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⫸STICKY⫷ Books - Authors & Books Discussion

Blind Melon

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
1,638
Location
Mother Earth
Right now I've been burning through Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction novels. They are impecably researched, and very well written. My favorites so far are the Saxon Tales (esp Lords of the North), and the Holy Grail series featuring Sir Thomas of Hookton.

I've also been really into Clive Barker's work. Weaveworld and the Abarat series blew my mind.

Before that it was Patrick Ruthfuss (the best adult fantasy out there, perhaps)

And lastly, anything by Stephen King (read the Dark Tower series) or Neil Gaiman (read the Sandman graphic novel series) is pure dark-fantasy/horror/gold.

And who could forget Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men", or "The Road".

PSS - And for crime I'd check out Elmore Leonard
 

coelophysis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
16,657
Location
TSR
Haven't been able to find The Great Shark Hunt here, unfortunately. Heard a lot of positive stuff about it so I might have to order it online or something.
Amazons used books are the greatest thing ever.
 

limonov

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
347
Location
New Zealand
I'm gonna ramble about 'literature' for a while...my various reccomendations are in no particular order and my views are pretty much in a constant flux...hope the deluge is appreciated by someone:

Edward Limonov: Why not start with the origin of my username. If you google him two things will quickly become apparent- one, he wrote for an excellent English-language Russian newspaper called The Exile (his columns are online and well worth reading) and two, in recent decades he has become involved with extremist politics and currently heads the banned 'National Bolshevik Party' in Russia. However, back in the '70s he was a samizat (underground- not through the censors, not part of the writers union) poet in the USSR. Eventually his writing brought the inevitable attention of the authorities and he went into exile, first living for some years in France before moving to New York- mainly because exiles from the USSR were offered welfare. Despite being exiled from the USSR he remained a Communist, though very much opposed to the sort of Communism in the USSR...this meant he did not really fit in with the typically very right-wing, often tsarist Soviet Diasporia in NYC...Solzhenitsyn called him a "Disgusting pervert who writes pornography".

It's Me Eddie by Edward Limonov is my favourite of his books, it's about his time in New York following the break up of his longtime relationship (the woman he went into exile with). His whole take on the cold war, Russian culture and especially US culture is fascinating. You don't really hear much about what the dissidents in the USSR- not the western-friendly, right-wing dissidents...rather the Russian 'counter-culture'- thought about the cold war and so on.
Memoir of a Russian Punk also by Edward Limonov is also a good read.

Most of his more recent books are very 'weirdass ultra-nationalist' crap, so haven't been translated. On the whole his reputation in the english speaking world ended when he supported Serbia in the Balkan Wars (ugh)....but really, good author! Worth taking a look if you like the old Russian masters, he follows very much in that tradition but the works that have been translated are just a lot more modern...he was of the generation in the USSR roughly equivilent to the Beat Generation in the USA- they drank, smoked pot, read Lermentov and Pushkin and wrote poetry about sex and drugs and other 'taboo' topics.

Mikhail Lermontov: Continuing the Russian theme, Lermontov is often overlooked but was critically important to Russian literature, particularly the Russian Novel. His life-story was legendary in Russia- he wrote one major poem 'Death of a Poet' denouncing Tsarist society for 'murdering' Pushkin, was banished to Chechnya, wrote one novel- A Hero of Our Time and was killed in a duel- the fate of Pechorin, the hero of his book. A Hero of Our Time was, arguably, the first true Russian novel...although parts of it had been published seperately as short stories. Incredibly influential and the best example (in my opinion) of that very particular Russian variety of aesthetic nihilism. Pechorin is a great character. It also serves as a good introduction to Russian literature, it's very readible, not very long and it actually feels a hell of a lot more modern that Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy.

Speaking of Dostoyevsky- Although [i[Crime and Punishment[/i] and The Brothers Karamazov get most of the attention, I personally believe that his best work is The Devils/The Possessed (Depending on translation)...it just feels like a more solid whole than either crime and punishment or the brothers karamazov. I think this is because, unlike so many of his works, The Possessed was written with very clear parametres and a prefabricated plot (ripped straight from the headlines, as it happens) which means it just feels a lot 'tighter'. Similiarly, The Gambler is also well worth reading, it's one of his novellas and was written (essentially) solely for the money...it's a fascinating insight into his own addiction to roulette.

