Grant Morrison

Three recommendations from the comic book writer's shelves.



Regarded as a living legend by comic book enthusiasts, Grant Morrison pioneered a nonlinear approach to illustrated narratives that catapulted little-known titles like Animal Man and Doom Patrol to the popular forefront and revitalized classic characters such as Batman and Superman. His new book, Supergods, examines what the myths we create in comic books say about our broader beliefs in human achievement. This week he recommends three eclectic works of fiction that form the foundation of his unique style.


Books by Grant Morrison



Red Shift

By Alan Garner


"This searing, pared-back account of a teenage romance going inexorably, heartbreakingly wrong was my favorite book when I was 17 and wishing I could write with Garner’s combination of lean poetic elegance and Northern grit. In Garner’s work, place is more important than time, and the action of "Red Shift" is crosscut between three mysteriously-connected young men at three different points in the history of Cheshire, each story cycling and interweaving until time disintegrates in the ground zero of an emotion shared across centuries."



Masks of the Illuminati

By Robert Anton Wilson


"This is the best of several great novels written by a much-missed pop philosopher. The setting is Basel, Switzerland in 1914, where James Joyce and Albert Einstein find themselves implicated in a frightening occult mystery which can only be solved by the application of their peculiar talents. "Masks of the Illuminati" is not only a brilliant historical detective story and a scary metaphysical thriller with a satisfying twist in the tail, it also offers some genuine, life-changing revelations along the way. Shining the light of Modernism and quantum theory on the old certainties and terrors of the Victorian era, "Masks" demonstrates how old paradigms surrender to new."



Cities of the Red Night

By William S. Burroughs


"This book, one of Burroughs’ last major novels, was the first of his that I read and it made such an impact that for eighteen months everything I wrote tasted of William Burroughs, like milk left in the fridge with bananas. Aside from his masterly command of language, I was most inspired by the purity and consistency of Burroughs visionary self-expression. If there was a Tarot card called "The Writer", the archetypal image thereon would bear the face of William Burroughs."


April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.