Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

I’m late for my Top Tuesday post! This week is about the Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read.Although I’m still at the start of my quest to read the best books of all time,I think I’ve read a fair number of unique books.I hope I can stretch the list to ten books.

1.Moby Dick

I didn’t like Moby Dick at all,but I think it is unique in regard to the number of digressions it is filled with.For every one chapter pertaining to the storyline,there are four chapters which digress from the plot and revolve about cetology.Ok,it
is interesting to learn more about cetelogy,but not in a book supposed to tell a story! 

2.The Castle

Franz Kafka’s last novel.You can see in this one that Kafka had bloomed into an accomplished writer and was more mature when writing it.The plot is dark and very complex.A land officer receives a letter to work in a village,but upon arriving there,he discovers that no one has sent for him.He decides to stay in the village to have a talk with Klam,the chairman.But the land officer never succeeds in reaching him.This book is really bizarre as it is implied that a girl willingly lets herself gang-raped.Moreover it is frustrating that the land officer never finds Klamm,despite all his attempts to trap him into a corner.This book is really mysterious and even more so after you’ve read it; it doesn’t have any ending and you’re left wondering about what might have happened.However it does make sense when you put it in the same line as Camus’s ‘Myth of Sisyphus’ or Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’.

3.Never Let Me Go

I finished reading this book last week.It was really good and is now one of my favourites.As I said previously I thought it was about a love story,so I didn’t expect the sci-fi world at all.What I particular like with this book is that Ishiguro manages to bring elements pertaining to science fiction in the real world without making anything look absurd.Through this technique of his,readers are not at all disoriented in this sci-fi book.

4.Lord of the Flies

The climax is stunning.I was aware that the book was about how after crashing on a inhabited island,some boys would stick to civilization while others would give way to their inner savagery.Until I reached the climax,which is in the middle of the novel,I had no idea what the title was about,although I knew that there must be some reasons for which the book was so named.When I did,I was horrified.There will never be a book like this!

5.The God of Small Things

If you regularly read my posts,you’ll note that I have mentioned this book quite a few times.Winner of the Booker Prize in 1997,The God of Small Things is a unique piece of art thanks to the idiosyncrasies used by Arundhati Roy.The book is written in an unusual way,with the storyline constantly switching back and forth between the past and the present.But the highlight of this book is the way Arundhati Roy obliterates writing conventions.She uses capitalization whenever she wants and contrives the words in such a way that they form a rhythm or pattern to reflect the children’s moods.It is also unique in regard to the poignancy with which it touches the reader.As I said before,along with Never Let Me Go,this book is the saddest I’ve ever read.A must-read!

6.Of Human Bondage

Perhaps the dullest classic ever.This book follows Philip Carey from the age of nine to his early thirties.It is as simple as that.Although the storyline is pretty simple and Maugham writes the book in no modern fashion,he nonetheless sheds much light on subjects which might so far have remained in the dark in the mind of a young individual like me,such as atheism,the meaning of life,art,passion,and hope.A nice book about personal growth.I gained much from reading it.

7.The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Now this is the book that will easily feature in any list compiling the most unique books of all time.The book is mainly about whether or not lightness is a burden.The characters have unique lives and Kundera also talks about kitsch,Descartes,Nietzsche,Pliny,Stalin’s son,and a myriad of other things.At one point in the book,he even starts speaking as Milan Kundera himself instead of an anonymous narrator.There is also another scene where one of the characters empties her bowels in front of her lover (!).But really this book leads you to view things in a different light,and all in all,the Unbearable Lightness of Being is a prime example of supreme originality! Unforgettable!

8.Animal Farm

I’ll say it again.It is the best allegorical book ever written.I have never come across another book where absolutely everything is an allegorical representation of something else in real life.From the hens breaking their eggs to Mr Frederick being so called,nothing in Animal Farm happens or is included without a reason.A literary treasure.

9.Anna Karenina

The epitome of beauty.This book is so well written that 137 years after its publication,it never fails to mesmerize the reader.In this book,Tolstoy is a psychologist,an artist and a pioneer.Besides,to be able to sustain the aesthetic beauty of this book throughout its 900 pages requires genius,and this,Tolstoy had in abundance.


