Sunday, September 23, 2018

What do you read?

by Ivan Homeless (writer), SFV, December 18, 2007


I read, I'm a reader, I'll read almost anything; the label on the toothpaste tube, the weekly Fry's advert, Playboy, or even better introduce me to a new author and we'll be friends for life.

I read, I'm a reader, I'll read almost anything; the label on the toothpaste tube, the weekly Fry's advert, Playboy, or even better introduce me to a new author and we'll be friends for life.

Of the authors I seek out on purpose the list is varied, I have just finished a run through the collected works of Chuck Palahniuk - you know, the bloke who wrote Fight Club? One Rolling Stone reviewer called Mr. Palahniuk "More twisted than a bag of pretzels and edgier than a stop sign." When you get involved in one of his stories you really get involved it's like a soap opera you can't wait to see what happens next but the Palahniuk twist is that what happens next will likely put you off your food for the next several days. One of his novels, Haunted has a cover that is almost impossible to look at; it is a ghost face something akin to Munch's The Scream disturbing in it's own right but, and here's the kicker you don't get until you turn off your bedside light for the evening, the face glows in the dark. Yes, the ghost face illuminates and looks more freaky than it did in the harsh light of day. Like Kafka, I can understand why someone would feel claustrophobic by reading his works and could only read such a book on a pleasant spring day while sitting in the park because the thought of reading a book like Haunted in the dead of winter just doesn't make sense.

So,I am on the lookout for a new author to chew on in the coming year. Something to keep my brain from turing to oatmeal by reading Pat the Bunny 3 times each night, something that enables me to carry on a conversation with other adults beyond "what did you do when little Johnny was potty training?" I have Anansi Boys on my shelf but I am having a hard time reading anything by Neil Gaiman that doesn't have pretty pictures of the tortured siblings, Delirium, Dream, Endless Destruction et al. I know that's shallow but I am having a hard time with it. I gave up on Stephen King's stuff until a friend loaned me Cell and I fell in love again with his mastery of the dark romantic quest. That's romantic literature folks, not romance, there is a difference. Romantic literature, Thomas Pynchon, Graham Greene, Mallory, stories with a quest, a quest to find love, the holy grail, immortality or even a trumpet.

I will sink my teeth into a good serial killer book, Thomas Harris had a great thing going with Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs but jumped the shark with Hannibal. James Patterson created a pretty decent main character in Alex Cross and for similar reasons I liked the Robert B. Parker Spenser novels.

I also like children's literature, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events paid homage to some of the greats of modern satire, Swift and Twain for example. I dig the Harry Potter books, no other word for it, I just dig them. I even like Louis Sachar's works because they are damned funny. I can live without Judy Blume, thanks, couldn't read her when I was a kid can't read her as an adult.

My favorites that I will always go back to: Bulgakov, Dosteyeski, Kafka, Gogol, Nabokov, the great eastern block writers who wrote despite the threat of certain death if they were caught dissementing subversive literature.

So, there it is, a short list, and I need something new, I feel like my brain is shriveling under the weight of Seussian anapestic rhymes. I don't have the amount of free time I used to have to devote to reading 3 or 4 books at one time but I welcome the one new book or author worthy of the little time I do have.

I'm a risk taker with my reading choices, pony up, tell me, what are you reading?

About the Writer

Ivan Homeless is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on What do you read?

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By Ariel on December 18, 2007 at 11:09 am
Just finished "The Stranger" by Albert Camus, short read and very good. Also just finished "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson, surprisingly good too. I have just started "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers, looking good so far. Some of my favorite books are "The House of Leaves"by Mark Z. Danielewski, "Dune" by Frank Herbert, "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury and "Everything Is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer.
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By Ivan Homeless on December 18, 2007 at 06:42 pm
I read l'Etranger for a French Lit class in uni and developed a love for absurdism. Haven't read Eggers, will look into it, thanks for the tip.
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