John Cleese Intends to Have His Unread Books Buried With Him

What guide would you most like to see become a film or TV present that hasn’t already been tailored?

The guide I’d most like to see tailored for movie is “Flashman in the Great Game.” I do know Kevin Kline would have made an outstanding Flashman, so I approached George MacDonald Fraser to see if he would let me have a go at it. But, understandably, he wished to write it himself, and I didn’t need to be a producer.

Do you depend any books as consolation reads? Or responsible pleasures?

My consolation reads are Simenon, Alan Furst, Kingsley Amis, James Thurber, Stephen Leacock, Sue Grafton, “Assholes,” by Aaron James, Steve Martin, Raymond Chandler and P. D. James.

You’re organizing a literary feast. Which three writers, useless or alive, do you invite?

For dinner, I’d invite David Hume, George Eliot and Mark Twain. Hume not only for his astonishing insights, however as a result of he was an totally splendid human being. I’d love to hear how he confronted loss of life so gracefully. And we may play billiards. I’d invite Mary Ann Evans as a result of her writings appear to come up from an astonishing intelligence, which I discover fairly daunting. I’ve usually had this response to writers of nonfiction, however by no means earlier than to a novelist. Also, she may inform me whether or not Herbert Spencer was “hot.” And Twain, as a result of he mentioned “Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds,” which I feel is the best joke ever made. Twain isn’t witty in a fastidious approach; there’s all the time one thing gutsy about him, in contrast to Oscar.

What’s probably the most attention-grabbing factor you discovered from a guide lately?

“The Righteous Mind,” by Jonathan Haidt, is an important guide I’ve come throughout in regards to the ever-advancing polarization of all points of our world. Its readability is beautiful. The first 100 pages would make an incredible first-year psychology course.

However, it’s sobering to have to settle for the preponderant affect of emotion over what passes for our powers of reasoning.

You’re taking the purple tablet if you open this marvelous guide.

A comparable purple tablet guide is “Real Magic,” by Dean Radin, chief scientist on the Institute of Noetic Sciences. If you might be skeptical of psi phenomena, begin with Pages 95 and 96. They will knock your socks off, and a way more attention-grabbing world will open up.

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