Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can it be .......... the EOTWQ?




OK, not done one before so this is new ground to cover.

No particular reasons for these questions, just maybe some variations on what we have done before.

1) I am a big fan of what literature geeks call genre fiction. I love fantasy, science fiction, historical novels, detective stuff, so the first question is;

What is your favourite fiction genre and what book is the epitome of that style for you?

2) I think we have done musical guilty pleasures before, but it is always worth revisiting. Recently I bought Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl album, it was a fave of mine back in the mid '70s. What is your most recent gulity pleasure music purchase?

3) A food question. What is the earliest "exotic" thing you remember eating that was something completely outside of what you had at home?

4) I am a big fan of Marvel comics and my favourite character is Doctor Strange (hence the pic). Do you like comics and, if so, who is your fave character?

5) Last one. Have you ever wanted to be a character in a novel? If so, who and why?

54 comments:

nilpferd said...

1. Unclassifiable books. Of which Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities is a perfect example.
2. The Mosaic three disc boxed set of Woody Herman big band recordings of 1963-64, q.v. my Watermelon Man post below. Not guilty about it, though.
3. Avocado, spinach and bacon salad at the house of a sophisticated (she was from Sydney) family friend.
4. Obelix. Am just revisiting all the Asterix comics now for- ah- Mara's benefit.
5. Quite often. I've often envied the heroines of Angela Carter or Jeanette Winterson, they seem to have their shit together. Martin Cruz Smith's Renko or Chandler's Marlowe have an enviable world weariness and the ability to come out on top whatever the odds.

nilpferd said...

By the way, I notice you changed the title of your post. I have a theory that this may be a way of avoiding our annoying taiwanese spammer, as I've noticed with the posts I've put up, if I change the title after posting, I don't get spammed. Maybe there's a machine he uses which searches for new blogspot posts when they are registered, and changing the name afterwards throws the search code? Just a thought. Though I do enjoy making them "disappear".

gordonimmel said...

Ooh, if I type fast enough I might be first with this one.

1. I don't read much fiction but when I do I prefer historical fiction. My favourite of this genre would be 'Shogun' by James Clavell a book in which nothing really happens but in a very exciting way. I think of it as a Japanese Tea Ceremony of literature.

2. Are we allowed musical questions?
Oh well, I'll answer anyway.
As someone who has got Sister Sledge, The Bangles and Madness in the A-List and who regularly noms Benny Hill's greatest hit, I'm immune to 'guilty pleasures'....
And I absolutely love 'Too Lost In You' by The Sugababes aswell.

3. Since my mother was a typical British 'Meat & Two Veg' cooker and my Dad has never liked any sort of herbs or spices basically anything I ate outside the house when I was growing up was 'exotic'. But I do remember when I ate oysters in France aged 14.

4. If Asterix counts as 'comics' then that is definately my answer. As a lad I was a Beano reader, tho'.

5. My second favourite historical novel is 'Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett about the intrigues around a Cathedral building project in 12th Century England. One of the characters,Jack Jackson, becomes the master builder, a sort of mediaeval structural engineer, like what I do now. I could have streamlined a few things if I'd been there.....

gordonimmel said...

Bugger! Not fast enough...!

gordonimmel said...

Oh and having read nilpferd's answer and having read question 4 a bit more closely my favourite character in Asterix is probably,er, Dogmatix, Obelix's pet pooch.

Blimpy said...

Hi carole - thanks for the Qs!

1. I like non-re, like Douglas Coupland's "All Families Are Psychotic".

2. I got some 50p REM and Talking Heads records at the car boot sale the weekend before last.

3. The first thing that springs to mind is Eggs Benedict, which I still hold in high regard

4. Fave all time comic book character - Halo Jones. Alan Moore knows the score.

5. Can I say Captain Haddock here? Blisterin' Blue Barnacles!!

treefrogdemon said...

1 Detective fiction - I am blessed with the inability ever to remember whodunnit, so I can read them over and over again. And do. Currently I'm reading all the Wallander series by Henning Mankell in the right order (because I'm a completist, in case you hadn't noticed). Best of all I think I like the early women detective novelists Allingham and Sayers, and of theirs I'll choose...oh this is so hard...Sayers' Busman's Honeymoon because it's just delicious having Lord Peter and Harriet working as a team.

2 Well, I stopped in at Fopp today and bought a Sandy Denny compilation, a Hank Williams compilation, a 50s rock'n'roll compilation...and Randy Newman's Sail Away. Pick your own guilty pleasure out of those.

3 Octopus. My first time abroad, and the Spanish assistant from my school had set up a school trip to his home town, Pontevedra in Galicia. So when we were at this beach caff having tacos, and he said 'Open wide' and proffered something-or-other on a fork, I naturally did. (I liked it though.)

