Ten Books Every experimental reader should read

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Helllllo readers, bit of an odd title for today’s Top Ten Tuesday post – the idea was ‘Ten Books Every X Should Read (up to you! Examples: every history nerd, memoir lover, ballet lover, feminist, college student, etc etc.)’ but I wanted to do something a little bit different and so I’m basically picking books I think don’t quite fit a genre and have a maybe surreal topic. We’ll see how it goes.

VOYAGE TO THE END OF THE ROOM: TIBOR FISCHER

Voyage To The End Of The Room

The first thing I want to do, is apologise for the pixelated image. It seems like the book has a new cover from when I read the book and the new cover is a little raunchy and little too much to post on my blog. This book follows the life of Oceane who likes to travel but never goes out. She brings the world into her home via satellite, the Internet and passing foreigners. It has dark humour, a lot of surreal characters and a little bit of completely unreserved sex. An odd read but one I kind of enjoyed – for reasons I have no idea why.

STORY OF THE EYE BY GEORGES BATAILLE

One of those books you either read or you don’t and you’re never sure whether it’s something you admit to reading or not. A surreal read and one I’m still not quite sure I understood.

GERALD’S PARTY BY ROBERT COOVER

This book was part of my classics challenge and it’s one I just couldn’t miss out. It has almost a hyper-realistic version of events that are utterly confused by the author continuously moving between scenes and completely confusing the reader. It covers a party with a murder and it’s a really mish-mash event of characters, sex again and just general chaos.

GIRL 20: KINGSLEY AMIS

Another book I can’t quite believe I read – Kingsley Amis has  written a story of infidelity, destructive selfishness, and blatant stupidity and managed to make it hilarious. The basic story centres on a symphony conductor who, in an attempt to reawaken his lust for life, is having an ill-advised affair with a girl one-third of his age. As you might expect, the disasters this creates in his life are quite entertaining. All whilst in a style I can’t quite explain – offish, high-class, but continually abstract, a really engaging read.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP: S J WATSON

This booook is just so good! I didn’t want all my suggestions to be classic books so I needed some more contemporary books.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love – all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

I mean that blurb? and the writing of the book that constantly moves between her needing to know more and yet struggling to accept that her husband is who he really is. This book really plays with your mind. Spot on.

SEASON TO TASTE, OR HOW TO EAT YOUR HUSBAND by NATALIE YOUNG

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Gah, this book. I thought it was going to be a really sarcastic, tongue in cheek tale but instead it really did kind of tell you how to eat your husband. (Not that you should be that way inclined #toteswrong) I struggled with this book because it wasn’t quite funny but then it wasn’t written in a horrific way – it’s written as if all the events are utterly natural and normal. An odd read but one I think you should definitely try.

GIOVANNI’S ROOM by JAMES BALDWIN

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This book is a tale of longing, love, hope, despair, confusion, deceit and regret, with the book ultimately revolving around the ill-fated love triangle between David, Giovanni and Hella.

The love triangle is a constant pulling and pushing of the three, Giovanni desperate to escape the room with David, David’s want to escape his own sexuality but we see he cannot stop himself from wanting and needing Giovanni whilst Hella is a little oblivious to it all.  A stunningly written tale full of love, plight, tragedy and sexuality – beautiful.

NICE THINGS BY JIMMY NORMAN

This is a book I read quite recently but I definitely think it deserves to be included in this list. The writing style is really interesting – it has quite a blunt style, as though to the point and lacking description but it’s in the first person and told from a persona that is a little awkward and quite easily intimidated. I’ve been through the book again and I think this is the best passage to describe the style.

“Is it too forward to ask you if I could buy you ice cream?” I stammered.

“It’s better than asking me to pay.” 

I liked her laugh. I liked her facial expressions. I wasn’t wild about her sweater, but I had ugly sweaters too.’ 

So I’ve only really included this due to the really blunt but somehow engaging writing style. Definitely one to check out.

AMERICOSIS BY HAYDN WILKS

Nearly at ten books – this book is just surreal. It was odd, crazy, a bit nuts, weird, it didn’t make a huge amount of sense at the time but I want to read more! Who is the Savior and where has he come from? What is wrong with the President is he really conversing with angels (this plot is a bit mad) I liked the action, I liked the intrigue and if I’m honest I think I should have hated this but I didn’t, and I cannot wait to read more damn it.

THE RACE by JACKE WILSON

Finaaaaally we have the utterly brilliant The Race by Jacke Wilson – I really really loved both books I read by Jacke WIlson. This book is ultimately an insight into the supposed ‘glamour’ of politics, and a look at the darker side of the political system, here the book mainly explores the potential of redemption, the struggle to be acknowledged and finally the real price of failure, not only in politics but in the ones you love. Warm and understanding this brilliant characterisation is distinct through the whole book.

So, ten books to read if you’re feeling like straying from the typical books you read. I’ve found it a bit difficult to explain what I mean by experimental but I think I should have called it books that make you stray from your comfort zone? Anyway, hope you’ve enjoyed and as always link your TTT below so I can see your answers! #byeeee.

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  1. April 12, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Before I go to Sleep sounds fascinating! My TTT

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