The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosiński

A book full of controversies. From the stomach wrenching stories that it tells to the author’s credibility itself and ultimately the end of his life. The book narrates the story of a “gypsie” boy considered as Jewish, that travels from village to village during World War II encountering the most horrific aspect that humans can perform. It is written from the perspective of this child how he sees this war. It finalizes describing how this experiences change him in a very psychopathic and disturbing personality.

The author was indeed accused of plagiarism but before it was accused of being not true, hence it was all an invented non-fiction. Was criticize when all was discovered yet it is a book that has high reviews in many online bookstores including. Probably the fact of the plagiarism or the “invented non-fiction” aspects gave the book more popularity.

They said that “curiosity kills the cat” and probably every aspect of this book attract the curiosity of many people. Hence, the popularity of the book.

check it out in The Book Depository

 

The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum.

The fact that this novel was inspired in true events makes it more abominable. It is about the murder of Sylvia Likens. The story is about two teenage girls who’s parents died recently on an accident. Later moving with an extended family with Ruth, their alcoholic aunt. Things flow well at first but as the story goes on Ruth begins to show her pervasive insanity.  From verbal abuse to extreme torture involving Ruth’s own children and several other children from nearby, and finally murder.

The real case is so shocking that Ketchum wrote the book, exposing one of the most savage murder in american history.  Eventually there were two films based on the crime. The girl next door in 2007 which is based on this novel and An american Crime in the same time starring Ellen Page.

The good thing is that the real monster, Gertrude Baniszewski, was tried and sentence to jail along with two of her children that participated in the torture. At least, Karma did the job for them.

check it out in The Book Depository

 

Joyland by Stephen King

Messed up readings can’t be left without a Stephen King novel. Joyland is one of the most gentle of King’s novel but bizarre in it’s own way.  Devin Jones narrates in a nostalgic style a summer during collage years as he worked as the mascot of an amusement park named Joyland.  There he blends with his coworkers and owners. Later one of them tells him about a murder occurred 4 years earlier in which the murdered girl supposedly appear as a ghost to some of them in the same area of the crime.

This story is a coming of age novel that combines mystery crimes with the supernatural of beyond life and the ability of a sick child to “see”.

Many reviews compare it to Funhouse by Dean Koontz in the carnival atmosphere and romance coming of age theme. But Satan is definitely out in this one unlike Funhouse. Only ghosts, murders and blood.

check it out in The Book Depository

 

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

The messed up book list can’t be left out with this masterpiece, since it is very, very gruesome reading, in a fascinating way. It tells the story from first person POV from Frank. He is a sociopath 16 years old who lives with his father alone in a remote place somewhere in Scotland. His mother abandons him from an early age and he has very little memory of her, since the last time he saw her,she went there to give birth to his little brother and soon she leaves again. He was three years old then. We don’t know if his disturbing behavior comes from his upbringing or it just comes with the family. No one on this family seems sane at all.

His father, a retired doctor, lives reclusive in a room that Frank is forbidden to go. Frank was not registered at birth, home-schooled in some way, and roams around by himself killing animals and building The Wasp Factory. This is a machine he invents that predicts the future depending on how a wasp dies when it is trap there. The story begins when his older brother Eric escapes from an mental asylum (no one here is sane) and is coming home. Frank begins to build some kind of “doorbell” with dead animals that attracts birds. When someone comes the birds will fly away alarming someone is near. Frank invents his own world, his own superstitions which resembles a kind of religion and his own rituals in his isolated life. This young lad have killed three children before the age of eleven, without remorse. “It was just something that came up at that stage. ” Yes…very disturbing indeed.

Reviews are very variable. The animal and child killing gives it a low rate but many of them positive,considering a fiction. Some observes the misogyny since our protagonist has an intense hatred toward women, but also to the sea. And this is part of many things including the twist at the end. Something many did not see it coming. A very unpredictable twist.

check it out in The Book Depository

 

 

  1. I must say that you have a very interesting website.   It will help me decide which kind of book that I do NOT want to keep in my used book shop. My shop has a lot other things and I call it my “happy zone.”  The used books are just a small part, so I try to keep titles that fit with the stores’s concept.    

    I frequently buy boxes of used books.  I discovered that a few books have made it into a shop that are truly disturbing and messed up.  It is weird how we can find our selves drawn to the perverseness of it.    I’ve read more that I would prefer to and felt uneasy for days afterwards.  That is why I want that type gone.   I don’t even want to talk to people about them.   

    Granted, I do keep Stephen Kings because they sell.  People pick them up and don’t spend a lot of time wanting to discuss them.     

    Like you mentioned with The Painted Birds, sometimes our curiosity leads us to want to read a book.   In my case, I am curious about the plagiarism.   Was it really plagiarized or not?  If so, how ?  

