The Most Shocking Books

We wanted to know the most shocking books you’ve ever read, and you answered. Some answers surprised us- others, we expected. Either way, here is a selection of books that shocked our readers. What would you add?


Freya G.: The Wasp Factory. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it was full of cruelty and was rather shocking. This is coming from a person who loves horror films/books. It wasn’t the greatest book I’ve ever read either. It was a bit like wading through water when reading it.”

Tardi G.“The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I nearly threw up on the way to work while reading one section. I’ve never had such a visceral reaction to a book before. Would recommend it though.”


Theresa T.: “Not a literary book in any way, but when I was 12 I found a book in my mom’s room called Return to Fire Island (I think) and it was total porn! She always had classics and Stephen King around, so I was beyond shocked to say the least! I’m still scarred today lol! Of course I read the whole thing!”

S.A. McHugh: Lord of the Flies, required reading when I was in 5th grade. That was messed up, definitely shouldn’t be read by young kids as the imagery was so vivid and realistic that I can still see and smell that hog head covered in flies, still see the dead man hanging from his parachute, and still see that kid get his head smashed in 22 years later!”


Wendy B.: “The Known World, the last half of the book is a roller coaster of the best and worst of human nature. I’m a bit awestruck by how beautiful this book was.” 


Laura K.M.: Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland. It was funny in parts, but I felt awful each time I laughed. 

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