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( Submitted by Brittany Hanners, Resident Assistant, Middle Tennessee State University.

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1 ( Submitted by Brittany Hanners, Resident Assistant, Middle Tennessee State University

2 Blindness is a book with a truly horrifying scenario at its heart: what if everyone in the world were to lose their sight to disease in a short period of time? The answer is actually somewhat predictable, but that doesnt lessen the bleakness as society collapses quickly in this novel by Portuguese author José Saramago. The story follows a group of characters who are among the first diagnosed and sent to be quarantined. #10

3 Anti drug crusaders should stop airing commercials and start pushing to have Requiem For A Dream made required reading for every high schooler in the country. Kids would probably still do drugs, but I imagine theyd be thinking twice after reading it. Most people are more familiar with the movie, which was a pretty faithful translation of the book that deals with four characters who all see their lives ruined by various addictions. #9

4 #8 Naked Lunch is another ode to drug addiction. While its not as flat out depressing as Requiem For A Dream, its a hell of a lot more strange. The story is told in a series of dream like vignettes that never allow the reader to really get their bearings and includes acts of child murder, auto-erotic asphyxiation, lots of drug use, cop killing, and orgies. The book was banned in many sections of the United States when it came out in 1959.

5 #7 We Need to Talk About Kevin concerns a fictionalized school massacre told through the perspective of his mother, who is writing letters to her husband trying to come to terms with the monstrosity that she birthed. The book goes into detail about Kevin displaying signs of psychosis from a young age leading up to his murder of seven classmates, a cafeteria worker, and an algebra teacher. Kevins mother at least partially blames herself, as she was never all that enthusiastic about being a parent, let alone being a parent to a deeply disturbed individual.

6 #6 Cormac McCarthys novel deals with a father and son dealing with a cataclysmic event (probably a meteor strike) that has left the world barren and gray. The pair travel through the book, with the father hoping things will improve the further south they get. Plants will not grow in this world, and food is scarce. Cannibals are everywhere. As powerful a book as this might be, it is pretty much guaranteed to leave you morose and feeling like youve been repeatedly hit in the stomach.

7 #5 American Psycho really leaves you wondering a little bit about Bret Easton Ellis sanity. Many people are probably familiar with the movie starring Christian Bale, but the movie pales in comparison to the book when it comes to levels of depraved insanity. The book follows investment banker, and serial killer, Patrick Bateman over a few years of his life. As the book moves on his killings becomes more and more sadistic, leading to quite a few scenes that will never, ever completely leave your mind, including a particularly repugnant sequence involving a starved rat, some cheese, and a tube.

8 #4 One of the most effective anti-war novels of all time, Johnny Got His Gun is also one of the most disturbing. The book was published in 1938 and deals with a WWI soldier who has had his legs, arms, and face blown off by an artillery shell. However, his mind is completely undamaged, leaving him a prisoner in his own body, unable to communicate with the outside world. The book was later made into a film and immortalized in the Metallica song One.

9 #3 The 120 Days of Sodom was a work by Marquis de Sade, who had to have at least one work on this list. The book deals with four wealthy men who want to have the ultimate orgy. To accomplish this they seal themselves away with a bunch of young men and women. The sex quickly turns sadistic and matters quickly turns to humiliation, pain, and killing. Pretty much every debased and bizarre sexual fetish is explored in detail in the book, with much of the work crossing lines that even today would be declared obscene in many parts of the US. It is amazing that the book was written in 1785. The 120 Days of Sodom was turned into a film called Sado, widely considered to be one of the most unpleasant and disturbing films of all time.

10 #2 The Turner Diaries is a racist, antisemitic novel written by William Luther Pierce, the crazy former leader of the white Nationalist organization National Alliance. It depicts a violent revolution in the United States that leads to the overthrow of the US government and the extermination of all non-whites and Jewish people. To Pierce, Hitlers problem was clearly that he didnt go far enough. Timothy McVeigh was a big promoter of the book, and may have used a scene in the book as inspiration for the Oklahoma City bombing.

11 #1 Jack Ketchum is often mentioned when the topic of most extreme horror writer is breached, and its not hard to see why when you read The Girl Next Door. The book details the abuse of a teenage girl by her aunt, who enlists neighborhood children to help torture the girl over the course of a summer. The kids gradually go along with the insane aunt, who moves from abuse to outright torture and eventually murder. This is a very twisted tale that leaves you feeling ill, until you find out the story is based on the real life murder of Sylvia Likens, who was left with her aunt by her parents, and then really was tortured to death by her aunt and neighborhood children. Then you feel really sick.

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