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Customer Discussions > Fiction forum

Best obscure books you have read


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Showing 226-250 of 335 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:49:08 AM PDT
Grimlock says:
Miss Mitford,

it happens to all threads. No need to delete or apologize in my opinion.

Posted on May 28, 2012 1:52:31 PM PDT
There are a lot of great books and authors listed here. Glad to see everyone has a favorite that's off the beaten path!

Here's my obscure book story. I went to the Edinburgh Book Festival on a trip to the UK in 1989, and walked out of the tent in Charlotte Square with an impulse buy in the form of Stealth: The Black Edition by Caris Davis. For the rest of the trip, I whiled away the long train rides absolutely hypnotized by Davis's mad prose. Stealth is a crazed story, told in a rapid-fire pop-culture logorrhea, that involves murderous clubbers in the dystopia of Teleciti and post-postmodern gimmicks aplenty.

I have never in my life heard anyone else even refer to Davis or Stealth.

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 2:00:02 PM PDT
Heh - speaking of postmodern, looks like there's also a White Edition. Have to admit, I'm sorely tempted...

Posted on May 28, 2012 2:09:32 PM PDT
Also, speaking of obscure Scottish fiction from the late 80's, I'd recommend Alasdair Gray's 'Something Leather.'
From the dustjacket:

"In a series of vignettes...Gray traces the emotional and sexual lives of four women from 1963 to 1990: Harry, a distant cousin of the Queen; Donalda and Senga, Glasgow proletarians who run a leather shop; and June, a vaguely dissatisfied divorcee, who brings the women together by her desire to purchase...something leather."

In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 2:26:48 PM PDT
I've read a couple of things by Alasdair Gray, his pro-feminist Frankenstein homage Poor Things and his wild meta-narrative Lanark. Fine work.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 2:06:21 PM PDT
Calvin says:
Robert - agree with you. I read Anthony Powell (not all 12) in grad school and had not thought about him since. All I can remember is it was not too bad. Also started Anthony's Trollope's Palliser novels, but did not complete - still have them though and hope to get through them after I retire.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 5:49:43 PM PDT
I have the Palliser novels awaiting me now. But I might reread Powell first!

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 9:54:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 3, 2012 9:55:32 PM PDT
J. Boyd says:
Some old books that you never hear about now-a-days but I think were quite popular in their time are the historical novels by Thomas B. Costain. My grandfather used to buy them in hardcover, and then pass them on to myself and my sisters.

Oooohhhhh - some of them are available for the Kindle!

Just one of the fiction books, the other books are history and (yikes!) priced quite high.
The Silver Chalice: A Novel
The Conquering Family: The Pageant of England, Vol. 1
The Magnificent Century: The Pageant of England, Vol. 2
The Three Edwards

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 10:12:09 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
J., I would never have thought of Costain as "obscure", since I grew up with him. The Pageant of England, in four volumes, is a staple in my ongoing love affair with the Plantagenets. One of my favorite of his novels is "Below the Salt", which I re-read every three or four years. The final book of the Pageant is "The Last Plantagenets", ending, of course, with Richard III. Those books read like a novel, at least to me, and while I also enjoy Alison Weir, who may even be more technically correct in her books on the Plantagenets and the Tudors, isn't quite as readable as Costain.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 10:18:38 PM PDT
J. Boyd says:
I loved "The Last Plantagenets". I haven't read it since I was a kid; I was wondering how the scholarship was holding up.

I think "Below the Salt" was the first book I read of his. It was given to my older sister, and we fought over it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2012 12:00:03 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
J., I don't remember how he treated Richard III, but it may have been written before the evidence mounted against Henry VII for the murder of the princes in the tower.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 7:31:25 AM PDT
Frank Mundo says:
I really liked The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao I'm not sure if this book is considered obscure to others, but I rarely hear anyone talking about it so I'm posting it here. It won a Pulitzer prize and National Book award in 2008 if that helps.

