Sunday, January 4, 2009


In the spirit of not losing readership as well as interest, I have decided to go ahead and post a hastily prepared list of fiction-related stuff for your perusal and eventual use. Forgive any perceived negativity contained within, as I simply can’t help it right now.

Pretend to enjoy:

MOST PECULIAR READING TASTE- Autobiographies of non-famous people. If someone can make him or herself interesting without the benefit of fame and publicity junkets prior to publication, that is a real writer. Two recommendations are “7 Tattoos” by Peter Trachtenberg & “Oh the Glory of it All” by Sean Wilsey.

MOST POLITICALLY INCORRECT NOVEL YOU HAVE READ-All of his novels are, but Chuck Palahniuk’s most recent novel “Snuff” is the all-time winner. (Describe plot)

TWO BOOKS YOU THREW DOWN IN DISGUST, HALF-FINISHED- Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons” was so predictable that I actually found myself saying, “OK, this is gonna happen next” and it did! After 100 pages, I simple couldn’t take it anymore. John Saul’s “Creature” started off as intriguing and became so ludicrous in its characterizations that I could no longer finish reading it, either…I was nineteen!

LEAST FAVORITE LITERARY GENRE- It’s easy to pick on the Romance field as it is the most formulaic and least creative of the literary genres. But it was never intended to be more than that, so I refuse to take unfair advantage. Instead, I choose the science fiction sub-genre known as “cyber-punk,” a once revolutionary movement that is now a sad echo that refuses to fade away. Even its godfather, William Gibson, has all but abandoned it.

BEST ONE-HIT WONDER” NOVEL-Richard Bowes’ “Minions of the Moon” is a masterpiece of mood, suspense and characterization. I suspect this might be a pseudonym for a more well known writer, but if not, it’s the most impressive one-hit wonder I’ve ever encountered.

WORST NOVEL RECOMMENDED BY SOMEONE YOU USUALLY RESPECT- My mom, the woman who taught me to love the written word, recommended Dean Koontz’s “The Bad Place.” Not a terrible novel at all, but once you discover it’s a direct rip-off of Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag” complete with the witty private eye couple, it gets a very low rating indeed.

LOVED BY CRITICS HATED BY YOU- Like snowflakes, it’s impossible to reach out and grab all the things that fly in front of my eyes when I think of the much-lauded garbage the critics tend to love. Most of the books I read don’t feature the New York Times Bestseller tag on them. But one novel I absolutely hated came from a writer I absolutely adore. The award-winning “Something Wicked This Way Comes” did not appeal to me at all with its alienating writing style and agonizingly slow pace.

BOOK YOU THINK WOULD MAKE A GREAT FILM THAT WILL PROBABLY NEVER GET MADE- James Morrow’s “Towing Jehovah.” At on time my favorite novel, this tale of the death of God and how we dispose of his corpse is at turns funny, philosophical and suspenseful. Never happen.


STRANGEST IDEA FOR A NOVEL THAT SUCCEEDED ADMIRABLY- Bradley Denton’s “Buddy Holly is Alive & Well on Ganymede.” Any novel featuring killer cyborg dogs, aliens and a live TV broadcast from the surface of one of Jupiter’s moons with a clueless Buddy Holly could fall apart under its own eccentricities in the hands of a lesser writer.

There, suck on that for a while. Easy, easy! There's enough to go around!