A mind-fuck novel is one that seriously fucks with your sense of reality and perceptions of truth. Probably one of the earliest was Homer’s Iliad, which still boggles minds today with one-eyed monsters, seductive sea creatures and devious gods. His audience must have been as deeply enthralled as present day fans of horror and science fiction, and just as receptive of possibilities as a reader of Douglas Adams.
What is Your Favorite Mind Fuck Novel?
Everyone likes a good mind fuck now and then, especially when our minds start bouncing off walls of everyday repetitions of the same ole thoughts, same ole activities. For a mild mind fuck, mainstream readers follow the horror applications of Stephen King, while the more sophisticated ones delve into the shuddering unrealities creeping into realities of H.P. Lovecraft.
Not all novels that seriously mess with your head are horror stories, however, nor are they an introduction to fantastic creatures and maiden voyages into the unknown. Herman Hesse, largely regarded as a spiritualist writer attempting to combine Eastern religion with Western philosophy, took a maiden journey into the psychosis of the mind when he created Steppenwolf. His main character, Harry Haller, a very ordinary, middle-aged man steps into a magic theater that pulls him in and makes him a part of it through the engaging actress, Hermine. Hermine makes him question the morality of war and explore the passions of jealousy while teaching him to indulge himself in song and dance. As the plot thickens, there is a hint that he murders Hermine, although the conjecture is that the murder wasn’t the sin, but that he thought of it at all.
Some authors consistently mind fuck. Kurt Vonnegut liked nothing more than to twist his readers’ minds. A prison survivor of World War II, he fictionalized his experiences as a prisoner of war in the novel, Slaughter House – Five through an unreliable narrator who tells the story of Billy Pilgrim who believes himself to be in an alien zoo and who is traveling in and out of time.
Slaughter House – Five, believed to be Vonnegut’s most autobiographical novel, became the mind-fucking story that shot him to fame, but his most chilling mind fuck fiction is Cat’s Cradle. The outspoken anti-war activist fictionalizes the creator of the nuclear bomb with a narrator who seeks to find his human side. For a more satirical bend, he sends his readers on a cruise to the Galapagos, where the very creation of humanity is examined from an evolutionary standpoint.
The Most Mind Fuck Novels Ever Written
Mind fucking stories challenge your perceptions. They go above and beyond the duty of presenting the frailties of the human condition by challenging you to go inside the protagonist’s mind and follow the ramblings, delusions and psychosis of the narrator, who trembles on the edge of harsh reality and paranoia.
Perhaps one of the biggest mind-fuck novels was William S. Borough’s, Naked Lunch. First published in Paris in 1959 because it did not pass US obscenity laws, which relented in 1962 when it was determined the book had redeeming features. The story is about a junkie who follows the heroin circuit between the US and Mexico. It is presented as a series of vignettes that can be read in any order and without a clear plot ending. Borough’s statement was “naked lunch” meant exactly that; that frozen moment when everyone sees what’s at the end of the fork.
Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson muscled together one of the most mind fuck novels ever written. The Illuminatus! Trilogyis a set of three novels that romp without shame through a number of real and imagined conspiracy theories related to the author’s version of the Illuminati. Set in a post-modern world of drugs, sex and artificial intelligence, our adventurer slowly pulls out the groundwork of acceptable realities and replaces it with increasingly outrageous antagonists, ending with a sea monster who is given a computer to keep always loneliness.
What are Some Good Mind Fuck Novels?
Not all mind fuck novels are a psychedelic ride into the mystic realms where reality collide with imagination. A master of irony, Joseph Conrad, in one of his latest works, wrote the story, “The Shadow-Line” with a dual narrative approach. The story involves a young man who is never named, and an older, wiser, more experienced one and their resulting conflict. Many people read supernatural ingredients into the gritty novella, but Conrad responded by saying, “the world of the living contains enough marvels and mysteries as it is”.
If Conrad relied heavily on irony, David Foster Wallace relied on satire and the extreme use of footnotes to create his unconventional narrative structure for Infinite Jest. The outrageous story depicts a future world in which each year is subsidized by a specific corporate sponsor for tax revenue. It contains four interwoven narratives, with each narrative representing a specific group and centered around a film, the Infinite Jest, that is so entertaining, the viewers lose interest in doing anything else but watch it, eventually dying.
New Mind-Fuck Novels
Modern mind-fuck novels incorporate non-lineal narration, stream of consciousness, space travel and creatures as fantastic as the protagonists in Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece. Blindsight by Peter Watts, a Hugo Award finalist for 2006, places its readers on a mission to discover the source of a radio signal within the solar system, bringing along protagonists that include five cutting-edge trans-human hyper-specialists, one of which is a genetically reincarnated vampire. In their first contact with alien life, they begin to realize that no matter how hard they try to communicate, neither understand each other.
Diane Setterfield broke into the field of mind-bending novels by pairing the supernatural with a gothic tale of romance and horror. In The Thirteenth Tale, an amateur biographer who is interviewing a famous novelist, begins asking questions about a thirteenth story that had been referred to but never written.Although initially, she has decided not to write the novelist’s biography as the author has never clarified what was true and what was fiction in her writing, she makes a commitment after the novelist agrees to state three verifiable truths about her stories. Death and its effects on the survivors, is a recurring theme throughout the narrative that begins delving deeply into the secrets and dark passages of the two women. The story breaks from tradition by suddenly switching from third person, past tense to first person pronoun, marking a change in direction as it splits into two separate story tellers; one who struggles with her ghosts to discover the truth about the March family and the another who tells the story of the March family through her own view.
Modern mind-fucking novels give you vertigo. You lose all sense of dimension. In his debut novel, “House of Leaves”, defies traditional literary presentation by using copious footnotes, which often contained footnotes within themselves, including references to fictional articles, books and films. Some of the pages contain only a few words or lines of text arranged in strange ways to mirror the events of the story. House of Leavesis distinctive for its multiple narrators who interact with each other in elaborate, disorienting ways.
Which Novel is the Biggest Mind Fuck and Why
The best mind fuck stories are an assault on your sensibilities. They make you question your realities. The biggest mind fuck novel however, is a trilogy by L.M. Warren, “The End of the Magical Kingdom”. Using a world filled with talking animals and misunderstood witches who have all the charm of a Walt Disney or Warner Brothers cartoon, his main characters, four young princesses, assault each other and are assaulted with unremitting brutality. The epidemic proportions of their destructive natures reflects the modern day violence of superhero movies, but in the magical kingdoms, there are no super-heroes, just the strong who prey among the weak. It’s a baptism of fire that leaves the reader with the bleak feeling of a victim in a world where only the strong survive.
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