4 NOT a big fan of comics but as a child had a subscription to Swift, which was the unisex junior version of Eagle and Girl. Maybe my strong belief in all things unisex dates from then. One day I missed my stop on the way to school because I was so absorbed in the latest copy...there's a story about that! Don't remember any of the characters except a juvenile Tarzan-a-like who was on the front cover.

5 Prue Sarn in Precious Bane by Mary Webb. It's a book that's much mocked - it was what Stella Gibbons was satirising in Cold Comfort Farm - but I love it and I love Prue, who has a harelip and is much mocked and bullied, but is incredibly brave, honest and steadfast...not to mention winning the heart of the world's most completely gorgeous hero (like Crawford of Lymond, only goodnatured). I used to live just down the hill from where Mary Webb used to live, only she was dead at the time.

Ace questions, Carole! Thanks!

treefrogdemon said...

4 additional: Maggie in Love and Rockets

ToffeeBoy said...

1. I'm a big fan of 'classic' Victorian blockbusters - the sort that were published in weekly instalments. Dickens' Great Expectations has never been bettered. I don't think I could ever tire of it and I discover new things in it with every fresh read.

2. ToffeeGirl recently downloaded some dodgy stuff and I've been secretly listening to some of it. Eva Cassidy's Songbird is beautiful.

3. Again, I must refer you to my whole eating disorder thing - I feel like I'm being excouded here guys...

4. Not a fan of comics, I'm afraid.

5. Returning to the first question, I wouldn't mind being Pip at the end of the novel, walking off into the sunset with Estella on his arm. Hmmm.....

ToffeeBoy said...

@ excouded? Shall I claim that it's a real word that the rest of you just aren't clever enough to know or shall I confess that it's yet another ToffeeTypo?

saneshane said...

1) I like fantasyscifidetective novels when I want a quick read- so Jack o'connells 'Box 9' fits the bill.
obviously fantasyscifidetectivehumour and it would be 'Long dark tea time of the soul or Dirk Gentlys detective agency' by douglas adams.

2) any music purchase is a guilty pleasure at the mo - cos I shouldn't be spending money!!!

3) didn't eat anything even vaguely exotic til i was at least 19 - it's just a joy when new things stay down.

4) if I can be the character it's Tank Girl if not the Joker in Arkham Asylum is beautifully draw.

5) Moses Highness (Rupert Thomsons 'Dreams of leaving') but i would never of left his girlfriend - she was a singer whose eyebrows told the time -

steenbeck said...

Good questions Carole.

1. I go through phases. I loved Sayers, particularly the one TFD mentioned. I'm with Toffeeboy on the dickens, though I think Our Mutual Friend is my fav. I like 18th and 19th century. I went through a big, shoot, what's his name, I think Abahachi likes him? Oh--Trollope. Loved War and Peace so read everything else by Tolstoy I could find. Right now I'm reading David Sedaris Engulfed in Flames and finding it brilliant. I like too much and I'm too indecisive to pick favorites.

2. Well you all know I like Arctic Monkeys, and I think they're genuinely good, though their last album was very disappointing and I'm too old to like them as much as a do. But I also listened to a lot of other bands that were AM-like, and liked some, though I recognized their lack of merit. I listened to The Fratellis a lot for a while. They're so damned cheerful, that they cheered me up.

3. Maybe Oxtail soup when I was living in England as a pre-vegetarian 5-year-old. Does it really have oxtails in it? You might be used to it over there, but I think it's just weird.

4.Snowy/ Milou. wooah wooahhh.

5. Have to give it a think.

DarceysDad said...

1. Crime fiction, preferred with large dollops of black humour. Brookmyre is the master, and One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night is my absolute favourite novel. Otherwise trashy sci-fi, though nothing too po-faced. Harry Harrison and Michael Crichton almost qualify as literary guilty pleasures.

2. Ha! MegaDonds to saneshane's perfect answer.

3. As a kid I was the world's worst fussy eater. So much so that my answer to the question is yoghurt! And I'm not talking anything fancy here; Ski's bogstandard Strawberry pots were unbelievably exotic to me at the age of eight.

4. Florrie Capp. What that woman puts up with ...

5. For a while I thought I WAS Rob Fleming!

Early night calling for DsD. G'night all.

ShariVari said...

1) I'm a sucker for detective fiction. I read practically every Agatha Christie novel going, in my youth, before getting hooked on Chandler, Hammett and the like. The Big Sleep might be the epitome of the genre, for me.

2)Half the stuff i listen to would count as a guilty pleasure for a lot of people. I'm currently enamoured with Taylor Swift's Fearless album.

