Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2015

Time again for the year end list. This year I had a hard time pinning down just ten books. As you'll see, I technically didn't, but it's my list, so I can do what I want.

10. A God of Hungry Walls by Garrett Cook

Angry and confrontational horror fiction. This book does to the haunted house genre what Gaspar Noe's Irreversible did for rape and revenge films.

Full review here.
Buy it here.

9. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli

One of, if not the, best comics I've ever read. 

Full review here.
Buy it here.

8. Valencia by James Nulick 

A melancholy and poetic farewell to childhood and to life. 

Full review here.
Buy it here.
7. Black House Rocked by Paul Bingham and Emril Krestle

Krestle and Bingham paint vivid and bloody images in this "literary split single."

Full review here.
Buy it here.

6. Raping the Gods by Brian Whitney

Spiritual vacuousness and self-destruction driven by need has never been so hilarious.

Full review here.
Buy it here. 

5. If on a winter's night a traveler by Italo Calvino

It's a testament to Calvino's ability as a writer to create something as metafictional and postmodernist as this novel about novels, while still remaining as readable and entertaining as it is. 

Full review here.
Buy it here.

4. In the Sky/The Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau 

Both of these books became instant favorites of mine after reading them. Flowers grown in blood loomed over by an oppressively vast sky.

In the Sky review here.
Buy In the Sky here.
Buy The Torture Garden Here.

3. NVSQVAM (nowhere) by Ann Sterzinger

Sterzinger keeps you laughing to keep you from crying. But you'll still cry eventually.

Full review here.
Buy it here.

2. The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

Besides being the best crime novel I've read, it's also the best novel about repression in mid 20th century America, outside of maybe Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road. Also, if a better exploration of a disturbed mind exists in American fiction, I haven't read it. An absolute classic disguised as a pulp crime thriller. 

Buy it here.

1. Submission/The Elementary Particles by Michel Houellebecq

The West is killing itself, and no one articulates it more eloquently or in a more engaging fashion than this grouchy frog. 

Submission review here
Buy Submission here.
The Elementary Particles review here.
Buy The Elementary Particles here. 

Honorable Mentions

- Haunted Fucking by Philip LoPresti
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
- Beyond Apollo by Barry N. Malzberg
- The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
- Mama Black Widow by Iceberg Slim 
- Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
- The Self-Esteem Holocaust Comes Home by Sam Pink

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