Reading Suggestions

Find your next great read here

My sources are unreliable, but their stories are fascinating: what to read if you liked Gone Girl and the Unreliable Narrator

Leave a comment

Gone girl : a novelDid you read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl?  Did you love it?  Was it because the characters were so darn nice?  Just people you’d really like to know in real life and have over for dinner?

Thought not.

It was for the twists and turns, right?  The never quite knowing what was really going on? And of course to find out What Really Happened In The End, yes?

Here are more stories with unreliable narrators, stories that will yank the narrative rug out from under your readerly feet in the most delightful and unpredictable of ways.

Printer-friendly version

 

 

Dark Places by Gillian FlynnDark places

 

For a price Libby Day will reconnect with the players that murdered her mother and two sisters in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” Having testified that her brother Ben was the murderer on that fateful night twenty-five years ago, now she is not so sure as, piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

 

a

 

The Dinner by Herman KochThe dinner : a novel

 

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

 

a

 

a

Fight Club by Chuck PalahniukFight Club

Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius, and it’s only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth. As the narrator of Fight Club puts it: “If people thought you were dying, they gave you their full attention.” Where does Tyler Durden come from? Why do his violent schemes so capture the troubled, insomniac narrator? What events bring them to the roof of the world’s tallest building, wired to explode in ten minutes?

a

a

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. WatsonBefore I go to sleep : a novel

Without her husband’s knowledge, Christine, whose memory is damaged by a long-ago accident, is treated by a neurologist who helps her to remember her former self through journal entries until inconsistencies begin to emerge, raising disturbing questions.

a

a

a

a

Defending Jacob by William LandayDefending Jacob : a novel

When his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student, assistant district attorney Andy Barber is torn between loyalty and justice as facts come to light that lead him to question how well he knows his own son.

a

a

a

a

In the Woods by Tana FrenchIn the woods

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home from play. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent wood. When the police arrive, they find only one child, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same wood, he and Detective Cassie Maddox – his partner and closest friend – find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

a

The Exorcist by William BlattyThe exorcist

Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

a

a

a

a

Transition by Iain BanksTransition

There is a world that hangs suspended between triumph and catastrophe, between the dismantling of the Wall and the fall of the Twin Towers, frozen in the shadow of suicide terrorism and global financial collapse. Such a world requires a firm hand and a guiding light. But does it need the Concern: an all-powerful organization with a malevolent presiding genius, pervasive influence and numberless invisible operatives in possession of extraordinary powers? Among those operatives are Temudjin Oh, of mysterious Mongolian origins, an un-killable assassin who journeys between the peaks of Nepal, a version of Victorian London and the dark palaces of Venice under snow; Adrian Cubbish, a restlessly greedy City trader; and a nameless, faceless state-sponsored torturer known only as the Philosopher, who moves between time zones with sinister ease. Then there are those who question the Concern: the bandit queen Mrs. Mulverhill, roaming the worlds recruiting rebels to her side; and Patient 8262, under sedation and feigning madness in a forgotten hospital ward, in hiding from a dirty past. There is a world that needs help; but whether it needs the Concern is a different matter. 

a

Life of Pi by Yann MartelLife of Pi : a novel

Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?

a

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

A governess at a country estate tries to protect the two young children in her care from the evil ghosts she perceives haunting them.

a

a

a

a

a

Atonement by Ian McEwanAtonement : a novel

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper’s son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along with Briony’s sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl’s scheming imagination. And Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will color her entire life.

a

a

a

Blood and Iron by Elizabeth BearBlood and iron

She is known as Seeker. Spellbound by the Faerie Queen, she has abducted human children for her mistress’s pleasure for what seems like an eternity, unable to free herself from servitude and reclaim her own humanity. Seeker’s latest prey is a Merlin. Named after the legendary wizard of Camelot, Merlins are not simply those who wield magic––they are magic. Now, with the Prometheus Club’s agents and rivals from Faerie both vying for the favor of this being of limitless magic to tip the balance of power, Seeker must persuade the Merlin to join her cause—or else risk losing something even more precious and more important to her than the fate of humankind.…

a

a

a

Documents in the Case by Dorothy Sayers

The clues to the death of a fungi expert who had died after eating enough poisonous mushrooms to kill thirty people, lie in a series of seemingly unimportant documents that nevertheless intrigue the victim’s son.

a

Drood by Dan SimmonsDrood : a novel

A tale inspired by the mysterious final years of Charles Dickens finds the fifty-three-year-old literary master irrevocably changed when a train journey with his mistress ends in violence, an event that prompts the writer’s increasing obsession with the London underworld as witnessed by his Salieri-like rival, Wilkie Collins.

a

a

a

a

The Thief by Megan Whalen TurnerThe thief

The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the theif’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

a

a

a

a

a

“Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper” by Robert BlochYours Truly, Jack the Ripper cover

This short story was first published in the July 1943 issue of Weird Tales magazine, and was subsequently republished in a collection of Bloch’s Ripper-themed short stories.  Set in 1943 Chicago,  Sir Guy Hollis, an Englishman with a theory about the motives of the Ripper, attempts to persuade an American psychologist, John Carmody, to help prove him right….which Carmody does in a most startling fashion.  ASK US if you would like to read this story!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s