3)Octopus, i think. I remember examining at the suckers for about fifteen minutes before eating it, absolutely fascinated.

4) Tintin, of course. I have a stack of Herge's books about ten feet away. I didn't really have any interest in "graphic novels" until about last year when my girlfriend gave me a copy of Grant Morrison's first Invisibles book. I've read a few since - mostly Allan Moore and Junji Ito.

5) Keeping with the theme developing, i genuinely wanted to be Tintin when i was eleven. He might be the least interesting character in the stories but the adventures appealed to me (and still do).

cauliflower said...

1. fiction genre
I'm with Treefrogdemon, "blessed with the inability ever to remember whodunnit" so they work for me as a kind of mental massage - I come out the other end feeling quite refreshed and ready for actual thinking. Wallander's good, and Brookmyre (read one of his recently which completely captured my Scottish school days) but if I'm completely honest, it really doesn't matter as long as it's not a really gruesome offalbuster - I get them from charity shops and leave them on the window ledge of my house - everyone in my street leaves books there now, and somehow they disappear.

I'm also a fan of Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities cf Nilpferd, and am just starting Conrad - I used to be frightened of 'the big writers' but the more I read, the more I realised they did it before, usually better than stuff written now.

2. recent guilty music pleasure
A friend is going to see Andy Williams on Monday night, I'm jealous. In anticipation, we have been listening to (my favourite)
Can't get used to losing you,
Music To Watch The Girls Go By and Can't Take My Eyes Off You

3. earliest "exotic" food
We lived "abroad" and travelled, so the most exotic food was usually something from the UK. I remember going for a sleepover with Arab princesses, hoping for something delicious, but they gave me English food to make me feel at home, so I had sardines in tomato sauce for the first time, while they watched me closely. It tasted vile. Also, my nana loved lights and offal - my first taste of udder was my last, and it looked like elastoplast.

I also love Eggs Benedict (Blimpy)... or, really, anything with Hollandaise. And cooked oxtails only last week, Steenbeck ;-)

4. comics, fave character
Not much good at remembering anything much (see detective fiction, above) so comics go in one eye and out the other, but I do remember being mysteriously fond of the Watchmen. I have a new superhero in mind - don't want to reveal his identity until an illustrator joins me in realising him. Any offers?

5. character in a novel
I wanted to be something, anything, in Michael Ondaatje's In The Skin Of A Lion. It was a world I wanted to live in. Otherwise, anything with a happy ever after ;-)

steenbeck said...

Holy smoke, ShariVari - me too! I wanted to be Tintin so badly I asked my mom to make me some breeches in a rust-colored fabric. I can still remember how the fabric smelled, but she never finished them. I liked him best in black socks and a yellow polo shirt. Why oh why is Tintin so appealing? I used to come home from school, make some french fries that you bake in the oven and read tin tin. Would my life have been different if I'd been out playing with friends? Who can say.
Isaac was Tintin for halloween when he was maybe a year old - before he had a say in the matter. cute as a button. I'll post a picture.

Also...to answer Carole's question...I always was a character in my own novel. I'd think about myself in the third person. "Then Claire walked down the brick trail at the zoo. A black panther in his cage followed her everywhere she went. The other parents tried to get the panther to follow their children, but it only followed Claire. She felt afraid, but special, too." That's the only incident I actually remember narrating, but it happened all the time. (Well, not the giant cats following me, the self-narrative). If only I'd been out playing with friends....

TracyK said...

Fantastic questions Carole, very thought-provoking.

1: I don't think it has a title, per se, but I like the books that were termed 'feminist' when I was at Uni, but chiefly the ones concerned with female identity, like Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson and Angela Carter. My favourite, Kate Atkinson fits into this neatly. I enjoy the discovery of the present self through examing the past: Atwood's 'Lady Oracle' and especially 'The Robber Bride' are prime examples of this.

2: I've been listening to a lot of songs that I used to karaoke to in Japan via Spotify, so I'm wailing away to Bette Davis Eyes, Because The Night and ABC's All of My Heart recently, much to Jon's utter joy downstairs.

3: At school one homework involved drawing a still life of a cut red pepper. I can still remember mine and mum's puzzlement when we went to the Co-op and bought it and the smell made me retch for the 5 hours it took me to draw. Then we threw it in the bin and I never touched another one till Uni. I also remember my middle-class godmother making courgette fritters and being horrified and grimly choking one down.

4: I'm a Fantagraphics/Vertigo kinda gal. My absolute love if Jaime Hernandez' Love and Rockets. Like TFD, I love Maggie. I resemble her in many ways, except I'm not Latina. Or a punk. Or live in an LA suburb. And I'm not a pro-solar mechanic. Also love Gaiman's Endless series and Tank Girl. Basically, I adored Deadline.

