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Important Notes To All DB Members

NOTE TO ALL MEMBERS! Please don't forget to CHECK THE MEMORIES/ARCHIVES before you post; your book may already be there! That doesn't mean you can't post about it; just take a look to see what previous discussions have covered & how recent they are. Also: please include the title and author in your subject line! It helps us a lot when we're archiving posts. Thank you, and happy reading!

~prettyh, carabosse and your humble co-mods & maintainers of DB

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** Click HERE to browse the BOOK SWAP POSTS. ** (Last updated: January 2010)

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Welcome to our sticky post for "INNOCENTS", this month's book club read! I've actually read this one before & am quite curious to see how it sits upon a second time round.

As usual:

Feel free to post any and all thoughts, questions, and discussion topics as threads to this post; if you're in doubt about whether you're spoiling plot points, you can simply use the spoiler tags (much like an LJ-cut) in your comments, [Spoiler (click to open)]like this! You can use the html code of < lj-spoiler > spoilery stuff goes here < /lj-spoiler >, minus the spaces, of course. It may also help other readers to find your point of reference if you include a page/chapter/percentage notation at the start of your comment, too, but proceed however you find it's easiest.

Anonymous commenting is enabled here, as promised; if anyone tries it and finds it's not working, please let me know & I'll tweak things until it does.

Happy reading & I look forward to discussing it along the way!

Hey, all - just a quick post as I'm typing from my phone:

For anyone who's run into trouble finding an affordable copy of COWS (thanks to kayzee_chan for bringing the ridiculous price jump to my attention), I'm leaving an entirely unethical but hopefully helpful link as a comment here.

Consider this a placeholder for our usual guidelines etc. & the post for WHITE IS FOR WITCHING is still up for anyone who read it in March! Discussion about COWS can begin here anytime.

EDITED TO ADD: I've posted my review in the comments. Yikes.

Late AGAIN. I'm sorry. I loathe LJ Mobile. On with it.

FYI: We have our next several months of books picked thanks to the poll and comments! Here's what slated for future reads:

And now...

Welcome to our sticky post for "WHITE IS FOR WITCHING", this month's book club read! Once I catch up with GEEK LOVE (what did everyone think of it? Post your reactions in the thread!), I'll definitely be joining everyone in reading this one.

As usual:

Feel free to post any and all thoughts, questions, and discussion topics as threads to this post; if you're in doubt about whether you're spoiling plot points, you can simply use the spoiler tags (much like an LJ-cut) in your comments, [Spoiler (click to open)]like this! You can use the html code of < lj-spoiler > spoilery stuff goes here < /lj-spoiler >, minus the spaces, of course. It may also help other readers to find your point of reference if you include a page/chapter/percentage notation at the start of your comment, too, but proceed however you find it's easiest.

Anonymous commenting is enabled here, as promised; if anyone tries it and finds it's not working, please let me know & I'll tweak things until it does.

Happy reading & I look forward to discussing it along the way!
Apologies for being a couple of days late; posting to LJ on mobile devices is really a pain, is it not??

A heads up: next month we're reading "WHITE IS FOR WITCHING" by Helen Oyeyemi, so grab your copies whenever you like. I'll be posting another poll to see what lies ahead for us in April and beyond.

Anyway, as usual: Welcome to our sticky post for "GEEK LOVE", this month's book club read! Just like the last couple of months, I've been really looking forward to finally reading my copy of this book, and you guys voting it in have given me the perfect excuse.

As usual:

Feel free to post any and all thoughts, questions, and discussion topics as threads to this post; if you're in doubt about whether you're spoiling plot points, you can simply use the spoiler tags (much like an LJ-cut) in your comments, [Spoiler (click to open)]like this! You can use the html code of < lj-spoiler > spoilery stuff goes here < /lj-spoiler >, minus the spaces, of course. It may also help other readers to find your point of reference if you include a page/chapter/percentage notation at the start of your comment, too, but proceed however you find it's easiest.

Anonymous commenting is enabled here, as promised; if anyone tries it and finds it's not working, please let me know & I'll tweak things until it does.

Happy reading & I look forward to discussing it along the way!
Welcome to our sticky post for this month's book club read! I've been really looking forward to finally reading my copy of this book, and you guys voting it in have given me the perfect excuse.

As usual:

Feel free to post any and all thoughts, questions, and discussion topics as threads to this post; if you're in doubt about whether you're spoiling plot points, you can simply use the spoiler tags (much like an LJ-cut) in your comments, [Spoiler (click to open)]like this! You can use the html code of < lj-spoiler > spoilery stuff goes here < /lj-spoiler >, minus the spaces, of course. It may also help other readers to find your point of reference if you include a page/chapter/percentage notation at the start of your comment, too, but proceed however you find it's easiest.

