The bizarre can be terrifying. Our human minds find comfort in the familiar and when the world stops making sense, we lose the certainty we cling to. This is why I believe horror and bizarre fiction go hand in hand and why you’ll often find one if you’re looking for the other.
The books below combine these two elements. Though in the past I have included bizarre horror in my “Top 5 Bizarre” lists, I have decided to list books that I haven’t mentioned yet.
The Sorrow King by Andersen Prunty
Something strange is causing suicides among the youth in the small town of Gethsemane. Prunty handles this delicate topic tactfully, while showing its raw emotions. With grim, startling realism, the reader is transported back to their teenage years and experiences loss, young love, and a panoply of emotions, all with a weird twist. This novel sucks you in and doesn’t free you until the last page.
Shit Luck by Tiffany Scandal
Most people are lucky enough to be murdered only once. But what if each death only brings a new reality and what if your murderer follows you through each of these realities? Those who know me know this is the type of book I love. I have no clue why this hasn’t been on a list before. It’s a gem.
The Obese by Nick Antosca
What begins as well-written social commentary about weight, especially in the fashion industry, evolves into an all-out bloodbath, as the obese become ravenous zombies. It’s a book that will make you laugh, think, feel, and shiver. It gets pretty gruesome, let me say that. But it is an excellent example of bizarro satire.
The House on the Borderland by W.H. Hodgson
This classic horror novel written in 1908 served as a key influence for horror great H.P. Lovecraft who in turn inspired many of the great authors of the genre today. It starts out as a (well-crafted) haunted house tale, complete with pig-demons, and takes a sharp turn into the bizarre that I did not expect.
I know some of you readers avoid horror like the plague. I was just like you until a few years ago. It’s uncomfortable to open yourself up to something scary or disturbing. But by ignoring it, you’re holding back a multitude of sensations and missing out on some of humanity’s most important emotions.