The Most Disturbing Books Ever Written

Did you ever read a book so disturbing that you had to put it down for a week before coming back to it? Are you still grimacing over that book that you read five years ago? If there's a book you've read that you just haven't been able to shake, then let everyone here know!
1

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3.69 avg rating — 2,277,114 ratings
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4.19 avg rating — 3,171,795 ratings
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3.99 avg rating — 604,954 ratings
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5

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4.11 avg rating — 380,987 ratings
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3.89 avg rating — 667,274 ratings
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4.41 avg rating — 222,341 ratings
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8

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3.97 avg rating — 721,200 ratings
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9

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4.11 avg rating — 1,474,267 ratings
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10

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4.24 avg rating — 810,238 ratings
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11

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3.82 avg rating — 162,252 ratings
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12

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3.95 avg rating — 2,764,118 ratings
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13

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4.02 avg rating — 332,234 ratings
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14

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4.05 avg rating — 164,247 ratings
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15

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4.34 avg rating — 976,571 ratings
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16

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3.58 avg rating — 93,556 ratings
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17

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4.17 avg rating — 503,269 ratings
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18

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4.23 avg rating — 1,136,653 ratings
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19

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3.82 avg rating — 2,024,733 ratings
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20

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3.99 avg rating — 1,695,090 ratings
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21

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3.99 avg rating — 1,451,530 ratings
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22

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4.07 avg rating — 534,455 ratings
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23

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4.14 avg rating — 2,623,824 ratings
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24

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3.82 avg rating — 650,460 ratings
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25

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4.08 avg rating — 2,346,084 ratings
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26

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4.33 avg rating — 6,418,841 ratings
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27

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3.81 avg rating — 84,014 ratings
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28

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4.06 avg rating — 718,809 ratings
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29

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4.15 avg rating — 2,765,733 ratings
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30

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4.19 avg rating — 501,908 ratings
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31

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 429,476 ratings
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32

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4.04 avg rating — 126,368 ratings
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33

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4.05 avg rating — 132,998 ratings
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34

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4.17 avg rating — 109,752 ratings
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35

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3.82 avg rating — 476,608 ratings
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36

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4.30 avg rating — 2,441,838 ratings
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37

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4.18 avg rating — 182,137 ratings
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38

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3.98 avg rating — 686,477 ratings
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39

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4.20 avg rating — 466,781 ratings
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40

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3.85 avg rating — 26,417 ratings
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41

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3.88 avg rating — 1,953,809 ratings
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42

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4.09 avg rating — 56,634 ratings
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43

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3.76 avg rating — 235,925 ratings
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44

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3.11 avg rating — 10,347 ratings
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45

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4.18 avg rating — 34,495 ratings
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46

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4.06 avg rating — 154,115 ratings
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47

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3.96 avg rating — 525,432 ratings
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48

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4.19 avg rating — 634,438 ratings
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49

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3.98 avg rating — 84,455 ratings
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50

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4.04 avg rating — 80,354 ratings
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51

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4.13 avg rating — 1,800,200 ratings
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52

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3.84 avg rating — 47,998 ratings
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53

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4.14 avg rating — 202,990 ratings
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54

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4.16 avg rating — 60,019 ratings
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55

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3.93 avg rating — 583,507 ratings
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56

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3.70 avg rating — 1,334,139 ratings
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57

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4.15 avg rating — 525,036 ratings
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58

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3.99 avg rating — 57,903 ratings
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59

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3.87 avg rating — 327,946 ratings
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60

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4.22 avg rating — 525,118 ratings
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61

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3.46 avg rating — 84,559 ratings
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62

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3.98 avg rating — 128,734 ratings
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63

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3.86 avg rating — 1,351,857 ratings
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64

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3.95 avg rating — 60,403 ratings
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65

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4.03 avg rating — 275,961 ratings
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66

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3.99 avg rating — 712,562 ratings
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67

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4.08 avg rating — 128,560 ratings
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68

