The Best Metafiction Books You Must Read: Updated 2019

Updated 2019

If you like to live outside the box and the idea of reality bothers you, then metafiction is for you! Maybe you’ve never heard the term before, but metafiction challenges the status quo. Most books are written with an eye towards authentic reality. If a book doesn’t live up to that expectation, they might not survive in the literary world. Metafiction changes that narrative completely. These stories are full of narration that doesn’t exactly conform to typical storytelling standards. For example, if you’ve ever read or watched Deadpool, you’ll know he regularly talks with the audience. That story is the perfect exactly of what metafiction is.

What Did These Metafiction Books Do To Qualify For This List

Any time you are ranking the best of something the results are usually somewhat subjective but we have did our best to come up with a list the readers of the metafiction genre will truly like. To come up with this list we took into account:

  • quantity and quality of user reviews
  • sales data
  • public perception
  • opinions of readers of this genres
  • commercial success
  • and of course personal opinion

Take a look at the best Metafiction Books you can read right now:

Best Metafiction Books

 

Here are the best metafiction books by the experts:

1)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Lucia Graves

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
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2)Cloud Atlas: A Novel by David Mitchell

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.
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3)Virtue at Market Price: A Saucy Tale of Airborne Pirates and Sins Personified (Empyreal Privateer Trilogy Book 1) by E. Pluribus Van Slyke and M.E. Meegs 

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: In April 1924, airship pirates descend on the luxury liner S.S. Paris and make off with a bounty of young female captives. When the various authorities appear powerless to act, one man steps forward, pledging himself to recover said booty and thereby render American womanhood secure.
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4)The Ghost Orchid Estate by Carol Goodman

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: An isolated Victorian mansion in upstate New York is the backdrop for Goodman’s latest literary mystery (after The Drowning Tree), which stars a debut novelist and her fellow residents at the artists’ retreat Bosco. Ellis Brooks has been accepted to Bosco primarily because her first novel is to be a fictional account of the mansion’s mysterious past; while there will be no deaths during her stay, there’s spookiness aplenty, as well as several 1893 murders still begging resolution. Goodman’s narrative alternates between Ellis’s first-person present and 1893. Coincidentally—or not—two of Bosco’s other guests are also working on projects related to the mansion. But they turn out to be little more than convenient accessories as Ellis, the daughter of a psychic (and possessor of certain powers of her own), unlocks clue after mystical clue to secrets long buried by the mansion’s original owners. As great a player as any is the mansion itself and its creepy (and possibly haunted) gardens. Is this an updated Victorian drawing room mystery or a romance novel/crime fiction–cum–ghost story? Never mind. Enjoy the atmosphere. And enjoy the ride; its twists and turns mesmerize, even if they don’t surprise.
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5)The Floating Opera and The End of the Road by John Barth

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: The Floating Opera and The End Of The Road are John Barth’s first two novels.  Their relationship to each other is evident not only in their ribald subject matter but in the eccentric characters and bitterly humorous tone of the narratives. Both concern strange, consuming love triangles and the destructive effect of an overactive intellect on the emotions. Separately they give two very different views of a universal human drama. Together they illustrate the beginnings of an illustrious career.
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6)The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente 

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: A lonely girl with a dark tattoo across her eyelids made up of words spelling out countless tales unfolds a fabulous, recursive Arabian Nights-style narrative of stories within stories in this first of a new fantasy series from Valente (The Grass-Cutting Sword). The fantastic tales involve creation myths, shape-changing creatures, true love sought and thwarted, theorems of princely behavior, patricide, sea monsters, kindness and cruelty. As a sainted priestess explains, stories “are like prayers. It does not matter when you begin, or when you end, only that you bend a knee and say the words,” and this volume does not so much arrive at a conclusion but stops abruptly, leaving room for endless sequels. Each descriptive phrase and story blossoms into another, creating a lush, hallucinogenic effect. A metafiction book worth reading.
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7)City of Glass: The Graphic Novel (New York Trilogy) by Paul Karasik , David Mazzucchelli , et al.

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: Quinn writes mysteries. The Washington Post has described him as a “post-existentialist private eye.” An unknown voice on the telephone is now begging for his help, drawing him into a world and a mystery far stranger than any he ever created in print.

Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, with graphics by David Mazzucchelli, Paul Auster’s groundbreaking, Edgar Award-nominated masterwork has been astonishingly transformed into a new visual language.

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8)Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali , Maureen Freely, et al.

