Culture Street

 

Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of ten novels: ContestIce StationTempleArea 7,ScarecrowHover Car RacerSeven Ancient WondersThe Six Sacred StonesThe Five Greatest Warriors and Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves, and one novella, Hell Island. His books are published in over 20 languages, with worldwide sales exceeding to 4 million copies. His latest book, The Tournament has just been released and is featured as one of our top pick for November.

Matthew joins us today to select his five most influential books.

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

Quite simply, the most original and action-packed book I had read up until that time in my life. The idea of bringing dinosaurs into the modern world was such a titanically original idea, and then having them chase after an eat people, just had me hooked! I aim to be as original as this.

FATHERLAND by Robert Harris

Set in a world where the Nazis won the Second World War, this is just a bullet-fast thriller where not a word is wasted. The world that Robert Harris created (he was an expert on WWII and Nazi Germany) is simply incredible in its detail, and yet Harris never lets that detail slow down his riveting conspiracy thriller. It taught me pace.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS by Thomas Harris

The scariest book I have ever read. And the father of every serial-killer thriller written since. Every episode of TV shows like CSI and The Blacklist owes something to this book. Like The Lord of the Rings, this book was the first of its genre and remains the best. Don’t read it late at night: when the floorboards creak, you will jump! A masterclass in building terror.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee

I recently re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and was surprised at what a moody and atmospheric thriller it is. Its themes of injustice and racism are powerful, but so are its tension-building techniques: dark figures watching through blinds, the children’s items being removed from the hole in the tree. A wonderful book that influenced me from an early age and which all early teens should read.

MOONDUST by Andrew Smith

This is a non-fiction book in which the author went in search of the twelve men who have walked on the surface of the Moon. He found nine and discovered the weird and unusual paths their lives had taken after they returned from that singular journey. As an insight into human beings who do incredible things, it is astonishingly good. One astronaut came home and became a painter…but he only paints moonscapes! As an analysis of the extraordinary and those who do extraordinary things (and in my novels, this happens a lot!), this book is unmatched.

 

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