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favorite authors

Discussion in 'OFF TOPIC' started by RhodyRams, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. Mackeyser Well-Known Member

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    Best book I've ever read: The Agony and the Esctasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo by Irving Stone. William Peter Blatty's, "The Exorcist" was another masterpiece that deserves reading.

    I also agree with Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Isaac Asimov (especially the Foundation series), Ray Bradbury and Douglas Adams.

    I would add Michael Crichton (very well researched tech thrillers from Coma to Jurassic Park to Prey).

    I would also add Harry Turtledove. He writes alternative histories as well as one book called "The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump" which is a FANTASTIC fantasy book that is frankly difficult to describe, but I'll try. Imagine that magic and all religions are real, but have toxic byproducts that must be regulated as well as disposed of properly. The hero is a beleaguered bureaucrat with the magic version of the EPA. It is hysterically funny and wildly imaginative. Probably the most original book I've ever written.

    Can't recommend Stephen R Donaldson's "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" highly enough. The main character is a leper so you know from the start that even from a fantasy perspective that the characters are going to be original. Btw, there are some very adult moments throughout this series, so be forewarned.

    My favorite author, though, is Frank Herbert, who wrote the Dune series, which is also my favorite SciFi series of all time, even better than Asimov's Foundation series. If you've not read the 6 book original Dune series, treat yourself.
     
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  2. Memento Ser Memento (alias, The Winged Knight).

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    I didn't...I mentioned Tolkien in my post... :(
     
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  3. Ram Quixote Knight Errant

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    I'll second that. Be advised, however, that Donaldson sprinkles little known words throughout his books. His writing style can be described as "laborious," so this is not light reading. And the Covenant books are 10 in number.

    Donaldson also wrote a 5-book science fiction story which I consider his best work. Starts with the The Real Story, which is as brutal as anything you might read. Donaldson himself was dismayed by what he wrote. Suffice it to say, Donaldson puts his characters through hell. If you can get through that and the next novel, Forbidden Knowledge, the story really takes off in books 3, 4 & 5.

    Good Omens, written by Terry Pratchett and Neal Gaiman. A decidedly satirical look at the Apocalypse. The Anti-Christ is missing.
     
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  4. RhodyRams Well-Known Member

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    didnt Robin Cook write "COMA"

    The Crighton novels I have read are "Airframe" "State of Fear" "Prey" and "Sphere"
     
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  5. VegasRam Just proud to be here.

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    My favorite author, though, is Frank Herbert, who wrote the Dune series, which is also my favorite SciFi series of all time, even better than Asimov's Foundation series. If you've not read the 6 book original Dune series, treat yourself.

    Agree - (always wanted to try 'melange'), but did NOT know there were 3 books after Children - have to check them out.
    (Also, not a huge Mel Brooks fan, but that movie was hilarious, and the two scenes, (the blind lady, and Madelaine Kahn), are as funny as it gets. Smile every time I see your avatar).
     
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  6. Ramatik Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff. I've been working my way through the NY Times Bestseller list. The one about Louis Zamerini is a good book. Now Angelina Jolie is making a movie?

    A lot of my favorites have been listed. I try to do an autobiography or historical novel every 3rd book or so.

    My All Time Favorite is still The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Gran Daddy Tolkien was the first and still awesome. But the scope and size of the WOT Series just blew me away. And the characters. I even liked how Sanderson finished it.

    "I am the Lord Dragon!"



    George RR Martin's Game of Thrones along With Feist's Krondo tales are all good reads too.

    I liked the original Dunes. Those were wonderful. But I just wasn't feeling the later stuff so much. Maybe I need to revisit.

    The Harry Potter Books and Hunger Games were written for "Young Adults". And that's how they read. I was extremely skeptical with Potter. Sat down with the 1st one and finished em all inside a week easily. They were fun. I didn't know what the Hunger Games was, (my niece recommended it) It was fun. And didn't take much time. I agree with the romance part, but it was a fun story.

    eotw.jpg
     
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  7. thirteen28 Hey Beavis, he said "member"

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    Michael Lewis for one. I'm not a huge baseball fan, so anyone that can write a book like Moneyball such that I go into "can't put it down" mode has got to be pretty talented. I've read several other books by him as well, all excellent.

    Victor Davis Hanson - I love history, I love ancient history, and he writes about ancient military history as well as anyone.

