Thursday, June 12, 2008


So I was writing an email to a friend recommending that he read Titus Groan and Gormanghast by Mervyn Peake and googling for a review or two to include when I came upon this post by writer David Louis Edelman. I immediately liked this Edelman guy because he describes Titus Groan in terms of Kafka - I loved it! As surfing will often do his review led me to some interesting websites and added to the list of books that I would like to read.

Infoquake by David Louis Edelman mentioned above.

I found a fascinating Essential Fantasy Reading List by author Jeff VanderMeer. I loved the list because it included books and authors that I really love that I had never thought of as fantasy such as Kafka, Saramago, Peake, Borges, Calvino, Marquez which of course leads me to believe that I will like the others on his list as well.

The list also made me curious to read VanderMeer's books - City of Saints and Madmen sounds like the place to start.

Six months ago if anyone would have asked me I would have said I absolutely do not read fantasy but I guess what I was thinking of was what I have seen described as fluffy unicorn fantasy with dragons or knights or dwarves. But if what you mean by fantasy is that it is not reality, well then that is about all that I read. Steinbeck is very talented but I far prefer books that are not too grounded in reality. I live in reality and when I read I want something different. Plus I find that by not being tied to reality the author can often more easily and effectively illuminate an aspect of reality. If Kafka, Murakami, Saramago and Peake are fantasy then I am a devoted fantasy reader - I just didn't know it.

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