“I think we made some real progress last week Charlene.”

“Charlie.” I correct immediately. The muscles of his lower jaw twitch and his mandibles drop open, as if to rebuke me. When his tongue depresses in his mouth he pauses, suddenly pensive. I attribute this to the fact I can feel my high caliber rifle jut out from beneath my over sized coat. He’s dissuaded with one glance.

“Yes, ah, well…Charlie.” He replies as his voice trembles. “As I was saying; I feel we’ve really made progress within the last few weeks.”

“I still need therapy.” I insist. He flinches in response, as if being foiled unrepentantly.

“You have issues, yes, but they aren’t anything that I don’t think some medication could -“

“You have two options.” I interject, calmly. I assume I get this from my Father. My mother has no sense of anger management. At rare instances, however, I can become over-zealous and only a horse tranquilizer can subside my inborn rage. “The first being that you continue treating me and we have these amicable sessions which I feel is improving my way of life.”

He looks unsure. His brows begin to sink gradually, several creases that create a fold appears in his forehead. He finally looks convinced when I place my rifle on the table between us. It makes negliable sound as the body is laid parallel on the surface of the desk.

“Or I can walk out of this office and not be able to assure you that I can control myself and these sudden urges of destruction and murder.”

He swallows hard. His Adam’s apple bobbing with the weight of conscience. I never liked using threats. They were vulgar. But at times like these it’s crucial to make my point and be understood.

“Ah. I see where you’re coming from Charle-Charlie.” He replies, the tremble still evident, correcting himself least I feel offended with the slip of the tongue. “In that case, I’ll leave my schedule as free as possible next week.” He states, with a renewed fervor for the Hippocratic oath.

“Let me know if your change your home phone number again.” I add. He winces very slightly. Clearing his throat he begins to make unintelligible notes on his prescription card

“This is a prescription for some mild sedatives. They should help you sleep and try to curb any oppressing anxieties. If you have any adverse side-affects call immediately.”

I accept the slip of paper briefly glancing at the sedative he had scribbled down. Being familiar with most off-market poisons and drugs I can quickly deduce by the prefix and suffix of this particular drug that it’s nothing more then a glorified Valium to wrangle out high expenses from insurance companies.

“I see you’ve changed your home phone number again. It must be exhausting. It’s unfortunate that you can’t seem to leave your work in your office.” I state, but not joking. I haven’t thought for a second that it’s my phone calls at 3 o’clock in the morning that cause him to change his phone number at least once every three weeks. He only clears his throat and offers me a plastic smile as if we have a normal patient doctor relationship.

“Oh, and in the future, Charlie, I would appreciate it if you left anything that could be construed as a weapon outside of my office during sessions. I feel threatened by the gun and I find it hard to trust you.” He declares. It’s important to be honest about feelings. I’ve learned this from years worth of therapy. I don’t take offense to his statement because he is being open with me. It’s good to be open. That’s when you can begin to start the process of emotional healing.

* * *

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old. I resent my Father.

My Father was killed in the Vietnam War. Never mind that I was born in 1975. Never mind that the obvious arithmetic doesn’t figure out. I attribute both to my mother being a non-literal crack whore but a literal alcoholic.

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old. I have angry feelings towards my Father.

When I was five I asked my Mother who my Father was. I received a grim spiteful look and a wrinkled photograph of someone who looked like he could be a direct descendent of Hercules. He was near seven feet tall if not that and weighed probably four hundred pounds. He was a giant. And wore glasses.

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old. I despise my mother for having dominant genes.

When I began developing a bust at the age of eight I had a feeling of impending doom while wearing my training bra. By the time I was eleven I learned about dominant and recessive genes. I hated Mendel. I hated the man in the picture who obviously was not my Father. I hated my Mother because I received her triple F cup sized breasts. Life isn’t fair.

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old. My violent tendencies and penchant for guns and ammunition is directly correlated to the lack of a masculine figure in my life as I grew up.

