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Guest Post: 5 Bizarro Books I Recommend

Picture of Emily for bizarro books guest post

Today’s post is from Emily who is best known as book.happy on Instagram and bookhappy08 on Twitter. She’s a fantastic Instagrammer, a hard-working member of the social media aspect of our Ladies of Horror Fiction crew, and a good-natured person I count myself lucky to know.

5 Bizarro Books I Recommend

At the beginning of last year, a friend retweeted about an author who was offering to send a valentine or anti-valentine (written by him) if you pre-ordered his book. I was thrilled about this idea because I wanted an anti-valentine sent to my boyfriend from a random Twitter guy, and the book sounded fun, so I pre-ordered it. This was my introduction to Danger Slater and bizarro fiction.

If you aren’t familiar with the bizarro genre, it’s all about weird stories. I tend to consider it a horror subgenre, but this isn’t always the case. It has many different elements from beloved genres, but built in incredibly creative and absurd ways. provides an excellent full explanation of the genre, and I encourage you to check it out. I think there’s a little something for everyone in bizarro when you find the right books for you.

I’m going to list 5 bizarro books that I read within the last year that I think you should read, and start off with He Digs a Hole by Danger Slater since this was my first one. The description of this book is the best attention-grabber, and I was immediately sold. It was such a fun read.

A picture of the book He Digs a Hole by Danger Slater - photo by book.happy

Synopsis: Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Cut off your hands and replace them with gardening tools. Dig a hole. Can you hear the worms calling? Keep digging.

I asked Danger for another recommendation after I finished He Digs a Hole. He kindly suggested Stacking Doll by Carlton Mellick III, which was spot on. There is so much goodness packed into this little book, and I’ve even given a copy as a birthday gift since reading it.

A picture of the book Stacking Doll by Carlton Mellick III - photo by book.happy

Synopsis: Stacking Doll is the story of Benjamin Hammond, a young man who is in love with a Russian nesting doll. But in this world, nesting dolls are not just antique wooden toys. They are a race of people known as Matryoshkans, a subspecies of human who are born with a very peculiar abnormality—they have a collection of smaller people living inside of them.

Benjamin never thought he’d ever fall in love with anyone, let alone a Matryoshkan, but from the moment he met Ynaria he knew she was the only one for him. Although relationships between humans and Matryoshkans are practically unheard of, the two are determined to get married despite objections from their friends and family. After meeting Ynaria’s strict conservative parents, it becomes clear to Benjamin that the only way they will approve of their union is if they undergo The Trial—a matryoshkan wedding tradition where couples lock themselves in a house for several days in order to introduce each other to all of the people living inside of them.

No human has ever gone through The Trial before, so Benjamin has no idea what’s in store for him. He assumes that he’ll love each of Ynaria’s inner selves just as much as he loves her, but as she peels off her layers he realizes that each one is more neurotic and difficult to deal with than the last. And if they’re ever going to be together, Benjamin must fall in love with each and every one of his fiancé’s inner personalities, no matter how strange or disturbing they turn out to be.

Next up is Cockblock by CV Hunt. This one is kind of a blend between bizarro and splatterpunk (in my opinion), and this one is definitely the most extreme of my recommendations. It’s a powerful book, and it has stuck with me since reading it.

A photo of the book Cockblock by C.V. Hunt - photo by book.happy

Synopsis: After the daily grind at their jobs all Sonya and Callie want is to enjoy a quiet night out together at a new restaurant. But making it to their reservation is proving to be a challenge. A few men on the street near their destination verbally assault them. And the situation quickly escalates into a nightmare. Once within the safety of the restaurant the two women discover it’s not just the men outside who’ve lost their minds, men everywhere have gone insane. And they believe they’ve found the origin of the mayhem. A radio in the kitchen is playing a hate filled message against women and it’s being delivered by the President. There’s only one way to stop the men from attacking women and logic tells them they need to terminate the chaos at its source.

All Hail the House Gods by Andrew J. Stone was a total cover buy – it was an Amazon recommendation, and for once Amazon’s creepy insight into my life paid off. This book was a blast & ended up being one of my favorite reads last year.

A photo of the book All Hail the House Gods by Andrew J. Stone - Photo by book.happy

Synopsis: Long live the House Gods! Author Andrew J. Stone (The Mortuary Monster) envisions a unique dystopia where harmony and happiness means feeding our children to sentient, human-eating houses. Can the House Gods be defeated? One family is about to find out . . .

Last but not least is Fortune Box by Madeleine Swann. This was my first read of 2019, and I loved it. If you want an introduction to bizarro through short stories, this would be the one to go with. It was imaginative and entertaining.

A photo of the book Fortune Box by Madeleine Swann - Photo by book.happy

Synopsis: No one knows where or what Tower Ltd Surprise Packages is or why it’s sending gifts to complete strangers across The City. All they know is that each package is the best thing that’s ever happened to them…or the worst.

In one box is a packet of seeds that allows you to grow your perfect date. In another there’s a cupcake that causes anyone who eats it to grow eyeballs all over their skin. There’s also a parcel with a mousetrap that turns all your enemies tiny. Or you could receive your autobiography, which when signed, makes your every thought famous. Or maybe even a key to a secret door that leads to another dimension where all your unfinished and abandoned projects exist. But with each package received comes both fortune and misfortune that will surely result in unexpected consequences.

There are a few others that I read within the last year that were also very enjoyable (so let me know if you want to talk more about bizarro books!), but I think this is a good variety of recommendations. Give bizarro a chance & have fun!

Published inBook TalkGuest Posts


  1. Olly_C

    Great post. I totally agree about Cockblock, I thought it was great

    • I need to read Cockblock.

  2. FAbulous recommendations. I’m going to check them out. Thank you, Emily.

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