In September I interviewed Robert Englund prior to the Edmonton Expo. I saved a special segment of the interview just for Halloween. Robert Englund discussing his favourite books—what could be more perfect for my readers?
Lisa: What have been some of the most inspiring stories/books you have read?
Robert: Most recently, and I highly, highly recommend, A Visit From The Goon Squad is a great contemporary book. It follows three women in the rock & roll world from San Francisco to LA for about twenty-years. It’s just a great book. I think you would really get it and appreciate it.
Ian Macewan, his book Saturday, was one of the first books of his I read. That book really just knocked my socks off. Going back in time, Catch-22 and a book called Something Happened, which I read at a point where I was just starting to mature and I really understood the hindsight within the book.
I also really like Underworld, that was a great book. The Corrections was a great contemporary book that I loved. Then when I go back to when I was young, books like To Kill A Mockingbird, I really loved that book. There was a book called A European Education that was about the Warsaw ghetto, through that book, for some reason I really imagined WW2 for the first time. She has syphilis and slept with the German soldiers just to give them syphilis. I read this in high school and it was pretty adult content!
I discovered late in life the entire series of books by the great Cold War author John McConaghy. I love exploring his world. I have read all of his books now. I read them with an atlas, well now with a map app! Now I can go on the app, and see exactly the streets or the places books are set in. I can be in London and see the canal. You should try it sometime, it makes everything come more alive.
Right now I am reading the book that was made into a movie with Tom Hanks, Cloud Atlas. I got the map for the island they are on and I keep referring to the map. If you’re reading a book about, lets say Edmonton, for you it’s easy because you have been there and you know it. You can see the world already in your minds eye. If it is somewhere you haven’t been, it is a neat trick to use.
I am not able to read from a Kindle. I need the physical book in my hand. But, to use a map App! You can go to the places your characters are in! It’s fun. Although I don’t think you will find Middle Earth on the maps.
Lisa: I agree, I think physical books will always prevail.
Robert: I love everything about a book. I like dog-eared pages. I like looking them on my shelf. While I am speaking to you right now I am looking at my shelves. As I look at each book, I know each of those stories are in me. You have the physical evidence and memory, the time you shared with that book—a few nights of your life, a few weeks.
Books and stories separate us from everything else in the universe. It separates us from animals, from vegetables. Nobody else tells stories. Even chimpanzees who are really close to us, they don’t tell stories. It is what makes it different.