Friday, July 25, 2014

FFB: 500 Essential Cult Books: The Ultimate Guide -- Gina McKinnon with Steve Holland

I first read about this on Paul Bishop's blog years ago and promptly forgot about it (a forgotten book!).  Then a few weeks ago Kent Morgan reminded me of it in a comment on a blog post about cult novels.  I knew it was time to get myself a copy, which I did.

So what's a cult book?  By the definition offered here, it's one that inspires "fierce, unquestioning devotion."  Also, "youth appeal," which means "texts that caught your imagination as a teenager or young adult, and which stay forever embedded in your brain."  Can a cult book be a mainstream book?  "Short answer, yes."

Works are arranged alphabetically in various sections, so you'll find some interesting juxtapositions, like The Woman in White and World War Z on the same page.  Same for Fletch and The Forever War.  

This is what I think of as "A George Kelley Book."  500 works are discussed.  For each book there's a plot summary, a review, and some suggestions for further reading, along with full color photos of the covers.  What's not to like?  And if you're worried about expense, don't be.  Copies can be found for as little as a penny on the Internet.  Check it out.


Anonymous said...


I guess I'll have to. Yes, it does sound like a George Kelley book, but if George reviewed it he would copy the entire list for us.



Anonymous said...

I see they've also published 500 ESSENTIAL CULT MOVIES in the same format. My library has the latter.


Anonymous said...

You may need to get that too:

From Fritz Lang's futuristic Metropolis (1927) to The Big Lebowski and its much-loved Dude, these 500 movies inspire passion among film fans! Here is the most definitive collection of cinematic cult classics ever compiled, complete with synopses, reviews, photos, and viewing recommendations. The marquee showcases such favorite directors as John Carpenter, David Cronenberg. Jean-Jacques Beineix, David Lynch, and Todd Browning, and the selection ranges across film history, national cinemas, and genres. But each has one thing in common: a devoted and growing audience.

The 500 include:
A Clockwork Orange o Harold and Maude o Liquid Sky o Diva o This Is Spinal Tap o Eraserhead o What's Up, Tiger Lilly o Dr. Strangelove o Freaks o Sid and Nancy o And many, many more!

I've certainly seen those 10 (unfortunately, in the case of DIVA and ERASERHEAD, both of which I hated intensely).


George said...

Yes, this my kind of book all right! I'm ordering it...if I don't already have a copy. It looks familiar...