Stephen King’s new discovery: Robert Goddard

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Paste Magazine has gotten several authors to share their favorite books of 2008. This isn’t the best of what’s been published; it’s the best of what they happened to read this year.

Amy Sedaris, Tom Bissell and Elizabeth Gilbert are among those who weigh in, but my favorite of the bunch is Stephen King, who has discovered British novelist Robert Goddard. King was so entranced by the thriller/mystery/suspense stories that he had Goddard’s books shipped over from England. Particularly charming is King’s enthusiasm for Goddard’s writing output. ‘Goddard has written at an amazing pace — 17 or 18 novels in as many years,’ King tells the magazine. Ah, Mr. King? He still can’t keep up with you.

You don’t have to go all the way to England to get a dose of Goddard — several of his books are available here in the U.S. To get a sense of the man behind the books, check out the short video introductions to his novels at Meet the Author. With his trim beard and wire-rimmed glasses, Goddard might be a professor — but his voice sounds like he enjoys making trouble just a little bit too much.

Author Robert Goddard is not to be confused with early rocket designer Robert Goddard. Too bad; it would be pretty cool to go from rocketeer to suspense novelist.


—Carolyn Kellogg