Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Cafe Society (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   what are your favorite weird books? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=256920)

Freejooky 05-18-2004 07:17 PM

what are your favorite weird books?
 
The title says it all. I'm talking about great, weird, fringe-y books like "High Weirdness by Mail," "Steal this book," "Principia Dischordia," "Trance Formation," "Coffee, Tea, or Me", "Apocalypse Culture" one and two, and more.

Those are mine.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-18-2004 07:47 PM

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas
Fear & Loathing On The Campaign Trail '72
The Curse Of Lono


All by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson


The Crime Studio by Steve Aylett

The Book Of Weird By Barbara Byfield

Lobsang 05-18-2004 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
[I]Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas


Bought.


(I can't believe it never occured to me to buy that book. I loved the film)

Already in Use 05-18-2004 07:57 PM

In addition to the Principia Discordia, I like the Illuminatus! Trilogy and The Book of the SubGenius, and Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob", another SubGenius book including contributions from such luminaries as Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Anton Wilson, and William Burroughs. I'd like to read High Weirdness By Mail or Revelation X as well, but I haven't gotten around to it.

Ranchoth 05-18-2004 09:12 PM

Does Lizard Music count for anything?

KRC 05-18-2004 10:05 PM

I have Apocalypse Culture although I can't say it's my favorite. I don't like the attitude that author/editor Adam Parfrey seems to project and I think he's a poor writer.

I also have Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century , and even though author Greil Marcus's writing style will give you a headache and I disagree with about 80% of what he says, I like the book. I learned a lot from it anyway.

Then there is Hitler: The Occult Messiah by Gerald Suster, who claims Hitler was a black magician whose rise to power was caused by the demons he unleashed. Uh, yeah, right....but still an interesting reading even if you believe it's a load of BS. One of the more bizarre Hitler bios.

Winston Bongo 05-19-2004 01:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ranchoth
Does Lizard Music count for anything?

Of course! As does The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, which I consider a work of comedic genius. It works on several levels, and if you read it every few years (I started in 5th grade) you pick up on something new every time. Of course, pretty much any of Daniel Pinkwater's books are wonderfully weird -- don't let the "young adult" label scare you off.

I'd also recommend anything by R. A. Lafferty. You pretty much have to take a fan's word on it, because there is absolutely no way to describe his writing. Harlan Ellison once affectionately dubbed him a "madman," and that's about right.

Odinoneeye 05-19-2004 05:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winston Bongo
Of course! As does The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death

Wow, I havn't thought of that book in years. My mom used to work for the public library and I was the test case on all sorts of new books. This was one of them. One of my favorites too.

I would say anything by Robert Anton Wilson would fall into this category. The Shroedinger's Cat Trilogy is probably my favorite.

Drizzt Do'Urden 05-19-2004 05:26 AM

I'm going with Illuminatus! and Lords of Chaos (about the rise of the Norwegian Black Metal Scene).

Evil Captor 05-19-2004 07:11 AM

Great Mambo Chickens and Transforming the Human Conditions -- a collection of stories about the Extropians. Great fun to read and thought provoking, too.

Populuxe -- an examination of the culture of the 50s and 60s via its artifacts. Predates Wolfe's "From Bauhaus to Our House" and gives you a pretty good idea what we lost when we let our architects get all European and stupid on us.

Mal Adroit 05-19-2004 07:40 AM

Alien Agenda by Jim Marrs. Hoo! Good stuff.

Sampiro 05-19-2004 07:57 AM

Sex & Sunsets by Tim Sandlin- the main character is a delusional schizophrenic and the book mimics his condition; also, the entire book it turns out is the set-up for a punch-line (i.e. if you ever read this book, DO NOT read the last page first)

The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon by T. Spanbauer- a very bizarre book about an omnisexual male prostitute in turn-of-the-19th/20th-century Idaho

Sarah by J.T. Leroy- a book about messianicism and gourmet cooking in the modern world of truck stop prostitution (aka "lot lizards").

Podkayne 05-19-2004 09:40 AM

Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. A spy (?) whose brain has been modified to facilitate his peculiar profession befriends the daughter of a mad scientist. He has to save the world from evil monsters, but in the mean time his own mind is in the process of irrevocably separating into two halves.

It's a real genre-buster. Hard-boiled detective novel? Post-cyberpunk? Sciffy thriller?

