Are there any other weird/strange books like House of Leaves where the design is unorthodox?
Posted on 23rd of October, 2019


I don't know if this count but Scorch Atlas by Blake Butler is one of the most unorthodox books that I have ever read in my life. It's basically a bunch of short stories about different types of apocalypses, and it is bizarre. Like in teeth falling from the sky weird. The book itself also looks like it went through an apocalypse.
It is interesting. I personally think that books like House of Leaves is an attempt by traditional publishers to fight back against the prevalence of ebooks. There's no way that physical books can beat ebooks in terms of convenience, so they have to fight back in other ways. It wouldn't surprise me if we begin seeing more and more books that make use of the physical characteristics of books in unique ways. On to your question, I would say that Ship of Theseus by Doug Dorst and J. J. Abrams is something that you would love. It's a very meta book because it tells three very different stories in one. The book is filled with all manner of inserts, such as letters and photographs that enhance the reading experience. The core story is about the book, Ship of Theseus by V. M. Straka about an amnesiac called "S" who is kidnapped and finds himself on a mysterious boat. Then there is the story of V.M. Straka, the author of the novel, a mysterious figure who was supposedly killed. Around all of this, there is the story of a grad student, Eric, and undergrad student, Jen, communicating with each other via this book as they try and solve the mystery. It's hard to elaborate on the story without spoilers, but J. J. Abrahams of Lost fame was the creator, so you know that you are in for a real mindbending treat.
There are only a couple of these types of books that I know about:

1. Tree of Codes ~ Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer took Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schultz and cut out the majority of the words to create his own book, Tree of Codes. It's not just a book, but a sculptural object, which would be hard to replicate in e-book form.

2. Kapow! ~ Adam Thirlwell. Don't ask me what the story is about, but it takes place during the Arab Spring, and the print in the book is as chaotic as the story. The text in this book is all over the place, and to read it all, you have to open and unfold pages and try to follow sentences that are printed every which way.

3. Composition No. 1 ~ Marc Saporta. I haven't read this one myself, but from what I can gather, it is basically a box with loose pages that can be shuffled in any order and then read as a story.

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