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?

Search for books by Mood & Emotion

Saturday's Child

Ray Banks

The Birth of Love

Joanna Kavenna

The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things

J T LeRoy

Into the Darkest Corner

Elizabeth Haynes

When the Time Comes

Josef Winkler

The Go-Away Bird

Warren Fitzgerald

So It Is

Liam Murray Bell

Welcome To Paradise

Mahi Binebine

Beton Rouge

Simone Buchholz


Anouar Benmalek

Young God

Katherine Faw Morris


Chuck Palahniuk


Bandula Chandraratna


Jeet Thayil

The Book of Night Women

Marlon James

Children of the Sun

Max Schaefer


Ari Bach

All Woman and Springtime

B W Jones

Black Light

Patrick Melton Marcus Dunstan

Eat my Heart Out

Zoe Pilger

Love Sucks

Ken Shakin


Patrick deWitt

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

The North Water

Ian McGuire


Helen McCabe


Irvine Welsh

Walking Bones

Charlotte Carter

Debatable Space

Philip Palmer

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

Natalie Young

No Bones

Anna Burns

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis


Shusaku Endo

The Devil All the Time

Donald Ray Pollock

The Quiddity of Will Self

Sam Mills

Exquisite Corpse

Poppy Z Brite

Lightning Rods

Helen DeWitt

The Madman of Freedom Square

Hassan Blasim

Kimberley's Capital Punishment

Richard Milward


Charlotte Roche

Let the Right One In

John Ajvide Lindqvist

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan


David Abrams

Slip of a Fish

Amy Arnold

The Vegetarian

Han Kang

Kelly and Victor

Niall Griffiths

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

The Killer

Jack Elgos

The Children's Hospital

Chris Adrian


Patrick Suskind


Niall Griffiths