5: Oooh, several! I'm very fond of Isabelle in Kate' Atkinson's Human Croquet, Death in The Sandman, Kimberley in the Fionavar Tapestry. Trillian in HHGTG. Prue Sarn is indeed a great heroine TFD, and Kester is quite something. We spent some time in Church Stretton in August, beautiful up on the Long Mynd.

Makinavaja said...

Great Questions!
1. Toffee Boy has beaten me to Great Expectations (a book I hated when I had to study it for O level and have since fallen irrevocably in love with.)Can't think of anything to top that so I'll just second that emotion.
2. I buy my guilty pleasures for Mrs Maki so that I don't have to own up to them (pathetic, huh?). Last one was probably some ABBA.
3. Mussels, the first time I came to Spain. Loved them and still do.
4.Given my nick it has to be Makinavaja a thoroughly despicable small time crook from El Jueves comic here in Spain. Ivà, the guy who did the strip died some years ago and I chose my nick as a tribute to him because this comic really helped me learn a lot of the more off-beat colloquial Spanish I needed to integrate and would not have found elsewhere. Not that I'm a despicable small time crook, I hasten to add!
5. Pip (sorry TB, seems I'm copying you) but maybe more for the depth of his friendship with Herbert Pocket and his late found admiration for Joe Gargery.

TonNL said...

1. Like Nilpferd said: Italo Calvino is unclassifiable, love to read and re-read his books...
In the train to and from work however, I love to read 'intelligent thriller stuff' (if that's a genre....) like Philip Kerr's 'Berlin Noir' trilogy, at the moment I just started to read the Steig Larsson Millenium trilogy

2. Not feeling guilty about what musical purchase ever...

3. Baguette with garlic butter when I was six, immediately fell in love with it....

4. Dutch series called 'de Generaal' (the General) in which a general, accompanied by a soldier, advised by a mad professor and his even madder general dad, tries to seize 'the power' from the Marshall who lives in a heavily fortified castle. All his efforts fail miserably, and he (nearly) always ends up in the jail of the castle, hilarious stuff....

5. Not really....

Shoegazer said...

1. William Gibson's sci-fi/cyberpunk trilogies.
2. No guilt - just like what I like.
3. A Chinese fish & chip shop, used to be a stop-off on the way home from visiting my uncle - there was something magical about the batter they used on the fish. Not tasted anything like it since.
4. Most of the iconic superheroes go through peaks & valleys as different creative teams do their own take on the characters. Would go with Warren Ellis' Spider Jerusalem (more cyber-punk with a large dash of black comedy).
5. Will settle for being a fictional character on the 'Spill.

Marconius7 said...

1. I love detective and crime fiction - matches my taste in TV shows as well. Crime authors I like include Jeffrey Deaver, James Paterson, Greg Iles, Kathy Reichs, Mickey Spillane. Of literary writers, I like Victor Hugo. And I've mentioned before I'm a fan of Ayn Rand's works.

2. I don't buy a lot of CDs but have been checking the record stores for a Greatest Hit collection by The Four Seasons, one with their old hits like Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Big Girls Don't Cry, Rag Doll, etc. May have to buy it from Amazon.com

3. Pizza! Really. Never ate it as a kid as I was a fussy eater and I thought it looked like someone had upchucked his dinner. After I moved to Vancouver, a visiting friend twisted my arm and convinced me to try a cheese only pizza. I loved it and eat pizza regularly - but meats, mushrooms and pineapple toppings only - no veggies thank you very much!

4. I was a DC comic fan and my favorites were Green Lantern, Metal Men, and Adam Strange (in Strange Adventures comics). I did read some Batman and Superman as well.

5. Francisco d'Anconia in Atlas Shrugged has always appealed to me. I like his sardonic approach to things as well as his laid back, relaxed manner.

Japanther said...

great questions Carole!

1. I love all those old and depressing 19th century European classics where everyone dies of TB and stuff. Not sure what the genre is, but I like all those French, Russian and German clever people of the time, with a special fondness for Emile Zola's depiction of the working class struggle.

2. I have a strong attachment to eighties soft rock and power ballads. I've got loads of 7"'s like Foreigner and REO Speedwagon and most recently bought a copy of "Pyromania" by Def Leppard. Ahhh...I think i've just blown my carefully constructed facade of indie cool......

3. It sounds silly now, but I think it has to be mayonnaise. We were a pretty working class family and only had salad cream. I knew about mayonnaise, but thought it was only for posh kids. I distinctly remember the first time there was a jar in the house, it was used sparingly and I felt like a king!

