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The Rough Guide to Cult Fiction (Rough Guides Reference Titles) Paperback – May 16, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Rough Guide Reference
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides (May 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843533871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843533870
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 4.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Written by the team behind the highly successful Rough Guide to Cult Movies.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The author presents short biographies on many authors, some well known and some obscure.
J. Robinson
This book makes reading book sound like an adventure, like something that anyone with a brain should be doing.
Eric Lee Smith
Back in 1989 the AMOK bookstore out of L.A. released a sourcebook for the extremes of information in print.
High Duke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By High Duke on June 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I first picked up this book I was immediately reminded of the 'AMOK 4th Dispatch' catalogue. Back in 1989 the AMOK bookstore out of L.A. released a sourcebook for the extremes of information in print. The book was an unbelievable find, a real jewel in the pre-internet age. Virtually every author who appeared in the 'PULPS' section of that catalogue has found themselves listed in this new ROUGH GUIDE.

For anyone who is tired of the bestseller lists and is looking for something different to read, this guidebook is indispensable! It features all the offbeat, wonderful authors who can lay claim to breaking new ground in literature. Some are well known bestselling authors (Vonnegut, Camus, Tolkien, Ellroy, Palahniuk, Pynchon), others are celebrated more for their lifestyles than their actual work (the infinitely emulated Kerouac, Bukowski and Henry Miller), still others are infamous (Selby, de Sade, Burroughs, Beirce) while many, many others have been either criminally ignored, forgotten or just faded with time (Crews, Himes, Mishima, Bowles, Dick, Willeford, Trocchi, Gysin et al.)

All have devoted (some would say slavish) readerships that have allowed for their works to remain in print one way or the other over the years. I have many of the writers in this collection but the real treasures are to be found with some of the other entries in the guide. You're bound to discover several new writers in this collection which, along with some extra facts that you may not have known about some of your favourite authors, makes it well worth buying. Some of you who haven't yet delved into the literary underworld are in for a real treat. I envy your upcoming voyage of discovery.

The guide is set up simply and efficiently.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Oak on June 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up on a recent vacation to Minnapolis and found I couldn't put it down. I do think the book does omit some key cult writers but the ones who are included are handled by writers who obviously know their subjects. This guide includes a lot of my favorite writers (Jonathan Coe, Italo Calvino, Jasper Fforde, Borges, etc.) and I was pleased to find out some things about their lives and work that I didn't know before. The guide points out the writers' essential works and suggests what a particular writer might have in common with another writer. The book is often funny without being mean-spirited.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Fuzzbottle on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
First, a word about the term cult fiction, and its implications. When I first saw the title of this little book, I assumed it would be full of strung-out wreckages like Burroughs and Dick. While the Rough Guide does contain them (as it should), its scope is far greater than writers of that type. In here you'll find a wind range of novelists reviewed, including Graham Greene, John Fowles, even Zane Grey. Bottom line: an excellent resource for readers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By rickzz on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book after reading and greatly enjoying the "Rough Guide to Classic Novels". "Cult Fiction" is quite disappointing compared to that book because it focuses on the authors themselves instead of the books. The book covers far too many authors so the bios are too brief to be informative. It also cites some of their most important works, but again, there's no meat. Skip this one and read "Classic Novels" instead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
"The Rough Guide To Cult Fiction" is one of those books you can pick up and open at random and spend a couple of hours skipping around in, making notes about which book described you would like to read next. It's a lot of fun, and it's useful too. The largest section, "Authors", is an encyclopedic listing nicely blended between cult authors you know of but haven't got around to yet (Raymond Carver, James Ellroy, Milan Kundera, Martin Amis) and those you've never heard of but sound interesting (Weldon Kees? Victor Pelevin? John Fante? Anna Kavan?) There's also a large section devoted to "one-hit wonders" ("A Clockwork Orange", "A Confederacy Of Dunces", "Little Big Man", "All The King's Men"). There's a section devoted to cult characters (Sherlock Holmes, Holden Caulfield.) There's a section for graphic novels (Neil Gaiman, Harvey Pekar) and a section of readable cult non-fiction ("Dispatches", "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius"). Most of the entries are witty and informative. Some are maybe a little too opinionated (it gets tiring always being told how transgressive and rule-breaking all these writers are. Sometimes there's too much conformity in being so non-conformist.) Even so, this is a very worthwhile little reference book, to be kept beside your bedside.
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