Top 10 MOST BIZARRE Books In The World!

  Top 10 MOST BIZARRE Books In The World!

From mysterious ancient scrolls with weird images and encrypted texts to non-linear stories that might make you afraid of your own house, today we look at the Most Bizarre Books in the World!


Some letters in the English alphabet are more important than others. Normally it would go without saying that the vowels are pretty essential, especially if you’re writing a book. In 1939, Ernest Vincent Wright challenged this conventional wisdom by reviving an Ancient Greek writing prompt called a lipogram - a piece of writing that deliberately excludes certain words or letters. In this case, Wright wrote the 50,000   -word novel Gadsby with the letter “E” appearing in less than five words. Widely marketed as the “Novel Without the Letter ‘E,’” the story focuses on the decline and subsequent rebirth of a fictional American city, which is saved by the titular male protagonist and a band of adolescents. As Gadsby stumbles through major American historical episodes a la Forrest Gump, Wright punctuates the narrative experience by forcing the reader to miss the absence of a letter in the alphabet the way many of us miss details of childhood or our hometowns.   

9-Finnegans Wake 

James Joyce’s work profoundly influenced contemporaries and future admirers like Samuel Beckett, Bret Easton Ellis, Michael Cunningham, and many more. Often cited as one of the most difficult books to read in the English language, Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake has been baffling readers ever since its initial publication in 1939. The text appears as an amalgamation of multiple iterations of English, with accompanying phrases and puns taken from other languages and dialects. On top of the interconnected word usage, this story about an Irish family on the decline is conveyed to the reader through an unending, sometimes incoherent stream-of-consciousness. Forever infuriating and unexpectedly insightful, Finnegans Wake is objectively one of the weirdest masterpieces ever committed to the page. 

8-House of Leaves 

In 1990, author Mark Z. Danielewski boarded a bus in New York bound for Los Angeles to visit his ailing father. In order to quell his anxiety and busied thoughts, Danielewski began feverishly writing in a cheap notebook. The story he began during that sleepless trip across the United States eventually became House of Leaves, a book that most committed readers point to as one of the most taxing and frightening novels ever written. The book is a piece of ergodic literature, a genre defined by the approach of challenging readers by forcing them to pursue non-traditional means of consuming the information on the page. In House of Leaves, multiple narrators, represented by different typefaces and fonts, are followed throughout the story. Several of the footnotes have their own footnotes. On more than a few pages, the text is arranged into different shapes, puzzles and codes. Most critics would describe the book as an intense and disturbing experimental horror novel. Stephen King said it gave him nightmares. Some readers have reported sensations of increased paranoia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia as a result of reading House of Leaves, mainly due to the plot’s detailed exploration of a house that keeps changing its structure into maze-like configurations. Others would call it an epic, sweeping love story. Many consider it to be a pointed and humorous satire of academic criticism. Regardless of which camp you end up in, it’s undeniable that House of Leaves falls into a bizarre category of books you should dive into with an open mind, a willingness to re-   read certain chapters, and always, with the lights on.  

7-The Ripley Scroll 

With only 21 copies in existence, the Ripley Scroll is a profoundly rare piece of literary history. Its authorship is widely attributed to transcendentalist thinker George Ripley, despite the fact that it first appeared roughly twenty years after his life ended. This is because the bulk of the original manuscript consists of Ripley’s verses on the science and philosophy that inspired the Medieval concept of Alchemy. But Ripley had no proven role in the ornate series of illustrations depicting sweeping alchemical processes, as they were provided by one or more unknown artists in the decades following his passing. These canvasses depict the speculative science and thought behind the Philosopher’s Stone - a mythical object capable of transforming ordinary metals into gold and bestowing eternal life. The scroll’s largest iterations extend to 18 and 1/2 feet long and 23 inches wide. They feature immensely detailed scenes that depict impossible interactions between man and nature, including a sentient sun showering liquid light down upon a crowned man-bird hybrid following the opening of a mystical egg by the Egyptian god of healing.   

6-Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age 

One day, an elderly Czech man named Rake walks around outside in a public place, stumbles upon a group of people lounging beside a fountain and proceeds to tell them the story of his complicated life and past loves. The experiences he recounts both comically and tragically mirror major events in Czech history. This plot may not seem complex at first, but it becomes infinitely more layered upon the discovery that the entire story is told in one continuous sentence. Memorable and controversial in equal measure, Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is a revolutionary statement about the complicated relationship between a man the country he calls home.   