FriarTed 05-19-2004 09:43 AM

I have lots of these- HIGH WEIRDNESS, 3-FISTED TALES, P. DISCORDIA, GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN. Also the Hay-Turner editions of The Necronomicon & The Rlyeh Text. Books by VonDaniken, Brad Steiger, John Keel. Wilson & Shea's ILLUMINATUS Trilogy, also SCHRODINGER'S CAT. More Illuminati, Conspiracy, etc books (even the infamous Protocols). APOCALYPSE CULTURE & CULT RAPTURE by Parfrey (some other content in AC II just kept me from buying that).

But for sheer weirdness, I think THE TRIAL OF GILLES DE RAIS totally stands out. SHIVERS!

Paul in Qatar 05-19-2004 10:30 AM

"Why Cats Paint" and the companion volume 'Why Paint Cats.'

gonzoron 05-19-2004 10:50 AM

The utterly bizarre Mr. Landen has no brain takes the top spot for me. I'm trying to describe it and I just can't.

wesleywesley 05-19-2004 11:18 AM

"Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions" by Edwin A. Abbott is possibly the weirdest book you'll ever read. It's about these different universes where the people exist in different numbers of dimensions (Flatland itself exists in 2 dimensions, for example). It's just so bizarre you have to like it.

Chairman Pow 05-19-2004 11:45 AM

Since we've already got ALIEN AGENDA, I'm going to pur forth RULE BY SECRECY, a conspiracy primer that actually makes sense. It's well written, draws logical conclusions (assuming that the author's sources are true) and works backwards in chronology to make keep the reader from going "whaaa?"

If you're in the mood for waaaaay out there conspiracy stuff, pick up anything by David Icke. It's a hoot. And, all controlled by aliens from the Lower 4th Dimension (which is something like the Lower East Side I gather) and best of all...there's no way to prove any of it. Fevered, incoherent, nowhere near internally consistent, but you will tremble when you find out what Princess Diana was doing in the tunnel, weep when you find out that it's too late and wet yourself in terror when you realize that the US is still under British Maritime rule.

Uh, the last one isn't too shocking. It's actually kind of stupid. Icke's really "up with people" and bases his theories around movies he's recently seen (in The World's Greatest Secret (?), you can see the progression from STARGATE to THE ARRIVAL to X-FILES and his next book was entirely based off the MATRIX IIRC. He even references the movies in the text.

Marrs is actually a really good writer and only mildly up with people.

Will have to check out the Black Metal book.

Mal Adroit 05-19-2004 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chairman Pow
Since we've already got ALIEN AGENDA, I'm going to pur forth RULE BY SECRECY, a conspiracy primer that actually makes sense. It's well written, draws logical conclusions (assuming that the author's sources are true) and works backwards in chronology to make keep the reader from going "whaaa?"

I've been enjoying Rule by Secrecy for the past few days or so, and I find it generally enjoyable and occasionally fascinating. The ground Marrs stands on seems to be firmer in some parts than others, though. The section on the origins of World War I, for instance, was extremely convincing, whereas his examination of the occult roots of the Nazi party struck me as somewhat out there. He seems anxious to cram every last "alternative" take on world events that he can into this book, which makes me more cautious the farther I go.

Entertaining as hell, though.

Malthus 05-19-2004 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wesleywesley
"Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions" by Edwin A. Abbott is possibly the weirdest book you'll ever read. It's about these different universes where the people exist in different numbers of dimensions (Flatland itself exists in 2 dimensions, for example). It's just so bizarre you have to like it.

Yup. An original Victorian-era genre-buster. The whole thing seems to be sort of a religious allegory and social commentary in the form of extremely bizzare science fiction (check out the social order in flatland - not to mention the role of women!).

My favorite bit? When our friendly Square, taken on a tour of the dimensions, meets the inhabitant of zero-dimension-land, and can't convine him(?) that anything exists outside himself. :D

Another bizzare allegory is The Man Who Was Thursday by Chesterton. A dectective novel about anarchist terrorism - at least, at first. It just keeps getting more and more bizzare ... a masterpiece.

FlyingDragonFan 05-19-2004 03:17 PM

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. On the surface it's simple but original horror story, but it's so much more complicated than is usual for the genre.

