Book Stuff 7

Authors everybody should check out (in my not-at-all humble opinion) Part 1

George Macdonald Fraser – Particularly the Flashman novels, featuring the greatest anti-hero of all time. Wildly and proudly politically incorrect, extremely funny, and heartbreakingly tragic, often all at the same time. For anyone with an interest in history. Perhaps if George Bush had read Flashman, we’d have dealt with Afghanistan differently. Equally entertaining, but even funnier are the McAuslan stories. Here’s a link to a great article by him on the decline of Britain. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I can definitely see where he’s coming from, and can relate to it. It will probably appeal most to conservatives, but it certainly gives us liberals food for thought.

Joe R. Lansdale – An extremely visceral and funny writer. Sort of a modern combination of Mark Twain and Edgar Rice Burroughs, with a healthy dose of H.P. Lovecraft thrown in. Best books: The Bottoms, a great, depression era, coming of age mystery, and the Hap Collins/Leonard Pine novels, about two East Texas redneck best friends, one white and straight, the other black and gay, who (usually accidentally) get wrapped up in mysteries. Extremely funny, suspenseful, offensive, and often, touching. He is also the author of Bubba Ho-Tep (too hard and unbelievable to explain, but it’s awesome. Also made into a movie starring Bruce Campbell), and many other novels and short stories. Out of all his books, I can only think of one I didn’t like, and only a couple that were just OK. I’ll read anything he writes.

Christopher Moore – Another very funny writer. Best Books: Lamb; The Gospel According To Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal (extremely offensive to fundamentalists, but very funny, and offers some real insight on what it must have been like to be a kid who is god), The Island of the Sequined Love Nun (evil missionaries, great anti-hero, cargo cults, and a talking fruitbat), Fluke (whale wierdness), Bloodsucking Fiends (vampires and grocery stockers), and The Stupidest Angel (the greatest and funniest Christmas zombie bloodbath ever written).

David Feherty – His book, A Nasty Bit of Rough, is possibly the funniest book I’ve ever read. It’s kind of like Caddyshack set in Scotland and done by Monty Python.

G.K. Chesterton – A brilliant writer, but not easy to read. The guy must have had a huge brain. Read anything you can find by him. At the very least it’ll make you think. First, just to figure out what he’s talking about, and then about what he said.

Donald E. Westlake – Comic caper writing at its best, particularly in the Dortmunder novels, as well as superb thrillers like The Axe, about an unemployed man who goes to extremes to find work. The Parker novels (written under the pseudonym Richard Stark) are hard-boiled crime novels told from the point of view of the bad guy. Basis for the Mel Gibson movie Payback and the Jason Statham movie Parker. As usual, the books are much better

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