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What You Should Be Reading (1 Viewer)

The idea here is to tell people what they ought to be reading for their own good as writers and as human beings. Be opinionated but be informative and, most importantly, be interesting.

Christopher Fowler I have just discovered this guy and man am I pissed that I found out about him late!

Fowler is a contemporary (1990's to present) British author with a vile sense of fun and a black sense of humour. He is the 2000's answer to the twenty-year-old promise of Clive Barker - who you should also read.

When I say black humour I am talking black as a tea-kettle in hell black. I mean black as an Angus calf fished from the Mississippi on a moonless night black. I mean Warren Gamaliel black (thank you Nelson Algren). Think 10 times <i>Heathers</i> and 5 times <i>Very Bad Things</i> black.

Read him for ideas, read him for the crack-high pace of his prose, read him for his observations and syphyllitic-Chandler descriptions. Read him to learn how to write a short story or "horror" novel in the first part of the 21st century. I don't care just READ him!


Senior Member
I think we're well aware of what this section of the forum is intended for, thank you very much :mrgreen:

My list of books that I should be reading spans over 50 books . . . this one sounds interesting, but I think it'll have to wait . . . :cry:
Ummm, Lily, I think the purpose of my "topic" is slightly different from that of this "forum". My purpose is not to pass recomendations back and forth about "good" reads (Ohhh, you must read the new Harry Potter it is soooooo good) but rather to "dictate (for lack of a better word) books that ought to be read by anyone who wishes to go past the pretense of being a writer.

Fowler's style and imagination are both lively and unique. One can learn a great deal about writing by reading him.

As to your expansive list of books you ought to read, here's an idea... shorten the list by reading them.

With due respect as always

P.S. You should also read the essay Politics and the English Language by George Orwell. Another invaluable lesson in the education of a writer.


Senior Member
I'll check him out when I'm done with a few more Raymond Chandler stories. It seems quite often when I discover a writer that I really like, I have to read all I can by him in short order, and his detective novels are probably "gumballish" to some but I think he is excellent both in descriptive technique and in effective dialogue. I've got a couple more of his to read and maybe I'll check out Christopher Fowler......
Penelope........ I see you have enjoyed this writer already.....any titles by him that you recommend? Keith


Senior Member
Writers that writers should read, my view :)

Annie Proulx
Her prose is simply staggering, The Shipping News being clearly wonderful on almost every page.

Ian McEwan
Almost anything by this author is great, I have to say I haven't read a bad book, and Atonement is tremendous, as is Amsterdam.

Peter Carey
True History of the Kelley Gang is the best first person narrative I've read, because it reflects the narrator's actual (or at least most probably actual) grammatical ability. The result is immersive, and a key example in how emotive the first person can render a story and get the reader sucked in. I also happen to admire and am interested in the way first person narration necessarily obscures the objective view of what's going on, making the reader work to identify what might objectively be going on. It creates a tension between narrator and reader that gives an extra dimension over most rather stultified third person narration.