A town full of American rednecks get transported back into medieval Germany. Hilarity Ensues.
A town in West Virginia demonstrates civilized standards by killing large numbers of people. Those around them naturally consider this to be a satisfactory demonstration as it is the primary proof of civilization in this time like most others.
Abarat: Teenager runs away from home and is transported to a group of islands which are essentially a big clock. Wanted by the Big Bad because she reminds him of his lost love.
Grass for His Pillow: Aforementioned Japanese teen is kidnapped by ninjas and proceeds to knock up his girlfriend's best friend's cousin. Meanwhile, the girlfriend is forced into an arranged pseudo-marriage with a Depraved Homosexual.
The Brilliance of the Moon: Newly reunited with his girlfriend, a teenaged ninja tries to overthrow a warlord whom he himself had put in power in a previous installment.
The Harsh Cry of the Heron: A couple's marital issues ruin their country.
Heaven's Net Is Wide: The author of the above novels attempts to give the series some closure by writing a prequel set 18 years before the main series
Heaven Eyes: An ornery hermit adopts a little girl. Later, a girl from the city visits and is helped by her friendship.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A young boy and a runaway slave raft down the Mississippi River. The author will shoot you if you try to analyze the plot.
The Adventures of Pinocchio: A bratty Italian kid skips school, goes into showbiz, gets conned out of his money, nearly gets hanged, and ends up making an ass of himself at a theme park. A strange woman and a talking insect try to make him see the error of his ways.
Against the Fall of Night: A child and his mentor try to leave their home town.
Beyond the Fall of Night: The child, now a man, recruits a girl and a raccoon for his project.
Against a Dark Background: Childish tycoon destroys his cousin's life and makes her the mother of the Prophet just to get in her pants.
Alas, Babylon: Nuclear apocalypse makes lazy rich guy's oranges more valuable.
Airframe: In-flight accident threatens airplane sale. Yellow journalism conspires to make it worse.
American Gods: A man is let out of prison and is hired as chauffeur and bodyguard to a weird man who's conducting a secret war against another bunch of other weird people. The story is occasionally interrupted for history lessons or stories that are almost completely unrelated.
Anansi Boys: The son of a supporting character from the above book has his girlfriend and identity stolen by the long lost brother he never knew he had. Except the brother is actually him. Sort of. The events of the previous book are only briefly alluded to.
American Psycho: Man waxes on the subject of conformity, kills people in his spare time.
Alternately: A yuppie murders people. Nobody notices or cares.
The Amtrak Wars: Centuries after a nuclear war, all the greenery has returned, but is now red. The descendants of the survivors in bunkers wage a genocidal war against other survivors with odd patterns on their skin (and some with psychic powers). Also, there's a Japanese Shogunate in New England.
Anabasis: Ten thousand Greeks get a job helping a prince solve his sibling issues. They travel into the center of the Persian empire where the prince is killed. Then they travel back with everyone wanting to kill them. A survivor of this decides to write a book and entertain everyone with his story, realizing that princes should solve their own sibling issues.
Anathem: An atheist monk living in a monastery he can only leave once every ten years discusses math, plays with triangles, and discovers and infiltrates an alien spaceship with a time travelling crazy old man.
And the Ass Saw the Angel: Mute angst about his ancestry, loses track of what's going on, fights a witch who may or may not be his half-sister, founds his own nation, and collects Mons. This book was written by a rock star, and is set on the other side of the world from his home.
Animal Farm: Talking animals re-enact the history of the Soviet Union. Including parts that hadn't happened — yet.
Or: A bunch of Funny Animals learn a lesson about equality and playing by the rules.
Or: A fable about talking animals who overthrow the farmer where the moral of the story is about the dangers of murderous totalitarianism.
Or: Communist farm animals overthrow the farmer and fail to build a windmill while pigs play poker.
Or: The Pig Lenin convinces Pig Joseph Stalin and Pig Leon Trotsky to lead the other animals in the Bolshevik Revolution and overthrow Farmer Czar Nicolas II in an odd retelling of the history of Soviet Russia.
Or: Pigs eat apples and get drunk.
Animorphs: Kids fight slugs by turning into animals.
Or, four "idiot teenagers," a gloomy bird, and a television junkie with an endless appetite skip school to hang out in a barn.
Or, a resource-seeking nation is assaulted at every turn by terrorist insurgents.
Or, a fourteen year old kid has to save his older brother from a snail that won't leave him alone.
Or, six teenagers (one of whom is technically mute) and a bird discuss politics, history, science and ethics before turning into bugs.
Anita Blake: Extremely nasty villains are defeated, but the focus is on the main character's development from a lonely smartass badass with relationship issues to... a domineering badass with relationship issues, a harem and out-of-control socially unacceptable magical powers.
Anna Karenina: A married woman has an affair. Her new brother-in-law writes a book on the socioeconomic status of agrarian labor in Czarist Russia. The adulteress becomes depressed, but not by reading the book.
Anne of Green Gables: Elderly brother and sister adopt an orphan who loses her temper, lets her imagination run away with her, holds a grudge, and generally gets into trouble. Everyone is charmed.
Anthem: A guy invents the lightbulb, and is exiled for it. Later, he discovers first person pronouns. This demonstrates that Communism sucks.
Arabian Nights: A young girl is married off to a powerful man who is notorious for killing all his brides the night after he beds them. She tells him an exceedingly convoluted tale that is designed to keep him in suspense so that he will keep her alive to hear the end of the story. This story lasts at least 2.74 years. Also the bride's little sister shares their bridal bed with them because she enjoys the stories and presumably also the sex.
The Areas of My Expertise: Chicago doesn't exist, the machines of Tesla are used to fight hoboes, and "lobster" actually means "otter". Also, this book was written by a Personal Computer.
Atlas Shrugged: As the world is falling apart, a corporate executive chases after an elusive Marty Stu. Expect long filibusters.
Or: All the smart kids get tired of being bullied, so they leave and hide out in the wilderness for a few years. The world falls apart without them, and all the bullies die. Still expect long filibusters.
Babbitt: Middle class businessman flirts with nonconformism, then drops it like a hot rock.
Baby Island: a children's classic in which two pre-teens assume full responsibility for four infants and toddlers on a deserted tropical island, with only the local wildlife and a cranky recluse for company. Surprisingly, not a horror story.
