The Girl Next Door The Girl Next Door discussion


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Consensus: Most disturbing book ever?

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message 1: by Jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeremy Reading through the reviews about this book, a common point that people are making is that this book is extremely disturbing. That led me to wonder if anyone who has read this book has read anything even MORE disturbing. What IS the most disturbing book ever?

I have not personally read a book that actually made me cringe like this one did (which is saying something, as I'm pretty jaded, folks).


message 3: by Colleen (last edited Nov 08, 2008 11:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Colleen Try watching the movie based on the book, I was creeped out for hours afterwords. It's not graphic per say but you know what is going on and spend a lot of the time cringing with your face screwed up and muttering under your breath. I love thrillers and horror movies but this being a true story... gaaaa... and I too am pretty damn jaded.

I found the real story, very long but worth reading
http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/no...


Julie I agree, VERY disturbing. I was so sickened I just quit reading it.(And yes, I too have been around the block a few times and seen some messed up stuff in my day. One thing I can't stomach is violence against children.)


Kristen A big part of what made this so much more disturbing than most horror books... is that it's based in truth... you don't have that safety net of knowing it's make believe, so somewhere deep in your gut you can't shake the emotions you flood through for the little girl.


Lindsey I'm kind of starting to think I read a different book than everyone else. I enjoyed the writing and the story, but it really just wasn't that shocking. Maybe I wasn't thinking about it hard enough when I was reading it, maybe I was just too stoned. Maybe I was just looking for gore and ignored the fact that kids are torturing one of their own. Any other horror fan out there not really care for this book?


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert Jeremy wrote: "Reading through the reviews about this book, a common point that people are making is that this book is extremely disturbing. That led me to wonder if anyone who has read this book has read anythin..."

Hogg by Samuel Delaney is far and away more disturbing than The Girl Next Door. It's not even close, really.



Kirsty I was really looking forward to reading this book. It took me ages to track it down and before i got it i watched the film. DONT!!!!. The film has somehow ruined it for me and im struggling to finish it because i know whats going to happen. The film itself is good dont get me wrong, just make sure that you read the book if your like me!


Reese Copeland I don't know about how disturbing it is overall to other books, but, it's pretty disturbing. I also read the true story of the actual event. Much more disturbing!


Shanna Dodd It is highly disturbing. I have read more shocking books. But this was based on a true story and the characters were so well crafted that it made it almost a betrayal to the girl to read it but somehow you can't help it. You have to finish it.


Scott I think "disturbing" is an overused term; I would describe the book as deeply upsetting. That's more difficult to accomplish.


Wania Gonzalez 'The end of Alice' by A.M. Holmes
Its very disturbing, dont know if its worse that this one but its up there. Its the story of a pedophile, he tells his delusional story. Hard to read towards the end! But nicely written


message 13: by Reese (last edited Jul 28, 2011 07:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reese Copeland The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum for sure. Just thinking about all that gal went through.


Wania Gonzalez you know what you are right. In this book there are many disturbing scenes and 'the named alice' the most disturbing scene was the end. so i take it back! lol


message 15: by Danny (new) - rated it 1 star

Danny Interestingly, what I found disturbing about Girl Next Door was one of the things that makes Ketchum a decent writer, and that is his ability to make the scenario feasible to the reader. What that girl went through was unspeakable, and by the end of the book, the thing that really made me a little sick was that I could see how a young kid could be slowly led into playing along. Anyone can write torture and splatterpunk violence, but to me, he succeeded in making me sympathize with a kid who took WAY to long to do anything to prevent the torture.

Totally didn't answer the question, did I? No, I think Girl next door was the most disturbing...


message 16: by Andre (new)

Andre For me, with all the horror I've read in my many years, this has been the most disturbing book.
So much that I couldn't finish it. I just can't take that kind of violence where children are involved.
It will probably stay my most disturbing read since I'm very wary now of this kind of story..... I try real hard to stay away from anything similar.


Roxanne Bland I was very disturbed, especially since it's based on a true story. No wonder the protagonist is on his third marriage.


Jonathan Daniel Fantastic book, this one! I've been reading horror all my life and never once have I had to put a book down because it got under my skin like this one did. And what's bad is that the part that got to me the most was a chapter that was only 1 sentence long. And that sentence wasn't even graphic!!! But Ketchum did such a good job with almost forcing your mind to focus on what was happening with everything leading up to that one line that when I read it....it was like a hammer to the gut.

