Sunday, February 1, 2009


The following entry was written for the "notes" section of my Facebook page: A list of the 25 writers who have had the greatest influence on my work, and my life.

I loved compiling it. People I never would have expected to see on this list ended up there, and it reminded me once again of how sometimes -- not often, but sometimes -- you never quite know how you feel about a thing until you begin to write about it.

Finally, in a list put together as hurriedly as this one there are always bound to be oversights. The name Michael Crichton, for example, belongs firmly on this list, and nowhere near the bottom.

Anyway, here is the list, guys, addressed to about a dozen of my "Facebook Friends":

Hey folks! My pal Lee Goldberg sent along this meme begun by Raymond Benson (what the hell is a "meme", anyway?) I took a pass at it, now you do likewise. Enjoy! DB


1. F. Scott Fitzgerald (not that you’d know it)
2. David Rayfiel
3. William Goldman
4. Andy Breckman
5. Robert B. Parker
6. John Cleese
7. Richard Matheson
8. Zemeckis & Gale
9. Richard Brooks
10. Lawrence Block
11. Elmore Leonard
12. Robert Towne
13. Woody Allen
14. Ira Levin
15. Levinson & Link
16. Bill Cosby
17. Dashiell Hammett
18. Harry Whittington
19. Ernest Hemingway
20. Lawrence Kasdan
21. Albert Brooks
22. James M. Cain
23. Richard Price
24. Mel Brooks (lotta "Brooks" on here!)
25. Ross Abrash

To me what's interesting is how on my list, in my Western Canon, Andy Breckman and Bill Cosby both rank higher than Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway and James M. Cain. And William Shakespeare doesn't even rate a mention! But the key word here is "influenced", right? DB

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