These might not be the “top” ten, but you should read these ten fiction books when stoned. Cannabis and reading have a long history together. While some find it hard to focus on a sentence or two for more than a minute, others find it difficult not to combine these two activities.

Consider how expressive the pictures in your head become when stoned. It’s one of cannabis’ most remarkable features: increasing the vividness and detail of your mind’s eye.

So if you can concentrate on the words (or follow along with an audiobook), grab that joint, pipe, vape, or edible. However you consume cannabis, here’s a list of ten books you oughta read when stoned.

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned

10 – Never Go Back by Lee Child

Topping our list is an easy-to-read thriller from cannabis connoisseur Lee Child. In Never Go Back, ex-army cop Jack Reacher attempts to clear his name from false accusations. If this plot sounds familiar, Hollywood adapted to the big screen in 2016, starring Tom Cruise. 

Forget the movie. The cliche is true: the book is better. A thousand times better. The dialogue is snappy, and the narrative is like a pulse. Jack Reacher reasons his way through the conspiracy using his heightened senses and introspective thought – as if he were stoned. 

Is it surprising that author Lee Child uses cannabis as a creative muscle? You can almost sense the effect cannabis has in the opening pages, as the Reacher character describes his hotel room and an approaching town car. 

9 – Misery by Stephen King

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

It’s tough to pick a Stephen King novel for two reasons. There are so many good ones (The Shining, Pet Cemetery, and 11/22/63 are all good runner-ups). But many good ones have terrible endings (IT, The Stand, Under the Dome). King is known for psychological horror (and his embarrassing Twitter feed), but “deus ex machina” should be at the top of his resume.

That said, King doesn’t botch every ending he has. And in Misery, he leaves the reader satisfied. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie (one of the good adaptions of King’s work and a decent film in its own right), this book is still worth picking up. 

The psychological depths of captivity and obsession, the tense, claustrophobic atmosphere – paired with some cannabis – is one hell of an experience. If you’re anything like me, you’ll read the entire book in one sitting, going to bed at 2 am because you can’t put it down.

Fiction Books to Read When Stoned

8 – VALIS by Philip K Dick

Is it possible to read VALIS without any brain-altering substances? It doesn’t even seem like Philip K. Dick wrote this sober. 

In VALIS, Dick takes on a mind-bending exploration of reality, identity, and divine revelation. It covers complex themes and philosophical inquiries. If you don’t read while stoned, you should ponder the ideas presented in this book once you’ve taken a few puffs from your joint.

A little cannabis can go a long way in broadening this novel’s metaphysical journey. I’ve read it myself multiple times, and I always get something more from it with each read. As to the plot… well, you’re probably best to start smoking and reading. See how far you get.

7 – Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

For a club you’re not supposed to talk about, everybody seems to be aware of it. At least, the movie starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. There are few differences between the book and the film, but you should still check out the source material if you’re a fan.

Like the movie, Fight Club takes readers on a wild ride satirizing consumer culture and societal rebellion. Cannabis may enhance your connection to the story’s raw emotions and underlying messages. Or you can enjoy the surface-level violence and drama.

Whatever your interest, if you enjoy the movie, you owe it to yourself to read Palahniuk’s book. (Although we also recommend Invisible Monsters and Choke).

6 – Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson 

A list comprising books to read when stoned requires Fear & Loathing. It’s not an option. When I started this list, Fear and Loathing appeared at #6. Like someone else copied and pasted it.  

In all seriousness, the characters in this book are smoking cannabis. You’ll feel too much like a spectator not to join the fun. 

Besides, this book is a rollicking adventure through Las Vegas, looking for the American Dream while high, stoned, drunk, and on nearly every drug there is.

If all you’re doing is smoking cannabis, you will look like a lightweight compared to the two main characters in this story. Consider the very first line in the novel: “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”

Oh, wait, novel? Fiction? Perhaps this book doesn’t belong on this list since this adventure more or less happened in real life.

