Old 10-20-2014, 08:47 AM   #1
Jenny_4
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The Moment of WOW

What is that magic something that certain writers have?

Sometimes, when I read a book (EX. Gone Girl) my breathing gets shallow, I tense up and read till my eyes are forced to close from lack of sleep. There are other books that I read and after one paragraph I'm bored to death and pissed off that I just wasted moments of my life reading crap.

Then there are times that I read something and my heart falls and I think "Wow, I wish I wrote that."

(I love it when that happens.)

What writer gives you that feeling?
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Old 10-20-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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Many do. Earlier I was thinking about MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane. Its excellent from start to finish, and he hasn't done squat since then. I started a Stephen King book yesterday and threw it in the garbage after one page. But for ever-lasting satisfaction its Raymond Chandler. His worst books are excellent.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jenny_4 View Post
What is that magic something that certain writers have?

Sometimes, when I read a book (EX. Gone Girl) my breathing gets shallow, I tense up and read till my eyes are forced to close from lack of sleep. There are other books that I read and after one paragraph I'm bored to death and pissed off that I just wasted moments of my life reading crap.

Then there are times that I read something and my heart falls and I think "Wow, I wish I wrote that."

(I love it when that happens.)

What writer gives you that feeling?
Terry Pratchet; the Discworld books
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
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Many do. Earlier I was thinking about MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane. Its excellent from start to finish, and he hasn't done squat since then. I started a Stephen King book yesterday and threw it in the garbage after one page. But for ever-lasting satisfaction its Raymond Chandler. His worst books are excellent.
Steven King was amazing. "The Shinning" is one of my all time favs both terrifying and bizarre but very believable. I was so excited about reading Dr. Sleep and after ten pages I gave up.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:13 AM   #5
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Steven King was amazing. "The Shinning" is one of my all time favs both terrifying and bizarre but very believable. I was so excited about reading Dr. Sleep and after ten pages I gave up.
Yes. His first 5-6 books are classics then its been hit and miss since then. IT needed a good editor to be a classic, the genius is there but buried.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:21 AM   #6
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Fortschen, Salvatore (earlier works), Mccaffrey (earlier works), Donaldson was hit and miss for me, Turtledove.

I've been on a mix of Classic Sci-Fi (Asimov, Bova, Vance) lately along with alternative militaristic. Anderson's Destroyermen series has been really good for me - forcing me to stay up later and read. But I just polished off Kratzman "A Desert Called Peace" and it had a few WOW moments in it for me.

I will admit though, a guilty please of mine is the fictional accounting of Colonel Will Bucko (ret) after the 3rd WW and his harrier jet. Silver Wings and Leather Jackets.

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Old 10-20-2014, 10:14 AM   #7
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Fortschen, Salvatore (earlier works), Mccaffrey (earlier works), Donaldson was hit and miss for me, Turtledove.

I've been on a mix of Classic Sci-Fi (Asimov, Bova, Vance) lately along with alternative militaristic. Anderson's Destroyermen series has been really good for me - forcing me to stay up later and read. But I just polished off Kratzman "A Desert Called Peace" and it had a few WOW moments in it for me.

I will admit though, a guilty please of mine is the fictional accounting of Colonel Will Bucko (ret) after the 3rd WW and his harrier jet. Silver Wings and Leather Jackets.

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Old 10-20-2014, 10:17 AM   #8
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Terry Pratchet; the Discworld books
I only read "Running with the Demon" by Pratchet which I enjoyed.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:47 AM   #9
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Steven King is one of those authors who sadly I end up enjoying the movies a hell of a lot more than his writing.

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Old 10-20-2014, 05:18 PM   #10
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King was fantastic for a stretch Pet Sematary was creepy as all hell.

But I think Dark Half was his last really good one. I have touched nothing he has written since I made the mistake of reading Desperation.
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:35 PM   #11
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I only read "Running with the Demon" by Pratchet which I enjoyed.
I think you may be a bit mixed up. That's Terry Brooks, not Pratchett.

Start with "The colour of magic"
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:24 PM   #12
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SO MANY!
Richard Brautigan, when I was young. Kurt Vonnegut. Ray Bradbury. Madeleine L'Engle. Rumer Godden, Agatha Christie on her best days, Dorothy Sayers on all days.
Niel Gaiman, Neal Stephenson, William Gibson, Anne Taylor (how utterly different in genre, but she engenders that same sense of wonder) Terry Pratchett's last paragraphs almost always give me goosebumps.

A couple of fan fiction porn writers around the net happen to have that same quality that makes me want to read everything they write-- besides the hot sex.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:27 PM   #13
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I think you may be a bit mixed up. That's Terry Brooks, not Pratchett.

