Tyson Adams

Putting the 'ill' back in thriller

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Book addict

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Top 40 books of all time chosen by Lee Child

Easter is here for another year. I like to celebrate this time of year with bacon (for peace) and chocolate eggs and bunnies. Actually, interesting fact, the reason we celebrate Easter with eggs and bunnies is because they were fertility and sex symbols of the goddess Ishtar (pronounced Easter). In honour of the event, we clearly need the chocolate eggs and bunnies to keep us fuelled up for the fertility long weekend. In some of the spare hours, it might be worth reading a good book.

So, have you read any of Lee’s favourite books and will you be reading any of them this long chocolate fueled sex weekend?

1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
“The greatest legal thriller ever written.”

2 Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald
“If you were there, you can’t remember – so read this.”

3 Roots by Alex Haley
“A tragic story we should all know.”

4 Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
“If you read only 10 novels in your life, make this one.”

5 Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
“Started a brief but glorious period of dissent in the United States.”

6 The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
“The best what-if sci-fi ever.”

7 Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
“An elegant saga and a double love story.”

8 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
“A novel that described and defined an era.”

9 Nice Work by David Lodge
“Social realism from a recent but almost forgotten era.”

10 Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
“Iconic, for a reason.”

11 Ragtime by EL Doctorow
“What great novels used to be – and could be again.”

12 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“The best of the US golden age of crime writing.”

13 Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
“The finest writing EVER.”

14 The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
“How we used to live, think and write.”

15 Churchill by Roy Jenkins
“The best one-volume biography ever.”

16 The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill
“Guys my age grew up on stuff like this.”

17 Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
“A Californian writing about Russia in a Scandinavian way.”

18 Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon
“My current favourite writer’s debut – excellent.”

19 Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
“There’s a reason she became so popular – and this is it.”

20 Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham
“An amazing debut with an early ‘reveal’ that will shock you.”

21 The Glittering Prizes by Frederic Raphael
“A time, a place – how we used to live, who we used to be.”

22 Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
“The first in an amazing new series.”

23 The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carré
“The unfairly neglected jewel in le Carré’s crown.”

24 City of Thieves by David Benioff
“Powerful, entrancing, tough, wonderfully imagined.”

25 Have His Carcase by Dorothy L Sayers
“The best of ‘golden age’ mystery fiction.”

26 The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
“An example of King’s genius – he can make a story out of the simplest premise.”

27 A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
“Everything plus that vital x-factor that makes you cross when you have to stop.”

28 The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn
“A heartbreaking work of personal history that reads like a thriller.”

29 Debt of Honour by Tom Clancy
“The best from the man who dominated the genre for a decade.”

30 The Golden Rendezvous by Alistair MacLean
“His first dozen books are all great – why not start here?”

31 The Female Eunoch by Germaine Greer
“That rare thing – a book that changed the world.”

32 Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
“I read this 7 years ago and wanted him for president right then.”

33 The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow
“A huge multi-generational crime saga – a book of the decade.”

34 The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
“ ‘Book Zero’ in terms of recent thriller evolution.”

35 Green River Rising by Tim Willocks
“Maybe the best-ever prison novel – terrific suspense.”

36 The Runaway Jury by John Grisham
“Much more than it seems – a masterclass in narrative drive.”

37 Brilliant Orange by David Winner
“My favourite sport explains one of my favourite cultures.”

38 Night Sky by Clare Francis
“The multitalented Ms Francis unleashes terrific suspense and a great ‘OMG’ moment.”

39 On the Beach by Nevil Shute
“The best of 1950s style – with 1950s concerns.”

40 The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
“A big meaty epic, sprawling and inclusive – like novels use to be.”

Five Animals

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I have five cats, how many of them are planning to murder me in my sleep?

I have five dogs, how many of them want to play fetch at sunrise?

I have five parrots, how many of them are a pretty boy?

I have five donkeys, how many don’t want to talk about their time in Mexico?

I have five horses, how many bottles of glue will they make?

I have five penguins, is that enough to make a dinner suit?

I have five rabbits, how many will I have tomorrow?

I have five ducks, boy do they hope it is rabbit season.

I have five lions, yes, the neighbour’s house looks like a much better place to rob.

