Book that scarred you the most

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Book that scarred you the most

Postby Iconoclastica on Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:46 pm

In the spirit of the analogous topic for the movie thread . . . what book was so fuckered that it left you a changed person?

I'm thinking on this one for a bit . . . but I'll be back to you soon - what do you guys say?
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Postby burlivesleftnut on Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:52 pm

Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistlestop Cafe... terrifying.

And any of Martha Stewarts cookbooks. I DON'T KNOW WHAT ANISE IS!
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Postby John-Locke on Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:59 pm

1984


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nuff said?
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Postby Adam Balm on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:04 pm

First one is nonfiction:

The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence by Michael Ghiglieri.

I think I mentioned this a while back, though I can't remember where. It was written by a student and friend of Jane Goodall. Basically the idea he proposes is that male violence isn't the result of being traumatized at a young age or living in poor economic conditions, as modern schools of psychology teach. We like to believe in the 'blank slate', that everyone is born with the capacity for selfishness and selflessness, compassion and cruelty, and it's our environment that fucks us up. He makes the controversial claim that it's far more fundamental and inherent than that. That looking at male violence from a perspective of evolutionary game theory, killing people and breaking things is a fundamental part of male human nature, an evolutionary behavioral strategy. Those males who are good at killing people and taking their women, have their genes propagate into the next generation. Males at their core, are fairly ugly and brutal creatures.

A very deterministic and grim view of the world that you won't want to agree with, but it will leave you thinking and questioning.
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Postby Bean on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:04 pm

1984 - I read it a few months ago and it seems so frighteningly possible that I still shudder to think about it.

Deliverance - For more than just the infamous rape scene, it's a book, in Dickey's own words "About how good men kill well." Gentry's character undergoes a change that is absolutely shocking.

I'll think of more later.
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Postby DEADMAN on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:07 pm

-- House Of Leaves --
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:07 pm

Everybody Poops. A chilling revelation for a child of 12.
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Postby Seppuku on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:07 pm

The book that affected me the most was the Hagakure, by Tsunetomo Yamamoto (it taught me how to spell Japanese-sounding names for a start!). I read it ten years ago and it knocked me aside. What I took from it was the knowledge that one must look at the world with a 360 degree perspective. Not only did the stories of disgraced retainers and Japanese familial history give me another perspective on Asian culture, but it was as if the words were injections into my veins, swirling about my consciousness. And though I've never read a book twice (there are enough classics out there to read something brilliant every day), the prose still lives on in my mind and in my blood.

The other person who affected me greatly was Hunter S Thompson. I wrote a eulogy for his death a year or so ago, and I respected the way he went out. If you read the intro to his collection of articles The Great Shark Hunt, you'll see that even then he planned to go out in a whisky-fuelled blast. His political invective was easy to relate to, but that's not where I saw his genius; there was a point in all his tangents, a strange moment, where you realise you're reading to a gun-shot rhythm. There was a white light that burnt from beneath every page that contained his writing, and it blinded me, something from which I've never recovered.
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Postby DEADMAN on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:08 pm

-- Everybody Poops: That was a russian author right?
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:09 pm

Yeah. Typically depressing.
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Postby Gheorghe Zamfir on Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:14 pm

Everybody Poops was actually by a Japanese author.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:15 am

Born on the Fourth of July, by Ron Kovic.

Seeing a Vietnam War theme in my scarring? My father was Air Force for 28 years, did a tour in Korea and one in 'Nam, spent a split year in Thailand and the Phillipines, and dragged the family to West (then) Germany, where I and my older sister were born, and Okinawa for a couple of years. I knew the military wasn't all the ads made it out to be, but at 15 I thought the government was honoring Vietnam veterans even if the public was not.

