You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > July 2017 - Weird Fiction

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments If the two chosen group reads are not to your liking, feel free to read another book that is of the Weird Fiction genre.

Please discuss your book in this thread.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during July 2017
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (including a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock. Please read our group spoiler policy for more information.


message 2: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Jun 30, 2017 05:18AM) (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments Here's a few links for assistance: : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_f... and https://www.goodreads.com/genres/weir... and https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...

The first link explains what weird fiction is.

When discussing the book you are reading, please state whether you think it fitted the genre and perhaps tell us what you found to be the weirdest thing about it (without giving anything away). Also let us know if you've read any weird fiction before or whether this is your first time. Curious minds...


message 3: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments There are a few of us currently reading Kafka on the Shore in a buddy read here. We realized yesterday that it's a perfect fit for the themed read in that it's very weird. If anyone is interested, we'd certainly welcome more discussion.

Sarah, there has been some confusion in the past about reading themed reads in buddy read format. How do you want us to report? Do we come to this thread and link to our discussion and then report in the report thread? Or, do we just need to report in the report thread and link to the discussion?


message 4: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments Just report in the reporting thread stating you have discussed the book in the buddy read thread and then comment on what you thought of the book as normal. I think it's nice to have a reference in this thread that a buddy read is happening as you have done in your post so that others know what people are reading for the theme but the discussion of the book can remain in the buddy read thread.


message 5: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments Super! Thanks for clarifying that Sarah.


message 6: by Tejas Janet (new)

Tejas Janet (TejasJanet) | 3510 comments Janice wrote: "There are a few of us currently reading Kafka on the Shore in a buddy read here. We realized yesterday that it's a perfect fit for the themed read in that it's very weird. If anyone is ..."

I agree, Kafka on the Shore is great fit for this theme. I've read it twice, and love it both times. Can't explain it per se, but do love it!


message 7: by Anne (Booklady) (last edited Jul 02, 2017 12:07AM) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo (wwwgoodreadscomAnneMolinarolo) | 1282 comments I plan on reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It's listed on Best Weird Fiction Books list. Page 1 the second 60.

And, am I supposed to discuss it here in this thread?


message 8: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments Anne (Booklady) wrote: "I plan on reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It's listed on Best Weird Fiction Books list. Page 1 the second 60.

And, am I supposed to discuss it here in this thread?"


Yes, this would be the place to discuss it.


message 9: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments Sarah, thanks for sharing those links. They were very helpful.

I've decided to read The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. I read it years ago and recently decided I want to read the rest of the series. I started the audiobook this morning, and am glad I decided to reread it. There is a lot I had forgotten or remembered wrong.


message 10: by Travis sivarT (new)

Travis sivarT (TravissivarT) | 5428 comments Tejas Janet wrote: "Janice wrote: "There are a few of us currently reading Kafka on the Shore in a buddy read here. We realized yesterday that it's a perfect fit for the themed read in that it's very weird..."

I can pretty much echo this statement. I am over in the buddy read on my second reading of it. There's just something about this one I love.


message 11: by Anne (Booklady) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo (wwwgoodreadscomAnneMolinarolo) | 1282 comments @Janice, thank you. I'll be out of my comfort zone, since I'm not a fan of zombies. I need it for "re-tellings" for the SRC :)


message 12: by Lara (last edited Jul 02, 2017 07:37PM) (new)

Lara | 1426 comments One thing I noticed from the description of weird books is how much they seem to be based on Crowley's writing. Having completed The Atrocity Archives, it definitely fits that mold. There are creatures from other dimensions with tentacles, possessions, as well as technology used to create "magic."


message 13: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments By the way, I listened to the audiobook of The Atrocity Archives, and it came with a recording of the short story that takes place between it and the next book: The Concrete Jungle. The book introduces us to Bob, the anti-authoritarian IT guy and conflicted Laundry agent. It also introduces the world and the Laundry. There is a plot with a brilliant woman, surprise attacks, some nasty history based on the Holocaust, and a trip to another dimension. There is also bureaucracy gone wild, including in-fighting and pettiness.

The short story builds on the book with a new monster threat and more internal organizational politics. It was much longer than I expected and had a satisfying twist that I partially predicted, but not completely.


message 14: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments So, having enjoyed one book, I've decided to read (listen to) the book I originally considered. I'm listening to John Dies at the End. Last year I enjoyed the insanity that was Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, and have been interested in Wong's previous books.

This one is wild. Definitely weird, and it's hard to know what's real. It's also really gory and has a lot of violence. It's so over the top that I am not even bothered by the deaths of animals--they are not themselves, after all.

I've also been spending some time thinking about where the book is located. The city is specifically not named, but there are some sports references that make me suspect it's in Michigan.


message 15: by Travis sivarT (new)

Travis sivarT (TravissivarT) | 5428 comments Loved both John dies at the end and the next book. A third is soon to be released. Haven't read futuristic violence. I do own it. John dies books just crack me up


message 16: by Cherie (new)

Cherie (crobins0) | 12718 comments Anne - I read your book a couple of years ago. Zombies were/are not my thing either, but the story was so funny, from their point of view, that I could not help liking it. It helps if you are familiar with the original story. The plot is the same, but there are "zombie" twists that are totally unforgettable.


message 17: by Anne (Booklady) (last edited Jul 03, 2017 10:47PM) (new)

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo (wwwgoodreadscomAnneMolinarolo) | 1282 comments Cherie wrote: "Anne - I read your book a couple of years ago. Zombies were/are not my thing either, but the story was so funny, from their point of view, that I could not help liking it. It helps if you are famil..."

