I've been tagged by MatGB, the bastard; since I feel that I must fulfill my obligations, here is the Book Tag.
1. One book that changed your life - the hardest question first.
Changed my life? Tricky. I don't think that any book has changed my life, as such. Erm... I'll go with Lord of the Rings on the grounds that it opened up the idea of a fantasy world with a plausible grounding (the languages, etc.). There have been other books that have done it better since I first read LotR over 20 years ago, but this trilogy remains a milestone.
2. One book that you've read more than once
One book? I reread many, many books over and over again. But, I shall go with Iain M Banks's Use Of Weapons; Zakalwe is one of the coolest characters ever written.
3. One book that you'd want on a desert island
Ah, well, I'm going to cheat again. It's not one book, it is the Alms For Oblivion series by Simon Raven. Corruption and venality in high places; every single character is, in some way, rather unpleasant—usually vain, selfish or sickenly sanctimonious—but you know that they would be immense fun at a cocktail party. Alternatively, George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series would also be choice...
4. One book that made you laugh
The book that makes me laugh more than any other is Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. It is the sequence where the hero has burned cigarette holes in everything that really gets me...
5. One book that made you cry
I am a real softy; there are quite a few books and films that make me cry; but, without doubt it is The Amber Spyglass (Phillip Pullman) is the one that gets me every time. I would never want to have to make that choice but I can picture myself doing so and the thought of it guts me.
6. One book that you wish you had written
I would love to have written The Complete Molesworth; unfortunately, Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle got there first, chiz chiz*.
7. One book you wish had never been written
Is there such a thing? Oh, yes, those books written in ITA, the reading system which set my spelling back about 8,000,000 years...
8. One book that you are reading at the moment
I'm reading Iain Banks's The Business but I have just finished (for the billionth time) Donna Tartt's The Secret History, a book which I simply cannot recommend enough.
9. One book that you've been meaning to read
Ummm. This is actually rather pertinent as my mother gave me Book Tokens for my birthday; I would like to read David Mitchell's Black Swan Green.
10. Five others that you’d like to do this
Five? Five! For fuck's sake, you want me to think now? Erm...
1. The P-G.
4. The Longrider.
5. Dr Crippen.
* A chiz is a swiz or swindle as any fule kno.
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