While growing up I was often reminded of ‘I should have fucked the one who read books’. I could only assume that she meant my ‘Father’ (aka the man in the picture I carried) from the elusive statement. She seemed to hate my Father as much as I did. We never bonded over the shared feelings.

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old. I have spent almost twenty years in therapy and finally have made my first step of progress two weeks ago when I was able to admit out loud my feelings.

My name is Charlene. I am twenty-five years old.

I have strong feelings towards my Father for not being a role model.

I hate my Mother for naming me Charlene.

I have misogynistic tendencies.

And I try to replace my Father with guns.

This has cost me nearly seven hundred thousands dollars in accumulation.

I never knew how expensive words could be.

* * *

He looks angelic when he sleeps. Almost beautiful in a Raphaelitism sense. I marvel at how his lashes tremble gently with a feminine charm as he exhales. They gradually scissor open, fluttering against one another in arches until the whites of his cornea are revealed. A dimmed look that lasts less then a second before he shrieks and lunges backwards with a jolt upright. Panting heavily he gives me an incredulous look.

“Jesus fucking CHRIST Charlie what the fucking are you doing other then trying to fucking give me a fucking heart attack you insane bitch?!” He demands, shoulders jerking upwards abruptly with his bodily pant. I easily dismiss the name-calling for now since I am pointing the muzzle of the replica Beretta at his head.

“Humor me.” I reply, sinking back into bed with one knee. He’s still naked beneath the sheets, and I’m only wearing my underwear. I don’t sleep after sex. I don’t like sleeping if I’m not alone. It makes me feel vulnerable.

His eyes instinctually flit to my breasts. I’m use to this. Seconds before most men die it always ends with their eyes at my bust level. Swallowing roughly he glances back up to me not even knowing he has just eyed up my tits, which still probably smell like semen.

“What is this?” I question, pressing the edge of the gun just under his nose, tipping upwards to lift the pointed slope of his nasal cavity upwards. His shoulders rise up as his neck seems to shrink, causing him to wither despite his notorious ‘tough’ image known in the back streets.

“A gun?” He replies, his voice shaking slightly.

“No you fucking moron, the make.” I reply, my voice never rises. I’m calm albeit slightly pissed at the attempt to pull a fast one on me. It’s not even the fact that he is trying to rip me off monetarily, but that lack of respect I seem to receive in my illegal trades because of my gender.

“A Beretta.”

“Wrong. It’s a fucking replica.” He stops breathing. He knows that I know now. And he reacts like deer do before headlights. He’s frozen and holding his breath.

“Charlie…” He begins, his voice wavering. Pleading. I’m grateful it isn’t my house. His brain stains the headboard and wall. Blood splatters in luscious streaks against the ceiling.

“I didn’t even have a fucking orgasm.” I reply dryly to the corpse. I hate having to masturbate after sex because some prick rather ejaculate between my breasts and fall asleep. I hate people assuming I don’t know the difference between a Magnum and a Beretta. I hate my Father. I can’t seem to hold a stable relationship because of my lack of trust to the male population.

Thanks Dad.

* * *

“So, word on the street is that a certain arms dealer was found with his head spread across his bedroom wall.” She begins, clearing her throat with a hint of amusement. I’ve always enjoyed listening to her talk; she has a tonation between indifferent and flatly charismatic. This may be due to her chain-smoking Virginia Slims or the fact she has about as much luck with men as I do.

It’s not that I pretend not to know about the situation. She knows that I’m aware, in all honestly, she knows that I was the one who killed him. We sit there with the knowledge, comfortable, drinking near flat Pabst Blue Ribbon at the local bar that is usually inhabited by people like ourselves.

“Mmm.” I reply which allows her to be the judge if I’m guilty or not of the serious crime. We both sit at that counter of the bar. Our faces are synonymous with bitter intelligence. We hate what we do. What hate what we are. But it still doesn’t bar us from being social with one another and pretend that we actually have associates that might be marginally trusted.

