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Better Than It Sounds: Literature A-J
These books really aren't so bad, once you start reading them. Highlight the title, after you guess.

Please sort new titles alphabetically to avoid double-entries.
  • 1984: In a totalitarian world, a man has philosophical discussions with himself, has sex whenever he is alone with his girlfriend for longer than ten minutes, then gets tortured.
    • Or: A man learns to love his brother. This is considered a bad thing.
    • Or: The world is ruled by amnesiacs who can't do basic mathematics.
    • 2112: As above, but with a bitchin' guitar solo.
    • Brazil: As above, but written by Monty Python.
  • 1632:
    • 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.
  • The Abhorsen Trilogy: Extraordinarily Empowered Girls kill zombies with bells.
    • Or: young women splash around in a freezing river to make sure nobody cheats the system.
    • Sabriel: Schoolgirl's father goes missing. She tries to find him with the help of a smart-aleck cat and a Human Popsicle.
    • Lirael: A boy and a girl are unable to go into their respective family businesses. They leave home, bump into each other, and decide to go hang out with the boy's best friend.
    • Abhorsen: The friend is digging a big hole. This is a bad thing.
  • An Abundance of Katherines: A half-Jewish child prodigy and an Arab Trekkie go on a road trip. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Across The Nightingale Floor: A Japanese teen must assassinate a warlord to prevent his girlfriend from marrying his adopted father.
    • 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.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Girl pursues a lagomorph into a land ruled by playing cards, bad logic, and nursery rhymes.
    • Or: This Is Your Premise on Drugs : The Book (vol 1).
    • Or: Normal girl tries to cope in a world that operates by the laws of abstract mathematics.
    • Through The Looking Glass: Girl gets entangled in a game of chess after walking into a mirror, and encounters more bad logic and nursery rhymes.
      • Or, on a dull afternoon, girl plays chess against a kitten and they are both so bored that they fall asleep.
      • Or: This Is Your Premise on Drugs : The Book (vol 2).
  • All-American Girl: Ordinary girl saves the president then falls in love with his son.
  • All Quiet on the Western Front: German college student's asshole professor sends him and his class off to World War 1; he and the rest of his class all die.
  • 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.
  • Apt Pupil: Teenage schoolboy befriends a war veteran.
  • 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.
  • Around the World in Eighty Days: A British gentleman undertakes the world's first Amazing Race, ending with the best kind of souvenir.
  • Arrowsmith: A cynical physician entertains doubts as to whether or not humanity is really worth saving.
  • Artemis Fowl: A precocious preteen finds out that fairies are real, and decides to kidnap one and hold her for ransom to fund his criminal empire.
  • As I Lay Dying: A southern housewife dies. Mind Screw ensues. Also, humans are bastards. Total bastards. Every last one of us.
  • The Assassins of Tamurin: A Dark Action Girl spends several years kicking dogs and screwing up the lives of the people she loves before realizing she's working for the bad guys.
  • Atlanta Nights: A murder mystery, where the murder is particularly hard to solve because of all the plot holes. Specifically written to debunk a vanity publisher, so only qualifies as So Bad, It's Good.
  • 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.
  • The Atrocity Archives: IT support guy for top secret organization battles Great Old Ones summoned by top secret Nazi necromancers whilst attempting to avoid his boss's constant demands for him to follow correct procedure when lodging paperwork.
  • At the Mountains of Madness: Scientist flies plane into the south pole, comments on old history book.
  • Automated Alice: A familiar girl travels to the future, where snakes have turned everyone into furries. Along the way she meets the book's author, and the author of the original books.
  • Avalon High: The Lady of the Lake, reincarnated as an Ordinary High-School Student starts attending a high school with a Meaningful Name where many of her peers are reincarnations of other arthurian characters. The first is a book but the sequels are mangas.
  • 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.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: More than a decade of teenage girls babysitting.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Pale boy steals rock and saves government. Then poor girl destroys statue so pale boy can save government. Then pale boy destroys government.
  • 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.
  • "Berenice": A guy falls in love with his cousin, goes nuts, and pulls out her teeth.
  • The Bible: Nomadic tribes travel through the Middle East and North Africa, enduring all kinds of hardships before finally coming to the Promised Land. In the sequel, a guy tells everyone how cool it is to be nice to each other but is executed by The Empire, comes Back from the Dead, and Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence. In the Distant Finale of the sequel, everyone dies. This is considered to be a positive ending. Oh, and there is considerable dispute as to the meanings of some passages.
    • The Book of Genesis: A world is built from scratch. A Middle-Eastern shepherd is promised might and wealth for his successors for no apparent reason.
