There are some novels that you know will shake you at a primal level, that will haunt your dreams and darken even the brightest day. They’ll leave you shivering with “what if’s.” They’ll leave their dark marks upon your soul. Here are a few of those books—
stories I’m afraid to read, because I won’t be able to forget them…
Many reader friends have told me I must read this book. In fact, they were horrified I hadn’t read this “masterpiece” yet. But I’m afraid it will disturb me too much. THE ROAD is a
grueling and grim post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son struggling to survive.
The spare pose echoes the utter and complete desolation of the world as one man
attempts to instill a glimmer hope in his son.
I shiver thinking about it. Did I mention there’s cannibalism?
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margret Atwood
This could be the future—a future where a misogynistic, monotheocratic government rules all, where women are reduced to base breeders and laborers. It’s terrifying because you can
imagine it could happen if the wrong people gained power. I’m embarrassed to admit
I haven’t read this yet, andI plan to correct this lapse soon.
Even if it gives me nightmares.
Readers seem to love or hate this unique novel, and it has a die hard cultish following. It’s been described as not only a mind-blowing haunted house story, but a story inside a story inside a story…(or was it a riddle wrapped inside and enigma?) Due to its trippy print style, the books is only available in print, so readers can scour the appendices, colored texts,
sideways prose, and do the old “read backwards in a mirror” gimmick.
But it’s scary…if you can make it through the 700+ pages
without feeling physically trapped by the style.
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
What happens when YOU create the monster? In reality, it’s a story that often drives fear into all of our souls—a teen opens fire in a school, and seven classmates and two adults die. This could be in your neighborhood, in your children’s school. But cold-blooded killers aren’t just born, are they? This novel explores how our culture creates child killers, and how it would feel if this child was your own. The threat of school massacres hits me too close to home. I…just…can’t…
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
On the surface, the protagonist is epitome of a golden boy: attractive, filthy rich, and a Wall Street wunderkind. But inside, the man is a raving lunatic. A calm one at that. He kill, rapes, and tortures with a cool detachment. Some say this novel is a comedy, a satire of epic proportions. Others say it’s pure horror. I haven’t seen the movie either, and reading Ellis’ IMPERIAL BEDROOMS disturbed me enough for a few years, thanks.
Though technically a Western, this perverse story evokes images of Heironymus Bosch as it follows a band bounty hunters for Indian scalps near the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s–a ragged caravan of indiscriminate killers led by an unforgettable human monster called “The Judge.” Described as bleak, and bloody, and bleak—a book that may or may not leave you with no faith in humanity whatsoever.
Okay, this one I’m buying now, since it’s only $1.99 on Amazon now. Dubbed “Twentieth Century’s greatest practitioner of the classic horror tale,” Lovecraft’s stories have influenced generations of horror writers and readers.
How about you? What’s the scariest book you’ve NEVER read?