Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Family Man which is Tim's second novel. I am thrilled be taking part in this wonderful Blog Tour and delighted to welcome author Tim to my blog with a guest post about Desert Island Reads from him and a BIG thanks to Louis Patel from Harper Collins/Avon for allowing me this opportunity to take part with some other fab book bloggers too. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below.
Okay, I'll get the obvious ones out of the way. If I was washed up on a desert island, it goes without saying that How To Survive Being Washed Up On A Desert Island would be top of my list of desert island reads. That, and anything by Bear Grylls. Although however desperate I became, I'm not sure I could gut a camel and squeeze its intestines in order to drink the fluids therein. Yes, I've seen him doing that. Yes, I know that if a desert island has camels, it'll have people and cities and plumbing and supermarkets, and things. But I was just setting out my stall before we begin.
So, assuming the desert island is actually quite lovely, with plenty of food and water and shelter, and no creepy-crawlies that'll scuttle into my shelter at night and bite my legs––and who hasn't dreamt of a bit of time away on their own?––these are the books I'd take.
(note: I could write a whole book about books I'd like to take, but I'll keep it to three, on the assumption that a) I can read and re-read these again and again, and b) I'll get rescued pretty soon.)
The Stand, by Stephen King. This might be one of my favourite books of all time. I haven't re-read it in quite a few years, but I have it on my shelf, a pristine new edition of the author's preferred version (much longer than the original published version). It's a truly epic tale of the apocalypse, and the ultimate stuggle of good against evil. I've always liked destroying the world, and have done it quite a few times in my own fiction. I think part of that fascination was seeded when I first read this novel in my early teens. Humanity is all we know, and there's something awful and compelling about imagining it's end. There's a lot to love about the novel, but for me its greatest power lies in the characterisation, with virtually every character undergoing their own personal struggle even while the larger world lines up its pieces for the biggest battle of all. And the Walkin' Dude ... has anyone ever created a more charimatic and terrifying bad guy?
The Horror Hall of Fame, edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H Greenberg. This anthology collects some of finest horror short fiction (pre-1991), many of which I've read multiple times. It also contains one of my favourite stories of all time, Harlan Ellison's The Whimper of Whipped Dogs (not an easy read, but knowing the background behind it ... utterly devastating). Also one of my favourite novellas, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, one of the finest pieces of writing delving into the power and mystery of the natural world. Actually, if I read that novella whilst stranded on a desert island I'd pribably scare myself witless. But I am a horror writer as well as a thriller writer, so ... sometimes, that's what it's all about. With stories by Poe, Arther Machen (his classic The White People), Ray Bradbury, and many more, it's a classic collection.
The Second World War, by Anthony Beevor. I haven't read this, but have always meant to. I'm interested in the history of the Second World War, because both my father and grandfather were involved. There have been many books written, but this one is famous for covering the entirety of the conflict in exhaustive detail. Maybe it would make me eager to get home from the island and embrace my loved ones. Maybe it would make me relieved to be isolated from humanity for a while. Who knows? But I think being along on a desert island, taking at least one book I haven't read makes a lot of sense.
Honourable mentions––right, I'm on the island and I have those three boosk above, when suddenly I find a chest washed up on the northern shore, sealed and waterproof, and inside there's a selection of books. What would I like to be in there? I can think of thousands, but here are a few more books I've read over the past few years that have had a profound effect on me, and which I think would while away a few lonely evenings while my signal fire burned and my suntan slowly got better and better...
We Have Always Lived in The Castle, by Shirley Jackson
Consider Phlebas, by Iain M Banks
A Life Without Limits, by Chrissie Wellington
Bad Men, by John Connolly
Probably Monsters, by Ray Cluley
Hair Side, Flesh Side, by Helen Marshall
I could go on. But what's that? On the horizon? A ship's light? I should signal, I should shout and scream...
...but I've still got a couple of books left. I'm sure there'll be another ship along soon.