Battle Royale: Japanese teenagers go on a field trip, discuss their favorite rock-and-roll songs, and violently murder one another.
Baudolino: A medieval Chessmaster and his gang of master con-artists discover that most of the things they've invented are actually true.
The Bean Trees: A young woman with a fear of exploding tires names herself after a town, adopts a turtle, and gets a job from a woman who assists aliens. Beans have very little to do with it.
Before I Go to Sleep: A middle-aged housewife reads her own diary.
Or: Memento, if it was really about Sammy Jenkins.
Before Dishonour: Cyborgs EAT PLUTO!!!
Belisarius Series : An evil empire led by a cyborg almost subjugates all the greatest warrior tribes in India by convincing all of them that the cyborg's soldiers are so militarily incompetent that killing the empire's soldiers would be agonizingly boring. A second robot from the future comes back in time into the hands of a Byzantine general who rallies them all to the task of butchering mooks.
Beowulf: Bad Ass improves diplomatic relations with Denmark by killing a man who lives in his mother's basement. Then kills the guy's mother, and eventually dies fighting a grouchy miser.
Or: Racist begins a campaign of genocide against his friends' neighbors. He's the hero.
Or: A king tries to build a cafeteria for his men. Serial killing ensues.
Black Jewels Trilogy: Emotional, sensitive, complete badasses endure torture while waiting for a prophesied savior. She arrives and is also tortured, driven half mad, nearly killed, and is emotionally sensitive to the point of instability. All the vast magical power in all the realms is not enough to prevent this. Finally she commits partial genocide to save the world.
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story: Wannabe writer from Indiana moves to San Francisco, falls in love with a vampire, and fights another vampire with the help of some frat boys and a hobo.
You Suck: Aforementioned wannabe writer gets a minion and passes on his new "condition" to a blue hooker.
The Body: Four boys go on an adventure to find a corpse.
The Bonfire of the Vanities: A bond broker's mistress runs over a mugger in his car, and the greatest city in the world loses its mind.
The Book of the Long Sun: The adventures of a parish priest with a fondness for killing animals, who is trying to save his church from being demolished. In SPACE!
Nightside the Long Sun: The parish priest experiences a religious vision and decides that god wants him to become a burglar. In the second half of the novel, he spends most of his time hanging out with prostitutes.
Lake of the Long Sun: The same parish priest and his doctor go on vacation. One of them murders the robot zombie dictator of the city-state.
Calde of the Long Sun: The parish priest becomes the leader of a rebellion against the city government but spends much of his time trying to hook up with a prostitute.
Exodus from the Long Sun: The city is invaded by an army of gender-bent Islamic fundamentalists In SPACE. After spending four books trying to save his church, the parish priest tells his flock to abandon it and go somewhere else. He won't be joining them, as he has to go find a prostitute.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas: Clueless German boy moves house, hates it, makes friends with a prisoner and decides to go to jail.
Brave New World: In The Future, there's no crime, poverty, war, disease or old age, and everyone gets to have lots and lots of sex. But the Noble Savage says it's bad. Two other people, who are among the smartest people on earth, go on a quest to stop being happy.
"The Breathing Method": Old men tell stories. One tells the story of a miraculous delivery.
Bridge of Birds: A naive young silk farmer and a geriatric ex-criminal, attempting to discover a breakthrough in pediatric medicine, get sidetracked into overthrowing the government and playing matchmaker for dead people.
A Brief History Of Time: a Genius Cripple has a lot of thoughts about things that are too small, too big, or too far away in time and/or space to directly verify.
The Brothers Karamazov: The half-sibling of a spendthrift firebrand frames him for murder while a monk heroically plays with small children. Everyone just remembers the part about Jesus and the inquisitor instead.
The Casual Vacancy: Three men compete for a spot on a local council in a small town after one of the councilors drops dead.
Cat and the Stinkwater War: A girl turns into a cat thanks to an ancient Egyptian artifact. Meanwhile, cats fight over who has a mummified sardine. It's resolved with the destruction of said sardine and a wedding.
Catch-22: A squadron of insane soldiers try to not die in the war. Paradoxical bureaucracy gets in the way of that.
The Catcher in the Rye: Teenage underachiever whose life philosophy is derived from misremembered song lyric gets into misadventures in New York.
Alternatively, a character suffering from The Scrappy syndrome whines a lot.
Cats in Cyberspace: Two cats trade stocks online to help their financially-inept owners.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A reclusive, middle-aged, single industrialist invites young children to tour his business, which is operated by undocumented immigrants who live in the facility. As the tour progresses, he allows most of the children to be injured, deformed, or (possibly) killed while his employees sing songs mocking their poor moral character. He then bequeaths the entire works to the last child standing.
Or: A bunch of children learn a harsh lesson about the perils of business.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator: The reclusive, middle-aged industrialist takes his new heir and the family on an elevator ride to a space hotel, where they rescue the survivors of an alien attack. Later, two of the kids' grandparents accidentally turn themselves into babies while another one briefly ceases to exist.
Alternatively: Nerd falls in love with an injured girl. Girl develops Healing Factor and murders people before getting run over by a pink semi truck.
A Christmas Carol: An extremely successful London financier is forced into an intervention by his best friend on Christmas Eve. The intervention requires him to meet ghosts. Eventually, he abandons his old principles.
Or: A bunch of dead people harass a wealthy, reclusive industrialist, depriving him of sleep. He eventually gives in to them. This is considered good.
Alternatively: Children play hide & seek and save Jesus with the help of Santa.
Prince Caspian: Four siblings wonder where they are and then must prove their identities to someone who was looking for them even though he didn't believe they were real. Jesus helps Bacchus destroy a bridge that is confining a river god.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Three children accompany a king and a mouse to the edge of the world. Jesus rips the skin off of one of the children as a reward for not being a Jerk Ass anymore.
The Silver Chair: Two children escape school. They fall off a cliff. Things keep going downhill from there. Jesus sends a king to help them get back at their oppressors when they return.
Alternatively, a boy's uncle falls in love with a seven feet tall foreign aristocrat lady, and tries to start a health spa in another dimension. As a result Jesus saves the boy's dying mother with an apple from the Garden of Eden.
God Stalk: Said girl destroys and creates divinity in huge, god-ridden city while falling off tall buildings and stealing pennies.