4. I've talked a little about Japanese manga before, but I do read it and like it. The thing about manga is that every single conceivable story or interest is covered. I recently saw a complete manga adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma" in the bookshop. There is wine appreciation manga, chess mange, food manga, literally everything! I'm still reading Beck (the story of an indie rock band who get to play Glastonbury) and it has to be my favourite so far.

5. I ALWAYS want to be characters in novels! I'm sure every teenager feels the same, but I really wanted to be Holden Caulfield and still do a little bit. Having the balls to defy authority and take your own path is always an appealing one.

CaroleBristol said...

I am so loving all your answers, lovely 'Spillers!

Japanther said...

@SV - forgot to mention that I only read Chandler for the first time a few months ago, The BIg Sleep was brilliant and Marlowe is so so cool, yet another character in a novel I wish I had even the tiniest similarity too...

nilpferd said...

TonNL- in case you don't know them, you might enjoy Martin Cruz Smith's Renko novels, or Alan Furst's series of second world war spy thrillers.

For the Crime and Chandler lovers, the little known works of Jean-Patrick Manchette are an interesting excursion into French noir fiction, as A bout de souffle or Le Samourai are to The Big Sleep.

try Three to kill for a taste.

Beaumont Surlamer said...

1. Inspector Morse all the way, all of them, all the time.

2. Is there any guilt attached to Miley Cyrus, when you're in your forties?

3. Someone told me I was eating boiled bulls' balls on a class trip to Spain. I've never been sure about that one..

4. Does anyone remember Iznogoud, and his never ending quest to overthrow the Caliph?

5. Philip Marlowe, thankyew!

Exodus said...

1) Sci-fi of all shapes and colours & difficult to pick one out, but I've read Dan Simmons 'Hyperion Cantos'at least four times over the last 15 year.

2) not been buying much music recently, but my guiltiest pleasures are probably a fondness for 'Jesus Christ Superstar' & 'Evita' (but only when Julie Covington is involved)

3) My mother has always been a traditional meat & two veg boil it till it surrenders cook so it was a shock to the system when staying with my adult sister (who'd been to catering college) at the age of twelve I was served aubergine slices fried in garlic butter.

4) Neil Gaiman's Sandman - with Halo Jones running a close second.

5) Not sure I ever have - although when I was a kid I desperately wanted to be one of the 'Tomorrow People'

gordonimmel said...

@Exodus, no need to feel guilty about liking Jesus Christ Superstar. I've loved it since we studied it at school when I was 11.
Don't think we're going to see any of it on the A-List anytime soon, mind.

ejaydee said...

1) Don't read enough fiction these days to have a favourite kind, unless you count David Sedaris as fiction, but that ruins it, so I don't.

2) I've now got a soft spot for Wilson Phillips's Hold On and, gulp, John Cougar Mellencamp's Jack & Diane, but that's because now I'll remember them as the songs Ms EJ danced along too on her own one night. One CD I bought not too long ago was by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, there's something a bit "rah" about them, although that doesn't stop me from liking them.

3) I actually don't remember. Ostrich maybe, or sushi.

4) Probably Gaston Lagaffe, a loveable clumsy slacker, who works in the publishing house that does Spirou & Fantasio, them of Marsupilami fame.
Of course I remember Iznogoud, that's how Sarkozy was portrayed by cartoonist Plantu, until he did become the caliph.

5) I always identify with characters in films I like, only last night, we saw 500 Days Of Summer, which was really good. Novel-wise, it would have to be Solal Solal, form Belle Du Seigneur and Solal, but unfortunately this French best seller hasn't been translated as far as I know, so you'll have to trust me when I say he's the most glorious man ever put to paper, yet deeply flawed.

DarceysDad said...

@ nilpferd and TonNL -
Oh YES! Arkady Kirilovich is an ace hero. My favourite is actually Polar Star, but you must read them in order.

cauliflower said...

Re Q5. I realised overnight that I spent most of Wednesday afternoon fantasising about being Arietty in the Borrowers. Hadn't made the connection until this morning.

nilpferd said...

Yep, Polar Star... though Wolves eat dogs runs it close for me.
And donds for Gaston.. this was the WC reading material in my last shared flat.. next to Tintin and Asterix.. reminds me of great cartoons I've read in other people's toilets, most notably Bloom County, Opus and Calvin/Hobbes at my brother's place.

DarceysDad said...

Nilpferd, have you ever read Lionel Davidson's Kolymsky Heights?

Now that's a fabulous Soviet espionage adventure; the timelines, attention to detail, action episodes and evocation of the sheer cold are breathtaking.

James Bond? Pah! An ADD-slacker, compared to Dr. John B. Porter.

