Off-beat, Eclectic, Quirky, Slightly Askew Fiction

A Case of Curiosities

By Allen Kurzweil

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In France, on the eve of the Revolution, a young man named Claude Page sets out to become the most ingenious and daring inventor of his time.

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A Confederacy of Dunces

By John Kennedy Toole

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"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." -- Jonathan Swift

Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans--selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life--is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.

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A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

By Julian Barnes

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An eccentiric, playfully skewed, surprisingly comprehensive chronicle of life on Planet Earth. A novel whose threads of coincidence and hidden connection are woven into a narrative tapestry brilliant with wit, intelligence, and emotion.
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Alive and Kicking

By Michael Levin

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"Ruthlessness, pitched battles, and courtroom scenes are the norm in the Gaines family, but when Harry Gaines dies and leaves the family $60 million if they can learn to get along--all hell breaks loose."

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All Families Are Psychotic

By Douglas Coupland

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"The most disastrous family reunion in the history of fiction. The Drummond family descends upon the state of Florida, cutting a swath through Disney World, Cape Canaveral, the swamps and the highways, gathering to watch the launch into space of their beloved daughter and sister, Sarah. What should be a cause for celebration becomes instead the impetus for a series of mishaps and coincidences that place them in constant peril. In a family where gunplay, black market negotiations and kidnapping are all part of an afternoon in the sun, you can only imagine what happens when things take a turn for the worse."
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An Underachiever's Diary

By Benjamin Anastas

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William and Clive are mismatched twins. As Clive masters each coming-of-age ritual right on schedule, William...proves himself unequal to every task.

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Behind the Scenes at the Museum

By Kate Atkinson

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A family saga chronicles a century of life as four generations of Yorkshire women move through two World Wars, coronations, secrets, heartbreak, and happiness, all seen through the eyes of an inimitable narrator named Ruby Lennox.

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Breakfast of Champions: Or, Goodbye, Blue Monday!

By Kurt Vonnegut

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"Breakfast Of Champions is vintage Vonnegut. One of his favorite characters, aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. The result is murderously funny satire as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth."

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Catch-22

By Joseph Heller

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"At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service.

"Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved."

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Cold Comfort Farm

By Stella Gibbons

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When a well-educated young socialite in 1930s England is left orphaned and unable to support herself at age twenty-two, she moves in with her eccentric relatives on their farm.

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