One of the strangest, and most interesting, forms of storytelling in a book that I’ve ever seen was in number9dream by David Mitchell. It follows a young man named Eiji through Tokyo and is (kind-of?) a coming-of-age story. I picked it up in an airport library and let me tell you this book is wild.
A lot if it follows through Eiji’s imagination, so the forms of storytelling shift from chapter to chapter. At one point the book alternates between a book he reads and his real life, in another one it shifts between all the ways he imagines an event going down (ranging from realistic to absolutely insane) leading up to how it actually happens, and in another chapter it alternates between the contents of a journal from an entirely different character and the present day. (And so on)
The best part is that it never told you how it was going to switch. So when I first started reading it I did kind-of a literary double-take because I was extremely confused, but then the little metaphorical light went on and it became really fun to see what new kind of storytelling was going to be present in the next chapter- or if it would just be “normal” narration. (It’s since become one of my favorite books because of this).
Another fabulous form of storytelling is Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler another crazy adventure of a book. It’s actually told in second person like most CoG and HG games are. The story telling reminded me a bit of number9dream when it was described to me which is why I decided to give it a go and it’s really intriguing.
So the story is about you, yourself, reading the book If on a winter’s night a traveler (funnily enough this book was written in 1979… which is pretty early considering the whole meta-humor didn’t become really popular until, well, fairly recently), except the book isn’t finished.
So the entire story is about you trying to find the rest of the book, and subsequently finding even more books, so the actual book itself alternates between you trying to find the books and the text of the books you find.
It’s extremely fun, beautifully written, and has a bit of humor to it too! I would definitely recommend both number9dream and If on a winter’s night a traveler if you’re into unique storytelling.
Oh! And if you do pick up If on a winter’s night a traveler… pay attention to the name of each of the books. They’re all in the table of contents, so you’ll see what I mean.