Kovic's book disgusted me. Some of his self-bought degradation was disturbing, but his descriptions of the Veterans Administration hospitals where he was treated made me ill. Rats ran through the wards at night. Paraplegic vets were shoved through mass shit-and-shower sessions -- rolled into a giant shower room and hosed down as they got enemas, strapped to metal frames with their asses and genitals exposed not only to staff but to anryone who could look in. Urine bags spilled over and no one came to drain them. A suction machine that was keeping one of Kovic's legs alive stopped and started and couldn't be replaced because the hospital budget wouldn't allow. Worst of all, when the patients demanded some meaure of dignity, when Kovic cried out that he had done two tours in Vietnam, the orderlies told him to fuck off, that they didn't care who he was.

I'm not sure I needed to learn this at 15, but I'm glad I did.
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Postby Iconoclastica on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:00 am

Battle Royale . . . more the book than the movie, because I read the book first, which I just find so much more impactful on so many levels. After reading the book, I just felt like I'd walked out of Fight Club . . . I was sizing up every person I knew in terms of how they'd manage in a situation where their only option was murder, or be murdered.

I imagine that many people, upon reading the book, realize that they probably do have it in them to kill some of their closest friends, need be . . . I would sit there contemplating for hours just which of my friends would fall for which form of deception (fast and painless vs. long term teaming up only to be turned on) . . . who would team up with who . . . who I would trust, whether or not they'd have it in them to do me in when the time came, and whether or not I could bear to fight them . . . fucked up shit, man. Not every book can do that to you.

I agree with JL and Bean- another book that's definitely changed my perception of reality was 1984 . . . I actually wrote a 60 page thesis on it (well, 1984, as well as Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and Animal Farm, and their historical/socio-political/psychological relevance).

Also, graphic novel wise, Arkham Asylum threw me for a loop . . . I've never looked at the nature of sanity in the same way since reading it. Good shit ^_^
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:14 am

John-Locke wrote:1984


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nuff said?


second, or 3rd or 4th, whatever #.

Ribbons wrote:Everybody Poops. A chilling revelation for a child of 12.


ISOMDILASH!

The Watchmen

A Scanner Darkly

Gravity's Rainbow

Trainspotting

Invisible Man
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Postby havocSchultz on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:16 am

when i was about to hit puberty - my parents bought me a sex-ed pop-up book - damn near lost an eye...twice...
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Postby Iconoclastica on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:17 am

havocSchultz wrote:when i was about to hit puberty - my parents bought me a sex-ed pop-up book - damn near lost an eye...twice...


ORGASMILASH!!


(as repeated from the EFBR)
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:17 am

keepcoolbutcare wrote:Invisible Man


Which one and why? If you don't mind my asking.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:33 am

Ellison's.

Why? Hmmm...a bit personal...let's just say I related to the character...loved his use of language, metaphor, inner-conflict...just kinda shoved me in the direction of being as non-judgemental as possible...ya' know, some pretentious bullshit reasons and personal stuff that would bore the shit out of anyone reading this (I don't do emo very well).
Personally, I'm an atheist in the voting booth and a theist in the movie theatre. I separate the morality of religion with the spirituality and solace of it. There is something boring about atheism.
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:45 am

Iconoclastica I'm curious. I'm looking at the books you listed above, and I was wondering if you've ever read Dune.
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Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:48 am

keepcoolbutcare wrote:Ellison's.

Why? Hmmm...a bit personal...let's just say I related to the character...loved his use of language, metaphor, inner-conflict...just kinda shoved me in the direction of being as non-judgemental as possible...ya' know, some pretentious bullshit reasons and personal stuff that would bore the shit out of anyone reading this (I don't do emo very well).


Hey, no problem. I can see where you're coming from, I think, and it doesn't seem like pretentious bullshit. But it's your reading experience, so I don't know.
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Postby Iconoclastica on Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:49 am

Adam Balm wrote:Iconoclastica I'm curious. I'm looking at the books you listed above, and I was wondering if you've ever read Dune.