Dark of the Moon: Girl goes on a quest to find her brother, and finds out that she is a runaway bride. She sets fire to a blizzard and destroys a palace after running around naked in it. Oh, and there are vampires and werewolves and unicorns.
Seeker's Mask: Girl runs away from finishing school with a ruined face after realizing that she can't cope with being a woman. Much EmoWangst ensues. She ends up becoming legally a man.
To Ride a Rathorn: Girl is sent to military school and gets over her fear of riding. Incest becomes more and more appealing.
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: A jerk, a girl he rapes, the mother of the girl he rapes, the daughter of the girl he rapes, a really tall person, a strategist who's meant to be from our world despite having a first name I've never heard of whose cunning plan is to run away from the enemy army, an entire horde of people who talk like Rei Ayanami and a bunch of politicians save the world from a guy who's obsessed with a stick, three other really tall guys and a disembodied voice with the most uncreative name ever and later the undead ruler of the world. Turns out to be All Just a Dream. Or Was It a Dream?
The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: After being transported to a devastated wasteland a leper and a dumb blonde decide to go for a nice, long boat trip. Later they return and kick the crap out of an Obstructive Zealot named after a monkey.
For the Emperor: Man with Nice Hat scares the enemy away by levelling half of the city they're fighting over and killing a public official. He also shoots a couple who are happily in love for seemingly no reason.
The Caves of Ice: Man with Nice Hat blows up a refinery to deal with a few robots.
The Traitor's Hand: Man with Nice Hat shoots an old flame in the name of religion (with some help from his sidekick) and threatens to kill a former schoolmate over another woman.
Death or Glory: Man with Nice Hat shoots up a military installation, blows up a dam, and causes general wanton mayhem all because he just wants a good cup of tea.
Duty Calls: Man with Nice Hat teams up with his girlfriend, a drug addict, a renegade cop, and a popsicle salesperson to take down a thief who stole an ancient artifact.
''Cain's Last Stand: Man with Nice Hat shoots his best pupil for falling in with the wrong crowd and literally kicks the ass of the man responsible.
A Civil Contract: A down-on-his-luck noble marries for money. He doesn't cheat on his wife and is still married to her at the end.
Codex Alera: In a magic-laden kingdom, everyone has superpowers. The only exception repeatedly saves both king and country through smarts and sheer audacity. Alternately: Ancient Rome with Pokémon, based on The Bet made in a bar.
Furies of Calderon: A farm kid saves his hometown from invasion by picking a mushroom. In the process, he accidentally gets a girlfriend.
Academ's Fury: An 80-year old goes into a coma. Three college students, their professor, and an army captain try to convince everyone that he's fine. Later, they nearly get killed by the Zerg but are saved by their worst enemy.
Cursor's Fury: A newbie spy is sent undercover as a minor officer in a new brigade, but ends up commanding it after all the other officers are struck by lightning. Said spy then proceeds to hold off a force that outnumbers him 6 to 1 by playing chess, creating a fire hazard, and making a really big magnifying glass out of air. In the epilogue, someone turns off a light bulb. This is a incredibly momentous event.
Captain's Fury: An army commander breaks his enemy out of out of prison and escorts him to the opposing army, all in order to stop his new boss. Meanwhile, a married couple and an old guy go hiking. At the end of the book, a volcano erupts at the most dramatic point possible and a guy who takes the G.W. approach to facts is shot.
Princeps' Fury: An army commander, accompanied by his pale barbarian girlfriend, a catapult-building scholar, and an old spy sails to a neighboring kingdom full of angry dog-men who want to kill him, in order to escape all the other people who want to kill him and to save the angry dog-men from a race of mind-controlling bugs. Meanwhile, the army commander's mother, his bodyguard, his girlfriend's father, and a noblewoman with a flaming bird negotiate a truce with a tribe of yetis.
First Lord's Fury: The world develops a serious pest problem. To combat it, an army commander sails over land. At the end, a mountain gets up and tries to kill everyone. It doesn't succeed. In the epilogue, the army commander has a child out of wedlock with a woman who spends half her time insulting his species, and people keep deadly spiders as livestock and eat their vomit.
The Cold Within: A poem in which six broken hnau freeze to death.
The ColSec Trilogy: The world government takes to marooning juvenile delinquents out in the middle of nowhere. One such group becomes particularly troublesome. The reader is intended to root for them.
A Companion to Wolves: She's an alpha-wolf-in-training. He's a gay viking. Together they fight trolls.
Coyote Blue: After learning he had no reason to run away from home and hide his identity, a Native American insurance salesman saves the woman he loves by teaming up with the world's stupidest trickster.
Crooked Little Vein: A Detective is hired by a junkie to find an alien leather book, which is Serious Business.
Crosscurrent: In this Star Wars book involving time travel, a self-doubting former protagonist from an FPS joins forces with three other guys in a quest to blow up a ship full of rocks out in the middle of nowhere. Much puking ensues.
The Crying of Lot 49: Woman's investigation of a possibly-imagined Ancient Conspiracy leads her to examine the history of the Holy Roman Empire's postal service.
Cryptonomicon: A romantic comedy about international finance in which a nerdy hacker and his tomboyish girlfriend discover that their grandfathers saved the world from Nazis by solving math problems.
The Baroque Cycle: The great-great-great-great grandfathers of the aforementioned nerd couple saved the world from Louis XIV. Also by solving math problems.
Quicksilver: A man on a boat reminisces over his time in college.
King of the Vagabonds: A foolhardy man travels across Western Europe with a harem girl and a wizard, only to crash a party and become a slave.
Odalisque: Intrigue and cryptography in France and England!
Bonanza: The foolhardy man from before steals some Spanish gold, gets tortured by the Inquisition, and then goes home.
The Juncto: More intrigue in England; also features lots of discussion about finance.
Solomon's Gold: An old man nearly gets blown up and is too scared to investigate, so he visits a mental hospital.
Currency: The old man and his friends try to capture a notorious criminal, but the criminal is also trying to capture himself.
Deltora Quest: Three heroes trek around the country multiple times in order to oust the occupation of an immortal Evil Overlord by hunting down the stolen decorations on a belt. Much gratuitous riddle-solving ensues.
Deltora Shadowlands: The three heroes, one of which is now a king, go to Canada to kill an Evil Overlord.