Posted on Mar 15, 2014 9:53:59 AM PDT
Ramsay Wood says:
If self-promotion (by an Amazon customer) is banned on this discussion, my apologies - please read no further!

35 years ago I rewrote one the world's oldest survival handbooks in the form of a novel. Some of its legendary stories date back to the time of the Buddha in India 2500 years ago. The almost unknown story of the book's travels from India to Persia, Arabia and from Spain into Europe matches its unexpectedly ribald, bloody and sometimes funny content. A version was first published by Gutenberg in 1483, making this one of the earliest books to be after the Bible.

I've finished two volumes and hope to "bring myself to finish" the third. You can help by test-reading Vol 1 (free on Kindle Prime) and spreading your honest written reaction to it , whether it's love or hate, via your favourite social media. 3rd party blurbs follow:

KALILA AND DIMNA (Vol 1): - Fables of Friendship and Betrayal - paperback or Kindle (free on Prime).
KALILA AND DIMNA: - Fables of Friendship and Betrayal

Skip the Intro by Doris Lessing (Nobel Laureate for Literature 2007) until AFTER you've tested the fiction.
"A beautiful book full of mirth and human interest and unsentimental wisdom and vigorous writing." -- The Boston Globe

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2014 9:56:15 AM PDT
Self promoting is not allowed on this Forum. You have been reported to Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2014 10:26:00 AM PDT
Ramsay Wood says:
Hi Tessa,

I agree with all you say and the only clue I can find now, after being corrected by you, is the following sentence which is buried in the What are Customer Discussions, What shouldn't I post?:

"Repeated posts that promote an item in the Amazon.com catalog".

Wouldn't it be easier to make your ban on Self-Promotion a LOT forceful to customers like me? What about a stark headline? AMAZON CUSTOMERS ARE BANNED FROM PROMOTING THEIR OWN PRODUCTS! Don't you think such clarity would save you and other newbies like me a lot of time.

However maybe I've missed something: is there another Customer Information area where this point is made more clearly and obviously?

Thanks for your help and sincere apologies for not knowing the (to me) hidden rules. I hope to hear from you again.

Regards,

Ramsay Wood
ramsaywood.com

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2014 5:42:32 PM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"However maybe I've missed something: is there another Customer Information area where this point is made more clearly and obviously?"

Top of the forum list of threads...

Important Announcement from Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/forum/fiction/ref=cm_cd_et_md_pl?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1X9OILUVOYVZ7&cdMsgID=Mx2OJCB1D03UIHV&cdMsgNo=1&cdPage=1&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx14VU9EW46Z902#Mx2OJCB1D03UIHV

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2014 5:09:35 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 16, 2014 5:10:38 AM PDT
Jane says:
Thank you Tessa: My pet peeve is reading reviews or discussions only to discover a self-promoting author who always thinks their book is the greatest and best based on 'nothing'. I find it a waste of time reading self-promoters whose books are usually sub par...which is why they are self-promoting! I have read some of these books and they are usually bad.

Do us all a favour self-promoters....send your books out for reviews and let that be the standard by which you are judged.

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 6:43:33 AM PDT
I'm surprise that anyone thinks "The Good Soldier Schweik" is obscure. It's one of the classics of European literature.
Here are a few books I've really enjoyed, and that I think are obscure, or might be considered so in the US. (I'd be delighted to be wrong!)
Kyril Bonfiglioli "The Mortdecai trilogy" - James Bond meets P G Wodehouse.
R M Koster "The Tinieblas trilogy" - magic realism, set in South America but written by a North American.
R A Lafferty - SF with a sense of humour and a love of language - try "Past Master" or the short stories of "Nine Hundred Grandmothers".
David Karp "One" - a quiet, horribly plausible, dystopia.
Andrey Kurkov - black comedies from Ukraine. Try "Death and the Penguin".
I seem to have a strong preference for authors whose names begin with the letter K. See also Kafka, Kornbluth, Kazantzakis, Kawabata, Kingsolver, Kuppner...

