10 Horror Books That Shocked Me

As someone who finds it just about impossible to feel outright fear when reading, I appreciate, as well as seek out, the other emotions that the written word can summon – shock being one of them. Shock value can either be a hit or miss depending on the story as a whole, but below are works I enjoyed that included highly disgusting or graphic content. Trigger warnings go without saying with these babies.

(I want to preface this by stating that my reading of the genre is by no means extensive, not by a long shot. I still have a lot to discover!)

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Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US

To describe this simply as disturbing is a gross understatement. It’s more than that, and it took me over a month to finish, because my mind needed periods of respite. I experienced a great deal of discomfort; mountains of it that weighed heavily on my state of mind. Read my full review here.

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Kinfolk by Matt Kurtz

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Grindhouse Press

I imagined that the beginning of this book was akin to being shoved head-first down a ravine – there was no going back, there was more than little discomfort, and the question of why-would-you-do-this-to-me was entirely appropriate. For some the very first chapter of Kinfolk will prove difficult to read. Read my full review here.

The Troop by Nice Cutter

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Simon & Schuster 

I don’t even consider myself a particularly squeamish person, but at one point I actually felt sick, which is more than a little rare. Every detail was excellently written and extremely thorough, until I almost found my skin crawling in revulsion. Read my full review here.

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The Sadist’s Bible by Nicole Cushing

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US

The last half of the book is where things took a turn, and I guess I didn’t expect things to get so crazy, but they did. The running theme of sex and violence only magnified, and it was unquestionably shoved to the forefront throughout the end. Read my full review here.

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Cats Like Cream by Renee Miller

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Unnerving

Certainly not for the squeamish, as even with having a strong stomach it nearly had me gagging. I always find it considerably more disturbing when the monster isn’t supernatural in origin, but very much human. Read my full review here.

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Woom by Duncan Ralston

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Shadow Work Publishing

One thing’s for sure – this one will stay with me for a while to come, it’s even possible that I’ll never forget it. It’s seared into my mind. Despite becoming so engrossed in the twisted playground that is Ralston’s imagination, I actually needed to take several breaks throughout and come up for air. Read my full review here.

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Splatterpunk Fighting Back

Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Splatterpunk Zine

I expected that it would probably involve some disgusting and gruesome moments, and I quickly discovered that I was correct. As a whole I consider it a great piece of horrifically violent and graphic literature. Read my full review here.

The Mongrel by Seán O’Connor

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Uafás Press

A certain graphic scene in particular had me simultaneously cringing in discomfort and leaning forward in fascination. This debut novella established a long-lasting impression with its compelling survival aspects. Read my full review here.

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Stephen by Amy Cross

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US

If I ever thought that books could go too far, then I’d more than likely say that about this particular one. It’s one of those stories that heavily relies upon the shock factor; it wants you to ask the question of what-the-hell-did-I-just-read? And I did, in fact, chew over that question myself, especially after the much dreaded, yet highly anticipated chapter twenty-eight. Read my full review here.

The Sorrows by Jonathan Janz

Website | Goodreads | Amazon UK & US | Flame Tree Press

The horror aspects here were rife with explicit, and often violent, sexual themes. What I did enjoy was the monster himself and the chaos he inflicted. Read my full review here.

Got any recommendations? Please share!

7 Comments on “10 Horror Books That Shocked Me

  1. I agree with all of the one’s I’ve read, Geek Love, The Sadist’s Bible, Splatterpunk and now I need to read the rest because I love being shocked and it takes a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love when it’s legitimate shock rather than the roll-your-eyes kind, then again, we all have different thresholds. I hope you enjoy if you decide to pick any up!


  2. Pingback: The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum – Red Lace Reviews

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