April 7, 2014

Five More Weird, Funny Books You Should Read: a guest post by Jeff Strand, author of "I Have a Bad Feeling About This"

Jeff Strand has a not very brief bio posted HERE on his site. Long story, short: he's a talented author with a penchant for humor and horror. His new novel, I Have a Bad Feeling About This, leans towards the former. You can click HERE to get yourself a copy. Or you can click HERE to read the interview he did with Lisa Morton for Nightmare Magazine. Or you can read his latest guest post right here on the blog. Enjoy.

Five More Weird, Funny Books You Should Read
By Jeff Strand

My last guest blog for Wag the Fox was "Five Weird, Funny NovelsYou Should Read." In an effort to demonstrate my astounding range as a guest blogger, I have decided to do the sequel. As with before, this is not my list of the funniest novels of all time--just five more funny, weird novels you should read, assuming that you like funny, weird novels.

1. The Bear Went Over the Mountain by William Kotzwinkle. An author finishes his novel but loses the manuscript, which is then found by a bear, who publishes it as his own. So, yes, it's a talking bear book. A very funny talking bear book. One where nobody seems to realize that our hero is, in fact, a bear--he's just eccentric, like all genius authors. A great blend of fairy tale whimsy and deep cynicism.

2. Edgar Gets Going by Trevor Strong. Subtitled The Rise And Fall And Rise And Fall of a Fairly Decent Bass Player. An 80's one-hit-wonder gets a second chance at a musical career...in a children's band...dressed as a giant bee. This very funny, shamelessly silly book is a delight from beginning to end, and even more of a delight after the end, when the complete lyrics to all of the made-up songs that are referenced during the book are included.

3. Laughin' Boy by Bradley Denton. A group of terrorists at a carnival open fire and massacre dozens of people. One of the survivors, Danny Clayton, is captured on video, laughing hysterically. This makes him one of the most hated people in America...and might just get him his own TV show. Written before 9/11 and the Mass Shooting of the Week phenomena, Laughin' Boy is a truly bizarre satire of celebrities and the media.

4. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk. I want to read all of Chuck Palahniuk's books, but I've only read four, and of the four, this is the funniest. And also the most accessible, though still ultra-weird. His novel Diary was too weird for me. Someday I will revisit Pygmy, which was so weird that I only read the first chapter. But Choke was the right level of weirdness for me, and I loved the hell out of it.

5. This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong. The sequel to John Dies at the End is even funnier than the original. You could say "It's a zombie comedy!" but then you'd need the crap slapped out of you for categorizing it as something as simple as a zombie comedy. A fairly long book that is more inventive than six or seven even longer books combined. 

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