The Thank You for Smoking star inhales modern and ancient masterpieces (including a juicy detective novel) with heroes who just won't quit.
I read a lot of stuff. Sometimes, though, the places and the cases in contemporary novels begin to feel familiar. It seems like a swear word suffices to express anger. That's when I go back to classics—or the occasional spy novel. I like descriptive language. I like writers who create complicated or poetic images or a world that is completely unfamiliar—the writers who dress things up a little bit.
The romance of these kinds of books resonates with me. By romance, I mean more than a love story. These writers so often take on the idea of how a man conducts his life—usually a man who believes in something when everyone else is persecuting him for it. While he may have failed thousands of times, he has a vision of something tangible. In those circumstances, the great ones rise. And that, to me, is a romantic notion. That's what I like. I like the guys who forge ahead.
Thank You for Smoking is based on the novel by Christopher Buckley.
What's on Aaron Eckhart's Bookshelf? Read more!
From the April 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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