Mal Adroit 05-19-2004 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus
Another bizzare allegory is The Man Who Was Thursday by Chesterton. A dectective novel about anarchist terrorism - at least, at first. It just keeps getting more and more bizzare ... a masterpiece.

A fine pick. I can't remember reading a chase/suspense/mystery/fantasy that was more flat-out entertaining than Man Who Was Thursday. And the wit! Was not remotely prepared for just how funny Chesterton is.

Malthus 05-19-2004 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moody Bastard
A fine pick. I can't remember reading a chase/suspense/mystery/fantasy that was more flat-out entertaining than Man Who Was Thursday. And the wit! Was not remotely prepared for just how funny Chesterton is.

I had a fun time explaining to one of my best friends exactly why a religious allegory written by a Christian apologist was one of my favorite books - when I'm not a Christian. :)

Oddly enough, yet *another* of my favorite books also deals with explicitly Christian themes - The Master and Margarita by Bugalikov. I highly recommend it - and, it is also very funny in parts. :D

As for wierdness, I have too further pics:

- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, which simply cannot easily be described; and

- Eunoia by Christian Bok - a book in which each chapter is written using words with a single vowel only. Gimmicky but surprisingly good!

Podkayne 05-19-2004 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus
My favorite bit? When our friendly Square, taken on a tour of the dimensions, meets the inhabitant of zero-dimension-land, and can't convine him(?) that anything exists outside himself. :D

Conversely, I loved the part where A. Square is finally persuaded by his teacher, the Sphere who has deigned to educate a mere Flatlander, that there is a 3rd dimension imperceptible to two-dimensional beings. He asks the Sphere whether this implies that there is are 4th and 5th and nth dimensions which the three-dimensional Sphere is unable to percieve.

The Sphere finds this notion utterly preposterous. :D

Mal Adroit 05-19-2004 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus
The Master and Margarita by Bugalikov
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

Both of these have been on my to-read list for a while now. We must gravitate toward the same types of works!

Backwater Under_Duck 05-19-2004 04:10 PM

Gojiro, by Mark Jacobson. Alternative autobiograpghy of one Godzilla (Gojira was the original Japanese name for said movie monster), a 500 foot tall monitor lizard living on a radioactive island with Coma Boy, amnesiac Hiroshima survivor and the Atoms, mutant radioactive castaways. Told from Gojiro's point of view, he's lonely and tortured as only a freak atomic monster can be, with only Coma Boy as a friend and confidant. He still stars in sequels to his movies, but he's obsessed with confronting the inventor of the "Heater" (the A-bomb), an Oppenheimer-like figure who he blames for his torment. Goijiro and Coma boy travel to New Mexico for a final confrontation. He slips past customs and imigration by shrinking himself down to tiny size and disguising himself as an Izod logo on Coma Boy's sweater. (Don't think this through too much, okay. It's highly metaphorical.)
I love this book - I've read it several times, but can't get ANYONE I know to try it out :( .

HPL 05-19-2004 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus

Another bizzare allegory is The Man Who Was Thursday by Chesterton. A dectective novel about anarchist terrorism - at least, at first. It just keeps getting more and more bizzare ... a masterpiece.

I read this a year ago after reading bits of it in Deus Ex and fortunatly was not dissapointed. A strange book, but very entertaining.

Now if I could just describe to people what it's about.

HPL 05-19-2004 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas

Crap. That's the first thing that came to mind. I thought the film adaptation was pretty good as well.

I have yet to read the Campaign trail one, but I sensed bits of it in "Where the Buffalo Roam"

Does "Hell's Angels" have the same wierdness?

Hamish 05-19-2004 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sampiro
Sarah by J.T. Leroy- a book about messianicism and gourmet cooking in the modern world of truck stop prostitution (aka "lot lizards").

Ah, I thought I was the only one who'd ever read that wonderful book. I had to special-order it from from our gay bookstore (when we had a gay bookstore). The prose is gorgeous, and it's amazing how his comic approach makes such disturbing subject matter palatable.

My other entry for this list is Poppy Z. Brite's Drawing Blood -- homoerotic pulp horror at its best, far more imaginative than Anne Rice. I strongly suspect that if any of my graduate professors discovered I owned this book, they'd revoke my bachelor's degree :p

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-19-2004 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HPL
Crap. That's the first thing that came to mind. I thought the film adaptation was pretty good as well.

