View Full Version : Need some killer book recomendations!

Kenneth M
04-23-2008, 12:41 PM
My best friend got caught driving a "getaway car" when his friend held a guy up. This happened back when he was 20. He got probation for ten years for that. Six months before his probation was to end, he got popped for a dirty urine analysis..."traces of marijuana" were found. So, now he got sentenced to a year and a half in prison.

True, fucked up, fucking story.

So, I called up the place he's holed up at and found out that I can send him some books via Amazon. So, I already sent him the following...

No Country for Old Men
Pop. 1280
The Catcher in the Rye

I've never been an avid reader, so these were about the only good books I could think of. I'm looking for suggestions of killer books from you guys so that I can keep my friend's mind off of his situation.

The type of books I'd like to send should be pulse-pounding edge-of-the-seat (possibly exploitative) thrilling guy stuff that keeps you turning the page.

Also, any well-written comedy that can't be mistaken as girl-rags would be excellent, too.

Alas, many thanks, gentlemen. I hope you can help me out. ;)

Matt A
04-23-2008, 12:51 PM
The Road
Casino Royale and Live and Let Die
Daredevil:The Devil, Inside and Out
Post Office (Bukowski)

Brian Lindsey
04-23-2008, 01:02 PM
The type of books I'd like to send should be pulse-pounding edge-of-the-seat (possibly exploitative) thrilling guy stuff that keeps you turning the page.
Not "exploitative", just classic, action-packed pulp adventure...

Resurrection Day / Repel

The Spook Legion / The Submarine Mystery

Brand of the Werewolf / Fear Cay

Paul A J Lewis
04-23-2008, 01:10 PM
This is just a short list of some of my favourite testosterone-driven authors.
Any Bukowski; just about any Jim Thompson. Elmore Leonard. James Ellroy. SILENT TERROR is a 'killer' book, in more than one sense of the word.

One of our former degree students, who I now consider a good friend, spent two or three years in one of Britain's worst pissholes of a prison, and he said that reading Edward Bunker (DOG EAT DOG, THE ANIMAL FACTORY, NO BEAST SO FIERCE) was very therapeutic, because although there was a cultural difference Bunker's novels really spoke about the frustrations he had experienced both inside and as an ex-convict in the outside world, and it led to him enrolling on an English degree. He also loved Jim Thompson.

I suspect that you'll get a lot of recommendations for Cormac McCarthy. I'll second those even before they've been posted.

BY REASON OF INSANITY is a very gripping novel, but it's pretty huge and requires a lot of stamina.

What about some Chuck Palahniuk? FIGHT CLUB, THE HAUNTED, SURVIVOR?

I think that's enough to begin with.

Tim Mayer
04-23-2008, 03:33 PM
You could always send him a copy of my book:
That way I know three people will have read it. :)

Chad Haden
04-23-2008, 03:35 PM

Pat B.
04-23-2008, 06:50 PM
American Psycho

Aaron G
04-23-2008, 07:04 PM
IN THE HAND Of DANTE - Nick Tosches
THE ROAD - Cormac McCarthy
PLATFORM - Miche Houllbecq
GLAMORAMA - Bret Easton Ellis

Stay away from the following: Irvine Welsh, Chuk Palahniuk, Stephen King and anyone who is meant to be 'transgressive'

Steve R
04-23-2008, 07:18 PM
Richard Layman is a good take your mind of stuff read. He writes like a 70s B move exploitation film. Island, In The Dark and Traveling Vampire Show are great reads. Long books, too.

For strong stuff, Jack Ketchum is great. Offspring will do the trick.

And then any of the Elmore Leanrd crime books. Any of the Parker thief books by Donald Westlake - he wrote then under the name Stark.

For Classics, On The Road by Kerouac and Electric Kool Aid Acid Test , Tom Wolfe will take you places. Hunter Thompson's early stuff like Hell's Angels and Great Shark Hunt are also very cool.

The book that Battle Royale, the move was based on has a very nice translation, Big ass long book that you can get lost in. That'd really get you lost for a good few days. And a very subversive read, too.

