March 25, 2017

Books with unusual formats

I'm a sucker for books with unusual formats. It's one thing to come across a great story, but it's way more awesome to find one that's told in a unique style rather than the normal prose format. Here are five books with unusual formats that I recommend, in order of how much I enjoyed them:

1. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - This was my favorite read last year. Even if there was nothing special about the book's formatting, I would've loved it. The fact that it's told through message chats, memos, transcripts, schematics, and more makes it one of my favorite books of all time.

2. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - The sequel to Illuminae is as good as the original. If you're going to read Illuminae, you may as well read Gemina too. :-)

3. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski - This is the book that introduced me to the possibilities of unique formats. Even the font colors play a role in this book. The story itself is also gripping and somewhat spooky, and as with Illuminae and Gemina, I'd enjoy the book regardless of the formatting.

4. Night Film by Marisha Pessl - Some readers have compared Night Film with House of Leaves. Although both books are creepy and feature some unusual formatting, the story writing in Night Film doesn't quite compare to House of Leaves, and it doesn't have as much to offer in terms of uniqueness.

5. S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst - Conceptually, S. could've been the best of the lot. Formatted like an old library book titled Ship of Theseus that's been passed back and forth numerous times by two college students who wrote notes in the margins and put inserts between the pages, I loved the idea of the book. Unfortunately, I found the text of Ship of Theseus to be boring, but the margin story and everything else about the book was great.

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