    • The Book of Exodus: A conflict between immigrants and locals is resolved violently; the immigrants leave.
    • The Book of Leviticus: You no can haz cheezburger.
    • The Bookof Esther: The Holocaust is thwarted by a beauty queen and an until-recently-forgotten benefactor to the king.
    • The Four Gospels: A guy talks about being nice, collects followers, is killed and resurrected. Then, you get to read the same stuff three more times.
    • The Epistle to the Romans: A preacher writes to people in The Empire's capital.
    • Epistle to the Galatians: Correspondence from the same preacher (now under house arrest) to a church far away. There are castration jokes.
    • Book of Revelation A bronze footed albino with eyes made of fire and a sword coming out of his mouth tells a man of the future.
    • The Book of Mormon As above, In (ancient) America!
  • The Big U: A University professor and his students' lives intersect over an electric fan. The author considers it his Old Shame.
  • The Big Over Easy: Someone broke an egg with a bullet. This is Serious Business!
  • 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.
  • Black Beauty: Horse talks about his life.
  • The Black Tattoo: A Power Tattoo nearly causes The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Blindsight: A guy with half a brain fights invisible psychic aliens along with a vampire, a cyborg, the military officer with the remote control, and four people in one body. The author claims it is hard science fiction.
  • 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.
  • Brother Cadfael: A military veteran, now a monk, helps solve murders.
  • The Brothers' War: Cain and Abel have a Lensman Arms Race and cause The End of the World as We Know It. Based on a card game.
  • 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.
  • Bunnicula: A dog and a cat suspect a rabbit is a vampire. As related by the dog.
    • Or: a poor defenseless rabbit is persecuted by a cat. A dog fails to interfere most of the time.
  • The Call of Cthulhu: A large funny-looking critter causes nightmares all over the world from the bottom of the ocean.
    • Most works by the same author: Anyone who isn't a white Christian/Atheist male virgin is evil.
    • Or: Stories written by a racist man that tell tales about extremely ugly things.
  • Candide A young optimist learns the hard way that life is not really all that great and becomes a farmer. One of characters has one (yes, one!) buttock cut off and won't shut up about it.
  • The Canterbury Tales: A group of bored people walk to visit the site where somebody died. On the way, they tell stories in hopes of winning food.
    • The Miller's Tale: Two guys want the same girl. Her husband is told to flee, and then one seducer tricks the other into kissing his ass—literally—and then isn't able to sit for a week.
    • The Friar's Tale: An Amoral Attorney tries to form an alliance with Satan. Reality Ensues.
    • The Pardoner's Tale: For his ad pitch, a spiritual quack tells about wastrels who hunt The Grim Reaper only to get Distracted By The Shiny and then turn against each other.
  • Captain Underpants: A fat, bald, middle-aged man fights improbable supervillainy, with and/or in his underwear.
  • "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward": Young heir takes up ancestor's hobby, psychiatrist conspires to insult a dead guy.
  • 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.
  • The Cat Who: A millionaire journalist and his two pets, one of which is remarkably perceptive. They Fight Crime.
  • The Cat Who Went to Heaven: A cat dies from happiness when her owner includes her in a painting of Buddha, and is blessed. Tear Jerker Ensues
  • 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.
  • Charlotte's Web: Spider tricks farmer into worshiping his dinner.
  • Childe Cycle: Philosophy debate is derailed by mercenary shenanigans.
    • Dorsai: Mutant creates havoc and conquers humanity.
    • Necromancer: Cult gives a troubled youngster a hand.
    • Soldier, Ask Not: Biased reporting almost wipes humanity out.
    • "Warrior": Two men visit and get to know each other after a tragic death.
  • The Chocolate War: A student refuses to take part in his school's fundraising. This is Serious Business. Meanwhile, a lot of Catholic school-boys have A Date with Rosie Palms.
  • Choke: Oddly-dressed dropout steals money from admirers and is kicked out of sex rehab.
  • Christine: A boy and his Cool Car. Which tries to kill people.
    • 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.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: A Boy, Girl, And His Wolf IN THE STONE-AGE!
    • Wolf Brother: A boy, girl, and wolf destroy a demonic bear by going on a nature scavenger hunt.
    • Spirit Walker: The boy has an island holiday and learns that he can posses things, which makes a group of people want to kill him. Meanwhile, killer whales take revenge.
    • Soul Eater: The group of people kidnap the wolf in order to open up Hell, with plans to control the demons via a pretty stone that everyone wants. They fail when one of them commits suicide.
    • Outcast: The boy is made an outcast, goes temporarily insane for a while, and is dicked around with by the girl's mother. It ends when the girl's mother is shot by the boy's relative.
