Best Experimental Books Ever

Top 10 Best Experimental Books Ever : Slaughterhouse-Five, Trainspotting, Infinite Jest, Pale Fire, The Sound and the Fury, Gravity's Rainbow, Invisible Cities, Notes from Underground, Waiting for Godot, Requiem for a Dream

Slaughterhouse-Five
AuthorKurt Vonnegut
ISBN0385333846
There are some terrible reviews of SH5 floating around Goodreads, but one particularly awful sentiment is that Slaughterhouse-Five isn't anti-war.

This is usually based on the following quote.
"It had to be done," Rumfoord told Billy, speaking of the destruction of Dresden.
"I...
AuthorIrvine Welsh
ISBN0099465892
The bestselling novel by Irvine Welsh that provided the inspiration for Danny Boyle’s hit film Choose us. Choose life. Choose mortgage payments; choose washing machines; choose cars; choose sitting oan a couch watching mind-numbing and spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fuckin junk food...
AuthorDavid Foster Wallace
ISBN0316921173
A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America.

Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment...
Pale Fire
AuthorVladimir Nabokov
ISBN0141185260
The American poet John Shade is dead. His last poem, 'Pale Fire', is put into a book, together with a preface, a lengthy commentary and notes by Shade's editor, Charles Kinbote. Known on campus as the 'Great Beaver', Kinbote is haughty, inquisitive, intolerant, but is he also mad, bad - and even dangerous?...
The Sound and the Fury
AuthorWilliam Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed...
AuthorThomas Pynchon
ISBN0143039946
Advice for a first time reader of Gravity's Rainbow:

Gravity's Rainbow is a book you either love or hate, and if you hate it it's probably because you couldn't finish the damn thing. Though by no means impenetrable, the novel is daunting enough to merit a list of tips for those wishing to tackle...
Invisible Cities
AuthorItalo Calvino
ISBN0156453800
"Kublai Khan does not necessarily believe everything Marco Polo says when he describes the cities visited on his expeditions, but the emperor of the Tartars does continue listening to the young Venetian with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other messenger or explorer of his." So...
Notes from Underground
AuthorFyodor Dostoyevsky
Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who...
Waiting for Godot
AuthorSamuel Beckett
The story revolves around two seemingly homeless men simply waiting for someone—or something—named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree, inhabiting a drama spun of their own consciousness. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted...
AuthorHubert Selby Jr.
ISBN1560252480
In Coney Island, Brooklyn, Sarah Goldfarb, a lonely widow, wants nothing more than to lose weight and appear on a television game show. She becomes addicted to diet pills in her obsessive quest, while her junkie son, Harry, along with his girlfriend, Marion, and his best friend, Tyrone, have devised...
Cat's Cradle
AuthorKurt Vonnegut
ISBN0140285601
Told with deadpan humour and bitter irony, Kurt Vonnegut's cult tale of global destruction preys on our deepest fears of witnessing Armageddon and, worse still, surviving it ...

Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding 'fathers' of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For...
Journey to the End of the Night
AuthorLouis-Ferdinand Céline
ISBN0811216543
Louis-Ferdinand Celine's revulsion and anger at what he considered the idiocy and hypocrisy of society explodes from nearly every page of this novel. Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty...
Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings
AuthorJorge Luis Borges
ISBN0811200124
Although his work has been restricted to the short story, the essay, and poetry, Jorge Luis Borges of Argentina is recognized all over the world as one of the most original and significant figures in modern literature. In his preface, Andre Maurois writes: "Borges is a great writer who has composed only...
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
AuthorLaurence Sterne
ISBN0141439777
No one description will fit this strange, eccentric, endlessly complex masterpiece. It is a fiction about fiction-writing in which the invented world is as much infused with wit and genius as the theme of inventing it. It is a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction, and...
Preludes & Nocturnes
AuthorNeil Gaiman
ISBN1563892278
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman's transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology,...
Everything Is Illuminated
AuthorJonathan Safran Foer
ISBN0060529709
With only a yellowing photograph in hand, a young man -- also named Jonathan Safran Foer -- sets out to find the woman who may or may not have saved his grandfather from the Nazis. Accompanied by an old man haunted by memories of the war; an amorous dog named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior; and the unforgettable...
Dubliners
AuthorJames Joyce
ISBN0192839993
Life is full of missed opportunities and hard decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to actually do. Dubliners creates an image of an ever movie city, of an ever moving exchange of people who experience the reality of life. And that’s the whole point: realism. Not everything goes well,...
The Third Policeman
AuthorFlann O'Brien
The Third Policeman is Flann O'Brien's brilliantly dark comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of...
AuthorRichard Adams
Librarian's note: See alternate cover edition of ISBN13 9780380395866 here.

Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction...
AuthorFlann O'Brien
A wildly comic send-up of Irish literature and culture, At Swim-Two-Birds is the story of a young, lazy, and frequently drunk Irish college student who lives with his curmudgeonly uncle in Dublin. When not in bed (where he seems to spend most of his time) or reading he is composing a mischief-filled novel...
Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
AuthorVladimir Nabokov
ISBN0679725229
Published two weeks after his seventieth birthday, Ada, or Ardor is one of Nabokov's greatest masterpieces, the glorious culmination of his career as a novelist.  It tells a love story troubled by incest. But more: it is also at once a fairy tale, epic, philosophical treatise on the nature of time,...
AuthorWilliam Golding
ISBN0140283331
At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing,...
As I Lay Dying
AuthorWilliam Faulkner
As I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members—including Addie herself—as well as others, the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the...
Miss Lonelyhearts / The Day of the Locust
AuthorNathanael West
ISBN0811202151
Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts was a newspaper reporter, so named because he had been assigned to write the agony column, to answer the letters from Desperate, Sick-of-It-All, Disillusioned. A joke at first; but then he was caught up, terrifyingly, in a vision of suffering, and he sought...
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values
AuthorRobert M. Pirsig
ISBN0060589469
Maybe it's unfair to give a poor rating to a book I read in high school. However, I like to think that I was wise beyond my years and knew a phony, self-congratulatory, pretentious buffoon when I saw one. On the other hand, I did wear baggy overalls with Birkenstocks every day back then and wondered why I didn’t...
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