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3.81 avg rating — 1,172,951 ratings
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69

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4.22 avg rating — 632,737 ratings
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70

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3.81 avg rating — 2,753,468 ratings
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71

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3.53 avg rating — 135,395 ratings
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72

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3.92 avg rating — 21,323 ratings
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73

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3.60 avg rating — 4,998,043 ratings
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74

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4.04 avg rating — 2,364,106 ratings
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75

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4.17 avg rating — 194,191 ratings
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76

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1.86 avg rating — 400 ratings
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77

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4.12 avg rating — 75,300 ratings
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78

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4.04 avg rating — 91,599 ratings
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79

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4.38 avg rating — 1,160,321 ratings
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80

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3.73 avg rating — 230,317 ratings
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81

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3.77 avg rating — 93,192 ratings
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82

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3.56 avg rating — 73,580 ratings
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83

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4.08 avg rating — 165,406 ratings
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84

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4.08 avg rating — 300,398 ratings
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85

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3.84 avg rating — 28,134 ratings
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86

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3.81 avg rating — 27,566 ratings
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87

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3.75 avg rating — 10,107 ratings
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88

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3.77 avg rating — 35,059 ratings
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89

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4.28 avg rating — 911,277 ratings
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90

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3.66 avg rating — 1,961,847 ratings
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91

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3.59 avg rating — 6,888 ratings
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92

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3.97 avg rating — 322,439 ratings
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93

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4.34 avg rating — 145,663 ratings
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94

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3.28 avg rating — 11,396 ratings
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95

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4.01 avg rating — 222,931 ratings
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96

by
3.85 avg rating — 107,516 ratings
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97

by
3.66 avg rating — 16,552 ratings
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98

by
4.34 avg rating — 621,100 ratings
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99

by
4.12 avg rating — 38,978 ratings
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100

by
3.96 avg rating — 236,897 ratings
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flag this list (?)
2,521 books · 9,131 voters · list created July 10th, 2009 by Alexander Supertramp (votes) .
2414 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Alexander 68 books
2 friends
Matt 320 books
58 friends
Amy 598 books
36 friends
Elizabeth 169 books
7 friends
Deirdre 537 books
39 friends
Bettie 15590 books
123 friends
Lynda 19813 books
281 friends
Lobstergirl 4724 books
155 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 263 (263 new)


message 1: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl My books are disturbing for very different reasons. Some should not be read, some are amazing and must be read.


message 2: by Bella (new)

Bella I love Night, by Elie Wiesel, but it is disturbing. It is a must read about the Holocaust, and you will remember it...


message 3: by Tiz (new)

Tiz The Blood Confession should be on this list, that one was quite a ride :)


message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber "Mister B. Gone: A Novel" by Clive Barker




message 5: by jessi (new)

jessi Bella wrote: "I love Night, by Elie Wiesel, but it is disturbing. It is a must read about the Holocaust, and you will remember it..."

If you want to read a disturbing book about WW2, read The Painted Bird. Most disturbing book I have read so far.


message 6: by jessi (new)

jessi Also, I can't believe The Girl Next Door was not on this list until I just voted it on.


message 7: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Ripper I love that the lds bible is on here


message 8: by Erin (new)

Erin Haacke I think that it is ridiculous and completely sacrilegious that someone would put the bible on this list! It doesn't matter if you do not agree with their religion or not things like this are just rude.


message 9: by Caroline (new)

Caroline In the Miso Soup should totally be on this list


message 10: by Shabazz (new)

Shabazz Can't believe 'Shutter Island' is not on this list.


message 11: by Eleanor (new)

Eleanor I think 'Diceman' by Luke Rhineheart should be on the list, its pretty screwed up for many reasons.


message 12: by Xenophon (last edited Jun 27, 2010 02:00AM) (new)

Xenophon Hendrix So far as I can recall, The Bible is the only book that has disturbed me badly enough that I had to quit reading for a period of time. (Correction: a guide to The Bible for children had the same effect, but I can't remember its name.) So The Bible being on my list is not a troll, nor is it intended to be impolite.

