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.
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!
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!
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.
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.