I'm a big fan of the stranger stories. The surreal, absurd, off-kilter, or the effed up. I couldn't tell you why, other then I think there's a lovely resonance in the surreal. There's something that permeates through the abstractions into your own life.
Here's five that I find myself going back to again and again:
The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami.
Bit of a legend in Japan. Think JK Rowling, but not really in any way at all. When he's not running marathons, he likes to knock out what can only be described as hypnotic dreamy fiction which has its own way of burrowing its way deep into your mind.
This particular work is the first of his I read. It involves cooking spaghetti, a missing cat, and a dreamworld which you'll find yourselve's falling deeper and deeper into.
Brazzaville Teen-Ager by Michael Cera.
A sort of comedy ... sort of. After watching this you can't help but look forward to a feature length from him. If he's not planning to do any features, then I'd settle for more shorts like this one.
Imagine if Woody Allen and David Lynch had sex.
Okay imagine if, with cigarettes in their mouths, in their post-sex clamminess, they brainstorm a few short film ideas.
Now imagine if Michael Cera had been hiding in a cupboard the entire time, listening in.
Now imagine if he made one of those ideas into a film.
That film would be Brazzaville Teen-Ager.
The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire.
Jeff Lemire became my favourite comic book dude after reading his 50 issue series Sweet Tooth.
He's ...unique. His peculiar art style only adds emphasis to his peculiar stories. The Underwater Welder is a story of parenthood, hometowns, and as the name suggests ... underwater welding.
All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman.
I think I heard the author once say in an interview, that he loves it when metaphors become part of the story, which this book is all about. The 'powers' are all extensions of the character's everyday talents or character traits.
I read a review on Amazon for this book. The reviewer hated it, because it didn't follow any of the rules of a 'good' fiction. I think I love it because of that. Breaking down the formula and remaking it is sort of the point, isn't it?
Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
At the end of each chapter the main dude dies. Weird huh?
After finishing this, I found myself staring out of the window, considering my own mortality.
I have my theories for this story and what it's all about, but I'd love to hear your own.
So there's five stories well worth checking out. I tried to avoid the more obvious ones. So I may have missed your favourite. If you've got any that you'd think I'd like, let me know.