Book Talk with Kealan Patrick Burke discussion

All-Time Favorite Novel

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The Divinity Student, by Michael Cisco

This book blew me away with its inventive narrative, strange and otherworldly setting, and bizarre situations, and I think about it constantly. The only think I've read that compares to its creative energy is The Great Lover, also by Cisco.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

For me, I'd have to say Stephen King's PET SEMATARY, if for no other reason than I've read it more times than any other book. Everything I love about the horror genre as a reader, and everything I strive to accomplish as a writer, can be found in its pages. Profound and profoundly scary.

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael | 9 comments Wow, that is a tough question. Nice pick on Lonesome Dove, though. That's definitely a favorite (have you read Patrick DeWitt's "The Sisters Brothers" yet? A recent western I absolutely loved).

I think I would choose "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned" by Walter Mosley. I know his mystery stuff is what he's most known for, but he writes incredibly moving and deep human drama.

message 4: by Harry (new)

Harry Shannon | 1 comments Can't pick one. Lonesome Dove for sure, Shogun by James Clavell, The Source by James Michener?

message 5: by Joel (new)

Joel (joelarnold) | 1 comments I might have to agree with you about Lonesome Dove. I absolutely loved that book. Some other nominees for me would be Where the Red Fern Grows (although I haven't read it since the 4th grade - I just have such fond memories of it) and A Confederacy of Dunces.

message 6: by Laren (new)

Laren (lstover) | 6 comments Maybe I haven't read it yet...though Jack London's White Fang - read it when I was about 11 - was one of the reasons I thought being a writer might be a good job.
Just reread The Call of the Wild. One of the best first sentences, ever. (But I can't handle books where animals die.)

message 7: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments BOY'S LIFE by Robert McCammon.

message 8: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments I was totally floored by it, the way it captured all the wonder and adventure of childhood by letting you be a child again, to see the world through the eyes of a child for a little while. And leaving the inner adult in me with a feeling of melancholy for what used to be.

message 9: by Char (new)

Char I loved "Boy's Life" too! And this is the second time within 1 week that I've seen "Lonesome Dove" picked as an all time favorite. *sigh* I guess I'm going to have to read that one.
I guess my favorite of all time (at least, it's my favorite today) is "A Prayer For Owen Meany" by John Irving. A close runner up would be "Ghost Story" by Peter Straub.

message 10: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments I saw Lonesome Dove on television. My mom made me watch it because she's a huge Robert Duvall fan. And can't follow a movie unless someone is there to remind her of what happened before the commercials. I guess I should read the book since my initial impression is bald and senile.
I think Ghost Story was incredible.
I always picture Sears and Ricky as Orson Wells and Fred Astaire.

message 11: by Char (new)

Char <>

LOL! I haven't even seen the movie either, but now I know that Duvall is in it, I may have to. : )

Sharon/ LFrog1386 (lfrog1386) | 301 comments Ghost Story was the bomb and while I loved Boy's Life, I would have to give the nod to King's The Body, aka Stand By Me. The loss of innocence was portrayed perfectly.

message 13: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments I loved The Body, but I think King has met his match in McCammon.

Sharon/ LFrog1386 (lfrog1386) | 301 comments Have you read The Five yet, Recluse? I just got it in the mail but still have a few books to finish before I get to it.

message 15: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments Sharon/ LFrog1386 wrote: "Have you read The Five yet, Recluse? I just got it in the mail but still have a few books to finish before I get to it."

Yes, I have, Sharon. I really enjoyed it.

Sharon/ LFrog1386 (lfrog1386) | 301 comments I am definitely looking forward to it, having been a die-hard McCammon fan in the 80's that lost track of him when he stopped writing horror. I should have known that being such a talented writer, he would never fail to entertain, whatever he wrote. I think I will have to take another look at the books he wrote in the 90's and 2000's.

message 17: by Char (new)

Char I thought The Five was really good as well. It made me tear up. *sniffle*

message 18: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments I ain't got a tissue.
Wanna borrow my sleeve? :P

message 19: by Char (new)

Char LOL, I think I'll be ok.
There was more to The Five than I originally thought.
Mr. McCammon posts some questions about the story here:

