Obscure one but good ones....

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Obscure one but good ones....

Postby majomull » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:26 pm

While recently reorganizing my bookshelves I came across some favorite novels that people may never have heard of. Do you have a book or series that you seem to have been the only to buy ? If so what might it be?
For starters: Barry Hughart's three novels featuring Master Li, and Number Ten Ox. Best described as "Stories of an ancient China that never was".
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Sister Jennifer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:05 am

G'day majomull, one of my favourite books is; Me Cheeta. It's the autobiography of Cheeta the chimpanzee from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan series. It's possibly the best autobiography I've ever read. I've never met another living soul who's read it. Probably say's more about me really.

This is Cheeta talking about the first time he tried a banana, "To be honest what changed everything for me was a fruit - the banana. My first banana! I remember thinking, Why don't we eat these? Why didn't we have these in the forest? I had a similar feeling years later, sipping my first properly mixed martini - a pulse of surprise that it was legal. Same as my first snort of cocaine off Constance Bennett's breasts. The flesh: firm with a kind of memory of a snap to it, but melting as you held it in your mouth. This is the banana, not Connie's breasts."

Never mind that it's a chimpanzee writing in the first person. It's gut-bustingly funny, it has moments of incredible sadness, it's a joy to read.

To keep on topic, I hadn't heard of Barry Hughart before ;) .

Happy reading!
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:17 am

A friend of mine has read that book and loved it! :D
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Sister Jennifer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:20 am

Whooohooo! :D
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:50 am

majomull wrote:While recently reorganizing my bookshelves I came across some favorite novels that people may never have heard of. Do you have a book or series that you seem to have been the only to buy ? If so what might it be?
For starters: Barry Hughart's three novels featuring Master Li, and Number Ten Ox. Best described as "Stories of an ancient China that never was".

These ones I have the hardbacks, and they are fairly well known.
Master Li
1. The Bridge of Birds (1984)
2. The Story of the Stone (1988)
3. Eight Skilled Gentlemen (1990)

also in an omnibus version
The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox (1998)
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby =Tamar » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:54 pm

Here's a short list of undeservedly obscure books:
Barry Hughart, of course
Anderson, Poul: A Midsummer Tempest
Bramah, Ernest: various Kai Lung books
DeCarlo, Elisa: (1) The Devil You Say. (circa 1992), and (2) Strong Spirits. (1994, prequel story)
Delaney, Joseph & Marc Stiegler: Valentina - Soul In Sapphire
Dolamore, Jacklyn: (1) Magic Under Glass, (2) Magic Under Stone
Forward, Eve: Villains by Necessity (1995)
Gardner, Craig Shaw: The Other Sinbad, A Bad Day for Ali Baba, The Last Arabian Night
Friesner, Esther: a related series of four: 1. Mustapha and His Wise Dog (circa 1985),
2. Spells of Mortal Weaving, 3. The Witchwood Cradle, 4. The Water King's Laughter
Smith, L. Neil: Their Majesties' Bucketeers (1981)
Turtledove, Harry: The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump
Willis, Connie: Uncharted Territory
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Sister Jennifer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:12 pm

I have Craig Shaw Gardner's Cineverse Cycle Omnibus. Very good it is too. It was the Josh Kirby illustrations on the cover that made me pick it up.
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Catch-up » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:29 pm

One of my all time favorite books is Naked Came the Sasquatch by John Boston.

Michael Fenberg, editor of a small, eclectic newspaper in a rugged community in the Sierra Nevadas, is out to solve a series of grisly killings. He knows that a monster is committing the murders. What he doesn't know is which monster. And whichever one it is, why is the monster so interested in murdering the woman with whom he finds himself helplessly falling in love? John Boston's first novel is as hilarious as it is scarifying, a highly original whodunnit that turns into a whatdunnit and finally evolves into a which-what-dunnit.


It actually says "scarifying" on the back, that's not a typo. This is one of the few books I'll re-read and I still love it. It was perfectly set up for a sequel, but he never wrote it.
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Dotsie » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:53 pm

I trust your taste in books, so if I ever see that one I'll get it ;) There's one on Amazon marketplace, but it says it's 33 pages long :?
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby The Mad Collector » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:48 pm

The Kai Lung stories are very good and very very dated now, however they are still fun. I have hundreds of books nobody else seems to have read in the last 50 years, authors that dropped out of fashion such as Benjamin Disraeli or André Maurois both of which were best known as politicians but were also fine novelists and biographers in their day. Or people writing out of their normal area such as AA Milne's The Red House Mystery which is his only detective novel.
One of those? Oh I'm sure I have one somewhere..

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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Catch-up » Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:25 pm

Dotsie wrote:I trust your taste in books, so if I ever see that one I'll get it ;) There's one on Amazon marketplace, but it says it's 33 pages long :?


There are a bunch on AbeBooks.com, a lot are under $10. There's one under $5 that would be shipping from Sweden here:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=4438837806&searchurl=sts%3Dt%26tn%3Dnaked%2Bcame%2Bthe%2Bsasquatch
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Quatermass » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:14 pm

I'm not sure whether the books I will mention are considered obscure. Maybe obscure by a mainstream audience, but not to genre fans. However...

House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (very bizarre but very good and indepth psychological horror book)

The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (a good, semi-military science fiction series, I've done a thread on it before)

Jennifer Government by Max Barry (imagine a world taken over by corporations. Yeah, it's like that, but a good book)

The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliot (another horror novel, this one by an Aussie, about a sinister circus, and which makes Something Wicked This Way Comes look tame)

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (imagine a world where fallout from an experimental weapon can cause anything imagined to happen. Think about it very carefully. You may now panic)

It should be said that a lot of these books, hell, all of them save for one (the Vorkosigan Saga series), I have read after finding them during reading/writing research on the internet. So not exactly obscure, but not particularly known outside the genre.
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Catch-up » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Quatermass wrote:
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (imagine a world where fallout from an experimental weapon can cause anything imagined to happen. Think about it very carefully. You may now panic)


I read that one! It was good.
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby Sister Jennifer » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:30 pm

I've read Jennifer Government. Loved it.
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Re: Obscure one but good ones....

Postby high eight » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:22 pm

Anything by Keith Roberts (Except Pavane and possibly the Anita stories) would count as obscure, which is a pity because he was a very good writer (though by all acounts, a right pain in the bum personality-wise).

Hugart's Chinese stories are lovely and I suspect that Terry had them in mind when he wrote Interesting Times.
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