You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Not because it’s large, not because of it’s importance to the development of the English language and not because of it’s almost canonical reverence. But because this book is just full of lots of good stuff and when the world is burning around my ears I want to read about foolish kings, star-crossed lovers, villany at it’s best, drunken fairies, revenge driven idiots, battles across the world and all that other great stuff that Will managed to pack in. Shakespeare is pulp-fiction and when the world goes to hell it is nice to know that there are people who have worse times and that there are things to make you laugh.
And then, when things have settled down, I’d like to run a pirate theatre company that tours the land and performs at dusk these tales as old as time and as fresh as the morning dew.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
No never. Well except for Mary Jane Watson, Kitiara Majere and Hannah Green. But that goes without saying.
The last book you bought was…?
Gotham Central Vol 2 – Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
I'm a big fan of crime books and this little series is fantastic. It's killing me that each collection seems to be taking years to come out.
The Losers Vol 3 – Andy Diggle and Jock
The best action film never made.
The Forgotten Man – Robert Crais
When I grow up I want to be Elvis Cole, Robert Crais’ fictional LA detective.
The last book you read was…?
The Devil Knows You’re Dead – Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block writes about a number of characters but it is his retired New York cop Matthew Scudder that is my literary equivalent of a Coopers Pale. The books have a calming and soothing influence that can be enjoyed again and again no matter what the time.
I’m a big fan of character arcs and Block has taken Scudder through a long journey (13 books so far) to make him the character he is today and it hasn’t been an easy journey either. Scudder is full of flaws and Block is smart enough to have these flaws affect the story rather than drive it. It often feels that Scudder is directing the path of the books instead of the author.
While Scudder is the attraction Block writes in a sparse, rhythmic style that just carries you through. It is reading at it’s most effortless.
The co-star of the books is New York. Block creates a living city within the pages that changes with the years just like Scudder. But it isn’t the New York of Sex in the City it has more in common with Batman’s Gotham (and is probably why Block writes the forward to the first Gotham Central TPB) as a city in which a great deal happens in dark shadows and city basements rather than swank restaurants and night clubs.
I’ve worked my way through most of the Scudder books at least twice by now but I see no sign of not visiting again in the future.
What are you currently reading?
Called to Serve: creating and nurturing the effective volunteer board – Max de Pree
I’ve just started on the Board of Canberra Youth Theatre and I’m trying to get my head around governance in all its forms and the intricacies of Australian Company Law.
Hope To die – Lawrence Block
More Scudder and I think I’ve raved about this enough.
Five books you would take to a desert island?
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Everything is in this weighty tome and as a bonus I can use it to stun wildlife and break open shellfish.
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts – Douglas Adams
Perhaps the funniest thing ever written on a piece of paper, full of hours of amusement and plenty of funny voices to boot. Just the thing to keep me going if I have to spend years talking to myself. Hey if I’m Zaphod Beeblebrox then I can’t possibly be myself. Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster anyone? Don’t mind if I do!
How To Be a Man – John Birmingham
If the plane crashes then I wanna know how to fly it if I can get it going. And if I can’t get it off the ground then a bloody solid daiquiri recipe always comes in useful.
Moby Dick – Herman Melville
I can read this from one cover to the next then just start at the first cover again. And reading this book with my feet being lapped by warm ocean waves just sounds like heaven.
Collapse – How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Jared Diamond
If I’m gonna have to start a new society it would be good to have the mistakes and successes of past ones to guide me forward.
Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
I’m gonna throw it out to Gra, because he seems to be ignoring it. But i'd really like to email this to my Dad to see what he comes up with.