“Christ. Charlie. You were practically married to him. What was it – like…4 weeks?” She replies, smirking, brandishing enamel teeth beneath her smug grin. While many would find her smirking disconcerting and even irritable it doesn’t affect me. I know Slims. I’ve known her for several years now.

“Something like that.” I admit, not feeling guilty but missing the sex now even if it was one sided.

“You know what you have? You have issues about commitments.” She states, toasting me with her half bottle of beer. I raise a brow at her, a slight grin that only half matches her own with some humor.

“Funny. My therapist says the same thing.”

“Have you ever considered you were gay?”

“Christ. Like I need a fucking bitch wielding a strap on for my psychosis.” I grumble. While not broadcasted in more obvious venues Slims seems to go both ways when the mood suits her. While being notorious for devirginizing 14 year olds in the back of her Fleetwood she sometimes dabbles in brief sadistic homosexuality with out mutual friend Cesare “Jerry” Jerusalem. Jerry herself remains adamant that she isn’t bisexual, but gets taken advantage of when she is drunk and mysteriously naked.


“Jerry walks around in just her underwear waiting for people to fuck. I’m not gay. I just hate…dating.” I reply after cutting Slims off. She only rolls her eyes, but humors me and signals towards the familiar bartender for another round of beer. “Besides. I never had an orgasm.”

She blinks.

“The bastard.” She states now seeming to toast his death. “In that case. Here’s to another month of celibacy.”

* * *

“It was an impulse thing.” I state, a bottle of half drained scotch between my legs. “It wasn’t even a reactionary thing. It was instinctual.” I confess. I exhale, my cigar smoldering in an earth ware ashtray next to my upper thigh on the leather couch.

“I don’t even feel guilty. I suppose I should. I didn’t get a sexual satisfaction from it either. I felt…” I linger, attempting to find a word to suit.

“Resolved?” A groggy voice offers.

“Excuse me. I’m trying to fucking talk here.” I bark in reply.

“Pardon me.”

“Then I sat down afterwards and thought about it. Maybe the reason why I can’t exist in a stable relationship is because every man is subconsciously my Father and I’m trying to push him away because I resent him? So instead of trying to come to an understanding of my feelings I would rather exterminate the relationship before any confrontation arose that would make me examine myself.”

“Self-examination is important Charlie. I feel you are beginning to come to terms with yourself.” His voice lingers, as if he had cut himself off from saying more. I suppose that being a psychologist to a murderer and being forced to talk to her at four in the morning does have its disadvantages. “Now if you would excuse me I would like to return to sleep – that is if it’s alright with you.” He states, seeming pensive to speak to me as an equal.

“Just send me a bill Doc.” I respond feeling slightly elated that I’ve been able to cover this much ground. When the phone line goes dead I drawn in the arid smoke of the cigar into my lungs and hold it there for almost a full minute before exhaling and hanging up my receiver.

It’s time like these where I like to sit and smoke and polish my AK-47s.

* * *

I’m not a violent person by nature. At times of excessive stress and emotion I do have a problem with anger management. Things tend to be viciously broken and people tend to become brutally maimed. For the most part I live a fairly calm and laid-back life. While my lifestyle and job of sorts does demand strenuous attention and paranoia, I feel that I balance out any instances of embarrassing rage.

This has only been a current break through in my personality. Up until a good decade ago I exercised each violent whim that struck me as a time consuming interest. I assaulted. I blew things up. I stalked. They were all stress relievers. I didn’t believe in anti-anxiety medication at the time and from my personal inclinations I assumed that the majority of people co-existed in such a fashion.

This goes without saying that I haven’t stopped these enjoyable past times. I do them with less frequency. Stalking remains one of my more favored hobbies. Voyeurism is directly linked. Many people will argue that somehow this is some type of repressed sexual urge from my subconscious. It’s not. Usually it’s because I’ve read every damned book in the house and I’m too lazy to find my fucking library card.

