Kindle Crack: Thomas Bernhard, László Krasznahorkai, Richard Brautigan, and More!

Thomas Bernhard is easily one of my top twenty favorite novelists. The Loser was magnificent, and I’m quick to snatch up anything else by him as soon as it goes on sale (yes, I’m forever the penny-pincher, even when it comes to my favorite authors). I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed with Bernhard’s darkly introspective narrative.

Richard Brautigan is one of those highly individual yet sadly overlooked voices in American fiction. He was once considered the literary voice of the sixties; now, you’ll hardly ever hear him mentioned. Trout Fishing in America is an electrifyingly weird romp that absolutely deserves a read. Get this sharp, unsettling, and goddamned hilarious book while it’s going for practically nothing!

László Krasznahorkai is a god. Seriously. I haven’t read anything by him that isn’t absolutely stunning. This twisted and suffocating tale of strange happenings in a small town is certainly worth your time, as long as you want to spend it on an insidiously frightening and wildly imaginative read. For the price, you simply can’t afford to pass this up.

I haven’t read this, but it sounds fantastic. Here’s a description on Amazon: “Set during the advent of perestroika, a surreal, satirical novella by a critically acclaimed young Russian writer traces the fate of the passengers on The Yellow Arrow, a long-distance Russian train headed for a ruined bridge, a train without an end or a beginning–and it makes no stops. Andrei, the mystic passenger, less and less lulled by the never-ending sound of the wheels, has begun to look for a way to get off.” Interesting, huh? This book simply promises to be amazing.

Yes, I realize that Courses in English Literature doesn’t count as “weird fiction,” but a little variety in your Kindle library certainly won’t hurt. Besides, this isn’t just a book about literature; it’s a book on literature by George Luis Borges, one of the greatest and weirdest writers of all time. Even better, it costs almost nothing right now. There’s really no excuse to pass this up.

Speaking of “not being weird fiction,” this one isn’t either. But Kindle Crack will remain steadfastly dedicated to promoting the work of Clarice Lispector, so just deal with it. Lispector didn’t only write fiction, as you may know. Selected Cronicas is a collection of her journalistic work, and it’s every bit as delightful as her fiction. This is definitely a must-have for fans of Lispector’s work.

And lastly, we return to one of our usual suspects. If you keep up with Kindle Crack at all, I’m pretty sure you already have this. If you don’t own this book and call yourself a weird fiction lover, here’s a perfect chance to quietly sneak in and add it to your library before anyone notices it’s missing. It’ll hardly even put a dent in your bank statement. Seriously. You should own this already.

Justin A. Burnett


Kindle Crack: Ligotti, Fracassi, Hill, Kiernan, and More!

Night Shade Books’ Ellen Datlow has long been known for releasing excellent collections of the year’s “best horror.” Well, as the title says, this is the best of the best, featuring writers like Neil Gaiman and Brian Evenson. For a buck ninety-nine, this should be a no-brainer.

Fracassi’s Behold the Void is truly a force to be reckoned with. As Laird Barron says in the introduction, “When you open this collection, you’re headed down a dark alley within the precincts of the Twilight Zone. It’s the kind of place where the wrong people get hurt; hazard is everywhere and it doesn’t play favorites. The complacent won’t find refuge here on the threshold of the void. Nobody is safe and nothing is sacred. Enjoy the ride.” What more needs to be said?

Admittedly, I don’t know much about Joe Hill. He’s one of those writers I keep meaning to check out, but never seem to find the time. Don’t judge me: there’s a billion books and only one of me. With a price tag for less than a dollar, 20th Century Ghosts might be a great place to start with the highly-acclaimed author of Horns and NOS4A2. 

Yes, Brian Evenson is still slinging Kindle goodies for ridiculously awesome prices. Undoubtedly, this is to promote Song for the Unraveling of the World, which, by the way, it would be a great idea to PREORDER NOW. Still, I’ve been able to pick up Evenson’s entire Kindle catalogue for approximately the price of a meal at Waffle House. See? It pays… or, um, saves… to keep up with Kindle Crack.

No, I haven’t read Agents of Dreamland, but I’m almost done with The Dinosaur Tourist (which, by the way, is also going for a great price on Kindle right now) and it’s absolutely goddamn amazing. I’m buying this one right now, and if you’re interested in keeping tabs on one of the most unique voices in weird fiction, you should too.

I’m not sure how I let The Spectral Link slip by me, but anything by Ligotti is definitely worth full price. Anything less almost feels wrong. That this collection of two novellas is going for under three bucks is nothing less than a gift from the Void. Grab it now!

Justin A. Burnett


Kindle Crack Returns! Gwendolyn Kiste, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Shirley Jackson, and More

By popular demand, SMM’s Kindle Crack segment is back! We apologize for the unexpected hiatus, but new work schedules, editing obligations, and a fierce period of catching up on fiction writing put us more than a little behind. But now the wait is over, and your long-standing thirst for excellent kindle deals for nuts of weird literature is about to get momentarily quenched. So open up, dear readers, and receive the blessed communion of excellent books for prices that are easy on the writerly bank account!

Everyone’s been talking about Gwendolyn Kiste, and for good reason! The Rust Maidens, after all, recently landed an exceedingly impressive duo of Bram Stoker and This Is Horror awards; how many books can brag such a thing? Even better, you can pick up this legendary novel on Kindle for less than the price of a hamburger. You truly can’t expect a better deal than this.