Anonymous commenting is enabled here, as promised; if anyone tries it and finds it's not working, please let me know & I'll tweak things until it does.

Happy reading & I look forward to discussing it along the way!
Happy New Year, everyone!

My apologies for waiting so long to show up with our January book club read; I was among those who lost power/heat/internet for a couple of days around Christmas & it's taken me a bit to catch up. But here I am! And I come bearing...a tie vote. Again!

What this means, of course, is that we'll be reading both of the winning books. I flipped a coin and it appears that our January read will be...

JOSIE & JACK by Kelly Braffet!

In Josie and Jack, Kelly Braffet gives us a deliciously dark, suspenseful debut novel in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith.

Beautiful, brilliant, and inseparable, Josie and Jack Raeburn live a secluded, anarchic existence in their decaying western Pennsylvania home. The only adult in their lives is their rage-prone father, a physicist, whose erratic behavior finally drives them away. Without a moral compass to guide them, Jack leads Josie into a menacing world of wealth, eroticism, and betrayal. His sociopathic tendencies emerge, and soon Josie must decide which is stronger: the love and devotion she feels for her brother or her will to survive.

From its opening page to its shocking climax, this contemporary Hansel and Gretel story is compulsively readable and hugely entertaining.

And in February we'll read...

GEEK LOVE by Katherine Dunn!

Geek Love is the story of the Binewskis, a carny family whose mater- and paterfamilias set out–with the help of amphetamine, arsenic, and radioisotopes–to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. There’s Arturo the Aquaboy, who has flippers for limbs and a megalomaniac ambition worthy of Genghis Khan . . . Iphy and Elly, the lissome Siamese twins . . . albino hunchback Oly, and the outwardly normal Chick, whose mysterious gifts make him the family’s most precious–and dangerous–asset.

As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene. Family values will never be the same.

I shall put up a sticky post for JOSIE & JACK right away (*** it seems to be super-cheap on Amazon right now, FYI ***) and will hope that everyone can take advantage of holiday sales to grab your copies of whichever books you don't yet own but would like to read along with us. If you're going on a blitz, you may want to pick up "WHITE IS FOR WITCHING" by Helen Oyeyemi and "THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE" by Thomas Ligotti as well, since they're our likely picks for March and April. (Yes, this is me planning ahead for once!)

I know there are several of you - myself included - who are psyched about this particular batch of books, which is great. All seem to be easily available in both physical and digital formats, so have fun shopping!

Choosing our next book club read...

As I just sent a message to our Goodreaders, I thought I'd post it here as well!

While we're using December to catch up on THE WASP FACTORY, I figured I'd best give everyone a couple of weeks to pick our January book too! I'll be crossposting this poll on LJ as well, but weigh in if you find any of these choices interesting. Happy holidays!

~Heather, a.k.a. prettyh on LJ

The poll is open for two weeks, and I'll post the result as soon as it's in to give everyone time to pick up the book if you're interested.

ETA: In case it's hard to read what the poll options are here, you can check it out on our Goodreads group homepage, or take a look at the titles individually:

Hello, all!

This will be our official sticky post for our November read of Iain Banks's "THE WASP FACTORY." I'll be back to flesh it out properly when I'm not stuck in a room with just my tablet, but in the meantime feel free to add to the comments section if you've already started reading the book! As always I'll also set up threads for the Goodreaders among us.

Our post for "THE END OF ALICE" will of course remain up and active as well for everyone who read along with us last month.

Upcoming order of business: Voting on the coming months' reads! I'll be sure to have all of that posted here for you ASAP.

I'm psyched to read "THE WASP FACTORY" with everyone (despite NaNoWriMo likely kicking our backsides; maybe we should extend this one into December and set up our next vote for our January pick?) & will also be keeping an eye on the "...ALICE" post, to which I added my really long review in the comments section.

Happy reading!

Welcome to our sticky post for this month's book club read! Just like last month with Neal Shusterman's "UNWIND" (which I hope everyone enjoyed, and the post will remain up forever for discussion), I once again have no self-control, so I've already finished reading "THE END OF ALICE," which is all the more reason for me to say, again: I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say about it as you go.

Feel free to post any and all thoughts, questions, and discussion topics as threads to this post; if you're in doubt about whether you're spoiling plot points, you can simply use the spoiler tags (much like an LJ-cut) in your comments, [Spoiler (click to open)]like this! You can use the html code of < lj-spoiler > spoilery stuff goes here < /lj-spoiler >, minus the spaces, of course. It may also help other readers to find your point of reference if you include a page/chapter/percentage notation at the start of your comment, too, but proceed however you find it's easiest.

