Ian Rankin: ‘The most overrated book? Nabokov’s Lolita’

‘I did mostly like Ulysses’ …  Ian Rankin.

The book I am currently reading
Still Dark by Alex Gray.

The book that changed my life
My novel Black and Blue – it was my first taste of success.

The book I wish I’d written
Bleak House by Charles Dickens. Such a complete and engaging world.

The book that had the greatest influence on my writing
Laidlaw by William McIlvanney. Rebus owes a lot to McIlvanney’s tough Glasgow detective.

The book I think is most under/overrated
Overrated: Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Underrated: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg.

The last book that made me cry/laugh
It’s a rare book that can do both. This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay is that book.

The book I couldn’t finish
Ancient Evenings by Norman Mailer. I managed the first 300 pages or so.

The book I’m most ashamed not to have read
James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. I did mostly like Ulysses.

The book I most often give as a gift
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark.

The book I’d most like to be remembered for
My next one. Writers always think their greatest work is just ahead of them …

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