The smell of ink and paper.

[the top rated comments are priceless, I can’t stop laughing]

 

THIS PIECE got me started.

So what were the books that changed your entire view of life back when you were a teen? They asked. I answered.

My first “mouth wide open and unable to let it go until I finish it” experience was with Hermann Hesse’s “Steppenwolf”.

It turned me around in a million ways, it delighted me and it scared the living daylight out of me. It consumed me, my fingers were glued to each page and I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. I ditched school and sat for hours in the park, constantly struggling with that book. I didn’t let go of it until I finished it. I remember getting pissed off when my mother called me to supper. Those were ten minutes that I wanted to spend with Hesse. My stomach obeyed and I skipped dinner. I skipped breakfast. Two days and five pounds less later, I had finished it. I took a deep breath and fell in love with this writer. My next adventure was “Siddartha”, but we’ll get to it later.

Boris Vian was the next who troubled me. “L’Ecoume des Jours”… or “Froth on the Daydream”. Or “La Schiuma dei Giorni”. However you want it.

It’s still an incredible read. You haven’t LIVED if you haven’t read this book. The story just hurts too good. Having a lily growing inside your lung and killing you slowly, watching your wealth shrink, literally shrink every day… the guy is either completelly off this earth or he just smoked something really really good. If it’s the latter, I want in, I’m sorry but I’ll have whatever he’s having and whatever triggered him to write this incredible story. It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s profound, it’s sweet but there’s also a slight sense of bitterness and cruel reality just lurking under each page that you flip as you continue to read. It’s something that you just HAVE to read, believe me. I was eighteen when I was introduced to this book and it felt like I should’ve done this even earlier. If there are teenagers in your radius, tie them down and glue this book to their fingers. They’ll thank you.

Let me see… what else happened to blow my mind when I was still ridiculously young and thought I had the world at my feet. I won’t say “The Alchemist”, I’m sorry, it just didn’t work for me. I read it in two hours and it didn’t even make me paint anything. No, that wasn’t it. But Paulo Coelho wrote something else that hit me quite deep. “Veronica Decides to Die”. I don’t know about you, but it did touch me. It touched me so deep that when the movie came out I was suddenly stuck in a seventh heaven.

 

Now let’s see. What else hit me really bad, in a really good way? Oh, wait, I remember! You haven’t been a real teenager if you haven’t read at least one Anne Rice book. Seriously! I started out with “The Mummy”, then came the Vampire Chronicles. No Team Edward vs. Team Jacob bullshit, no glitter skin pretty-boys and defective 17 year olds. No way, dudes, just the original vampire stories. “Interview with a Vampire”, “The Vampire Lestat”, “Armand”, “Queen of the Damned” (one of my favorites) and my absolute favorite, the one I’ll read over and over again because it is just so cool and daring on a different level: “Memnoch the Devil “. By then I had already realized that I wanted to be carried away every time I read something. I wanted the story to grab me by the ankles and just pull me into its world. And this one did it. It was the first step to a certain maturity, I have to admit. There are certain steps that you must take before you can dare to read other, greater works. That’s just my humble opinion.

I think that the complete series is worth a read. I dare you to do it. And I urge you to pay a bit more attention to “Memnoch the Devil”. I think you’ll figure it out once you get there.

I’ll finish today’s babble about books with my favorite author and, so far, my favorite book. The fuel to my fire, my deliciously torturing addiction, the literary work of a master and (I think) a genius. A true tale, a consistent painting of what a story should look like. It’s engaging, it thorough, it’s a champion by excellence. I have no words to describe the book that has really (BUT FUCKING REALLY) changed my life and my vision of everything that surrounds me. All I can do is urge you to read it, if you haven’t already. And if you’ve read it before, do it again. It’s still as cool, even if you read it three, four or fifty times.

I’m talking about Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods”. It kicks a lot of ass.

I’m just doing my part in educating what’s left of our society and I’m pointing fingers in the right directions. This is most likely to be a warm up, there’s plenty more where this came from. You’re fucked.

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