As this will remain a public post for the duration of the month, anonymous commenting is enabled here, as promised; if anyone tries it and finds it's not working, please let me know & I'll tweak things until it does.

Since I (and probably at least a few others among you) have read the entire book, there's a ready-made group of us who'll be happy to answer questions and jump into discussions already. Happy October, all, and to those joining us for "THE END OF ALICE," happy (?!?) reading!
Well, hi! Long time no "talk," disturbingbooks! I notice we've gained a lot of new members since I finally got back to posting to Twitter on a reasonable basis, so welcome to the madhouse. And please feel free to post something anytime - we love reading your reviews & recommendations.

Seeing as we've not had a post for a while, I thought I'd just pop in and provide a few links to stir some discussion, and perhaps inspire folks to write about their own "Most Disturbing Books" while we're at it. Have a look at these, and see if you agree/disagree/can "out-disturb" these wusses! I'm leaving this post open (rare, I know) for Twitter followers to come check us out & see if they'd like to join in, but yes, you DO still need to have a Livejournal account AND be a member of our community to comment or vote.

Now to the lists:

If you find any other great lists or roundups out there, please feel free to link to them in the comments section. There can never be too many resources...

Now to the poll. Surely some of us are rolling our eyes at what mere mortals consider "disturbing," so it's time to weigh in on the list that comes up countless times if you Google "most disturbing books of all time": the Popcrunch one.

POLL: Here's the list. Which have you read? How would you rate them?Collapse )

Other things worth discussing: Have you seen any of the film versions of the above-mentioned novels? Any you'd consider even more disturbing than the source material? Do any of the choices surprise you? Why?

FYI: I've scheduled each of these list links to be sent out individually on our Twitter feed as well, so if you don't have time to go through them all in one sitting, don't despair: you'll get the bite-sized version over the coming days. :)

Again, welcome to the fresh meat new members! If you're not sure how to start, check out our userinfo, browse our tags, or take a stroll through our Archives/memory section to see past posts. We look forward to your first entries about the books you think we should all be reading!

~prettyh/Heather/creator & co-mod of disturbingbooks

[Public] This community is now moderated

Because we've had an influx of German spam accounts and people trying to pimp their porno sites, this community is now moderated with regard to new memberships. If your profile is very new, has no real information, or looks at all sketchy, there may be a delay in approving your account.

-Carabosse, one of the community mods

The Torn Skirt by Rebecca Godfrey

Note: This is my first post, so I am not sure about the tags... Mods are very welcome to fix!!!

Title: The Torn Skirt
Author: Rebecca Godfrey
Availability: I found it at my library, so anywhere.

My review:
Though not very disturbing, I found this book enchanting and hard to put down. And it did have a few disturbing moments... I will try to explain the best I can...

The Torn Skirt is about a girl named Sara, 16, who finds out her boyfriend and his stoner buddies gang-raped a girl Sara has admired from afar. The incident is told to her by the guys, and they laughed as they told her how afterword, they stuck a garden hose inside her to "clean her out"... And when she confronts the girl in question, she says something along the lines of not caring. Confused, Sara skips school the next day and goes downtown, where she meets Justine, a runaway Sara's age, for the first time. Sara becomes obsessed with her, and meets some other guys downtown, putting her in a dangerous situation she doesn't realize. This book is fast-paced, a whirlwind of prostitution, drugs, violence, sex, rape, sex communes,and runaways... I loved this book. It was short, but worth the read. :)

Rating: 4/5 stars!
Pages: 208

If my description was confusing, here are Amazon reviews:

"As a teen in the mid-'80s in British Columbia, Sara Shaw has two lives. At home, she is the responsible daughter who cleans, launders, and manages the bills for her feckless, addicted father. At school, aptly nicknamed "Mount Drug," she hangs out with a group of stoned delinquents. When her father suddenly abandons her, she leaves home for the back alleys of Victoria where she is swept into the world of runaways, pimps, prostitutes, and addicts. Despite the graphic sexual situations and language, this is a touching book about a sensitive, articulate teen who longs for security while recklessly courting danger. She misses her mother who still lives in the commune Sara and her father had left. She regrets not befriending a girl at her school, and tries to compensate by helping the young women she meets on the streets and in a shelter. She imagines life with the kind foster family she is offered, but can't make herself leave the streets and go to them. This first novel is suspenseful, surprisingly funny, and thought provoking. Godfrey's portrayal of the anguish and hope of troubled teens has a searing authenticity."
Kathy Tewell, Chantilly Regional Library, VA

