Has a Book Ever Made You Sick to Your Stomach?


Writing that’s powerful enough to “put you off your dinner”. That’s the topic of a hilarious post by Chas Newkey-Burden on the Guardian Books Blog (“It started with The Twits. My mum must have thought Roald Dahl’s classic was the ideal birthday present for her giggling, bookworm eight-year-old son. And it was, right until the scene when Mrs. Twit mixes worms into spaghetti and serves it to her husband.”), and it inspired us to ask around the office to get Flavorpill staffers’ most stomach-churning reads. We were surprised when no one mentioned our personal vomit-inducer — the anesthesia-free root canal in A Million Little Pieces — but we suppose everyone’s different.

Their responses after the jump; if you feel inspired, add your own in the comments.

“It’s safe to say that I felt sick throughout the course of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. My stomach was very disturbed by the description in Candide of the old woman that survived cannibalism but came out without certain body parts intact, and Titus Andronicus threw off my taste for pie for quite a long while.”

“The scene in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian where the Comanche go on a scalp slicin’, viscera-defilin’ rampage… only novel to ever give me nightmares.”

“Um, Crash.”

Naked Lunch. I think I’m the only one I know who actually finished it. Was actually interesting, if you can get through it. And by it… scenes involving young boys, hangings and sex.”

“Pretty much every story in Last Exit to Brooklyn. Some seriously disgusting stuff in that book.”

“Charles Burns’ Black Hole — seriously weird mutants. Grotesque but brilliantly sickening. I think the worst bits are the dream sequences and references to skin molting and dissected frogs that keep appearing through the novel.”

The Ruins — the whole being eaten alive by a temple in the jungle thing, I can’t even think about it…”

Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. It’s all pretty lewd but especially when Marcelle puts the dead priest’s eye up her *#%$&!”