Barry M.
04-23-2008, 09:33 PM
Ed McBain -- there's a zillion 87th precinct books, and they range from perfect time capsule slices of procedural genre stuff, to occasionally brilliant long story arcs that span like a dozen novels. The occasional contractual obligation, and some ass-padding, sure, but overall an astonishing run, and entertaining as all get out. Oh, but, they generally catch guys & put 'em in jail.

I'll second the Starks, but the comic Westlake is maybe the second best way ever to waste time. The Dortmunder caper books are always reliable entertainment and often hilarious. Westlake, like McBain, is a pro who knows the genre rules back & forth, and sets himself tests, & traps to keep himself (and readers) entertained.

If hyperliterate ironic British crime's of any use, Bill James' Harpur & Iles books are savage, funny, and vicious and funny and Christ they're savage. Desmond Iles makes Dirty Harry look like a boy scout repeater whose worst offense was being held back for fucking up the two-fingered salute. The bad guys are as compromised, self-deceived, and self-aggrandized as the cops, so there's no hope there. If Anthony Powell wrote police procedurals where the cops' main jobs were keeping crime at just the right slow boil and keeping themselves no filthier than absolutely comfortable... Bill James would still be better.

Aaron G
04-24-2008, 10:17 AM
If he's in jail, maybe he should read Dostoyefsky?

Actually SLAM by Lew Shiner is pretty great! or some Ed Bunker

Ian F
04-24-2008, 11:18 AM
World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide. They are just really great books by any standard!

Though may ZSG might get held up. It is to an extent a survival guide and teaches...well killing methods (for zombies), but some prison officials might not like that.

Kenneth M
04-29-2008, 12:23 PM
I want to kindly thank all you gents for the great recommendations made in this thread. I've sent out a first batch of books via Amazon, and have lists for two more batches saved on Word. I know I couldn't 've made better choices without consulting y'all first. Thanks a mill. :)

Russ F
04-29-2008, 03:36 PM
Any of the following by Charles Willeford:

The Shark Infested Custard
New Hope for the Dead
The Way We Die Now
Miami Blues
The Burnt Orange Heresy
The Woman Chaser

+ pretty much anything by Jim Thompson

Steve R
04-29-2008, 08:04 PM
Kenneth, I hope they go over for your friend. That's a nice to thing to fo for him.

Russ, you got some good taste there! Chuck Willeford is an adult portion and great stuff indeed.

Stefan A.
04-30-2008, 01:40 AM
The Curse of Lono by Hunbter S. Thompson. It's a coffee table book that might be used as a good weapon for your poor, unfortunate friend.

Kenneth M
08-23-2008, 06:35 PM
I want to thank everyone again for your recommendations. Some of them I couldn't send because they were only sold by individual sellers. Others I knew wouldn't be much liked by the guy. But on the whole, y'all did a terrific job on some recommendations and I thank you (and I'm sure he does, too) from the bottom of my heart.

Here's what's been sent and what will continue until he's released:

Sent #1

Pop. 1280 (Paperback)
Slouching Towards Kalamazoo: A Novel
The Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)
No Country for Old Men (Vintage International)
Landscaping Earth Ponds: The Complete Guide

Sent #2

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
The Road
Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out, Vol. 1
Daredevil: The Devil, Inside and Out, Vol. 2
post office: A Novel
Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region

Sent #3

Daredevil: Hell to Pay, Vol. 1
Punisher born
Don't Know Much About History
Handling Sin
All the Pretty Horses
The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo,
The Shark-Infested Custard

Sent #4 June 20

Daredevil: Hell to Pay, Vol. 2
Punisher MAX, Vol. 1
100 Bullets Vol. 1: First Shot, Last Call (Paperback)
Ham on Rye
Miami Blues (Paperback) Charles Willeford
The Mike Hammer Collection Vol 1

Sent #5 July 12

Punisher MAX, Vol. 2
The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
100 Bullets Vol. 2: Split Second Chance
Welder's Handbook, RevisedHP1513
The Woman Chaser Charles Willeford
Blood Meridian

Sent #6 Aug 1

Punisher Max Volume 3 HC (Punisher)
100 Bullets Vol. 3: Hang Up on the Hang Low
The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll's House
Dog Eat Dog: A Novel
The Thin Red Line
The Criminal (Paperback) Jim Thompson
The Crossing

