Disgusting books to shock you

If you’re up for the challenge and not easily offended, there are some seriously outrageous books to sample here. This selection is not for the faint-hearted – the books are not only repugnant in content but also can feel like a shocking assault on your sensibilities as a reader. There are some which have scandal at their core – shameless behaviour but oh so addictive to read about. Others are gruesome – even distasteful – but exude a horrific fascination to the observer. A percentage might actually induce nausea and you may need to walk away to a place where you can breathe clean air before returning for more.

But there is entertainment too – a refreshing break from the ordinary and the opportunity to suspend the moral code of real life. The covers really deliver – what a collection of deliciously sleazy and shocking images. And with some covers, you just can’t work out what’s going on. ‘Come Closer’ beckons one title – and how could you refuse?

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Kelly and Victor

Niall Griffiths

Young God

Katherine Faw Morris


Helen McCabe

The Birth of Love

Joanna Kavenna

All Woman and Springtime

B W Jones


Charlotte Roche

Beton Rouge

Simone Buchholz

The Right Madness

James Crumley

Black Light

Patrick Melton Marcus Dunstan


Bandula Chandraratna

When the Time Comes

Josef Winkler


Irvine Welsh

The Children's Hospital

Chris Adrian

Love Sucks

Ken Shakin

Saturday's Child

Ray Banks

Welcome To Paradise

Mahi Binebine

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

The Story of Forgetting

Stefan Merrill Block

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis

So It Is

Liam Murray Bell

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

The Madman of Freedom Square

Hassan Blasim


David Abrams

Lightning Rods

Helen DeWitt


Nik Jones


Niall Griffiths

Children of the Sun

Max Schaefer


Jeet Thayil

The Vegetarian

Han Kang

The Quiddity of Will Self

Sam Mills

Slip of a Fish

Amy Arnold

The Killer

Jack Elgos

Let the Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist


Ari Bach


Shusaku Endo


Chuck Palahniuk

The Go-Away Bird

Warren Fitzgerald

Exquisite Corpse

Poppy Z Brite

Debatable Space

Philip Palmer


Anouar Benmalek

The Devil All the Time

Donald Ray Pollock

The North Water

Ian McGuire

The Book of Night Women

Marlon James

Eat my Heart Out

Zoe Pilger

Kimberley's Capital Punishment

Richard Milward

Into the Darkest Corner

Elizabeth Haynes

Seven Ways to Kill a Cat

Matias Nespolo


Patrick deWitt

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

Walking Bones

Charlotte Carter