Yes, this book was both disturbing and upsetting. I don't know if I could read it a second time. I have no problems with gore....his "Offseason" was certainly full of horrible acts and gore and it was a fun read. But "Girl" really just.....it gave me the same feeling that I had after the first time I watched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre....I felt dirty and needed a shower.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* I agree it's highly disturbing, and yes, it certainly did make me cringe. Sad on an emotional level, and the painful details too. I rated it 3 stars I believe.


11811 (Eleven) A step past disturbing and into depressing -> Let's go play at the Adams'

I believe this was one of the inspirational sources for The Girl Next Door. I could be wrong. In any case, its one of my favorites and I may never recover from it.


message 21: by Dawn (last edited Jan 06, 2012 04:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn Opfer I definitely agree. The book was riveting, couldn't put it down, yet I was horrified at what was going on. I must say, I'm pretty tough (I run a county jail), and I caught myself with tears streaming more than once for the poor girl. Another book that got to me was "A Child Called It". I did a lot of research after reading both of these books, and was horrified in how little (if any) jail time the perpetrators got for their actions.


Laura Lindsey wrote: "I'm kind of starting to think I read a different book than everyone else. I enjoyed the writing and the story, but it really just wasn't that shocking. Maybe I wasn't thinking about it hard enough ..."

I'm with you, Lindsey. I think we were somehow secretly snuck less disturbing copies of this particular tome. ^_^

Exquisite Corpse, off the top of my head, was far and away more disturbing than Girl Next Door even got close to.
American Psycho is up there, but when you glaze over between every abomination due to the exhaustive descriptions of fashion and outdated electronics that were expensive at the time, I find that you end up not being as disturbed as you'd thought (which I think is part of Ellis's point, but that's another discussion).
Geek Love is less *upsetting*, but more *disturbing*. "Intentional birth-defect family freak show" doesn't give away too much. . .
Chuck Pahlaniuk is often disturbing, but he kind of cheated by melding many diverse ideas into Haunted. (If you get the copy with a face on the cover, be aware that it glows in the dark! Haha. My boyfriend and I were both independently startled!)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy--father and child in pretty much the bleakest landscape imaginable.

I should probably stop listing now, though I'm sure I've forgotten some gritty ones. I'm also sure that something else I read will top these for me, too! I do have The End Of Alice coming in the mail. ^_^


message 23: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Try: Survivor by J F Gonzalez
Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
Suffer the Flesh by Monica J O'Rourke


Laura Zombie is in my Nook queue! ^_^ I will add the others to my list; thanks!


message 25: by Licha (new) - rated it 1 star

Licha The Night Stalker by Philip Carlo was fairly graphic and disturbing. I don't know that it can top this book, because this book is not only disturbing but unsettling. It left me wanting to throw up and not so much because of the horrible acts being commited on this girl, but because of the way the author wrote them out. I felt like I was looking into the demented and sick mind of the author. The book read as if it were his personal sexual fantasy. The book was only based on a true story, but the author went too far with the descriptions and acts mentioned. I felt extremely disgusted, disturbed and dirty reading this.


Shanna Dodd The most disturbing? Nope. It was sad but from the hype I expected far worse. For me, personally, the most disturbing book was Pet Sematary by Stephen King because I knew, without a doubt, that I would have done exactly what the guy in the book did - warning or no. Repulsive, which is what I think you're all implying by using the word disturbing, is a completely different thing. The most repulsive thing I've ever read was a library book which I can't remember the name of but it was far worse than the crucifix scene in The Exorcist. Similar but sick. Just plain sick.


message 27: by Licha (new) - rated it 1 star

Licha Shanna wrote: "The most disturbing? Nope. It was sad but from the hype I expected far worse. For me, personally, the most disturbing book was Pet Sematary by Stephen King because I knew, without a doubt, that I w..."

Repulsive, definitely. But it was extremely disturbing as well. When you can't shake that feeling off like you were a participant for even reading it, that's disturbing.


