- Author: Robert E. Howard
- Published: 2003
- Contents Originally Published: mostly 1932-1934 in Weird Tales
- Publisher: Del Rey
- Pages: 463
- First Line (sort-of): ”Over shadowy spires and gleaming towers lay the ghostly darkness and silence that runs into dawn.”
- Film Version: Conan the Barbarian (1982 - *** – dir. John Milius), Conan the Destroyer (1984 - ** - dir. Richard Fleischer), Conan the Barbarian (2011 - *.5 - dir. Marcus Nispel)
- First Read: Fall, 2006 (more…)
16 May, 2013
6 May, 2013
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My Top 5:
- The Wind
- The Docks of New York
- Street Angel
Note: There is only a top 5 for this year. There were more than enough adapted screenplays to have a Top 10 if the quality of the scripts had merited it. They do not. And there wouldn’t even have been 5 if I hadn’t seen L’Argent last week. (more…)
22 April, 2013
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9 April, 2013
So, having completed the Year in Film and The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, this is what is coming up now. I will be doing two different things. Like with those two series, both will cover the same year, in back-to-back posts.
The first, in each year, will be Best Adapted Screenplay. I had considered doing another history of the Academy Awards, focusing on the Best Adapted Screenplay category. But I want to expand on that – dealing with films that were nominated by other groups (WGA, BAFTA, Globes, etc) as well as scripts that I feel were among the best and weren’t nominated by any groups. But I won’t just talking about the films – but also the original source material and the adaptations. So, I won’t be doing one on Original Screenplay – this is a combination of literature and film all at once.
This is why there hasn’t been a post yet – because the first one, covering the pre-Oscar years has been taking a long time. (more…)
5 April, 2013
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Yesterday, I rushed to put up a short piece on the death of Roger Ebert before I left work (I was in such a hurry that I initially got his year of birth wrong). I never even got around to mentioning that in his autobiography he has a whole chapter on Steak & Shake (which I once read aloud to Veronica). But what got lost in all the news of the death of Ebert (front page news everywhere, something written by so many people I read) was the death of Carmine Infantino, who was influencing me long before I ever knew who Roger Ebert was.
Carmine Infantino was a comic book artist – he began as an inker, eventually moving on to be the penciller and eventually became the publisher of DC Comics itself. If you know comic books at all, he is one of the giants from its history. And if you don’t know comic books at all, well you still probably have seen a lot of his work. (more…)
2 March, 2013
“”When Miss Emily Grierson died, our whole town went to her funeral: the men through a sort of respectful affection for a fallen monument, the women mostly out of curiosity to see the inside of her house, which no one save an old manservant – a combined gardener and cook – had seen in at least ten years.” - ”A Rose for Emily”
I can blame the Tolkien obsession on my brothers. But my Faulkner obsession has the blame laid squarely on Carol Mooney, my high school English teacher (both for Freshman and AP). In AP English we read The Sound and the Fury and I was hooked for life. And as for the collection, you can actually blame that on Veronica. It was when she bought the Signet copy of Sanctuary because of how awesome the cover was, in spite of the fact that I already had it, that I started opening myself to collecting various editions of books. Before I met her I owned precisely 1 copy of Lord of the Rings and 1 copy of The Sound and the Fury.
There is a competition going. Looking in my Book Register (of course I have a spreadsheet that has all this information – read this and stop asking silly questions), the Faulkner collection currently encompasses 314 books for a total of 114273 pages. The Tolkien collection only has 188 books for 88201 pages. Of course, Tolkien only wrote two novels while Faulkner wrote 20. And the Faulkner collection has probably only grown by about a shelf since we came to Boston, whereas the Tolkien collection has probably doubled in size. Clearly they are the two collecting passions in my life (if by the two, you don’t count Star Wars, the Modern Library, the Viking Portable Library, Harry Potter or Lego). (more…)
24 February, 2013
- Rank: #1
- Author: William Faulkner (1897 - 1962)
- Published: 1929
- Publisher: Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, Inc.
- Pages: 378
- First Line: ”Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting.”
- Last Line: ”The broken flower drooped over Ben’s fist and his eyes were empty and blue and serene again as cornice and facade flowed smoothly once more from left to right, post and tree, window and doorway and signboard each in its ordered place.”
- ML Version: #187 (with As I Lay Dying - 1946), #187 (by itself – 1966), P6 (both with As I Lay Dying and by itself), gold dust jacket, new dust jacket
- Acclaim: Modern Library Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #6, Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century, All-TIME List
- Film Version: 1959 (*** - dir. Martin Ritt)
- First Read: Fall, 1991 (more…)
22 February, 2013
19 February, 2013
Before I put up the full Top 100 list (and do the post for #1), I am tossing up this bit of various trivia and statistics about the novels on my Top 100 list and on the 101-200 list.
Please note that none of the lists involving 101-200 have numbers attached because I didn’t rank them.
- Longest Top 100 Novel: In Search of Lost Time (4651 pages)
- Shortest Top 100 Novel: Heart of Darkness (96 pages)
- Earliest Top 100 Novel: Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
- Latest Top 100 Novel: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel (2004)
- Latest Top 200 Novel: The Night Circus / The Tiger’s Wife (2011) (more…)
17 February, 2013
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This list works a bit differently than the Top 100. First of all, this is not a ranked list. Except for the first three listed titles, they are placed on this list chronologically. Second, I have not been back through each one of these titles the way I have gone through the Top 100. Some of these I haven’t re-read in years while every one of the Top 100 were re-read before I wrote on them. There won’t be individual posts on these books. Think of this list as less the definitive second 100 as 100 great novels that are worth a read.
Don’t mistake me. These aren’t just books I enjoy reading. I hope to start a series soon called Great Reads (which will all get individual posts), which are all about the books I really enjoy, but that don’t really belong on a list like this one, let alone the Top 100. These are all great novels (though some might also end up in Great Reads).
What about your book, the one you were surprised didn’t make the Top 100 and are even more surprised didn’t make this list? Well, I had to pare it down (I originally typed out over 125 novels and considered far more). Just imagine that whatever book you’re thinking of that didn’t make the list was one of the last ones I cut. Well, unless your book is Infinite Jest, Middlemarch, On the Road or anything by Jane Austen or Henry James. If you thought those might ever make the list you have clearly never read anything else I have ever posted on literature and are probably brand new to the site. Welcome!
Now, as for those first three titles. Well, I made the decision not to re-approach my list while in the process of doing these posts (of course I didn’t know it would take over three years to get the whole list done). Because of that, sometimes things come up that I realized belonged on the list. The first of them was something I had somehow never read and as soon as I read it (mid-2011), I realized it should have been on the list. The second was one I went back and re-read in the summer of 2012 after re-watching the film with Veronica and I realized I had long under-estimated it and it should have been on the list. The third of them I have the best excuse for – it hadn’t even been written when I did the list. But it belongs on it. So those are the de facto other Top 100 books. (more…)