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Lists

Being a High Fidelity cliche I’m a man who loves to make lists so here are a few:

Last updated 6/8/11.

Films

  1. Casablanca– A timeless classic following a love triangle played out against the background of World War II and capturing the tension of those caught in North Africa. Brilliant dialogue and fantastic performances.
  2. Jaws- Amazingly well done and tense thriller, shot wonderfully by Spielberg and given a massive boost from John Williams’ iconic score, and great interplay from the three male leads.
  3. Pulp Fiction– Tarantino’s cool crime thriller is infinitely quotable and features a brilliant ensemble performance.
  4. Shaun Of The Dead– One of the most rewatchable films I’ve come across, with a brilliantly clever and funny script. Pegg and Frost are on fine form as the painfully realistic slackers caught out of their depth by the zombie apocalypse.
  5. When Harry Met Sally– Probably the best romantic comedy ever made. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan spark off each other wonderfully, aided by Nora Ephron’s sensational script. Shot beautifully by Rob Reiner, making New York look glorious.

Books (Fiction)

  1. High Fidelity (Nick Hornby)- Hornby’s story of a music obsessive’s relationship woes is one of the books I’ve read the most times. Perfectly captures male insecurities and obsessions, which left me feeling that the narrator thought in the same way as me. Laugh out loud funny at times along with some genuinely touching stories.
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)– With this novel there was no need for Lee to write a follow up. Beautifully written it gives a wonderful sense of time and place. The child’s eye view makes the dramatic courtcase and racial politics even more powerful. And in Atticus Finch Lee creates one of the all time great literary heroes, an undemonstrative, noble hero who could be used as a text book for parenting and living.
  3. It (Stephen King)- King’s epic horror novel is utterly chilling. Following the struggle 5 friends face as they take on a being of pure evil, which takes many forms including the terrifying Pennywise the Clown. Divided between the 50s and the 80s King manages to capture both time periods as well as writing realistic scenes of childhood friendship. Ending is a bit uncomfortable and weird, but all in all a fantastic horror story.
  4. The Dark Knight Returns (Frank Miller)- One of the best comics ever written, Miller’s dark, brooding story sees a jaded, aging Batman come out of retirement to rescue a nightmarish Gotham in a future where the DC Universe has gone horribly awry.
  5. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)- The story of a rigid, structured psychiatric ward blown apart by the arrival of McMurphy, a loud, swaggering individual who brings joy to their lives but who’s clashes with the tyrannical Nurse Ratched leads to a tragic ending in one of the most powerfully emotional novels I’ve ever read.

Books (Non-Fiction)

  1. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls (Peter Biskind)- A must for movie lovers, Biskind writes a scandalous history of the New Hollywood movement in the 60s and 70s. With a cast of controversial, weird and crazed characters like Warren Beatty, Francis Ford Coppola and Dennis Hopper he charts the rise and fall of a new generation of filmmakers, as 60s optimism turns to 70s paranoia and excess. Great insight into what went on behind the scenes on some of the best movies ever made and loaded with shocking, fascinating tales.
  2. Band Of Brothers (Stephen Ambrose)- Charting the exploits of Easy Company during the second world war, this shines a light on the heroism of a group of regular guys thrown into combat. Ambrose’s writing is easy to read and tells the stories in an engaging way.
  3. Hells Angels (Hunter S. Thompson)- Before his gonzo style fully takes form Thompshon immerses himself in the outlaw biker gang and chronicles their misadventures in a compelling and entertaining style.
  4. Have A Nice Day (Mick Foley)- Foley’s autobiography is a witty and entertaining insight into the wrestling business, with Foley coming across as a compassionate, clever and likable bloke. His love and dedication for his business is admirable.
  5. ‘Nam (Matt Baker)- Baker’s powerful book about the Vietnam war is all the better for the minimal editorial touches, as he leaves it to the veterans to tell the stories and merely reprints them, never passing judgement. The stories are a mix of shocking, distressing and occaisionally touching reminisces which shows the effect conflict has on the men and women involved.

Albums

  1. Word Gets Around by The Stereophonics
  2. Back In Black by ACDC
  3. The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
  4. Desire by Bob Dylan
  5. Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen

Songs

  1. “Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. “You Shook Me All Night Long” by ACDC
  3. “Tracks Of My Tears” by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  4. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
  5. “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan
  6. “The River” by Bruce Springsteen
  7. “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
  8. “Baba O’Reily” by The Who
  9. “Baggy Trousers” by Madness
  10. “My Sharona” by The Knack

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