Bizarre Book Club 9: The bored dead, news in miniature and bizarro stories

Hello! Today’s pretentious Book Club picture is brought to you from Ruby’s Vintage tea shop in Colchester, Essex. They have a cosy room upstairs called The Reading Room.

They sell tea, cakes and clothes oh my!
They sell tea, cakes and clothes oh my!

1. Anti Twitter by Harold Jaffe. This book features real news stories shrunk down to their essence and the whole thing took me a little over an hour to read. I felt the saddest one was about Billie Holliday, ending with: Nobody knew who she was.

It was a little like reading the odd news pages online only more worrying. Large amounts were about football hooligans but I promise you, not all British people are like that – unless you count the time I drank a whole bottle of Appletiser, the memories of that night haunt us all.

2. Flamingos in the Ashtray: 25 Bizarro Short Stories by Zoltan Komor. I love his ideas and seem to spend a lot of time now wondering how he came up with them. Admittedly there are one or two typing errors in the text but it really wasn’t a problem for me because his imagination made my mind crackle like a fizzy drink opened after a shaking by a school bully. I like his brain so much I’m also including this link to three free stories online.

3. Suspended Heart by Heather Fowler. I’ve also read People With Holes by this lady and I think she’s becoming one of my favourites. Although her short stories are classed as Magic Realism it’s easy to recognise thoughts and situations we’ve all been through. Her imagery is beautiful and makes me want to roll around nude amongst the flowers, however I feel that would quickly devolve matters and the original point would be lost during calls for an ambulance and the cries of children.

4. The Postmortal by Drew Magary. A story told in stages of the collapse of mankind after a cure for ageing has been discovered. John Farrell starts as an ordinary man whose life quickly goes down the tubes along with the structure of society after taking the cure. Although it’s mainly a thriller, there are some very amusing images such as a stoner who decides to end it all by being blown from a canon. I found it as entertaining as a shrew in a tutu, which is pretty entertaining despite what the RSPCA might tell you. It’s not my fault they have no sense of humour.

So there we have it! Fare thee well, and may your summer be nice and warm, although not too warm as it can be unpleasant. A bit warm. Byee!

Maddie’s bizarre book club 2, plus porn stars reading aloud

Haunted Air 1
Haunted Air by Ossian Brown

Merry Spring! Tis the time for daffodils, blue skies and wildly raging hormones. But wait, get that poor nude fellow down from the Wicker Man, you can burn him later. First on the agenda is a new pile of extremely odd books.

1. The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington. One of the surrealist crowd and lover of Max Ernst, Leonora’s life seems as bizarre as any of her work. The book itself is intriguing and oddly refreshing – the main characters are all women in their 90s, an age group usually included in fiction to generate sympathy or to hilariously utter a swear word at the wrong moment. However these are real characters featured among the increasingly bizarre carryings on.

Haunted Air by Ossian Brown
Haunted Air by Ossian Brown

2. People With Holes by Heather Fowler.  The nominal first story in this collection made my brain crackle, which is my way of saying I found the thoughts it induced exciting. I will say there were perhaps one too many ‘people turning into animal’ stories but that’s my own opinion obviously, and there are plenty of other varieties of story. For any fans of magic realism or anything a bit different this is for you, and the way she writes pulled me right in.

3. A Million Versions of Right by Matthew Revert. Definitely an odd’un, this is also very funny. If your mind can take the battering from this surreal short story collection (one character’s job is to insult walls) I promise you chuckles a plenty.

That nice actress lady Stoya
That nice actress lady Stoya

4. Haunted Air: ‘A Collection of Anonymous Hallowe’en Photographs America c. 1875 – 1955‘ by Ossian Brown. Haunting, weird, fascinating and a little disturbing, this is literally a bunch of photos from various sources on Halloween, and yet it’s much more than that. Who are they? What did they do just seconds afterwards? With photos reminiscent of Diane Arbus, needless to say the foreword is by David Lynch.

Well, there we are! A few books to be going on with until next time. In the meantime here is a post about some lovely pornographic actresses, including that nice Stoya Doll, reading poetry and prose aloud. NSFW, kind of.