Thriller writer Nick Cutter first won over our hearts in 2014, with the release of The Troop, a terrifying tale of a troop of boys who are led into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip, only to have things go downhill fast. He’s been causing our hearts to jump out of our chests ever since.
With his newest thriller Little Heaven set for release on January 10th, we caught up with the rising master of suspense (not to mention award-winning literary writer under his birth name, Craig Davidson) to talk about the books that have most influenced him.
"I mean, there are a ton of books. It’s tough to narrow it down, and to be honest it changes depending on what I’m working on. But I suppose there are a few books/authors who are fundamentally key for me, so . . ."
The Pugilist at Rest by Thom Jones: Short story collection by a somewhat troubled but exceptional writer who recently passed on. A wonder. One of the most influential books in my early career.
It by Stephen King: Again, a fundamental text for me. Nobody (to my mind) or almost no other author captures the complexities, the loves and joys and sorrows of childhood quite like King. Plus, this is just scary as hell.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls: Book of my childhood. Could add Richard Adams’s Watership Down and the works of Roald Dahl here. There is a style and a power to the books by these writers that is, to me, inimitable.
Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood: I could’ve chosen other works by Atwood—who is one of the fiercest and most brilliant writers and people in my home country—but I’ll go with Cat’s Eye for its intimate portrayals of female friendship and her magisterial writing on the properties of memory.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: Scary, brilliant, daring, moving.
Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornberg: This author should have had so much more mainstream love, in my opinion. As it is, he is a cult figure and one who other writers love to love and talk about.
Filth by Irvine Welsh: Scabrously funny, deeply black-humoured, just such a fun book to read. Narrated by a tapeworm in parts! Did I mention this was funny as hell?
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole: Hilarious. Riotously laugh-out-loud funny. I really mean this. I kind of roll my eyes when people say, I laughed at loud at book X or Y. Like, a Sedaris book. I mean, I love Sedaris, but laughing out loud? It’s hard for a book to make you laugh. At least me. It’s gotta have some magic in it. This book’s got that magic.
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn: Humane, affecting, brilliant. This, and Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham, are to me sister reads—if you like one, you’ll like the other.