Smith’s picks are a delightfully eclectic mix: The Original of Laura by Nabokov (a fragmented, not meant to be published, unfinished novel), Ugly Man by Dennis Cooper, and Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave.
Missing from Zak Smith’s list? Bolano. And we only mention this because Smith makes a point to. Following the suit of the Gene Simmons line, “Music critics like Elvis Costello because music critics look like Elvis Costello,” Zak Smith writes, “Book critics like Roberto Bolano because book critics look like Roberto Bolano.” And, in true Zak Smith style, he doesn’t stop there.