The Best You’ve Never Heard

Back in college one of my best friends turned this phrase about a band he was listening to.  I believe the band was “Failure” and indeed I had never heard of them before, and indeed the band was truly great.

Since then I have taken to that phrase and I use it to describe authors, movies and music that I’ve discovered and most people have never heard of it.  I’ve a penchant for posting music periodically on my Facebook page ( ), but I thought I’d take a moment to post some authors that you probably haven’t heard of, but are tremendous talents.


Arthur Nersessian.

This guy is like a mixture of J.D. Salinger and Jack Kerouac, but for a modern crowd.  Anyone who liked “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, you need to read “The Fuck-Up” by Nersessian.  He speaks of New York in such a real way, he echoes Paul Auster, who is known for his books about New York.  Description aside, he writes angst, despair, hope and happiness with such pith, that you really feel for the characters, instead of being told how to feel about them.  Truly a wonderful author, check him out.

Kevin Brockmeier.

He follows in the footsteps of the magical realists, where he takes these strange premises and adds in some kind of supernaturality, or magic.  For example in “The Illumination” whenever anyone gets hurt, or cut, their injury lights up.  What Brockmeier does so well is let you infer what is actually going on.  Your imagination blooms when reading him.  He writes with such incredible heart and poise and grace.  Everything he does is short, but if you can sit back and really think about what he’s trying to say it’ll blow your world.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Zafon is a little more well known than the first two, but there are still so many people who have never had the absolute joy of reading one of his books.  As of the writing of this blog he has three adult books, which are semi-sequels in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books sequence, and five children books which easily read as adult.  Zafon has been linked to being up on Umberto Eco’s level, and his writing is so lyrical is really does sing to your soul.  Of course having Lucia Graves translate it from it’s native Spanish just elevates it that much more.  With echoes of Shakespeare, Goethe, Dickens, Proust, Eco and so many more, they are just beautiful stories “The Shadow of the Wind” being my favorite book of all time.  If you’ve ever considered yourself a writer then you must read either “The Shadow of the Wind” or “The Angels Game”.  They will change your life.

Mark Danielewski

And now for something completely different.  You may not recognize the name, but many of you will probably recognize his epic first novel “House of Leaves”.  At turns creepy, vivid, and evocative, Danielewski plays with form like nobody ever has.  If you’re a fan of Palahniuk because of his form, drop that hack’s shock jock bilge and pick up anything by Danielewski (And really if you’re the fan of the shock value, pick up Bret Easton Ellis, or Irvine Welsh).  You’ll find yourself turning the book around and reading from back to front, but you’ll also find yourself biting your fingers, crying, laughing and just down right flabbergasted.  Just as deep as everyone else on this list, but because of form, not because of prose.  Try out “House of Leaves”, it may take you a year to read, but you’ll find yourself going back to it.

That’s all for now, but I’ll be sure to post more later!


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