Have you ever opened a book that contained specific instructions on how to read it? If you ever pick up Julio Cort├ízar’s 1963 novel Hopscotch, you’ll find that the author provides two diverging options on how to process the book and its secrets. Of the novel’s seemingly unrelated 155 chapters, the latter 99 are initially dismissed as being unimportant to the overall story. This is stated at the very beginning. So one option available to the reader is to read chapters 1-56 as a standalone work. The second option is to read each chapter through to the end in a unique pattern determined by Cort├ízar himself. An unwritten third option allows for the reader to choose their own approach when consuming the flow of information that the book has to offer. As a flash point of the counterculture movement, Hopscotch is a deeply involved artistic reaction to the perpetual conflict between organized society and chaotic disorder that defined the 20th Century. 

4-The Codex Seraphinianus 

Most adults have had the experience of being unable to understand something they’re reading, but very few can say it about a picture book. The Codex Seraphinianus is no ordinary picture book; it is a sprawling, two-volume, over 300-page-long encyclopedia of Bosch-like illustrations ranging from the humorously satirical to the heavily surreal. You’d think this would be enough to set it apart from other works, but in addition to its unique imagery, whatever story or statement the book has within its text is either coded, encrypted or intentionally misleading. And did we mention the text is made to appear handwritten? The Codex was composed by Italian architect-turned-   visual artist Luigi Serafini over a six-year period in the 1970s. Originally published in 1981, it continues to fascinate and perplex readers with its mixture of existing and made-up languages, its singular stylized text, and its sometimes shocking, subversive illustrations. As can be seen in some image, Serafini mixes the anatomy of a horse with that of a caterpillar on wheels, intentionally muddling the distinction between that which is possible in nature with the fantastical or ridiculous. The accompanying text at the bottom of the page imitates the formality of an old-fashioned medical textbook, highlighting the author’s preoccupation with frivolous subjects being communicated through formal means.
3-The Story of the Vivian Girls 

When the contents of hospital janitor Henry Darger’s small Chicago apartment were being sorted in the wake of his passing in April of 1973, his landlords discovered a massive collection of writings and illustrations. In the ensuing months, various artists and experts painstakingly pieced together the manuscript and its accompanying watercolor imagery into the story Darger intended it to be. Its full official title is The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion. That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, so it makes sense that the title is often shortened. The full multi-volume text is over 15,000 pages single-spaced, and punctuated by original, hand-painted scenes ranging in size from a small canvas to huge 30-foot-tall pieces of mixed media. It is not clear when Darger began working on the story, though there are many indications that it took him decades to complete it. In addition to being a challenging account of the trials of childhood, The Story of the Vivian Girls is one of the few books you can find that comes with its own museum exhibit.
2-The Smithfield Decretals 

Originating in early 14th Century France, the manuscript now known as The Smithfield Decretals changed considerably over the course of 40 years. The text began as a recording of Pope Gregory IX’s thoughts on Catholic doctrine, stemming from his attempt to exact his own authority over the spread of Christianity. Eventually ending up in Southern England by the mid-1300s, the volume soon became an elongated snapshot of Medieval life and lore. Its wild illustrations include impossible structures, militant rabbits and knights battling giant snails, all of which were added over time by numerous artists and scribes. Because of The Smithfield Decretals’ odd mixture of religious and secular imagery, as well as the eccentricities of the scenes it depicts, the manuscript’s content is still turning heads to this day.
1-The Rohonc Codex 

First appearing in early-19th Century Hungary, the Rohonc Codex is a volume named after the now- renamed city of Rohonc, where it was housed in a library for many years. Originally mistaken for a prayer book, the text has never ceased to confound researchers and historians due to both its unknown author and mysteriously coded text, which has yet to be translated. In addition to the symbols that guard its secret meaning, the 450-page-long item features 90 rough illustrations of indeterminate relationship to the text. As if the intrigue didn’t end there, the experts have also been stumped by whether the pages of the Rohonc Codex are meant to be read left to right or right to left. Theories that the whole thing may be an elaborate hoax are as old as the book itself. We’ll leave you to decide. Who knows - maybe you even stand a chance of cracking this supposedly uncrackable code on your next day off. 

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