    • Than you for commenting. This was a post about books like that. I will post another name “the most read”. There is a small selection of most recently popular books. In that list for me “Educated” is the most interesting. 

      I posted an article of autobiographies presenting the last book I have read. “I Know why the Caged Bird Sings”. Despite the great review it only received likes and no comments. As I said before maybe the messed up” title click the curiosity as we were mentioning.

      Much blessings,

      Michelle

  2. I love 2nd world war history, and although it is very sad, it is fascinating to find out all the things that happened in different people lives and their perspectives of the war.

    The Painted Bird looks like a very interesting book and I am going to put it on my reading list. The Girl Next Door looks like it will be a bit too gruesome for me, so I will skip that one. The Wasp Factory also looks interesting, but maybe also a bit gruesome for me. 

    I must admit that you have chosen a very strange selection of books for this post, but I am sure they will appeal to a lot of people who don’t have nightmares easily.

    • Thanks for your comment. This was only a post about this kind of books. I will post later other article for comments. One is The most Reads. I think there will be more books that are more of your interest. For me the most intetsant in this list is “Educated”. I’ll post the article so people can check it. 

      If you don’t like nightmarish stuff I would stay away from “The Painted Bird”. Is very gruesome and disturbing.  There were parts that I was like….o my God. Terrified. It seems that indeed the author claimed that it was an autobiography but it was all invented. (Thanks God). 

      I am trying to sponsor many genres. But since I am I a beginning fase there’s much to add. I think I posted here for comments the inspirational autobiography, where I presented the last book I read. “I know why the caged Bird sings” by Maya Angelou. It is an amazing story of her childhood and how she have to endure racism. Despite having a great review people just click like, and did not give comments. The “messed up” title maybe attract curiosity.

      Much blessings and thank you again

       

  3. I am always fascinated with horror/suspense/ thriller books and movies as well. It’s the feeling of getting scared already with the blurb that you don’t want to read it but you still have to know the story.I have read some of Stephen King’s books such as Rose Madder, Bag of Bones and Joyland and have watched his popular twisted movies as well. I must say he’s really a genius in his field. 

    I’ve also seen a Documentary about Sylvia Likens, however I haven’t read nor watched The Girl Next Door. It’s crazy to think that it’s based on a true story and I wonder how it was put together in words. The real story is actually disturbing and horrifying that I might probably read it in a public place to keep me somehow distracted with all the nightmarish accounts.

    You have a very good selection for a horror/ suspense genre. i heard it from someone that women should watch or read a horror story to improve their intuitions. I don’t know if there’s truth to that but by judging the content of a well written suspense story, I must say women can learn a lot from these reads. Thank you for recommending those books. I hope you can also recommend other genres like your most favourite adventure or sci fi.

    • Thank you for you comment.  I have never heard that woman should do horror/suspense but it makes a lot of sense,not only to women but for people in general. I read once The Mist from Stephen King. It was not one of my favorites but it has sci fi. There’s also the movie. Thank for mention it. Maybe I will add it to the page. Blessing!

  4. I am always fascinated with horror/suspense/ thriller books and movies as well. It’s the feeling of getting scared already with the blurb that you don’t want to read it but you still have to know the story.I have read some of Stephen King’s books such as Rose Madder, Bag of Bones and Joyland and have watched his popular twisted movies as well. I must say he’s really a genius in his field. 

    I’ve also seen a Documentary about Sylvia Likens, however I haven’t read nor watched The Girl Next Door. It’s crazy to think that it’s based on a true story and I wonder how it was put together in words. The real story is actually disturbing and horrifying that I might probably read it in a public place to keep me somehow distracted with all the nightmarish accounts.

    You have a very good selection for a horror/ suspense genre. i heard it from someone that women should watch or read a horror story to improve their intuitions. I don’t know if there’s truth to that but by judging the content of a well written suspense story, I must say women can learn a lot from these reads. Thank you for recommending those books. I hope you can also recommend other genres like your most favourite adventure or sci fi.

    • Thank you for commenting. I read a Stephen King book named “The Mist”. It was not one pf my faves but it has the combinatuon of thriller and Sci fi. Thank you mention it. Maybe I will add to the books on this page.
      Many blessings!

  5. Thank you for recommending this disturbing books. I am a fan of various story genre, including the disturbing ones. One book that really caught my eyes is The Girl Next Door. Psychopath murders with gore and mystery elements are my favorite, especially if it’s based on real case. Any other similar book that you can recommend? Thank you

  6. One that I found so disturbing that maybe I will just skip it is “Cows” by Matthew Stokoe. It has all the taboos ever. Another I heard a lot is “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy. The latter is in an ambiance like the wild west and is in those lists of the most disturbing readings. Hope that I helped something for you to read.
    Take care!

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