PS: I don't intend to specifically list the LDS version, but that is the version that is already on the list.

PPS: After letting it stew in my subconscious for a while, I remembered the name of the Bible guide: Listening to the Great Teacher.


message 13: by Ana (new)

Ana I personally liked the Twilight Saga.. but it's just my opinion, of course ;)


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Its listed as disturbing because of how old fashioned it is that's why the King James bible is listed and not a book that just says bible on it or the story of Jesus


message 15: by Lance (new)

Lance Baker nice list


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Monkeypaw wrote: "nice list"

couldn't agree more with you :)


Devan, Sarcasm Expert The only book I was displeased with seeing on here was Go Ask Alice because well she was on drugs so there's not much to expect. Ok so drug addicts do act like Alice, but I didn't find it surprising. Maybe I don't find this book disturbing because I live in a city, but I could also be that maybe some people have forgotten a few things from highschool health class.


message 18: by Arne (new)

Arne No 'Blood Meridian'? In my opinion there are more disturbing books than the ones to be found in this list. At least 'Cows' is on it.


message 19: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Posek So much Paliniuk (or however you spell his name). Couldn't we just put all his works as one? They're all the same anyway. Nihilism bores me after awhile.


message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda what the french toast is the ENTIRE twilight series doing on here? Ugh these books are getting so annoying I think I want to sell my copies.


message 21: by Spooner113 (new)

Spooner113 The Twilight Series. Needs.To.Get.off.This.List.


message 22: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix I've noticed that some Twilight fans have become unusually irrational and believe that their opinions about the quality of their favorite should carry more weight than the opinions of others. They even appear to be worse than Harry Potter fans in that way.


message 23: by Chris (new)

Chris Johnson American Psycho, Sections of Toni Morrison "Beloved", Dracula Bram Stoker, and Schindler's List.


message 24: by Storm (new)

Storm American Psycho is f***** brilliant!!!!


message 25: by Chase (new)

Chase Erin wrote: "I think that it is ridiculous and completely sacrilegious that someone would put the bible on this list! It doesn't matter if you do not agree with their religion or not things like this are just rude"

the description is most DISTURBING books ever written. And I gotta say the bible definitely belongs up there. This isn't about sacrilege. I mean, Have you ever read it? Genuinely disturbing.

On a loosely related sidenote: Not that I give two shits what people say about the Bible, There are some pretty awesome books that are extremely disturbing. Though the bible isn't one.


message 26: by Chase (new)

Chase Xenophon wrote: "I've noticed that some Twilight fans have become unusually irrational and believe that their opinions about the quality of their favorite should carry more weight than the opinions of others. They..."

Amen to that. I mean I definitely liked them but even I can admit that it was A: diturbing, B: cliched, C: Very sappy, and D: many other things causing others to dislike it (not the least of which being annoying and overrated).


message 27: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Loader Hi.I dont understand why American Psycho is number 1.I found less than zero to be far more disturbing.


message 28: by Ellie (new)

Ellie I found In the Cut by Susanna Moore to be deeply disturbing. It's been years since I read it and it continues to haunt me.


message 29: by Carla (new)

Carla Amanda Pearl wrote: "what the french toast is the ENTIRE twilight series doing on here? Ugh these books are getting so annoying I think I want to sell my copies."

HaHa! I liked the series but wouldn't call them disturbing.


message 30: by Carla (new)

Carla Helena wrote: "Erin wrote: "I think that it is ridiculous and completely sacrilegious that someone would put the bible on this list! It doesn't matter if you do not agree with their religion or not things like th..."

Thankfully, being sacrilegious is a choice.


message 31: by Ellie (last edited Apr 12, 2011 05:43PM) (new)

Ellie I would agree that Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West is a disturbing book.

I think (as a Christian) the Bible should be disturbing-it should make people stop & think about their lives & maybe question everything they thought they knew!