    • Oath Breaker: The boy swears revenge when his relative is killed. He both fails and succeeds at it.
    • Ghost Hunter: The remaining member of the group tries to raise and control ghosts, but is foiled when a crazy man calls on unseen people to kill her.
  • Chronicles of Chrestomanci: Magicians who work for the British government regulate magic, travel to parallel universes, and die. A lot.
    • Charmed Life: A spoiled little girl steals from her brother on a regular basis.
    • The Lives of Christopher Chant: A young boy dies, then is forced into an apprenticeship without his mother's consent.
    • Witch Week: Guy Fawkes blows up Parliament. Bonfires still ensue.
    • The Magicians of Caprona: Two feuding Italian families try to remember how to sing.
    • Conrad's Fate: A young photographer takes pictures of multiple locations at once.
    • The Pinhoe Egg: The government gets involved in a feud between two British families. Anvils fall from the sky.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Girl finds an alternate universe in a closet. Jesus is shaved.
    • 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.
    • The Horse and His Boy: A boy steals a horse and runs away from home. Jesus forces him to meet a girl.
    • The Magician's Nephew: Two children play with rings.
      • 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.
    • The Last Battle: A donkey accidentally turns an ape into an Evil Overlord. The Evil Plan is foiled by The End of the World as We Know It. But it's okay; Jesus lets all the good people live inside his tiny stable forever and ever, amen.
      • Or: An orangutan facilitates the apocalypse by dressing a donkey as a lion.
  • Chronicles of Prydain: The Book of Three : Warlords fight over a pig.
  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath: Accident-prone girl finds that she is one of the three faces of God. Everyone else thinks she's a boy.
    • 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 Emo Wangst 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?
  • Ciaphas Cain: In a universe on the brink of ruin, a man with a Nice Hat and his very dirty Sidekick save the day by running away from things.
    • 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.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces: A fat, lazy, delusional, thirty-year-old Jerkass who still lives with his mother is forced to get a job in New Orleans. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Consider Phlebas: A mercenary learns he has more in common with his enemies than he wants to believe.
    • Interstellar Mary Suetopia goes to war. Virtually everyone mentioned is killed.
  • A Conspiracy of Paper: A 27 year old Jewish man races about London in 1716, kicking ass and taking names while trying to discover who murdered his father.
  • "Cool Air": A Spaniard melts.
  • Coraline: A girl has second thoughts about running away from home after her new mom threatens to rip her eyes out.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: Guy gets arrested because he can't read. Tries digging a tunnel out of prison, but never gets to use it. Proceeds to ruin nearly everyone else's lives.
  • Courtship Rite: Three cannibals are forced into an Arranged Marriage.
  • 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.
  • Crime and Punishment: Guy kills old lady and her sister to prove his ideas. Turns out he was wrong.
  • 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.
      • The System of the World: Isaac Newton dies. He gets better.
  • Cujo: A beleaguered ad man neglects his family as he tries to save his failing company, but a clumsy, slobbering St. Bernard makes this summer one they'll never forget!
  • The Curse of Chalion: A homeless vet comes to town hoping for a menial job only to wind up mentoring an important heiress. Said task is harder than it sounds.
  • The Dalemark Quartet: Historic events happen in another country.
    • Cart and Cwidder: Medieval pop stars return home.
    • Drowned Ammet: Three kids sail a boat. One of them learns a married couple's names.
    • The Spellcoats: Five siblings visit the ocean for the first time. Clothing is made.
    • The Crown of Dalemark: A young girl has an interactive history lesson.
      • Alternatively, three kids and a middle-aged man start a revolution. History ensues.
  • Danny, the Champion of the World: A boy and his father plot to steal livestock from their neighbour.
  • Dante's Equation: A scientist, her assistant, a journalist, a rabbi, and a government agent climb a ladder.
  • Dark Future: 1998 is a Cyber Punk Dystopia where an evil version of the Mormons wants to destroy the world for Cthulhu. Only Elvis, a teenage cyborg and a ninja nun can stop them.
  • The Dark Is Rising: An eleven-year-old boy learns that he is the last of an ancient magical race and is fated to collect six magical Plot Coupons to save the world from evil. Not a Cliché Storm.
  • The Dark Tower: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood hikes to the center of the universe because he feels like it.
    • The Gunslinger: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood lets a kid die so he can talk to a wizard.
    • The Drawing of the Three: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood travels to New York to make friends.
    • The Waste Lands: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood smack-talks a train.
    • Wizard and Glass: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood talks about the time he lost his virginity.
    • Wolves of the Calla: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood fights jedi robots.
    • Song of Susannah: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood goes back to New York to solve an existential crisis while his son is born without him knowing it.