I regret that I've never read any of Herberts other works - but yes, I read Dune in high school . . . gotta love epics ^_^
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:14 am

If we're discussing graphic novels, I should put in another plug for We3. Heartbreaking and relentless. It's amazing that a story of dehumanization can be so effective when the protagonists aren't human.
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Postby bluebottle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:18 am

Yeah, We3 is fantastic.
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Postby Adam Balm on Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:24 am

Yeah, we all love We3 around here. Especially Blue, who loves the dog.
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:04 am

The Cat in the Hat. Something bad was going on there, but I just never figured it out.

When I was about nine years old, I read a book that discussed the adverse effects of cigarettes, which was aimed at kids. That book freaked me out and I went on a mission to get my parents to quit smoking. Sure enough, they soon stopped smoking altogether, soon after that.

12 years later I picked up the habit myself. The lesson: don't tell kids about cigarettes, period.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:20 am

The Horned Man by James Lasdun scarred me, because it ties it's protagonist up in knots by making him perfectly logical and reasonable and utterly insane at the same time.

Animal Farm screwed me up as a young kid too.

Crime And Punishment also affected me deeply.
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Postby brainiac on Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:29 pm

Adam Balm wrote:
The Dark Side of Man: Tracing the Origins of Male Violence by Michael Ghiglieri.



Non-fiction --
Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape by Susan Brownmiller.

This was the first book that explained the power basis behind rape and debunked the "overpowering sexual desire" myth. It is an older book, and her ideas are mainstream now, but when I read it, it opened my eyes about not accepting the standard "line" on violence against women.

No less "heavy" are fictional accounts of the Holocaust like Exodus and Sophie's Choice. Horrifying inhumanity.

And Born on the Forth of July was a real eye-opener too for this military brat.
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Postby Iconoclastica on Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:49 pm

brainiac wrote:No less "heavy" are fictional accounts of the Holocaust like Exodus and Sophie's Choice. Horrifying inhumanity.


Good call - I completely agree . . . Exodus especially messed with me (particularly because my parents took my name from the novel- Jordana). I was actually thinking of adding any of the Third Reich memoirs that I've read (Last Days of the Third Reich and Masters of Death by Rhodes, I think), that's not to say that they're any more mind/gut-wrenching than any number of fictional works on the subject
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:32 pm

Adam Balm wrote:Yeah, we all love We3 around here. Especially Blue, who loves the dog.


I love We3 because the rabbit poops high explosives. Also, the cat acts like lots of real cats -- feed me and get the fuck out of my face. (Given that Tinker appeared to have been owned by some sort of stoner new-age or goth chick, though, you'd expect him to be friendlier. Inside cats that get to snuggle usually aren't so nasty.)
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Tue Jan 31, 2006 10:36 am

Primo Levi's 'If This Is A Man' is a profound and sad read about the holocaust. Likewise, Dee Brown's 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' is an equally sober read. Essential stuff, though.
Fiction wise, yes '1984' definitely and also 'Animal Farm' - my favourite Orwell book.
I'd draw attention, too, to a novel by one of America's most neglected writers, the late, great Hubert Selby Junior. No, not 'Last Exit To Brooklyn' or 'Requiem For A Dream' but his second novel called 'The Room'. It is without doubt one of the most disturbing novels I've ever read. A totally repellent book but shot through with a terrible beauty, honesty and braveness that leaves the likes of Salinger, Thompson, Bukowski for dead. A hellish masterpiece from a truly unique writer.
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Postby Adam Balm on Wed Feb 01, 2006 12:32 am

brainiac wrote:Non-fiction --
Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape by Susan Brownmiller.

This was the first book that explained the power basis behind rape and debunked the "overpowering sexual desire" myth. It is an older book, and her ideas are mainstream now, but when I read it, it opened my eyes about not accepting the standard "line" on violence against women.


