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Books, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Horror, Librarian's Choice, Lish

For Those Who Love the Strange and Unusual

16.02.15 | Comment?

Weird Fiction is my jam. And when I’m talking about weird fiction I’m not talking about slightly odd werewolves who own an infinite number of jean shorts. I’m talking about the highly unusual – as in surfer messiahs, a buffalo who know exactly what you should do in any given situation, people sentenced to die by sinking slowly into a tar pit, teenagers who discover the edge of the world and toddlers who escape murderers by hiding in graveyards. If you’re keen to have your brain blasted by some strange and unusual tales here are a couple you may well love:

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link
“Through the lens of Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award-winning The Faery Handbag, in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of The Surfer, whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, Links stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world.” (Goodreads)

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
“Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part. Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.” (Goodreads)

 Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book – the stories are so bizarre with ugly angels fighting one another in unreal lands. “In this extraordinary short story collection, human frailty is put to the test by the relentless forces of dark and light, man and beast. Each tale offers glimpses into familiar, shadowy worlds that push the boundaries of the spirit and leave the mind haunted with the knowledge that black juice runs through us all.” (Goodreads)

Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Please read this – please, oh please! This would have to be my favourite collection of weird stories that I read in 2014. “Breathtakingly illustrated and hauntingly written, Tales from Outer Suburbia is by turns hilarious and poignant, perceptive and goofy. Through a series of captivating and sophisticated illustrated stories, Tan explores the precious strangeness of our existence …. Whether it’s discovering that the world really does stop at the end of the city’s map book, or a family’s lesson in tolerance through an alien cultural exchange student, Tan’s deft, sweet social satire brings us face-to-face with the humour and absurdity of modern life.” (Goodreads)

 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
“After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…” (Goodreads)


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