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The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction

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This new Rough Guide will make you a literary buff in the time it takes to say Jack Kerouac. Even if you already know your Hunter S Thompson from your Jim Thompson, you''ll still find it hard to resist a book which tells you which cult novel has been implicated in assassinations, which world famous novelist offered to throw himself off a train to prove his devotion to his This new Rough Guide will make you a literary buff in the time it takes to say Jack Kerouac. Even if you already know your Hunter S Thompson from your Jim Thompson, you''ll still find it hard to resist a book which tells you which cult novel has been implicated in assassinations, which world famous novelist offered to throw himself off a train to prove his devotion to his literary idol and which cult poet and prose stylist inspired a Broadway musical and the Velvet Underground. There''s a critical guide to over 150 cult authors - from Kathy Acker to Yevgeny Zamyatin, including potted biographies, their must reads, and their surprising influences. Reviews of 100 cult novels - seminal works by authors who never quite achieved cult status themselves but still produced one classic work. Finally, there''s a cult collection - a feast of literary trivia which categorises writers by the diseases they suffered for their art, reveals 12 literary giants who wrote standing up, and pores over the little known fictional epics of Sarah Bernhardt and Benito Mussolini.


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This new Rough Guide will make you a literary buff in the time it takes to say Jack Kerouac. Even if you already know your Hunter S Thompson from your Jim Thompson, you''ll still find it hard to resist a book which tells you which cult novel has been implicated in assassinations, which world famous novelist offered to throw himself off a train to prove his devotion to his This new Rough Guide will make you a literary buff in the time it takes to say Jack Kerouac. Even if you already know your Hunter S Thompson from your Jim Thompson, you''ll still find it hard to resist a book which tells you which cult novel has been implicated in assassinations, which world famous novelist offered to throw himself off a train to prove his devotion to his literary idol and which cult poet and prose stylist inspired a Broadway musical and the Velvet Underground. There''s a critical guide to over 150 cult authors - from Kathy Acker to Yevgeny Zamyatin, including potted biographies, their must reads, and their surprising influences. Reviews of 100 cult novels - seminal works by authors who never quite achieved cult status themselves but still produced one classic work. Finally, there''s a cult collection - a feast of literary trivia which categorises writers by the diseases they suffered for their art, reveals 12 literary giants who wrote standing up, and pores over the little known fictional epics of Sarah Bernhardt and Benito Mussolini.

52 review for The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    We have had Pride & Prejudice with Zombies, and we've had Jane Eyre Laid Bare, but I think the literary mashup idea could be taken much further. There should be an online service where you can order these things like you'd order a pizza. On the menu tonight : Paul Johnson’s History of Christianity mashed with Cows by Matthew Stokoe In one memorable chapter Saint Paul is **** with three **** and two ***** who **** until **** gouts **** in his **** whilst several apostles look on with evident approv We have had Pride & Prejudice with Zombies, and we've had Jane Eyre Laid Bare, but I think the literary mashup idea could be taken much further. There should be an online service where you can order these things like you'd order a pizza. On the menu tonight : Paul Johnson’s History of Christianity mashed with Cows by Matthew Stokoe In one memorable chapter Saint Paul is **** with three **** and two ***** who **** until **** gouts **** in his **** whilst several apostles look on with evident approval and cherubs blow trumpets, I think. Seven hundred years later the whole scene turns up in brilliant stained glass in the spectacular north facing windows of Our Lady Of Perpetual Infections in Lodz, Poland. Cows regard the windows indifferently. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark mashed with Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic by John French. In this new novel an unconventional Scottish teacher at an upper class female prep school in Edinburgh forces a select group of her pupils to play cacophonous complicated rock music and sing absurdist beat poetry. She believes Mussolini is the world’s greatest guitarist. When she ties the drummer, Sandy, to her drumkit for 14 days she gets fired. My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer mashed with Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne Piglet loses in 15 (Fischer plays the Richter-Rauzer with an innovation and the junior porker never had a chance); Eeyore is surprisingly tough, playing a complicated Nimzo-Indian defence and gets one of the few draws in the book. Fischer never even acknowledges that he was playing talking animals. For him it was all about the chess not the opponent. Terrorism : A Very Short Introduction mashed with The Heart of Rock & Soul by Dave Marsh All over the city jukeboxes randomly explode. Later it’s discovered they were all playing the same record at the time – Respect, by Aretha Franklin. Hey - find out what it means to me. Who? Means to who? Baise-Moi by Virginie Despentes mashed with A History of the Crusades by Sir Stephen Runciman In this bizarre epic vicious lesbians attack the entire army of Saladin and beat them, and then the entire army of Richard Couer de Lion, and beat them too. They use giant dildoes as battering rams and smaller ones for hand to hand fighting.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    What!? A guide to cult fiction that doesn't include the incredibly overrated Ayn Rand? Their criteria for what constitutes cult fiction is ridiculously slim, but certainly Ayn Rand has achieved the necessary "messianic" status in the estimation of her ardent followers, and her prose style meets their stated criterion: "The quality of writing is often beside the point" (6). A quirky collection, to say the least. And what bright light suggested neon lime green for the headings and sidebars? That, i What!? A guide to cult fiction that doesn't include the incredibly overrated Ayn Rand? Their criteria for what constitutes cult fiction is ridiculously slim, but certainly Ayn Rand has achieved the necessary "messianic" status in the estimation of her ardent followers, and her prose style meets their stated criterion: "The quality of writing is often beside the point" (6). A quirky collection, to say the least. And what bright light suggested neon lime green for the headings and sidebars? That, in addition to the microscopic font, induces an instant headache.

