The coolest guys to have put pen to parchment...


A very talented man, and writer of some of the most grotesque yet compelling prophecies of the future - "The Drowned World", "Crash", "High Rise", "Cocaine Nights" and "Running Wild". His latest, "Super Cannes", is as scarily spot-on as ever, and his non-fiction collection, "A User's Guide To The Millennium", is an essential read.


Existential playwright, Guinness drinker, and owner of a wicked haircut. Known mostly for his groundbreaking play "Waiting For Godot".


Uh-oh, hide the peyote, here comes mad old uncle Bill. Narcotics expert, gun fanatic and bum bandit. Probably the only man to have accidentally killed his wife trying to do a 'party trick'. Inventor of cut-up writing. His surreal fantasies such as "Nova Express", "The Wild Boys" and "The Soft Machine" take literature into another universe - a nice place but you wouldn't want to live there.

The above picture shows David Bowie and William Burroughs, London, 1973.


The Mr. Rock & Roll of literature. "Awopbopaloobop Awopbamboo" was the first book to take rock'n'roll seriously as a cultural force, and is still the last word on the subject; "Arfur, Teenage Pinball Queen" influenced The Who's rock opera "Tommy"; the protagonist of "I Am Still The Greatest Says Johnny Angelo" inspired David Bowie to create Ziggy Stardust; and his Rolling Stone article on the disco scene provided the genesis of the film "Saturday Night Fever". Still cutting it in the worlds of fiction ("Need") and journalism ("Yes We Have No")...


The man who coined the phrase 'Generation X' in his book of the same name, and other neologisms such as 'recreational slumming' and 'cafe minimalism'.


Gen-X wunderkind, writer of "American Psycho", one of the most misunderstood (and funny) books of the '90s, and creator of uber-yuppie sick puppy Patrick Bateman. A Warholian chronicler of the excesses of the spoilt, bored and cynical of California, from the college hijinks of "Less Than Zero" to the designer decadence of "Glamorama".


The world's coolest Jewish country and western singer turned private eye and crime novelist, Richard 'Kinky' Big Dick Friedman (for it is he) writes some of the most riotous and skull-shatteringly funny crime stories ever committed to paper, following the misadventures of his good self and gang of 'Greenwich Village Irregulars' Ratso, Rambam and Stephanie duPont.


When I first heard the words 'Kahlil Gibran' in David Bowie's song "Width Of A Circle", I thought that it was just a gibberish word. How wrong could I be - Kahlil Gibran wrote "The Prophet", about a mystic's spritual oddysey and his findings; a book featuring some of the most beautiful pieces of writing ever.


The funniest American writer alive, P.J. O'Rourke's lengthy career in journalism has seen him move from long-haired liberal hippy to middle-aged Republican. His pronouncements on music, sex, cars, politics and travel (collected in many essential books) are insightful, hilarious (and eminently quotable), providing one man's view of the craziness of the Western world in the '60s, '70s, '80s and beyond.


Crazed genius who had fun with words, spearheading the Modernist movement with his publication BLAST (which also featured the work of Wyndham Lewis), and innovative poems celebrating the first throes of the modern age - speed, technology, communications. (Unfortunately, he was also a anti-semitic Fascist)


Writer of some of the most scandalous satires of American life, "Candy", "The Magic Christian", and "Blue Movie". The hipster's hipster, he made memorable contributions to such films as "Doctor Strangelove", "Easy Rider", and "The Loved One". He's the guy wearing black sunglasses on the cover of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Bloomsbury have reprinted all his books and a hardback biography, "A Grand Guy".

The above picture shows Terry Southern with Debbie Harry at Max's Kansas City, NY, 1977


Possibly the most intellectual man in America, certainly the most supercilious! Many many years after his debut novel "Willawaw" had him feted as the golden boy of American writing, Vidal has kept very busy with an impressive series of historical novels tracing the growth of America over the last two centuries, and a seperate body of work comprising of campy, postmodern sci-fi-tinged satires of American life and culture. Also the writer of "The City and the Pillar", the first credible American homosexual novel.


Vonnegut's wartime experiences in Dresden has influenced his whole outlook on life and most of his writing. Fortunately, it takes the form of some of the most truly original, inventive, blackly comic and bizarre writing you are likely to encounter.