From Publishers Weekly

"When Sara's hippie father catches her masturbating after school, he can't handle what he's witnessed. In one of this whip-smart debut's many surreal scenes, he decides to move out effective immediately. Godfrey's novel is full of equally disconcerting episodes, but its brash honesty gives them a giddily delightful spin. The departure of 16-year-old Sara's single father leaves her to fend for herself, and she quickly heads down the wrong path in mid-'80s Victoria, British Columbia. An obsession with Justine, a strangely alluring street girl, leads her into the red-light district, where she meets China, a teenage prostitute who persuades Sara to help her rob a john. As the new friends flee the crime scene, the deceived man threatens Sara, vowing to get revenge. Sure enough, just as she finally finds Justine again, she is accosted by the man, and Justine nearly kills him with a knife belonging to Sara. Though the book is a hell-ride through the lives of burned-out teens killing time in homeless shelters and drug houses, the scenery is transformed by Godfrey's angry cleverness: one character is "like the rising rowdy moment of a party just before the cops arrive and send everyone home." Though secondary figures like Sara's father and China don't get the thorough treatment Godfrey gives Sara, Godfrey's singular voice is a perfect barometer of teenage rage and insecurity."



Especially if you are using your entry to review or discuss a particular book.

Even if you aren't posting about a particular book, subject headers are a Good Thing.

Hi there, long time member but first time poster.

In English, our teacher has asked us to pick a book to do God knows what with. Her specifications were that it must be American Literature and it must be from a long time ago (vague instructions are vague). No Stephen King, no Poppy Z. Brite D:.

That being said, the subject is negotiable. (Which, of course, had me taking advantage of it like nobody's business.)

Any really creepy/scary/disgustingly wonderful suggestions?

I really enjoyed Exquisite Corpse by Brite and Pet Semetary by King.

edit: the book must be from before the 1970's

The Collector by John Fowles

The Collector by John Fowles

Available on Amazon and in most libraries

Triggers: stalking, kidnap, imprisonment

Frederick/Ferdinand Clegg collects butterflies and works at a sterile job as a clerk. Bereft of social skills he admires and stalks a pretty young art student, Miranda Grey. Winning a large amount of money in a lottery allows him to extend his collection to a living specimen, secured in the basement of a country house he is able to buy. Here he hopes for love, and catalogues his captive's behaviour. His captive keeps a diary, and tries various means of escape.

The story is told in three parts, and switches between the two main characters so that both points of view are given. Fowles uses the story to reflect on class differences, the nature of art, and other preoccupations that are highlighted by the differences between the characters. A chilling conclusion is reached.

The novel was made into a film in 1965, starring Terence Stamp and Samantha Eggar, directed by William Wyler.

John Fowles wrote another disturbing book, "The Magus" (separate post), and went on to find international fame as the author of "The French Lieutenant's Woman", made into a film starring Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary
Stephen King
Triggers: Mild blood/gore, animal 'abuse' (I wouldn't really call it abuse, but I can't say anything more without giving it away).

"Set in a small town in Maine to which a doctor, Louis Creed, and his family have moved from Chicago, "Pet Semetary" begins with a visit to the graveyard in the woods where generations of children have buried their beloved pets. But behind the "pet sematary," there is another burial ground, one that lures people to it with seductive promises . . . and ungodly temptations."

I'm pretty sure most people have read this book at this point, but I'm still going to recommend it for anyone who hasn't.
I, myself, just finished reading it and WOW. My favourite King books are the Dark Half and the Shining, but I think this one just blew those out of the water.
What I think I loved the most about this book was that crawling, creeping sense of unease that starts the minute they visit the Sematary for the first time, and it never, ever goes away throughout the whole book. I'm not sure about anyone else, but when I read this book, there was just this heavy doom-ish feeling throughout the entire book. It wasn't outright frightening, but I just loved the whole air it had about it.
It might just be my overactive imagination, but I could see everything in this book in my head in vivid detail. What really got me, I don't know why, was that laughing thing in the swamp- I could just hear it.
The last 50 pages were amazing. The pace suddenly just rockets, and it doesn't relent until you close the back cover of the book.
I don't want to say anything else, since I don't want to give any details away, so I'm just going to say- if you haven't read this, you must.

Sleeping Beauty by Stanley Burns

Burns is a renowned photographer of the macabre, and his Sleeping Beauty chronicles death photography. This book had two limited editions and each is now very expensive. This book had such an impact for me that when I found a reasonably cheap copy, I lived on ramen for a month to be able to get it. Sleeping Beauty II is now heading down the same expensive road.

Sleeping Beauty on Amazon

There was a specific little boy in Sleeping Beauty who affected me. I got my mitts on this book back in 1996, and when I finally got my own copy in 2006, I immediately paged until I found him. The sight of him didn't leave me in over a decade.

