Gutten morgan! Welcome one and all to another bizarre book club. Here be monsters and probably some sort of squishy things that will hurt your face.
1. Number one is Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side by Michael Arnzen. You need it, you know you do.
Probably not for the easily shockable (but if that’s you, why on earth are you following this blog?!) it’s packed with character and story ideas or scenario suggestions of the kind that are rare. It’s good, and made me feel oddly comforted to know that it existed.
2. Unbearables by Various (Autonomedia). I managed to pick this up in a charity shop for a couple of quid, which was lucky because I couldn’t find this on amazon or anywhere for you, but it is available on the publisher’s site. They seem to be a group of writers from the mid-nineties who specialised in personal stories that weave dreamlike and Virginia Woolfesque throughout.
You could argue it errs on the pretentious side occasionally but I’m a firm believer that sometimes pretention is OK. Plus I got it well cheap.
3. Death to the Brothers Grimm by Various. Fairy tales are, to use an oft repeated pun on the name, grim. Or at least they were supposed to be before Disney made them all pink. This collection reawakens that side of them. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, often disturbing, this is a very entertaining collection.
4. Bad Book Club by Robin Ince. Technically not a bizarre book by itself, it is a humorous guide to oddities of publishing that you can’t believe exist. A few examples are: ‘What Would Jesus Eat,’ ‘Starlust,’ a compilation of people’s sexual fantasies involving 80s popstars, and a book about breeding rabbits that seems obsessed with how to kill them.
5. The Obese by Nick Antosca. Yup, exactly how it sounds. A very short satire described as “Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds-with obese people.” I’ll add its description on the back as I think it explains the story better than I can:
“Nina Gilten works in the fashion industry. She retouches images for Redbook, Teen Vogue, Chic, Marie Claire, and Nylon. Her work involves shaving off hipbones, masking moles, and giving more sheen to the lusterless skin of supermodels. In other words, she makes people beautiful. But when a vengeful houseguest forwards Nina’s private correspondence with her boss to popular feminist blog Jezebel, Nina finds herself jobless and ostracized.
Then rabid obese people start rampaging on the streets of New York.”
Jolly good! Get reading or by golly I shall cry onto you until it becomes annoying.