Dragons of Deltora: The three heroes, one of which is still a king, travel the country saving shiny reptiles by killing demon bitches. One of the heroes becomes obsessed with a puzzle.
Despair: A deluded man befriends a hobo whom he mistakes to be his doppelganger, then plots his death for the insurance money. Hilarity Ensues
Desperation: People discover God in a Nevada ghost town. Turns out he can be a giant dick.
The Devil Wears Prada: Lauren Weisberger really hates Anna Wintour.
Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns: No, Lauren Weisberger really hates Anna Wintour.
The Diamond Age: A porn scriptwriter raised by a nanotechnological supercomputer in book form while living in a recreation of the Victorian society in China designs a chainsaw-sword while being raped, conquers Beijing with an army of young Chinese girls who have been memetically programmed to be her followers, and saves her foster mother from being killed as a result of a mathematical calculation involving an undersea orgy. Meanwhile, the other main character wakes up from a ten year nap, reconnects with his estranged daughter (who was also the scriptwriter's boarding school roommate), discovers that he is the MacGuffin he was supposed to be looking for, and proceeds to turn lead into gold. Yes, Neal Stephenson wrote this book. Stop looking at me like that.
The Salmon of Doubt: A detective looks for a cat, but doesn't find it. A lot of things happen that are never explained.
Discworld: People travel through space on the back of a giant turtle, have adventures, and discover things that we take for granted in modern society. Major characters include a perennial coward, a crabby old woman, an ape, a despotic tyrant, a recovered alcoholic middle-aged chain-smoking cop, and a 6-foot-tall dwarf.
The Colour of Magic: A slacker who flunked out of college is forced to accompany a moronic tourist and his luggage around the world.
A tourist marvels at the world, while his guardian is extremely afraid of it.
The Light Fantastic: The guys from the last story narrowly avoid falling off the planet, then hang out with a short-tempered old man for a while. The slacker learns that saying what's on his mind could either save or destroy the world.
The only one who can save the world is a college dropout.
Equal Rites: A cranky old lady escorts a little girl to the big city so she can get some magic lessons. They end up saving the world from Eldritch Abominations and discover that the best use of magic is not to use it.
A young girl, accompanied by a cranky old lady, goes on a long journey to learn to not use magic.
An old lady tries to get a girl into a high ranking school. Sexist remarks ensue.
Mort: A boy's new job nearly brings about disaster after he saves the life of a princess.
Sourcery: The least powerful wizard in the world is the only one who can stop the machinations of the most powerful wizard in the world.
Or a brick in a sock beats magic.
Wyrd Sisters: Three witches drag a kingdom into the future to get rid of its new king. They end up replacing said king with his court jester.
Pyramids: A reluctant Pharaoh must extricate his country from Another Dimension with the help of a handmaiden and the world's greatest mathematician. Meanwhile, a lot of mummies are very, very unhappy about their sleeping arrangements.
Guards! Guards!: A drunken cynic, a middle-aged fat guy, a kleptomaniac midget, and the world's tallest dwarf try to save their hometown but everyone ignores them until it's too late. Eventually the day is saved by a mutated lizard. Sequels ensue.
FaustEric: A teenage demonologist calls up the world's worst wizard, who utterly fails at playing Fairy Godfather.
Or: A guy is rescued by a teenager, but it only leads to more trouble.
Reaper Man: Death is forced into early retirement and befriends a plucky old lady. Meanwhile, a dead wizard and his new friends try to stop a shopping mall from being built.
Witches Abroad: An old lady and her co-workers go on a road trip, unravel fractured fairy tales, and try to stop the old lady's long-lost sister from giving a princess a Happy Ending.
Three women and a cat travel, argue and subvert happy endings.
Small Gods: God appears as a decrepit tortoise to a halfwit with perfect memory.
Lords and Ladies: An old lady suffering from an identity crisis, her best friend, and a young woman with self-confidence issues and a battle axe are the only ones who can stop an invasion of good-looking sadists.
Soul Music: A teenage girl is drafted into her grandfather's job, which conflicts with her efforts to save a handsome young man from his new guitar.
Interesting Times: An incompetent coward travels to sorta-China. There, he reunites with some old friends, argues politics with the most polite revolutionaries in the world, and saves the day with pottery.
Jingo: Policemen try to stop a war, and along the way find out they were mistaken about who wanted to start it in the first place. Also, one of them unwittingly gets messages from an alternate universe in which one wrong move got everyone he knows killed.
The Last Continent: A bungling coward saves Not-Quite-Australia from a drought. Meanwhile, his colleagues travel to a deserted island, and accidentally inspire the invention of natural selection and sexual reproduction.
Carpe Jugulum: Inverse Goths try to conquer a mountain kingdom, but are driven out with the help of an old lady, a wishy-washy priest, and an army of psychotic smurfs.
The Fifth Elephant: A fossilized pastry is stolen, thus putting in danger the continued existence of a 1,000-year-old government and all its allies.
The Truth: An upper-class reporter interviews a dog, a photographer keeps dying and a bad guy can't swear properly.
A Hat Full of Sky: A young girl confronts her insecurities, her dissatisfaction with her new job, and a mind-invading monster.
Going Postal: A recently deceased con-artist attempts, on the orders of a tyrannical dictator, to revive a post office. He falls in love with the chain-smoking head of a golem-rights charity, and exposes an even worse con artist with a forged telegram.
Thud!: While investigating a murder, the chief of police is possessed by a demon, and chases a bunch of short guys across the continent to recover a stolen painting and prevent the defacement of a historic battleground, while explaining to his son the difference between a cow and a sheep. Meanwhile, a fat guy and a short guy discuss the difference between art and pornography, and a vampire, a werewolf, and a dwarf get drunk.
Wintersmith: A teenage girl finds herself being romantically pursued by an Anthropomorphic Personification, all because she picked a bad time to take up Morris dancing. She ends up killing him with a kiss, while a horde of little blue men take a bookworm prince to Hell and back.
I Shall Wear Midnight: A young woman fights prejudice against those in her line of work (quite literally). Along the way, she saves the life of an abusive father, starts a brushfire, and calls her ex-boyfriend and his fiancee a knave and a whore, respectively. Meanwhile, her friends wreck a bar, put it back together the wrong way, and drive a policeman to quit his job and get in touch with his roots.
