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    19 More Books That People Claim Have Truly Traumatized Them For Life

    "Absolutely not." —Me, reading the descriptions of these books.

    We recently took a look at a viral Reddit post that asked users, "What is the most disturbing book that you have ever read?" Their reading recommendations sparked even more great responses from our very own BuzzFeed Community! Here are just a few of the most disturbing books shared:

    1. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor

    Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

    "This is a short story, but it messed me up so bad. It’s about a family on a road trip that goes downhill and...it just gets so bad. Like, so bad. You have no idea where the story is going because it’s just like, 'Oh, a sweet family of a mom and dad, their two kids and a baby, and the grandma who's going a little crazy with old age!' And then the story takes a hard left turn into Nopeville, USA and never leaves."

    skailyr

    2. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

    Simon & Schuster

    "When I read it, it changed my life. It was so horrifying and uncomfortable, yet beautiful in a tragic way. The book is more effective than any 'Just Say No to Drugs' class ever."

    graciepoo1335

    3. Clay’s Ark by Octavia E. Butler

    St. Martin's Press

    "I couldn’t sleep for days after I read it. It’s part of a series called The Patternist and it’s set in a dystopian future. A father and his twin daughters get kidnapped by a man who’s been infected with an alien organism that compels him to infect as many people as possible. Most die from the infection, but the people who survive turn into these creepy cat-like beings. I love cats, but damn...this book made me avoid mine for a while."

    meperson

    4. The Collector by John Fowles

    Back Bay Books

    "This deserves a spot on this list...that's all I'm going to say."

    pappydanger

    5. Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price

    Razorbill

    "It’s about a girl who’s checked into a facility for a severe eating disorder and writing letters to her best friend back at home...or so she thinks. The subject matter, the unreliable narrator, and the twist at the end all make this book jarring and highly disturbing. A genuinely difficult read."

    booksandrain

    6. The Bitch Goddess Notebook by Martha O'Connor

    Orion Pub Co

    "It's so depressing, fucked up, and disturbing. It's told from multiple P.O.V.s as it follows three teenage girls in the '80s — and then into their adulthood — and the individual repercussions of an event that happened when they were teens. MAJOR self-harm, pregnancy loss, and substance abuse trigger warnings for this one."

    zoebailey94

    7. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

    Ballantine Books

    "This is the one book I’ve read that I can’t get out of my mind. While it’s not meant to be a horror or thriller novel, it’s haunted me more than any 'scary' book I’ve read."

    user59724

    8. Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk

    Anchor

    "I'm a big Palahniuk fan and I gotta say this is one of my favorites. It's about a song that kills people, and it gets really dark REALLY fast. His writing style leaves the reader feeling intrigued and it is truly amazing."

    binkt124

    9. A Short Stay in Hell by Stephen L. Peck

    Strange Violin Editions

    "It is, simply put, the most disturbing book that I have encountered."

    jdhoogen

    10. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

    Celadon Books

    "I read this in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down. Once I finished, I couldn’t read anything for a week or so since the incredible twist shook me so bad. I would highly recommend for anyone who likes a good mind-fuck."

    shell22

    11. The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

    Orbit

    "I picked it up on a whim without understanding what it was about. It begins in the perspective of this sweet little girl being held at this facility. You slowly begin to realize who she is, why she’s there, and what’s going to happen to her. I was scared to even LOOK at the book for weeks after."

    beccaf413e10e17

    12. The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser

    Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller

    "I won't spoil it for you...but it's safe to say I now greatly dislike old antique mirrors."

    katied47fd64e0d

    13. Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

    Simon & Schuster

    "If you’ve only been exposed to his more mainstream plays, this one will shock you. Let's put it this way, one of the most disturbing scenes in Game of Thrones was just following one of the many nightmarish scenes from this play."

    norty

    14. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

    W. W. Norton & Company

    "This is one of the most powerful and disturbing books I have ever read. What makes it so disturbing is the fact that all of the characters are good people and they have the best of intentions, but it all goes so wrong."

    aewright26

    15. Child of God by Cormac McCarthy

    Vintage

    "Set in the rural communities outside Knoxville, Tennessee, in the mountains, it follows a young man who has no impulse control, a very, VERY unhealthy sex drive, and some truly disturbing fetishes. I read it over a decade ago, and it still haunts me."

    eviemarr

    16. The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

    St. Martin's Paperbacks

    "From the first chapter, you witness an orgy that ends with a monster growing inside of and ripping through a woman...that's how it STARTS."

    alejandrom4

    17. Maus by Art Spiegelman

    Pantheon

    "It’s a graphic novel written by a man whose grandfather lived through the Holocaust, and it’s told from his grandfather’s point of view. All the Jews are portrayed as mice, the SS/nazis are pigs, and I believe everyone else is cats and dogs, if I remember correctly? I read it in eighth grade — which was WAY too young — and it still fucks me up when I think about it."

    gracie44dbb3

    18. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

    Simon & Schuster

    "The concept that you can just 'unmake' your kids and harvest out their parts if they are perceived to be bad is so disturbing??? And when they actually went into detail about the unwinding, man...that scene is still in my mind and it's been years. I couldn't read the other books in the series."

    andread14

    19. If You Tell by Gregg Olsen

    Thomas & Mercer

    "I just finished this one. It's a true story about a woman who tortures her own family and friends. Somehow I missed the 'true story' part when I first started reading, and I couldn't wrap my head around someone writing fiction that was so depraved...only to find out it was true."

    m4823ba4b1

    Now it's your turn! What's the most disturbing book you've ever read? And what was it that made said book stick with you? Share in the comments below!

    Stories have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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