    • The Dark Tower: Guy who looks like Clint Eastwood gets someone else to kill Satan for him, and he returns to the beginning of the first book. Fans get really pissed off.
  • The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish: Chain of Deals: The Book
  • The Day of the Jackal: Angry people hire a professional to off someone they don't like. After much preparation, all falls apart because someone can't handle a few thousand volts to the testicles.
  • The Day of the Triffids: Nearly everyone on Earth goes blind, allowing bioengineered plants to run amuck.
  • A Deadly Game of Magic: Four teenagers argue about their families' expectations while a stage magician tries to cut off their heads. Nothing Is Scarier.
  • Death: A Life: The Grim Reaper screws his mother and keeps killing his girlfriend. Unicorns are jerks.
  • Death of a Salesman: A salesman dies.
  • Death Rat!! by Mike Nelson: A small town becomes overrun by reporters after it is featured in a novel that the author didn't write.
  • Deerskin: A princess is So Beautiful, It's a Curse. Grimmification and Rape as Drama ensue. Prince Charming doesn't look the part. We are reminded repeatedly that Heroes Love Dogs.
  • 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.
  • Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky:A group of Russian socialists move in to a small town and begin playing a series of pranks on the residents Hilarity Ensues.
  • Descent Into Hell: An Expy of T.S. Eliot helps a young orphan with a terror from her childhood. NOT starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.
  • 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.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A wimp keeps a diary.
    • Alternatively, a Jerkass who's not really wimpy keeps a journal about his misadventures in middle school.
  • Diaspora: An orphan studies physics.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: A man gets his sofa unstuck from the stairwell, with help from an old college professor.
  • 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.
    • Faust Eric: 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.
    • Moving Pictures: The invention of motion pictures leads to an invasion by extra-dimensional monsters, and only a college dropout, his girlfriend, and a talking dog can save the day.
    • 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.
    • Men at Arms: A police chief is forced to recruit ethnic minorities. He also has to deal with what appears to be a walking argument in favor of gun control.
    • 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.
    • Maskerade: Two old ladies and a fat chick save the klutzy janitor of a dysfunctional opera house from being framed for murder.
    • Feet of Clay: A band of conspirators try to poison a dictator in an unusual fashion. This would be a bad thing. Meanwhile, pottery robots try to become free by building their own king.
    • Hogfather: A one-eyed man and his hired thugs plot to kill a winter holiday figure using baby teeth. Only The Grim Reaper and his granddaughter can stop them.
    • 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.
    • Thief of Time: Two monks try to stop Obstructive Bureaucrats from bringing about The End of the World as We Know It by commissioning the most accurate clock ever made. They end up relying on the help of a school teacher, a rogue bureaucrat, and a milkman.
    • The Last Hero: Elderly barbarians try to blow up the home of the gods.
    • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents: A con artist, his music-loving young partner, a girl who thinks she's the star of a story about an Amateur Sleuth, and an army of sapient rats save a small town from a Hive Mind.
    • Night Watch: High-placed copper on the trail of a murderer spends most of the book talking to himself. A future tyrant is bullied by his classmates. People die pointlessly.
    • The Wee Free Men: Armed with a frying pan, a book on sheep diseases, and the aid of some angry blue midgets, a little girl saves her bratty brother and an Upper-Class Twit from evil elves.
    • Monstrous Regiment: A girl uses cross-dressing to track down and rescue her brother, and saves her home country by convincing their army to surrender.
    • 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.
    • Making Money: A postmaster inherits a dog that owns a bank and convinces an entire city to abandon the gold standard.
    • Unseen Academicals: Mostly-out-of-shape wizards play soccer in order to pay their grocery bills. Meanwhile, a street punk hooks up with a good-looking kitchen maid, a not-so-good-looking kitchen maid learns not to drag people down, and a funny-looking Genius Bruiser deals with his self-esteem issues.
    • 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 almost get 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.
  • Don Quixote Homeless veteran develops hallucinations and self-destructive, violent tendencies. All intervention fails. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Dr. Seuss: A medical fraud opens millions of kids' hearts without a license. (Credit must go to this AV club article.).
  • Dracula: Old man moves to England and leeches off young women while he's there. Eventually, their friends hunt him down and kill him with knives.
    • Or: It's like Twilight, but without Edward.
    • Or: A ghost hires a lawyer to help him invest in English real estate.
  • Dragonback: A guy's mentor is a living tattoo. His computer has the personality imprint of a recently deceased Magnificent Bastard.
  • 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 Draka: South Africa takes over the world.
  • 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.