  3. 4 out of 5

    abatage

    A good little reference book with interesting short histories about various authors. Also a good way to discover some new authors to read, as it gives a good run-down with examples of what each author's writing style and era is/was like. A good little reference book with interesting short histories about various authors. Also a good way to discover some new authors to read, as it gives a good run-down with examples of what each author's writing style and era is/was like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Thompson

    This is a small little reference book, meant for most people to be able to understand...in other words, it caters to people on many levels. There are widely known names in here, along with countless ones that have faded into obscurity, because the definition of "cult" (according to the editors' notes--which makes sense) is used as a piece of writing that has "accumulated a prolonged and devout following". This can include well-known authors like James Joyce, Charles Bukowski, and Tolkien, as wel This is a small little reference book, meant for most people to be able to understand...in other words, it caters to people on many levels. There are widely known names in here, along with countless ones that have faded into obscurity, because the definition of "cult" (according to the editors' notes--which makes sense) is used as a piece of writing that has "accumulated a prolonged and devout following". This can include well-known authors like James Joyce, Charles Bukowski, and Tolkien, as well as authors like Albert Camus, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Haruki Murakami. I think that too often the word "cult" has malleable definitions, with an incorrect connotation of anti-mainstream--this is not the case here. However, this book DOES introduce the reader to tons of new authors, regardless of their reading background or literary education and interests. The book also includes graphic novelists, and side-notes about authors' lives and factoids. So far, I've learned that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an opium addict, and F. Scott Fitzgerald was so in love with James Joyce's writing that upon meeting the author, he offered to throw himself out of a nearby window to prove his devotion. Highly, highly recommended.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Autoclette

    I just have a quick casual comment about this great little book. I know Cult Fiction lists are basically subjective, but I found the authors section to not only be full of old friends, but also many writers whom I haven't read. What I liked best was that it is organized alphabetically, as opposed to genre, which makes it surprising and entertaining while exposing you to genres you might not peruse naturally. I just have a quick casual comment about this great little book. I know Cult Fiction lists are basically subjective, but I found the authors section to not only be full of old friends, but also many writers whom I haven't read. What I liked best was that it is organized alphabetically, as opposed to genre, which makes it surprising and entertaining while exposing you to genres you might not peruse naturally.

  6. 4 out of 5

    teresa

    this is a great little handbook. 80% of the book consists of short bios of 'cult' writers along with a short list of what books by them you should read. There is also a section on classic cult fiction characters and cult one hit wonders. If you flip through this I am sure you would end up with a long list of to-reads. (It is like a much hipper Book Lust for readers that want to read stuff more from the margins.) this is a great little handbook. 80% of the book consists of short bios of 'cult' writers along with a short list of what books by them you should read. There is also a section on classic cult fiction characters and cult one hit wonders. If you flip through this I am sure you would end up with a long list of to-reads. (It is like a much hipper Book Lust for readers that want to read stuff more from the margins.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    Wow, what a ride this was. As I mention in a update this was a trip down memory lane. Give this book a go and discover or re-discover some very wonderful and interesting pieces of writing.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    I have had this book for so very long and its indispensable and priceless to me. So much good information. Kind of a bible to me now...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Eric Smith