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: A shy young man leaves his home in rural Turkey to learn a trade and discover life in 1920s Berlin. There, amidst the city’s bustling streets, elegant museums, passionate politics, and infamous cabarets, a chance meeting with a beautiful half-Jewish artist transforms him forever. Caught between his desire for freedom from tradition and his yearning to belong, he struggles to hold on to the new life he has found with the woman he loves.

Emotionally powerful, intensely atmospheric, and touchingly profound, Madonna in a Fur Coat is an unforgettable novel about new beginnings, the relentless pull of family ties, and the unfathomable nature of the human soul. First published in 1943, this novel, with its quiet yet insistent defiance of social norms, has been topping best-seller lists in Turkey since 2013.

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9)Golf in the Kingdom by Michael Murphy

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: A new deluxe edition of a golf classic by the director and co-founder of the Esalen Institute recounts the author’s encounter with the mystical golf pro Shivas Iron and explains the philosophical truths to be gained from playing golf. 15,000 first printing.
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10)Sweet Black Waves 

  • Best Metafiction BooksBOOK SUMMARY: As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow, will set Branwen against her closest confidant and the only man she’s ever loved.

Inspired by the legend of Tristan and Eseult, this is the story of the legend’s true heroine. For fans of Graceling and The Mists of Avalon, this is the first book of a lush fantasy trilogy about warring countries, family secrets, and forbidden romance.

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Best Metafiction Movies 

If you enjoyed the best metafiction books, why stop there? Take a look at our list of best metafiction movies and witness these marvelous films from the big screen.

1)The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Starring: Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons
Directed by: Karel Reisz

Movie Summary: Anna and Mike portray two characters in a film set in 19th century England who fall in love despite the fact that Mike’s character is engaged.

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2)Adaptation

Starring: Nicolas Cage , Tilda Swinton , Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper
Directed by: Spike Jonze

Movie Summary: From the creator of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH comes a very original comedy about a screenwriter struggling to adapt a best-selling book about orchid thieves into a metafiction movie. Things get really crazy when he writes himself into the screenplay.

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3)Deadpool

Starring: Ryan Reynolds , Morena Baccarin , Ed Skrein and T.J. Miller
Directed by: Tim Miller

Movie Summary:Witness the origin story of Wade Wilson, who adopts the alter ego Deadpool after a rogue experiment leaves him with accelerated healing powers…and a dark, twisted sense of humor.

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4)Scream

Starring: David Arquette , Neve Campbell , Courtney Cox , et al.
Directed by: Wes Craven

Movie Summary:After a series of mysterious deaths befalls their small town, an offbeat group of friends led by Sidney Prescott (Campbell) become the target of a masked killer in this smash-hit “clever thriller” (The Washington Post) that launched the Scream franchise and breathed new life into the horror metafiction genre.

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5)Fight Club

Starring: Brad Pitt , Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter
Directed by: David Fincher

Movie Summary:Sick of his dead end, white bread existence, Jack encounters an intriguing stranger who alters his relationship with reality.

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Best Metafiction Audio Books

Now that you’ve seen our list of the best metafiction books and movies, I’m sure you’ll be interested in trying out more of the best metafiction books in audio!

1)Cloud Atlas : A Novel by David Mitchell 

Book Summary: A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity. One of the best metafiction books available in audio.

Book Reviews:

2)Radiance by Catherynne M. ValenteHeath Miller, et al.

Book Summary: Severin Unck’s father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father’s films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space, and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

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3)Against the Day: A Novel by Thomas Pynchon, Dick Hill, et al.

Book Summary: “Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all. An amazing metafiction audio book.

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4)The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, George Wilson, et al.

Book Summary: Quite unexpectedly, Mrs. Oedipa Maas finds herself the executor of the estate of Pierce Inverarity, a man she used to know in a more-or-less intimate fashion. When Oedipa heads off to Southern California to sort through Pierce’s affairs, she becomes ensnared in a hilarious and puzzling worldwide conspiracy.

Calling Thomas Pynchon a “virtuoso with prose”, the Chicago Tribune compares his work to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Pynchon, winner of the National Book Award, has shocked, enthralled, and delighted fans for more than 40 years with his satire and wit.

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5)The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Jonathan Davis, et al.

Book Summary: Barcelona, 1945: Just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his 11th birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

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Conclusion

What do you think about our list of best metafiction books? If you have another genre that you prefer to read we have probably compiled a list of our favorites for that genre too. So if you are looking for something other than the best metafiction books you can find other genres here.

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