John at archy has selected me as one of his three to pass on the Dreaded Book Meme. I’m flattered and I accept his challenge. John, by the way, was pegged by Coturnix at Science and Politics, and it started somewhere else before there. It will go on from here, trust me.
You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
I am loath to admit that I never read Fahrenheit 451. I saw the film, though, and I know the premise: what book would I memorize to pass on to the next generation?
Lots of choices run through my mind; a play, certainly, or something practical, like The Joy of Cooking, or great literature that speaks to the beauty of the human spirit. John suggested a history might be valuable, though, so that younger generations would know where they came from and perhaps avoid the doom of repeating it. For that reason I’d choose William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Does that include characters I’ve created? It sounds incestuous if I say that I have a crush on Bobby in Bobby Cramer, and besides, a crush is totally unrequited; the other person doesn’t know you exist, and Bobby knows me all too well. In that case I’d have to say it would be Ken Talley in 5th of July by Lanford Wilson. He’s strong, independent, vulnerable, funny, and intelligent. “Anything’s possible with a little taste and charm.”
The last book you bought is?
For myself, it’s The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s about the fourth or fifth copy I’ve owned. I keep lending it out or finding new editions.
What are you currently reading?
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst. My mom read it and sent me a copy without hesitation, and I’m slowly savoring it. It gives me great hope that there are writers out there who appreciate stories that aren’t all flash and melodrama and that there’s an audience for them.
True to form, it’s not the only book on the table. I’m working on Is Paris Burning? by Larry Collins and Dominic Lapierre about the liberation of Paris in 1944, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart, Pentimento by Lillian Hellman, and a screenplay written by a good friend.
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Don’t feel left out — do it yourself in the comments.
Thanks, John; this was fun.