I'm not sure if this is obscure enough, but with only a few hundred downloads on Project Gutenberg I'll throw it out there. Hunger
by Knut Hamsun. Hamsun won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1920 for The Growth of the Soil
. Hunger is an early work, written in 1890. The public domain version
was translated from Norwegian by Mary Chavelita Dunne using the alias George Egerton, but you can find later translations by Robert Bly and Sverre Lyngstad.
Originally Posted by wiki
Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis.
This haunting book was the best thing I read last year and it felt very modern.