Looking for more like Milch...
May 12, 2008 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Novelists or short story writers who write like David Milch (Deadwood / John From Cincinnati)?

I really like John From Cincinnati and I love Deadwood. Does anyone write like this in prose form?

I'm looking for the same command of dialogue and/or conflict. Suggestions?
posted by dobbs to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Milch's writing is much more stylized than much contemporary prose. He's a throwback, but he's also been influenced by 20th-Century writers like Mamet and Pinter. He combines their bluntness with an 18th-Century verbosity.

I recommend that you delve into the past. Read Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Dickens. Milch partly based the "Deadwood" dialogue on Dickensian prose. Some of his characters, such as D.B., could have walked right out of a Dickens novel.

You might also enjoy "Lonesome Dove."
posted by grumblebee at 8:05 AM on May 12, 2008

I'm guilty of being a huge Deadwood fan. David Milch has written a hardcover book about the show:

Deadwood: Stories of the Black Hills

It's a great read.
posted by shino-boy at 9:33 AM on May 12, 2008

Kem Nunn, the co-creator of John From Cincinnati, has written a number of excellent novels. Crazy surf-noir stuff with great dialogue and characters, and often-surreal storylines. Not at all what you think of as surf novels, any more than John from Cincinnati is what you think of as a surf TV show. Tapping the Source is a true classic, and Dogs of Winter isn't far behind.

I'm sort of a Kem Nunn evangelist, if you can't tell. His books are truly deserving of a wider audience.
posted by dersins at 10:09 AM on May 12, 2008

In comics you might want to check out the work of Garth Ennis, particularly anything of his in a western vein.
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on May 12, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers, folks. Unfortunately, I've pretty much read everything by everyone in the thread except Ennis.

Thanks, tho!
posted by dobbs at 1:18 PM on May 12, 2008

Unfortunately, I've pretty much read everything by everyone in the thread except Ennis.

Did my suggestion not appeal to you (which is fine) or have you seriously read EVERYTHING by William Shakespeare, James Austen and Charles Dickens? I read a ton of contemporary novels, but those bygone writers are much more like Milch -- especially "Deadwood" Milch that most modern writers.

If you've seriously read everything I suggest, move onto other Elizabethans: Johnson, etc.
posted by grumblebee at 4:12 PM on May 12, 2008

Denis Johnson--Particularly "Already Dead".
posted by shakobe at 10:30 PM on May 12, 2008

Wasn't "Warlock," Thomas Pynchon's favorite Western novel, by Oakley Hall, a big influence on "Deadwood"? It has a really interesting dialogue style that's partly Victorian and partly Hemingway.
posted by johngoren at 8:24 AM on May 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

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