I have five Australian native animals, they are all poisonous and want to kill me.

I have five rats, which one is the politician?

I have five lawyers, which one should die first?

The 15 Most Unbelievable Words in English

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Agerasia
(n.) A lack of the signs of old ages; a youthful old age
“The agerasia of that fellow is amazing; look at him darting around on those skates!”

Bayard
(n.) A person armed with the self-confidence of ignorance
“Only a bayard would walk past that bull.”

Bed-swerver
(n.) An unfaithful spouse
“Phil refused to believe his wife was a bed-swerver.”

Fard
(v.) To paint the face with cosmetics, so as to hide blemishes
“My wife’s tendency to fard in the bathroom for an hour made us late.”

Gobemouche
(n.) One who believes anything, no matter how absurd
“That guy is a gobemouche–I told him that bull would not chase him, and he believed me.”

Hansardize
(v.) To show that a person has previously espoused opinions differing from the ones he or she now holds
“Tom hansardized Phil by showing us a letter Phil had written to him.”

Inadvertist
(n.) One who persistently fails to take notice of things
“I am an inadvertist when it comes to driving. I run over about 3 things a month.”

Killcrop
(n.) A brat who never ceases to be hungry, and was popularly thought to be a fairy that was substituted for the child
“Once upon a time, wicked faeries kidnapped a child and replaced it with an evil killcrop.”

Maritality
(n.) Excessive or undue affection on the part of a wife for her husband
“Marge’s maritality was driving Burt insane, so he went out with his buddies.”

Natiform
(adj.) Buttock-shaped
“The children giggled when they saw the natiform pumpkin.”

Obmutescence
(n.) The state or condition of obstinately or willfully refusing to speak
“The sullen boy glared at his mother in obmutescence.”

Plinyism
(n.) A statement or account of dubious correctness or accuracy, such as some found in the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder
“Saying that the moon is made of cheese is pure plinyism.”

Quaresimal
(adj.) Said of a meal, having the qualities of food served during Lent; austere, skimpy
“We only had a few pieces of chicken, and after our quaresimal meal, we were still hungry.”

Scrouge
(v.) To inconvenience or discomfort a person by pressing against him or her or by standing too close
“I was standing in the elevator when six other people got in, and one in particular scrouged me into a corner.”

Yepsen
(n.) The amount that can be held in two hands cupped together also, the two cupped hands themselves
“The pond was nearly dry; barely more than a yepsen of water was left.”

From Writers Write blog.

That’s pun-tastic

After my last post, Avery suggested I give up the trumpet. Actually, since he is a fellow blogger, writer and lover of puns, he wanted me to do a pun post. Well, that sounds like pun for everyone.

Before everyone is up in arms and down in legs, I realise that puns are some of the lamest jokes; they are like hurt animals. I mean, puns are just average, in the joke stakes. They’re like a loan shark at a singles bar.

But a good pun is its own reword. There are some very good comedians in the world and only some use puns. So I present the indomitable Tim Vine.

And a full concert for good measure:

The Muse You Need

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Choosing a location for your story

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As much as I love America, does every crime and thriller novel written have to be set there? Wouldn’t it be great if more stories chose some other locations?

Before anyone jumps on me, yes, I know, there are plenty of stories set in diverse locations. My comment is more about the way writers are so often told that people only want to read stories set in the US, that it has to appeal to the US market. I think we all know that this is a presumption on behalf of the industry for us readers. Let’s try and push for the more challenging locations in the stories we read.

English is just a little crazy

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The Snowflake Method

The Snowflake Method always makes my think of Tyler Durden.

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After sinking my teeth into writing workshops at the Perth Writers’ Festival, I have come to realise that there are some fantastic methods for encouraging ideas and story/character development. The thing is, though, you kinda pick up these methods up as you do battle with words. It is great to have these methods on hand, but some methods, like the aforementioned Snowflake Method, really do distract from putting one word after the next. You see, whilst the Snowflake Method may be great for getting to know your characters and your plot (really, really, really) well  and “growing a plot naturally”, it seems specifically designed to bore you to death. To put it simply, you have to finish a project, which means writing and not sitting around contemplating your navel.

So a writing method is only as good as the amount of writing projects it helps you finish. Just a thought: what are yours?

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