30 Day Book #25 – Most Disturbing Book

In most books, we all know that everything is going to end up being ok in the end.  Most of the time, the journey in getting to the happy ending can involve going to some very dark places.  Obviously some books go much further than others, and the book that I’m writing about for this post goes into some very dark places.  I’ve already mentioned one book by this author in the course of my 30 books, but Hubert Selby Jr. tended to write several books that went away from the general idea of most books.  He wrote several books that go to horrifically dark places, and he wrote many books that would be considered tragedies because they do not end well for any of the characters involved.

My choice for this book is The Room by Hubert Selby Jr.  It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but it was still one of the first ones to come to mind as having some very disturbing scenes.  The Room is the story of a man who is sentenced to prison for a crime that I don’t believe is ever mentioned in the book.  While he is in his cell, he starts to make plans about what he is going to do to the people that put him there (the police that caught him as well as several other people involved).

In and of itself that is probably a more common thought process than most people would think for prisoners, but Selby lets the prisoner’s imagination run wild.  He describes scenes of torture, and goes in depth about how is training his “dogs” (the police who caught him) to do various things that dogs do, even going so far as to bring in the officer’s families to show them how well his “pets” listen.

It’s been far too long since I read this book for me to go into too much more detail, I grabbed the book and flipped through it a little bit to find some of what he does.  Needless to say, this is a very dark book, and not for the faint of heart.  Even knowing what to expect with it, I don’t know how much I would want to read it again.  I like many of Selby’s other books and would highly suggest them (to the point where I will most likely read some of them again in the future) but this is one that I would suggest to people only with a big disclaimer.

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  1. I’ll have to add this to my list. For me, the most disturbing book I’ve read (so far) is probably American Psycho. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill also really got under my skin. There were a couple of nights where I felt tempted to sleep with the lights on.

    • I would check out some of Selby’s other work before start this book. I like all of his novels that I’ve read, even they aren’t for the faint of heart.


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