Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Who books the bookmen?

1. Which book are you currently reading?

I'm re-reading Douglas Coupland's Polaroids from the Dead on and off.

2. What book did you read last?

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark.

3. What book are you planning on reading next?

J. G. Ballard's Millennium People, interspersed with The Dalek Survival Guide. And I have a William Gibson that needs to be returned to its owner, so I should crack on with that pretty soon. (All Tomorrow's Parties, I think.)

4. Do you own most of the books you read, or do you borrow them from a library?

Do my parents count as a library?

Nowadays I own them, but until I got a job I borrowed most of my books from public and school libraries. I discovered John Wyndham through the library at my prep school, for which I will be ever grateful.

5. Who was your favourite author when you were a child?

I'll have to say P. G. Wodehouse for the sheer delight that was reading my first Jeeves story. (I felt like that chap who, when he was looking at something, felt like somebody looking at something.)

6. What were some of your favourite books when you were a child?

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit; Jennings; William; molesworth; Sherlock Holmes; The Hundred and One Dalmatians; James Herriott; Isaac Asimov's I, Robot; The Call of the Wild; White Fang; Watership Down; does Tintin count? the Doctor Who books from Target; the Narnia series; any sci-fi, good or bad.

A rather strange book I took a fancy to was Henrietta's War by Joyce Dennys, the humorous letters of a middle-aged woman in wartime Devon to a fictional friend at the Front. I had to be bought my own copy because I read it so often.

When I was very small indeed I loved Kathleen Hale's Orlando books and the Marmaduke and Joe stories about a Yorkshireman and his little red lorry. And I read Richard Scarry's classic What Do People Do All Day? to pieces - possibly my first encounter with the concept of furry...

7. Which literary character would you like to take out on a date and why?

Raymond Chandler's detective. Having a relationship with him would be a complete nightmare, but a date would be fun. Lots of drink, lots of conversation and possibly someone trying to kill us in the middle.

Or Simon Templar or Lord Peter Wimsey - both utterly charming dinner companions, I bet.

8. Which author would you most like to have a 'one-to-one' with?

Douglas Adams, to talk about Macs, wildlife and Paul Simon. And so I could ask where he got his ideas - I hear he just loved to be asked that :)

9. Which fictional character would you most like to have a 'one-to-one' with?

Don Quixote. I wish I saw the world the way he did.

10. Which literary character would you least like to be stranded on a desert island with and why?

The Famous Five - it would all be too, too nauseating and I'd end up bludgeoning them to death as they slept (with the possible exception of Timmy the dog).

11. Which character would you most like to be stranded with?

Tintin. He'd have us out of there in no time, probably finding some treasure and putting an end to the slave trade along the way.

12. In which literary/fictional location would you most like to live?

Malacandra. Or Narnia - in the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe era when it's winter all the time. Hmm, so any location designed by C. S. Lewis. Probably not Hell from The Screwtape Letters though.

13. Which is the best TV/film adaptation of a book you have seen? Why?

Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds, of course!

The BBC's Chronicles of Narnia was pretty special too.

14. Which is the worst TV/film adaption of a book you have seen? Why?

101 Dalmatians (the cartoon). I can't have been older than seven when I was taken to see it, but I came out full of indignation over the bits they'd cut or messed up.

The 39 Steps was pretty appalling too - it bored me, while the book is one of the most gripping stories I've read.

Oh, and how could I forget the horror that was Biggles: Time Twin?

15. What film adaption do you actually like more than the book?

The Living Daylights, which benefits from a lot more plot than the original short story and the presence of Timothy Dalton.

16. What book do you like better than the film adaption?

To pick the first one that comes into my head, White Fang is far better than the insipid nonsense Disney made of it.

Isn't the word 'adaptation', BTW?

17. What are your top 5 favourite books?

Today they are:

Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
Biggles of 266 - W. E. Johns
Moonraker - Ian Fleming
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
The Compleet Molesworth (ha! I cheat!) - Willans & Searle

18. Who is your favourite author?

My favourite writer is J. G. Ballard - I can't get enough of his writing style. Ray Bradbury comes a close second.

Going by how much of his work I've read and how often I re-read it, though, it would have to be Ian Fleming.

19. What is the most memorable line delivered in a book?

"I am the Cat who walks by himself, and all places are alike to me." Rudyard Kipling, The Just So Stories.

20. What is your least favourite book and why?

Bridget Jones's Diary. It made me wonder if all women secretly think like this, and if so why the hell I bothered being a feminist.

I was given a very nice edition of Shirley by Charlotte Bronte as a prize at school. My English teacher told me I'd like it when I was older. I'm still waiting.

21. If your life was a book, which author would you choose to write it?

Evelyn Waugh. I can see my life running along the lines of Decline and Fall. (sloopjonb has already bagsied Sir Pelham Grenville, so he'll be tied up for a while.)

22. What are the 5 books that everyone who hasn't read them should run out and get hold of right now?

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Empire of the Sun - J. G. Ballard

23. Did you make question 22 up yourself?

Yes, wanna make something of it?

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