  • Dream of the Red Chamber Effeminate boy born to a decadent aristocratic family falls in love with his emo cousin and winds up as the Only Sane Man in his household.
  • Dreamsnake: A Frontier Doctor makes a huge fuss over a dead reptile.
  • The Dresden Files: A Badass Longcoat, his oversexed half-brother, a policewoman who is not his girlfriend, a religious fanatic and his jail-bait goth girl daughter battle the forces of darkness. The main character says "Hell's Bells" a lot.
    • 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!
    • Or: There's a wizard (who everyone is suspicious of) who lives in Chicago named Harry. He works for a wizard government in the UK. Except he packs a .44.
    • Or: Harry Potter meets Sherlock Holmes meets Twilight meets a shitload of awesome that will destroy any qualms you have about reading this. With fireballs. Yeah, that sounds good.
    • 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.
    • Death Masks: A mob boss, fallen angels, a detective and three knights all fight over an old piece of cloth. The bad guy is not an idiot. The apocalypse nearly gets a kickstart, and an entire South American village burns down.
    • 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.
    • Proven Guilty: Corny movie monsters attack, kidnap a teenage goth girl, and die horrible death at the hands of her mother. Also, a guy ticks off an entire nation by stabbing everyone in the heart with fire.
    • 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.
  • The Duel of Sorcery Trilogy: An Evil Sorcerer challenges a goddess. The world's best hope is a little green mutant who verges on Mary Sue status.
  • Dune: Boy named after a mouse helps locals improve their drug-filled sandpit, despite unfriendly wildlife. The government disapproves. Also, Cinnamon lets you see into the future.
    • Or: A Marty Stu helps desert hobos declare Jihad on the universe.
    • Or: The Godfather Recycled IN SPACE! turns into Lawrence of Arabia Recycled IN SPACE!.
    • 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.
  • The Dunwich Horror: A creepy hick gives birth to a creepy kid who grows up and robs a library.
    • Or: A dead guy rants at length about the horrors of race-mixing.
    • Or: Some doctors discover that the corpse of an ugly boy has an alien face on its crotch.
  • East: A girl whose housemate is a polar bear is rendered homeless when she gets his nightshirt dirty. Things are resolved when she washes it. Based on a Norwegian fairy-tale!
  • East of Eden: Unhappily married ranchers debate the exact meaning of Genesis 4:16.
  • The Eclipse of the Century: Young man travels to a Middle-Eastern country that he saw in a near-death experience, inadvertently setting in motion a chain of catastrophic events.
  • Eight Cousins: An orphaned girl becomes best friends with her housemaid and the adored center of existence for her seven male cousins. From the author of Little Women.
    • Rose in Bloom: The orphan is all grown up and feels torn between which of her cousins she wants to marry. The one she's leaning toward really just wants her money.
  • Eighth Doctor Adventures: An alien who's constantly losing his memory drags a revolving series of (mostly) human friends around the universe and fights off crazy skeletons and a bald Übermensch.
  • Eine Billion Dollar: Ordinary jerk grows to embrace his destiny as a Fugger.
  • Eisenhorn (Warhammer 40,000 novel trilogy): Church Militant uses increasingly extreme measures in his search for man with eye problem, then uses said man to deal with an old enemy.
  • Elmer Gantry: Jerkass cashes in on evangelicalism, ruins many lives.
  • The Elric Saga Emo boy born to a decadent aristocratic family falls in love with his level-headed cousin and winds up becoming Fate's bitch and destroying the world.
  • 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.
  • Empire of the East: An intelligent, free-willed supercomputer created to save civilization ends up destroying it instead, in the process unleashing a horde of Eldritch Abominations on the survivors. Thousands of years later, the computer, still functioning, and now being worshiped as a god by many of the surviving humans, conspires to destroy the dominant human civilization of this new time by setting off a large number of nuclear warheads left over from the before-time. The computer is not only the hero (although not the protagonist) of the story, but is portrayed as being, for all intents and purposes, a saint.
  • Ender’s Game: Laser tag is Serious Business, Real-Time Strategy games even more so. And let's not even get started on blogging.
    • Ender's Shadow: Laser tag is Serious Business, Real-Time Strategy games even more so. This time the main character is shorter.
    • 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.
    • Lost in a Good Book: The detective is attacked by coincidences and pink goo.
    • The Well of Lost Plots: The detective finds herself in a plot in a plot to save the world, and inadvertently meets God and allows the author of the book to publish a new story.
    • Something Rotten: The detective and an exiled prince play cricket to determine the fate of the world.
    • [[strike:The Great Samuel Pepys Fiasco]]: This book no longer exists.
    • First Among Sequels: In the sixth book of the series, the detective and her new sidekicks attempt to convince authors from writing for the Lowest Common Denominator.
