Found this via the always excellent Any Street Corner blog, and apparently it is what is known as a Book Survey Meme. I'm never one to pass up the opportunity to pad out the blog by trying to pass off a survey as a bona fide post, so here goes:
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
An obvious choice but it would have to be Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. I've read it now at least four times (not counting the times I dip into it), and even dragged myself out to see a stage adaptation, and no matter how many times I've read it I always find something different within its pages. Who wouldn't want to be a novel that can in turn make you laugh out loud and then within a few pages make you stare with awe that such a moving and profound book could have been written at the height of one of the monster regimes of the twentieth century? Bulgakov was right, manuscripts don't burn. People will be reading this novel 100 years from now, and I wish I could read it again for the first time.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Mmm, that is a hard question. At a push, and after racking my brains I would have to say Scully from Alan Bleasdale's book of the same name. I loved that character when I first read the book twenty years ago.
The last book you bought is:
The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman by Bruce Robinson
The last book you read:
The Return of Karl Marx by Grey Lynn (Novel published during the Second World War, with an introduction by Herbert Read.)
What are you currently reading?
Five books you would take to a deserted island
Don Quioxte by Miguel De Cervantes (Never read it, and I've always meant to.)
The Dance of the Apprentices by Edward Gaitens (A book that I will always reread.)
Collected Short Stories of Grace Paley (Insight, wit and politics packed into stories shorter than it takes me to write a note to the milkman.)
Conspiracy of Hope by Michael Cannon (A neglected gem, and the Amazon review gets it all wrong.)
Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell (Another obvious choice, but it did strongly affect me on reading it for the first time when I was 15 years old. Despite what some people might say, its strength is that it is in itself a good novel, irrespective of whether or not you agree with its politics.)
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Stuart at From Despair To Where because he is an even bigger bibliomaniac than myself, and I know that he will be sure to serve up a good list of books, and the reasons why I should read or re-read them. (I was tempted to instead nominate his fellow depairado, Dave, but do I really need to hear or read once again why the novelisation of Braveheart is his favourite novel of all time?)
Kara at Radio Active because it was through Kara that I finally got round to reading the wonderful To Kill A Mockingbird; because she has been known to stick the boot into Chuck Palahnuik on occasion, and because she will be sure to write of novels that don't include the words 'News' 'From' 'Nowhere' in the title.
John at A Revolutionary Act because he will tell me once again why I should read Emile Zola's Germinal.
John at A Revolutionary Act has picked up the baton and posted his version of events, revealing in the process that he is looking at the Fahrenheit 451 question through the wrong end of the telescope, and reminding me - in an echo of his answer to the question - that I could have opted for Julie Christie's character in Truffaut's film version of Fahrenheit 451 as my answer rather than a fictional scally from the backstreets of Liverpool. Only drawback to that option is that I haven't read the novel and have no idea of her character's name. Just minor complications, but I'm working on it.