Fiction Books to Read When Stoned

5 – Factotum by Charles Bukowski

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

If you’re not much of a poetry guy, smoke that joint and pull up some Charles Bukowski. Try “On the Hustle,” “Law,” “Bluebird,” “The Laughing Heart,” or “The Genius of the Crowd.” See if he wins you over.

But for novels? While Post Office or Women may get all the praise, Factotum may be his most relatable work. The novel offers a gritty, unfiltered look into the fictionalized version of the writer’s life as he bounces around the country, working different menial jobs for low pay.

A notorious drinker and no fan of cannabis, Bukowski’s work may not be on your radar. But it’s worth a read if you like a realistic, gritty look at the American working class. While some may shy away from a novel that lacks a coherent beginning, middle, or end, this book rewards the journey rather than the destination. 

4 – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein 

If you love cannabis and sci-fi and haven’t read Robert Heinlein – where have you been?! A 20th-century sci-fi author, Heinlein’s works are full of political intrigue and social critics. For this list, it was a toss-up between Moon and Stranger in a Strange Land.

In the end, though, we went for Moon mainly because it’s a futuristic tale of revolution and liberty against a backdrop of lunar colonization. 

Moon is the quintessential libertarian sci-fi novel. One of the characters is a “rational anarchist,” whose philosophy should resonate with every cannabis consumer who’s lived under prohibition (so all of us, in other words).

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

Fiction Books to Read When Stoned

3 – Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

When I was young and fresh out of state-mandated schooling, I was pretty left-wing, as most Canadians are. It’s one of the main reasons why governments love monopolizing education. It stems from the Prussian example of taking children from their parents and indoctrinating them to love the state.

So how did I break free of the statist cult? Was it visiting impoverished Cuba thinking I would walk into some socialist paradise? Partly. 

Was it watching the big, corrupt banks get bailed out with taxpayer money in 2008? Also, yes.

But the journey really started the summer after I graduated high school and read Catch-22. This book is considered a satirical masterpiece for a reason. The novel’s dark humor and non-linear narrative align nicely with the thought-provoking effects of cannabis. 

Catch-22 explores the paradoxes of human existence humorously. It also satirizes bureaucracy and war. It is hands-down one of the best books to read when stoned. Hell, it’s one of the best books ever.

2 – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams 

If you haven’t read this when stoned, then what are you waiting for? If you need an audiobook, look no further than the hilarious narration by Stephen Fry.

This whimsical and satirical tale of space travel provides absurdity and philosophical pondering, which pair nicely with cannabis. The book encourages the reader to embrace their sense of wonder and innocence. 

From quirky characters to existential musings, pairing Hitchhiker with cannabis is bound to create a mind-expanding experience as vast as the cosmos itself.

Best Fiction Book to Read When Stoned

1 – The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson 

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

If this book weren’t number one, you’d have every right to send me angry e-mails and death threats. I don’t think I’ve ever read this trilogy without cannabis. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to.

Sure, this novel contains unconventional narratives and eccentric characters (with some characters becoming others halfway through the first novel). There’s also sex, violence, adventure, lost ancient history, and spiels about political philosophies. 

But don’t let its strangeness scare you away or have you re-reading the same page for thirty minutes. Just go with the flow. 

It’s a big trilogy with big ideas. You don’t have to memorize every page. Just consume some cannabis and allow the authors to immerse you into an intricate tale of mystery and intrigue, complete with unconventional thought patterns and conspiracies.

As for the plot… it’s about a detective investigating the Illuminati. That’s all you need to know. Now go read it! 

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned

Ten Fiction Books to Read When Stoned, cannabis

Those are ten fiction books to read when stoned. Are these the top ten fiction books of all time? Of course not. I wouldn’t even list “Never Go Back” as the best Reacher book or “Factotum” as Bukowski’s best.

But are these books pure, fun, entertaining reads to enjoy with some THC cannabis? You bet.

As well, reading is relaxing. Are you feeling a little anxious? Stressed? Or maybe just bored with what’s on Netflix.

Take a break. Spark that bowl, and relax with one of these books. You’ll be glad you did.