If there’s one thing you can say about writers, it is that they certainly aren’t afraid to let loose. They are naturally creative and when that creativity meets paper, bizarre lines can spew out of writers’ minds.
Here are eight lines that made readers say, “WTF?”
“Sunset found her squatting in the grass, groaning. Every stool was looser than the one before, and smelled fouler. By the time the moon came up she was shitting brown water. The more she drank, the more she shat, but the more she shat, the thirstier she grew.”
— George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dance With Dragons
“I just beheaded and dismembered a sentient creature not twenty yards from you. That doesn’t bother you?”
I can’t think of a more classic action series and franchise than that of James Bond and the 007 films. In my mind, there’s no one who can look quite as sleek and cool as James Bond and his beautiful Bond girl. How did they look so good while fighting off the corrupt villains? Beats me, but the series author Ian Fleming left quite a bit of Bond material behind, and fans want more. Maybe, just maybe, now we’ll get it.
Image Via James Bond Lifestyle
Anthony Horowitz, author of the adrenaline-packed Alex Rider series, received authorization from the Fleming Estate to take on the famous series… with a prequel! Forever and a Day will be the precursor to the 1953 novel Casino Royale. It’s going to follow Bond’s very first mission, the one that turned him into the iconic figure he is.
Image Via Anthony Harowitz
According to the Guardian, publisher Jonathan Cape explained that the novel will start with body of a previous agent designated as 007 being found afloat in the waters near Marseilles. His cause of death is unknown; this is where James Bond steps in to take his place:
M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. ‘We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.’ ‘It’s Bond, sir,’ the Chief of Staff replied. ‘James Bond.’
Does it get any cooler? This is Horowitz’s second Bond novel, the first being Trigger Mortis: With Original Material by Ian Fleming, a sort of spin-off, but this one is even more promising. “I couldn’t have been happier when the Ian Fleming estate invited me back to write a second Bond,” says Horowitz. Even Fleming’s nephew is thrilled about the work, saying that it’s “in the best tradition of Ian Fleming.”
After Fleming’s fourteen Bond novels, we have reason to believe this work (which will be out on May 31st) will be a great introduction to how this agent became the legend.
Whether you love him or hate him, there’s no denying the effect Hefner’s work has had on both the literary and publishing worlds. In memoriam of Hugh Hefner’s life and career, we’ve put together a list of some of the most notable authors and interviews published in Playboy to prove that yes, some people really do read it for the articles.
I had so much fun making the featured image that I couldn’t not also make a full cover. Enjoy. / Image Via The New Yorker, Photoshopped by yours truly.
If you’ve got a subscription to Playboy, be sure to check out the Playboy Archive for digital copies of magazines ranging from 1954 to 2007.
1. An Interview with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image via Wikipedia
In 1964, just after he had won the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sat down with Alex Haley for a series of interviews, which were then edited together for the magazine’s January 1965 issue. The interview is the longest interview King gave to a publication. Ever. King speaks of his observations of the Civil Rights Movement (at that point) and the first time he remembered experiencing racism. He was forced to stand on a bus, not too dissimilar to Rosa Parks’ story, which later inspired him to stage a bus boycott.
Vonnegut first appeared in Playboy in a 1973 interview. Most notably, though, the magazine was the first to publish an excerpt from Armageddon in Retrospect, Vonnegut’s first posthumous collection. The collection features several new short stories, a letter Vonnegut wrote to his family during his time as a prisoner of war in World War II, drawings, and a speech written shortly before his death.
During the first years of Playboy’s life their budget only allowed for reprinted stories, and in 1954 they published a serialized version of Fahrenheit 451. ‘The First Night of Lent’, Bradbury’s first original story for the publication in 1956, was among the first previously unpublished stories the magazine sent to print.
Atwood’s first foray into Playboy was in 1991 with the publication of ‘The Bog Man’. ‘The Bog Man’recounts the discovery of a 2,000 year old man during a trip between a Canadian student and the married archaeology professor she is in love with. Atwood’s other works published in Playboy include The Bad News (2006) and The Age of the Bottleneck (2008).
Published in 1971, Marquez’s short story ‘The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World‘ is about a ridiculously handsome dead body that washes up onto shore and enchants an entire village. If you’re unfamiliar with Marquez’s work, I absolutely recommend A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings.
8. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels
Image via Ian Fleming
According to John Cork, founding member of the Ian Fleming Foundation, “by 1960 Ian Fleming, James Bond, and Playboy magazine became a nearly synonymous cultural force, truly united with Playboy‘s publication of [Fleming’s story] The Hildebrand Rarity.” Fleming’s 11th book, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, was published simultaneously as a hardcover in Britain and serialized in Playboy from April to June 1963.
Dahl’s only non-children’s book, My Uncle Oswald, was based on ‘The Visitor’, a story written for and published in Playboy in May of 1965. You wouldn’t think a beloved children’s author would fit in with the publication but Dahl describes main character Oswald as “the greatest fornicator of all time”, so. Dahl’s first original story for Playboy was ‘A Fine Son’, published in 1959.
