Off-beat, Eclectic, Quirky, Slightly Askew Fiction

The Road to Wellville

By T. Coraghessan Boyle

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"Will Lightbody is a man with a stomach ailment whose only sin is loving his wife, Eleanor, too much. Eleanor is a health nut of the first stripe, and when in 1907 she journeys to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's infamous Battle Creek Spa to live out the vegetarian ethos, poor Will goes, too. So begins T. Coraghessan Boyle's wickedly comic look at turn-of-the-century fanatics in search of the magic pill to prolong their lives--or the profit to be had from manufacturing it."

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The Tooth Fairy

By Graham Joyce

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It began as an experiment in college -- a seemingly harmless investigation into "lucid dreaming:-- the ability to control one's dreams.
Sam and his friends are like any gang of normal young boys…until the day Sam wakes to find the Tooth Fairy sitting on the edge of his bed.

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The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts

By Louis de Bernieres

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"This rambunctious first novel by the author of the bestselling Corelli's Mandolin is set in an impoverished, violent, yet ravishingly beautiful country somewhere in South America. When the haughty Dona Constanza decides to divert a river to fill her swimming pool, the consequences are at once tragic, heroic, and outrageously funny."

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The Worst Day of My Life, So Far

By M. A. Harper

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A middle-aged woman is forced to return to a home state she'd rather forget…and come to terms with a past filled with the shadows of her mother--a once vibrant femme fatale now suffering from Alzheimer's.

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To Say Nothing of the Dog

By Connie Willis

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Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump. It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier.

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Vernon God Little

By D.B.C. Pierre

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"In the town jail of Martirio, Texas--under the terrifying care of the dynastic Gurie family, and wearing only his New Jack trainers and underpants--15-year-old Vernon Little is in trouble. His friend, the mysterious Jesus, has just blown away 16 of his classmates before turning the gun on himself."
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Walking Across Egypt

By Clyde Edgerton

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Mattie Rigsbee is seventy-eight. She lives by herself in Listre, North Carolina (near Bethel). She claims she's "slowing down," but she still cuts her own grass and runs the Lottie Moon missions fund drive at Listre Baptist Church. This is the scene into which Edgerton drops Wesley Benfield -- adolescent, illegitimate, and delinquent, with a mouth full of foul language and bad teeth and a craving for good food.

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Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, and Other Disasters

By Jean Shepherd

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The creator of A Christmas Story shares more of growing up in the Midwest--this time during his teenaged years:
"...a universal (and achingly funny) orchestration of Midwestern puberty rites, from the gut-wrenching playground antics of one Delbert Bumpus, to the supernal glow surrounding unapproachable high school beauty Daphne Bigelow, to the memorable disaster that was Shepherd's (and everyone else's) junior prom."
Stories include:
The grandstand passion play of Delbert and the Bumpus hounds --County fair! -- Scut Farkas and the murderous Mariah -- Ollie Hopnoodle's haven of bliss -- The star-crossed romance of Josephine Cosnowski --Daphne Bigelow and the spine-chilling saga of the snail-encrusted tinfoil noose - - The return of the smiling Wimpy doll -- Wanda Hickey's night of golden memories.

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Watching TV with the Red Chinese

By Luke Whisnant

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Readers see themselves and their society through the eyes of three visiting Chinese graduate students who are perplexed by the difference between Tide, Cheer, and Biz; Monday Night Football; Dallas; and other American cultural phenomena as viewed through the tube in 1980s Cleveland.

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What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

By Peter Hedges

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"Gilbert Grape is devoted to taking care of his family, which includes an obese mother and a mentally impaired brother. He feels the hopelessness of his life in a rural community when a young woman breezes into town and changes everything."
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