Louis-Ferdinand Celine: Celine is, in my opinion, the finest literary 'stylist' and best example of literary modernism in the 20th century. Although his style is more revolutionary in French (which is a lot more formal in how you are expected to write) than English, he just has a beautiful way of expressing himself. He was much loved by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, and the influence of Celine can be seen in Burroughs pre-Naked Lunch works as well as in Kerouacs spontanous prose- the 'Original Scroll' edition of On The Road is, stylistically very similiar (though Celine is far better, more minimalistic). He eventually became an anti-semite (much like Ezra Pound) and ruined his career and legacy by collaborating with the Nazi-Vichy government- as many French literary figures did (Drieu La Rochelle & Paul Morand come to mind). As the tide turned in the war he fled, first to Germany after the Normandy landings and then to Denmark where he spend nearly a decade in exile. In 2011 he was excluded by the minister of culture from a list of 500 French Cultural figures to be honoured that year...so despite his undeniable influence he is persona non grata in France to this day.

That said:
Journey To The End Of The Night- My favourite of his books, it is possibly the most pessimistic, negative book ever written...every sentence is filled with a sense of utter nihilism...yet it manages to be incredibly funny (black humour a lot of the time, but genuinely funny) and thought provoking. The depictions of both WWI and French Colonial Africa are particularly interesting/horrifying/hilarous. All his books are largely autobiographical, so they take you through WWI, the interwar years where he goes to both the US and Engand, WWII in France, his time in Germany, his exile in Denmark and finally his return to France and the post-war/cold war period.

"Where, I ask you, can a man escape to when he hasn't enough madness left inside him?"-Louis-Ferdinand Céline

William S. Burroughs: To be honest, I'm not a big fan of his work from Naked Lunch onwards...that is to say...most of his output. The period where he was strongly under the influence of Brion Gysin and (almost) completely alienated from Allen Ginsberg resulted in him coming up with a handful of interesting techniques...but ultimately produced very little worth reading. I mean, yes, naked lunch is worth reading...if only so you understand what all the hoo-haa was about with the trials and stuff...and if you enjoy it (which I don't, on the whole) then why not read the soft machine or nova express...but are you seriously going to tell me that Dead Fingers Talk (naked lunch-soft machine-the ticket that exploded cut up into a 'new' novel) is in any way worth reading?. Interesting idea, interesting technique, but the actual product borders on worthless.

Junky + Queer were originally intended to be published together...it was all fairly haphazard as it took Allen Ginsberg a long time to find someone who was willing to publish it and Burroughs simply kept writing, sending him extra chapters. I think it's well worthwhile reading them together...Queer is so often overlooked, I'd say that there would probably be 25 people who have read Junky for every one person who has read Queer. I think it adds a lot to Junky, you have a much greater appreciation of how much effort went into the dry, laconic style used in Junky. Junky is written to feel like the slow-gravelly voice of someone high on opiates, by reading Queer as the second half of Junky you notice the contrast- not simply moving from 1st person to 3rd person, but also the shift in how things are described etc.
The Yage Letters (try to get the redux version) tells the story of Burrough's journey to Columbia in search of Yage...(at the time) a mysterious drug rumoured to cause psychic abilities. This was the last work that Burrough wrote in his original, laconic style. Beyond the obvious appeal of reading about one of the early western expeditions to find what we know to be DMT, it's also an interesting portrayal of a fairly conservative (in that particularly American way...until he went to Columbia he reviled 'liberals' and would mock Ginsbergs left-wing views) New England 'gentleman' being thrown into this society in the midst of complete social breakdown and realising that his political views don't actually sit right with his gut feelings.
The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1945-1959 Most of these are letters to Allen Ginsberg, however there are also letters to Kerouac, Gysin and Lucien Carr. They provide both a fascinating insight into the reality of the beats much mythologised relationships in the late 40s and 50s. These letters end, essentially, around the time of the publication of Naked Lunch...they provide almost a reference book to all his major works including Naked Lunch...many of the 'characters' and events of Junky, Queer and Naked Lunch appear in various guises...the real Dr Benway is as fascinating and terrifying (in a completely different way) as his fictional offspring. It also includes the letters that provide the skeleton of The Yage Letters. It also expands a lot of the events within Junky and help fill in some of the blanks about how he precisely ended up going from point A-B-C.

