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Books that disturb you?

(157 Posts)
TheMasterNotMargarita Mon 16-Jan-17 17:58:41

I don't mean books that are obviously horror genre or thriller type or misery-lit.
I just finished A Handmaid's Tales and it gave me the heebie jeebies. Everyone under the regime having their place. Not knowing who you could talk to about anything. Chilling.

I was also quite freaked out by The Midwich Cuckoos and scared myself with Rebecca. blush

Any others had a similar effect on you?

YakiUdonYumYum Mon 16-Jan-17 18:00:08

Cormac McCarthy's The Road, good grief but I wish I can forget it.

TrustySnail Mon 16-Jan-17 18:04:54

Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro).

I'll keep an eye on this thread for recommendations as l like books which disturb me.

TheMasterNotMargarita Mon 16-Jan-17 18:05:34

Ooh I have that to read but wasn't sure I fancied it any good?

TheMasterNotMargarita Mon 16-Jan-17 18:06:42

Oops x post. I meant The Road have read Never Let Me Go.

PhilODox Mon 16-Jan-17 18:07:13

Oh dear, people rave about the road on MN.

Ilovecaindingle Mon 16-Jan-17 18:07:45

Not in the same sense but A Street cat named Bob haunted me for many a night. I have been evicted when my landlord needed to sell and we didn't have long to find a new house - but actually being on the streets is a numbing thought. .

mrsBeverleygoldberg Mon 16-Jan-17 18:12:37

I found the procreating where the wife digs her nails into the handmaid's hands really upsetting. The poor handmaiden being raped by one and hated by the other.
1984. Bleak future, thought control the rats. Interspersed with the tender love between Winston and the girl. I read it when I was 16 and never again.
The Colour Purple. Again a school book. I can't even remember what it is I was upset by, but could never read it again.

YakiUdonYumYum Mon 16-Jan-17 18:13:44

Oh yes, The Road is well written and very good. But the story is gruelling and I found it kind of upsetting.

cherrycrumblecustard Mon 16-Jan-17 18:14:27

Wasp factory
A book by pat barker about prostitutes - one gets murdered, awful bit.

TheLadyDoor Mon 16-Jan-17 18:15:33

The Road is my favourite book but, dear God, it's breaks my heart.

JaimeLannister Mon 16-Jan-17 18:15:44

Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

Pippin8 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:18:24

Only ever yours by Louise O'neill.

PseudoBadger Mon 16-Jan-17 18:19:17

The Bone Clocks. The last section is scarily possible.

TheMasterNotMargarita Mon 16-Jan-17 18:40:19

Just Googled that @PsuedoBadger - it looks a bit mental!

TrustySnail Mon 16-Jan-17 18:46:38

OP, if you enjoyed The Midwich Cuckoos, have you read The Triffids? The book is much more disturbing than either the film or the TV serial.

TheMasterNotMargarita Mon 16-Jan-17 18:51:12

I haven't read The Triffids. I keep saying I don't like sci-fi but I think I do!
I enjoyed The Midwich Cuckoos but it haunted me for a while after.
I'm going to add a few of these to my reading list and get stuck in once I put my big girl pants on 😆

HumphreyCobblers Mon 16-Jan-17 18:54:35

The Girl In The Swing.

We are set up to think very highly of the mysterious main character, we are in the thoughts of the man who falls in love with her yet even when he discovers her terrible crime, he can only see her as perfect. I feel complicit in condoning her actions when in reality I never would be.

Also the psychic stuff is creepy.

TrustySnail Mon 16-Jan-17 18:55:38

The Chrysalids is good as well - another post-apocalyptic setting. In fact, I like most of Wyndham's fiction.

braceybracegirl Mon 16-Jan-17 19:00:36

Like this thread smile the night stranger is good but that is about a ghost.

braceybracegirl Mon 16-Jan-17 19:01:15

I mean the little stranger by Sarah Waters.

HumphreyCobblers Mon 16-Jan-17 19:06:29

I love all of Wyndham but the Chrysalids is in a class of it's own. It is one of my favourite books of all time. I think he got the emotional aspects across a bit better in that one than he managed in the others.

I often think of Michael and Rachel, and wonder if they made it to their promised land.

boldlygoingsomewhere Mon 16-Jan-17 19:09:10

A lot of Roald Dahl's short stories for adults are really dark and disturbing.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 16-Jan-17 19:10:08

A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara. I found it gripping but several parts were so upsetting I had to put the book down and come back to it later.

Perfume by Patrick Suskind. Creepy and left me feeling slightly unclean.

Several books by Ian McEwan gave me the same feeling.

I loved The Bone Clocks most of the time but actually thought it got a bit silly at the end. Hoping Slade House is as good a read.

TrustySnail Mon 16-Jan-17 19:12:45


I agree, I was about 13 when I first read it and I must have re-read it dozens of times.

I particularly like the short story Random Quest as well.

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