I must admit that bizarre literature hasn’t been my top priority this summer. In the past few months, I’ve purchased 25+ horror novels that I’m in the process of gobbling up. But that doesn’t mean I have abandoned the genre! In fact, I’ve read some great bizarre books. Here are the top five:
#1 – Impossible James by Danger Slater
Like every Danger Slater novel I read, it shoots straight to the top of this list. And every book seems better than the previous. This novel was no exception. We follow James Watson who impregnates himself with his own clones as he fears his “impending” death. Cloaked with comedic body horror and outright silliness, Danger gives us depth, emotion, and strong characters. If you read any book on this list, I suggest that this is it. I review it here.
#2 – The Orphanarium by S.T. Cartledge
Have you ever taken hallucinogens and wandered through a sci-fi dystopia? Well, that’s what it feels like reading Cartledge’s surreal experimental masterpiece. I would try to explain it, but I fear that a thousand words later I still couldn’t convey what this novel is truly about. Initially written as a poem, poetic language abounds. It is as beautiful as it is bizarre. I review it here.
#3 – The House by Bentley Little
I was not expecting this book to be bizarre when I started. After all, it has all the trappings of mainstream horror. But I quickly learned this is not case. An army of dwarf clowns, a man waking up in a pile of burnt toast, and the reoccurring image of a rose stuck in a block of cheese are just some of the bizarre imagery Little uses as he tells the story of five strangers and the evil houses that haunt their pasts. This is my first book by him and it will not be my last. Bentley Little is a master of horror … and the bizarre.
#4 – Laser House on the Prairie by David W. Barbee
Barbee takes us to a world like no other in this crazy, hilarious, downright fun adventure. Lasers abound and geeks rule in this western/sci-fi tale of one last heist. We see familiar tropes turned on their head. This is one of those books that makes you smile—even if you’re not exactly sure of all that’s happening. I review it here.
#5 – Indistinct Conversations by Austin James
James’s 82-page collection of short stories, flash fiction, and poetry can be read in a single sitting, but you may want to take the time to savor this fascinating volume. Inside you’ll find horror, humor, the bizarre, and a good dose of heart. James is a master of giving us so much in the space of just a few pages. Did I mention the paperback version is only $6? This is a must read for fans of short, powerful stories that stick with you long after they are read.