I have yet to read the Campaign trail one, but I sensed bits of it in "Where the Buffalo Roam"

Does "Hell's Angels" have the same wierdness?

Hell's Angels has an edge to it, but it falls slightly short of weird. Good, though.

Elysian 05-19-2004 06:24 PM

Steve Rogers' Samauri Cat Goes to Hell is very bizarre. Think enormous nazi Tyrannosaurs chasing after Alice in Wonderland characters while Satan wears pink panties.

It's also incredibly funny.

edwino 05-19-2004 11:46 PM

I have a lot of these books -- von Daniken, Robert Anton Wilson (my favorite is "Prometheus Rising"), the Subgenius books, a bunch of Lem, Philip K. Dick and Italo Calvino (I like "The Cloven Viscount" personally). The Subgenius ones are amongst my favorite, and I kept the "Book of the Subgenius" in the bathroom for a long time (it is a perfect bathroom read...). "High Weirdness By Mail" was fun in its day, but now with the interweb, all of those guys are a dime a dozen and it has become a lot less interesting.

Here are some nominees for my favorite fringe literature, though:
"Uri" by Andrija Puharich. A biography of Uri Geller written by this dude who traveled with him. It is totally wacked out -- space aliens, faith healings, crazy stuff. All written as true and in a biography style.

"Image of the Beast" and "Blown" by Philip Jose Farmer -- two snuff space alien vampire porn mystery books by a pretty well known sci-fi writer (even though I don't really like his other stuff that much)

Anybody ever read "Stand on Zanzibar" and "The Sheep Look Up" by John Brunner? They are great prophetic underrated set of sci-fi books. Rate up there on my underrated sci-fi with Julian May's Pliocene series.

And the most famous weird book, that everybody should try to get through at least once:
"Gravity's Rainbow" by Pynchon of course and the companion guide. Don't try it without the companion guide. It is famous enough that it probably is out of the league of most of the books in this thread, but this book has it all -- psychics battling giant adenoids consuming London, an intelligent octopus, Malcom X, Kabbalah, coprophagia, rocket science, and a backhand commentary on US society in the 1960s.

Another weird book that doesn't really qualify for the thread but is a helluvan interesting read is "FM 21-76: The US Army Survival Manual." It is nice to be told how to kill a woodchuck (chase it until it turns to defend itself, don't stop running and kick it as hard as possible) or make African bird traps or seawater stills.

Malthus 05-20-2004 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Podkayne
Conversely, I loved the part where A. Square is finally persuaded by his teacher, the Sphere who has deigned to educate a mere Flatlander, that there is a 3rd dimension imperceptible to two-dimensional beings. He asks the Sphere whether this implies that there is are 4th and 5th and nth dimensions which the three-dimensional Sphere is unable to percieve.

The Sphere finds this notion utterly preposterous. :D

If you love this book, you will be amused to know that someone wrote a Scientific American article all about designing stuff that would work in flatland. :)

Malthus 05-20-2004 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moody Bastard
Both of these have been on my to-read list for a while now. We must gravitate toward the same types of works!

Read 'em. They be good, guaranteed. :)

If you like this sort of thing, you will probably also like "Ficciones" by J.L. Borghes - indescribably cool short stories (my favorite: "Death and the Compass", an Argentinian gangster - Jewish cabballa murder mystery, which is sheer perfection; or maybe it is "the garden of the forking paths" or "The Babylon Lottery" - both simply mind-boggling; shit, they are *all* good).

Or another great work - "The Periodic Table" by Primo Levy - on its surface the (true) memoirs of an Italian chemist who survives WW2, but so much more than it seems.

Another favorite is "The Futorological Congress" by Stanislaw Lem. Also by Lem, "The Cyberiad" - fairy tales for robots; very good and very funny. :)

Malthus 05-20-2004 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by edwino
Anybody ever read "Stand on Zanzibar" and "The Sheep Look Up" by John Brunner? They are great prophetic underrated set of sci-fi books. Rate up there on my underrated sci-fi with Julian May's Pliocene series.

Yup - a tad dated these days, but still very, very good.

Anyone ever read "Starmaker" by Olaf Stapelton? The only example I know of, of actual *theological* science fiction - a classic, too (I think it was written before WW2).