Although I’ve read many other great books,I don’t think they are enough original to be on this list.So I will end this post here,without a tenth unique novel.I am sure in the future,as I will read more books,I will stumble on more original works.


12 thoughts on “Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read”

  1. An interesting list. To be honest, I actually really enjoyed Moby Dick. I found some of the digressions really annoying, but otherwise I enjoyed the idea of Ahab and his unquenchable need for vengeance. The religious imagery was also well done. I can agree with you that it is a really unique book, something I have never seen before

    1. Thanks!
      Ah,yeah,I can see why Moby Dick is a masterpiece.The Biblical allusions are really and I did love some passages from the book,notably before Ishmael embarks on the Pequod.However I simply cannot forgive Melville for the digressions….

      1. Yes the digressions are far to long, frequent and extremely technical. The cut of the stories pace and I crave to return to Ahab and the actual story, rather then feel like I am reading a biology textbook

  2. How long did it take you to read those 10 books? I just realized what a great service you provide in your critique here and you critique so well! I want to read animal farm it’s not the first time I’ve heard of it and now I’m kicking myself as I’m going on holiday Saturday and havnt bought any new books to read. I will also read lord of the flies x

    1. Thank you for the lovely words! 🙂

      Apart from Moby Dick,Anna Karenina,The Castle and Of Human Bondage,these books can be each read withing at most 4-5 days.They are not all necessarily my favourite books,but certainly the most unique I’ve read.

      I think you’ll be able to read Animal Farm within 1 or 2 days.As for Lord of the Flies,maybe 5 days or less; it depends on how much time you will give it.Animal Farm is a gem,and the more you discover the allegories,the more you’ll love it.

      You should also try Never Let Me Go.It is poignant,easy to read,modern and can be quickly read!Although it was written in 2005,it is usually cited as one of the best novels since 1945! 🙂

      1. So I ordered Animal Farm, i might read it to the kids also, my friends says its a literary commentation on Communism…anyway I also ordered: Rebecca Donovan, Reason to Breathe, I put a quote from the book in to my challenge and it got me thinking to look it up so going to give it a try and its got quite mixed reviews, some very emotional, hehe…also another one of my Gor books, yes I love the fantasy fiction too, plus I used to roleplay it lots…admissions there, confessions of the guilty!

      2. Ok! Great! Once you read it,come back to me if you’re curious about the allegorical representation of someone or something in the book!
        Happy reading! 😀

  3. A great list, as always! A quite challenging selection. I share your enthusiasm about The Lord of the Flies, this is a very powerful and chilling book. I found Moby Dick mostly simply boring, but this was to much extent caused by me reading it in translation into my mother tongue. Never again will I do this mistake. Translations tend to strip books of their uniqueness.

    You seriously discouraged me from ever reading Kundera, though. It’s not your fault, of course, it just sounds as exactly the kind of book I’d hate. My anti-patriotism may play some role in this dislike of mine too. However ugly thing it is to say that I don’t like my country 😦 Anyway, thank you for sharing this list!!

    1. A book in Czech! Are books often translated into your mother-tongue?

      The Unbearable Lightness of Being is as disturbing as it is beautiful.Here is something which can give you an idea of the book: (I don’t have the quote but I’ll try to explain)

      Tereza owns a little female dog called Karenin.When the dog has its period,it will leave traces of blood everywhere in the house,so Tereza has decided to put little diapers on it.As a result whenever she sees the dog with its diaper,she cannot help from smiling as the dog has a little air of ridicule.But the dog doesn’t feel any shame,do you know why?

      Because dogs never left Paradise.Once humans were banned by God,they became aware of their nudity.But animals have no sentiments of shame,as they were never banished!

      This little passage is pretty nice to me,although I don’t believe in God.It makes you see animals from a different p.o.v and it kind of reflects what’s in the book: Kundera can make you cringe with lewd or taboo references or can mesmerize you by making you see things differently.It is not so much a book as a big case study.So it is not a must-read,although often it remains unforgettable(for both good and bad reasons) to those who’ve read it.

      1. Oh yes, there’s lots of translation done into Czech, both popular and quality literature. I’m not a great fan of translations though, as long as I can read the original, I do so.

        Your description sounds like the book mixes the profound, the funny and the unapologetically silly… Now you imprinted on my mind the image of a dog wearing a diaper 😉

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