Start with "The colour of magic"
Is that really the best place to start? I know it's the first Discworld book, but it's not as good as his later ones, I think. I personally think Going Postal or one of the other orange books here might be better for a "first read." http://www.ie.lspace.org/books/readi...olour-1-25.gif
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:37 PM   #14
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I think you may be a bit mixed up. That's Terry Brooks, not Pratchett.

Start with "The colour of magic"
My opinion; Don't start with "the Colour of Magic" if you are looking for the writer's voice.

"Equal Rites" is the third of the books in writing order, and the first in which Pratchett starts to find that extraordinary mixture of biting wit and clear-sighted compassion that really fuels the series.

One of the greatest writers of our time.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:53 PM   #15
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Hmm if we are going to include comics. Alan Moore his American Gothic storyline (intro of John Constantine) The Watchmen which set the comic world on its ear at the time and V for Vendetta.

Lovecraft's Rats in The Walls gave me that wow feeling as well back when I was around ten or so, hooked me on horror.
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Old 10-20-2014, 09:57 PM   #16
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Most of Stella's list - to which you can add John le Carré, (most of) Graham Greene, and quite a bit of EL Doctorow.
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Old 10-20-2014, 10:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
Many do. Earlier I was thinking about MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane. Its excellent from start to finish, and he hasn't done squat since then. I started a Stephen King book yesterday and threw it in the garbage after one page. But for ever-lasting satisfaction its Raymond Chandler. His worst books are excellent.
I'll agree about Chandler. Haven't read the others you mentioned.

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Terry Pratchet; the Discworld books
Pratchett's discworld stories are great reading. I can't stop reading once I start. I ration them out with months in between stories to put off inevitable point where there aren't any more new ones. THEN I'll start over at the beginning, and repeat.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:44 AM   #18
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Anne Rice's "The Vampire Lestat"

I need to reread it. I was blown away the first time, over 10 years ago. The story gets very deep and fascinating towards the end. It takes you to another world.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:05 AM   #19
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Is that really the best place to start? I know it's the first Discworld book, but it's not as good as his later ones, I think. I personally think Going Postal or one of the other orange books here might be better for a "first read." http://www.ie.lspace.org/books/readi...olour-1-25.gif
Echoing this. I read the first few Discworld books as a kid, thought they were OK but getting a bit same-y, and stopped reading after that - I felt I'd outgrown them. Years later I came back and read some of the later ones and realised I'd badly underestimated the guy.

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Most of Stella's list - to which you can add John le Carré, (most of) Graham Greene, and quite a bit of EL Doctorow.
Speaking of author-spies: W. Somerset Maugham wrote some great short stories that changed the way I write. They helped me understand that what's going on in a person's head can be just as important as what's going on outside, and that you can write about flawed people without it having to be tragic or depressing.

Gaiman's "Sandman" is excellent, and in particular "The Dream Hunters" is one of those stories that makes me cry every time.

Oscar Wilde - I think the problem with him being so well known for his witty one-liners is that people forget what a beautiful writer he could be. His comedies are fun, but his fantasy and horror deserve more recognition. He even influenced the Lovecraft canon, if you know what to look for. "The Fisherman And His Soul" in particular is one that always haunts me.

Clive Barker - I find his longer works sometimes drag a bit, but when he's in form, he writes some great stuff about the intersection of sex and death. "The Hellbound Heart" is one of my regular-reread books.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #20
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The 1920s were a magical period when writers like Joyce and Faulkner and others gazed at their navels and captured every loose association and tangential point in their skulls.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #21
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Some of the authors that I have re-read again and again are John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series, Tony Hillerman's Chee and Leaphorn books, and Robert van Gulik. Maybe they're not considered top notch literary stars but they tell a good story. MacDonald's books have a lot of social commentary written in as the thoughts of his protagonist. van Gulik's Judge Dee stories are all similar and formulaic, but they're supposed to be and are still fun reads.

Those books, are among the few traditional paper books that I have kept through a dozen moves over the years. I won't part with them. Now I mostly read with the Kindle ap on my laptop. I don't get the same satisfaction reading that way that I do with a paper book, but it saves space and it's easier to move.
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:45 PM   #22
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The 1920s were a magical period when writers like Joyce and Faulkner and others gazed at their navels and captured every loose association and tangential point in their skulls.
In Britain during that period a bunch of ladies wrote mysteries and I think it's considered a golden age of that genre. I sure have enjoyed Margery Allingham, Dorthy Sayers and Agatha Christie at various times. And not just because I have aunts on both sides of the family that are named after them.

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Old 10-24-2014, 02:00 PM   #23
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I have read and reread "Earth Abides" maybe a dozen times and get something new from the experience every time. George R. Stewart is a genius. I also read Asimov's works repeatedly.

For sheer emotional impact and wow-factor, I strongly recommend Loung Ung's autobiographies about growing up in Cambodia, escaping to the United States, and learning how to live after the horrors of the Khmer Rouge.
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