Lars Aruns 05-20-2004 06:07 PM

I can highly recommend Italo Calvino's works too. In addition to the aforementioned The Cloven Viscount and Invisible Cities, I can add The Climbing Baron and The Non-Existing Knight.
I am glad Borges was mentioned. Borges, like Calvino, is not just weird, he's actually an excellent writer. A complete collection of his short stories is a must for any literature lover.

AuGratin 05-20-2004 06:15 PM

The first thing that came to mind when I saw the thread title is a book I accidentally acquired by not sending my QPBC card back in time, and it's one of the few times I'm glad that happened. I ended up with a copy of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, which I found bizarre and compelling and despairing and triumphant and horrifying and entertaining all at the same time.

I find it hard to describe this book in any kind of brief, coherent fashion. There are elements of the story that would definitely be disturbing for some, so I'd suggest checking out some of the reviews on Amazon before you decide to read it. I really liked it, and re-read it from time to time; not sure what that says about me, not sure I want to know. :eek:

rjung 05-20-2004 06:45 PM

The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed, by RACTER. Hey, it's the first book ever written by a computer; that's got to count for something, eh? The fact that his writings are pretty far out merely add to the weirdness.

Slowly I dream of flying. I observe turnpikes and streets studded with bushes. Coldly my soaring widens my awareness. To guide myself I determinedly start to kill my pleasure during the time that hours and miliseconds pass away. Aid me in this and soaring is formidable, do not and singing is unhinged.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-21-2004 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rjung
The Policeman's Beard is Half Constructed, by RACTER. Hey, it's the first book ever written by a computer; that's got to count for something, eh? The fact that his writings are pretty far out merely add to the weirdness.

Slowly I dream of flying. I observe turnpikes and streets studded with bushes. Coldly my soaring widens my awareness. To guide myself I determinedly start to kill my pleasure during the time that hours and miliseconds pass away. Aid me in this and soaring is formidable, do not and singing is unhinged.

Amazon Linky-Link now work for Baby Bosda. WAAaaa!!! :(

PookahMacPhellimey 05-21-2004 07:05 AM

All this talk of Policemen reminds me of Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, featuring a character slowly turning into a bicycle among other strange happenings.

Other weirdness:

Amaryllis Night and Day by Russell Hoban. One of my favourite books, weird of otherwise.

Anythings by China Mieville, self described "strange fiction" author.

CalMeacham 05-21-2004 07:43 AM

Quote:

"Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions" by Edwin A. Abbott is possibly the weirdest book you'll ever read. It's about these different universes where the people exist in different numbers of dimensions (Flatland itself exists in 2 dimensions, for example). It's just so bizarre you have to like it.

I love this, too. There's been an animated cartoon made of it, and it "inspired" an episode of the original Outer Limits. There have been a number of sequels and imitators, of which I recommend two:

Sphereland (don't recall author) takes this to the realm of General Relativity, introducing the idea of the Expansion of the Universe, made somewhat more comprehensible by showing the expansion of the Flatland universe as an expanding sphere.

The Planiverse by A.K. Dewdney, one-time columnisst for Scientific American. Dewdney apparently ran a newsletter about the Planiverse for years (Martin Gardner reported on it in his SA column), and he distilled the best bits into this one story. The Planiverse is a Flatland with an actual working physics, chemistry, and biology. It's not just geometric characters inhabiting a plane with vaguely defined gravity -- Dewdney's Planiverse creatures live on discs with 2-D gravity and have a well-worked-out biology and anatomy. Some of the conclusions and ramifications are pretty interesting, but it's all consistent. (How do you fight a war in a Planiverse? At most, two combatants can see each other at a time, so it comes down to a series of individual combats. How can planiversian circulatory and respiratory systems work without cutting the creatures in half? etc.)


Other random weird books:

Rats, Lice, and History: The Biography of a Disease -- The bio of Typhus, rendered in a weird way. Interesting footnotes. I'm convinced that Diamond stole the form of this title for his own "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

The Knowledge Web and The Pinball Effect by James Burke -- The author/host of Connections and The Day the Universe Changed strikes again. A lot of the stuff in these books showed up in his later Connectionsd series on cable, but these books are written differently from the earlier companion volumes -- no color pictures (although some black and white ones), but there are numbers directing you, not to footnotes or end notes, but to other places in the book. It's sort of the print equivalent of hyperlinks. It makes for a non-linear reading experience.

web of Magic (forgot the author) -- a stranfge book, part fiction, part personal memoir, exploring the practice of magic by fakirs abnd magicians in India. The author's description of his own hardships in making his way to and meeting with practitioners is as strange as the fictional chapters where he describes people learning to use magic.