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 8:23:55 AM PDT
Jane says:
You have a very eclectic collection of books! That is way people think it is obscure. Kudos and bringing these books into the light of day!

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 9:55:14 AM PDT
Pam Gearhart says:
vfhackenbacker, except for Lafferty, I haven't heard of any of those writers -- I'll check 'em out, especially the dystopia.

One of the best obscure novels I've read is The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. by George Steiner. Israeli Nazi-hunters find Hitler in the Amazon jungle. It's about guilt and judgment and retribution.

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 10:52:49 AM PDT
I second Lafferty with Past Master and thx for the nods on David Karp's One and Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. by George Steiner.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2014 10:55:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2014 10:57:51 AM PDT
Ramsay Wood says:
OK, but the following stark *No Trespassing!* sign is immediately clearer to any newbie author when it appears on the actual Discussion Heading:
*#11 Change. Can You Tell a Story in 25 Words Or Less? Come and Give it a Try. (No Self Promo)*

This point was recently (March 2014) bandied back and forth in the Amazon Discussions Feedback Forum
http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd_pg_oldest?_encoding=UTF8&authToken=&cdForum=Fx2UYC1FC06SU8S&cdPage=1&cdSort=newest&cdThread=Tx3PS2NSDZLSKI

Including this robust related comment which doesn't presume guilt on the part of unwitting offenders:

Posted on Mar 6, 2014 11:36:24 AM PST
Spinner, Sharon L Reddy says:
To Amazon:

There is no excuse for not pinning a warning to new authors not to post a book description or review request at the top of the Top Reviewers Forum. That should also be in guidelines to publishing authors. The participants of the forum are, of course, tired of people, who don't know the rules, interrupting their discussions. That situation is an excuse and invitation to psychotics, dedicated victimizers, who consider emotional abuse fun. All it takes to fix it is pinning a post. No excuse.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2014 10:59:02 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 25, 2014 1:53:03 PM PDT
Ramsay Wood says:
OK, but the following stark *No Trespassing!* sign is immediately clearer to any newbie author when it appears on the actual Discussion Heading:
*#11 Change. Can You Tell a Story in 25 Words Or Less? Come and Give it a Try. (No Self Promo)*

This point was recently (March 2014) bandied back and forth in the Amazon Discussions Feedback Forum
http://www.amazon.com/forum/meet%20our%20authors/ref=cm_cd_pg_oldest?_encoding=UTF8&authToken=&cdForum=Fx2UYC1FC06SU8S&cdPage=1&cdSort=newest&cdThread=Tx3PS2NSDZLSKI

which included this robust related comment which doesn't presume guilt on the part of unwitting offenders:

Posted on Mar 6, 2014 11:36:24 AM PST
Spinner, Sharon L Reddy says:
To Amazon:

There is no excuse for not pinning a warning to new authors not to post a book description or review request at the top of the Top Reviewers Forum. That should also be in guidelines to publishing authors. The participants of the forum are, of course, tired of people, who don't know the rules, interrupting their discussions. That situation is an excuse and invitation to psychotics, dedicated victimizers, who consider emotional abuse fun. All it takes to fix it is pinning a post. No excuse.

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 10:39:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2014 10:40:06 PM PDT
Dave Vicks says:
THE ROADS TO FREEDOM trilogy by Jean-Paul Sartre is really good.Not sure how to pronounce his last name.

Posted on Mar 25, 2014 4:13:38 AM PDT
Bryan Byrd says:
Guiseppe Berto's Incubus. - if Thomas Bernhard had Woody Allen's outlook

The Tenant by Roland Torpor - strange and weird horror. Nice introduction by Thomas Ligotti in this edition concerning 'outsider' literature.
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Discussion in:  Fiction forum
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Initial post:  Oct 20, 2007
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