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You know that feeling when you finish a final exam and you think, 'I never want to do that again'? Well I have the same feeling when I finish a novel. Each time I say, 'I think I may retire now' and then after six months the ideas start to churn again. I could never stop.
In our interconnected world, novel technology could empower just one fanatic, or some weirdo with a mindset of those who now design computer viruses, to trigger some kind of disaster. Indeed, catastrophe could arise simply from technical misadventure - error rather than terror.
What 'War and Peace' is to the novel and 'Hamlet' is to the theater, Swan Lake' is to ballet - that is, the name which to many people stands for and sums up an art form.
Proust, my big inspiration for 'Goon Squad,' uses music a lot in his novel, both in terms of plot and structure. I liked the idea of doing the same thing, which is one reason I structured 'Goon Squad' as a record album, with an A side and a B side, that's built around the contrasting sounds of the individual numbers in it.
Personally, I'd never seen a graphic novel. I knew they existed because friends of mine like Jonathan Ross collect them and some very literate and intelligent people really rate the graphic novel as a form.
I was very influenced by The Magic Mountain. It's a book that had a huge impact on me. I loved that as a shape for a novel: put a bunch of people in a beautiful place, give them all tuberculosis, make them all stay in a fur sleeping bag for several years and see what happens.
We never had books at home, but my dad, seeing how keen I was to read, took me to Islington Library when I was about eight and we pulled out two - a Biggles and a science fiction novel. I never got the ace fighter pilot but fell in love with all things to do with the future and space. Isaac Asimov soon became my guiding star.
A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images.
' The Lucky One' is at its heart a romance novel, elevated however by Nicholas Sparks' persuasive storytelling. Readers don't read his books because they're true, but because they ought to be true.
Yes, 'Black Girl/White Girl' might be described as a 'coming-of-age' novel, at least for the survivor Genna. It is also intended as a comment on race relations in America more generally: we are 'roommates' with one another, but how well do we know one another?
Joyce Carol Oates
The hardest novel to write was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.
I'm good with a grill. I like to make cheeseburgers - I once read in a David Goodis crime novel that you're only supposed to flip a burger once.
The novel is not so much a literary genre, but a literary space, like a sea that is filled by many rivers.
The true self seeks release, not constraint. It doesn't want to be corseted in a sonnet or made to learn a system of musical notations. It wants liberation, which is why very often it fastens on the novel, for the novel seems spacious, undefined, free.
I think every age has a medium that talks to it more eloquently than the others. In the 19th century it was symphonic music and the novel. For various technical and artistic reasons, film became that eloquent medium for the 20th century.
This first print run of the first edition of my first novel, 'When The Lion Feeds.' back in 1964, is so rare it can fetch several thousand pounds at auction. I always wanted to be an author, and I decided to write about what I knew.
I have survived by representing these sufferings of mine in the form of the novel.
It's like that Simpsons joke - they're filming a cow in a movie and they go, 'OK, we'll tape a bunch of cats together to make a cow', and it's like, 'Why don't you just use a cow?'. For some reason that is novel - like, 'Oh, my guitar sounds like a piano and now if I can just get my piano to sound like my guitar'.
I had been an abject fan of Robert Stone since the early eighties, when I borrowed a copy of 'A Flag for Sunrise' to read on a plane to Rome. I was twenty-something, with a first novel under my belt.
Madison Smartt Bell
My novel 'Wolf Brother' is set in northern Scandinavia during the late Stone Age, so I was aware from the start of Norse influences. I used some Norse names, and the soul-eater Thiazzi is based on the Norse storm giant, Thiassi.
I was born January 6, 1937, eight years after Wall Street crashed and two years before John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the plight of a family during the Great Depression.
The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.
People in the know say 'The Giver' was the first young adult dystopian novel.
Good fiction must be entertaining, but what makes fiction special - and True - is that the realness of a novel allows it to carry a larger message.
Jerry B. Jenkins
When you read a novel, your own imagery is the most important. It's what makes reading such a wonderful thing.
Image of the Moment
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