I was surprised to find that I didn't have answers for all of them. I guess that means I will need to read it again at some point.

message 20: by Hans (new)

Hans | 63 comments lets put it this way, a friend of mine was just sentenced to nine years in prison, i sent him one book~ THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE by B. TRAVEN. theres so much i like about that book but it seems to me very few have actually read it, i love the descriptions of the flop houses, you can feel the filth and debris on the ground, want to scratch off the fleas and tics, the horror of the bandits as they rob a train killing everyone, even the sheep in the cattle car, the slow decline of fred c. dobbs as he turns from hero to villain gradually through the novel. john hustons film is great, probably scripted by traven himself ( thats another story) and as good as any film could be based on this novel, but the reading experience is exhilirating. yeah i liked lonesome dove, shogun, pet cemetary, ghost story, but this one wins in my humble opinion. ( i got boys life on the shelf :) )~Hans

message 21: by Char (new)

Char I'm going to look into this Sierra Madre of which you speak. : )

message 22: by C.R. (new)

C.R. Myers (CRMyers) | 5 comments I enjoy novels from many different genres. One of my favorites is NINE PRINCES IN AMBER by Roger Zelazny.(and the entire Amber series) Also, the Necromancer Series by Brian Lumley.

REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer (readingreindeerproximacentauri) McCammon's historical novels are super-fantastic, as well as his horror. I've not been able to get into The Five-which disappointed me very much, as I am such a fan of his and held such high expectations. Will try again at some point in the future-b/c I think an author that good deserves a second try.

message 24: by Char (new)

Char I've read a bit of the Necroscope series by Lumley and I enjoyed all of them. This was years ago, though.
Mallory, I agree about the historical and horror novels. But I just LOVED The Five. I really did. I hope that when you re-try, that you like it this time around.

REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer (readingreindeerproximacentauri) Thanks, Charlene-it may have been just me-and feeling the pressure to hurry because it was new, and a Library book-when the price goes down a little (if it does), I'll buy a copy, or pick up one used via Amazon Marketplace, so I can take my time with it. Difficult to imagine McCammon could have written one I didn't like-although Mr. King manages it occasionally:)-so I owe it to the author and to myself to give it a second spin.

message 26: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments McCammon always deserves a second read.

message 27: by Char (new)

Char It's rare for me to spend that kind of money on a book, so I hear you there.
It's also rare for two of my favorite authors to release new books in the same year. It's a good thing that it's rare because my wallet can't take it!

REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer (readingreindeerproximacentauri) LOL! I went so many years without being able to acquire books-except via Library-so since mid-September I've developed a terrible "Amazon addiction," which actually includes Kindle; Smashwords; and Amazon Marketplace where I pick up books for under $1 plus shipping. I'll have to live another century to get all these read....

message 29: by Char (new)

Char I know...what a great problem to have though, right?

message 30: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman Too hard to pick just one. Pet Sematary will always be in the mix because it was my first King and really turned me on to horror.

message 31: by Tony (new)

Tony Rabig | 12 comments Just one all-time favorite novel? Not sure I could do that, ever. The candidates for the top spot keep shifting. Once upon a time it would have been Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Masters (which is still for my money the best alien invasion novel ever). Haven't gotten around to McCammon yet, so can't say anything about Boy's Life or The Five -- he's on The Amazing Colossal To-Be-Read Pile, though. Lonesome Dove and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre are both terrific reads, as are the other books people have been listing here.

Right now, the book I'd probably pick is Don Robertson's Mystical Union, a beautifully-done novel of life, marriage, and death in small-town America. If I could write a story one-hundredth as good as this, I'd die a happy man. Naturally, it's out-of-print, but there are used copies out there, and of course there's always interlibrary loan.

message 32: by Char (new)

Char I was just scrolling through the older posts. I just saw the last part of the Lonesome Dove movie late yesterday afternoon. It was so good. I wish I had seen the beginning. : (
It was such a good book. I'm very glad I read it.

message 33: by Hans (new)

Hans | 63 comments all four books in the lonesome dove series are now made for tv mini's, lonesome dove is available on netflix instant viewing, or on this website

message 34: by C.R. (new)