Sending #7 Aug 25

Punisher MAX, Vol. 4 (Hardcover)
The Sandman Vol. 3: Dream Country
100 Bullets Vol. 4: A Foregone Tomorrow
Punisher Presents: Barracuda MAX (Paperback)
The Owner-Builder Book
The killer inside me Jim Thompson
On the road

Sending #8 Sept 16

Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas
100 Bullets Vol. 5: The Counterfifth Detective
The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists
Brain Power
The Harry Bosch Novels Volume 2
Suttree (Paperback)

Sending #9 Oct 8

Preacher Vol. 2: Until the End of the World
100 Bullets Vol. 6: Six Feet Under the Gun
The Sandman Vol. 5: A Game of You
New Hope for the Dead (Paperback) Charles Willeford
Black Coffee Blues
Bad Boy (Paperback) Jim Thompson
Concrete Countertops: Design, Form, and Finishes

Sending #10 Oct 29

Preacher Vol. 3: Proud Americans
100 Bullets Vol. 7: Samurai
The Sandman Vol. 6: Fables and Reflections
Building Kitchen Cabinets (Paperback)
Cities of the Plain: A Novel
Rendezvous in Black Charles Willeford

Sending #11 Nov 20

Preacher Vol. 4: Ancient History
100 Bullets Vol. 8: The Hard Way
The Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives
Carpentry & Construction (Paperback)
Sideswipe: A Hoke Moseley Charles Willeford
Fight club
Outer Dark (Paperback)
Johnny got his gun

Sending #12 Dec 12

Preacher Vol. 5: Dixie Fried
100 Bullets Vol. 9: Strychnine Lives
The Sandman Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
THE ARCHITECTURE OF LIGHT: Architectural Lighting
The Mike Hammer Collection Vol 2
The Way We Die Now (Paperback) Charles Willeford
The Orchard Keeper (Paperback)

Sending #13 Jan 3

Preacher Vol. 6: War in the Sun
100 Bullets Vol. 10: Decayed
The Sandman Vol. 9: The Kindly Ones
The Black & Decker Complete Guide to Home Wiring
Child of God (Paperback)
The Real Cool Killers (Paperback)
Pick-up (Paperback) Charles Willeford

Sending #14 Jan 25

Preacher Vol. 7: Salvation
100 Bullets Vol. 11: Once Upon a Crime
The Sandman Vol. 10: The Wake
The Complete Manual of Wood Bending
Roughneck (Paperback) Jim Thompson
Cockfighter (Paperback) Charles Willeford
Split Images

Sending #15 Feb 15

Preacher Vol. 8: All Hell's A-Coming
Preacher Vol. 9: Alamo
100 Bullets Vol. 12: Dirty
Fishing Texas: An Angler's Guide
The Sunset Limited (Paperback) McCarthy
The Getaway (Paperback) Jim Thompson
The Big Sleep

Pete C
08-23-2008, 06:45 PM
Ham on Rye
My favourite book! Though it's the last thing I'd wanna be reading in prison...

Steve Barr
08-23-2008, 07:22 PM
Looks like I missed the boat on this thread, but here goes:

Along the lines of what others have recommended, you might try some early James Crumley.

Another novel to try is The List of Seven, by Mark Frost. It's a very cinematic read. Avoid the sequel.

Some alternative suggestions:

It's Not News, It's Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap As News by Drew Curtis

How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling

Pushing Yourself to Power (isometrics)

Maybe a book on meditation or yoga?

Justin Frank
08-24-2008, 04:52 AM
Seems you're a hell of a friend, Kenneth, the world needs more guys like you.

Do you think your man might be interested in any non-fiction?

John G.
08-24-2008, 08:50 AM
That's a lot of Cormac McCarthy! :cool:

Kenneth M
08-25-2008, 12:46 AM
Seems you're a hell of a friend, Kenneth, the world needs more guys like you.

Do you think your man might be interested in any non-fiction?

Thanks Justin! He'd do the same for me. He's a lot bigger than me at 300+ pounds, and he's been there for me everytime I needed some muscle or firepower (back when I wasn't as relaxed), so he's shown me the same love...just in a different way.

I was thinking about non-fiction, thought about 'the man in white' and a few others, but just stuck with that history book. What were your recommendations?

-Thx, Steve & John- :cool: