So, a while ago I was watching Star Trek Deep Space 9. Specifically the episode The Die Is Cast. In the beginning of this episode Doctor Julian Bashir is having one of his regular lunches with his boyfriend the Cardassian Elim Garak. The two men are talking about the literature of their respective cultures and are swapping titles for each other to read. This is all well and good and I’m enjoying it until we find out that Bashir gave former Spy Garak a copy of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to read. (Obviously Garak did not enjoy it.) This blatantly bad choice of a first impression on human art got me thinking “what earth books would I recommend to fictional characters that I was friends (or lovers) with” So without further ado I give you my list of books I think would be more enjoyable reads for Garak and invite you all to name a character in the comments as well as list out what books you think they need to read.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by John Le Carré: The first book in the The Quest For Karla series Tinker Tailor has a lot I think that would interest Garak. First it is all about spies a subject “former” Spy Garak has a natural interest in. Second unlike Ian Fleming’s (and Bashir’s) spy fiction it isn’t sensationalist Pulp Fiction, it is much more realistic and grounded in the actual work that spies do. Finally if Garak does like it there are two more books in this series and a lot more by the same author all about George Smiley.
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: The best selling novel of all time also happens to be a very gripping Murder Mystery about a manipulative killer creatively killing their victims. If that doesn’t hold a Cardassian’s interest I do not know what will.
- 100 Years Of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez: This is the best book of the human genre that is the closest match I could think of to the Cardassian Repetitive Epic a genre that Garak loves that includes the story of one family spanning generations. This Colombian masterpiece follows 100 years of the Buendía family and their town Macondo.
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: On the other side of the Repetitive Epic coin (the reuse of plot elements and themes) is this novel. A nested narrative that spans several eras, characters, and genres while maintaining focus on very similar themes and who’s protagonists all could be the same person echoing through time.
Those are my recommendations for Garak. Who do you choose and what books do you think they should read? I look forward to your answers.