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Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Real Great Idea, Mar 30, 2006.
What is the weirdest book you have ever read, and why?
I soppose that would be House of Leaves because of all the nutty changing text fonts and footnotes.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The narration and part of the plot was just strange - it was so weird I can't even begin to explain why, it just was! Very strange and often confusing (to my feeble mind anyways )
For just plain weirdness, I suppose I'd go with William Burroughs' "The Ticket That Exploded". Prose written by cut-up technique.
Can't say I found "Everything Is Illuminated" all that weird, though? Apart from the Ukrainian accent, I guess...
I found the parts of the book that were set in the past to be very weird. It all just got jumbled up in the end into one big confusing mess. That's what I thought anyways. The writing style was a bit strange to me too, but Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in written in a style similar to that also.
I agree with you on that one. House of Leaves was just nuts.
I would definitely have to say "The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear".
Yes, it is Bluebear and not Bluebeard.
Dotted with brain-encyclopaedia entries, a blue bear wanders around and dies 12 times throughout the book. Fortunately, he has 27 lives.
Yeah. Speaks for itself really.
I had the same problem when I tried to read it, so I picked the audio version up from my library and it was much easier to listen to than read. I liked Extremely Loud better.
Weirdest book I've read is possibly The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus. Here is the first story in the collection, entitled "Intercourse with Resuscitated Wife:"
And another, entitled "Snoring, Accidental Speech:"
Close after that would be Mystery in Spiderville by John Hartley Williams. All in all the greatest mystery in Spiderville is what the hell is going on. There are characters who run through the book - J. Spider Rembrandt, who may be a cop or a surgeon or a tramp or pretty much anything else; Reedy Buttons, a sexually rapacious female; and the narrator, who may or may not be the same person throughout. But there seems to be no connection between successive chapters, no plot or narrative drive at all that I could detect. One chapter is written entirely in an invented language ("Eskorimo kollimop. Ta kipnabism tenfa kraeiou appa dword. Amakoo shalowla! Fundaboo shilliba inalstropi!").
In the end I found it easiest to read each chapter as a discrete little sketch, usually surreal in nature, and this was pleasing enough in a mesmerising, befuddling way. This worked partly because the book is not very long so I knew that if I was wasting my time, at least I wasn't wasting very much of it; partly because the language - as you would expect from a poet - is frequently original and brilliant ("The bedroom has four walls, four papery sourcloth, cheesepink walls" / "His spine curves forward into the wind as if the weight of his head were too heavy for the stalk, his lips move as if a breeze were stirring them"); and partly for the occasional brilliant set piece, like this scene from the last chapter where Spider pastes himself to the road and stops the traffic:
It's possible that Williams has fallen into the poet's trap (Michael Ondaatje, anyone?) of not recognising that a novel is not just a long prose-poem. As far as one can judge these things, without a concordance and crib notes and a copy of Williams's prescription, Mystery in Spiderville is completely meaningless. But at least it's original, in a really strange way.
Wisconsin Death Trip by Michael Lesey. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=0826321933&itm=1
It's been a long time since I read it and I still have it, I don't remember much about it, but I do remember that it's a very interesting book. Come to think of it, I think I'll re-read it real soon!
Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The way it was written struck me as really strange.
Anything by Shel Silverstein.
I'm grateful that I haven't read any of the above mentioned books. The weirdest one I read was Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter, but then I don't really understand the fantasy genre anyway. Or maybe The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing.
Alternatively Ulysses or Finnegans Wake by James Joyce must classify as "weird". Not that I've even completed Finnegans Wake (has anyone?)!
"Age of the Twilight - Ascension" by Kain S. Branford was the only book that I wanted to give ONE star. I actually got the impression that he had written it in English, translated it into another language, then used a computer program to translate it back. The wording was very strange, although slightly formal. The plot was clear (probably the only reason that I kept reading), but fighting the paragraphs was difficult at times.
Note: Don't read a book where the antagonist has the same name as the author. A clear ending of good triumphing will NOT occur. Mr. Branford conjured a mystic escape route for his villian, named Kain.
Son of Spellsinger, by Alan Dean Foster. It was the last book in the series, and the first I had read- consequently, it was the most random piece of literature I've ever chanced upon.
Alternatively Ulysses or Finnegans Wake by James Joyce must classify as "weird". Not that I've even completed Finnegans Wake (has anyone?)![/QUOTE]
Ulysses IS a trip...I get it-- Joyce is a genius and I am not.
I also find a lot of Kafka very odd...I don't like to read his work before bed. See "A Country Doctor."
omg that book is weird i haven't been able to finish it. i get too caught up in the footnotes.
Breakfast on Pluto was strange because of the writing prose. It switched, but it still felt like I was trying to understand someone hyped up on sugar throughout most of it.
I remember thinking that Son of Rosemary had a strange ending, but maybe if I were to read it again now that I am older (and hopefully more mature!), I could understand it better. I have a paperback copy that I received for Christmas years ago, but I haven't gotten around to reading it now that I own it. I will eventually if I ever manage to put a dent into my current reading list.
well when it is said in the introduction that there is no possible why you can finish and understand this book how can you. joyce said himself that he made this book his life work to be an engima, to be something to discuss for eternity.
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King. I was confused through the whole thing.
BTW, It made perfect sense to me!
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