Great to know :) Thanks Cherie!


message 18: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments I read John Dies in the End and the follow on book. They are both really messed up and confusing. They completely fit this theme. I preferred the first one and found that one incredibly funny in places but I found the second one less so. Perhaps I had a silliness/weird overload at the time.


message 19: by Travis sivarT (new)

Travis sivarT (TravissivarT) | 5428 comments I read the Spider one before John Dies. Lol. Really made no difference


message 20: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I found John Dies to be a "guy" book in many ways. If I didn't like anti-authoritarian humor, bad puns, and appreciate bizzaro action, I don't think I'd have enjoyed it as much as I did. Looking at some of the reviews here on GR, there does seem to be a gender split.

Futuristic Violence is very different. It is more of a gonzo action near SF story with social media and body modifications taken to an extreme. Much of it takes place in a city that is like Las Vegas on steroids. The protagonist is like Amy as she's a sheltered female character who is a bit different and not so great with people who comes into her own (but in a much more complete way). There is also a pet, a cat, that is loved by the heroine, though it doesn't play the same kind of role as Molly.


message 21: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I anyone is looking for a lighter read in the weird category, last night I listened to Chasing the Moon, which definitely fits. A young woman is hoping to move into an apartment, and finds that the low rent comes with major strings that lead to seeing the world very differently. There are multiple universes and creatures with tentacles. But, it isn't scary and has a lot of humor.


message 22: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments It sounds interesting. Just the blurb makes me think of 14.


message 23: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments Janice wrote: "It sounds interesting. Just the blurb makes me think of 14."

But, I think 14 was more serious and less absurd.


message 24: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments I can't compare the two because I haven't read Chasing the Moon. I thought 14 was quite humourous. I loved the sarcastic wit of Veek.


message 25: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1426 comments I'll have to take another look at it then. I love good sarcasm as well.


message 26: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 984 comments For the weird fiction genre July read, I read American Gods instead of Anansi Boys (which I have previously read). It is #2 on a gr Weird Fiction list. American Gods is a fun read in parts, and I like the concept of ancient gods living in modern day America. I don't pretend to recognize all of the references, and I feel that I should have conducted a review of mythology first. At times, the plot dragged, and seemed to be a series of random, unconnected events. Shadow was a little dull; I couldn't warm up to him and I didn't care much what happened to him (or anyone else, for that matter). I enjoy Gaiman's writing style, but I doubt that I will read any more.


message 27: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments We did a buddy read a few years back for American Gods. You might enjoy reading through the comments. Check out the buddy read thread for it. I loved the book but a number of people didn't enjoy it.


message 28: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 984 comments Thanks for letting me know about the buddy read, Sarah. I have just read the comments. There are definitely mixed feelings about the book. Someone made the comment that reading it a second time might be a more positive experience, and I think might well be true.


message 29: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments Have you watched any of the tv series? I have it but not got around to watxhing it yet.


message 30: by TrudyAn (new)

TrudyAn | 984 comments I haven't, I didn't even realize there was one.


message 31: by Almeta (last edited Jul 29, 2017 10:55AM) (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 7862 comments I've already read A Monster Calls and a re-read would be too emotional; for what is happening with our lives right now.

Also already read Dogsbody.

Was willing to read Anansi Boys (#8 on 1 copy ), Annihilation (#3 on 2 copies) and The October Country however two are on hold and one has yet to arrive.

Just in case, on 22 Jul, I read Skellig which was listed on Listopia's Best Weird Fiction link and was recommended by Debra T.

This is a story with a weird creature in it, that seems a mishmash of some other creatures. It doesn't fit any mythology with which I am familiar. A touching tale about a young boy and his concern for his baby sister. Can not say more without giving things away.
I gave it four stars.


message 32: by Saar (new)

Saar | 519 comments @Almeta: The movie of Skellig is also really good.


message 33: by Sarah, Moderator (new)

Sarah | 14237 comments Does it perhaps follow Lovecraftian lore/mythology Almeta? I know many weird fiction books doff their caps to Lovecraft and include some elements of his characters/world. Just a thought.


message 34: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 7862 comments Saar wrote: "@Almeta: The movie of Skellig is also really good."

Hmmm, didn't know about that!


message 35: by Saar (new)

Saar | 519 comments Book and movie are for children. Maybe from the age of 10. The creature looks really bizar in the movie.


message 36: by Almeta (new)

Almeta (MenFromMarrs) | 7862 comments Sarah wrote: "Does it perhaps follow Lovecraftian lore/mythology Almeta? I know many weird fiction books doff their caps to Lovecraft and include some elements of his characters/world. Just a thought."

David Almond suggests a William Blake influence. Although my opinion is that EVERY Fantasy/SciFi writer owes H. P. Lovecraft big time!


message 37: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (JaMaSc) | 29393 comments Almeta wrote: "Just in case, on 22 Jul, I read Skellig which was listed on Listopia's Best Weird Fiction link and was recommended by Debra T..."

For anyone interested in reading this book based on Almeta's comments, it would fit the August challenge. (Just thought I would mention that).


message 38: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 5559 comments I read Dogsbody, a 5-star read. Here's my review:

Easily read in one day. As someone said, probably not for younger children. I know I was a bit anxious at times, plus angry/disturbed by certain peoples' treatment of animals. However, it was delightful being inside a dog's head and experiencing all his doggy perspectives, senses, and urges; sometimes it was hilarious... and very cool how he came to realize he was a very important"alien" being and needed to solve a mystery while limited to his dog body. The story is a well-written unique mixture of many genres: sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, etc., and I think it would appeal to a wide range of young to elderly of most all ages (probably not pre-teens, tho). As advised, don't read Neil Gaiman's introduction until after you've read the story. It has spoilers!


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