Recommended to you all, that one.
Any of the locals can borrow my copy if you can't find one yourself - but if I don't get it back, I'll hunt you down JohnnyP-style, OK?!?!?!

nilpferd said...

Don't know him, DD- thanks for the tip. Don't diss Mr. B, though- I grew up with a Dom Perignon in the fridge of my fantasy and an Aston Martin in the garage of my mind.

Exodus said...

@Gordoninmel - one of my first demi-semi-professional jobs in theatre after leaving college was as a member of the apostles' chorus for a summer season run of Superstar.8 shows a week for 6 weeks. For similar reasons I also know every word & note of 'Oliver' and 'Blood Brothers'

May1366 said...

Not always getting round to the EOTWQ and these are good ones so very glad to find the time to answer:

1) I'm not big on genre fiction but if there's one genre I'm drawn towards, it's detective fiction. I like the old hardboiled stuff like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Damon Runyan, and then writers who play around with the conventions of the genre - Paul Auster and Josef Skvorecky are probably my two favourite writers anyway and they're both big detective fiction nuts who like to mess with the form. But the book that epitomises all the best characteristics of the genre is The Maltese Falcon by Hammett.

2] I'm proud about all my pleasures but that's only a happy state I've found myself struggling towards in maturity. And that means admitting to myself that liking Here I Go Again by Whitesnake and Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler enough to buy them from iTunes is a fact I should embrace and over which feel no shame.

3] Ah, well, I had a weird immigrant upbringing, in that my mum didn't want me or my brother to grow up unacclimatized to 'Western' food, so the only regular taste of 'home' we ever had was purripu - dhal - which we'd always have with rice but never in the context of a curry. But because my mum and dad ate curries, you couldn't say it was exotic. But I do have a memory of being at infant school and a classmate from Bangladesh brought in a mango, which we were all allowed to taste. Again, this shouldn't have been exotic to a Sri Lankan but in the mid-70s, fresh mangoes obviously hadn't penetrated British culture and it seemed very different and impossibly sensual to everyone in my class. Mind you, that might have been partly down to the ritualistic way each person was given a tiny spoonful, in order to share one mango out between 30 kids.

4] Never a massive comic fan, though I can see the appeal. I'd have to recourse to the Tintin books, from which I'm another Captain Haddock fan - can't beat a character with a flask of rum in his pocket! More specifically, I once found an anarchist mock-Tintin saga called "Breaking Free" in which Tintin, Snowy, the Captain and some random goth girl lead a nationwide anarcho-syndicalist revolution - so my fave comic character is Captain Haddock in that.

5] Whenever Paul Auster, who's fond of his postmodern devices, introduces a character called Paul Auster, a successful novelist with a beautiful, statuesque wife who's also a successful novelist (Paul Auster's wife is the beautiful, statuesque, successful novelist, Siri Hustvedt), I sort of want to be him. But really I always want to be the characters in the novels I'm reading. And, other than he's deranged, I'd most like to be Don Quixote. Or Sancho Panza without his own brand of delusion.

TonNL said...

@nilpferd & DsD: have read all of Martin Cruz Smith's Renko books, great stuff. Don't know Alan Furst, gonna check him out

Chris said...

1. As with music, I'm not keen on genres at all and prefer to go with recommendations and authors I know I like. Having said that, I'm probably most attracted to 'magic realist' stories (and things that mess with my head in general) and least attracted by detective novels, war stories and sci-fi. I'm always searching for the book that blows me away, something that doesn't happen very often.
2. I don't get guilty about liking a piece of music. Even when I became quite attached to Five Star (a long, long time ago), I had my own perfectly sane reasons for doing so. I also never bought any of their records.
3. Like gordon, I was fed a standard British (fifties) diet as a child and had narrowed even that down to a favourite meal of baked beans and chips. I then went on a French exchange at the age of 13 and had to eat what I was given or starve. I ate. All sorts of stuff I'd never come across before and would have rejected back home passed my lips. The most exotic (at the time) was artichoke with a white sauce. I had no idea what it was, let alone how to eat it. But I enjoyed it.
4. Apart from The Beano etc as a kid, comics have never attracted me. Not even being given three copies of the Grateful Dead Comix prompted me to get any more. I do like the Steve Bell and Doonesbury strips in the Graun, though. It was good to see ze Frainch arteeste (currently being impersonated by Phillipe Starck on TV) make a return not long ago.
5. Scanning my bookshelves, I can't see any books whose hero I want to be, with the possible exception of Jonathan Strange....

DarceysDad said...

Thanks Ton & Nilp, sounds like you're both a couple of Arkasha's ahead of me then. Looks like I have some catching up to do.

Adding them to my Christmas wish list on the whiteboard now ...

debbym said...

