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View Full Version : What is the strangest-but-still-enjoyable novel you have read?



Searching
04-25-2010, 02:49 PM
House of Leaves would have to stand out for me as being pretty damn weird, considering it was a best-seller.

Theo81
04-25-2010, 03:19 PM
J-Pod by Douglass Coupland. It has a special kind of demented about it.

I liked what House of Leaves was trying to do, but I didn't really enjoy it as a novel. Have you read The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall? It's quite good and gets a lot of comparisons with HOL.

Theo

dgiharris
04-25-2010, 03:59 PM
A Million Little Pieces by James Frye,

not only does he break pretty much every writing rule in it, but it does an interesting job of putting you in the MC's POV, and it is a warped and twisted POV.

Mel...

cbenoi1
04-25-2010, 04:01 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Froth_on_the_Daydream

-cb

stephenf
04-25-2010, 04:22 PM
I recently read A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay.It's certainly enjoyable,but I will need to do some research, to understand what it's actually about. Anybody out there who knows the book, I would be grateful for their insight.

Searching
04-25-2010, 04:29 PM
J-Pod by Douglass Coupland. It has a special kind of demented about it.

I liked what House of Leaves was trying to do, but I didn't really enjoy it as a novel. Have you read The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall? It's quite good and gets a lot of comparisons with HOL.

Theo

Thanks, I'll check it out.

ImogenAnn
04-25-2010, 05:09 PM
I think Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban is amazing. It's written in a sort of future speak, and I suspect I wouldn't have persisted with it were it not my bloke had put it into my hands like it was a holy relic. Very glad I did though. One of those books you close feeling amazed and looking at the world around you with different eyes. Acid in book form.

Mark_Young
04-25-2010, 05:14 PM
Tailchaser's Song, by Tad Williams. Most definitely an odd one. About a cat who goes on an adventure exploring the loss of his soul mate and the sudden disappearances of cats (and dogs) with no trace and finds himself in a bizzare quest of daring, starvation, and discovery.

It's where I got hooked to Tad Williams. This guy made an entire culture, complete with language, theology, gods, festivals and traditions, and storytelling revolving around cats!


His Otherland series is also a bit on the odd side.

Lady Ice
04-25-2010, 05:50 PM
Pale Fire. A poem by a fictional poet analysed by a fictional scholar/lunatic.

Perks
04-25-2010, 06:08 PM
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins, is the first thing that comes to mind.

SanStormin
04-25-2010, 06:56 PM
My vote is The Man Who Invented Florida, a Doc Ford adventure by Randy Wayne White.

It features hippies, skinny dipping, sex, rest home, Native Americans, Everglades National Park, healing water, and a murder mystery. Wacky, but fun.
:roll:

willietheshakes
04-25-2010, 09:47 PM
The moment I started thinking about this question, I realized that some might think me odd: my personal top five probably includes House of Leaves, Ulysses and Little, Big. All strange, all fantastic.

incognitopress
04-25-2010, 10:15 PM
First thing that comes to mind is Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn. About circus carny people who are trying to breed freak kids for their sideshows. Still, one of my favourite books....takes you to places you never thought you'd go to....

Kitty Pryde
04-25-2010, 11:00 PM
"If On A Winter's Night A Traveler" by Italo Calvino. It's a book about a person reading "If On A Winter's Night A Traveler". But it's also another book at the same time. Ish.

incognitopress
04-25-2010, 11:19 PM
ooh, I LOVE On a Winter's Night. One of my top 5 books. I'm always recommending it to people, I should get a royalty commission :)

happywritermom
04-26-2010, 04:27 AM
Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje.
It's not strange in a freaky way.
It's just a unique kind of narrative.
It's a fictionalized biography of a musician who is known as one of the founders of the jazz movement. The guy was homeless for much of his life so the information on him is sketchy. Ondaatje relied on interviews and newspaper articles as much as he could, and then used poetry and fiction to fill in the missing pieces. It's one of my favorite books of all time.
I bought it during college in 1987 after serving Michale Ondaatje drinks at a Canadian Writers Festival that I helped organize on campus. It was pretty cool. I got to meet all the authors as an organizer, and then serve them and collect tips as a bartender. Not a bad deal.

