Nathan Bransford, Author


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Which book most disturbed you?


This question was suggested by Kia Abdullah:
What author has most disturbed you? There are some obvious ones like Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory), but the author that has disturbed me most is Richard Laymon. I read a few of his books when I was younger (Endless Night, Island, Quake) and, yikes, they still make me feel queasy. Clearly, there was a sick attraction though since I read more than one...
Which book or author has most touched a nerve and disturbed you?

I'd have to go with Vladimir Nabokov and Lolita. My negative feelings about that book burn with white hot suns and I really don't care how pretty the prose is.

What about you?

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Art: Visión fantástica o Asmodea by Francisco de Goya






18 comments:

Ashley B. Davis said...

Hi, Nathan. This is a good question. I am sure there are other books from many moons ago I am not recalling, but I recently read the YA horror The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, and I was, quite appropriately, horrified. Fantastic novel. Quiet kind of horror. But very disturbing.

Beth Bartlett said...

It was a Star Trek book, of all things. By Dafydd ab Hugh. Revolted and shook me so bad, I quit reading Star Trek novels for a long time. That was the worst. Terry Goodkind's first book was also too much; turned me off and I never read another one by him.

Christi said...

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer disturbed me so much that I didn't finish it (very unusual for me). I also absolutely hated Ark by Stephen Baxter -- I went into it expecting a fun science fiction colonial planets romp and was deeply disturbed by how awful everything rapidly became. I believe that people are inherently good, and I just can't stomach dark books where everything and everyone comes to a dismal end.

Jeremy said...

Cormac McCarthy's The Road

abc said...

I'm with Jeremy. The Road. I couldn't shake some of those images.

Kia Abdullah said...

Thanks for sharing, Nathan. I didn't take to Lolita and wondered if it was a man's novel (as the only people I know who love it are men), but I guess I was wrong.

I haven't yet read The Road but it's on my list! It seems like an apt read given the state of our politics right now.

Sasha A. Palmer said...

Just the other day, out of the blue, I was thinking about "All Summer in a Day" by Bradbury, something I read years and years ago. Its last lines still haunt me and give me shivers:

"Behind the closet door was only silence.
They unlocked the door, even more slowly, and let Margot out."

Dana B. said...

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates. A professor in college mentioned it a few times. It's horrid. I never finished it.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

Alice Sebold's LUCKY was emotionally difficult to read. Disturbing, yes--but it's because the world is disturbing.

Nicole Montgomery said...

John Connolly's Charlie Parker series is incredibly disturbing, but also worth the experience. I'm not a horror reader, and he's not a horror writer, and I've re-read every book in the series multiple times, except the first one. That book has images that I can't revisit.

One other book, which sadly I can't remember either the author or the title (it was a thriller) had scenes of modern day sex-slavery that I wish I could scrub from my memory, at least partially because I think they're very plausible. Horrifying.

Nicole Montgomery said...

I never tried another of Goodkind's after that one, either. I don't remember if I finished it or not; I do remember it not being at *all* what I expected from its cover and his reputation.

abc said...

I would call John Connolly a horror writer. You've got violence, fear, demons, ghosts, really bad guys doing really bad things, and there's some gore there, too.

Roger Floyd said...

"Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," "Silent Spring"

OHClements said...

The Whiteness of the Whale chapter in Moby Dick. Nausea/tears every time!

Bryan Russell said...

I rather love disturbing books, though perhaps "love" is not quite the right word.

Lolita is up there for me, but I'd have to pick The Death of Sweet Mister, by Daniel Woodrell. That book broke me.

JOHN T. SHEA said...

Like Sasha A. Palmer, I remember the horror of 'ALL SUMMER IN A DAY' decades after reading it. That it was written by an author famous for more upbeat stories made it even worse.

I read much horror years ago, but offhand I would select '1984' as the most disturbing novel, and a reminder of what we so narrowly escaped during the long Cold War. But I consider recent comparisons to President Trump to be absurd. Whatever the Donald is or wants to be he's not Big Brother and never will be.

JOHN T. SHEA said...

Bravo to Kia Abdullah for suggesting this question. And ABC asks a similar question on the Forums. The responses, from Nathan and all commenters, include plenty of books for my ever growing TBR stack. Or maybe not. Maybe I'm already disturbed enough!

Steve Abernathy said...

David Golder by Irene Nemirovsky. It's a vile anti-Semitic novel, but damn well done.

Lolita is the greatest YA novel ever written.

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