Speaking of celebrated female writers of weird fiction, Caitlin R. Kiernan’s The Dinosaur Tourist also sport’s a kindle price tag of under five bucks. I’m halfway through this collection myself, and it’s every bit as magnificent as people say it is. If you want your weird fiction a little on the heady side, this book is made for you. Stylish, articulate, and utterly intoxicating.

If you enjoy the books we post here, you should already be familiar with Vastarien, particularly since you undoubtedly already subscribe to the journal via Patreon. If you don’t, go do that right now! Grimscribe Press’ recent This Is Horror award is absolutely deserved, since Vastarien quickly developed a reputation for quality work very early in its developmental stages. If you’re (somehow) unfamiliar or unconvinced, Vol. 1, Issue 2 is going for a steal on Kindle right now. This is an excellent chance to what the hype is all about for yourself.

Several collections of Shirley Jackson’s work are also on sale right now, and I can tell you from personal experience that this won’t last. Quick, pick up Dark Tales while you can, then go to the rest of her works on Kindle and pretty soon you’ll have a comprehensive catalogue from one of the most celebrated writers to grace the world of dark fiction. In fact, consider this purchase essential!

Sure, I’m departing from the “theme” a bit on this one, but my primary interest is providing you with excellent books at unbelievable prices. Rimbaud is one of the most exciting and important poets of the late nineteenth century, and it would be a travesty to pass up this incredible deal on Vol. 1 of Wyatt Mason’s Modern Library edition of Rimbaud Complete. I absolutely adore this book…

…almost as much as I adore the Arden Shakespeare series. These are the cream of the crop when it comes to Shakespeare critical editions, and a slew of them are on sale right now for Kindle. Of course, Hamlet has to appear here, since it’s just about as “weird fiction” as Shakespeare gets (although I’d love to argue that Shakespeare has a lot more in common with weird fiction than we’d think, but I’ll save that lengthy tangent for another time and place). For the quality of work, this is an absolute steal.

-Justin A. Burnett


Kindle Crack: Ebook Deals from Bret Easton Ellis, Philip K Dick, Italo Calvino, and More

Bret Easton Ellis sales are pretty rare, but here’s one that features what is possibly his most famous work. American Psycho is a complete nightmare, and entirely required reading for anyone who likes dark and strange fiction.

PKD was one of my favorite authors for quite a span, and this book is still one of my favorites by him. If you don’t have this already, now is your chance to change that for less than the price of a coffee.

I’ve been meaning to check out Duncan Ralston’s work for some time, and this sale is a perfect excuse to pick up his widely-praised collection, Video Nasties. I’ve heard nothing but praise for this, and I can’t wait to dive in.

This book has generated a lot of noise since its release, and it’s currently going for a good price. There’s no reason this shouldn’t be a worthy purchase for weird fiction fans.

This collection by Borges (one of two of my longest-standing favorite authors–the other is Kafka)  has appeared here before, but this magnificent sale isn’t bound to last long. If you love mind-bending fiction, you really need this. Grab it while it lasts!

Like Borges, Calvino is widely known for his brilliant and imaginative fiction. Here, Calvino tries his hand at retelling folk tales, and the result is absolutely stunning. For less than three bucks, this sale is a guaranteed success.

Kindle Crack: The Literary Edition, Featuring Thomas Pynchon, Umberto Eco, G. W. Sebald, and More

The opening poem is a clever little lick based on the tune to “Off to See the Wizard” from The Wizard of Oz. The second features an interesting palate of shifting perspectives, but I haven’t been able to dig further yet. Helen Dewitt’s fiction reads sort of like David Foster Wallace’s, and I’m sure it’s a fantastic collection. For the price, it’s bound to be worth the dive.

Although it’s not “weird” per se, everything by G. W. Sebald is certainly unusual. Blending fiction and historical elements with an encyclopedic historical vision, Sebald’s narratives are intoxicatingly beautiful and delightfully disorienting. I’ve read The Rings of Saturn and Vertigo, an both were more than enough to convince me that The Emigrants will not disappoint.

Durrell’s controversial first novel was heavily influenced by Henry Miller. Some folks might take the Miller influence negatively, but this is certainly better than anything I’ve read by Miller so far. It’s weird, dark, oddly fascinating, and definitely a good buy for the price.

Okay, this isn’t “weird fiction” in the slightest, but it’s a fascinating glossary featuring detailed explanations of a whole range of poetic concepts. This is a must have for anyone who is interested in taking literature seriously, and I’d stand behind Hirsch’s book even if it went for double it’s USUAL price. At less than four bucks, this is a no-brainer.

Gravity’s Rainbow is a classic, duh. That doesn’t mean I’ve ever been able to finish it, but I hope to, along with Joyce’s Ulysses. Also like Ulysses, Gravity’s Rainbow is famously one of the most difficult novels ever written. Love it or hate it, this mobi file features hours, months, even years of material to mull over. All for a buck ninety-nine? Yup. Get this.

Again, it’s not exactly “weird,” but damn it’s good. If you enjoy heady novels about books, snag this one. Also, fans of the medieval period will find much to enjoy, as well as lovers of mystery and strangeness. There really is too much to say about this book in so short a space. Trust me when I say at this price, it’s a steal. Buy it now, thank me later.

Near to the Wild Heart is the only long work I’ve read by Lispector yet, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s strange, intoxicating, frustrating at times, but in a well-worth-the-effort sort of way. This novel is like a pleasant fever; for the price, it’s a truly great buy.