Apart for Terry who do you consider the best writers?

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Postby BaldJean » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:57 pm

I have read several King novels, and they all had the same problem: Tjhey started out great and ended as a gore feast, which simply disgusts me, at least the way he does it. Take for example a book like "Needful Things": Such a fantastic start, and towards the end it goes downhill.As if the worst the neighbors could have done to each other was killing. I could have thought of many many more cruel things than that, everyday things.

If you are interested in gothic novels I have a few recommendations for you, some of them authors who write or wrote in German, but there are some good translations available of them. It is of course always best to read books in the originallantguage.

First of all there is Gustav Meyrink. I highly recommend "Der Golem" ("The Golem"), "Walpurgisnacht" (same title in English) and ""Der Engel vom westlichen Fenster" ("The Angel of the West Window"). Meyrink is a classic of the gothic novel and on the same level as Poe (he transdlated Poe's work into German, by the way).

Then there is Alfred Kubin. he is best known as a painter and illustrator (especially of Poe), but he also wrote one novel, "Die andere Seite" ("The Other Side"). The story starts slowly, but the horror gets worse and worse. An English translation of the book is available. It also features illustrations of the author. My favorite sentence from that book is this one: "Also endete Doktor Lampenbogen als ein Spießbraten, und zwar als ein schlechter: Auf der einen Seite war er ganz verkohlt, auf der anderen war er noch fast roh; nur in der Mitte war er schön knusprig" ("Thus Dr. Lampenbogen ended as a roast, and as a bad one: One side was completely charred, the other was almost raw; only in the niddle he was nicely crisp"). You can see the book is not without humor, albeit a grim one; indeed it is full of witty remarks, but with a lot of dark atmosphere.

Another excellent author of the fantastic is Leo Perutz; unfortunately only very few of his novels have been translated into English.

Then there is an excellent modern German author, Walter Moers. He started out as a comic artist and writer, but then he began to write novels. I highly recommend "Die Stadt der träumenden Bücher" ("The City of Dreaming Books"), with illustrations by the author.
Last edited by BaldJean on Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:43 pm

I know what you mean about Stephen King Jean - a lot of his books make excellent films/TV (The Shining, The Body/Stand by Me, Carrie, Misery etc) but reading him a lot tends to get pretty formulaic - you can almost hear him thinking, how long has it been since someone died horribly? Right then, time for the next one... :roll: A good friend and fellow Tolkien nut (even worse than me as she belongs to the Tolkien Society and goes to Oxenmoot every year! :shock: ) whose taste and opinion I really admire is mad about his Dark Tower series, but I never really liked his fantasy work too much either, so I've not read even a quarter of his work. Maybe I'm wrong to carp, but then again output isn't necessarily an indicator of quality (or only with people like Terry), so I pass on his written work these days. :(

I'm not mega-keen on horror as a genre, although I do have a taste for and sometimes write dark fantasy myself, but if you're into that then Poe has to be the standard to aim for! Image
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Postby BaldJean » Tue Nov 16, 2010 1:59 am

"Gothic" is more about the fantastic than the horror, in my opinion. Meyrink's language is excellent. In one of his books,"Das grüne Gesicht" ("The Green Face") he manages to describe an erection without actually mentioning the genitals at all, he just hints at what might be happening, and yet it is clear to everyone (at the time he wrote an erection in a book would have been a scandal). In one of his short stories two friends set out to find a lost third friend and find him in a room of a house of a certain Persian who was his enemy, cut up into pieces with each of his parts worked into the surroundings somehow (a hand serving as a door latch, his head built into a clock telling the time with a mechanical voice and so on). When they find out which part of him has been used as bell pull they freak out. Once again Meyrink does not tell at all what exactly is used, and yet everyone knows. That's mastery!
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Postby Stumped » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:26 pm

I read The Mist by Stephen King and it freaked me out! :shock: Very creepy. I try to avoid books that spook me. But sometimes its all too tempting to have a sneak peek, then of course you've just got to finish it! :lol: I read one of my mum's books by Alison Brennan. Never again! Argh! I nearly puked when I read it! :shock: I forget what it's called as she gives her books to charity after she's read them, but it was about a family of forensic type people, brothers and sisters, who want to catch the bad guys, but get caught up with them themselves. Not suitable for my age group as it was shocking in detail. Only read her books if you've got a cast iron stomach. I think those books are for people who are way over 18! I like Anthony Horowitz. He's one of my favourite authors as he's so prolific. The Alex Rider series has got me hooked! His short stories and the Diamond Brothers series are brilliant fun too. I prefer him than J.K. :wink:

