Carl Hiaasen — books that influenced me, changed me, surprised me?

Carl Hiaasen

From an interview with Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life, Carl Hiaasen talks about his new book Star Island, and shares some about books, influences and surprises.  Hiaasen appears at Live Talks Los Angeles on August 17 at Track 16 at Bergamot Station. Get your tickets and help us support the wonderful work of Reading to Kids.  For every ticket sold, the Pearson Foundation’s We Give Books campaign will donate five children’s books to Reading to Kids.

Best movie/TV adaptation: “There are two books that come to mind. The first was a miniseries, but I think Lonesome Dove was a tremendously faithful adaptation of Larry [McMurtry]’s novel. ….The other one was a novel by John Gregory Dunne. It was a novel he did that was made into a movie with Robert Duvall, and I want to say True Confessions. I remember seeing that, thinking, they can make a good movie out of a novel. It can be done.

Books that changed your life?: “… [J.D. Salinger’s] The Catcher in the Rye really knocked me out of my chair. Especially as a young person who knew he wanted to write, it really opened my eyes about what fiction written in the voice of a young person could be. Catch-22 I still think is one of the most phenomenal novels in the English language because of [Joseph] Heller’s ability to make you laugh literally on every page while writing about the darkest of all human conditions, wartime. I’m still blown away by that book.

Books that were influential: “….one author that had a big influence on me by being from Florida was John D. MacDonald. I was born in Fort Lauderdale and his books were set basically in my backyard, and not only were they great reads, great page-turners, but he riffed so cleverly about what was happening to Florida,….I remember reading these books as a young person and thinking that you could still write a book that’s a compelling read but at the same time you could slip in a few zingers, you could get your message across, you could make a point.

Books that surprised you?: “… I went in semi-reluctantly when I read [Khaled Hosseini’s] The Kite Runner, because it had been hyped so much….but my wife had read it and friends of mine had read it and they’re very careful about what they suggest to me. They told me to get it. …this one was the real deal.”

Carl Hiaasen, August 17th at Track 16

Join us for another Live Talks Los Angeles event — August 17 — featuring Carl Hiaasen discussing his new book, Star Island, with Carolyn Kellogg of the Los Angeles Times at Track 16 at Bergamot Station. Get your tickets here.  This event raises support for the wonderful work of Reading to Kids. For the next few days, we will be posting video from a Q&A with Carl Hiaasen…