My Mother witnessed the birth of these strange diversions. I assume that they weren’t some odd personality quirk that I had developed because of my anti-social lifestyle but a portion of inherited interests from my Father’s side. I knew this because my Mother never commented on them. She refused to acknowledge any possible similarities between my Father and myself.

My Father was intelligent. I know this because my Mother barely classifies as being cerebral. My Father was tall, however, not as tall as the figure in the picture. I know this because I am taller then my Mother and have developed muscle mass that could not be equaled by my Mother. My Father had good taste. I know this because my Mother collects Tiki paraphernalia.

What my Father saw in my Mother I have no idea.

I know my Father had recessive genes. Otherwise I wouldn’t have wound up with these fucking tits.

Thanks Dad.

* * *

“So when you gonna meet a nice boy and settle down Charlene? Eh? You’re practically forty.”

I cringe. Her heavily nasaled voice causes my nerves to shrink up against one another in an instinctual shudder. It was a natural reaction of revulsion at her voice.

“Mom. I’m not even fucking thirty.” I reply with as much naturalness as possible.

“Don’t you talk like that to me Charlene. I’m your Mother.” She instantly chastises, I roll my eyes into the back of my skull. A tight vicelike pressure descends behind my sinuses. I can feel a migraine building force.

“Sorry. Mom.” I responds, staccato and cutting the two words into separate sentences. I aim the barrel of the gun at the target ten feet away.

“I’m gonna die not being a Grandmother.” She exclaims with drama, the wail almost a shrill shriek from a harpy. My brows furl together as I cringe at the squealing dilation of her vocal chords.

“Christ. Mom. I need to fucking meet someone before I can get pregnant.”

“You? Hah. If you wait that long I’ll be almost two hundred before I see a prospect.” She retaliates. I see silver sparks. I press my thumb and index finger so sharply into my closed eyelids that the pressure causes my retina to contract and reflect the miniscule microscopic debris in my eyes.

“Thanks Mom. I love you too.” I replay with heavy sarcasm.

“Sherry baby. You know you don’t even NEED a man anymore for that. You can just go to one of those places with a Ziploc bag and they’ll send you home with some frozen sperm and a turkey baster.”

“Right Mom. I’ll look into it.” I assure, my voice is flat. When I hang up I’m grinning. Cordite tickles my nose. An indentation is apparent where the bullet has ripped through the photography picture. My Mother now sports a hole the size of a quarter through her brainpan.

Life doesn’t get any better.

* * *

For the past hour an ostentatiously dyed red head has been entertaining a gaggle of young girls. I’ve watched from a further distance with only a slight interest, smirking occasionally as Anne impresses them with her tricks of eating glass. I wonder what this does to her indigestion.

“She’s at it again.” Slims declares, settling down next to me at the booth of the bar. I glance towards her familiar pale face, my grin only growing.

“I don’t remember her being that fucking charismatic.” I reply stubbing out a small cigar into the over flowing ashtray.

“She’s not. She probably introduced some mid-class narcotics into their beer.” Slim counters with a flat tone of subtle humor. We both marvel from a distance as the brazen woman causes the flock of girls to squeal in drunken delight.

“Figures.” I sigh as I lean back into the sour scented vinyl. The cross-taped cushioning behind me hisses as my weight causes air to depress.

“Not all of us can have triple F breasts Charlie.”

“And I always thought it was my personality.” I snort with a theatrical choke of despair. “That’s sickening. Do they even know she’s a lesbian?” I question, a hand rising upwards with a wave towards Anne. Slims glances over her shoulders at the masculine woman a ways from us.

“I’m sure they will once she takes them home.”


“Amen.” She toasts.

I almost feel bad for the girls.

On the other hand.

They let Anne buy them beer.

They deserve any lesbian trauma coming their way.

We toast to the success of Anne. At least someone was going to get laid tonight, even if it wasn’t consensually.

* * *


“I would prefer you to address me as Dr. Reynolds, Charlie, if you are going to insist on using me as your Doctor.”

“Yeah. Great. Dr. BRIAN Reynolds – don’t you fucking move.” The beginning of the sentence is addressed to my therapist, the other towards another being altogether, and to try and differentiate I hiss at him in a slighted whisper.