    Adrian Goldsworthy - I love Roman history too, and he's the best at it.

    I don't read as much fiction as some, and I seem to bounce from author to author. However, whenever Tom Wolfe puts out a novel, I'm totally there.

    As far as sci-fi goes, Robert Heinlein's work prior to the early/mid-70's is hard to beat ... especially The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Stranger in a Strange Land.
     
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  8. CodeMonkey Likes You

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    I've been a voracious reader my entire life. I like to read all kinds of things but my favorite is just a trashy novel. Tell me a story!

    Stephen King is still my favorite story teller. He's of course renowned for horror but does all kinds of things beyond that genre. The short story "Blockade Billy" about the greatest baseball player you never heard of was entertaining. I really enjoy King's development of such a wide variety of characters in his stories. If there is a blind, crippled, mentally retarded little girl in the story, you can bet that she will be the hero. The Dark Tower series, which is a Tolkein-like 7-volume/10,000 page epic, is a western/fantasy tale following the adventures of Roland Deschain (the gunslinger) and his Ka-Tet to save the multiverse. I like the stories he coauthored with Peter Straub as well (the Talisman and Black House) which sort of expands/elaborates some of the concepts of king's multiverse in the Dark Tower, following Jack Sawyer as the hero. If you really follow King's work, the great thing is that he likes to intertwine all of his works and in fact creates a world where everything he's ever written is absolutely TRUE.

    Story as told by crazy man is one of my favorite premises for a story. King's short story "Secret Window Secret Garden" which was adapted to a movie starring Johnny Depp is a good one. At some point in the tale you realize that the teller of the story is insane. "Fight club" is a good one in that vein as well.

    I also like Koontz. He's great at creating suspense. I was a big fan of the Odd Thomas stories but he's sort of jumped the shark with that character.

    Detective stories I find fun as well. Ed McBain stories, while dated, are enjoyable with each story taking the perspective of one of the detectives in his ficticious "87th precinct". My favorite McBain story (sorry but I can't remember the title off the top of my head) told the story from the perespective of the perpetrator instead of the cop. James Patterson writes some good detective style novels as well with his Alex Cross character and others.

    I always like a nice cowboy story as well. Louis L'amour stories are awesome, especially the tales off the Sackett family. The first novel "Sacketts Land" tells the tale of Barnabas, who was the patriarch of the family coming over on the boat from Europe. He has a bunch of sons and they have sons, each having their own story to tell. Really as you follow the stories of the family as they trek west, it is fun but also historically accurate in the context of the story. It's a tricky way to have fun while learning US history at the same time.
     
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  9. Mackeyser Well-Known Member

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    All right... I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that The Dark Tower series is some of the best literature written in the last 50 years.

    I actually think it eclipses The Stand as his Masterwork, which is really saying something, because The Stand is just a phenomenal piece of writing.

    I read the The Dark Tower when he'd only written 4 books and had said "I might not finish the series" and I blew a damned gasket. I swore off all Stephen King until he finished the series. I'm working my way through it now and it's just... delicious, a true literary treat.

    I know, much like Tolkien's LOTR and the Dune series, I will read this series multiple times much like I will order my favorite desert rather than try something I've never had because... I just can't say no to my favorite.
     
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  10. CodeMonkey Likes You

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    With the Dark Tower series, the waiting was the hardest part. I got pissed at SK there for a while over this tale. I actually started with part two ("The Drawing of the Three") when it was new in 87 then backtracked to the gunslinger which was released in 82. Then four long years later we got part 3. Then SIX long years later part four in 91. He took a VERY LONG break after that. He said when he decided to come back to the project, he actually listened to all four books on audio book and completed the last three in quick succession in 2003-2004. In 2012 he put the cherry on top with the "Wind through the Keyhole" which is basically a story in a story where Roland spins a tale (Gunslingers take rhyming and story telling very seriously) . I hated the way he left us hanging there. He admitted that the Roland Deschain character sort of scared him and it took him a long time to come to grips with what he was doing with him. "The Talilsman", which he coauthored with Peter Straub was released in 84 and its sequel "Black House" in 2001. I think his work with Straub helped him with the story r/e Roland's multiverse.

    You are in for a treat sir. The ending is absolutely perfect and I have to say I did not see it coming. But, please don't hurry. Enjoy the journey.
     
