What’s the oddest book you’ve ever read? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it make you think?

I’m going to cheat and list three books for this Booking Through Thursday prompt.

  • For sheer randomness and surreal oddity, I nominate Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
  • For making no sense at all and being indecipherably odd and confusing, I have to vote for Sandra Cisneros’ A House on Mango Street.

I quite enjoyed the Alice books when I read them (though the Disney cartoon always creeped me out as a child). My favorite part was the Jabberwocky poem, which my mom had memorized. We read it together for school, and those were some of the most fun English classes I had as we explored the nonsense words and their supposed meanings. I didn’t really understand the concept of “Nonsense”, being a rather serious and literal-minded little person, but I had fun nonetheless.

Cisneros’ House on Mango Street was nowhere near as enjoyable. I also had to read that in school, and the only question that it inspired me to ask was “Why am I reading this drivel?”. My full review can be seen in an earlier post, 10 Bad Books, but, to be nice, I’ll post it here.

“This was my first experience with completely incoherent writing. Each chapter was a separate vignette written in a semi-stream-of-consciousness style, wholly unconnected to the chapters surrounding it. She focused on legs, hips, the laundrymat, anything and everything. It’s heralded as great coming-of-age novel, but – even at 14, when I had to read it – I felt that it was overly simplistic and well below my reading level.”

Anyways, those are the oddest books I’ve ever read. Perhaps I’ll find one that beats them someday, but I doubt it. While I enjoy the surreal, my tastes usually lean in a more easily-understood and less random direction. I guess I never did learn to fully appreciate Nonsense. 😉