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"Birdman" by Mo Hayder -seriously disturbing *contains some description of violence*

(19 Posts)
justkeeponsmiling Sun 23-Feb-14 14:48:08

Just wondering if anybody else feels the same...
I read quite a lot of horror/violent thrillers and the violence never, ever bothers me, it's just part of the deal if you read that kind of book. But this one really disturbed me. I've been trying to put my finger on why I found it so vile. I think it might be partly because all of the extremely graphic violence is directed at women and for some reason I find reading these things more difficult as I get older (maybe because I have daughters?). But I also felt that some of the passages were almost suggesting that the violated women were arroused by the violence directed at them. I've just re-read some bits again just so see if I was being overly sensitive, but things like "Damp hands reached over and gripped her breasts [...] She had felt the touch reach down into her grion, a betrayal..." This is during a graphic rape/sexual abuse scene. It actually came as a surprise to me to find out that Mo Hayder is a woman, if that makes sense?
Just interested if anyone felt the same way?

PandaFeet Sun 23-Feb-14 14:51:46

I haven't read Birdman. But I did read one of Mo Hayders books, can't remember the name, where a man broke in to peoples houses and lived in the attic.

It was horrible. Really graphic and sick. After that I decided Mo Hayder wasn't for me, despite reading violent thrillers and crime novels for years.

notnowImreading Sun 23-Feb-14 14:55:42

It is very sick indeed. It was definitely groundbreaking at the time and although thriller writers seem to have upped the nastiness ante since it came out I don't think it has lost it's power to shock. The Treatment (the chap in the attic one) is more horrible, if anything, and Pig Island made me feel very queasy indeed. Birdman is her best, I think.

JonSnowKnowsNothing Sun 23-Feb-14 14:58:49

I haven't read this one but over graphic (sadistic?) violence leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't always mind it - GoT is my favourite series of books and they're quite violent...
Meat by Jospeh D'Lacey (I think) is horrible with vivid descriptions of a man trying to have sex with children. I finished it but wished I hadn't.

OneHolyCow Mon 24-Feb-14 14:47:52

It is a kind of porn I think, find this very disturbing. I was surprised that Mo Hayder is a woman as well!
There has been more criticism about the violence in books by women.. Karen Slaughter and Mo Hayder and stuff. I do find them too gruesome for my taste. I had the same reaction with Jo Nesbo though. I really do not like all that violence against women (or children) as casual entertainment.

ninah Mon 24-Feb-14 14:51:40

I really like Mo Hayder's writing. I like disturbing and tense scenarios in fiction.

OneHolyCow Mon 24-Feb-14 14:57:41

I like disturbing too.. one of my favorite books is The Road by Cormac McCarthy and that is grim. But somehow that's different, maybe it is just a matter of taste but sometimes I get uncomfortable with the number of women being tortured and cut up and stuff in crime fiction, both in film and in books.

MsIngaFewmarbles Mon 24-Feb-14 15:26:57

DH is a big fan of Mo Hayder and Val McDermid, I have read their books and enjoyed them but I agree that Birdman and The Treatment really bothered me and I couldn't put my finger on why. I think you have nailed it.

pointythings Wed 26-Feb-14 15:20:59

I didn't like Birdman and The Treatment for all the reasons outlined above, but I did like Pig Island and her later Jack Caffery books are more balanced. I like the way she handles the recurring characters of Flea Marley and the Walking Man too, and the focus seems to be more on the humanity of the characters than on graphic descriptions of violence.

diabolo Thu 27-Feb-14 19:20:30

Don't read "Pig Island" also by Mo Hayder.

Graphic violence and a very disturbing female character. Satanistic.

Made my flesh crawl.

diabolo Thu 27-Feb-14 19:21:25

Ooh xPost pointy.

Pig Island scared the pants off me.

Tiredemma Thu 27-Feb-14 19:28:57

The Treatment is horrendous. Disturbing.

I also read Birdman - that was also disturbing but didnt affect me the same way The Treatment did.

Shiver just thinking about that book

pointythings Thu 27-Feb-14 20:08:47

I read Pig Island as a very good psychological horror novel, IMO it isn't really crime fiction at all.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 27-Feb-14 20:12:07

Mo Hayder is an odd one.

I find the violence a bit gratuitous and crass to be honest. They're the book equivalent of a slasher movie really aren't they?

Not sure I'd bother with any more. I read all the ones that were out about 3 yrs back. Birdman/Treatment/Pig island and another one.

Very forgettable really.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 01-Mar-14 09:18:28

I read over of her books,I think it was Hanging Hill? I was really looking forward to it but was really disappointed, very forgettable imo,I wouldn't bother reading any more.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 01-Mar-14 12:13:40

One not over

fromparistoberlin Sat 01-Mar-14 20:44:00

Pig Island is one of the few books that REALLY creeped me out, the ending was shit but it made me shudder, as did The Devil of Nanking.

I actually really liked her latest one Poppet, just as creepy but she has got less gory with age

I sped read Birdman, the The Treatment was just....urghh

I like Mo Hayder as u can tell

Clawdy Sun 02-Mar-14 21:30:36

Glad I read this,as I now know I will never read a Mo Hayder novel! Can't stand gore. The cover of Poppet looked really intriguing though,think it was one of those Victorian stuffed kittens!

coffeeinbed Sun 02-Mar-14 21:33:35

Hanging Hill was a funny beast, it could not make up his mind whether it was chick lit or crime.
It was incredibly silly, implausible and ridiculous.

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