Well, since then, especially in the last five years, there's been a lot of studies on rape in the natural world. So now there's a lot of controversy over this issue. It's not as clear cut as it once was. This is mentioned in Dark Side of Man, and it's the focus of the book A Natural History of Rape.

A bit of warning, I haven't read that book, but from what I hear these authors of NHoR make the mistake of a lot of evolutionary psychologists and feel the need to enter into some reductio ad absurdum. Everything they reduce to reproductive fitness. And that mindset is kind of going out of fashion now the memetics is becoming a little more respectable. I recently read Sense and Nonsense which is brilliant on this..

But anyway as far as I know, the issue is still up in the air.
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Postby MisterCynic on Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:18 pm

it.

i was 10.
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Postby The Vicar on Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:31 pm

The Plague Dogs. Cried my gorram eyes out at the end of that muther. Damn you, Richard Adams.
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Postby Al Shut on Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:10 pm

MisterCynic wrote:it.

i was 10.


I know what you mean. Young kids, in my case age 12, really shouldn't read that book.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Thu Feb 23, 2006 12:56 pm

Adam Balm wrote:but from what I hear these authors of NHoR make the mistake of a lot of evolutionary psychologists and feel the need to enter into some reductio ad absurdum. Everything they reduce to reproductive fitness. And that mindset is kind of going out of fashion now the memetics is becoming a little more respectable. I recently read Sense and Nonsense which is brilliant on this..


I find a you comments interesting, eh paisan? You seem a so sure that there is a the more to a the Life (with a the capital L) than a the reproductive fitness, eh? I guess I'm a gonna to put a myself inna the camp of a the mistaken evolutionary psychologist putzes, no?
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books that scar

Postby Constant Reader on Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:01 pm

Recently read a little piece of fiction called SURVIVOR by J.F. Gonzalez. I needed a shower afterwards. It is a very brutal peek into the world of snuff films, and if a tenth of what happens in that book actually happens in real life, this is a sick, sad world.

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Postby Adam Balm on Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:41 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:
Adam Balm wrote:but from what I hear these authors of NHoR make the mistake of a lot of evolutionary psychologists and feel the need to enter into some reductio ad absurdum. Everything they reduce to reproductive fitness. And that mindset is kind of going out of fashion now the memetics is becoming a little more respectable. I recently read Sense and Nonsense which is brilliant on this..


I find a you comments interesting, eh paisan? You seem a so sure that there is a the more to a the Life (with a the capital L) than a the reproductive fitness, eh? I guess I'm a gonna to put a myself inna the camp of a the mistaken evolutionary psychologist putzes, no?


Well, the difference is between reducing things to the survival of the organism, vs. reducing things to the survival of the gene/meme/behavior. Add that self-organization (in everything from cellular metabolism to the species to the ecosystem) is proving more of a factor in evolution than natural selection, and the picture becomes much more complicated.

(Although as pointed out by Kauffman, natural selection selects for systems that are supracritical and most adapted toward self-organization.)
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Postby bluebottle on Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:57 pm

Al_Shut wrote:
MisterCynic wrote:it.

i was 10.


I know what you mean. Young kids, in my case age 12, really shouldn't read that book.


hahah, i read "it" when i was 12 as well. i was scarred, but mostly elated that i had read a 1000+ page book.

:roll:
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Postby doglips on Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:59 pm

burlivesleftnut wrote:Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistlestop Cafe... terrifying.

And any of Martha Stewarts cookbooks. I DON'T KNOW WHAT ANISE IS!


Anise is a very scary spice if used in too greater quantity, bitter as fuck if used incorrectly. People who think they know how to use it just seem to wave it around like bloody salt. Rank.

My book would be Pincher Martin by William Golding, up until the twist it fried my brain.

Oh and ditto IT at about 12, those fridge dwelling, flying molluscs were fucked up.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:31 am

Adam Balm wrote:Well, the difference is between reducing things to the survival of the organism, vs. reducing things to the survival of the gene/meme/behavior. Add that self-organization (in everything from cellular metabolism to the species to the ecosystem) is proving more of a factor in evolution than natural selection, and the picture becomes much more complicated.