I could ramble for another hour, but I think I'll stop now. Stay tuned for another stoned ramble about books in..uh...you know ;)
 

quiet roar

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 21, 2003
Messages
5,010
Anyone read any of Hunter S Thompsons books? I just got Fear and Loathing in America a brutal Odyssey and The Rum Diary. Been so lazy I'm still on the first 20 pages. In the past I've finished books like this in 2 - 3 nights, damn it.
The Rum Diary is more accessible so I'd go with that one first. Kingdom of Fear is pretty awesome and gives a good overview of his life. You can dip in and out of it, too so definitely worth a go.

And don't use amazon, use a real bookshop.
 

xxxyyy

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,504
Location
germany
Louis-Ferdinand Celine: Celine is, in my opinion, the finest literary 'stylist' and best example of literary modernism in the 20th century. Although his style is more revolutionary in French (which is a lot more formal in how you are expected to write) than English, he just has a beautiful way of expressing himself. He was much loved by Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs, and the influence of Celine can be seen in Burroughs pre-Naked Lunch works as well as in Kerouacs spontanous prose- the 'Original Scroll' edition of On The Road is, stylistically very similiar (though Celine is far better, more minimalistic). He eventually became an anti-semite (much like Ezra Pound) and ruined his career and legacy by collaborating with the Nazi-Vichy government- as many French literary figures did (Drieu La Rochelle & Paul Morand come to mind). As the tide turned in the war he fled, first to Germany after the Normandy landings and then to Denmark where he spend nearly a decade in exile. In 2011 he was excluded by the minister of culture from a list of 500 French Cultural figures to be honoured that year...so despite his undeniable influence he is persona non grata in France to this day.

That said:
Journey To The End Of The Night- My favourite of his books, it is possibly the most pessimistic, negative book ever written...every sentence is filled with a sense of utter nihilism...yet it manages to be incredibly funny (black humour a lot of the time, but genuinely funny) and thought provoking. The depictions of both WWI and French Colonial Africa are particularly interesting/horrifying/hilarous. All his books are largely autobiographical, so they take you through WWI, the interwar years where he goes to both the US and Engand, WWII in France, his time in Germany, his exile in Denmark and finally his return to France and the post-war/cold war period.

"Where, I ask you, can a man escape to when he hasn't enough madness left inside him?"-Louis-Ferdinand Céline
my french unfortunately is completely lacking, although i had it six years in school. i read journey to the end of the night in german, just when finally a new translation was available as the only german version up to that point completely mutilated the book. i also gave it away as a present in english and somehow the english translation doesn't convey celine's misanthropy and anger quite as well. unfortunately the german translation of death on the installment plan is from the early 60's and it uses a lot of completely outdated venacular that makes the whole thing almost unreadable. here the english translation is superior in terms of readability, but especially the curse words are made more harmless, which i found very bewildering.

what i think should also be mentioned is that journey to the end of the night basically provided the blueprint for catch-22.
also the scene in journey where he meets his ex in america is probably the funniest, most mean spirited thing ever put to paper.
 

coelophysis

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
16,657
Location
TSR
The Rum Diary is more accessible so I'd go with that one first. Kingdom of Fear is pretty awesome and gives a good overview of his life. You can dip in and out of it, too so definitely worth a go.

And don't use amazon, use a real bookshop.
Um, why not? Real book stores charge cover price. What's wrong with someone who has used book listed on Amazon? Have I been missing out on some sort of agenda they have against me and my gorgeous collection of books that were 1/3rd of their original price?
Or is this some sort of support the artists movement?
 

quiet roar

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 21, 2003
Messages
5,010
More a "support your local" movement. Second hand bookshops are closing at an even faster rate than new bookshops, and I hate the idea of a world where there are no bookshops, second hand or otherwise.
 