“Excuse me?

“Not you.” I bark at Dr. Reynolds. “You. Stay the fuck still. I have issues.” I state. My captive only bobs his head blearily. His eyes are red from the excess of alcohol he’s drunk this evening and from the continuous moisture that weeps from his eyes.

“Charlie?” Dr. Reynolds’s voice interjects causing me to pause before bringing down the butt of my rifle on the nameless man’s head.

“Sorry. Indisposed for a second.” I reply with a grumble. The wind picks up. I can feel the cutting breeze of October brush against my lower back. The excessive material of my long coat flutters against my narrow hips into the air. “I’m having issues right now.”

“Issues? What kind of issues? Charlie?” He responds suddenly concerned, more so then having a murder call him during his Sunday Family dinner.

“I am feeling very…angry…right now.” I reply, having to take a length pause as I relay my emotion. My molars grind against one another with the bitter taste of the word, but I feel marginally better after reciting the emotion.

“SHE’S PRETTY FUCKING ANGRY PLEASE GOD HELP ME!” The drunk shrieks. I scowl heavily and bring down the butt of the gun once again to his temples to force him down against the ground. Above us the night is clear and the sounds of passing airline flights can be heard, almost felt against exposed skin.

“Alright. Charlie. This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to count down to zero backwards and in the middle we’re going to state what we’re feeling.” He begins, and I can hear his chair squeal against the floor as he probably stands, excusing himself from the table.

“I don’t want to count. I want to maim him.” I protest. Not whining, but near it. “This is fucking stupid. It never helps.” I oppose afterwards, sullen and sulky. The man on the ground beneath me doesn’t dare move, he’s trying to keep his breathing shallow enough so where it doesn’t offend me.

“Ten. Nine…” He begins. His voice is almost firm, but I can detect a weak tremble. He doesn’t want to listen to another person die on the phone. I suppose it upsets the end of his weekend.

“Eight. Seven.” I reply as I roll my eyes, the length of the rifle’s girth rests against my clavicles as I exhale. “Six. Five.”

“Good. Good. What are you feeling?”

“I’m fucking pissed off because this son of a bitch fucking cock sucker decided I wouldn’t mind that he fucking groped me my ‘accident’ as I walked past him.”


“That’s it. I’m killing him” I rip the gun from its slack state and point it at the head close range.

“Charlie!” Dr. Reynolds yelps.

“Fine fine. Four, three, two, one, zero.” I mumble rushing the last numbers together in one growl. “You’re pretty fucking lucky that my therapist was home or you’d be missing a fucking head.” I hiss at the hostage. He whimpers.

“Charlie as your therapist, I advise that you go home and immediately take two sedatives and not leave the house.”


A loud sound. Smoke. Cordite. A scream of pain and panic.

“CHARLIE!” Dr. Reynolds shouts in hysterics.

“It was just his fucking leg. Christ.”


  1. Absolutely BRILLIANT! I love it. (Is your heroine inspired by the “Charlie” in The Long Kiss Goodnight by any chance?) This is one of the best stories I’ve read here yet – and I’ve read some good stories.

  2. *sits back in chair” good, very good need sleep no more guns…i hate my father….happy sleepy bugs…big tits…feel more awake…ahhh thats better

  3. Gods. That’s fantastic.
    Where can I find this Charlie, or someone like her? *snicker*
    Somehow that old maxim ‘Be careful what you wish for…’ is going through my head. >;}

    Naughty Naatok

  4. now THAT is what I call a good story. thanx for keeping me amused throughout the entire period of reading your story!

  5. *laughs*

    I’ve never heard of the novel.

    Actually the story is partially biography and creation. I have a whole sleugh of characters who fall under the ‘sassy, intelligent, surly’ types.

    This one in particular was given to me by my fiance. Since he lives in Scotland and I’m American we spent a fair share of traveling back and forth for the first 4 years of out courtship. One of the layover airports was in Amsterdam, one which he often is forced to go to.

