My Favorite Works of Fiction
by Adam Huddleston
A couple of weeks ago I published a blog concerning my favorite non-fiction books for writers. This week, I would like to list a few of my favorite works of fiction (in no particular order). As you can imagine, me being a life-long reader of fantasy and horror, the list is full of selections from those genres.
Stephen King has always been a “fave” of mine. He has a plethora of thrillers and chillers. Some works seek to get you at the “gross-out” level. Others are more intimate examinations of the inner-self. My favorite novel of his belongs to the latter; “The Long Walk.” Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, this story follows a young man as he participates in a horrific annual tradition. The book is eerie and very well written.
Shifting to fantasy, you can’t find many works better than those of J.R.R. Tolkien. In a world where new writers are shoveling their wares in both bookstores and electronically, this legendary author’s work stands the test of time and his “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is, to me at least, at the top. It is the definition of an epic fantasy with a huge cast of characters, a sprawling world, and an entire language created by the author.
The late Michael Crichton penned a ton of great science-fiction stories, many of which were adapted into motion pictures. My favorite work of his is “Jurassic Park.” The movie, once it gets going, travels at a break-neck pace. Guess what? The novel does as well. The author even goes into great detail concerning how they manipulated the DNA to create the stories antagonists.
The last piece I’ll mention is one by Richard Adams. One of my earliest cinematic memories is watching “Watership Down” on a VHS player in my parent’s bedroom. When I was older, I discovered that it was based on a novel of the same name. The book does a great job of personifying the characters, mostly rabbits with a black-headed gull thrown in for good measure, and bringing their adventures to life. Like Tolkien, Richard Adams gives us a healthy dose of backstory, native language, and even a form of lupine religion.
Whatever your favorite genre might be, these novels are worth looking into. They will give insight into proper world building, plot, dialogue, and character development.
Happy writing; and reading!