  • Fahrenheit 451: Twenty Minutes into the Future, nobody reads. Man starts to question his job.
    • 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?
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A sports writer and his fat friend find creative ways to break the law and piss off middle-class conservatives.
  • 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.
  • Filth: A horrible member of the Scottish law enforcements gets a conscious tapeworm and then his already miserable life goes down the gutters.
  • Finnegan's Wake: A man has one Hell of a Mind Screw.
    • 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, "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk"
    • 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.
  • Flowers in the Attic: A brother and sister are locked in the attic. They have kids. That's all anyone remembers.
    • 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.
  • Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire: A writer living in an over the top fantasy world tries to write some serious fiction but can't take it seriously, so he decides to write some fantasy that reads like serious fiction. It makes more sense when you actually read it.
  • 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.
  • Foundation: The fall of the Roman Empire is retold in an outer space setting. A sterile mutant ruins everything.
    • Or: A bunch of Chessmasters play an extended game of solitaire. Someone comes along and messes it up.
    • Psychohistorical Crisis: Spiritual Successor in which a mathematician loses his memory.
  • 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.
  • Gai-Jin: Foreigners in 1860s Japan meet women and dabble in politics. Very Loosely Based on a True Story.
  • 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.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts: Scottish ninjas fight The Legions of Hell. With lasers.
    • First and Only: Scottish ninjas try to beat The Legions of Hell and The Mole to buried treasure. Hundreds of them die, and the treasure is completely ruined.
    • 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.
    • Only in Death: The ninjas take over a Haunted House and defend it from the legions of hell. Even more of them die than usual.
    • 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.
  • Generation Kill: A reporter rides in a jeep with a severely dysfunctional family to chronicle their adventurous road-trip. They are led by Captain America, Iceman, Encino Man, and The Godfather. Oh, and ambushes.
  • ''The Ghost and Mrs. Mc Clure: A bookshop owner finds the ghost of a 1940's detective haunting her property. Together, they solve a murder case!
  • Ghostgirl: A less than popular senior girl with an obsession with a boy dies and still has to attend school.
  • " A Gift from the Culture": An expatriate is blackmailed into a job.
  • 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.
  • Gone: Teenagers cope with Parental Abandonment. This is the main plotline of five, soon to be six, Doorstopper YA novels.
    • Gone: A fourteen-year-old surfer pursues the school geek while his twin acts on delusions of grandeur. Meanwhile, a girl breaks her arm, heals it, and gets kidnapped by talking coyotes.
    • Hunger: A boy cuts off power to a town because the voices in his head told him it was a good idea. Elsewhere, a group of kids decide to kill anyone more talented than they are.
    • Lies: Some kids want to go to an island. Others want to leave it. Teenagers try to form a working government. They pretty much fail. An anorexic babysitter becomes depressed.
    • Plague: The main conflict is a major infestation of pesky insects and the spread of a flu. Also, the Big Bad gets laid, but that just makes him more of a Jerk Ass than before.
    • Fear: A young boy has trouble interacting with the other children. A bunch of teenagers stop fishing. A new mother realizes that her kid is just growing up so fast.
    • Light: Hundreds of kids are brought to the mercy of and killed by a small child, whose sociopathic parents are trying to kill her.
  • The Good Fairies of New York: A pair of drunken Scotswomen play matchmaker between the worst violin player in New York and his Ill Girl neighbor as part of an elaborate plan to retrieve a magical fiddle.
  • Good Omens: A baby is switched at birth, which causes great problems later on. Meanwhile, a cynic with a fondness for antique cars, a rare book dealer, a Granola Girl, a man who breaks things, one of the last witch-hunters in Britain and the witch-hunter's landlady attempt to prevent four rather sinister bikers from causing The End of the World as We Know It.
    • 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.
  • The Grapes of Wrath: A family moves from Oklahoma to California, but find that they don't like it. The narrator takes the opportunity to wax lyrical about the glory of collectivism. Every. Other. Chapter.
    • 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.
  • The Great Divorce: Vacationers visit Paradise. Most decide to go back to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • The Great Gatsby: An obscenely rich embezzler tries to get into his neighbor's cousin's pants.
  • Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals: The title is Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals.
  • Gullivers Travels: A doctor hangs out with midgets, giants, mad scientists, and talking horses. His experiences lead him to conclude that the human race sucks.
  • The Guns of the South: South Africa wins the American Civil war with machine guns.
  • ˝ 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.
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A man loses his mind.
  • The Hardy Boys: A series about two teenage brothers and their father. They Fight Crime.