Pic of the boy and explanation of my obsession with poor, dead CharleyCollapse )

Membership is now Open

The community is back from it's brief shutdown and Membership is now Open :)
Hi to all, again!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up, in case folks are wondering what on earth your humble mods are up to in the coming days: We'll be closing down new memberships, just for a day or two, while we catch up on archiving the massive number of posts we've been getting each day. (I've been sick & am the main reason we're behind at all - my apologies!) I don't think we'll need to moderate post submissions while we're at it, but on the off chance you do submit an entry and you get a note saying it's been put into the moderation queue, that's why. It's a very temporary measure, as I said - a couple of days, probably - so no worries!

In the meantime, my co-mods have been working like crazy to add more tags to incoming entries (and you're welcome and encouraged to tag the entries you post with the keywords we've made available, too - that helps keep it more accurate, since you know more about the book than we do!); that means that you'll be able to find a ton of recs for each topic we have listed so far. For that reason, we ask that the posts asking for general "what should I read next?" or "can someone tell me a good book about...?" be eliminated whenever possible. The reason for this is twofold: 1) That's what the tags and Memories are for! and 2) You might run into some displeased members who've just recommended some good titles in the last page or two, which are easily find-able before posting to ask. Just looking to keep things as simple and organized as possible!

Also likely of interest to many of you: We've been discussing setting up a sister community that will act as a "book club" of sorts, or a reading group/book list. One of our enterprising members approached me with the suggestion, and it's a great one; it would allow for any of us who are interested to join and read the same twisted books at the same time, and be able to discuss them with fellow members. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted as this develops, and we'll post a link once it's been created.

It's back to bed for this sickly mod, but I hope everyone is finding some great new reads here, and I extend a big "WELCOME!" to all of our new members, as well as a huge THANK YOU to our original clan who've weathered this past week's changes graciously and, in some cases, very helpfully!

Skeletons Joseph R. Sims

TITLE: Skeletons
AUTHOR: Joseph R. Sims

family drama, straight & gay sex, murder, drugs, rape, you name it!

Kale Helmer needs to escape his pathetically bland existence in suburbia. His answer is college. In particular, the small college town, Grover, notorious for its wild party scene. To cope with all of the family drama back home, including his younger brother's eating disorder, his father's abuse, and his best friend's volatile relationship; Kale embraces a variety of new addictions to clear his head. The most addictive of which, is his new found relationship with his college roommate's friend's younger brother, Jordan. A relationship, his family would never approve of.

In the whirlwind that ensues, Kale has to sort out what takes precedence in his life; the drugs, the friendships, the boy or the extended family back home that still wants to control his life from hundreds of miles away. Kale must juggle it all, while trying to save his own sanity from his father who wants to see him fail most of all.

(ive never posted here before as i genrally suck at reviews and what not but ive bitten the bullet as i would really like to know if others have read this and what they thought. sorry if this ones been done before)

A woman for duty,
A boy for pleasure,
But a melon for ecstasy.

- Old Turkish proverb

Read more...Collapse )


I like JT Leroy's books. I have heard Lolita is greatly disturbing. Have any of you seen the movie called "Heavenly Creatures" with Kate Winslet? I recommend watching it.

The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon

The Woods are Dark by Richard Laymon

There are 2 versions of this novel - it was released in 1981 only after it was heavily butchered by the editors (almost 50 pages were removed). In 2008 the original, unedited version was released and this is the version that I just read, last night in one shot, lol.

I don't want to give too much away so all I have to say is that the novel is fucked up on page 1 and after that I really don't think there were any pages that weren't fucked up, lol.

Little bit of a summary - not really a spoiler but just in case...Collapse )

Discussing "The Handmaid's Tale"

prettyh discussed "The Handmaid's Tale", by Margaret Atwood, in THIS ENTRY about a year ago - she was kind enough to send me a copy of the novel after I told her that I like dystopian novels (Thank you!!).

There were a few opinions on the original post but I thought we could talk about it again.

I thought it was a good novel but I felt that it was lacking a certain "something" when compared to some of my other favorite novels such as 1984, Brave New World, and The Giver.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?
I looked through the memories and didn't see these ones: 

"Exquisite Corpse" and "Drawing Blood" by Poppy Z. Brite.

The former is downright graphic and haunted me with the sex/death combo, and the latter was just gutwrenching with the first chapter's graphic description of a little boy witnessing murders.

"State of Fear" by Michael Crichton

1) Do you like Michael Crichton?

2) Do you like George Orwell?

