Before his death, legendary crime writer Mickey Spillane entrusted the completion of his unfinished work to his longtime friend, Max Allan Collins — a top-notch writer in his own right. This month, Collins has completed and released Complex 90, Spillane’s unfinished sequel to The Girl Hunters. To celebrate its publication, Flavorwire asked Collins to sound off on a few of his favorite Cold War thrillers. Bone up on your spy skills with his picks, and be sure to add any favorites that Collins missed to the list in the comments. … Read More
Polish painted Feliks Topolski saw things in a very particular light — and not always a very flattering one. In 1960, after the Harry Ransom Center acquired a selection of his work that included an enormous portrait of George Bernard Shaw, Topolski was commissioned to paint portraits of 20 of the 20th century’s greatest British authors. The resultant series, Twenty Greats, was (quite understandably) not particularly well-liked by most of the authors in question, but we think the paintings are so devilishly ugly that they become beautiful again, drenched in sloppy expressive glory. Click through to see some of our favorite portraits from Topolski’s series, and then be sure to head over to The Daily Beast to see the entire set — and find out what their subjects had to say about them. … Read More
Here at Flavorpill, we’re huge fans of genre crossover, particularly when one artist we love pays tribute to another one we hold dear. This week, Vol. 1 Brooklyn pointed us towards a new song by Diehard called “Steinbeck,” after, of course, the famous author. After listening, we were inspired to dig up a few more sonic odes to famous writers — not just songs inspired by their works, mind you, though there are many of those, but songs actually devoted to or inspired by the authors themselves, which are a little less common. Click through to listen to ten songs we love about famous writers we love even more — or just stream the entire playlist here – and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorite sonic odes to authors in the comments! … Read More
Bookworms, meet your new favorite Tumblr: The Composites, a brilliant new project dreamed up by Joyland co-founder Brian Joseph Davis, takes descriptions of famous literary characters and, using law enforcement composite sketch software, creates images of what they’d presumably look like in real life. “I recognized his decisive nose, more remarkable for character than beauty; his full nostrils, denoting, I thought, choler; his grim mouth, chin, and jaw — yes, all three were very grim, and no mistake,” Jane tells us in Chapter 13 of Jane Eyre. Is this Javier Bardem lookalike what you were picturing when you first read those words?
Click through to get a better look at Mr. Rochester, and an assortment of other famous faces — from Humbert Humbert to Madame Bovary — and submit your own suggestions for characters to feature here. … Read More
Can authors write for both kids and adults? The Guardian doesn’t seem to think so, but with this list we beg to differ. Sure, there’s some crossover in genre — as we all know, a lot of adults love Harry Potter with all the strength in their muggle bodies — but the books we’ve picked were written expressly for children, regardless of whether or not grown ups like them too, and written by authors who are primarily famous for their adult literature. You may be surprised by who has made the foray into kiddie lit — it turns out that some of the most serious authors we can think of have a warm, nougat center full of laughter and sunshine. Or something like that. Click through to see our list of children’s book written by famous “adult” authors and let us know which of your favorites we’ve missed in the comments! … Read More
There’s a reason that acclaimed authors of literary fiction, from Borges to Atwood, from Houellebecq to Moody, find resonance in the pulp tradition. Detective stories, science fiction, and tales of horror can inform and influence novels that seem to be more rooted in reality or mundane life. But some of the most interesting work occurs in the space between the two — novels and stories that aren’t necessarily rooted in one literary tradition.
To cite two examples not in the list to come: Kinglsey Amis’s The Green Man manages to function as both a ghost story and a meditation on the presence (or absence) of God; Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl smartly speculates on the geopolitics and technology of a post-oil future, but is also a small masterpiece of classical conflict and plotting. What follows are ten novels, past and present and forthcoming, that fuse pulp thrills with stylistic flair, and arrive at a place that avoids easy categorization. (Except, perhaps, “enjoyable reads.”) … Read More
Remember when President Bush mentioned he was reading THE STRANGER while on vacation in Texas? The media had a heyday with the book’s subject matter — a self-indulgent Frenchman shoots and kills an Arab, and, even after he’s sentenced to execution, never feels remorse.
While it’s hard to picture Dubs actually reading CAMUS (or any work of French Existentialism for that matter), the book’s shamelessly calculated selection is what sparked scrutiny.