Skip to main content

Craig Clevenger's Top Ten

After a good, long run, we have decided to close our forums in an effort to refocus attention to other sections of the site. Fortunately for you all, we're living in a time where discussion of a favorite topic now has a lot of homes. So we encourage you all to bring your ravenous love for discussion to Chuck's official Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. And, as always, you can still post comments on all News updates. Thank you for your loyalty and passion over the years. These changes will happen June 1.
matthew.odonnell's picture matthew.odonnell
0 posts

This is Craig Clevenger's Top Ten books as of 2006.

This list is published in the back of my paperback copy of The Contortionist's Handbook which was published by Harper Perennial UK in 2006. and he also adds a little comment about each book, which is nice.

i did transcribe it in one of the "It's [whatever month] and i'm reading..." threads, but i'm gonna go ahead and make a thread just for it, seeing as though a bunch of people are reading or about to read books like The Postman Always Rings Twice.

so this thread is to discuss the list, and the books in it.

go on, go ahead.


In no particular order.

The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
"If I were ever to teach writing, this would be my textbook." (and funnily enough, he actually did teach writing using this book. breaking it down scene by scene, and character by character, in one of The Cult's Intensives)

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
"This book completely hanged my understanding of reading and writing, for the better."

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
"I picked this up twenty years ago, and still have that same paperback. Like Calvino, this was one of my first forays out of my narrow field of reading as a kid."

White Jazz by James Ellroy
"Ellroy's finest work, as hard-boiled as they come, yet with beautiful fluid prose.

Homeboy by Seth Morgan
"Seth Morgan was a master storyteller, and a writer clearly in love with each of his characters. His language is never less than acrobatic."

Leaving Las Vegas by John O'Brien
"Dark and beautiful. This is a powerful, powerful love story.

Tours of the Black Clock by Steve Erickson
"Steve Erickson is the Invisible Giant of American letters."

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
"This was the last book I read before I quit my job to write my first novel."

Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
"The High Priest of Noir, Jim Thompson is an underappreciated treasure."

The Zoo Where You're Fed to God by Michael Ventura
"A beautiful, graceful dance of a book."

and there it is.