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Goriest Horror Moments in Novels: A Community Question


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I woke up in an odd mood today. Dark thoughts swirling about my cranial piece. Some of those dark thoughts leaning in the direction of outright graphic, stomach turning gore. The kind of stuff that forces bile up your throat. The kind of stuff that leaves you questioning mankind’s sanity. And obviously, that took me straight down a path of grisly fiction.

What’s the goriest novel I’ve read? That’s the question that’s been bouncing about my head now for hours. I’ve got some strong candidates, but before I share my own personal thoughts. I’d like to know what you, the community think: what is the goriest, nastiest novel you’ve ever read? That one book that pushed your imagination far beyond reason. Far beyond anything you believed imaginable.

Let us know. It’s time to explore the graphic side of horror novels, novellas and short stories. Length matters not. Share the most repulsive read you’ve ever experienced!

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About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

7 Comments on Goriest Horror Moments in Novels: A Community Question

  1. Matthew Barbour // March 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm // Reply

    It is total bs, but I still say Off Season. Yes I know the piece is over 30 years old, but the sex scene where the degenerates use the blood for lube still sticks with me. I didn’t read it until the early 90s, but I remember thinking at any point the description would cut off. It would break away and the rest would be left to my imagination, but it never did. It was all there.

    If I look at collective works though, Edward Lee wins against Ketchum and Laymon. What Lee writes is sometimes laughable, but overall he stands as king in the overall gross-out factor. So maybe a better choice than Off Season would be The Big Head. Sending in a review of what is probably lee’s worst book, The Backwoods tomorrow. I just need a chance to read over what I wrote. After that maybe I will write an homage telling of the greatness which is The Big Head! lol.

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  2. Vitina Molgaard // March 29, 2014 at 11:58 pm // Reply

    I definitely need some thinking time before answering this one….but I will be searching my mind for the one that has hit that spot….just me..vitina

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  3. The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski

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  4. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. This novel delves deeply into the graphic horror of murder, torture and rape, but then surfaces again to tackle issues concerning fashion and restaurant reviews. This is what people are capable of, and unsettles you as you never know what thoughts are going on behind someone’s eyes.

    In books like Off Season, you are slightly detached from what is going on. I do love a good Jack Ketchum novel though.

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  5. American Psycho was definitely a disturbing piece of work.

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  6. There is a scene in Survivor by JF Gonzalez, where, even though much is left to the imagination, a baby, an infant, is ripped apart and skull fucked.

    Then you have the entire book The Girl Next Door that could be thrown into this category…what a novel that is so disturbing that I won’t revisit it, ever. I did NOT like the way it made me feel.

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  7. Header by Edward Lee. It’s the only piece of fiction that has ever repulsed me enough that I could’nt finish reading it. Disgusting characters doing repulsive things in horrific ways. I’ll add that Stephen King’s short story “Survivor Type” from the Skeleton Crew collection is also a nasty bit of business, chronicling the horrors of a surgeon who amputates and eats parts of his own body to survive being shipwrecked on a desert island.

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