I’ve always loved books that challenge me; books that make me re-think the ordinary; books that teach me something about writing. Usually those are the books with strange narrative structure.
By ‘strange’, I mean non-linear. Or maybe just told in an unexpected way. Books with time jumps, or multiple perspectives, or cross-mediums.
Here are 7 recommendations for books with strange structure.
A Few Of My All-Time Favourites
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Follows Sasha Blake and her music executive boss Bennie Salazar (and many, many side characters) as they navigate life, family, identity, adolescence, and all of that stuff!
Chapters of short stories with characters that interweave throughout the entire novel. There’s also a chapter that’s told as a PowerPoint presentation which is just as amazing as it sounds.
The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
The FBI discovers a dossier of documents detailing strange happenings in the United States, from colonial times to present day. Conspiracies abound!
Shows all the documents (photographs, letters, interview transcripts) alongside the commentary of FBI agent T.P. in the margins of the book.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
I didn’t include this one in my video but it’s definitely a fave and deserves a mention!
Clare falls in love with Henry, a time traveler. They’re destined to be together, but time has other plans.
Each chapter jumps between past and present in no real logical order as Clare and Henry fall in love, lose each other, and find each other throughout their lives.
What Are Your Recommendations?
There are so many books that have ‘strange’ narrative structure and I’ve obviously missed some! What are your favourites? Comment below!
I love these kinds of books and am always on the lookout for more to add to my TBR.