"/> Rare Finds: The Written Works of Crispin Glover — The Airship
By Sarah Bennett

Because the title "Crispin Glover Writes Books?" would have left room for doubt.

Crispin Glover writes books. Or really, he writes on books, and in books, and also whites out random parts of them but then adds a few random words or phrases that make perfect sense as an addition to a text that’s hundreds of years old, but only if you happen to be the “author,” one Crispin Glover.

Crispin Glover might still be best known as an actor, but at this point, his career centers less around acting and more around being Crispin Glover, who happens to act, write, and sing, and do a few other things in a strictly Crispin Glover-like fashion. Like Christopher Walken or Harry Dean Stanton, Glover’s earned his place in the pantheon of legendary character actors, but unlike his peers, he’s more of a character human who is sometimes filmed speaking memorized lines. His uniqueness is less funny, like Walken’s cadence, and more unsettling, like how he almost kicked David Letterman in the face, or wrote and directed What Is It?, his 2005 film in which every actor had Down Syndrome.

Although Crispin Glover still takes small parts in big Hollywood films, he mostly makes his own films (like the aforementioned What Is It?) and does speaking tours with slide shows, but has also dabbled in recording and publishing. Please note that I don’t say making music and writing books, because that wouldn’t be entirely accurate; his record, The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be, is more covers and spoken word, and his books, like Oak Mot and Rat Catching, are actually reproductions of Victorian-era books to which he’s added a personal touch.


Rat Catching is literally about how to catch rats, which speaks to Glover’s greater obsession with rats, given that he starred in the remake of Willard (and recorded a cover of Michael Jackson’s "Ben," which was the theme to the 1971 Willard sequel, and is a man’s ode to his rodent friend). Glover’s contribution to Rat Catching, however, is through doodles, inserted random words, and scribbled commentary; this is not a book meant to be read, but looked at. Same with Oak Mot, which was a novel, but in Glover’s hands is an odd-yet-interesting sketch book, like the kid in high school who was going to get an art degree because the eyeballs he drew in the margins of all of his textbooks were way better than everyone else’s. Except, unlike that guy, who you ran into at the supermarket when visiting your family and is now selling furniture, Crispin Glover did go on to art school, and then to play Michael J. Fox’s father in Back To The Future, and then to probably secretly live on a human eyeball diet.

Since these books are part of the Crispin Glover artistic oeuvre—like his films and songs, their main audience isn’t so much people who like good movies and music, but people who like Crispin Glover—I can’t recommend them to a wider audience, which is good, because they’re pretty hard to find (copies of the these two books, which are the two I have, fetch $100+ new on Amazon).

As cult characters go, he’s still one of the best, and certainly one of the strangest, but I think he might be a better actor (and not as good of a creative genius) than he thinks he is. I did not pay that much for these books years ago, but owning them makes me feel a bit like David Letterman does every time Crispin Glover appears on his show; not sure whether I’m in on the joke, being made fun of for thinking I’m worthy of buying into it, and just hoping I don’t somehow end up kicked in the face.