    There, supposedly by him, the security walk around with obvious machine guns. He told me once how he went into a fit of hysterics because one of the security personel was a woman who he described as a ‘the dumbest looking bimbo I’ve ever seen holding an AK-47.’

    So instead of making her a bimbo, I made Charlie’s MOTHER a bimbo who in turn named ‘Charlie’ Charlene. I added big breasts because I’m a 36DD and I know the hassle you get from being slightly..endowed. And I decided to embellish it for her.

    And lastly…guns. Uhm. Heh. Charlie is the daughter of a certain character belonging to my fiance (he also writes). Who has a fascination with firearms, so I made the fascination of firearms, arson, and antiques be almost genetic.

    And that is Charlie.

    Of course this is just one of those..”short works just to give a good template of her personality” sort of things. Most of my work is usually longer.

    But, thank you very much!

    I love hearing feedback from my readers…


  6. Oh hell. Someone just asked me that on my messageboard..

    Let me cut and paste…

    I have over 700+ books in my collection. When I was younger I began hording them for myself and often would finish decent sized novels within a day or two (I’m a natural speed reader).

    Since then it must have GROWN. God only knows how much. I tend to juggle several at a time, I began reading The Shining (Not a big SK fan, but his earlier work is alot better in my opinion), a Dictionary on Aphrodisacs, and Famous Last Words.

    I stay away from Westerns, Romances, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy. Anything else is really game. I’ve noticed that the older I become the more willing I am to read non-fiction. I’ve gathered alot of essays, plays, and odd topiced books to gnaw on.

    But my two all time favorites have to be The Fountainhead (a quote is taken from it and located on the index page) and Notes From the Underground.

    I don’t have one favorite author per se. I tend to try and read alot of ‘classics’ and formulate my own opinion.

    Do you know any good books? *g*

  7. Thank you for reading it!

    I’m so glad everyone likes “Charlie”.

    This story was one of my ‘groundbreakers’ so to speak. My editor finally made the comment that he felt I have found my style and balance in writing with the creation of this.

    Alot of my stories that I’m writing now have this real blunt sort of narrated air.

    Hopefully I’ll complete the 3 others I actually focuses on Melanie AKA “Slims”.


  8. now THIS is what i call good writing. Bravo for writing from the heart. No words could truely give this piece the praise that it deserves.

  9. Ayn Rand’s (spelling?) ‘The Fountainhead’ and Dosteovsky’s ‘Notes…’ figure largely in Bret Easton Ellis’ ‘Rules of Attraction’…any similarities I can glean from that?

    I have flicked through one of Ayn’s novellas, the future history (the title of which escapes me) that bears a striking similarity to Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’. I hope I can be forgiven for saying that I found the book dull, pretentious and, at best, dry and unimaginative. I will not pass such judgements on ‘The Fountainhead’ as I have not read it, but will get back to you when I have.

    I don’t consider Stephen King to be any sort of literary swamp thing – his recent autobio ‘On Writing’ is quite fascinating – but yes, his earlier work is far superior to anything he has released in, say, the past five or six years. If I had to pick, ‘Misery’ would be the only SK book I would ever have on my shelves.

    Books with less commercial themes are a source of endless amusement to me, especially little “Christmas cracker” books, collections of snippets, quotes, poems and extracts of larger works.

    Bukowski I consider to be one of the last true geniuses of 20th century literature, though I have little time for his poetry. His prose, however, is a very model of good writing. His finest novel, ‘Ham on Rye’, his story of growing up in post-war America, should be purchased and shoved politely between Celine and Burroughs, the closest combinative match I have come up with so far.

    Haughty as this particular missive may seem, I must say that I am not ashamed at having several Matthew Reilly and Thomas Harris novels in my collection.