Snuff: The chief of police goes on holiday, and finds crime. Quite a few crimes, actually. He is assisted in his investigations by a gentleman's gentleman, a writer of children's books, a chief constable who lives with his mum, and a rather strange goblin.
Any Rincewind Novel: Inept wizard tries not to do anything interesting, and fails.
The Divide: Ill boy travels to magical world where Call a Griffin a Brazzle is in full effect, and the biggest threat is untested magical remedies.
Return To The Divide: The now-cured boy travels to the magical world in order to ask a sphinx a question. Meanwhile, people almostget stoned.
Jinx on the Divide: A magical talking box tries to ruin eveyone's day, and partially succeeds.
The Divine Comedy Artist mopes because girlfriend is dead. At her request, he is put through Hell—but at least a poet he admires greatly is there to guide him through it. He gets better, but even then he has a long journey ahead of him.
Dragonkeeper: A female slave and an elderly dragon roadtrip across China in order to visit the beach.
Dragonkeeper: Garden of the Purple Dragon: The female slave and the elderly dragon's son hang around with the Emperor of China for a while. They run away when they realise he's kind of a dick.
Dragonkeeper: Dragon Moon: The female slave takes the elderly dragon's son to live with other dragons at a safe haven. She's rewarded for this by being sent away and never allowed to see the elderly dragon's son again (outside of a once-a-month dream).
Dragonkeeper: Dragon Dawn: A prequel featuring the not-yet elderly dragon, who hangs around with a Trickster. Together they faff about, pull pranks on a general and trick two battling armies into thinking they're from heaven.
The Dragonriders of Pern series: In The Future, a knightly caste make use of sentient, time-traveling dragons to protect their home from rains of alien fungus.
Dragon's Ring: A dragon attempts to save the world by destroying it, only to have a young woman achieve the same effect of saving it by building a bunch of bridges.
Dog and Dragon: The young woman goes home, and (temporarily) becomes the leader of an army of fay creatures, whilst her dog and the dragon trail all over the place looking for her. Now with even more Interspecies Romance!
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath: A man dreams about going on a quest to climb a mountain that no one has ever seen so he can blackmail the gods into taking him to a city that he saw in a dream within a dream.
Or: A wizard who lives and works in modern-day Chicago. No, really, it's not for kids. No, really. No, really, it's better than it sounds. No, it's really dark and edgy. No, definitely not for kids. No, really. For God's sake, just read it, it's better than it sounds!
Storm Front: A detective investigates a new drug. Along the way, he screws up his first date with a hot Spicy Latina, is mugged, wrecks a night club, nearly gets killed by a scorpion, and gets into two fights with his probation officer. Everything burns down.
Fool Moon: A detective is hired to solve a murder. There are more werewolves than you can shake a stick at, and they all work differently. Also, a plot to kill a mob boss backfires. Three buildings get a truck-sized hole blown in them.
Grave Peril: A vampire tries to trick a detective into a starting a war, an old enemy goes on rampage. Everything burns down.
Summer Knight: A detective gets involved in an elaborate plot orchestrated by out-of-towners. This involves a rain of frogs, a dead guy, politics, getting stuck in a tree, a screw-up at Walmart, getting over an old girlfriend, and getting into fights with people WAY out of his weight-class.
Blood Rites: A guy meets his half brother, works at a porn studio, has his hand burnt off, executes a very bad cover-up, and nearly gets stabbed by a porn star. Also, people are killed by falling objects. Most of a homeless shelter and a school burns down.
Dead Beat: A lot of people fight over an old book, we meet a coroner who likes polka, another failed date ensues, and a guy gets away with far more than he should via a legal loophole. Guys in Ringwraith cosplay and a very old corpse get involved.
Or: A Perky Goth teenage girl accidentally brainwashes her friends in an attempt to impress a guy who barely knows she exists. This ends...poorly. Also, a policewoman and a detective have a Talk about their relationship, a fountain is blown up, and a blacksmithing housewife's attempts to restrain her daughter's rebellious nature end up sending all of the above to a castle in Antarctica. At the end, through throwing a bucket of water on the girl and promising to teach her magic, the detective manages to solve the issue to everyone's satisfaction.
White Night: An aging king is the target of a phenomenally overcomplicated power play. Also, a guy meets an old girlfriend, makes an entrance, discovers strange things about his dog, makes out with his step-sister, and blows up an ancient cavern.
Small Favor: Demons try to end the world by kidnapping a 11-year-old know it all, a guy avoids being assassinated by ordering a doughnut, and an aquarium gets flattened.
Turn Coat: Crotchety old man with a sword is framed for killing another crotchety old man without a sword, and is forced to turn to a guy he hates for help. Said guy plays doctor with a friend, walks from Chicago to Scotland, punches an island, and insults a group of really powerful old people all for the sake of saving his sexy vampire friend from an evil Native American Eldritch Abomination. In the process, he finds out his girlfriend only likes him because of a secretary.
Changes: Maya kidnap a child. A detective enlists unlikely help to get her back, and in the process has sex with a crazy monarch, eats a godly donut, consults pizza for advice, loans out some antique weaponry, and takes care of a pest problem. After it's all over he falls off of a boat.
Ghost Story: A detective, a Marine, a homeless girl in rags, and a hitman who really, really hates it when you leave the "el" off his name work together to find a killer. In the end, it turns out the victim isn't dead, Star Trek serves as a viable defense mechanism, and a whole lot of ghosts go "Boo!"
Cold Days: A man finds himself in a job he doesn't like. His job forces him to fight a nudist, fight Santa Claus, fight a bunch of foreigners, and fight pretty much everyone else he sees. Eventually a change in management occurs.
Dune Messiah: Boy named after a mouse becomes ruler of the known universe, but refuses to have sex with his wife. The Ancient Conspiracy recruits his old fencing instructor to try and trick him into having sex with his wife. He ends up faking his own death in order to force the public to accept his lover's children as his legitimate heirs.
Children of Dune: To escape a murder plot, one half of a pair of twins forgets the other half is alive, and the other goes on a trip to the desert, meets their father and fuses with worm goo.
God Emperor of Dune: An angry woman discusses politics and history with the giant worm who rules the galaxy. They both know she is trying to kill him with the help of his pet zombie. Later the worm marries another woman, and the first woman marries the zombie.
