Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ten Most Influential Books
The Iliad of Homer. At age ten, I discovered there was more blood, guts and magic in the school library than my teachers wanted me to know.
The Man of Bronze by Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent). My introduction to the pulps, though I hardly realized it at the time. All I knew was this guy wrote with a style and attitude that started creeping into my schoolwork.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake. This book seemed to unlock the mysteries of interpreting English literature, or at least gave me enough insight to fool my college professors.
Conan the Barbarian #1 by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith. My first brush with Robert E. Howard, who consumed my attention for several years. One of several authors who made me (and still make me) want to write.
Roughing It by Mark Twain. Proof that Samuel Clemens is God.
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Who knew a writer could be such a smart ass and get away with it? An inspiration to us all. I used to carry a loaner copy in my the trunk of my car at all times.
The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. These stories flowed though me so smoothly I felt I was writing them myself. Still can’t read Doyle without falling into that pattern of thought.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. My first hardboiled novel. The beginning of a mania (almost a lifestyle), now in its second coming.
The Godwulf Manscript by Robert B. Parker. The beginning of a long acquaintance with my favorite writer and favorite fictional character, that will not end until I do.
David Crockett, the Man and the Legend by James Atkins Shackford. My first serious look at the life of old Davy and what really went on at the Alamo. Obviously, I’m still hooked.