Sunday, April 1, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge - A is for Auster and Amis

Welcome to my attempt at the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is authors mostly inspired by the library wanderings of M in Proust's Time Regained (how's that for a pretentious way of saying, "It's really all about me"?).

I have a favorite living author, well actually I'm on my 3rd favorite living author and we'll get to him later in the alphabet. But before that Martin Amis was my favorite living author and before him Paul Auster was my favorite living author. All it really means to be my favorite living author is that I will buy your books in hardcover as soon as they come out and I'll go to see you read, if I can.

Paul Auster's New York Trilogy was my introduction to his work. I love the combination of existential novel with hardboiled detective story. The sparseness of the prose. The Kafka-like situations. His novel, In The Country of Last Things, permeated walks I took around lower Manahattan when I lived there in the early 90's.

My introduction to Martin Amis was the book, The Information. And then I quickly devoured in short order London Fields and The Rachel Papers, etc., etc. I love the quick witted, slightly disgusting and always intellectual timber of his prose.

The first book reading I ever went to was to see Martin Amis. While waiting for it to begin I was sitting next to a couple he was American and she was British. At one point he remarked that there were an awful lot of Brits in the audience. She asked how he knew and he said, "The shoes." I looked around and realized he was right.

Oddly enough both authors stopped being my favorite living author in the same way - mediocre book(s) and then a memoir about their father issues. And then of course strong books by their successor.

Honorable mention: Joan Aiken. Arabel's Raven was one of my favorite books growing up and her Wolves Chronicles have been a favorite of the Girl's and mine now. We both say "Croopus!" all the time.

This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge, it's not too late for you to sign up and let me see how you handle the letter Q.


  1. I haven't heard of any of these books or authors but they sound interesting

  2. Nice to meet you - hopping from A-Z :) Hope to see you around!

    English Speaking Zone

  3. How fascinating that your fav. authors all begin, or began, with A. I like Robert Benchley and John Barth. But I read tons and tons, like you, so I could probably come up with so fun ones for each letter of the alphabet--it's a great fun, idea!
    best wishes, jean!

  4. I have never heard of this author. My post today was on authors, too!

    And I am here to welcome you to the Challenge!


  5. Welcome to the challenge! I haven't heard of those books, I can only wish I had more time to read!

    This is me, Duncan D. Horne, visiting you from the A-Z challenge, wishing you all the best throughout April and beyond.

    Duncan In Kuantan