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Isaac Fellman

Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Five Books That Feel Like a Trippy Haunted House

I have no talent for drugs, so I’ve always relied on books to make me feel as if the fabric of reality is tearing like the seat of an old lawn chair. They’re not even the kind of books I write—I stick firmly to the “hopeful bummer” genre, where characters try for three things and get one—but I love to read them. There’s a realism in a novel that induces a state of horror and paranoia, since our world often does the same. For this reason, I find them comforting. It’s not the comfort of sitting under a blanket with a smooth rock in your hand, but the comfort of feeling that your perceptions are accurate: a pandemic and a collapsing climate are terrifying. As Ezra Furman says, “When pleasure lets you down/you learn to lean into the pain.”

Here are five novels that make me feel as if any structure I read them in—the break room, my studio apartment, a bus shelter, a train—is a haunted house.

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Series: Five Books About…

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