Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Zombocalypse, Oct 25, 2016.
What's the weirdest novel you've ever read?
I haven't read enough to know which ones are weird...
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks... and while we're talking about the guy... his Culture (science fiction) series is not so much weird as it is demanding of the reader. You can't just be a passive reader with Banks. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski was engaging, confusing, and if you wait it out, rewarding.
Didn't actually finish it, but Forrest Gump was weird just because it was written as he spoke. Bloody hard to read.
Not done with it yet but... Tease Me By Ashley Black.
The MC is like a grown woman child, lusting after some
cliche Death Metal star. The dialogue is like it was written
by a 16 year old boy who speaks of fictional conquests
with a limited and vulgar vocabulary. The narration is
just as bad. The word 'Fu*k' is thrown about casually,
and yet the activity I swear is what the 'Tease' in the title
as that it hasn't happened yet.
What makes it weird for me is this is an Adult Romance.
Portraying a grown woman that has the depraved mind
of 16 year old male virgin braggart.
Rating: All the fail.
Weirdest ever? Hmmm...over a half-century of reading, that's a tough call. I guess, just in terms of concept, it would be Julia Alvarez' In the Name of Salome, a historical novel that has two story lines, one of which moves forward in time and the other of which moves backward in time. I guess a close second would be Anne Charnock's Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind, a (sort of) historical with three separate and largely unconnected plots, none of which get very far.
Light by M. John Harrison. Half the time the novel felt like a hallucination.
Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban. It was written in a form of post-apocalyptic 'newspeak' and was hard going. But SO worth it. The moment the big light dawns on the reader is priceless. I was horrified to find that subsequent issues of the book contain pictures, which totally gives the game away.
The Bible, though to be honest, I never finished it.
@Scot I am sure the Koran is just as much a mind trip.
You really should, the ending leaves you with an amazing cliffhanger... there's supposed to be a sequel in the works, 'Jesus, The Return'.
God is even worse than GRRM for releasing sequels in a timely fashion.
Hm, off the top of my head it was a book with some sort of title that sounded like Scorpion. Scorpius? I don't know, bad with titles. But it just had the most WTH(eck) ending I have ever read. All of a sudden protags in the body of her double from another dimension and there's no buildup and no explanation? And then the book ends? ???
I'd say Glamorama by brett Ellis.
Hasn't anyone read any William S. Burroughs? Some of his stuff must qualify.
I see your Iain Banks, and raise you an Iain M. Banks.
The Third Policeman (Flann O'Brien) is a pretty weird read. Written 70+ years ago it went unpublished for 20 of those. I'm glad it got an airing though and there's a good twist at the end.
As a fan of the KLF and conspiracy theories/alternative history/HPL, I was pretty excited about reading "Illuminatus!" It's weird as hell. If you want weird: you got it. If you want good writing and a coherent story: not so much. It was a collaboration between two 1970's Playboy editors... and that probably tells you all you need to know. It reads like something written by a pair of self-impressed, drugged up adolescent boys.
Pleased to see some tips for GOOD weird books here. Will follow these up.
Don't forget to read the Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy when you're done.
And for the grim, dark setting. I mean, a city where every man tries to rape the visitors? That's some Warhammer 40k stuff.
George Bataille's 'Story of the Eye', for sure!
Even though there are lots of authors who base their work on shock value *cofcof*ChuckPalahniuk*cofcof*, this nouvelle got 18 year old me in a particular way. The sexual depravations of its protagonists had a deeper, darker meaning that fueled a couple of nightmarish nights.
It's pretty cool.
'The Silver Key' by H.P. Lovecraft. I don't even remember the story because I read it many years ago, but I remember that it was hard to follow because until then I haven't read anything of the same style. The hardest I tried to understand what was going on, the more I lost the plot, the setting and anything as a matter of fact, but once I figured that it doesn't matter and I started reading it in a very relaxed manner, it started to make sense. It was very dream like.
I'd say Slaughterhouse Five. I didn't understand it at all, just kept reading because it's a classic (apparently).
It's also supposed to be humor, but I didn't laugh once. Like I said, I simply didn't get it. When this kind of thing happens while reading a novel/story that's held in high regard, it makes me think either:
I'm not scholarly enough to be a writer, or
someone hyped the shit out of something because of who the author was and not because it was really all that great, that whole "they'd publish his grocery list" type of thing.
I know I've already suggested one but I think I might change my answer to 'Locus Solus' by Raymond Roussel. Happy to see there's a new edition out early next year. It's £70 secondhand on amazon right now so... It's beautifully bonkers and completely different to anything I've ever read. I strongly recommend it.
Haven't read it, newer release. Ian something, found at library the other day. Mystery/thriller, told from viewpoint of only witness, an unborn child. First sentence is the baby talking about hanging out upside down inside some lady.
Not a novel- I like to read the National Defense Authorization Act when it is renewed. It reads like a badly written story of a despot.
I thought The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker was very strange.
If you mean actual weirdest, I'd say Naked Lunch by Burroughs. But I found it unreadable (sacrilege, I know. I also hate Moby Dick. Go figure). If you mean 'best sweet spot between weird and good, I'd go:
Invisible Cities -- Italo Calvino: a series of weird imaginings of cities where laws (physical, emotional, etc) are very different. the book that the more recently talked-about 'Einstein's Dreams' should be happy to give it's left arm to be.
If On a Winter's Night a Traveller -- Italo Calvino: hands-down the best breaking-the-fourth-wall stuff out there.
Flatland -- Edwin A Abbott: A story about a world populated by two-dimensional shapes, and what happens when a sphere shows up. Enough said. Seriously, though -- it works, and as well as a good story, is a great way to try and realise how hard imagining other dimensions really is.
Engine Summer -- John Crowley, and Inverted World by Christopher Priest: Both mind-bending scifi books which blow your mind when you realise what was actually happening.
Traveler of the Century -- Andres Neuman: very odd abstract book about a traveler who cannot leave the place he's rocked up at. Mind-bogglingly beautiful prose and style, keeps you wondering all the way through.
Labyrinths -- Jorge Luis Borges: or anything by the absolute master of weird tales.
Separate names with a comma.