Johnny Depp recommends2 min read

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photo: Asim Bharwani

Jonny Depp about his favorite fiction

“A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man” by James Joyce

Rather than take up paints and easels, Joyce’s self-portrait in prose gives a picture of his growing up years in Dublin through an alter ego. Stephen Dedalus struggles against his religious training and upbringing, working equally through guilt and aesthetic allure. From political wranglings over Christmas, to becoming accustomed to boarding school, this novel and semi-biographical work has the appeal of a byegone era and a coming-of-age story. It has been listed on many Top 100 lists, from the board picks of Modern Library to Tumblr’s 100 Books bucket list.

 Fear and Loathing in LasVegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream” by Hunter S.Thompson

Johnny Depp in introduction to “Blow By Blow” by Ted Demme

While Thompson’s words provide half of the book’s appeal, the contribution of illustrator Ralph Steadman cannot be denied. Film fans of The Hangover will appreciate the crazy style of the book – or the film starrring Benicio del Toro and Johnny Depp. Adventures of all types occur, especially including a trunk full of mind-altering substances and alcohol. The foggy interchanges between Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo were mostly based on Thompson’s two weekends spent with Oscar Zeta Acosta, gathering information for Rolling Stones, regarding the tear gas grenade that brought about the death of journalist Ruben Salazar.

“Fierce Invalids Home From HotClimates” by Tom Robbins

–from interview to Fox News

If J.D. Salinger’s creation Holden Caulfield had met Ignatius J. Reilly as an adult, and they had teamed up for crazy adventures, it might approach Switters and his adventures with Sailor the Parrot in South America. Trekking through the Amazon in designer wear, Switters gets introduced to the End of Time shaman, who admonishes against travel by foot. Wheelchairs and stilts are the answer, along with many shameless puns and renegade nuns. There is truly nothing that this colorful, pacifist undercover agent with a gun will not try, including a stepsister seduction and a great deal of self-deception.

     “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac

“Kerouac – anything at all by ol’ Jack… On The Road beingthe Bible.”

Johnny Depp in introduction to “Blow By Blow” by Ted Demme

While the art of Vagabonding may have become currently popular via Rolf Potts’ addition to travel junkies’ favorites list, Jack Kerouac was the voice of the 1960’s and 1970’s wanderlust. The many adventures of Kerouac and friend Cassady (transmuted into characters Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise) are sprawlingly chronicled in a series of comments and descriptions, with no particular beginning and no particular end. For those who want social commentaries on economics, feminism, and racism, this book has it. Expansive descriptions of American life, culture, and attitudes are all here, along with the freedom of wide open spaces. Those trying to find a plot adhering to an outline may have trouble reading this.

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