The book meme

I’m not a fan of “forward this” questionnaires – for several years my email address was printed in various national magazines and as a result, I seem to be on every email forwarding list in Britain – but I’ll make an exception for this one, partly because Squander Two asked me to do it, and partly because I liked it.

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?

Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey. It’s a collection of surreal one- or two-liners and makes me laugh like a drain. Plus, it’s short – which is handy given that I’d have to memorise it.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Not in books, no. But if TV counts, then… Dr Susan Lewis from ER. Smart, funny, attracted to – yes! – tall baldy speccy blokes. And she was in NYPD Blue too. Woo-hoo! And she’s in this advert!

*mind wanders*

*remembers that my wife reads this*

Of course, that was a very long time ago. Yes.

The last book you bought:

For myself? Er… The Promise of Happiness, by Justin Cartwright. Haven’t read it yet but I can tell you that it’s £3.60 in Asda.

The last book you read:

The Time Traveler’s Wife. Can’t remember who wrote it and can’t be bothered Googling. It was good quirky fun and had my wife in floods of tears at the end. This year’s Lovely Bones, apparently.

What are you currently reading?

In The Time of our Singing by Richard Powers. An epic novel that traces the lives of three mixed-race kids in America. Fantastic stuff but it’s taken me forever to get through.

Five books you would take to a desert island

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, because if i’m trapped on a desert island I might be able to finish the damn thing.

Does “everything Kurt Vonnegut has ever written” count as one selection? It should.

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. Only kidding.

James Ellroy’s LA Quartet (LA Confidential, etc). Vicious, hypnotic and utterly addictive.

Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole novels, because they make me laugh.

And something by Tim Dorsey, for the same reason.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I’m not going to pass it to anyone, because of my antipathy towards such things. But if I was the sort of person who did forward such things, I’d mail it to Gusto, Ms.Mac and Prof. Batty.

9 thoughts on “The book meme

  1. ms. mac says:

    Oh, thanks for the thought. Being a blogoholic I already did that one! You can find it here, but I warn you, mine is rubbish!

    And I haven’t got around to last years Lovely Bones yet!

    mr. mac also has a wee crush on Dr Lewis but I let him off with that as Dr Kovac is the man for me!

  2. Gary says:

    I have no idea why I didn’t spot that on your blog. I may have been hungover that day.

    Not like you to mention Robbie in a blog post ;-)

  3. TonyK says:

    Keep looking at Crais & Dorsey books thinking “which of tose were the bloke Gary was on about…”

    Currently really enjoying having got round to Ethan Coen’s book.

    Saturday by Ian McEwan is challenging Catch 22 as my all time favourite.

    Vonnegut! Vonnegut!! Vonnegut!!!
    (Have a friend that met him once – at a charity dinner. Had no idea who he was. Mind you, this guy also once said “I have a famous relative that no one has ever heard of…no, you won’t have either…no seriously you won’t………oh, alright Chet Atkins. See…!!!!?!!!???”

  4. Gary says:

    Be careful with Crais: he’s written a couple of straightforward thrillers, which are OK but not a patch on the Cole stuff. The Elvis Cole novels have a very dry sense of humour, and his partner in ’em is very reminiscent of John Goodman in The Big Lebowski. Dorsey’s stuff is more madcap, a kind of hyperactive Carl Hiassen.

    The Ethan Coen book is demented. I was in tears reading it :)

    I’m going to have to track down Saturday, I think. Have you read Philip Roth’s Plot Against America? That’s ace…

    > Vonnegut! Vonnegut!! Vonnegut!!!

    I have a pet theory that E from Eels is Vonnegut’s musical son. There’s a bit in the press release for the current album that’s very Kurt-esque:

    ***
    “There are two kinds of Christmas people,” Everett says, “those who like their Christmas lights to stay on solid and those who like them to blink. As a kid, I always had a thing for sitting in the dark and watching the lights blink on and off at random.” Now he says this fascination goes much further. “In the end, what we have are these little, great moments. They come and they go. That’s as good as it gets. But, still, isn’t that great?”
    ***

    Another bit that killed me – and again, I thought it was very Kurt-esque:

    ***
    we’re talking about an artist who, when asked to give a quote for the dust jacket to Kurt Cobain’s posthumously published diaries submitted this quote: “Please don’t do this to me after I kill myself.” (The publishers opted not to use the quote.)
    ***

  5. Squander Two says:

    Gary’s right about Crais, apart from the John Goodman thing; that’s just Gary’s weird mind at work.

    Dorsey gets compared to Hiaasen a lot, and I can see why, but he’s about a quizillion times funnier.

  6. Gary says:

    I never found Hiassen funny, but I can see why people make the comparison with Dorsey. D’s more of a US tom sharpe, if tom sharpe were funny, or james ellroy on happy pills. Or something.

    Does Dorsey have a new book out btw?

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