Skip to main content

Recommended Reading

If you're looking for some good reads, I recommend any of the following. These are some of my absolute favorite books of all time and come with my highest recommendation...

***

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1929)

This book is called "the greatest war novel of all time." I disagree. I think it is the greatest "anti-war novel" of all time. Anyone in any government should have to read this book before making the decision to send troops into combat or fire a missle, etc. You probably read this under duress in high school, but I highly encourage you to read it again as an adult. Even if the subject matter is serious, it's a very fast and easy read.

Set in the trenches of France during World War I, the novel is told in first person by Paul Baumer, a 19 year old German soldier. Almost the entire book takes place on the battlefield or in camp. The narrative is at times funny, at times gruesome, at times heart-rendingly tragic as you watch scenes of unimaginable carnage through the eyes of a young man barely out of high school. But at all times it is a clear, straight-forward, engaging book that is a profound statement on the loss of innocence that devastated an entire generation mentally and physically.





***

The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins (1972)

The Godfather of all crime novels. Written by a former district attorney who really, really knew his subject matter, this book takes place in the Boston underworld of the early 70s and specifically focuses on a group of gun smugglers who try to make a big deal go down.

The best thing about this book though is the crackling, fast-paced, dialogue-heavy style in which it's told. The likes of Quentin Tarantino and Elmore Leonard have praised this book as the all-time archetype of what a crime novel should be. I've heard Thomas Katz even patterned Zombie City after it. I myself read this book in under 24 hours and loved it so much that it completely changed my writing style and my approach to fiction. I still go back to it for inspiration once every six months or so.

If you have any taste for crime fiction, or even if you just like a good, fast-paced read, you need to pick up a copy of this legendary book immediately.

Comments