Recommended Reading List
- Iain Banks - The Bridge
My favourite of Banks' novels, this is a complex tale in which the main protagonist spends the whole time in a coma. Dreaming of the world of The Bridge, a place occasionally reminiscent of somewhere dreamt up by Kafka but not as daunting. It is filled with incredible imagery, and the world of the bridge is a very strange one. [in print - UK / US]
- Ramsey Campbell - The One Safe PlaceThis is a wonderful dark thriller, that builds from a road rage incident, where a man pulling a gun leads to him being jailed, to a full-blown nightmare involving the rest of his extended family. Campbell writing is as good as ever, and his ability to create nighmarish images from the most innocuous of scenes is used to brilliant effect. [in print - US]
- Jonathan Carroll - The Marriage of Sticks
- Franz Kafka - The Castle
At points as nightmarish and claustraphobic as The Trial, but with humourous moments as well. With a Land Surveyor going to increasingly desperate measures to try and obtain admittance to the Castle, a place locked away by layers of complex bureaucracy.
[in print - UK / US]
- Franz Kafka - The Trial
Everyone should know of this one surely? One of the most claustraphobic and nightmarish novels I have ever read, with K an innocent man arrested by a powerful and unreachable court. It moves with a completely dreamlike quality as K's increasingly frantic and always pointless attempts at bringing his arrest to some sort of conclusion continue. Though none of his actions can rescue him from what was always bound to happen. A great deal of modern psychological horror has its roots in this book and it has aged brilliantly.
[in print - UK / US]
- Fritz Leiber - Conjure Wife
A brilliant novel about a man who discovers his professional career was based less on his own abilities and more on the abilities of his wife to manipulate events to his favour. Then how everything quickly unravels when he discovers his wife's witchcraft and demands that she stop. There is a touch of the satirical about its attitude to the academic competition for tenures.
[in print - US]
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