#1 Edited by Venatio (4482 posts) -

 Hey

I'm not that into reading alot of books but I'm currently in a class that's heavy on literature, the assignment is to write a big essay, about the author and about one of his/her books. If any Swedes read this, it's for a Svenska 3 course. Also it would speed up my assignment if the books aren't super lengthy
 
So I need an author with an interesting life history and plenty of good books. I'm a big fan of science fiction but other than that I'll take any suggestion

#2 Posted by korkesh (133 posts) -

Niel Stephenson has a great sci-fi library of works, I highly recommend anathem or Cryptonomicron, I also enjoy Charles Dickens works.

#3 Posted by CoverlessTech (737 posts) -

You have to pick your own topics and authors? We have always had assigned readings and topics, lucky, I wouldn't go with Neil Stephenson simply because his works are LOOOOONG and if you aren't a big reader it's going to take forever.

Given what you have said I'd go with Douglas Adams. Great, short, books, amazing life story and just an awesome legacy.

#4 Posted by rentfn (1278 posts) -

Kurt Vonnegut Slaughter House Five. The first chapter is about him meeting with a friend about writing the book. You can skip if if it's boring but the second chapter starts the real story. He had a really interesting life too. A book about World War 2 with some Sci-Fi elements...strange but true.

#5 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (1954 posts) -

Well, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a winner every time in every situation ever. You could read The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (or any of his novellas) and get to talk about H.P. Lovecraft's life story which is really interesting. Especially all of the posthumous shit that went down between Wandrei and Derleth - especially August Derleth's bastardization and attempted prettying of the "Cthulhu Mythos..."

It helps that his works are in the public domain and freely available. The history/research is better left to reading any of S.T. Joshi's books or Ken Hite's Tour de Lovecraft. Or you could go for the big brownie points and read Siddhartha.

#6 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3758 posts) -

Kurt Vonnegut wrote a ton of books and had a very interesting life. He was a captive in Germany and lived through the Dresden fire bombings. Slaughterhouse Five is about that event. So that could work really well.

#7 Posted by BaneFireLord (2913 posts) -

As far as what @korkesh said, if you're looking for shorter books, stay AWAY from Stephenson. Aside from Snow Crash and The Diamond Age (the latter of which has an ending that is somehow even less satisfying than Mass Effect 3's), all his books are really, really long.  
 
Sci-Fi wise, Isaac Asimov has a gigantic selection of stuff to read of varying lengths, as does Ray Bradbury.  
 
As for books that are not sci-fi in nature, John Steinbeck is a really good author with excellent "literary merit." All his books are on the shorter side and he has a fairly interesting life story (for instance, he wrote a memoir about the time he decided to take a year-long trek around the USA in a camper with his pet dog just for the hell of it).

#8 Edited by Venatio (4482 posts) -

The ones I could think of were Isaac Asimov, Phillip K Dick and George Orwell
 
I need an author that had a significant impact on literature and culture. I've read 1984 but it was long ago

#9 Posted by SirOptimusPrime (1954 posts) -

@Venatio said:

The ones I could think of were Isaac Asimov, Phillip K Dick and George Orwell I need an author that had a significant impact on litterature and culture. I've read 1984 but it was long ago

Lovecraft inspired Robert Bloch (writer of Psycho) and Robert E. Howard (creator of Conan) to write through their writing circle, so you could BS a ton about the importance he had in both horror and pulpy fantasy. Also, Stephen King and John Carpenter if you want to get a bit more modern. From there you could pretty much hit anything on the horror and science fiction branch. Hell, you could bring in Lovecraft as an early devotee of Poe and how he pushed that style into science fiction. There's a lot you can do with HPL.

Fuck, you could talk about how much cosmology and concepts like mind transferal were presented by Lovecraft in his later years rather than the standard Gothic horror fare.

#10 Posted by BBAlpert (1379 posts) -

Edgar Allan Poe is the shit. I don't know if a writer that primarily did short stories and poems would be a viable choice for the class you're taking, though. Regardless, I would highly recommend checking out the short story "Hop-Frog".

#11 Posted by Venatio (4482 posts) -
@BBAlpert said:

Edgar Allan Poe is the shit. I don't know if a writer that primarily did short stories and poems would be a viable choice for the class you're taking, though. Regardless, I would highly recommend checking out the short story "Hop-Frog".

Is it anything like The Black Cat? I had that short story with a test and it messed with my mind a little
#12 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

My pick is Haruki Murakami. Unfortunately, his best works are pretty long but the shorter ones are a good read overall.

Also, just so you don't fail out of your class, it's spelled "literature".

#13 Posted by Levius (1081 posts) -

If you like 1984, read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It's basically about an opposite dystopia to the one in 1984.

#14 Posted by StealthRaptor (526 posts) -

Dune is pretty good. Who doesn't love Dune?

#15 Posted by MoonlightMoth (463 posts) -

Vladimir Nabokov.

#16 Posted by PenguinDust (12454 posts) -

Detective-fiction writer, Dashiell Hammett had a pretty interesting life and he has more than a few good books including The Maltese Falcon. Jack Kerouac is one whose art reflects his life as was Hunter S Thompson. Of course, the author with the most celebrated life story is probably Earnest Hemingway.

#17 Posted by FLStyle (4591 posts) -

Does comic books count? Watchmen is pretty significant. Some of the Batman stories are begging to have essays written about them.