Cultural Materialism by Marvin Harris. Cultural Anthropologist Marvin Harris has written a number of popular books explaining his theory of Cultural Materialism that I find irresistable. He tries to account for the taboo on cows in India, on eating pig among a number of people in Africa and Asia, and for Cargo Cults, among a great many other things. But this is a more technical book explaining and defending his turf, his theory, against all other comers. Deciphering his descriptions is a challenge for an outsider like me ("etic" vs. "emic" distinctions), but it's worth it to watch him lace into competing theories, like Structuralism. Watching anthropologists duke it out is as much fun as watching theologians battle.

WordMan 05-21-2004 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Podkayne
Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. A spy (?) whose brain has been modified to facilitate his peculiar profession befriends the daughter of a mad scientist. He has to save the world from evil monsters, but in the mean time his own mind is in the process of irrevocably separating into two halves.

It's a real genre-buster. Hard-boiled detective novel? Post-cyberpunk? Sciffy thriller?


One of my all-time favorite books ever. Great choice. A Wild Sheep Chase by Murakami is almost as surreal.

The Hamster King 05-21-2004 11:48 AM

Another vote for Hardboiled Wonderland, a great weird book!

May I also suggest:

Flan by Stephen Tunney. A post-apocolyptic Candide. It somehow manages to combine a sweetly innocent tone with some of the most horrifying images I've ever seen committed to the pages of a novel.

The Codex Seriphinianus by Luigi Serifini. A massive illustrated encyclopedia of a bizarre fantasy world. Written entirely in an (untranslated) language and script of the author's own design.

Larry Mudd 05-21-2004 12:56 PM

Although the Illuminatus!, Historical Illuminatus and Schroedinger's Cat trilogies, together with Masks of the Illuminati (and nearly everything else that Wilson wrote) are without peer...

...I highly recommend Angela Carter's The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman.

Or anything by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

And Finnegans Wake, of course, which continues to drive me out of my mind.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 05-21-2004 02:31 PM

Can you Dopers help me find a Weird Book?

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=257480

many thanks!

Indygrrl 05-21-2004 02:40 PM

Cruel Shoes, by Steve Martin is pretty weird. It's great, though.

Kalhoun 05-21-2004 02:45 PM

Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. Holy shit. Hang on to your hat, my friends. This is one strange book. But faaaabulous.

Syntropy 05-21-2004 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Drizzt Do'Urden
I'm going with Illuminatus!

Yup. Just mind blowingly bizarre. Own it, like it, still don't understand it.
And right next to it on the shelf: The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle. Also mindblowingly bizarre, but in a much more fun, laughing so hard you fall off the couch way. Any book with an entire chapter made up of the word "dorky" and very little else is bound for literary greatness.

Bren_Cameron 05-21-2004 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Winston Bongo
I'd also recommend anything by R. A. Lafferty. You pretty much have to take a fan's word on it, because there is absolutely no way to describe his writing. Harlan Ellison once affectionately dubbed him a "madman," and that's about right.


The book that sprang to mind when I read the thread title was Not to Mention Camels. Wonderful book. I think it broke my brain.

And Calvino rocks.

DocCathode 05-22-2004 12:00 AM

Re Cruel Shoes

There are two versions of this book. One contains only the story The Cruel Shoes spaced out at a few sentences a page. The other contains numerous tales including How To Fold Soup, Wrong Number, The Dynamite King, and Shuckin The Jive.


Back To The OP

The Complete Works Of Edward Leedskalnin

These scientific writings explain how you can achiev perpetual motion with magnets. They get stranger from there.

Charles Fort Lo!, and The Book Of The Damned

Fort collected and retold tales of strange happenings. He wrote of rains of frogs, strange objects seen in the night sky and such in an almost unreadabl prose.

The Melancholy Death Of Oysterboy

Tim Burton tells fairytales


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:41 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2019 STM Reader, LLC.