From Shakespeare to Bradbury
Hamlet, King Lear, Henry V in particular, but anything by Shakespeare for the language, the rhythm, the grasp of the human told in iambic pentameter. I mean, come on.
Tolkien’s lore for the incredibly built world and the resonance of the human state. Also for Boromir, whose late understanding followed by death from duty courageous never fails to make me cry.
King James Bible for the amazing language and juxtaposition of reality and grace.
Canterbury Tales for Chaucer’s storytelling, characters and earthiness (not to mention the English of the original - makes me so happy to read it out loud).
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury for the active malevolence so well described.
The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle – I’m not the only one by far to have been taken by this story.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Smart, flawed characters interestingly engaged in complex activities.
Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake for the names, for goodness sakes, and the strangeness.
Perelandra, C. S. Lewis because it gives the best definition of evil I have ever heard/read. Bar none.
What books have influenced you? I'd love to hear. (Seriously! I read every mail.)