Books with life-changing qualities

STN

sou'wester
I've not read Money, but Other People and London Fields were utterly embarrassing.

My life-changer: John Cowper Powys's novel, Wolf Solent.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It's much worse than any of those authors (all of whom I actually like to a greater or lesser degree).
 

STN

sou'wester
I thought Atomized was okay, but it seemed to be successful because of that turn-of-the-century error of conflating obnoxiousness with honesty.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Simon Reynolds - Energy Flash
Joseph Heller - Catch-22 (which may prove Sick Boy's point. But hey, don't be ashamed of your choices, they're great)
Tick and tick. Thanks for all the other suggestions too - have been meaning to check out Barthes (not Fabian (-z) - I bet his books would be rubbish) for ages.

As for Catch-22, why would anyone be ashamed? A book the first chapter of which is still side-splittingly funny 56 years after it was written is a rare commodity indeed. Samuel Shem's 'House of God'(?) seems good, but such a rip-off of Heller.

OK, I'll add:

Dan Rhodes - Anthropology' (solidified my love for literary brevity beyond the point of return)
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I thought Atomized was okay, but it seemed to be successful because of that turn-of-the-century error of conflating obnoxiousness with honesty.
I'd go with that.

He pandered to all the stupid broadsheet critics by creating a novel with 'Big Ideas' - it was embarrassing to see people praise it so much, once one had actually read it.

I liked his first one though. A simple yet pertinent point, well made.
 

crackerjack

New member
I still have a Houllebecq lying unread, at least six years since I bought it. The curse of 3 for 2 strikes again. It's very thin, though, so shitness wouldn't be a massive problem.
 

Sick Boy

All about pride and egos
i've only read 1/3 of it. so don't know the answer to that... big issue with me so i need to finish it and find out what she says about it.
A book you only read a third of changed your life? You couldn't have liked it that much then!
 

empty mirror

remember the jackalope
for me:
thus spake zarathustra
myth of sisyphus


those two books altered my world view more than any other influence in my life, i reckon.
 

Tentative Andy

I'm in the Meal Deal
Tick and tick. Thanks for all the other suggestions too - have been meaning to check out Barthes (not Fabian (-z) - I bet his books would be rubbish) for ages.

As for Catch-22, why would anyone be ashamed? A book the first chapter of which is still side-splittingly funny 56 years after it was written is a rare commodity indeed.
Well I certainly wouldn't be ashamed of it, and neither would I suggest to anyone else that they should be. But my comment was just in reference to it being one of the classic 'teenage revelation' books that Sick Boy was alluding to. See also: Catcher In The Rye, which personally I wasn't too keen on, but am prepared to acknowledge is me being totally and utterly wrong, having had many people whose literary tastes I respect gush praise to me about it over the years. Oh, and anything by Camus (who I think is great, esp The Plague).
 

luka

Moderator
im always baffled by this sort of thing. ive never read a book that came remotely close to changing my life. i forget them a couple of days after i finish them.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
surely you know camus played in goal for algiers? and i'd be all over any book by cantona
Oh, absolutely! But I was never that convinced by Barthez's interesting qualities. Naturally leads to a which-football-players'-books-would-you-like-to-read? type question. For me:

Grobelaar, Zidane, Robbie Savage.
 

Pestario

tell your friends
By Paulo Coelho? Surely not. I thought that was the worst book I'd ever had the misfortune to be tricked into reading. I actually felt insulted that someone had the temerity to splurge that kind of bilge on to paper and then ask people for money in exhange. And I felt physically sick that it seemed to be working.
Ok yes, it is soppy and reads more like an extended horoscope but I read it at a point in my life where I was in the middle of leaving everything behind to move to a new country. I was basically freaking out about it but this book reassured me that it was the right thing to do.

Another book I just remembered, The Long Emergency by J H Kunstler. I read it during uni and it was instrumental in turning me into a car hating, anti-suburbia, petro-fascist.
 

crackerjack

New member
Ok yes, it is soppy and reads more like an extended horoscope but I read it at a point in my life where I was in the middle of leaving everything behind to move to a new country. I was basically freaking out about it but this book reassured me that it was the right thing to do.
Was it?
 
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