Celebrate the Book | Cult Ficiton | Kelly Fann, Tonganoxie | Nov. 4, 2011
Kelly wrote an article, “Tapping into the Appeal of Cult Fiction.” A way to bring teen readers into adult literature.
Cult classics – movies would be Full Metal Jacket, Casablanca, Pulp Fiction…so what are the book equivalents?
Not all cult fiction are fiction works…
- 1984 (Dystopia)
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Non-fiction)
- Lord of the Flies
- Catcher in the Rye
- Do Androids dream of electric sheep
- Fahrenheit 451
- 2001: A space odyssey
- On the Road Again
- Brave New World
- Slaughter House Five
- Snow crash – Sci Fi cult classic
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- American Psycho (Horror or Thriller)
- Interview with the Vampire (Horror, not as much violence)
- Neuromancer (Sci Fi)
- Fight Club (Subculture) (started with the movie…)
- Trainspotting (Subculture)
- A Clockwork Orange (Subculture)
- Belgariad series by David Eddings (Fantasy)
- Animal Farm
- Outsiders (breakout for YA literature) – Teens glommed on to adult books
A concept or status, rather than a genre.
The Appeal: Groundbreaking | Lurid subjects | Travel themes | Explicit and/or controversial at the time of publication and beyond…
Reprinted, new covers, “Cult Call a Rough Guess at Best” by Jane Sullivan = “Whatever it is, cult fiction makes the heart beat faster…it speaks to you in a way nothing else does, and you’re convinced you’re the only person who gets it.”
Literary Elements: Alienation | Ego-reinforcement | Behavior modification | Vulnerability
Genre Plurality = Genre Exploration Potential
- Cult titles belong to another genre or subgenre
- Isaac Asimov for Science Fiction or David Eddings for Fantasy
- No dedicated section –
- Don’t use the word cult in a display, though…
- Must be familiar with titles and respective genres
- Why not have multiple copies?
Gateway for Teens:
- Printz Award winning books show the characteristics of cult fiction readers in the making.
- 5/6 of these trends are always found in cult books:
- journeys, angst to self-actualization
- family relationships
- diversity of story characters
- Serve as a right of passage
- “Safely explore all that could be done in life.”
- Will ‘new’ cult classics find there ways into school? Will Trainspotting be required reading?
- The Bell Jar by Plath
- Crash by Ballard
- The Dice Man by Rhinehart
- Dune by Herbert
- Fight Club by Palahniuk
- Douglas Adams – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Geek Love by Dunn
- Magic for Beginners by Link
- Neuromancer by Gibson
- Only Forward by Marshall Smith
- Perfume by Suskind
- The Pigman by Zindel
- The Stranger
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Smith
- Catch-22 by Heller
- Chocolate Wars by Cormier
- A Child Called “It” – Books that are stolen tend to be cult classics.
- Book / Movie tie ins…
- Naked Lunch – film does not equal movie. Same with A Clockwork Orange
- True Grit – film v. movie
- On the Road by Karoak – Rough book, rough movie?
- In Cold Blood – always in print, movies, discussed
- Harry Potter – the First of a series usually the Cult classic
- Judy Blume
- Go Ask Alice
- Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret
- Living Dead Girl – “best book I wish I’d never read” – Sad. Kidnapped, sex slave, dresses her up as a little girl, she’s willing to find a replacement so she can get out. 2009.
- 13 Reason’s Why – Suicide, leaves tapes, another that may become a cult classic. 2009?
- When She Woke – 2011. Already having people come in a ask for it. Word of Mouth.
- Stranger in a Strange Land – Heinlen
- Left hand of Darkness – Ursula LaGuin. Androgynous species on a different planet.
- Religion often plays a part in cult fiction title. The Shack – Father has religious experience at place of daughter’s murder.
- Towing Jehova by Marlow
- Murikomi – In the Miso Soup (ultra-violence) or Almost Transparent Blue
- Battle Royale – Japanese ultra-violence (lead into this from Hunger Games?)
- The Giver
- Hunger Games
- John Dies at the End – written on the Internet. Horror. Published AFTER a cult.
- Hunter S. Thompson – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Lolita by Nabokov – Kubric’s Film, too
- Heroine Diaries
- Jim Thompson – Grifter, Killer inside me, Population 1280(12AD?)
- The Ring – Suzuki – The “Stephen King of Japan”
- Some Stephen King – The Stand or The Dark Tower