Please help this fictional illiterate...
April 16, 2011 6:22 AM   Subscribe

My brain needs some fiction reading and I'd like some recommendations based on my tastes in TV/Film: Mad Men, Quadrophenia, Good Fellas, The Krays, There Will Be Blood, Election, Spinal Tap, American Beauty, Eyes Wide Shut, Flashbacks of Fool, The Graduate, Rushmore. Thanks!
posted by punkfloyd to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Well, based on that movie and TV list, I'll just glance up at my "dark wit" shelf and recommend:

Bret Easton Ellis
Chuck Pahlaniuk
Irvine Welsh
Nicholson Baker
Warren Ellis
Hubert Selby

That's a good start.
posted by rokusan at 6:29 AM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Cheese Monkeys by Chip Kidd.
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
posted by unsub at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2011

Magic Kingdom by Stanley Elkins
posted by buriedpaul at 6:56 AM on April 16, 2011

(Whoops. Stanley Elkin, even.)
posted by buriedpaul at 6:57 AM on April 16, 2011

If you liked Election, read that and other books by Tom Perrotta. You could read Little Children and then watch the movie based on that, too.
posted by TrarNoir at 6:59 AM on April 16, 2011

posted by Anything at 7:04 AM on April 16, 2011

Excuse me, books, not films? Apologies for misreading your question.
posted by Anything at 7:18 AM on April 16, 2011

Dream Story is the novella Eyes Wide Shut is based on and its quite an interesting read. Its different enough to be worth reading if you've seen the film.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:21 AM on April 16, 2011

The Long Firm by Jake Arnott is basically the Krays but with a single gangster representing both of the twins.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:37 AM on April 16, 2011

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole immediately popped into my head (Spinal Tap, Election, Rushmore).
posted by Odinhead at 12:02 PM on April 16, 2011

I 2nd Confederacy of Dunces. I'm reading it right now for the 1st time. It definitely fits in the Christopher Guest-like requirement.

For heady and impressive:
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Wind Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore by Murakami's
posted by J-DeZoet at 2:19 PM on April 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would recommend

James Ellroy - Underworld USA trilogy
J.D. Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye
Philip Roth - American Pastoral and The Human Stain
Jonathan Franzen - The Corrections
Richard Yates - Revolutionary Road

Depending on what appealed to you in the movies/tv shows you mention, you could probably find something you'd like in the works of Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Wolfe and Tom Robbins. And seconding Cormac McCarthy.
posted by Paris Elk at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2011

Seconding Robbins and Mitchell, who I'd have included originally... but they're on a different shelf.
posted by rokusan at 3:30 PM on April 16, 2011

The Financial Lives of the Poets, by Jess Walter. Funny, dark, an effortless read. [Google books link; you can sample it.]
posted by Superfrankenstein at 5:30 PM on April 16, 2011

Response by poster: Woohoo. Thanks!
posted by punkfloyd at 7:07 PM on April 16, 2011

The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit - perhaps dated and has its faults (which are difficult to discuss without giving plot points away), but the cynicism is WAY ahead of its time, and interesting for being written actually DURING the period (1955) as opposed to being someone's gloss on attitudes during that time. If you happen to be a Kindle reader, the Kindle version (at least the one I got) is not scanned very well.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:53 PM on April 16, 2011

A little further afield, perhaps, but I think you might like The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon. If you were unfortunate enough to see the Denzel Washington remake a few years back, put it out of your mind - the book is great (as is the original movie with Angela Lansbury).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:28 PM on April 16, 2011

You might like T. Coraghessan Boyle. This collection of short stories is particularly entertaining.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:12 AM on April 17, 2011

The Stories of John Cheever, I would especially recommend The Swimmer. You'll find Mad Men was quite influenced by the tone of these stories.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 1:37 AM on April 17, 2011

Thomas Berger's "The Little Big Man" and "Arthur Rex"
posted by PaulBGoode at 10:53 PM on April 17, 2011

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