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Christian95's avatar

Looking for a book that will blow my mind.Need help...

Asked by Christian95 (3260points) June 24th, 2010

I’m looking for literature not for scientific books.If possible I want a long book to keep me busy for a long time.

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30 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Blow your mind how? Shock? New ideas? Fantasy? Brilliance of style?

What have you been reading lately? What has blown your mind before?

chyna's avatar

The Stand by Stephen King was a very good, long book. It held my attention throughout. I have read it more than once.

dpworkin's avatar

try A la recherche du temps perdu

HGl3ee's avatar

I am excited to try these suggestions!

KhiaKarma's avatar

I don’t think it’ll bow your mind, but it will make you think….

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

I can’t read it now though, with the bleak state of the world.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

“Gravity’s Rainbow” by Thomas Pynchon will keep you busy all summer.

Christian95's avatar

@Jeruba Well I don’t have a very clear idea but I think I’d like an unpredictable fantasy book with an unusual point of view of the author

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Pillars of the Earth and World Without End both by Ken Follett should meet all your criteria.

I hope you all have read these two books and got as much pleasure as I did from reading them.

janbb's avatar

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke blew my mind but it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

Harry Potter!!!!! I have always seen people become obsessed and stuff with the books and didn’t understand why. I thought it would be boring. Now I started reading the first book in the series and it’s pretty damn good! So I highly reccomend it if you haven’t read it…..
The only problem with me is that I don’t have enough time to read it. So I always read everyday in bed to get me sleeping and sometimes early in the morning if I feel like it.
This weekend I am thinking of just sitting around and read!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@stranger_in_a_strange_land : Gravity’s Rainbow gets my vote, too. But I think I would add another Thomas Pynchon novel: Mason and Dixon.

gemiwing's avatar

If you haven’t read it before- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is amazing.

Zyx's avatar

The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett is amazing. And it will keep you busy for years and years, I promise you. It’s intelligent, funny, and an absolutely amazing world.

Look for “The Colour Of Magic” which is part one.
Or you could just buy all these:

Too bad he’s dying a slow horrible death, someone should really look into curing that…

janbb's avatar

Beloved by Toni Morrision is one of the best “blow your mind” books I’ve ever read but it does take some work.

keobooks's avatar

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is technically a teen book, but there is a scene in it that is mindblowingly intense. After I read it it took me months to get it out of my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The book is basically about the US in the near future. For a somewhat convoluted reason, abortion has become 100% illegal—BUT between the ages of 13 – 17, your parents can give you up to the US government and have you “unwound”—which means completely dismembered and sold for spare parts. The main characters are kids who are on the run because they are all runaway “unwinds” for various reasons.

The book is not incredibly realistic, but Shusterman did an amazingly good job at using euphemism and understating things to make subtle but very powerful images and thoughts come to mind when you read it.

Haleth's avatar

@gemiwing I like Neverwhere! Neil Gaiman has great dry humor and a dark, quirky sensibility.

@Christian95 “Well I don’t have a very clear idea but I think I’d like an unpredictable fantasy book with an unusual point of view of the author.” You’ll probably like the Great Book of Amber. says “Roger Zelazny’s books have three things in common: a flawed hero who sometimes fails, endlessly surprising plot twists, and a blend of lyricism, literary allusions, and sly puns that makes the pages fly.”

Anyway, the setting for the series is pretty inventive. It’s a combination of the modern world, some swords and sorcery type fantasy, and things you’d see on an acid trip. The series is a doorstop (you said you wanted to be busy for a while) divided into halves about a father and son. The tone and the narrative voice is modern, not Ye Olde Fantasy. The father, Corwin, reminds me of a tough and cynical film noir detective. His son, Merlin, is a computer programmer who has a dry and snarky wit. The book has a high Holy Shit Quotient. Every time you think the mystery is solved, there’s another, deeper mystery behind it, or a sudden plot twist- the plotting keeps up a brisk pace. And there’s so much secrecy, plotting, and backstabbing going around that you never know who to trust. All the magic in the series is treated as technology- Zelazny explains it logically and sets out consistent rules instead of handwaving everything. That’s cool too.

absalom's avatar

Definitely Mason & Dixon, as @hawaii_jake has said, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, each worth about a month’s reading.

madeinkowloon's avatar

I’m going to second @janbb for Beloved. I loved that book, and in general, I love Morrison. (Song of Solomon still gives me chills)

Another rec is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I’m rereading it for, maybe, the thousandth time since 10th grade. It’s historical fiction, with absolutely beautiful imagery. I don’t have many favourites in this world, and I don’t use that word lightly… but man, TPB?? my absolute favourite.

sarahsugs's avatar

I’m in the middle of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and finding it completely engrossing – very long and meaty and extremely well-written with unexpected twists and turns – a great summer read.

Also, if you haven’t read East of Eden by Steinbeck go and get it RIGHT NOW. It will definitely blow your mind. (The first 50 pages are slow but keep reading! I promise it won’t let you down.)

gailcalled's avatar

“Finnigan’s Wake,” by Joyce, will keep you busy for the rest of your life.

SamIAm's avatar

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts ?

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Kama Sutra oughta blow your mind…..

kevbo's avatar

Shantaram is a good one, or you could check out The Future Happens Twice by Fluther’s own Matt Browne. I just finished it and it is a satisfying, head-filling plot. And this is coming from someone who gets bored by plot.

lillycoyote's avatar

I’ve read a lot of books in my life, all sorts of different kinds, a wide variety, and I can honestly say that I have never actually had one “blow my mind.” Maybe my mind is unblowable, or maybe my mind just hasn’t met that “mind-blowing book.” Or maybe my mind was “pre-blown” by coming of age in the 60’s and 70’s, who knows. Good luck, hopefully you will get some good suggestions. Actually, books are one of the few things that don’t blow my mind. Thank god for that.

gorillapaws's avatar

The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison was a great read.

SmashTheState's avatar

There are five books which have “blown my mind” and altered the way I live my life:

The Dhammapada (by the Gautama Buddha)
Tao Te Ching (by Lao Tzu)
Walden and Civil Disobedience (by Henry David Thoreau)
Illusions (by Richard Bach)

Qingu's avatar

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. It is my favorite fantasy book and very mind-blowing and trippy. The movie only covers the first half of the book and of course it’s not as good.

If you like fantasy that verges into sci-fi, I’d recommend Neal Stephenson’s Anathem. It’s very long and dense but incredibly cool, especially the final arc.

I’ll also second the Amber recommendation (the first five books, anyway).

gailcalled's avatar

If you ever finish Finnigan’s Wake, there is always The Bhagavad Gita,

“The Bhagavad Gita (Sanskrit भगवद्गीता, Bhagavad Gītā, “Song of God”), also more simply known as Gita, is a sacred Hindu scripture, considered among the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy.”

That will keep you busy (it kept me busy).

SamIAm's avatar

i second the tao te ching also… it’s easy in format but complex in theory. really great read.

mattbrowne's avatar

Children of the Star by Sylvia Engdahl.

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