Pleasures of The Damned is an anthology of poems by Charles Bukowski which span over his fifty year career.
MicroSerfs to Coupland is what Times Arrow was to Martin Amis; a defining epitome of a brilliant literary body.
I’ve read a lot of Coupland yet this is the book of his that hit me like a literary train.
Horns by Joe Hill is one of the best modern horror novels I have read.
The story of a devil seeking redemption, Joe Hill takes us on a horrific journey through the betrayals of small town America.
Say the name loud enough and nearly every poet and aspiring contemporary novelist will shout back with a Bukowski witisim.
I would like to say that this is a review of an excellent novella by Truman Capote, but I can’t.
Instead it is a review of the tales principle character, miss Holly Golightly.
I feel myself sinking,
but I’m ok with that
I never wanted to learn how to swim because on the way down
There is so much to see
A school of lies
A bedrock of ‘Fuck It’s
A tangle of ‘Me before yous
The below is just as important
as the above and between
I feel myself sinking
and I’m ok with that
A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon
This week I have finished reading the Nobel Prize winning, Lord of The Flies by William Golding.
A novel with no Dialogue is called a Epistolary Novel.
These are tales told through documents such as letters, police reports, transcripts etc.
Famous examples are Carrie – Stephen King, The Perks of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chobsky And Dracula by Bram Stoker.
As it’s the festive season, I decided this week to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
This is a tale I haven’t read since secondary school. over five years ago.
Today I finished reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks.
It was the excerpt on the back cover about the protagonist murdering their family which persuaded me to buy it as I found it a jarring paragraph to parade on the back cover.
Sadly, like a modern film trailer, they showed me the best part to lure me in then dropped the ball.
Last week I announced that The Rats by James Herbert was the ‘WOW’ book I’ve been looking for. (see post)
Now I am forced to announce that it held that accolade for a week before being usurped.
The book that usurped it was one recommended to me by a colleague at work and one that completely circumvented my expectations.
That book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky.
For nearly two years I have been looking for that ‘Wow’ book.
The book that makes you stop what you’re doing and begin to wonder what it must be like in the authors mind.
Pieces of fiction that are longer than a short story, but don’t fall into the widely accepted word limit of a full novel.
Whilst they are sometimes looked down upon, I have noticed that more often than not they are the springboard for a lot of writers who have grown to dizzying heights.
With this in mind I have put together a list of top authors and the novella that launched their careers.
The great enemy of art is Why; Art should be its own justification.
– Clive Barker
I was just doing some research on what constitutes the length of a novella and I came across this interesting anecdote about Ernest Hemingway.
Thought it was worth a share.
“The shortest work of literature is attributed to Hemingway, who was reportedly bet that he couldn’t write a complete story in 10 words. He could do better than that, he countered, offering this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Lately I’ve been thinking about the authors who inspire me the most.
I’m going through a period with my own creative writing where I’m becoming disenchanted with my own style. I have hundreds of ideas and yet I am trying to confine them all to the same style.
To use a metaphor I like to apply when I’m discussing politics and morality with my friends ,I am trying to fit different shaped cakes in the same shaped tin.
In an attempt to help me loosen up my writing style I am spending a lot of time looking at my own favourite authors and working out what it is about their style that I like.
So continue reading to discover the top 3 modern authors who inspire me the most. Continue reading
With the announcement that Jane Austen is going to appear on the new £10 note starting later this month it got me thinking, what other British authors do you think should appear on our currency?
Read on and find below five authors I think are worthy of appearing alongside Jane Austen.
As today is World Book Lovers Day I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate to write about than my top 10 books of all time.
Book Finished: Hitch Hiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.
Last week I finished reading all four books in Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker’s Guide to The Galaxy.
I enjoyed books 1,2 &4, whilst finding book 3’s Kriket story line a feeble attempt to hit a publishers deadline.
This week I have finally got around to reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
The novel is a masterpiece. I enjoyed it from start to finish and personally thought Levins character development was gripping. Every character is unique and i found myself becoming so invested in the events unfolding that I actually cheered when two of the main characters finally got engaged.
This week I have decided to have a break from reading political books and have returned to one of my favourite literary genres; Classic Literature
I have returned to it with open arms and have decided to tackle Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. At the time of writing this I’m only 150 pages into it.