    Who else is good? Well, Umberto Eco, to begin with. Then we could consider Howard Norman, a brilliant modern novelist; Salinger, for obvious reasons; Roald Dahl and Jeffrey Archer, two of the three (in my opinion) greatest short story writers in recent times; Kasho Ishiguro (I may have misspelt that as well…I’m terrible with names); Knut Hamsun; and a smattering of others.

    Francis Bacon could easily be considered one of the best essayists of the Western world.

    My only advice, however, is thus: stay away from Shakespeare.

  10. The King Must Die – Mary Renault
    The Secret History – Donna Tartt
    Rats and Gargoyles – Mary Gentle
    The Architecture Of Desire – Mary Gentle
    La Bas – Huysmans
    Les Liasons Dangereuses – Chodleros de Laclos
    Thyestes – Seneca
    The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – William Blake
    Paradise Lost – Milton
    Dirty Weekend – Kathy Acker (?)
    The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    Stranger In A Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
    Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
    Watership Down – Richard Adams
    The Story of O – Pauline Reage
    The Blood Countess – Andrei Codrescu
    Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
    Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
    The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
    The Gulag Archipelago Alexandr Solzenitszin (sp?)
    The Bodice – Alina Reyes
    Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
    Aegypt – John Crowley
    DUNE – Frank Herbert
    Anything by Laurell K. Hamilton
    The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley
    Vathek – Samuel Beckford
    The Monk – Matthew Lewis
    Demian/i> – Hermann Hesse

  11. Alexander Solzheinitsyn is the correct spelling, and while ‘Gulag’ is excellent, I consider ‘Cancer Ward’ his definitive masterpiece.

    Milton is of course required reading. Upton Sinclair, Herman Hesse and William Blake are all excellent. As for Robert Heinlein, I found his ‘Starship Troopers’ to be very entertaining, and ‘Farenheit 451’ by Ray Bradbury is another fine title.

    I bypassed ‘Dune’ for Raymond E. Feist’s ‘Magician’, unfortunately, and have not found the opportunity to read it.

    The rest of your reading list displays a very fine and cultured taste, and I printed it out for future reference as I trawl the second hand bookstores around town. Thank you for giving me a mission of sorts.

    As for Shakespeare, perhaps I would appreciate him a little more if scholars finally established who he actually was. As it stands, he wrote a bunch of plays, died penniless, and people have been arguing over his identity ever since.

  12. ARGH. Ellis. *runs around and knocks things over* I only read American Psycho and I HATED it. Except for the chapter portions focusing solely on a band. *laughs* That was amusing. Oddly enough, I loved the movie. It was wonderful. Otherwise I’ve never read anything else by him, I’ve never had the urge to.

    Ooohh damn. What novel was that. I think…Anthem! It has a sort of Brave New World/We feel to it. Subsequently, I enjoyed Brave New World in comparison to 1984. I have a hard time digesting Orwellian literature.

    As for Stephen King – I grew up reading him. Mostly his older works. I remember dragging Pet Cemetery down the bookshelf when I was in 3rd grade much to my Father’s demise. I quite like the older stories, alot of the Bauchman (sp?) novellas. I was quite taken with Rage and found it to be his best and only quality piece of work. But, as I said, any of the older stuff is easy to read. Anything probably after…IT I really won’t touch.

    Bukowski was introduced to me my senior year of HS by an older friend. It was during the same time that my to-be-fiance nudged me into reading Naked Lunch Now to say something that will get me easily lynched – I hate poetry. I hate ALL poetry after the year of 1950 probably. Bukowski is one of the rare exceptions, as is Nina Cassin.

    I felt personally that Thomas Harris sold out the entire Hannibal story. I was really disapointed with what he made Clarice into at the end.

    I have yet to read Salinger..and…whoever else wrote that stuff back then. *laughs* I went for Rand when everyone else when for Salinger.

    When you read the fountainhead ignore the major plot with Roarke and focus on Dominique. I love her persona..


  13. that is a little like saying you’re more interested in the movie than in the actor. although you can hold equal levels of fascination for both, a fine actor is the very soul of a fine movie, just as an exemplary author is the soul of a beautiful book.

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