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January 2nd, 2002, 03:15 AM
This is not so much about your favourite author, or a list of books you've enjoyed, but about that single book you've read (be it recently or yonks ago) & which has made all the difference ever since.

That particular book which changed the way you looked upon other books you'd read, shaped your future reading & (re)shaped you in the process.


That particular book which had (& I quote) the impact of "an axe in the frozen sea within us" (whoa ... that's Kafka for you)


That particular book you had to sleep on & then dreamt about. Which was breathtaking in a literal sense (yes, reading CAN be a very physical thing)


That particular book which was so powerful as to make you experience everyday life as something going on remotely in the background (& not vice versa: books as background to ... uh REAL LIFE). And which, once you'd somewhat recovered from its initial spell, made it possible for you to confront 'real life' in a different way.

... know what I'm talking about?

As for me: Jeanette Winterson's "Sexing the Cherry". Reading is believing.


January 2nd, 2002, 03:49 AM
That's difficult. Still haven't read that many books.

I would now go with a Fantasy series that had quite an impact and a main character with whom I emphasized deeply. The Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb.

James Barclay
January 3rd, 2002, 11:22 AM
The Legacy Of Heorot by Niven, Pournelle and Barnes.

It is the best Sci-Fi action thriller I've ever read with a drop-jaw moment I wouldn't even dream of hinting at. I'd hate to mess up the surprise as I for one, didn't see it coming at all.

For me it informed me on how to write good characters at pace, never let that pace slacken while inserting moments of relative calm for the reader to draw breath, and how to ratchet up the tension, then, when the reader thinks they've sussed it, ratchet it up some more... and some more.

Great fun. Can be read in a night.

January 3rd, 2002, 11:50 AM
Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, way back when.

Ficciones, especially the story "Tlon, Uqbar Orbis Tertius".

The first time I reread Alice in Wonderland as an adult.

Clark Ashton Smith.

Gormenghast trilogy.

A Storm of Wings, the second book of Harrison's Viriconium trilogy.

Name of the Rose.

John Crowley's Little, Big.

Oops, I see now you asked for a single book. My mistake. Choose any one from the above...

[This message has been edited by Llama (edited January 03, 2002).]

January 3rd, 2002, 08:07 PM
you're just lucky llama ... several 'that single book' experiences in one life!

anyway, let me try to add a few more myself:

Jonathan Coe "The House of Sleep"
Sylvia Plath "The Bell Jar"
Virginia woolf "Orlando"
the poetry of Emily Dickinson & Gerard Manley Hopkins (& no, I'm not in the least bit a religious person)

and the rest of Jeanette Winterson's oeuvre, http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/wink.gif

all these books had a profound & lasting influence on me - but reading "Sexing the Cherry" by JW was & remains the biggest "shock" ever, hence the "single book"


January 6th, 2002, 03:40 PM
Mine has to be....

The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

This book......and his 'theories' within.....just blew me away. I still go back and re-read this book every other year or so.

Pretty funny too, cause I got a friend hooked on it also, and everytime one of us re-reads, the other get's all excited and has to read it too! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

January 8th, 2002, 12:22 AM
Yes, the mark of great art is when after you experience it, your perception of the world is forever changed.

Stories: Rose for Ecclesiastes by Rodger Zelazy
...my sense of point of view changed.

Smoke of Memories by Borje
...time wasn't the same after reading this one.

The Kin of ATA are Waiting for You
...I kept dreaming I was in ATA.

There's more, but my brain is fried tonight. Gotta think of the authors so you can find 'em.

January 23rd, 2002, 06:11 PM
The Xanth series the puns!!! When I finished that first book. It was like WOW now that takes some imagination.