These guys were onto something. Their first double-pack single and then their self-titled debut album were both amazing. They slipped a little on their 2nd album, and even more on their third, but man did they start off in a shitstorm of fucktasticness......
I found out about Thomas Berger by accident at the local library in my early teens. Luckily, the first book I discovered by him was NEIGHBORS. Definitely the place to start. Pissed off, surreal, bleak, borderline psychotic - a definite roller coaster ride of a novel. Never saw the movie but, from everything I've read, it takes a lot of liberties with the book. Usually not a good thing.
I still haven't got around to LITTLE BIG MAN, it's my own fault, I'm sure I will someday.
I actually didn't realize Berger was American when I started reading him. He has a very formal approach to language, which seems at odds with the characters and situations he writes about. The books feel like they were written in a different language and then translated by a very literal-minded person, or maybe written in English by some one who had learned it as a 3rd or 4th language. He definitely sounds like no one else.
SNEAKY PEOPLE and THE FEUD were two other Berger books I read early, I can't recommend them enough. Farce, black humor, comedies of manner and misunderstanding, all very savage and biting.
Some of his later stuff was a little tepid, but the guy was in his 70s by then, so we'll cut him some slack.
NOWHERE has a sort of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS vibe to it and, if I recall, the same main character as WHO IS TEDDY VILLANOVA?. They both try a little hard, but they're not bad.
THE HOUSEGUEST, SUSPECTS and MEETING EVIL are all pretty ferocious, if I remember correctly. Among his better ones. The last two were very dark, THE HOUSEGUEST, again, more of a comedy of manners and errors.
BEING INVISIBLE and CHANGING THE PAST were both a little calmer, I think, not quite as viciously bleak as some of his work.
The libraries around my current hometown all seem to have purged a majority of Berger's work from their collections, so I haven't read some of them in 15 years or so. Time to start trolling the used bookstores and Amazon.
Tooker's a tough one to figure out. Very mundane stuff, but with creepy, threatening undertones and a constant sense of unease and dread. Sort of like a Thomas Berger novel translated into visuals. Or maybe the theme of NO EXIT laid out in tempera. You gotta respect anyone who works in tempera.
Working in a huge building full of faceless cubicles and office drones as I do, I can relate to his stuff.
MP3 players are the technological innovation of our age, don't let anyone bullshit you. "Surreal" is a good way to describe the act of viewing the mind-numbing blandness of office life while early Siouxsie and the Banshees is piped into your head.