Posts tagged ‘Albert Camus’
December 14, 2017
Forget Nancy Drew: Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise was my Christmas-gift light-bulb moment of finding a thriller series with a strong female lead, and inspiring my own heroine-driven novels for Betimes Books.
This is a big shout-out to my relatives back in Kerry who spoil me and my family in Japan at every Christmas and on birthdays. One of my favourites was a lovely edition of Possessed of a Past: A John Banville Reader, which my benevolent cousin, Martina, also got signed by the great writer. I’ve been a Banville admirer since first reading The Book of Evidence in 1989, and this anthology is a wonderful volume to occasionally dip into and savour the superb stylings of an Irish prose master.
Sam Hawken, author of La Frontera
Easily the best book gift I ever received was for Christmas in the mid-‘90s, when my girlfriend at the time gave me a copy of a first edition Ace paperback (1970) of Swords and Deviltry, signed by the late Fritz Leiber himself. What a treasure!
Richard Kalich, author of Central Park West Trilogy
The first US edition of Albert Camus’ The Fall (published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1957) given to me on no particular occasion by my twin brother. He bought it with his gambling winnings…
December 13, 2017
Patricia Ketola, author of Dirty Pictures
One Christmas, when I was about ten years old, I received a copy of R. L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The book was an unusual choice for a little girl, but I was so thrilled by the marvellous tale of adventure that I could not put it down. Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver captured my imagination and I wanted to join them on the high seas and participate in their quest for treasure. Treasure Island is such a vivid and stimulating work that it’s still with me after all these years.
Craig McDonald, author of the Hector Lassiter series
Many years ago, at the height of my book collecting period, my wife handled contact with Scorpion Press in the UK when I was ordering a signed and numbered edition of James Ellroy’s memoir, My Dark Places. That same Christmas, she surprised me with the far rarer lettered edition, of which only 15 were produced.
Kevin Stevens, author of Reach the Shining River
When I was eleven years old, my father gave me a beautifully illustrated leather-bound edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. I read the novel then, have read it many times since, and it remains for me a touchstone of wisdom and great storytelling.
Les Edgerton, author of The Death of Tarpons
The best book gift I’ve ever received, I’ve received perhaps two dozen times. Same book. I have a pile of hardcover copies of Albert Camus’ The Stranger, my favorite book. Most of my friends know it’s my favorite book and so for years I keep receiving various copies of it. And, I love each and every one of them!
Fionnuala Brennan, author of The Painter’s Women
It is not easy to choose the best book present I ever received as what was best then I might not regard as the best now. However, I have chosen a book which I received many years ago because I remember it well and think many of its lessons are relevant today. The book is Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly (Knopf, 1984). She writes of what she terms ‘follies’, the paradoxes of history, from the Trojan War to Vietnam. Tuchman (1917-1989) was not an academic historian and perhaps that is why her books, while they could be faulted for not being sufficiently rigorous, were widely read and won her two Pulitzer prizes.
To be continued…
December 26, 2014
Reading The Fall was a life-changing experience. But let the novel speak for itself:
“Don’t lies eventually lead to the truth? And don’t all my stories, true or false, tend toward the same conclusion? Don’t they all have the same meaning? So what does it matter whether they are true or false if, in both cases, they are significant of what I have been and what I am? Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object.”
“Freedom is not a reward or a decoration that you toast in champagne. On the contrary, it’s hard graft and a long-distance run, all alone, very exhausting. Alone in a dreary room, alone in the dock before the judges, and alone to make up your mind, before yourself and before the judgement of others. At the end of every freedom there is a sentence, which is why freedom is too heavy to bear.”
“Thus I progressed on the surface of life, in the realm of worlds as it were, never in reality. All those books, barely read, those friends barely loved, those cities barely visited, those women barely possessed. I went through the gestures of boredom and absentmindedness. Then came human beings’ they wanted to cling, but there was nothing to cling too, and that was unfortunate for them. As for me, I forgot. I never remembered anything but myself.”
“A single sentence will suffice for modern man. He fornicated and read the papers. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.”
Richard Kalich is the author of CENTRAL PARK WEST TRILOGY (currently on promotion on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia)