Weird and unusual books to stretch the imagination

Subverting the norm takes guts – but if you’re up for a challenge and prepared to enter a literary world which might blow your mind, the rewards are high. First of all – trust the cover. Does it look like your kind of weird? Is there a hint that there will be something rather unusual going on in this story? Is there something just a bit strange about the title, the image, the font? If you are a curious reader and your imagination craves a story that plays with expectations, then this is your natural habitat. Dive in and revel in the experimental language, the off-kilter narratives, the seemingly traditional character type who is revealed to be something quite freakily different. It’s all here in its outlandish glory.

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Baba Yaga Laid an Egg

Dubravka Ugresic

The Stone Raft

Jose Saramago


Laurent Binet

Karloff's Circus

Steve Aylett

The Interrogative Mood

Padgett Powell


Hal Duncan

The Absent Therapist

Will Eaves

Tram 83

Fiston Mwanza Mujila

The Islanders

Christopher Priest

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

The Life of Insects

Victor Pelevin

You Should Have Left

Daniel Kehlmann

Loving Sabotage

Amelie Nothomb


China Mieville

The Blind Rider

Juan Goytisolo

The Vorrh

Brian Catling

Gabriel's Angel

Mark A Radcliffe


Juan Pablo Villalobos

The Islands

Carlos Gamerro


Suhayl Saadi

Kimberley's Capital Punishment

Richard Milward

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis

The Pale King

David Foster Wallace


T M Wolf

The Prison House

John King

Ducks, Newburyport

Lucy Ellmann

Farewell, Cowboy

Olja Savičević

The Big Music

Kirsty Gunn

State of Siege

Juan Goytisolo

Come, Thou Tortoise

Jessica Grant

The Wilderness

Samantha Harvey

Secret Passages in a Hillside Town

Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

The Book of Proper Names

Amelie Nothomb

Yonder Stands Your Orphan

Barry Hannah

The Manual of Detection

Jedediah Berry

The Weight of a Human Heart

Ryan O'Neill

The Quiddity of Will Self

Sam Mills

Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie

Stewart Home

Seventh Heaven: Supernatural Stories

Naguib Mafouz

The Wisdom of Crocodiles

Paul Hoffman


Claire Keegan


Dan Collins


Arthur Nersesian

Red Doc

Anne Carson

The Maid

Yasutaka Tsutsui

Under the Skin

Michel Faber


Charlotte Roche

The Same Sea

Amos Oz

River of Teeth

Sarah Gailey

Ella Minnow Pea

Mark Dunn