Kafka on the Shore --Easily the number one spot right now. My friend MB (find her blog here) tried to introduce me to Murakami ages ago with the The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I'm not sure what it was with that one, but I couldn't get into it. Kafka, however, had me by the first paragraph. It's a beautiful, melancholy story about regret and memory. I think. Murakami writes beautifully, but it's one of those books that I feel would benefit from multiple readings.
- Plot in 50 Words or less: Kafka (15) runs away from home. Nakata (old, not-all-there man) can talk to cats, runs into trouble with Johnny Walker. Hoshino joins Nakata on epic road trip. Oshima (mysterious) runs a library. Miss Saeki (mysterious++) has a secret past. All intersect in bizarre ways.
House of Leaves --I read this one years ago, after a off hand comment from an acquaintance. I remember specific scenes very vividly, but others have grown hazy. It's a novel about obsession. Now, I admit I have an overactive imagination and I tend to get sucked into things pretty completely. But while reading this book, I think I did go a little crazy! It's got multiple story lines as well, but the most unique part is the typeset. You never know what layout the next page will be, there are footnotes that lead you on crazy chases around the book, and there are hidden codes in letters from characters. I got so sucked into the book, that I felt like the main character Johnny Truant.
- Plot in 50 Words or less: Johnny Truant finds a thesis about a documentary that doesn't exist. Navidson family realizes house is bigger on the inside then outside, explore secret doors. We learn about Johnny's past through letters written by mother during her stay in psychiatric hospital.
Example of a page from House of Leaves (Notice the mirror image in the middle, and the footnote on the left hand side and bottom. The one on the bottom right corner is also in mirror image).
Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey --Another from one of my favorites Chuck Palahniuk. This one is another non-traditional format, sprinkled with interviews about Buster, scientific reports, and some of the scariest stories about Rabies I've ever heart. This is a new disease added to my terror list! It comes with the territory you expect from Palahniuk: weird sexual issues, sections that make you squirm, and a bizarre story line. I'm not going to say it's his best work, but it's the on that has stuck with me...and I have a feeling will stick with me forever.
- Plot in 50 Words or Less: Buster Casey, deceased, is credited with starting the world-wide pandemic of Rabies. Because of overpopulation, America's a split shift system of life: daytimers and nighttimers. Party crashing, intentionally tagging other player's cars, has become an underground phenomenon. Story goes to a place you won't expect, even when it reaches there.
So what do you think of these books if you've read them? What's the trippiest thing you've ever read?