1. Sebastian Faulks' Forty Most Influential Books

    By Kevin Wells on 2008-05-01

    Sebastian Faulks previously reported that Sebastian Faulks would host Watersone’s first Writer’s Table where he would compile a top 40 book list that inspired him as an author. The list has finally been published in select Waterstone’s stores and their website, and includes a number of names associated with James Bond.

    Handwritten review of Moonraker

    Faulks’ handwritten review of Moonraker

    Coming in at #9 on the list is surprisingly Moonraker by Ian Fleming. In Faulk’s review, he praises it for its uniqueness. “Early Bond. He doesn’t sleep with the girl and the big dénouement is in Kent… It breaks all the rules and it really only has three scenes. But what good scenes they are.”

    Topping the list at #1 is Colonel Sun author Kingsley Amis with Jake’s Thing (1978) followed by his son, Martin Amis at #2 with his 1978 novel Success. Additionally, George MacDonald Fraser’s World War II memoir also made the list. Fraser is best known to Bond fans for being a screenwriter on Octopussy.

    The full list:

    1. Jake’s Thing by Kingsley Amis
    2. Success by Martin Amis
    3. Tim All Alone by Edward Ardizzone
    4. The Garden Of The Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani
    5. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    6. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
    7. The Waste Land by TS Eliot
    8. The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
    9. Moonraker by Ian Fleming
    10. The Magus by John Fowles
    11. Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser
    12. Towards The End Of The Morning by Michael Frayn
    13. Loving. Living. Party Going by Henry Green
    14. The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary
    15. The Line Of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
    16. The Price Of Glory by Alistair Horne
    17. An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan
    18. The Lake by Yasunari Kawabata
    19. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being by Milan Kundera
    20. 20. The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin
    21. The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
    22. The Adventures Of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
    23. The Scent Of Dried Roses by Tim Lott
    24. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
    25. The House Of Elrig by Gavin Maxwell
    26. The First Day On The Somme by Martin Middlebrook
    27. Birds Of America by Lorrie Moore
    28. The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
    29. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    30. The World Is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
    31. Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth
    32. The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger
    33. One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    34. The Red And The Black by Stendhal
    35. A Cruel Madness by Colin Thubron
    36. War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    37. A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
    38. A Fringe Of Leaves by Patrick White
    39. Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    40. Germinal by Emile Zola

    For reviews of each book and why they were selected for this list, see Waterstone’s website

    Faulks’ James Bond novel, Devil May Care, will be published worldwide on 28 May 2008.

    Keep watching for all the latest literary James Bond news.