1) I'll read almost anything, but I'm not a great fan of short stories: Alice Munro is the exception to the rule. I used to read quite a lot of detective fiction, but I only really like the old-school stuff, and I'd never been near historical fiction until tfd recommended Lymond (book II of the series is just waiting for the school holidays to begin).
Jasper Fforde - what genre fits his books? I love that kind of stuff. And if PG Wodehouse is a genre of his own, I'll have him on my list too.

2) No guilt, but shamelessly exagerrated pride and pleasure in the BoyWonder's music likely to continue for a while

3) First read this as erotic and thought 'typical Carole question'!

4) Another Asterix fan here

5) Bertie Wooster's Aunt Dahlia

treefrogdemon said...

@debbym: oh phew, I thought you maybe weren't liking the Dunnett and didn't want to tell me! Beware of Queen's Play - I started reading it when I went to bed one night and didn't stop till I'd finished it. Luckily the next day wasn't a school day.

nilpferd said...

"Great aunt calling to great aunt, like Mastodons across some primeval swamp.."
Yes, I may have to open up a Wodehouse again sometime soon..

Anonymous said...

1. SF is my thing. Started off with Doctor Who books went on to pulp SF then read J.G. Ballard and Ursula K. Le Guin and continued from there.

2 Fashion - Fabrique. I already have the cassette version with the remixes but when I saw the vinyl version for 1€ I just had to buy it. So, it's guilty because it was unnecessary. Actually, I don't feel guilty about any of the records in my collection, even Marshall Hain.

3. Went vegetarian at the age of 16. My mother refused to cook for me, so a lot of indescribable stuff was cooked. Anything different I tried. Found my veg curries being used as sauce by my father to cover up the blaaaaaand fare he normally got. Good times.

4. I don't read comics that much but I do like stuff by Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve) and Daniel Clowes (Eightball). You really wouldn't want to be a character in any of those books.

5. I want to be a member of the anarchistic Culture as described in Iain M. Banks SF books. Then I'd be able to gland cocktails of drugs to suit my mood, change sex and lead an exceptionally hedonistic utopian lifestyle, if I so choose. And maybe I could also join the Culture's Special Circumstances and be involved in universe wide conspiracies and skullduggery. Sounds good to me. Fook yeah!

AliMunday said...

Great(great)aunt alert ...

1.Fantasy - another vote for Angela Carter; Saki; Mervyn Peake;Philip Pullman - but I like lots of other stuff too - I'll try most things at least once. Difficult to pick out one book but I loved 'The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr Hoffman" (AC)

2. Can't afford to buy any music. Unfortunately.

3. Lettuce. It was a kids birthday party, I had never eaten lettuce on the leaf before so I cut the spine out of the middle and ate the edges.

4. Has to be Mr Natural or Fat Freddy's Cat.

5. Maria Merryweather in "The Little White Horse" - such a magical story, I wanted it to happen to me.

GarethI said...

Ed, the Penguin Cafe Orchestra are great and there shouldn't be a guilty pleasure about them. A bit like Mr Blue Sky, but Michael Sheen would back me up on that…

1. Considering I studied English Lit at university, I sometimes wonder why I read so much non-fiction – now there's a permeable genre for you – these days. Currently, it's A Year With Verona by Tim Parks, which tells you as much, probably more, about Italy, than it does about football. What to say about it? Put it this way. He wrote the book in 2002. I could look up how the season ended. I don't want to. It would spoil the book.
2. I asked – asked! – a football friend for the War of the Worlds remix album because I've got fond memories of the Ben Liebrand remix of The Eve of the War.
3. I was a very fussy eater until I was 22, drunk and tucked into a lamb passanda.
4. I've never really got into graphic novels, but I'm a big fan of political cartoons. A few years ago, there was a Hogarth show at the National Gallery and Martin Rowson did a guided tour. I'd admit to enjoying Steve Bell more but it was illuminating listening to Rowson, not least when he said he and others saw their job as "visual journalists".
5. Not a character in a novel, but I've always relished the way Gary Cooper leaves town at the end of High Noon.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ debbym - no idea why I would think this, but I see you as more of a Bobby Wickham/Stiffy Byng character.

sourpus said...

1. Dont really read fiction anymore.Honestly.
2. Dont really buy records either. Not since a very good friend got me an option on Spotify - although its been (ahem) out of action recently. The guilty pleasures there typically never cease for the most part..Lately, ive rather enjoyed a variety of prog rock.(gulp)
3. The first chinese food I ever had - circa about 1972. Chow mein, as I recall. Lovely.
4. Green lantern. No question about it.
5. I wouldnt have minded being Humbert Humbert, but only to wind up Guardian readers. No seriously, see question 1.

gordonimmel said...