Disturbing doesn't have to mean "bad" or "gross." That which disturbs water makes it move.

The Bible should move us to change.


Amanda - Go Book Yourself How is twilight disturbing? More annoying than anything.


message 33: by louise (new)

louise "Of Mice and Men"? That never seemed disturbing to me.


message 34: by Lulu (new)

Lulu Amanda wrote: "How is twilight disturbing? More annoying than anything."

Possibly it is disturbing that it is so popular?



I think it says a lot about how inaccurate this list is by the fact The End of Alice is #38. Or perhaps just means that more people should read it.


message 35: by Carla (new)

Carla Lulu, prompted by your comment, I have started reading The End of Alice and YES! It is actually the most disturbing book I have ever read. It is disturbing in ways I never imagined possible.


message 36: by Shacoria (new)

Shacoria I actually found Animal Farm to be somewhat humorous and not disturbing at all. Living Dead Girl was very disturbing.


message 37: by Storm (new)

Storm I agree with what some of you are saying, American Psycho was not as disturbing as it was shocking; though I deeply enjoyed it. I'm actually starting to read "In The Cut" and putting off Anna Karenina lol.


message 38: by SongoftheWolf (new)

SongoftheWolf I don't see why some of the dystopian novels are on here. Disturbing? Not really... well, I suppose I can see where some people are coming from with most of them, but really, they aren't that bad. Now, the ones that definitely DO NOT BELONG is the Twilight saga.


message 39: by Jessie (new)

Jessie Why is The Hunger Games on here?


message 40: by Emy (new)

Emy The book I found the most disturbing is one that people have rarely heard of, so I thought I'd share it here for fans of the genre who might be interested:
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories That Scared Even Me
by Alfred Hitchcock


Lἕè   ƐӜӞ    ♥ finding it very disturbing that twilight books make it onto every f######g list available on good reads. i liked the books but come on!


message 42: by Storm (new)

Storm Ellie wrote: "I found In the Cut by Susanna Moore to be deeply disturbing. It's been years since I read it and it continues to haunt me."

i read it and i felt it was pretty weaksauce. still entertaining, but nothing i have read has disturbed me yet.


message 43: by Carla (new)

Carla Storm - have you read The End of Alice?


message 44: by Lulu (new)

Lulu Clawde wrote: "Storm - have you read The End of Alice?"

Haha, you jumped in just before I could! Exactly what I was going to say - together, we'll up it's popularity as a truly disturbing book, clearly!


message 45: by Storm (new)

Storm Lulu wrote: "Clawde wrote: "Storm - have you read The End of Alice?"

Haha, you jumped in just before I could! Exactly what I was going to say - together, we'll up it's popularity as a truly disturbing book, cl..."



Clawde and Lulu, no i havent even heard of it, but i will definitely check it out and add it to my list to-read. I have 3 library books to get through atm but i'll read it eventually.

Thanks!!


message 46: by Brandon (new)

Brandon Jessi wrote: "Also, I can't believe The Girl Next Door was not on this list until I just voted it on."

I agree. By far my top vote for most disturbing book. The things they do ti her are just wrong, man.


message 47: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Some of these books are disturbing in a good way...they make you think. Others are just sick. I could not finish Dave Pelzer's book.


message 48: by Gabriel (last edited Feb 06, 2012 09:36PM) (new)

Gabriel Spooner113 wrote: "The Twilight Series. Needs.To.Get.off.This.List."

Twilight seems to be on almost every list here on Goodreads. Apparently, the Twihards have infiltrated our ranks.


message 49: by Shawnthered (new)

Shawnthered The Twilight series is disturbing only because of it's popularity. The Hunger Games? Come on. Try Babi Yar or the White Hotel. Disgrace or hell, even Perfume. The Hunger Games is NOT disturbing. It's a kids book.


message 50: by Shawnthered (new)

Shawnthered Mein Kampf anyone?


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