Ah, the Dino, he understands a what a you are a saying now, eh? I see a the reproductive fitness as a the, how you say? macro-concept, eh? Anna she's a driven by a the micro-factors, like a the, as a you say, memetics, no?

But inna my head, she alla come a down a to a the Life itself, no? Life is a the Life, anna the driving force is a to reproduce, whether she's a by a the sexual or asexual reproduction, or a the cellular division, etc., no? Iffa you look at a the survival of a the meme as a the microconcept, you can a extrapolate a to a the survival of a the larger organism, eh? As a the cell is inna the living organism, so is a the organism to a the ecosystem, anna so is a the ecosystem to a the planet, etc., no?

I find a this alla kinds of a the fascinating, eh? Maybe I gonna to make a the movie out of it... only with a the car chases anna the explosions anna boobies anna stuff.
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Postby Peven on Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:44 am

my American History book in 11th grade.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:46 am

Bluebottle wrote:
Al_Shut wrote:
MisterCynic wrote:it.

i was 10.


I know what you mean. Young kids, in my case age 12, really shouldn't read that book.


hahah, i read "it" when i was 12 as well. i was scarred, but mostly elated that i had read a 1000+ page book.

:roll:


Same thing here - I submit to you that the book was written expressly for that purpose. I think King pointed that fucker right at us kids, and pulled the trigger - magnificent bastard.
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Postby DocPazuzu on Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:10 am

Too many books to list, but the one which comes to mind while in the august company of fellow film geeks is Theodore Roszak's novel, Flicker.
It starts out slow, but the eerieness and discomfort gather momentum and by the end of it, you are seriously fucked up and will never look at a film the same way again.
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Postby DocPazuzu on Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:11 am

P.S.
Kudos to unikrunk for the mad cool Maskatron vs Steve Austin avatar.

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Now cough.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:21 am

DocPazuzu wrote:P.S.
Kudos to unikrunk for the mad cool Maskatron vs Steve Austin avatar.

DocP


thanks DocP - The Bionic Battle shall never end.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:58 am

Hehehe... Steve Austin's rocketship/bionic operating table/communications center?

Best. Toy. EVER!!

Grandpapa Dino was like a the goddamn hero when a he brought a that one home...
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Postby DocPazuzu on Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:32 pm

Hey Dino, I had that rocket thingy too! I was especially impressed with the "x-ray" machine with little revolving glow-in-the-dark pictures of Steve's internal anatomy.

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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:01 pm

DocPazuzu wrote:Too many books to list, but the one which comes to mind while in the august company of fellow film geeks is Theodore Roszak's novel, Flicker.


wouldn't say the book changed me as a person or that it fucked with my mind, but it should be required reading for all the movie lovin' cinephiles here in the Zone.
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Postby Iconoclastica on Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:31 am

Just finished reading House of God by Samuel Shem . . . it's been called the Catch-22 of the medical world, but shit man . . . I'm terrified by this not-so-fictional depiction of those people who are supposed to have the highest concern for human welfare being so damn . . . labile in their ethics . . . Gomers, Buff n' Turf, just the whole dehumanization of every helpless person seeking care . . . :cringe:
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:52 am

Ok, I'd love to throw out a quality book like A Scanner Darkly or 1984 here, but when I think of things that leave the greatest impressions, I think of things from my early childhood. So, I'd have to say the book that left me the most frightened/emotionally scarred was:

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I'm amazed by how many people I talk to remember these books and how they scared them. For me, it wasn't the stories so much, most were based on old folktales and urban legends like The Hookman, and I'd heard those before. It was Stephen Gammell's illustrations that did me in. Some of them still give me chills, and mind you I was 7 or so when I read these the first time. Here are a couple I found on the web, not nearly the best in the books...

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