The Greatest "Contemporary, Surrealism" Books Since 1980

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 313 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Genres

Contemporary

Contemporary books are a genre that focuses on stories set in the present day, often exploring current social, cultural, and political issues. These books are typically written in a modern style and often feature relatable characters dealing with real-life situations. Contemporary books can cover a wide range of topics, from romance and family drama to coming-of-age stories and thrillers. The genre is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we live in, making it a popular choice for readers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues.

Surrealism

Surrealism is a genre of literature that explores the subconscious mind and the irrational aspects of human experience. It often features dreamlike imagery, unexpected juxtapositions, and a sense of the uncanny. Surrealist literature seeks to challenge conventional thinking and push the boundaries of reality, often blurring the lines between fantasy and reality. It is a genre that celebrates the power of the imagination and encourages readers to question their perceptions of the world around them.

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  1. 1. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    A man's search for his wife's missing cat evolves into a surreal journey through Tokyo's underbelly, where he encounters a bizarre collection of characters with strange stories and peculiar obsessions. As he delves deeper, he finds himself entangled in a web of dreamlike scenarios, historical digressions, and metaphysical investigations. His reality becomes increasingly intertwined with the dream world as he grapples with themes of fate, identity, and the dark side of the human psyche.

    The 339th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro

    The book follows a renowned pianist who arrives in a Central European city to give a concert. However, his time there becomes increasingly surreal and disjointed as he is pulled in different directions by the demands of the locals, his own past, and his responsibilities. The narrative explores themes of memory, time, and self-delusion, creating a dream-like atmosphere that blurs the lines between reality and illusion.

    The 1847th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Clay Machine-gun by Victor Pelevin

    "The Clay Machine-gun" is a surreal and complex novel that explores the nature of reality and illusion. The story is set in post-Soviet Russia and follows a protagonist who has multiple identities, including a poet in 19th-century Russia, a 20th-century psychiatric patient, and a 21st-century advertising executive. The narrative moves between these identities and realities, blurring the lines between them and creating a layered and philosophical exploration of Russian society, identity, and the human psyche.

    The 2073rd Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai

    "The Melancholy of Resistance" is a surreal and philosophical novel set in a small Hungarian town that becomes isolated by a massive snowstorm. The arrival of a mysterious circus, featuring a stuffed whale and a silent, enigmatic leader, brings with it a wave of change and unrest. The narrative explores themes of chaos, resistance, and the struggle for power through the perspectives of various townsfolk, including a reclusive music theorist and a former political dissident. The novel is known for its complex, long-winded sentences and its bleak yet profound examination of human nature and society.

    The 2601st Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

    "Kafka On The Shore" is a surreal and philosophical novel by Haruki Murakami that follows two parallel storylines. The first is that of Kafka Tamura, a 15-year-old boy who runs away from home to escape an Oedipal prophecy and searches for his missing mother and sister. The second storyline follows Nakata, an elderly man who has lost his memory but possesses the ability to communicate with cats. As their paths converge, they encounter strange and mystical events that challenge their perceptions of reality and identity. The novel explores themes of fate, free will, and the human psyche, and is a captivating and thought-provoking read.

    The 2815th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Nostalgia by Mircea Cărtărescu

    "Nostalgia" is a collection of interconnected stories that explore themes of memory, desire, and the blurred boundaries between reality and imagination. Set in a surreal version of Bucharest, the book delves into the lives of various characters, including a young boy fascinated by his eccentric aunt, a man haunted by dreams of his childhood, and a woman searching for her lost lover. Through vivid and poetic prose, the author weaves together these narratives, creating a mesmerizing exploration of the human experience and the power of nostalgia.

    The 4129th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. The Fountains of Neptune by Rikki Ducornet

    The novel centers around a character named Nicky, who wakes up from a coma after a shipwreck with no memory of his past. As the story unfolds, he starts to recall fragments of his life, his obsessions, and his encounters with strange and eccentric characters. The book is filled with surreal and dreamlike sequences, exploring themes of memory, obsession, and the power of the imagination. It is set in a coastal town filled with quirky inhabitants and is rich in maritime and nautical imagery.

    The 9198th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download