C.R. Myers (CRMyers) | 5 comments Thanks for the heads-up, Hans! Will have to check it out. ....Cat

message 35: by Char (new)

Char Thanks, Hans!

message 36: by Hans (new)

Hans | 63 comments "They did an admirable job with LONESOME DOVE the mini-series. Unfortunately the other ones were not nearly as good. The only one of the books I haven't read is STREETS OF LAREDO. I just get very sa..."
what i loved about STREETS OF LAREDO was the small mexican town a lot of the story takes place in, its like the mythical city in Jim Thompson's THE GETAWAY, where only killers and lawbreakers are willing to stay. and the villain rivals the bandits in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE in just plain EVIL.
i loved the books enough to watch all four mini series, the worst of the four has to be COMANCHE MOON , which was my favorite of the books. i mean, ADAM BEACH as blue duck? cmon! at least try to mirror frederick forest's take on the character.
i still hold THE BERRYBENDER NARRATIVES in high esteem, a must read for any fan of the dove series.

message 37: by Jon Recluse (last edited Apr 20, 2012 11:41AM) (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments Start, I dare ya!

I'm bored to tears.

message 38: by Tony (new)

Tony Rabig | 12 comments Kealan wrote: "Tony wrote: "Just one all-time favorite novel? Not sure I could do that, ever. The candidates for the top spot keep shifting. Once upon a time it would have been Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Mas..."

Hope you'll enjoy MYSTICAL UNION; the book's always struck me as similar to what might have resulted if Edgar Lee Masters did Spoon River as a novel instead of a collection of linked poems. First noticed Don Robertson when Stephen King published Robertson's THE IDEAL, GENUINE MAN through his Philtrum Press imprint; King's intro to that book is a really nice appreciation of Robertson's work, and I think King's superlatives were fully deserved.

The library here actually has a copy of BOY'S LIFE and with any luck I can dive into it this week. Realized after posting I'd read some McCammon eons ago -- MINE, and his short chiller "Nightcrawlers." NICE stuff indeed.


message 39: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments I really liked THE IDEAL, GENUINE MAN.

message 40: by Char (new)

Char Tony wrote: "Kealan wrote: "Tony wrote: "Just one all-time favorite novel? Not sure I could do that, ever. The candidates for the top spot keep shifting. Once upon a time it would have been Robert Heinlein's..."

Hope you enjoy Boy's Life, Tony! It's a great book.

message 41: by Tony (new)

Tony Rabig | 12 comments Kealan wrote: "Tony: Though MINE and "Nightcrawlers" are very good in their own right, you haven't experienced McCammon until you've read BOY'S LIFE. It's nothing less than the author channeling Bradbury. An epic..."

I'm now a little over a hundred pages into BOY'S LIFE, and so far it's a dazzler. The library copy's going back to the library -- I'm buying my own.

(And that "Wasps at Easter" chapter was simultaneously funny and cringe-inducing, at least for me. Cory's view of wasps as devil's true familiars, Noah's mistake, is exactly my own. Once woke up at about 4am to the sound of a woman screaming in the alley; grabbed a knife and ran outside, and lucked out because she didn't start yelling until the guy had already run off with her purse. I wasn't half as twitchy going into the alley as I am if there are wasps around. Go figure.)


message 42: by Char (new)

Char I'm so envious of you, Tony. Reading Boy's Life for the first time. : )

message 43: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments And the second time.
And the third....

message 44: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) I just got notice that THE CRONING has been shipped. Any one else pre-order Laird Barron's debut novel?

message 45: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) The eagle has landed... I'm sure I will be done with this novel by the weekend.

message 46: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments You can throw a hint at the rest of us, too!

message 47: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) Will do!!

message 48: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 2066 comments You're the best!

message 49: by Tony (new)

Tony Rabig | 12 comments Thanks for the recommendations of McCammon's BOY'S LIFE -- finished it a few minutes ago, and it was a terrific read. (Now to figure out how I managed to miss reading it earlier... but then I'm usually late to the party.)

Bests to all.

message 50: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin Uminsky (benjaminu) Recluse wrote: "You can throw a hint at the rest of us, too!"

I posted a review for THE CRONING. Barron's debut novel is not to be missed.

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