'Five Books that changed your life'
This weeks 'something for the weekend' is a little different. Soon on the shelves of our beloved book shop you'll see a new promotion: 'Five books that changed your life' or 'our lives', I'm not sure the details have been hammered out yet. So I thought I'd go first & run you thorough my chosen five, what they are, why they're great & what affect they've had on me. Let me take you back in time..
Number three is a different kettle of fish Requiem for a dream by Hubert Selby Jr. A few years later (A level time) in the long summers that used to exist I would walk up & down the shelves of my local Library (keep the libraries open!) & choose interesting looking titles, this was how I discovered many excellent writers: Vonnegut, Irving, Kundera, Mishima to name just a few. I could have chosen one of a number from this time. But the reason I chose 'Requiem' is that it's stayed with me, without looking at it I can feel it's choking, desperate atmosphere. I remember being genuinely shocked as the plot darkened & at the bleak & unusual but pulsating prose style. It was this type of novel that opened my eyes to that fact that there were no limits in literature & that books could take you anywhere you wanted to go.
Number four is Batman The killing joke. I'm not actually a huge graphic novels fan but this is unbelievably good. The art by Brian Bolland, who I knew from 2000ad & the story & script by Alan Moore, who I was unaware of the time (though he had written for 2000ad I only noticed artists for some reason) are of the utmost quality. I would, & still do, take an age over each page devouring the stunning visuals & enthralled by Moore's plotting. There is a very cinematic feel to it, more than most graphic novels I've read. For example the way they segue past into present never fails to delight. The Joker here is as abhorrent as you will see him & yet you will feel some sympathy as Moore reveals his desperate origin story. Even if you're not a big Graphic novels fan you should have a look at this.
& Finally at number five it's The Damned Utd by David Peace. I've already done a review of this which you can find elsewhere in the blog. Suffice to say it's my favourite book & David Peace is the best writer of his generation. Friends & colleagues - if you've ever had a drink with me & I've ended up going on & on about this book I apologise, but if you've then picked it up & read it, I'm not.. & nor are you.
It's difficult to pick five books that changed or shaped you, as in it's difficult to hone it back to five. What would you pick? Over the next few weeks our bookseller will be telling you there favourites & why they mean so much to them. Because as I said in the very first post, we love books & we want to tell you why.