I liked it but understand what he was talking about.
I had an older sister who was shooting dexedrine at a flop house in the Bronx when I was a kid.
I can remember coming in from Long Island with my family and searching for her in the tenements, finally finding her, completely riddled with sores and needle marks.
This was around 1969. It was pretty horrific. Luckily she eventually put her life together.
But you never forget...
Back to books. I was an incredibly voracious reader when I was young, 10 to 15 years of age.
I devoured everything in my path, from Robert Howard to Heller to Camus. And I read everything Hesse wrote.
Loved him, especially Magister Ludi and Narcissus and Goldmund but Damien, Siddhartha, Journey to the East, Steppenwolf, all the rest, the works.
I made a serious mistake and re- ead that wonderful book, Narcissus and Goldmund, this incredible tale of friendship, as an adult. And guess what, it sucked, couldn't make any sense of it. And I think that is a problem, you may be able to grok something with your fourteen year old mind that is completely pointless when you are an adult? And vice versa I suppose. I can't understand him now, honestly.
I just spent a month trying to read Sirens of Titan again. Vonnegut's book enchanted many, was supposed to be a movie. Well, it took forever to read, kept losing interest and putting it down, always a bad sign. And you know what, it was still awful and incomprehensible to me, although I do enjoy some of his work. Hate to say it but Asimov's Foundation didn't wear all that well on me either and I always disliked Dune.
Here are some of my favorite books, mostly sci fi, for what it is worth. They all still ring true to me.
Tiger, Tiger (the stars my destination.) - Alfred Bester If you are going to read one book on my list, make it this one. Absolute brilliance. A book so nice, they named it twice...
More than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
Nine Princes of Amber - Roger Zelazny
Lord of Light - Zelazny
Creatures of Light and Darkness - Zelazny
Mana from Heaven - Zelazny
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger (The laughing man)
A Confederate General in Big Sur - Richard Brautigan
The Children's Hour - Henry Kuttner
Lord of the Rings - Tolkien
I have no mouth and I must scream - Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories - Harlan Ellison (Dogfight on 101)
Ubik - Philip Dick
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
Stranger in a strange land - Robert Heinlein
R is for Rocket - Ray Bradbury (Pillars of fire)
Shadow of the wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Fencing Master - Arturo Perez Reverte
Anything by Lord Dunsany and William Morris
Nero Wolfe - Rex Stout
Inspector Bonaparte - Arthur Upfield
Inspector Otani - James Melville
Maigret - George Simenon