    I love this book, this is my second time to read it and I have again learned about more books I need to read. This book is a guide to cult fiction, books that have an unnaturally ardent following. But it is more than that. It is a guide book to edgy literature and the writers who write it. Sure. But what I love is the shear energy, joy, and cutting opinionatedness of the writing. Each book gets a few paragraphs of review but not a word is wasted, the writing is slashing, pointed, and distilled. O I love this book, this is my second time to read it and I have again learned about more books I need to read. This book is a guide to cult fiction, books that have an unnaturally ardent following. But it is more than that. It is a guide book to edgy literature and the writers who write it. Sure. But what I love is the shear energy, joy, and cutting opinionatedness of the writing. Each book gets a few paragraphs of review but not a word is wasted, the writing is slashing, pointed, and distilled. One day I hope to be able to write such reviews, but for now you'll just have to use this small contribution as the best I can do. The other reviewers cover the essence of the topics covered., but hat really grabs me is the quality of the writing here. This book makes reading book sound like an adventure, like something that anyone with a brain should be doing. But it is not heavy - the opposite! - it is bitchy, fun, and edited as tightly as a a David Foster Wallace novel (perhaps I exaggerate, but you get the point). I have read only about 20 book twice, this is one of them, that speaks to my opinion of the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    A useful guide that includes biographical information on different authors, along with recommendations of which of each author’s books one might start with. It also includes a section listing graphic novels, and another section called “The Isolation Ward,” listing instances the authors have only written one book that are now considered to be examples of cult fiction (for example, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange). A useful guide that includes biographical information on different authors, along with recommendations of which of each author’s books one might start with. It also includes a section listing graphic novels, and another section called “The Isolation Ward,” listing instances the authors have only written one book that are now considered to be examples of cult fiction (for example, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    This is a great little book that I will definitely be buying. I loaned it form the library but I can see myself wanting to go back to it time and time again. Love the way it is laid out and the snippets of information are great. I particularly like the parts where it tells us who influenced each writer and who they influenced. This is an essential guide for anyone who is interested in reading more in this genre.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Em

    A book which lists cult writers and provides an overview of their works, suggests who/what to read next. There are also smaller sections which lists cult characters from literature and the one hit wonders who produce one cult book and not a lot else! Contains many of the expected and quite a lot I didn't - pretty diverse and good for seeking out new ideas about what to read. A book which lists cult writers and provides an overview of their works, suggests who/what to read next. There are also smaller sections which lists cult characters from literature and the one hit wonders who produce one cult book and not a lot else! Contains many of the expected and quite a lot I didn't - pretty diverse and good for seeking out new ideas about what to read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Quite a useful reference. I always find it difficult to know where to start with more alternative authors, so the must read feature was useful, as well as the "influenced by/influence on" which has certainly given me some good recs. Obviously it's not entirely comprehensive, and there were reviews I didn't particularly agree with, but all in all quite good as these sort of books go. Quite a useful reference. I always find it difficult to know where to start with more alternative authors, so the must read feature was useful, as well as the "influenced by/influence on" which has certainly given me some good recs. Obviously it's not entirely comprehensive, and there were reviews I didn't particularly agree with, but all in all quite good as these sort of books go.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dana Jerman

    This impulse-buy for me has been extremely valuable for finding new writers to read in the canon of Cult. It draws lots of connections between books and authors to their own literary phenomena as well.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Patterson

    A useful reference book for readers who struggle to understand what cult fiction means and for teachers who struggle to explain it to their students. It is filled with all of the famous 'cult' authors and has a brief biography on each writer. A useful reference book for readers who struggle to understand what cult fiction means and for teachers who struggle to explain it to their students. It is filled with all of the famous 'cult' authors and has a brief biography on each writer.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Todd Cox

    Useful information, and strangely inspiring for me. Major flaw, aside from a few mistakes, is... no Ed Abbey! Talk about a cult writer, how could they miss him? (Perhaps because they're British....) Useful information, and strangely inspiring for me. Major flaw, aside from a few mistakes, is... no Ed Abbey! Talk about a cult writer, how could they miss him? (Perhaps because they're British....)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Johnfx750

    This little gem of a find is a constant reference for digging up underground foreign authors or beatniks..love this genre and wouldn't give up this guide for anything This little gem of a find is a constant reference for digging up underground foreign authors or beatniks..love this genre and wouldn't give up this guide for anything

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jimmie

    Need to read more books, sigh!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debumere

    I love. I've now made a list of books/authors I have to check out. This book is fabulous! I've discovered a whole new host of authors out there. My Amazon wish list is never going to shrink. I love. I've now made a list of books/authors I have to check out. This book is fabulous! I've discovered a whole new host of authors out there. My Amazon wish list is never going to shrink.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    My roommate handed this to me...it's fun, informational, and I generated another large list of books "to-read" My roommate handed this to me...it's fun, informational, and I generated another large list of books "to-read"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peace

    This, like, quadrupled my to-read list.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Håkon Jarle Sveen

  23. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Laurence

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christian Smith

  25. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amya

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Easton

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  31. 5 out of 5

    Willy Liangco

  32. 4 out of 5

    Beth Reinisch

  33. 5 out of 5

    Adam

  34. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  35. 5 out of 5

    Derick

  36. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

  38. 4 out of 5

    Jason Thornberry

  39. 5 out of 5

    David

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  42. 4 out of 5

    Sava Hecht

  43. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Batson

  44. 5 out of 5

    read

  45. 5 out of 5

    Abby

  46. 5 out of 5

    Arctic

  47. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Ventrelli

  48. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  49. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  50. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  51. 5 out of 5

    Phillip Edwards

  52. 4 out of 5

    Misha

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