Empire from the Ashes: That's not a moon, that's a giant spaceship! Also, man with big nose finds out he's the emperor of an empire that he didn't know existed and saves the world from aliens who are enslaved by Hal.
Shadow of the Hegemon: 10 year-olds start World War III.
Speaker for the Dead: A centuries-old war hero, accompanied by a cocoon and their daughter the Internet, travels to to the home of a young girl, where he marries her after discovering that trees are actually pigs.
Xenocide: Asian girl convinces the government to shut down the Internet. The Internet teleports centuries-old war hero outside of the universe where he creates clones of his brother and sister with his mind.
Children of the Mind: A centuries-old war hero tries to protect the cocoon and the tree-pigs as the government prepares to blow up their planet. Internet moves into the trees and then into the body of a girl. Boy makes out with the Internet.
The Enormous Egg: A chicken gives birth to a Triceratops. A Congressman ignores the startling implications of this discovery and demands the dinosaur be put to death.
Equus: Boy attacks horses because he can't deal with his religious/bestiality fetishes. Psychologist thinks he's better off untreated.
Eragon: A band of rebels try to overthrow the greatest existing force of order in the world. A Marty Stu helps them, largely by riding around and yelling stuff. Considered by some to actually be as bad as it sounds.
Escape from Furnace: An old man kidnaps and imprisons little boys in hopes of turning them into muscled hunks.
Esio Trot: A man gains the love of a woman by repeatedly deceiving her using her pet tortoise, and several other tortoises.
Excession: An unexpected visitor causes neighbors relations to break down.
Eye of the Wolf: A wolf in a zoo and an African boy tell each other their life stories. They then open their eyes.
The Eyre Affair: A detective irreversibly compromises a famous manuscript to save her uncle.
Or: Television turns people into idiots. One guy rants at length about this.
The Fairy Godmother: An alternate-Cinderella figure gets screwed by destiny, and so decides to dedicate her life to helping destiny screw or get screwed by others. Later falls in love with a Jerkass, but not until after she turns him into a jackass.
Far-Seer: The hero is a combination of Galileo, Magellan, and Superman's biological father. He goes on a boat ride and accidentally learns that the prevailing religion is wrong. He must then convince everyone on the planet, which is at the sailing ship level of technology, to save themselves by traveling off-world. Oh, and did I mention that everyone is an anthropomorphic dinosaur?
Feersum Endjinn: A young man looks for his talking ant.
Felidae: A story about a kitty solving a gruesome murder mystery. Was later adapted into film.
A delightful story about a fluffy talking kitty detective who solves a mystery with his talking kitty friends, later adapted into an animated movie. With gore and cat sex and marionette corpses and a cat that's basically a Nazi. Fun for the whole family!
Fight Club: A man beats himself up. Lots of people think this is a good idea.
Alternately, a politician is brought low by a rumor that is never fully explained, and can only be saved by a letter his wife wrote, that is also never explained. The rest of the book is unrelated and plotless.
Alternatively, an author screws with literary scholars and critics in a way that he knows will leave them confused yet discussing his greatness for centuries.
Fire, Burn!: A policeman has an accident and wakes up in the past. Is he hallucinating? Or has he really travelled back in time? And can he use his modern-day detective techniques to solve a baffling murder?
Fire and Hemlock: A young girl falls in love with her writing tutor. He's still seeing his ex-wife.
The Firebringer Trilogy: A bunch of warriors steal territory from natives, get pissed off when said natives eat their children.
Birth of the Firebringer: In order to become initiated, the younger warriors go on a life-threatening journey into the heart of their worst enemies' homeland so that they can drink from a lake.
Dark Moon: A horse loses his memory. His father goes insane.
Son of Summer Stars: A warrior finds out that his wife is his sister, except then she's not. In order to get his home back from invaders, he sets it on fire.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven: A blue man, any army general, two women and a burn victim try to convince an old guy that his life was interesting.
Flatland: A satire of Victorian society in which a lawyer travels to other dimensions, and is arrested for trying to start a new religion. Oh, and the women of the protagonist's homeworld can accidentally stab people by sneezing.
Or: Dumb Is Good. Smart Is Bad. Improving Your Lot in Life Is Also Bad. Any questions?
Flowers for Algernon: A confused young man starts to understand his life for the first time after he has an operation, only to have it slip away from him after his favorite animal dies.
Fluke: or, I Know Why the Winged Wale Sings: A timid marine biologist stumbles upon a secret undersea conspiracy after glimpsing the phrase "Bite Me" scrawled across a whale's fluke. His investigation eventually leads him to a secret submarine city ruled by his old college professor where he is seduced by an alien and ultimately has sex with God's daughter by Amelia Earhart.
Fly by Night: A young girl runs away from home to improve her vocabulary.
Foucaults Pendulum: Three Italian history geeks set out to defraud conspiracy theorists. One of them dies of cancer because the Qabala somehow penetrates his cell walls, and the second one witnesses the third one killed by a conspiracy group they had invented over the right to take over the world with a non-existent secret plan based on a laundry list.
The Fountainhead: An anti-social architect rises to the top of his profession despite the machinations of an evil newspaper columnist.
Frankenstein: A widower chases after a serial killer whose killing spree is the widower's own fault. Nowadays, most people confuse the widower's name with the killer's.
Or: A father walks out on his ugly kid, and is surprised when the kid doesn't like it. Father then abandons promise to try getting kid a girlfriend, and is surprised again when kid doesn't like it.
Freedom and Necessity: Four eccentric, aristocratic distant cousins exchange letters discussing why one has amnesia. They discuss Hegel and Engels and variously crossdress, take opium, elope and clean stables. There may be something supernatural going on, or possibly not.
Friday: A bioengineered supersoldier/ delivery girl gets caught up in the middle of a power squabble over the right to control the Earth's energy supply. On the advice of her adoptive father, she gets the hell out of there as soon as she can.
The Gallagher Girls: An angsty teenage girl goes to the most awesome school ever, and has multiple near-death experiences.
United We Spy: A twelve-year old's test paper nearly causes World War 3.
GameWorld: A corrupt financier on a drug trip gets trapped in a board game. Aided by gods, trolls, Irishmen, mobsters, and a giant potato, he travels towards his destiny: a game of poker against the only man who's allowed to know what time it is. Along the way, Hercule Poirot accuses him of murdering Lawrence of Arabia by drilling a hole in his chest with a pyramid, and he nearly gets turned to stone by a woman with an infinite series of nested handbags for a brain.