3) Are you pissed that Al Gore won a Nobel Peace Prize for all his "Global Warming" BS?

If you answered "Yes" to any of those questions then I highly recommend State of Fear by Michael Crichton.

I'm a big fan of dystopian and conspiracy theory novels and I loved this novel. I own a copy of all fictional novels by Michael Crichton however I discovered that for some reason I have 2 Hard Cover copies of this novel; Therefore I'm having a contest to give it away :)


Michael Crichton makes reference to George Orwell in this novel so I think it's only fitting that the question be about one of his most well-known novels - Here is your question:

In the novel "1984" by George Orwell what is the character Winston Smith's greatest fear?

Banned Books Week!

Courtesy of the lovely Neil Gaiman (officialgaiman), and in honour of Banned Books Week, I come bearing a collection of links that I figured might interest some of you:

  • All about Banned Books Week
  • The most challenged books of 2007
  • The 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-2000
  • The 10 most frequently challenged authors from 1990-2004 (Judy Blume?? Seriously??)
  • And, apparently, the top 10 most challenged authors of '07 are:
    1) Robert Cormier
    2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    3) Mark Twain
    4) Toni Morrison
    5) Philip Pullman
    6) Kevin Henkes
    7) Lois Lowry
    8) Chris Crutcher
    9) Lauren Myracle
    10) Joann Sfar

    Nary a one of those have appeared in our recs (or...did Lois Lowry...?). Clearly these judges don't know what sorts of horrors are really out there!

    ** ETA (Nov. 7/08): PLEASE NOTE THAT NON-MEMBERS' COMMENTS APPEAR TO BE SCREENED BY DEFAULT. We haven't figured out why or how to change this, so while we're working on it, our only suggestion is to JOIN! All of the past week's posts are Members Only, too, so if you're not a member, you're missing out on a massive selection of entries. **

Zombie CSU by Jonathan Maberry

TITLE: Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead (link goes to official website for the book)
AUTHOR: Jonathan Maberry
AVAILABILITY? 2008 release date, so it should be widely available in stores.
Zombie CSU book cover
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? I debated with myself whether this really counted as a disturbing book. Is the book truly traumatizing? No, not really. However, learning that it is medically possible to have some form of real-life zombie plague bothered me rather a lot, because pandemics already freak me out without adding that extra element. Read more...Collapse )

Wondering your thoughts on Manson books?

So also I was wondering if you guys read any books about manson you'd receommend.
Ah, how I love birthday season. I've been spoiled rotten all month, and some of the best gifts came in the form of books I can now offer up here! I ♥ you, hippie_chick!

Last summer sometime, I was lazing about on a Sunday morning and happened to catch an HBO movie about which I'd heard nothing before. It was called "Longford", and it opened up a whole new world of books to hunt down. The movie chronicled the Moors Murders, committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, and between the amazing performances (Andy Serkis as a serial killer? Oh, hell, yeah!) and the gruesome subject matter, I was hooked.

So I now come bearing the book that Ian Brady has written whilst serving his bazillion life sentences in an English asylum for the criminally insane. (I guess he wrote it between hunger strikes...?) I've only just begun reading, but it's definitely grabbed my interest. Also, fans of Peter Sotos, take note: he wrote the afterword about the horrifying audiotapes that would eventually blow the lid off Myra Hindley's involvement in the rapes and murders.

TITLE: THE GATES OF JANUS: Serial Killing And Its Analysis (also titled "The Gates Of Janus: An Analysis of Serial Murder by England's Most Hated Criminal")
AUTHOR: Ian Brady
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?: Having not read it to its completion yet, I defer to the wise words of Amazon and such to explain why this book might be of interest to you...although I think a book about serial murder BY a serial killer automatically scores some points on the "WTF" scale.

From Publisher's Weekly:
The infamous "Moors Murderer," writing from his U.K. jail cell, Brady provides a rambling account of the socio-philosophical and psychological genesis of the modern day serial killer, but it's emphatically "not an apologia." The child pornographer and convicted killer (of 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey, 12-year-old John Kilbride and others) spends the first half of the book contending that killers such as himself, who are free from societal, religious and moral chains, are able to provide greater insight into the criminal mind than psychiatrists, crime reporters or police. But this argument, in and of itself, is unsurprising, and any logical authority Brady might have been able to build up is undermined by page after page of his nihilistic ranting. Pointing to myriad problems present in overpopulated, self-satisfied, privileged societies, Brady imagines contemporary culture as a breeding ground for serial killers. To prove his point, he attempts psychological profiles of Henry Lee Lucas, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and other notorious killers. But these chapters are not profiles so much as they are detailed accounts of the gruesome crimes committed. While revisiting such felonies might be enjoyable for the hardcore true crime fan, for most readers the depictions will feel as gratuitous as the heinous crimes they describe. The relentlessly abrasive and controversial social critic [Peter] Sotos (Pure), an aficionado of murders recorded on audio tape, adds a provocative afterword.

