Monday, July 18, 2005

New blog

One of my friends has finally relented and decided to join the the international family of bloggers. He's a well-read and well-informed chap and I'm looking forward to reading his new blog, the Silvereel, which has begun with a list of Desert Island Books (an interesting and varied mix). He also warns that the list is likely to change at no notice.

That's the problem with making these sorts of lists - I had a bugger of a time trying to come up with my top ten graphic novels for the recommends section on the new FPI site and most folk who contributed had similar problems. And as you look at other folks' selection or entries on the site you realise your top ten needs to actually have about 40 books minimum... I have the same problem with prose novels and movies. I do have a top ten of movies, but it changes from time to time and other than the number 1 spot I can't actually place the others in any special order,but here we go anyway:

Seven Samurai
LA Confidential
Dark City
Grosse Point blank
Citizen Kane
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

and my all-time favourite, John Paul Rappenau's Cyrano de Bergerac.

Bubbling under are too many other films I'd like to be in the list too - ten just isn't enough! Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill Jnr would need to be in there, so would Miyazaki's Spirited Away, Heathers, Brazil, Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland, Delicatessen, Donnie Darko... Oh, you see what I mean about trying to narrow down the list?

I guess we can expand it by doing top ten genre lists (this post is becoming like High Fidelity now, isn't it?). I could do top comedy films in which case Blazing Saddles has to be at the top (I love Mel Brooks) as would Young Frankenstein. Animal House has to be in that list, along with Monty Python's Life of Brian and Holy Grail and short reel classics like Harold Lloyd, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and, of course, Laurel and Hardy.

But I see my girls are hinting heavily that its time to get the ball of wool out and entertain them so I'll cease from any further lists for the evening - anyone else want a go? General top ten or by genre.


Anonymous Niels said...

Been lurking here for a while, but couldn't resist the temptation for a top 10 list :) So here goes.

Top Ten SF/Fantasy novels (in no particular order)

Songs of Earth and Power - Greg Bear
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
The Dragon Prince - Melanie Rawn
Hogfather - Terry Pratchett
The Hitchhikers Guide - Douglas Adams
The Mirror of her Dreams - Stephen R. Donaldson
Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Live Ship Traders - Robin Hobb
American Gods - Neil Gaiman

And one for fiction novels:

Empire Falls - Richard Russo
The World according to Garp - John Irving (can he even write bad books?)
The Cider House Rules - John Irving (couldn't decide which one should make the list so, both have)
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
A man in full - Tom Wolfe
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Bag of Bones - Stephen King
Oracle Night - Paul Auster
The Breeders Box - Timothy Murphy

This list changes allmost daily, but these ones came to mind..

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

I always hate seeing top ten or top hundred lists of movies or books voted for by the public, because half of the top ten always consists of things released last week or last month. I think when voting on such things there should be a rule of "nothing released in the last three years", which would give enough time to decide whether a thing is actually good or just a fad. Anyway, my top ten films would contain nothing released in the last decade!

The Philadelphia Story
Strangers on a Train
My Darling Clementine
M. Hulot's Holiday
Field of Dreams
West Side Story
Paths of Glory
A Bout de Souffle
Mr Smith Goes to Washington

as for books

Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
On The Beach - Nevil Shute
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving (and totally agree with the commenter above, although The Fourth Hand was a bit naff).
Bonfire of the Vanities - Tom Wolfe
Dune - Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
Earth Abides - George R Stewart
London Fields - Martin Amis

And finally, because of my own field of expertise, the top ten True Crime Books!

The Complete History of Jack the Ripper - Philip Sugden
Riverman - Robert Keppel (with Theodore Bundy)
Killing for Company - Brian Masters
The Killer Department - Robert Cullen
Helter Skelter - Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry
The Cases that Haunt Us - John Douglas & Mark Olshaker
Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer
Zodiac - Robert Greysmith
The Executioner's Song - Norman Mailer
The Stranger Beside Me - Ann Rule

11:04 AM  
Blogger The Silver Eel said...

Cheers for the puff, Joe. Been trying some of that William bloke you recommended. Pish. Can't write - too many words.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Lili said...

As always your list shows your impeccable taste! I'm on a movie ban cycle right seems everything I try to see or rent is just utter crap!

9:05 PM  
Blogger (00) said...

I am reading "The Breeders Box" now; found it in a little second hand shop in Brussels. It's not half bad. There are some fine nuggets of prose in it. I hope he puts out another one. Not sure he should waste his budding talent on photo books (not that's there's anything wrong with that.)

Hey lili - have you seen Gloria? Things to do in Denver when you're dead? Foxes? What ever happened to Baby Jane?
There are still loads out there to discover...

9:01 PM  

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