Mr.Scagnattie

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
12,857
Location
NYC, the heroin hall of fame.
Um, why not? Real book stores charge cover price. What's wrong with someone who has used book listed on Amazon? Have I been missing out on some sort of agenda they have against me and my gorgeous collection of books that were 1/3rd of their original price?
Or is this some sort of support the artists movement?
I agree. I fucking love Amazon. Free 2 day shipping with Amazon prime and killer deals on used books in great condition.
 

xxxyyy

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,504
Location
germany
i too use amazon a lot. while a lot of german vendors stock english books now, none have the selection amazon has. and it's not only great for books. recently i bought two bottles of 12-year old macallan there. oh jesus how i love that single malt.
 

Mr.Scagnattie

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
12,857
Location
NYC, the heroin hall of fame.
I'm reading Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker right now. I've just finished Scag Boys by Irvine Welsh, the sequel to Trainspotting. Also finished The Grapes of Wrath.
How was scag boys?

I just finished Live By Night by Dennis Lehane. It's an awesome crime noir 20's bootlegger novel.
 

dopemegently

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 22, 2013
Messages
1,863
Location
More Substance Than Semblance
Its a good book; you get to see renton, begbie, etc when they're young and just starting down the path of drugs.it also explores the drug dealing of 80s scotland.
In terms of style imo trainspotting is the better book; scag boys didnt have the same anger and edge as trainspotting. but I still highly recommend it none the less. Have you read Porno btw (second in the trilogy)?
 

BlueSaffron

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 11, 2013
Messages
1,120
Location
Buying bacon at the Aloha Snackbar
Has anyone read Junkie Love by Joe Clifford? Amazing book, he was a former heroin addict, now he's a college graduate and author. Go to Amazon and sample a few pages. it''s GOOD. Not your typical rehab story either, it's very real and gritty, not preachy or fake, and the writing is kind of poetic but not in an annoying way. If you are or were into drugs at all (especially H), you HAVE to read this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Junkie-Love-Joe-Clifford/dp/0615782957
 

xxxyyy

Bluelighter
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Messages
1,504
Location
germany
How was scag boys?

I just finished Live By Night by Dennis Lehane. It's an awesome crime noir 20's bootlegger novel.
it's actually skagboys. and a prequel, porn was the sequel. technicalities aside i thought it was pretty awesome. his last few novels really did very little for me, so it felt like a true return to form.
i need to check out that dennis lehane book. he's a great writer, with prayers for rain probably being my favorite of his although the given day was pretty fucking great too.
 

Mr.Scagnattie

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
12,857
Location
NYC, the heroin hall of fame.
it's actually skagboys. and a prequel, porn was the sequel. technicalities aside i thought it was pretty awesome. his last few novels really did very little for me, so it felt like a true return to form.
i need to check out that dennis lehane book. he's a great writer, with prayers for rain probably being my favorite of his although the given day was pretty fucking great too.
Yeah it's a great book. I don't know if you watch Boardwalk Empire.. but if you do, you'll love Live By Night.

There are some really great, tense, bad ass scenes. It was a very fast read for me and the writing itself was really top-notch, as is basically all Dennis Lehane.


Right now I'm reading Clockers by Richard Price (a big influence of David Simon's show The Wire which I also loved) and I'm also half way through Seth Harwoods sequel to Jack Wakes Up called This Is Life.
 

*IRISH*

Bluelighter
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
167
Location
Perth
Currently Reading : Drugs 2.0: The Web Revolution That's Changing How the World Gets High - Mike Power.

About half way in, really interesting book on the birth of online drugs and legal highs. BlueLight gets a good little write up. Definitely worth a read.
 

gonzochild

Greenlighter
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
1
Wasting Talent

Just wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions as far as what some good books may be. I haven't read anything for awhile and am in desperate need of something to read.

My favorite authors are Irvine Welsh, Chuck Palahniuk(obviously), Craig Clevenger, William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson, and Ken Keasey.

Any advice is appreciated.

I went to prison for 4 years for consiracy to ditribute heroin. During that time I wrote a novel called Wasting Talent. I have been compared to Chuck Palachuik and Hunter S. Thompson. It is on Amazon. Wasting Talent by Ryan Leone. If you enjoy drug books i'm sure you'll love it.
 
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