I'd have to agree; Brady does seem to spend a lot of time peacocking about and discussing how much smarter he is than anyone who's tried to analyze him. But that makes the book fascinating in a way that's different from your average "let's look into the mind of a killer" tome. To actually read Brady's words, arrogant and nihilistic though they may be, is a breed of chilling that's all its own.

NOTE! Our first anniversary (September 18th) is fast approaching, and we the Mods are contemplating various ways to mark it (giveaways, for instance; a PayPal raffle ticket setup where $1 buys you 3 shots at one of the books we've featured; etc.). If you have any suggestions, please feel free to add them to the Suggestion Post! We're also looking into the possibility of a community-wide Book Trade, which would give members a chance to unload their old titles in exchange for those they haven't yet read. Stay tuned!

"Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo

TITLE: Johnny Got His Gun
AUTHOR: Dalton Trumbo
AVAILABILITY?: Still in print, easily available online from sites like amazon.com

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?: A soldier serving in WWI is hit by a mortar shell that has destroyed most of his body, leaving him a faceless torso without sight, hearing, smell, or taste. His mind still functions perfectly, though, and the book details his struggles to deal with his condition. Our narrator is essentially trapped in his mind, either dreaming or remembering facets of his life, until finally his attempts to communicate bear fruit. It's dizzying and claustrophobic, with the only saving grace being that the story is from the omniscient point of view rather than true first-person narrative. I have yet to finish the book in one sitting, even though it's rather short, just because of the tension it induces. Some of you might be familiar with this story through the Metallica song and/or video, "One", which uses clips from the 1971 film adaptation. (I apologize if the video link is deemed inappropriate for a book community. I just think it's a very good visual introduction to the novel.)

MY INTRODUCTION: Hello, this is my first post. :-) My 'nym is Carabosse, after the wicked fairy in the ballet version of "Sleeping Beauty", and I will read almost anything. I came here after searching online for reviews of "Josie and Jack" (I liked it and wondered if I was aberrant), and after reading each of the posts so far, decided to join. I look forward to having my horizons expanded!


A new book by Peter Sotos = a new entry in disturbingbooks, of course. Lordotics was officially released on Tuesday in hardback, limited to one hundred thirteen copies. (Judging by Creation's MO on other Sotos titles, a non-limited paperback should be out in a few months.) Creation say they still have some left to order. I'd suggest acting quickly; if they're going in order, and I was the last person to order one, they have ten left (my copy is #103). Update: I've just got word that the limited edition is now sold out.

warning: not for the easily offendedCollapse )

And oh yes, my bitches, feast your eyes on this bad boy. [jumps up and down like a kid at Christmas who just got a Red Ryder BB gun]

Greetings and goodies....

Hey all. Great to find this community. After eagerly reading through others suggestions for disturbing reading I'll throw mine out there. Keep those suggestions coming please!

William Faulkner.

Has anyone else read As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner? It was part of my required reading for Honors English this year, junior year. Normally, I'm quite a slacker and don't read the books assigned (generally, they're sort of boring, like The Natural), but this year, I read them all because most were simply amazing. Yet none of them had such an affect as As I Lay Dying. I mean, wow, this book is so haunting and absurd, it's just fantastic. 

The novel follows the Bundren family on their quest to bury their mother. No cremation, no preservation, they're just lugging her corpse across the countryside in a wagon. These aren't spoilers, by the way - they're on the back of the book. :) My personal favorite character is Darl Bundren, the second oldest child - he had a depth I couldn't find in the others. Anyhoo, this book is set in the deep South, and it's somewhat hard to read, as anyone who's familar with Faulkner will know. But if you're into symbolism and you're up for a bit of a challenge, I highly, highly recommend it.

Now, the other book I've read by him, The Sound and the Fury, is even harder than As I Lay Dying. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and it said scholars studied Quentin Compson's section, because it was so obscure and impossible to understand. Once again, though, if you want a challenge and love obscure symbolism, really, these books are amazing. :)

If you're craving more information, I'd suggest lookin' these two novels up on Wikipedia. Thanks for listening!

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum

Find it here.

I just finished reading this (it's 3am if that's any indication of how enthralling this novel is) and... wow. Just wow. DEVASTATING. I've gotta say, guys, this book is beyond chilling. By the time I reached the epilogue, I was shaking uncontrollably and bawling my eyes out. I know I tend to get pretty emotional over characters (who doesn't, right?) but, honestly, I don't think a novel has really had an impact like this novel has. It was really just an entirely different level of disturbing. I think the fact that it's based on real life events makes it that much more haunting.  