What strikes me so far is Tolstoys writing style.
The year’s 2020
The NHS is long gone
But who cares about health when you can see The Bake Offs new scone?
The dementia tax succeeded
There’s more dead on our sheets
But who cares about age when you can still watch Coronation street?
Brexit has failed
Bojo fucked up
But who cares about trade when you’ve got the world cup?
Who cares about our country
When we’ve got tv
In the new land of the lost, no one is free
Goal: Can I write 25’000 words in a month.
Whilst less than 1’000 words a day might seem easy to some, I have work and my activism for the Labour party to contend with.
What this means I am staying up until two in the morning to work on my writing.
What if George R.R Martin is waiting until he dies to release the last Game of Thrones book?
Wouldn’t it be poetic irony if the man known for killing off all his own main characters waited until the greatest main character of all, the author himself, had died before letting the Game of Thrones story continue?
Since I got interested in politics over six years ago I’ve read over three hundred books on the subject.
I’ve read everything from Marx’s Das Kapital to Hitlers Mein Kampf and have spent countless hours studying historical politics from all around the world.
Of all the political books I have read my favorite isn’t Marx, Hobsbawn, Chomsky or Palast just to name a few.
My favorite political book is Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss.
The title of my blog, The Dowsing Rod, originated from the novel Generation X by Douglas Coupland.
There is a very soulful piece of dialogue by one of the novels protagonists in which she talks about how one day she will walk through the desert with a dowsing rod, wandering lost and aimless, looking for nothing. She talks about how one day she will meet a man who is wandering with his own dowsing rod and when they meet, they will continue to wander together. Continue reading
“Victor Hugo spends too much time going into detail about things that don’t need explaining”
This is what I hear every time I approach the subject of Victor Hugos divine epic, Les Miserables, with my friends.
Whilst I can imagine over a dozen dissertations have been written to debate this thought, I am going to punk my way through my thoughts on Victor Hugos masterpiece, albeit not as eloquently as those students before me.
I’ve finished writing another play.
The play is the same one I referred to in my post, Changes; Exit Stage Right, which I hoped to finish by Christmas. I did it by the 23rd of December which I’m happy about. The downside though it’s that instead of having a day off I have decided to start another project (another play).
This is my first post and I have decided to go with a tribute to one of my three greatest loves in life; literature.
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I see is a bookshelf above my bed and the well thumbed edges of the books which rest upon it.
The novels that call this shelf home are the works of fiction that changed my life.
The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis, Generation X by Douglas Coupland and The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger just to name a few.
The reason these novels have had an impact on my life is that they aren’t afraid to tell the truth. They take pride in removing the veil of obscurity that deceives us with every supermodel driven advert or four chord wonder on the radio.
Growing up as a Millennial (to quote Coupland) means to grow up around computers that change quicker than you can to save for them and to witness bomb after bomb hit a sand covered country most of us couldn’t point to on a map.
It is to grow up with the adverts telling you globalisation gives you the next super thin, breath activated phone (that rarely gets used for its original purpose), whilst the news shows us the true impact of our consumer lifestyle.
The works of fiction I have mentioned seek to show us just how frivolous and meaningless this lifestyle is. How full of ennuyeux we become when we can order things with a click instead of actually going out and seeing them for ourselves. In Britain everyone is going crazy over the new £5 note (It’s plastic. Ta Da!) yet the value of this money is already undermined by online shopping where we can spend our entire lifes savings without holding a coin in our outstretched paws.
When i read American Psycho by B.E.E i am numbed by how relateable Patrick Batemans rhetoric is. His distaste for the consumer lifestyle, shown through his blatant indulgence in it, comes into focus more in the modern day as the volume of adverts on TV/phones/buses/computers/toilet stalls etc wraps itself around us like a blanket of plastic and metal.
There is an important place in society for the novels and authors i have mentioned. They offer a contrasting bulwark from the media onslaught and seek to show us where we’re going, as their generations have been their before. Every carefully crafted sentence, every blank page after an abortion, every half sentence that leaves you asking “what happened next?” all seek to shatter the illusion we’re living in and tell us to find direction.
These are the type of novels that have faced banning or have nearly been banned by the mainstream media and special interest groups. We can not allow things like this to happen.
Stay tuned for more insights, thoughts and tributes to the world around us!