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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The Heart is Deceitful Above all Things

J T LeRoy

Beton Rouge

Simone Buchholz


Chuck Palahniuk


Ari Bach

Walking Bones

Charlotte Carter

Slip of a Fish

Amy Arnold


Niall Griffiths

Into the Darkest Corner

Elizabeth Haynes

Welcome To Paradise

Mahi Binebine

Love Sucks

Ken Shakin

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

The Quiddity of Will Self

Sam Mills


Nik Jones

The Wisdom of Crocodiles

Paul Hoffman

All Woman and Springtime

B W Jones


Patrick deWitt

The North Water

Ian McGuire

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis


Patrick Suskind

Seven Ways to Kill a Cat

Matias Nespolo


Bandula Chandraratna

Black Light

Patrick Melton Marcus Dunstan

Eat my Heart Out

Zoe Pilger

Saturday's Child

Ray Banks

When the Time Comes

Josef Winkler


Anouar Benmalek

The Book of Night Women

Marlon James

Debatable Space

Philip Palmer

The Go-Away Bird

Warren Fitzgerald

Young God

Katherine Faw Morris


Charlotte Roche

Children of the Sun

Max Schaefer

Season to Taste or How to Eat Your Husband

Natalie Young

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

The Killer

Jack Elgos

What They Do in the Dark

Amanda Coe

The Story of Forgetting

Stefan Merrill Block

The Birth of Love

Joanna Kavenna


Shusaku Endo

The Madman of Freedom Square

Hassan Blasim

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Kelly and Victor

Niall Griffiths

The Children's Hospital

Chris Adrian

So It Is

Liam Murray Bell


Jeet Thayil


Helen McCabe


Irvine Welsh

No Bones

Anna Burns

The Devil All the Time

Donald Ray Pollock

Exquisite Corpse

Poppy Z Brite