Can I ask a question? How come there isn't an age limit (or so it seems to me) when buying books? I was able to buy mum another Aison Brennan book for her birthday with no question from WHSmith. That too was a very graphic novel. Shouldn't there be restrictions for someone my age to buy something like that? :?
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Postby sheilaj » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:46 pm

PART TWO
Angela Thirkell
Guy Gavriel Kaye
Mary Stewart
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Postby Antiq » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:12 pm

I used to like a bit of King, but he does write some rubbish. I think his masterpiece was The Stand.

My top authors, apart from Terry, are -

Iain M Banks (lovelovelove)
China Mieville
Edward Rutherfurd
Tracy Chevalier
Kazuo Ishiguro
Oscar Wilde
Jane Austen
GK Chesterton
Steinbeck
Tolkein
Dickens
AC Doyle
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Postby pip » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:47 pm

Good mix Antiq :D
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Postby Antiq » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:56 pm

pip wrote:Good mix Antiq :D

There are lots more, but I don't want to make the list too long :lol:
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Postby Verns » Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:55 pm

Oh Lord, where do I begin? :shock:

I mean, there are individual books that I re-read often, even though I don't much care for the rest of that author's work (The Stand by Stephen King is a good example; I think it's great, but I'm a bit meh about the rest of his books, ditto The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein, but I can take or leave the rest of his stuff). In this category I'd also put A Town Like Alice by Nevile Shute and those one book wonders like The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall and Shantaram by David Gregory.

I like crime novels and thrillers, so I like Michael Connolly, Lawrence Block, Robert Crais, Stieg Larsson, Lee Child, Sue Grafton, Val McDermid, John Lescroart, Dennis Lehane, Jeffrey Deaver, Ian Rankin - but (if they'll forgive me for saying so) they're mostly fodder rather than literature. I mean, I'll re-read these, too, but I wouldn't take them with me on a desert island.

I like historical novels, so I'll always have a soft spot for Georgette Heyer and Ellis Peters, as well as more recent contenders such as C J Sansom.

Then there are the classics - Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Dickens, Tolkien.

Phew! It's an endless list. But I guess if I ever had the skill to write (which I don't), I'd want to write like Margaret Attwood, David Mitchell, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, Sophie Hannah, Julian Rathbone or Maria McCann. These are the writers who I most admire.

Oh, and I know this list is incomplete - no humour, no Neil Gaiman, no non-fiction. Yikes!

Edit: Three hours later and I realise, belatedly, that I've omitted Kate Atkinson and Sarah Waters from my 'writers I most admire' list.
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Postby Sjoerd3000 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:24 pm

I like Dennis Lehane too! :P
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Postby Antiq » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:35 pm

Verns, if you like historical fiction - with the historical bits being accurate - you might love Edward Rutherfurd.
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Postby pip » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:57 am

Recently read a few of the Peter Ackroyd books both Fiction and Non fiction and they are really good in terms of Historical content etc. :D
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Postby chris.ph » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:50 pm

f paul wison is quite good i read the keep years ago and enjoyed that :)

sara douglas is , no there are just to many to list it would be easier to list the authors i dont like :lol:
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Postby MongoGutman » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:31 pm

Excepting TP I don't read much fantasy any more, though in the past I've gorged on most of the major authors in the field

Robin Hobb I'm still reading as they come out - didn't much like the Soldier Son trilogy but I'm hoping for better from the next

I've recently discovered Lord Dunsany, who's books - with the exception of King of Elfland's Daughter - can be hard to find. There's a whimsical humour that underlays his work that I think TP fans would appreciate.

For non fantasy I'll give a mention to George Macdonald Fraser's Flashman books.
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Postby Antiq » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:13 am

Omigosh, I loved Dunsany as a child! I can't even remember what I read, it was so long ago, but I remember loving him. I haven't seen any of his books in aeons!
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