The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction (Rough Guides Reference Titles) Paperback – 28 Apr 2005
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This new Rough Guide will make you a literary buff in the time it takes to say Jack Kerouac. Even if you already know your Hunter S Thompson from your Jim Thompson, you'll still find it hard to resist a book which tells you which cult novel has been implicated in assassinations, which world famous novelist offered to throw himself off a train to prove his devotion to his literary idol and which cult poet and prose stylist inspired a Broadway musical and the Velvet Underground. There's a critical guide to over 150 cult authors - from Kathy Acker to Yevgeny Zamyatin, including potted biographies, their must reads, and their surprising influences. Reviews of 100 cult novels - seminal works by authors who never quite achieved cult status themselves but still produced one classic work. Finally, there's a cult collection - a feast of literary trivia which categorises writers by the diseases they suffered for their art, reveals 12 literary giants who wrote standing up, and pores over the little known fictional epics of Sarah Bernhardt and Benito Mussolini.
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So many books are covered here - and I think that everyone should find at least a handful that they have not read.
And this is the main roll of this book - as a pointer to other works that might be of interest.
Also each book/author is linked to influences and what they have influenced - allowing readers to follow streams of cult fiction as they develop and evolve.
Also included are tips on writing a cult novel if anyone should wish to try (although surely trying to write something to be cult might stop it from being one).
I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever enjoyed the buzz of Naked Lunch, Gravity's Rainbow or Nausea.