#18 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7056 posts) -

Ernest Hemingway. Incredible author, survived two plane crashes, WWI vet/ reporter, invented modern deep sea fishing (still holds the record for largest fish caught off Florida) incredible man with an incredible life and a truly wonderful author.

#19 Posted by korkesh (133 posts) -

Derp i totally missed the part about shorter books. I guess I should make another recommendation, I agree with recommendations for Hitchhikers Guide to the galaxy, a trilogy of 5 relatively short novels all of which are pretty good. 
If you are looking for someone with more impact, my recommendation of Charles Dickens still stands I also would add Frank Herbert who did the Dune series, which had a good impact on science fiction at least.

#20 Posted by Kerned (1169 posts) -

Kurt Vonnegut is a good choice, but I would suggest Sirens of Titan over Slaughterhouse Five (though you can't go wrong with anything he wrote).

#21 Posted by OldGuy (1517 posts) -

Asimov is great (and most of his stuff is a very fast read - stay away from the later books though). I'm also a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs (people poo-pooing the movie adaptation of the Barsoom books notwithstanding). Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is a must read.

That said Poe is the man.

#22 Edited by Icemael (6312 posts) -

Svenska som skolämne är ett skämt. Läs snabbt igenom några Wikipedia-artiklar om en författare och hans/hennes böcker och ordbajsa ut X antal sidor med sådant du tror att läraren vill höra (det viktiga är att det verkar intellektuellt och substansfyllt, inte att det faktiskt är det) så borde du lätt kunna få minst VG. Strindberg är en utmärkt författare att välja om man vill smöra, så även valfri författare som nyligen fått nobelpriset.

Det är min rekommendation om du bara är ute efter ett bra betyg. Om du faktiskt är intresserad av att läsa bra böcker kan jag varmt rekommendera t.ex Dracula av Bram Stoker, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus av Mary Shelley, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes-historier, Iliaden och Odysséen av Homeros, Paradise Lost av John Milton och mer eller mindre allt skrivet av Friedrich Nietzsche. Av de ovan nämnda är nog Doyle den bäst lämpade för din uppgift då alla Sherlock Holmes-berättelserna är mycket korta.

#23 Posted by gerp (192 posts) -

I would recommend F Scott Fitzgerald, he's not a sci-fi writer, but i just finished The Great Gatsby and loved it, and it was pretty short.

#24 Posted by Elwoodan (775 posts) -

Ray Bradbury has plenty of interesting, and short, work.

#25 Edited by Venatio (4482 posts) -
@Icemael said:

Svenska som skolämne är ett skämt. Läs snabbt igenom några Wikipedia-artiklar om en författare och hans/hennes böcker och ordbajsa ut X antal sidor med sådant du tror att läraren vill höra (det viktiga är att det verkar intellektuellt och substansfyllt, inte att det faktiskt är det) så borde du lätt kunna få minst VG. Strindberg är en utmärkt författare att välja om man vill smöra, så även valfri författare som nyligen fått nobelpriset.

Det är min rekommendation om du bara är ute efter ett bra betyg. Om du faktiskt är intresserad av att läsa bra böcker kan jag varmt rekommendera t.ex Dracula av Bram Stoker, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus av Mary Shelley, Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes-historier, Iliaden och Odysséen av Homeros, Paradise Lost av John Milton och mer eller mindre allt skrivet av Friedrich Nietzsche. Av de ovan nämnda är nog Doyle den bäst lämpade för din uppgift då alla Sherlock Holmes-berättelserna är mycket korta.

Väldigt negativ sätt att se på det här, min lärare är ganska kritiskt mot saker som jag lämnar in. Hon är bra på att se om jag bara skriver skit som låter intellektuellt och sånt som hon vill höra bara för att fylla ut antalet sidor som hon vill ha. Jag anser mig själv relativt duktig på att skriva och jag bryr mig faktiskt.  Men  vi får se hur det blir
#26 Posted by Djnuttty (138 posts) -

What about 'Of Mice and Men,' ? It is a novella so it is quite short and the themes are easy to understand. The Great Gatsy is also excellent and fairly short!

#27 Posted by Darkstorn (463 posts) -

H.P. Lovecraft if you're into sci-fi or horror, prob my favorite author

#28 Posted by ManU_Fan10ne (662 posts) -

@Elwoodan said:

Ray Bradbury has plenty of interesting, and short, work.

This. Fahrenheit 451 is probably one of my favorite novels.

But they're are a lot of other things you could read.

#29 Posted by hermes (1383 posts) -

How about Arthur Clark? Both 2001 and Childhood's end are really good. In terms of science fiction, Asimov's foundation and Dick's do androids dream of electric sheep? are very good too.

#30 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

Write about Kōtarō Uchikoshi- author of such fine classics as Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors & Virtue's Last Reward.

#31 Posted by gamefreak9 (2344 posts) -

Series of unfortunate events? those weren't too long and I recall them being fairly entertaining.

#32 Posted by BBAlpert (1379 posts) -

@Venatio said:

@BBAlpert said:

Edgar Allan Poe is the shit. I don't know if a writer that primarily did short stories and poems would be a viable choice for the class you're taking, though. Regardless, I would highly recommend checking out the short story "Hop-Frog".

Is it anything like The Black Cat? I had that short story with a test and it messed with my mind a little

Not quite. I don't want to give too much away, but at its core, Hop-Frog is a revenge story. If I'm remembering The Black Cat correctly, it's more in line with The Telltale Heart as one of Poe's "otherwise minor neuroses getting people into really deep shit." And if you like that kind of thing, you should definitely check out the story "Berenice".