Some books are forgettable. You read them, put them aside, and within days you couldn’t accurately recall the plot if your life depended on it. Some books are memorable. You write down quotes and gush about the characters to your reading buddies and you think about the impact it’s had on your life. Then there are the books that haunt you. The ones that are always there, in the back of your mind, and they pop back to the surface at the most random times. These are the books that haunt me.
So it goes. Slaughterhouse Five is a weird book, it’s a confusing book at times, and it covers all manner of things from the mundane, to telepathic aliens and time travel. With this in mind, I still can’t quite believe just how starkly certain scenes and certain quotes have stood out and embedded themselves in my brain. So it goes, indeed.
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
Birdsong is more of a traditional haunting for me. There’s something about novels set around World War I that give them a totally different feel to those set around World War II. It’s beautifully written and oh, so atmospheric, which is haunting in itself. Then, of course, there are the claustrophobic and sometimes devastating scenes from the tunnels that come to me at the most random of times.
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
Another book about war, though this time about the Second World War, and it couldn’t be any more different from Birdsong. It’s absurd and horrifying, and funny and sad, and I think about it perhaps more than any other book. The characters are so vivid and their personalities have made such a mark on me that sometimes I feel I know them as real people.