William Haskins
04-26-2010, 04:32 AM
naked lunch, i suppose.

though at the age i read it, a clockwork orange held a certain bizarre power.

dolores haze
04-26-2010, 04:36 AM
Lanark by Alasdair Gray. What Kafka might have written had he been Glaswegian.

BenPanced
04-26-2010, 04:38 AM
Willard And His Bowling Trophies by Richard Brautigan. Then again, most of his stuff has this charming WTF-ery about it.

PEBKAC
04-26-2010, 04:42 AM
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

blacbird
04-26-2010, 07:35 AM
The Claverings, by Anthony Trollope.

Trollope is the great hoary master of voluminous Victorian novelists, enormously prolific and popular in his day, not exactly unknown but little appreciated in these latter times. A couple of years ago, I decided to give one of his many novels a try, and picked this one completely at random from among the throng, just for a look.

Wound up enjoying it thoroughly. Quiet and dated stuff, to be sure, no dragons, vampires, zombies or universe-destroying, but Trollope had an accurate eye and ear for human beings and their vices, foibles, strengths and weakness. Not sorry at all that I read it.

caw

Cybernaught
04-26-2010, 08:13 AM
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, by George Saunders. It's a short novella, and quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever read, albeit how bizzare it really is; it's like reading a cartoon, and it even includes illustrations too.

charlotte49ers
04-26-2010, 08:14 AM
Don't shoot me, but…The Host.

It was weird, confusing, and just…strange.

But when it was over, I liked it.

I know.

CatSlave
04-26-2010, 08:24 AM
First thing that comes to mind is Geek Love, by Katherine Dunn. About circus carny people who are trying to breed freak kids for their sideshows. Still, one of my favourite books....takes you to places you never thought you'd go to....
Ditto...you beat me to it.
One strange and awesome work of fiction, bizarre in the extreme, beautifully written.
Not for the faint of heart.

Geek Love (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geek_Love)

blacbird
04-26-2010, 11:20 PM
A Million Little Pieces by James Frye,

not only does he break pretty much every writing rule in it, but it does an interesting job of putting you in the MC's POV, and it is a warped and twisted POV.



As long as you clearly classify it as fiction.

caw

Claudia Gray
04-27-2010, 01:23 AM
I'll second PALE FIRE. An absolute brainsmasher of a book, which leaves you of very little idea of what is and is not reality, and yet not only enjoyable but also hilarious.

Phaeal
04-27-2010, 02:18 AM
If I had known Trollope would count as strange, I'd have been in this thread earlier.

I don't know. Once I like a book, I no longer consider it strange. And if I still consider it strange by the end, I probably don't like it. So I don't have any contribution to make. I'm just completely wasting your time.

;)

KTC
04-27-2010, 03:11 AM
1st one that comes to mind is Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveler. I took it out of the library once years and years ago and FELL IN LOVE. Weird? Maybe. Thoroughly enjoyable? YES!

The 2nd one that comes to mind is Hubert Selby Jr.'s fuckin' REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. What a smoker. I read this one when I was too young...about 1980. It made me want to get higher than I already was at the time. The book is one long paragraph...grammar/sentence structure was thrown out the window, making it a hell of a ride. Weird? Not in my books. Fabulously enjoyable? YES!

incognitopress
04-27-2010, 06:16 AM
anyone else taking note of these titles? I'm so tempted to read all the books on this thread....let's hope they're all in print, including the Victorian one

rugcat
04-28-2010, 01:16 AM
The Conversions (http://books.google.com/books?id=e1eWgRUvDG4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=harry+mathews+conversions&source=bl&ots=63CN1utVDj&sig=PjVr8siZuJcUjEQGgrLFE8WM4SM&hl=en&ei=rlLXS4ysNYHkswOdrsj6AQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false) by Harry Mathews


The book has some superficial affinities with Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, but Mathews is at once easier to read (he is frequently quite funny) and harder to pin down; the reader, like the narrator, is never sure to what extent he has fallen victim to a hoax.