Heller refers to his short story ‘Yossarian Survives’(published in Playboy in 1987) as a lost chapter of Catch-22. The story describes Yossarian’s training at Lowry Field Air Force base in Denver, Colorado. Fans interested in reading this ‘lost chapter’ can find it in Catch As Catch Can: The Collected Stories and Other Writings.
Palahniuk is no stranger to getting published in Playboy, but I’m including him for a reason very close-to-home. When I was twelve-years-old, rifling through my best friend’s stepfather’s magazines, I found what would eventually become one of my favorite short stories. Palahniuk’s controversial short story ‘Guts‘was first published in the March 2004 issue of Playboy. ‘Guts’ is part of Palahniuk’s short story collection Haunted: A Novel.
12. Hunter S. Thompson, father of Gonzo journalism
Image via Rolling Stone
‘The Great Shark Hunt‘graced Playboy‘s pages in 1973 and was later published in a book of autobiographical essays of the same name. Over his career, Thompson’s work appeared in Playboy on a number of occasions.
In the January 1984 issue of Playboy, Capote retold some of the most outrageous stories from friend and playwright Tennessee Williams’s life. It wasn’t the first time Capote was featured in the magazine. He was also the subject of a 1968 interviewabout his writing career, the role of Jewish writers in the American literary scene, and his views on capital punishment.
14. An Interview with Joyce Carol Oates, author of 56 novels, and a lot more.
one of the most prolific writers in America. Her critics even complain that she writes too much. She has written more novels than Nobel laureate Saul Bello, more short story collections than John Updike, more books of essays than Norman Mailer, more words of poetry than Emily Dickinson and more plays than Chekhov. Critic Harold Bloom considers her “our true proletarian novelist.”
Featured image via The New Yorker, improved via my own photoshop abilities.
Summer is the perfect season for audiobook; whether you’re dilly-dallying on your way to work, trying to make the most of your moments in the sun, sunbathing on any available surface, or, if you’re super lucky, going on vacation (woohoo!).
We’ve rounded up the smoothest voices in Hollywood we would love to hear, and the books we think would best suit them!
1. Julie Andrews
Julie’s soothing lilt has cropped up in some of our favorite fairy-tale films such as ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘Enchanted,’ not to mention the classic ‘Mary Poppins.’ Everything her tender tones touch seems to turn to gold.
Since she’s already an old-hand at all things princess, we think Francis Hodgson Burnett’s ‘A Little Princess‘ would be perfect. A childhood favorite of many, this moving novel follows Sarah, who, having grown up in India, is sent to boarding school in England when her father is conscripted.
2. Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman must have the most beloved voice in Hollywood, and we can’t think of anything we wouldn’t want to hear his rich tones recite! We’d happily listen to him reading the phone book, a take-out menu, a list of every type of lawnmower ever manufactured, the ingredients in a tin of Spam…ANYTHING.
…BUT, given the choice, we would love to hear him read Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road.’ This dystopian tale follows a father and son as they make their way across bleak landscapes. We think Freeman’s famous voice would lend a wonderful dimension to this dark story.
3. Cate Blanchett
Blanchett’s narration at the start of the Lord of the Rings movies is pretty intoxicating, her voice at once soothing and powerful just like you might expect from an elven queen.
Blanchett is such a versatile actor, filling roles as diverse as Bob Dylan, Katharine Hepburn, and Queen Elizabeth I. With this in mind, we’d love to hear her reading ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.’ Lemony Snicket’s best-selling series boasts an ever-changing cast of characters as well as some constants (like Count Olaf) who are constantly cropping up under different guises. The books are narrated by the character Lemony Snicket, but given the various male roles Blanchett has taken on before, we’re sure she’d pull it off.
4. Idris Elba
Everybody loves Idris Elba’s cheeky London twang, and we know from his various roles that he’s capable of affecting many different accents.
Touted by many as being the perfect successor to Daniel Craig in the role of 007, we would love to hear Elba reading Ian Fleming’s James Bond books. It’s looking unlikely that he will land the role, due to scheduling conflicts, but hearing him read the books would definitely be the next best thing!
5. Kristen Stewart
We can’t get enough of Stewart’s laid-back, husky voice which always lends serious believability to her acting.
We’d love to hear Stewart narrate ‘Tithe‘ by ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles’ author Holly Black. This dark modern day fairy tale is narrated by deadpan teenager Kay who spends her days touring with her mother’s band until she is sucked into the dark world of faerie-land. Stewart’s chilled out, authentic voice would be perfect for this cool character, not to mention she has experience voicing characters unwittingly sucked into supernatural worlds!
7. Evanna Lynch
‘Harry Potter’s’ Luna Lovegood has one of the most soothing voices in Hollywood, and one we don’t get to hear enough. Hailing from Louth, Ireland, she already has audiobook experience, narrating ‘Foster’ by Irish author Claire Keegan.
We think Evanna would be perfect to narrate Sarah Maria Griffin’s new YA sci-fi novel ‘Spare and Found Parts.‘ Set in dystopian Dublin, Ireland, this story follows Nell who sets about building her own companion out of spare parts.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Telegraph and Goodreads