Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stuff pt. ni

From SJ: 2. What's the best book you've ever read?

Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King is my personal all-time favorite. It has some references to his Dark Tower series, but is fine as a stand-alone work. It is really five stories: one short novel, three novellas, and a short story. It is written in three distinctly different tones and jumps from character to character between stories, but the war in Vietnam is a common thread among them. Another common theme is the impact of the group on individual behavior. This all sounds like it would make a good primer for a writing class, and it would (it breaks every rule espoused by writing groups while creating fantastic tales), but its real strength is that it is a gripping human drama. I was enthralled in the tales involving a boy’s first kiss, neighborhood bullies, dorm life in college, etc. The next book I read was Black Hawk Down. Despite the gunfire and RPG’s and black hawks going down, it was a dreary slog after HiA.

Honorable mentions – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for breaking another major rule that humor and sci-fi should never mix, and the Conan series written by the original writer Robert E. Howard for getting me into books in the first place (our schools did everything they could to discourage reading and writing).
Note – if you are trying to judge Hearts in Atlantis by the movie, you are a moron who would claim to be an oenophile because you once drank Welch’s grape juice as a kid. The movie is a bastardized version pulled from parts one and five of the book, neither of which is the titular story.

13 comments:

Tracy Lynn said...

I have only two words for you:Terry Pratchett.

Kerry said...

You've redecorated again.

Like it. :)

Enemy of the Republic said...

Where's my question?

SJ said...

EoR, Learn to share the limelight .

I haven't read HiA will try to. Hitchhiker's is one of my favorites too.

tiff said...

I agree with TL - do some Pratchett, STAT.

Monogram Queen said...

I don't think i've read Hearts In Atlantis... how did that one sneak by me? I LOVE Stephen King (early and his latest - Duma Key)

Grant said...

tracy - does he write about Asian schoolirls?

kerry - thanks.

eotr - sj beat you to me and you didn't have an entertainment related question to go with his. I'll get back to you next year. Where's my bunny pics?

sj - she's such an attention hog. :p

tiff - okay, I'll read him already. Geez.

mq - definitely read HiA, especially if you read the Dark Tower series.

PBS said...

I have not read "Hearts" even though I like Stephen King. Terry Pratchett is good, too. Geez why don't you read his new one with the return of Moist von Lipwig?

Captain Dumbass said...

Some day Stephen King will be studied like Twain or Hemmingway.

Try Stephen Erikson, 'Malazan Book of the Fallen' series. If you don't like it, you can kick me in the junk.

I'm blogging your card tomorrow. Thanks.

Irish Gumbo said...

Oh, shit, I think I wandered over here by mistake on the recommendation of Captain Dumbass. Damn him and that peyote, last time I'll do THAT again...

Having said that, I was amazed: you are the first person in YEARS (maybe ever) who admits to a Robert E. Howard influence. The original Conan series was one of the defining influences of my geekish adolescence. He actually made me want to write.

I salute you, sir!

jGrrl said...

42
that is all.

Grant said...

pbs - I'll try him during my next library visit.

cda - critics will suddenly realize he has talent once he drops dead.

irish gumbo - I've noticed that nobody wants to admit that the original Conan series was frickin' awesome. I guess it's too geeky for most geeks.

jgrrl - of course.

Irish Gumbo said...

Grant:

I will say it loud and say it proud: the original Conan series was frickin' AWESOME!. I still can't get the visit to the assassins' hideaway out of my head.
Geek on!