fred says:

    >I had the same attitude you did toward the Dune “sequels.” I’m reading the first prequel actually. It reads a lot like the Star Wars prequels. One of the coolest things about the original works both SW and Dune were the huge backstory that takes place mostly the writer (and viewer’s) heads. When the backstory is fleshed out, it doesn’t look as cool probably b/c in order for the prequels to be as cool as the original, they’d have to have just as much backstory as well. But they usually don’t. So they appear flat. Plus, the prequels don’t tell the backstory in quite the same way as I imagined it. Since the backstory was never totally fleshed out in the original, it probably wasn’t even consistently worked out in the author’s head. Which is OK b/c it’s only mentioned a few times as that “shadowy and cool past” so we only saw it as something cool out of the corners of our eyes.The effect of the Dune prequel is quite entertaining. There are many laugh out loud moments. These may just be me, I’d like to hear other people’s comments. I know many people got a laugh from SW (1-3). “Oh, Ani!”On the other hand, as Mike had said, people should just be allowed to write what they want for the most part. It’s a kind of strange trade to pass down, but I think it’s cool in a way. Think of it. Dune was good, but it’s not a sacred text or anything. I’m not ruining the original by reading the prequel except for perhaps my own memory of the original which nobody really cares about anyway. I am being entertained.Oh, the other bad thing about the Dune prequels is that the characters suck. Also, it is strange to see some some Asimov robot becoming human sub-plot as if Asimov invaded Dune or something. Shit, I just had an idea of a crazy meta-verse where people from all kinds of books all meet on this world. I guess this has been done in comic books like superman beats up the hulk. Not sure. Also there’s a gurps game that does this. Overall, the effect is that if you can do everything then things really get diluted fast and things suck.Thanks for the “Three Muskateers” recommendation. I’ve been looking to read a classic that also has some cool history in it as well. I’m not in the mood for a million pages of tedium nor the whole character existential hell right now. Maybe later.Fred

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