Category Archives: Paul’s books

Graphic Novels

The Sculptor This is an excellent graphic novel, a long one too, David the hero, makes a deal with Death (who looks like Stan Lee) to become a successful artist. I’ve had grand delusions for a few years now to do my own, after reading this I got the author’s other book Making Comics, which was a great read too, a how-to guide on making graphic novels, but not a naff one, not about the drawing, but more about how to tell your story. Made me want to do my idea even more. I’ve not done a thing on it of course as have zero time. But both of these books are worth a read.

2017 read number: 7

Where the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

I am a massive fan of Raymond Briggs, and saw this in the children’s section at the library (totally inappropriate section for it to be in), so had to read it, I have read this years before but it’s always worth a revisit. Two words sum this up, funny and terrifying. And sad.

Brilliant stuff. There is an animating film version of this too.

2017 read number: 4

Acute Misfortune – The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen

Adam was quite a famous painter here in Australia, I first saw one of his artworks here in Dubbo, I thought it was the best thing in the gallery. I didn’t much think about him again until I saw this book at the library, I hadn’t even realised he had died. The author was only 19 when he began to hang out with him for a few years for this book, Adam lied that he had a publishing deal already, Adam also lied about a lot of other things. But he also painted some great pictures, he was also a proper tortured artist, drinking himself to death at age 46.

Yes, that is Chopper Read posing in front of his portrait.

2017 read number: 3

Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen

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This is a fun read, and a very easy read, 500 pages but almost 80 chapters, some chapters only being a couple of pages long. I do like a short chapter. This covers pretty everything about Bruce, he hates the moniker ‘The Boss’ – it is never used here, even though Bruce was certainly the Boss of the E Street band, if you were not up to scratch you were out, plus he makes it very clear he’s the leader of the band, what he says goes. They were not even allowed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he was, Bruce is very adamant he’s a solo artist, and the E Street band is his backing band. Poor E Street guys.

I was not so interested in him purchasing horses, and he does bang on about his Dad quite a bit, the best stuff for me is the details about the albums and the E Street band. He pops pills for depression quite a bit, his Dad being a manic depressive.

He writes in the book he wants the reader to experience what it’s like in his own mind, if that’s the case Bruce must shout a lot in his mind as there is a liberal use of CAPS LOCK throughout the book.

Top read though. There is an accompying album with this book, more on that later.

2017 read number: 2

Don’t Suck, Don’t Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt – Kristin Hersh

I bought this as I’m a fan of Kristin Hersh’s music, but had never really read anything by her, so what better way to start that by reading her writing about another musician who I knew about but know nothing about, not even his music, which I didn’t listen to until I’d finished this book. I’m going to be buying up his entire back catalogue, that’s for sure.

The book itself is pretty damn good, once you get use to the style of it, Kristin was best friends with Vic and they would tour together, and she writes in kind of a conversational tone, sometimes you don’t know who is saying what but it does not matter. Vic certainly sounded like a troubled soul, who was a pain-in-the-ass but a total original. Vic has been placed in the top five of the ten best living (he is actually dead) songwriters, along with Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen (I’m reading Bruce’s autobiography now), so Vic is certainly worth checking out.

2017 read number: 1

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A Visit From the Goon Squad: Jennifer Egan

This Pulitzer Prize winning novel, or a collection of short stories depending on how you look at it (the author calls it neither a novel or a collection of short stories, is a very entertaining read. 13 chapters or stories which are all linked, mainly by character, it can take sometime to figure out who is who but that’s half the fun. Some chapters are written as music reviews (a lot of the characters are in the music industry), there is even one chapter formatted as a PowerPoint presentation.

Well worth a read.

2016 read number: 9 – finished early Jan 2017

Nine books in one year, that’s got to be a record for me!

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