Did anyone else have a strong reaction? What are your thoughts/feelings on the book? I'd think it's definitely not for someone who wants to continue wearing their rose coloured glasses haha =). But despite this, I still give it 5/5 stars, because any book that can stir that much emotion in a person deserves an applause. I'm so glad I read it.

Now to sit through the movie... 

Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.

Another entry from teh n00b! :D I love this place. I read way too much but I never get the chance to discuss what I'm reading, and you guys have been awesome to discuss books with :D So as suggested in my previous post, I figured I might as well blog about Fall On Your Knees.

Find it on Amazon here. You'll have to buy it used though. I couldn't find it in any local bookstores, but I did find it on the local bookstores' websites so that might be the way to go for you.

A sprawling saga about five generations of a family from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is the impressive first fiction from Canadian playwright and actor Ann-Marie MacDonald. This epic tale of family history, family secrets, and music centers on four sisters and their relationships with each other and with their father. Set in the coal-mining communities of Nova Scotia in the early part of this century, the story also shifts to the battlefields of World War I and the jazz scene of New York City in the 1920s.

I hope you don't mind, but I thought I'd post this excerpt I found here. The excerpt on Amazon doesn't do this novel justice.

So yes. I think it really paints a picture. The first time I read the above passage sent shivers down my spine. By reading the book all the things that don't make sense in the excerpt start to come together, and it really blows you away how twisted this family is. You'll be floored by the end; MacDonald really takes you for a ride as you struggle to piece together the small bits of info she throws at you. 

Once again, incesty, so maybe not the book for you if you can't stomach that. And it's also subtly disturbing... it creeps up on you, I must admit. You don't quite realise what you're in for until you're nose to nose, and by then you can't back away. The father is especially.. *shudders*

Hey guys, another newbie here. I'm a bit of a huge fan of the strange, the disturbing and the wacky (I'm apart of the Palahniuk cult, what do you expect?!) I'm also so excited about this community because it helped me find the Jersey Devil story! I read the short piece years and years ago in a magazine and it horrified me to death, but I've never been able to find it since and, annoyingly, I could never quite remember the ending of the story. Stupidly, it was also 3am when I found this comm the other night so... thanks for that, guys! No sleep for the stupid, haha! 

Anyway, I wanted to bring to you Haunted by Palahniuk (my diehard favourite!), but I have a feeling it's already been heavily discussed on here ;) so insteaaaad I'll bring to you... 

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan

Because I suck at descriptions, I'll snag this from Amazon:
"In the oppressive, claustrophobic atmosphere of an old house, one of the few left standing in a London urban renewal area strewn with rubble, a family of four children, ranging in age from six to seventeen, try to survive on their own after the death of their father, first, and then, their mother. Because the three younger children will have to go into "care" if their mother's death is known, they dispose of her body themselves in the basement of their decaying house and carry on as if their parents are still alive."

I think I'd have to describe it as one of those subtly disturbing novels. The concept freaked me out the moment I heard it and I just had to read it. I think what makes this book so disturbing is the fact that these children are so convincing - they believe what they're doing is the right course of action, that burying their mother in a pile of cement is perfectly normal. I don't want to give anything away - although I'm pretty sure the amazon reviews already do - but this book is slightly very incestuous, as a warning in case you can't stomach that sort of thing.

It's also pretty short - you'll be able to finish it off in an afternoon, but it leaves such an impact on you. It ends on such a big BANG. There's also a movie which I haven't seen - if anyone has, please let me know what you think! 

I'd love to know if anyone has read this. I haven't been able to convince anyone to read it and I'm dying to hear other people's thoughts. 

Also, and since I'm here (LOL gotta love how I'm avoiding writing an essay by writing a mini one)... what are everyone's thoughts on incest in fiction? I personally find it unbelievably fascinating and disturbing all at once. It's such a huge car crash - you can't watch but you can't look away either. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie Donald would be another disturbing incesty novel (I could write another review on this if anyone wants it?).


The Giver by Lois Lowry

TITLE: The Giver
AUTHOR: Lois Lowry

I looked in the Memories and was very surprised when I didn't find this novel in there. A lot of my friends had to read this in High School - I didn't but I got along well with my 10th grade English teacher and we made a deal that she would read my favorite novel if I read hers; she handed me this novel.

7 years after originally reading it I came upon it in a discount/overstock store for $2.50 and grabbed it immediately. I re-read it and still feel that it is very powerful and definitely disturbing in the way that 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World are.

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