    • The Hardy Boys Casefiles: After one of the brothers' girlfriends is blown up, they discover that their city is very corrupt.
  • Harriet the Spy: A girl watches people do things and writes about it in her notebook.
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon: A child draws.
  • Harry Potter: A boy is hit by a curse that should kill him, but it doesn't. Then he sets out to save the world, armed with magic and The Power of Love.
    • Or: Globally feared mass murderer tries to murder baby boy, kills self instead. Years later, the boy and his schoolmates kill the murderer several more times to cure the boy's chronic migraines.
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: At his new school, a boy learns magic and tries to stop a teacher from stealing a rock.
      • Or: A group of kids is told not to go in a room. They disobey and save the world from an bad guy.
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The whole school is endangered by a girl writing in her diary. It takes a full school year to resolve the situation.
      • Or: The same kids enter a secret room with a giant snake in it. The hero kills the snake and a younger version of the bad guy from before.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: A boy worries about meeting his godfather and later decides that he should try to kill his best friend's pet.
      • Or: The bad guy from before takes a vacation.
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The villain scores a major victory by letting the hero win a big cup.
      • 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.
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: A school bureaucrat is outraged when students take an interest in their education.
      • Or: The hero and bad guy hear a vague prophecy that may actually be about a side-character.
    • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: A boy finds a really cool book and learns from it. This turns out to be very bad.
      • 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.
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: A boy and his friends go camping. Along the way, he learns that his deceased principal had past connections with a Depraved Homosexual war criminal whose Redemption Equals Death.
      • Alternately: A boy and his friends skip school.
      • 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.
    • ''History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II : Fifteen LONG volumes about how good American sailors are at blowing up German, Japanese, and Italian sailors.
      • Or New England scholar writes a history of World War II so heavy that the books could sink enemy ships if used as bombs.
    • The Hogben family: Supermen pose as rednecks.
    • Home Is the Hunter: A headhunter kills his strongest rival and then commits suicide.
    • The Iron Standard: Five astronauts destabilize an extraterrestrial regime in order to survive.
    • Nothing But Gingerbread Left: Hallo, hallo, ich bin dein Ohrwurm.
    • Two-Handed Engine: A roboticist who wants to be top dog tricks a man into doing his dirty work with the false promise of cracking into the robots to give him Karma Houdini.
    • The Twonky: A man's radio controls his life.
    • The Voice of the Lobster: A swindler stows aboard a liner in order to gain custody of a girl who is a natural hypnotist.
  • The Hiding Place: Lawful Good watchmakers hide people in a closet. Then their faith in God is reaffirmed in one of the most hellish prisons ever devised by man. Based on a True Story.
  • Hiero's Journey: After the End, a Badass Preacher, a Badass Princess, a telepathic bear, and an overgrown mutant moose are the world's best hope against an entropy cult of Card-Carrying Villains.
  • 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 Dark Materials: Some kids go through worlds, kill God accidentally and discover they don't need Him in first place. And there's loads and loads of talking animals! Technically speaking.
  • 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 Hockey Sweater'': A young boy prays for divine intervention after a mixup with the local retail catalogue causes him to be ostracized by his friends.
  • Holes: A boy falsely convicted of stealing a pair of tennis shoes is sent to a summer camp where they do nothing but dig holes all day long.
  • Homage to Catalonia: Something Orwellian happens to George Orwell in Spain.
  • Honor Harrington: Long-lived woman blows things up. A lot. With the help of a six-legged cat.
    • On Basilisk Station: Higher drug quality nearly results in Communist takeover.
    • The Honor of the Queen: Government sends woman on diplomatic mission to a planet full of space Saudis. It works surprisingly well.
    • The Short, Victorious War: Author realizes the Cold War is over, afflicts space Soviets with the French Revolution to keep things current.
    • Field of Dishonor: Takes a break from the blowing things up for one-on-one duels and angst.
    • Flag in Exile: Main character's budding business kills innocents, profits anyway. More angst.
    • Honor Among Enemies: Blowhard antagonists pull off successful plan.
    • In Enemy Hands: Awkward love triangle goes horribly awry. The events of the title do not occur until two-thirds of the way through the book.
    • Echoes of Honor: Main character wanders around in a jungle, leaving her countrymen to fend for themselves.
    • Ashes of Victory: Main character pays irrelevant social calls to her friends while other characters do all the awesome stuff. There are two different spoilers in the title.
    • War of Honor: Self-serving politicians fuck things up horribly.
    • At All Costs: Main character's countrymen and their enemies blow each other up to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries. Main character was destined to die but rescued by her admirers.
  • Horatio Hornblower: A Badass Bookworm Englishman kills a lot of Frenchmen, can't get any Plunder, marries a wife he doesn't like and another he does like, and broods a lot.
