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Michele Madden’s love affair with the world’s great authors

Words by Michele Madden

Frisk Michele Madden, frontwoman of Tourettes, and you will always find a book. In bars, buses, backstage, soundchecks, jury duty and once at a wedding during the vows. These are the authors who kept her company during her wild time on the road, and remain constant companions in her quieter moments.  
Michele Madden by Jeremy Belinfante
Eve Babitz

“I found Eve in a book about The Chateau Marmont about 15 years ago and have not looked back. All of the roads I once traipsed down physically and spiritually in Los Angeles lead me to her. Now a recluse in the city that spawned her, the goddaughter of Stravinsky, player of naked chess with Marcel Duchamp, lover of love and beautiful brat for the ages, her books are a portal. A klaxon call to the eternally sly and kinky. I recommend diving in with the collection of her articles “I used to be charming” Her style is not for everyone but if it sings to you? You will have her on repeat forever.”

Recommended reading…
I Used to be Charming
Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time; a Novel

John Irving

“I stole my first John Irving book at a house party when I was 15. You know the set up: arseholes who use books as decor. The absolute pits. He has a humor and pathos that winds like a wisteria bower. And sexually limitless to the hilt - lesbians in bear suits, ether addicts, fighter pilots with one word left to them, feminists, Mexican transexuals - he was so ahead of the pack when it comes to human raunch and humor. Irving provides a party on the page that lets you dance on the coffee table till dawn.”

Recommended reading…
The World According to Garp
The Cider House Rules

Stephen King 

“My parents were 80’s shlock readers. Armed with a glass of Coolabah cracked fresh from the cask and an Alpine for my mother and a VB and Camel for my father, the likes of Wilber Smith and company were devoured over endless summers. Being a moody little loner, I was all over their bookcase like a rash. I will fight you over the brilliance of Steven King. The man feels life and delivers. He also plays, in his words, “shitty guitar” in a band called The Rock Bottom Remainders. I once wrote to him and asked him if he would adopt me. All I’ll say is he must get a lot of mail.” 

Recommended reading…
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption

Helen Garner

“An Australian treasure. Back in the 70s when the boys club of endless bluster were going all ‘Hemingway on acid’ across the pages of Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and Esquire, a young single mother in Melbourne dove into her diaries and delivered Monkey Grip. She is a merciless writer who spares no one. I will forever bow at her sensible shoes. She terrifies me. A master.”

Recommended reading…
Monkey Grip
The First Stone

Tom Robbins 

“I would have mooned over this man if I had known him in high school (if I had gone to high school). These pages are not for the beige. Tom is for the gypsies and perverts. The alchemists and unwashed. He is for the fruit loop dreamers who freebase possibility. He is the reason that I still sign into dodgy hotels under the name Sissy Hankshaw.”

Recommended reading… 
Even Cowgirls get the Blues
Jitterbug Perfume

Catherine Texier 

“I stole her book Love me Tender when I was meant to be at school but was otherwise occupied getting a buzz on and mooning over skaters. Great knotty praline chunks of lust dipped in dance, delusion and drugs. I then hunted down everything else she has written and fan girl on her from afar to this day. If I could blush, I would. True grit.”

Recommended reading… 
Love me Tender
Break Up: The End of a Love Story

Raymond Chandler

“Almost every great one liner you have ever heard, or a version of it, was Raymond Chandler. He invented noir crime as we know and love it today. Every writer worth their salt owes him. I would have chewed off a finger to be Phillip Marlow’s secretary. He gave me language that I still use. Archaic and dusty. Quite perfect, really.”

Recommended reading…
The Big Sleep 
Farewell My Lovely

James Ellroy

“The rightful and righteous heir of the aforementioned Mr Chandler. This self-described ‘demon dog’ eats a thesaurus a day just to give his jaw a workout. Born in 1948, he became a self-styled pain in the world’s collective arse, hopped up on speed and haunted by the unsolved murder of his mother. When I read that an outline for one of his huge epics can run to 500 pages before the killing starts, I had to lie down and weep.  I then roused myself and re-read “LA Confidential ” with one hand down my pants. He's as old as my mother and I would still date him.”

Recommended reading…
LA Confidential
Suicide Hill

Jackie Collins

“Jackie rocks. I love her dingy sex scenes and hot heroines who wear too many gold chains, sporting perky tits and erect nipples behind open silk shirts, exhaust their lovers like pussy-powered ninjas and look great in tinted shades. Usually all at once. I love her endless use of italics and I cheer her on as a woman. A Jackie Collins book is word sorbet - she cleanses and refreshes. I worship a ballsy, self-created woman.”

Recommended reading…
Hollywood Wives

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