The Gargoyle: A burnt ex-porn star moves in with a woman who carves gargoyles, who tells him various stories about their (possible) past lives, and eventually walks into the ocean. Mind Screw ensues.
Ghostmaker: A series of short stories about Scottish ninjas being badass, followed by a group of them teaming up with heavily-armed fratboys and Space Elf witches to be collectively implausibly badass. Also, a teenager is almost executed for taking part in a con game.
Necropolis: The Scottish ninjas help defend a town from The Legions of Hell. They lose, chiefly because their leadership is laughably incompetent. The head Scottish ninja takes over, sleeps with a nobleman's daughter, and beats the Big Bad in a swordfight.
Honour Guard: A bunch of Scottish ninjas, a Cloudcuckoolander priest, and a local girl get religion and go on a road trip to a monastery.
The Guns of Tanith: Scottish ninjas (who are at this point no longer all Scottish - they include some gangster ninjas) fight Operation Market Garden In Space, against the Legions of Hell. Lots of people die for no good reason.
Straight Silver: Space Ninjas with lasers fight WWI against the Legions of Hell with lasers, teaming up with Gratuitous German-flavored locals.
Sabbat Martyr: Joan of Arc In Space reincarnates and kicks ass for The Lord. Her opposition includes two children and their doting "father", a terminally-wounded man in a life-support suit, a Space Elf ninja, a lizard with a shotgun, and a normal human who happens to be a colossal asshole.
Traitor General: A dozen of the space ninjas hunt down a man for crimes he doesn't remember, while the rest of the cast cools their heels off-page.
His Last Command: The Scottish and gangster ninjas get thrown in with a third set of ninjas. They're still fighting the bloody legions of hell. The fleet waits for hundreds of pages of bloody combat before blowing the place up from orbit, rendering the whole thing pointless.
The Armor of Contempt: Named after a quote from an in-universe rambling philosopher. The collective ninjas attack the planet from two books ago, despite it having nothing of value.
Blood Pact: The head of the Scottish ninjas (who is not, in fact, a Scottish ninja himself) runs around town with his valet, his archnemesis, and a mortician, hiding from a matched set of government functionaries.
The Giver: A young boy gets, and then deserts, a very important job.
Or: In a world with no emotions an old man touches a boy and teaches him of love and joy. He then tortures him with memories of pain and suffering. The boy then steals a baby and flees into the cold wilderness.
The Golden Ass: A guy gets turned into a donkey and listens to some stories while searching for the cure.
You know, that doesn't actually sound that bad. How about the blurb of the copy which I bought about six months ago: 'According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, the world's only totally reliable guide to the future, the world is going to end. Next Saturday, in fact. Just after tea...' It came close to putting me off completely.
The Goose Girl: Young woman who can talk to birds tries to convince people she's a princess. Yellow braids are a terrifying motif.
Princess Academy: A village girl spends a long time weighing the pros and cons of becoming a princess.
Book of a Thousand Days: The diary of a maid locked in a windowless tower for a few years.
Gormenghast: A teenaged head of state is not allowed to leave his house. The guy keeping him there engages in acts of domestic terrorism with a slingshot.
More accurately: After getting screwed by capitalism, a family moves from Oklahoma to California during the Great Depression to find work. They get screwed by capitalism again.
Gravity's Rainbow: An American soldier is hunted across Europe for his penis, which can predict rocket strikes. There are 200 other characters, including Malcolm X, dodo hunters, a platoon of African Nazis and a lightbulb.
˝ Prince: A male blood elf somehow becomes the most famous and sought after person in a digital world. Oh, and did we mention that he is actually a she?
Ham on Rye: The early years of a misanthropic drunk who falls in with a group of Nazis and repeatedly fails to get laid. And fights a lot.
Factotum: Misanthropic drunk gets fired from several low-paid jobs. And fights a lot.
Post Office: Misanthropic drunk gets a steady job which he hates. And fights a lot.
Women: Misanthropic drunk is able to retire from work, and so spends most of his time being grouchy and sleeping with the entire female population of North America. Fights a little less this time.
Hollywood: Misanthropic drunk writes a screenplay and proceeds to get shafted viciously by any number of thinly disguised versions of Hollywood figures. Doesn't fight at all, but gets sad and nostalgic when he sees people do it. Are you getting the basic idea of these yet?
Hammers Slammers: Soldiers meet interesting people and see interesting places, and proceed to blow them up.
"Under the Hammer": Recruit has the worse first day of work, ever.
"The Butcher's Bill": Heroes go and win a battle when politicians wuss out.
Hamlet: Young man suffers from mental illness, hallucinates, desecrates a grave, then murders his family.
Or: The bad guy rigs a tournament in an elaborate plot to gain his power back (which he likely came up with during the year long vacation in the last book). He succeeds and kills someone that no one really cared about anyway.
Or: A boy realizes he likes his best friend's sister, gets to be the new professor's favorite (despite doing absolutely nothing to earn it aside from being famous and taking advice written in his textbook), and gets private history lessons from the headmaster that will eventually lead to the downfall of the villain...but not in this book, as the villain doesn't make any significant appearances (in the present) and doesn't even interact with the boy.
Or: The hero cheats in school while the bad guy takes another break.
Or: A boy spends a year trying to kill a man. He eventually succeeds.
Hawksong: Arranged Marriages are no fun. Especially between a bird and a snake.
Heart of Darkness: An old man on a boat sailing upriver tells his fellow sailors a long yarn about when he was a young man sailing up an ostensibly different river into the heart of a dark continent. He journeyed for many months in search of a man who had gone before him, but that man promptly dies upon being discovered so the sailor turns around and gets the hell out of Africa as fast as he can.
Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore: An author thinks a fellow author is male when she's not. Then they get married and write together.
The Gallegher stories: An alcoholic Gadgeteer Genius produces machines he doesn't understand.
A Gnome There Was: A guy gets pulled into an underground kingdom. He brings it down trying to escape.
The Hippopotamus: A rich young boy is seduced by several ill people because he and they both believe he has magical semen. His alcoholic godfather, a recently fired film critic, pretends to write his father's biography while making a fool of himself at every opportunity.