  • Horton Hears a Who!: An elephant becomes obsessed with germs.
  • The Host: Alien hangs out with humans and learns about The Power of Love. There are no vampires present.
  • 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.
  • The House of Night: A Mary Sue joins a school for Mary Sues, and, predictably, saves everyone- no, wait, where are you going?
    • Marked:
      • 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.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: After committing serial burglary and animal abuse, a curmudgeon is promptly forgiven and welcomed into a loving community. All it takes is one song.
    • Or: A man tries to reduce noise pollution in a mountainous area. He fails. This is considered a good thing.
    • Alternatively: A curmudgeon learns that you can’t steal an abstract concept after committing serial burglary, animal abuse, and grand larceny.
  • How To Build A Skydeck: A Fish out of Water from the suburbs moves into a trailer park and smokes a lot of pot with his coworkers while his neighbor (who claims to be an alien) is hunted by two incompetent MIBs
  • 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 death is worth it and which of the increasingly more injured boys she definitely likes.
  • The Hunt for Red October: Soviets try destroying one of their own submarines. They are unsuccessful.
  • Hyperion: A group of strangers discuss their Dark and Troubled Pasts on the eve of the apocalypse. The frame story has them on a mission to confront an omnicidal alien god from the future and do... something. Ultimately, they decide to sing Judy Garland songs at it. At least one of them ends up nailed to a mystical time tree for all of eternity. We think.
    • "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.
    • "The Poet's Tale": Colony of Mad Artists get slice and diced by Ax-Crazy space deity.
    • "The Scholar's Tale": University professor has crisis of faith brought on by daughter aging backwards in time.
    • "The Detective's Tale": Action Girl Private Eye falls in love with cybernetic reincarnation of John Keats.
    • "The Consul's Tale": Starship crewman has love affair with rapidly aging (from his perspective, anyway) space Hawaiian.
  • I Am America (And So Can You!): Late-night talk show host bitches about how everything is ruining America.
  • I Am the Cheese: A boy unravels his fragmented past by going on a bike ride.
  • I, Claudius: A stammering cripple pretends to be retarded so his family doesn't murder him. Becomes king of the world in the sequel. They later murder him.
  • "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream": A giant supercomputer brings about The End of the World as We Know It, and the survivors must escape its grasp so they can kill each other.
  • 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.
    • Leviathan: The above characters team up to foil a quartet of siblings attempt at using The Power of Rock to resurrect an army of undead Nazis and grant immortality to Hitler by sacrificing their fans to an omnicidal alien god.
  • 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.
  • In the Keep of Time: Three children unlock a tower and then have to spend the rest of the summer teaching their little sister how to be a modern Child Prodigy again. Meanwhile, Time Travel teaches a Green Aesop.
  • The Indian in the Cupboard: A boy learns he can brings toys to life as real people of his very own. Aesops Ensue.
  • Indigo series: Rebellious Princess sets loose Sealed Evil in a Can and is cursed with immortality. Now, the future of humanity depends on her and a talking dog. Mind Screws ensue.
  • Infinite Jest: A junior tennis player from an endearingly screwed up family smokes pot and former drug addicts try and live their lives while Canadian terrorists try to find a videotape.
  • Instrumentality of Mankind: The chronicles of a weird future.
    • Scanners Live in Vain: An order of the detached and emotionless attempt murder to prevent their obsolescence.
    • ''The Game of Rat and Dragon: In order to travel through hyperspace with one's life and wits intact, telepathic warriors enlist the help of trained cats to fight Eldritch Abominations.
    • Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons: A murderer tries to get at a planet's wealth. He fails in the most terrifying way imaginable.
    • The Ballad of Lost C'mell: An aristocrat helps a Cat Girl version of Martin Luther King win equal rights for Petting Zoo People.
    • "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.
  • It Can't Happen Here: America tries fascism, it doesn't work.
    • 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.
  • It: Ragtag Bunch of Misfits fight homophobic Monster Clown.
  • James and the Giant Peach: A lonely little boy and his oversized insect friends have adventures in an over-sized piece of fruit. They eventually settle in New York.
  • Jane Eyre: Uptight but independent teacher falls for mopey rich man.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: A good-hearted but spineless Upper-Class Twit is constantly manipulated by his more ruthless associates, family, and manservant. Wackiness ensues.
  • John Dies at the End: Deadpan Snarker and Cloudcuckoolander battle the forces of darkness. Contrary to what the title would have you believe, the title character does not die at the end. He dies at the beginning, since you asked.
  • 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.

LiteratureBetter Than It SoundsLiterature K-Z
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