4. Jings! Crivens! and Help ma Bob!
I forgot about one of the pleasures of travelling north every year to visit my extended family in Scotland. I got to read 'The Broons' and 'Oor Wullie'. I really wanted to be Wullie and I really, really wanted a bucket just like his.

@Chris, you just reminded me about my French exchange, aged 13, when I was also presented with artichoke. I proceeded to chew the entire leaf until it was explained, with a certain amount of bemusement, that I should simply scrape off the soft white bit at the bottom.

@Exodus, 'Always thought that I'd be an apostle/ Knew that I could make it if I tried...'

FP said...

Morning all! My 5 pennorth...
1. Novels about France by non-French people. You always think 'oh I could have written that one no worries'. While knowing that's not true!! I like Joanne Harris's books - OK so she's half French. Chocolat is beautifully written and I recommend it if only to discover what Lasse Halstrom did in the admittedly very good cinema adaptation. Her other book - 5 quarters of an orange is beautifully written too and would make a fantastic film.
2. My music buying days are all but over - thanks to deezer and spotify - does that make me a bad person? But I recently 'favourited' Barclay James Harvest's Victims of Circumstance as I realised it was the soundtrack to my first summer in Germany - student job - the family I stayed with had it on autorepeat in the car...
3. Real spaghetti. Pasta. Not out of a tin. Not made by Heinz. Who else had a mam who put Heinz spaghetti in... shepherds pie? how GOOD was that?
4. Still read VIZ and still adore the Fat Slags. Because I went to school with them.
5. Jane Eyre funnily enough. She stays feisty and 'gets her mayan'. I also very much like Eowyn in LOTR. Great rider, manages to deck a Nazgul, doesn't get her man but ends up with .. Faramir isn't it? He seemed like a very good sort to me.

TatankaYotanka said...

Magic Realism, which is where I'd put some of the work of my favourite writer, John Berger and a recent favourite, 'Here Is Where We Meet'.

Sheena Easton - Morning Train, the ever enduring earworm which accommodates all kinds of lyrical variations.

Born in The Vale Of Evesham but didn't taste asparagus until the age of 9 round at a posh kid's house; his dad had his own asparagus bed dontcha know. My dad had a rhubarb and purple sprouting patch ... my goodness, if only he'd lived to see how far ahead of the food trend curve he actually was.

Bud Neil's Lobey Dosser strips .... I am Rank Bajin

Character in a novel? Possibly William Buckley in Alan Garner's 'Strandloper'. Displaced in time, space and reality.

CaroleBristol said...

I thought I'd better answer my own questions, so;

1) Fantasy is my favourite type of genre fiction and for me, The Lord of the Rings cannot be bettered.

2) My latest musical guilty pleasure was, as I said at the beginning, Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl album.

3) The first exotic (not erotic) food item I ever ate was on a school trip to Rome when I was 14.

On our first evening in the hotel we were served a breaded veal escalope with spaghetti and a tomato sauce with grated parmesan. It was nothing like what my Mum passed off as spaghetti bolognaise. A revelation.

4) I have already said that Doctor Strange is my favourite cartoon character. I got into him while on a holiday in Cornwall when I was about 12 or 13. It rained endlessly and the campsite shop had loads of Marvel comics. I loved the almost psychedelic Dr Strange ones best and I loved the trans-dimensional imagery. Such a refreshing change from Superman and the other musclebound dolts.

5) The first fictional character I ever wanted to be was Nancy Blackett in the Swallows and Amazons books. She seemed to be everything I wasn't as a girl. Subsequently, I have wanted to be Galadriel in LOTR and more recently, I kind of loved the idea of being Lady Sharrow in Iain M Banks Against a Dark Background.

tincanman said...

Statistically significant number of Canadian authors mentioned: Coupland, Atwood, Munro, Ondaatje, Gibson.

Dunno what happened to me - I think I was out checking my trapline that day and missed school.

Abahachi said...

1.Science Fiction: either Iain M.Banks' Excession, though points deducted for not publishing all his books under the same name and thus perpetuating the ghetto status of SF, or William Gibson's Neuromancer.

2.Busy revisiting Whitesnake as a result of a nomination for this week's RR. Permanently uncomfortable about the sexism, but love the music.

3.My parents were massive Elizabeth David and Madhur Jaffrey fans, so home cooking was pretty exotic. Thus I suspect the answer is: chilli con carne made with baked beans, because that was completely outside my experience.

4.Love Tintin and Asterix, fond memories of Bloom County, big fan of Steve Bell. Dupont and Dupond.

5.I tend to want to inhabit novels and interact with their characters, rather than actually be one of them, so no, not really.

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