His Masters Voice: Earth receives a message from outer space. Scientists try to decode it. They fail.
The Historian: Teenaged girl narrates how her father narrates how his mentor narrates a search for Dracula's grave, while trying to outwit a group of evil communists who want to turn Stalin into a vampire.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Ordinary man from an ordinary planet (which has recently been torn down) goes galaxy- and dimension-hopping with a hot scientist, a perpetually unhappy robot, an alcoholic daredevil, and a narcissist with two heads and three arms. Or, a man loses his home and fails to find a decent cup of tea.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe: The narcissist argues with an elevator, survives Mind Rape, and meets the galaxy's most influential cat fancier. The ordinary man and his friend the daredevil get stranded on prehistoric Earth with some of the most useless people in the galaxy. Along the way, they all stop for lunch at the end of time.
House of Leaves: A loving mother writes letters to her son. A blind French (maybe) guy dies. A tattoo artist has a lot of sex and does a lot of drugs while editing the Frenchman's book, which is about a non-movie about a house with a growing interior. Then he dies. Maybe. Not necessarily in that order, and creepy as hell.
Alternately, a man with relationship issues finds out he lives in GOD. But not really. Another guy falls in love with a rabbit. Yet another guy writes a book that makes so little sense that it kills the second guy. The whole thing is deconstructed by at least ten thousand people. NONE OF IT REALLY HAPPENS.
Neferet's Curse: A girl recovers from being raped by drinking blood, changing her name to that of a stripper's, and killing her rapist, in that order. She is ultimately saved from her crappy life by a Deus ex Machina.
Howl's Moving Castle An old woman leaves her home in pursuit of another old woman, and ends up becoming the housekeeper for a selfish, immature Bishōnen.
Alternatively, a pretty boy falls in love with his ninety-year-old housekeeper.
Castle in the Air A carpet seller falls in love after one of his carpets becomes his wingman. Later he fights a djinn. Go figure.
House Of Many Ways A girl, a dog, and a boy take care of an elderly fellow's home while he is in the hospital.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: A failed playwright, an asshole priest, a French guard, and a horribly deformed bell-ringer all want to bang a 15 year old gypsy girl; everyone except the soldier and the playwright die horribly. The story is constantly interrupted to deliver educational lessons on medieval architecture.
The Hunger Games: A girl is trapped in the woods and must fight to the death with other teens. Her biggest hang up is wondering which of two boys she likes better.
Catching Fire: Despite not still deciding which boy she likes better, the girl is trapped in a beach and must fight to death with several other murderers.
Mockingjay: The girl is trapped in underground bunkers/tunnels while wondering if seeing so much deathis worth it and which of the increasingly more injured boys she definitely likes.
"The Priest's Tale": Guy tries to bring Catholicism to retarded midgets. This does not turn out the way he wanted it to.
"The Soldier's Tale": Different guy spends his life searching for an Action Girl that he had sex with during war game simulation of the battle of Agincourt. This also does not turn out the way he wanted it to.
I, Robot: Machines malfunction time and time again, and experts try to fix them.
Ice: Girl has to rescue her polar-bear husband (whilst pregnant), because she looked at him in his human form. Based on a Norwegian fairy-tale.
The Iliad: A guy gets upset when his boss steals his girlfriend. This escalates into a series of events that culminate in the death of his best buddy, which makes him way more upset.
The Illuminatus! Trilogy: Every conspiracy theory you have ever heard is true. Ever. Or at least, that's what They want you to think. Fnord!
The Eye In The Pyramid : A cynical New York detective investigates the bombing of a subversive newspaper and eventually gets himself abducted by an evil Ancient Conspiracy founded by fake!George Washington to do... well, the book isn't entirely clear about that. He is then rescued by the newspaper's editor, who proceeds to attempt to convince the detective that he's actually his partner and that this whole thing has just been one big paranoid delusion. Meanwhile, a reporter goes on an underwater adventure with talking dolphins.
The Golden Apple: The reporter gets into a love triangle with a pot smuggling anarchist submarine captain and a pair women who later turn out to be the same woman, and a goddess to boot, and the editor hangs out with a bunch of weird people who all give him contradictory explanations about what is going on. Lots of sex is had by all.
In Search of Lost Time: Effete French boy suspects that all his girlfriends are secretly lesbians.
In the Beginning ... Was the Command Line: A sarcastic nerd details the history of the computer industry, occasionally going off topic in order to discuss such things as illiteracy, societal distinctions, human nature, the meaning of life and... Disneyland.
"When the People Fell": China succeeds in space exploration.
The Invisible Man: Man purposely handicaps self, is surprised when it does not improve his life. To make himself feel better, he dresses up and gives a tramp instructions on how to inflict said handicap.
Invisible Man: An African-American man moves to New York. He is not, nor does he ever become, invisible - but try to tell that to him!
The Island of Doctor Moreau: A man who has lost his way is offered shelter by a kindly educated man and his employer, who warn him to keep away from the bizarre, irrational and unnatural beings that share their home. The man proceeds to sympathise with these beings and becomes antagonistic towards the men who helped him in his hour of need.
Alternatively, a stubborn old newspaper man loses everything for his beliefs.
Or, a Good Ol' Boy and his gay best friend get everything they've ever wanted. They have a fight. Good Ol' Boy moves to Paris and sulks, while his gay best friend is shot at a party. Meanwhile, an old newspaper man talks about them behind their backs.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: Two professional men's rivalry causes problems for England. Meanwhile, a man with unusual hair forcibly entertains a young noblewoman and a black servant.
Journey to the West: A monk, a shapeshifting monkey, a perverted pig, a former general of Heaven, and a dragon prince travel in order to obtain a set of religious texts.
The Jungle Book: An adopted orphan sasses his teachers, runs around naked and sets fire to a cat.
Alternatively: In the Victorian era, Funny Animals were not so funny.
The White Seal: The Messiah and his Dad beat the crap out of everyone before leading them to the promised land.
Jurassic Park: Ambitious wildlife park fails because of a disgruntled employee and a serious, unexpected flaw in the breeding program. Chaos theoretician predicts that the wildlife park will go wrong before it does, but says there is no way to know (before it happens) how it will go wrong.
The Lost World 1995: Cut-throat businessmen, scientists attempt to capitalize on failed safari venture. Underestimate logistical challenges of wildlife management.