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  11. Mackeyser Well-Known Member

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    SK was surprised to get mail from death row inmates saying that they wanted to find out how the series ended and that they promised to take his secret to their graves. He actually said he would have told some of them, but he couldn't because he didn't know.

    Also, elderly people in their 80s and 90s would send him mail desperately wanting to know how the tale ended. And he didn't have an answer.

    I'm glad it's there now. But what a burden for a writer... LOL. Knowing that people are essentially on their death beds and all they want is what you can't give them... You'd think SK would have turned that into a story...
     
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  12. fearsomefour Well-Known Member

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    When I was a kid I loved Koontz. Then got into Clancy and that kind of stuff. I rarely read fiction anymore. Now it is mostly history, some science, investing and philosophy/theology. Reading Thomas Merton now, New Seeds of Contemplation.
    **nerd alert.
     
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  13. Warner4Prez Mɥɐʇ┴ɥǝHǝll¿

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    I've only done the first book, but it really didn't do that much for me. I promise I'll read the next two or three in hopes of getting the full experience though. I'm halfway through The Stand and really do enjoy it. I thought King was overrated until I read Under The Dome on a whim. I've never flown through 1000 some pages so fast in my life. His book about the Kennedy assassination was really great as well.

    One guy I really enjoy (if you're into sci-fi and horror) is Brian Lumley. The Necroscope is a really cool book, and he's jammed out like 16 or so in the series. I've only made it through half of them, but the first 8 books I've probably read 4+ times each. A lot of stuff with vampires and the cold war and all sorts of goofy stuff. Fun reads!
     
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  14. CodeMonkey Likes You

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    @Mackeyser ... what book are you on?

    @fearsomefour ... Yea, I know it's popcorn for my brain but I can't help loving it.

    @Warner4Prez ... Just finished "Under the Dome" and "Joyland" myself recently. There is no other author that can compel me to stay up until 4 am like him. Actually the first book in the dark tower series, "The Gunslinger" is a really the slowest moving of the seven. The action really picks up as you go along. I would recommend though that you finish "The Stand" first and to a lesser extent "Salem's Lot" if you havent already. Other related tales include "Insomnia", "From a Buick 8", "Desperation", "The Talisman", "Black House" and more. The "Dark Tower" is really his cap-stone achievement and in it he weaves together all the things that he has ever done into one master Stephen King tapestry. As what SK refers to as "constant reader", I'm always entertained how he references and dovetails his previous works into the new.

    One thing to remember about King is that there is a clear distinction between his early works, which were largely choped up by publishers and turned into B movies, and his more contemporary pieces. Since he's become successful enough to call the shots he doesn't allow his work to be butchered and misrepresented. I believe his exact quote is: "I no longer ALLOW my work to be abridged." That's a powerful statement for an author. He actually forced them to remove his name from the movie "Lawnmower Man" it was so bad and a completely different story. They do still turn his works into movies and tv shows but now he has a lot more control over the final product. The adaptation of "The Stand" to a TV miniseries was an excelent adaptation of the book (M-O-O-N that spells moon). I found it odd on the other hand that the TV series "Under the Dome" is really very different than the book other than SOME of the characters are the same.
     
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  15. Mackeyser Well-Known Member

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    Holy Crap... Don't remind me... You remember Running Man??? What they did with that... damn.

    I'm on the fourth book. Was going strong in it and life happened and I had to take a big break from all reading. Both A/Cs went out (I live south of Tampa, FL), so needless to say, it felt like I was living in a Crock Pot for a bit...

    Finally got that worked out. Just finishing Harry Turtledove's, "Supervolcano: Eruption" which deals with the scenario of Yosemite (which is a supervolcano) erupting. Not his best work, but pretty good. Because I like Michael Crichton and as a former engineer, I would have liked more science.

    Anyway, when I get back, I will rejoin Roland and... well, no spoilers, but he's not doing well...
     
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  16. BonifayRam Well-Known Member

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    Mark Levin.....The Liberty Amendments, Ameritopia, Liberty & Tyranny, Men In Black & on & on
     
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  17. fearsomefour Well-Known Member

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    I used to loath this guy. Not anymore. Bright guy.
     
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  18. BonifayRam Well-Known Member

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    Your right you have to be consuming much brain food to keep up with him, His books are seriously deep & most will get lost in the weeds if your not a political constitutional junkie. It takes a while to warm up to him (he is a first class lawyer)....he does not suffer fools well & you can not be thinned skinned either!
     
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