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Liv Stratman's Dark Comedies

Liv Stratman's Dark Comedies

A playlist of witty, screwball, and/or edgy novels for lovers of black comedy and satire. Curated by novelist and bookseller Liv Stratman of NYC's Book Club Bar.

Playlist Tags: The Book Bar RVA genre: Humor topic: comedy satire

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The Secret History

By Donna Tartt
Narrated by: Donna Tartt
Length: 22 hours 3 minutes

In this brilliant novel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt gives us a richly textured and hypnotic story of golden youth corrupted by its own moral arrogance.

Richard Papen had never been to New England before his nineteenth year. Then he arrived at Hampeden College and quickly became seduced by the sweet, dark rhythms of campus life --...

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My Year of Rest and Relaxation

By Ottessa Moshfegh
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

“At first, My Year of Rest and Relaxation feels like the end of something, like a novel about the end of someone’s life. But Moshfegh has a way of affirming life unlike any other author. Repercussions of grief, emotional exhaustion, and the general anchors of life hurl a young woman into the warm embrace of the idea of hibernating for a year. Of course, this cannot be so simply done. In true Moshfegh fashion, this journey is brimming with laconic humor, her brand of ne’er-do-wells, and ample substance intake, which all lead to one of the most existentially satisfying reads in recent memory.  ”

BookPeople image Gregory Day, BookPeople
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The Pisces

A Novel

By Melissa Broder
Narrated by: Melissa Broder
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes


“Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter 

Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho... Read more »

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My Sister, the Serial Killer

A Novel

By Oyinkan Braithwaite
Narrated by: Adepero Oduye
Length: 4 hours 14 minutes

My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer is one of the best books to come along in quite a while — fast, funny, and completely engrossing. Oyinkan Braithwaite offers up a tale of Nigerian sisters Ayoola, a beautiful and sociopathic serial killer who destroys boyfriends, aware that all they ever want her for is her appearance, and Korede, a nurse whose average looks leave her continually passed up in preference for Ayoola. Still, taciturn and devoted Korede works hard to cover up her charming sister’s crimes. What will happen when they both fall for the same guy? At once a page-turner and a perversely righteous tale about the emptiness of physical beauty and the superficiality of being charmed by it, My Sister, the Serial Killer is entertaining, provoking, and utterly fascinating!”

Bookbug image Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug
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A Novel

By Halle Butler
Narrated by: Halle Butler
Length: 4 hours 35 minutes

The "sublimely awkward and hilarious" (Chicago Tribune), National Book Award "5 Under 35"-garnering first novel from the acclaimed author of The New Me--now in a new edition

Twenty-four-year-old Megan may have her whole life ahead of her, but it already feels like a dead end, thanks to her dreadful job as a gastroenterologist's receptionist and... Read more »

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An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

A Novel

By Brock Clarke
Narrated by: Daniel Passer
Length: 10 hours 37 minutes

Sam Pulsifer, the hapless hero of this incendiary novel, has come to the end of a very long and unusual journey, and for the second time in his life he has the time to think about all the things that have and have not come to pass.

The truth is, a lot of remarkable things have happened in Sam’s life. He spent ten years in prison for accidentally... Read more »

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Tears of the Trufflepig

A Novel

By Fernando A. Flores
Narrated by: Raul Castillo
Length: 7 hours 10 minutes


"Readers of this breakout work [will leave] thrilled and disoriented in equal measure." --Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

One of The Daily Beast's Best Summer Beach Reads of 2019, one of Lit Hub and The Millions's Most Anticipated Books of 2019, one of...

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Geek Love

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By Katherine Dunn
Narrated by: Christina Moore
Length: 15 hours 28 minutes

Nominated for the National Book Award, Geek Love is mesmerizing, daring, and unconventional. Award-winning novelist Katherine Dunn fascinates and amazes much the same way tornados, earthquakes, and volcanos do. No one wants to be a victim, but most find the event too hypnotic to ignore. In order to save their traveling carnival from bankruptcy,... Read more »

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Goodbye, Vitamin

By Rachel Khong
Narrated by: Thérèse Plummer
Length: TBA

'A beautifully written coming-of-age debut, dreamy and funny ... flawlessIndependent

'Khong is a magician... Brilliant' Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

‘Khong’s first novel sneaks up on you – just like life, illness and heartbreak. And love. A million small, human and often deeply funny details gather force to tell a tale that is... Read more »

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A Far Cry from Kensington

By Muriel Spark
Narrated by: Pamela Garelick
Length: 6 hours 7 minutes

Set on the crazier fringes of 1950s literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a delight, hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation.

Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired...

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By Lorrie Moore
Narrated by: Lorrie Moore
Length: 5 hours 20 minutes

“Fifty years from now, it may well turn out that the work ofvery few American writers has as much to say about what it means to be alive inour time as that of Lorrie Moore” (Harper’s).

A literary event—a new collection of stories by one ofAmerica’s most beloved and admired short story writers, her first collection infifteen years.

In these eight...

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The Sellout

By Paul Beatty
Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
Length: 9 hours 36 minutes

Born in Dickens, Los Angeles, the narrator of The Sellout spent his childhood as the subject in his father's racially charged psychological studies. He is told that his father’s memoir will solve their financial woes. But when his father is killed, he discovers there never was a memoir. Fuelled by despair, he sets out to right this wrong with... Read more »

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A Touch of Jen

By Beth Morgan
Narrated by: Casey Turner
Length: 9 hours 44 minutes

A young couple's toxic Instagram crush spins out of control and unleashes a sinister creature in this twisted, viciously funny, "bananas good" debut. (Carmen Maria Machado)

"Um, holy shit...This novel will be the most fun you'll have this summer." —Emily Temple, Literary Hub

Remy and Alicia, a couple of insecure  service workers, are not...

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The Middlesteins

A Novel

By Jami Attenberg
Narrated by: Molly Ringwald
Length: 6 hours 56 minutes

The Middlesteins

“Edie loves food. She loves it much too much. And each member of her family in turn grapples with the issue i their own way. This was my first experience with a Jami Attenberg novel, and I've been loyal to her ever since. She's so good at writing distinctive voices and bringing characters to life, and this book showcases those skills brilliantly. ”

East City Bookshop image Claire, East City Bookshop
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Cheat Day

A Novel

By Liv Stratman
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 9 hours 28 minutes

This clever and witty debut novel about the unexpected consequences of one woman’s attempt to exert control over her life by adhering to a strict wellness routine is “the kind of book you devour in a day or two…sexy and funny, but also very perceptive” (BuzzFeed).

Kit and David were college sweethearts. Now married and in their thirties, they... Read more »

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