Lindsey I agree that this book was rather disturbing... and that it was based on true events. I did read the true account of exactly was happened and it was actually a "sexless" crime (no one ever raped the young girl). I found that to be extremely surprising, seeing how there was so much emphasis on this being a sex driven crime in the Jack Ketchum novel. If you are truly interested in this book and want to read something more disturbing... you should definitely read the actual record of what happened to this girl (House of Evil). The reason house of evil is so much worse is because you know that everything that happened to this girl happened exactly as the author wrote it.


Nora aka Diva I thought it was sad but not exactly disturbing.


Outerspace Andrea "The Resurrectionist" by Wrath James White is by FAR the most disturbing book I have ever read (and I read a sh!t ton of horror), followed by "Survivor" by J.F. Gonzalez. Both will haunt you.


Paula I know it is difficult to find but Poisoning Eros Part One and Two by Wrath James White and Monica O'Rourke is definitely at the top of my list followed by
Cows and High Life by Matthew Stokoe. Let's Go Play at the Adams is also highly disturbing. Pet Semetary Stephen King stayed with me for a long time too. Red by Jack Ketchum also affected me. Very sad and disturbing.


message 32: by Dee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dee Most disturbing hands down is Survivor by J F Gonzalez
however Girl is close.


Terry Irwin A truly disturbing book .....


Laura Thank you, Sherri!

Ed Gein is my personal favorite. ^_^


message 35: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Outerspace Andrea wrote: ""The Resurrectionist" by Wrath James White is by FAR the most disturbing book I have ever read (and I read a sh!t ton of horror), followed by "Survivor" by J.F. Gonzalez. Both will haunt you."


message 36: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Thanks for recommendations , I just bought the Resurrectionist.


message 37: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill Wrath James White, Jack Ketchum, or Edward Lee! Take your pick!


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

This is easily the most disturbing books I've ever read.


Terry Irwin This book was disturbing.....


message 40: by Elke (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elke Dee wrote: "Most disturbing hands down is Survivor by J F Gonzalez
however Girl is close."


Please note that this is only my personal opinion:
Seeing both authors mentioned together in one sentence is disturbing for me...

Survivor was a great disappointment. It's only worth reading the prologue/first chapter, and I agree that this part is truly disturbing. The rest of the book, however, is nothing more than your usual thriller. Later on, I learned that the novel was based on a short story, which I guess is the prologue part. Imho, the author should have left it at that.

As to this discussion's initial question, Girl is also my most disturbing reading experience, due to the fact that it is based on true events. Ed Lee comes close, but as his stories are fictional (I assume - otherwise that would be disturbing as hell), he only is second.


Paul J. Kenyon Jeremy wrote: "Reading through the reviews about this book, a common point that people are making is that this book is extremely disturbing. That led me to wonder if anyone who has read this book has read anythin..."

Ketchum is great. This was a disturbing book, and I believe his Off Season was just as disturbing.


David Church Dee wrote: "Most disturbing hands down is Survivor by J F Gonzalez
however Girl is close."


Dee I have read Survivor by JF Gonzalez, it was pretty hardcore and disturbing, but riveting at the sametime. I learned more about snuff films from that book than I will ever need to know...


message 43: by John (new) - rated it 4 stars

John I never read the whole thing but The 180 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade is pretty damn disturbing.


message 44: by Paul J. (last edited Feb 19, 2013 09:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul J. Kenyon I'd like to prematurely invite you all to read my newest novel slated to be out in a couple of weeks - if not sooner. "Heart of Darkness" is a disturbing story of a serial killer who, at age 11, brutally murdered a man to protect a friend. An intense read, and an ending I myself didn't expect. I'll be creating a giveaway shortly so watch for it!


message 45: by Varshith (new)

Varshith Kandula I can't bring myself to read this book.The fact that it is based partly on a true case makes it even more disturbing.Just reading about the actual case was enough to make me sick.


Andrea I found it disturbing especially because it was based on a true story. It would have been easier to deal with if I could think it wasn't real.


Janny I read this book in 2010, I couldn't put it down until I knew how it ended. I still think of it on occasion as the most disturbing/upsetting books I've read. I've picked up a few of the books mentioned in the comments here, but haven't started any. Can anyone tell me the author of Girl?


Reese Copeland The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum.


Reese Copeland I think it's the most disturbing book ever because of the brutal nature of the torture. I also read "House of Evil" which goes into more detail about what happened. Truly disturbing.


Janny Reese wrote: "The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum."

Ah, thank you. I was confused by the abbreviated title.


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