Top 10 Disturbingly Good Reads

Sorana Joseph, Staff Writer

Whether you’re looking for a way to pass time or you just aren’t sure what to read next, here are 10 gruesome book to enjoy during the month of October. It is advised that if you are sensitive to extreme or graphic nature, you DO NOT read any of these books.


10. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews – What doesn’t this book have? Abuse, violence, incest – the horrors just keep coming. Corrine Foxworth and her four children are left on their own after Christopher Sr., Corrine’s husband and father of her children, dies. Corrine is reduced to begging her estranged parents to take her and her children in. The four Foxworth children ending up enduring terrible abuses from the hands of their grandmother.


9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – This novel takes place in a society where the Bible has dominated government.  Women no longer hold any authority or power of their own, and handmaids serve as the hosts for children of the ruling class.  In a tale of confinement, suppression, misery, and humiliation we follow the life of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead.


8. Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper – Slavery itself is disturbing enough, to say the least. Sharon M. Draper took the horrors of slavery and transformed them into “Copper Sun”. This novel follows the experience of a fifteen-year-old slave named Amari. From the moment she is torn from her family to when she is finally bought at an auction, Amari suffers indisputable terrors.


7. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks – This story follows Frank Cauldhame, a 16-year-old boy living on a remote island with his father. This story covers the question of identity and trouble abandonment in depth, and in truth, the deception is the most disturbing part of this novel.


6. Book of Blood by Clive Baker – This is a book series, each book containing five insanely gruesome and chilling unconnected stories.  Then again, the title itself is just an indication of the horrors that await.


5. The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum –  In the form of a flashback, David, the narrator, begins by introducing his neighborhood, his alcoholic mother Ruth, and his three brothers. Meg, a teenage girl, and Susan, a young girl still suffering from the effects of a past car accident, are sisters who are sent to live with their aunt Ruth after the death of their parents. Meg endures all kinds of torture at the hands of Ruth, her sons, and the neighborhood children. “The Girl Next Door” is a heart wrenching, tear-inducing, unforgettable read.


4. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis – This follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a young man living an ordinary life on Wall Street. That is, ordinary until he slowly becomes more and more psychotic. A book full of unspeakable horrors, “American Psycho” provides a look into the mind of a psychopath and a serial killer.


3. 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis De Sade – Please, please, please, do not read this if you are sensitive to extreme graphic language, content and themes. “120 Days of Sodom” is sick tale of sadism and serious torture and abuse.


2. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk – If it’s a Palahniuk story, it’s sure to send shudders through your spine. “Haunted” is a series of twenty-three loosely connected stories. Humorous, horrifying, and stomach-churning, “Haunted” is sure to “haunt” you for a good time.


1. Guts by Chuck Palahniuk – “Guts” is a short story by Chuck Palahniuk that was published in his book “Haunted”.  Three disturbing experiences involving carrots, candles, and bowel resectioning – it is strongly advised that if you are sensitive to stories of very graphic nature, DO NOT READ THIS; read at your own discretion.


One of the authors not mentioned here is Stephen King, and although not on this list, he is truly a master of the macabre. “Pet Sematary” and “1408” (a short story in his “Everything’s Eventual” book) are two just two of many stories and books memorable for their nauseating and gruesome themes.