What are the best intense books that are difficult to finish?

asked by Anonymous
271 contributors
13 solutions
  1. 29

    #1American Psycho

    American Psycho

    American Psycho is a thriller novel by Bret Easton Ellis that tells the story of the psychopathic Wall Street banker Patrick Bateman, a serial killer in New York City. It is the basis of the movie of the same name starring Christian Bale.


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    Gerald Douglas
    Written on May 3, 2018
    "The modern classic, the basis of a Broadway musical, and major motion picture from Lion's Gate Films starring Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Jared Leto, and Reese Witherspoon, and directed by Mary Harron. In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront."
  2. 27

    #2Jude the Obscure

    Jude the Obscure
    Jude the Obscure is a classic novel written by Thomas Hardy which centers on Jude Fawley who got trapped into marrying Arabella but she soon abandons him, where later he meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead. 

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    Aaron Bell
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "I have a hard time thinking of this book as intense. It's often described as controversial, but that's only by 19th century standards. For anyone living in the 21st century, it's pretty mundane. If this is difficult to finish, that's only because it fails to live up to its reputation as being scandalous."
  3. 25


    Steppenwolf is a novel by Hermann Hesse originally published in Germany in 1927. It is a mix of autobiography and psychoanalysis, as well as a critical view of the intellectual hypocrisy of the period.

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    Kelly Barrett
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "A good book a someone that has a great imagination and can bury your thoughts into the book."
  1. 23


    Filth is a book by Irvine Welsh that tells the story of Bruce Robertson. He is sick, cocaine-dependent, his wife and child are missing but when you think things are already worse, there are more bad things that can happen. 

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    Austin Silva
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is definitely a good recommendation. The name of the book should tell you everything you need to know. It is definitely filthy."
  2. 22

    #5The Shining

    The Shining

    The Shining is written by Stephen King is about a young boy with psychic powers struggling to hold his own against the forces of evil which are driving his father insane in an isolated hotel. 


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    Pablo Seefoo
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "Definitely falls into the "intense books that are hard to finish" category. I'm a huge fan of the Stanley Kubrick movie adaptation, so I knew I had to real the Stephen King novel on which the movie is based on at some point. The novel was for me a page turner until 2/3rds of the story, and then it got... lets say that to weird for my tastes. I've tried finishing the books several times but I just can' seem to make it past the last few chapters. Oh well, all work and no play... :P"
  3. 21

    #6In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is the story of a murder, and the investigation that leads to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers. This book transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.

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    Adam Peters
    Written on May 17, 2018
    "In Cold Blood is one of the only books I've read that has made me cry. Now, more than ever, it sheds a light on how sudden and random violence can be. Capote captures this essence with shocking delicacy."
  4. 19

    #7The God of Small Things

    The God of Small Things

    The God of Small Things is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Arundhati Roy. It tells the story of fraternal Indian twins, Rahel and Estha, in 1960s India, as they embark on a journey of political drama and forbidden love.


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    Andrea Carr
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "One of the hardest books that I have read lately is probably The God of Small Things. This book started off in a really engaging manner but there was a lot of tragedy that made it hard for me to read this book straight through."
  5. 19

    #8Requiem for a Dream

    Requiem for a Dream
    Requiem for a Dream is a book by Hubert Sellby which centers on Marion, Tyron, and Harry who dreams of becoming rich led them in selling illegal drugs, but their product made them addicts and their life became more miserable.


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    Carolyn Wagner
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "This book is amazing. From a purely psychological point of view, the brokenness and depth of dysfunction the characters exhibit set me agog! The language in which much of the book is written is rather colloquial, but if you can get past that, it's an interesting ride! "
  6. 17

    #9The Road

    The Road
    The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. It tells the story of a father and son walking through post-apocalyptic America to reach the coast. This is an ultimate story of survival in a desolate world.

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    Bobby Brown
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "This is an absolutely brutal book which presents one of the bleakest post-apocalyptic worlds imaginable. You'll definitely find yourself not wanting to continue at times, because of the amount of violence, amorality and suffering going on in this book. It is heavy handed with a cast-iron hand, but if you want an intense book that hits hard, this is it."
  7. 16


    Night is the first book in Elie Wiesel's historical trilogy about the Holocaust. Night shows the worst side of humanity during World War II, when familial relationships blurred because of hunger, pain, and fear inside concentration camps.

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    Tyler Andrews
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "This book deals with some pretty intense material, but is definitely a worth reading. It is important that these events not end up forgotten, and that people remember just how horrific the Holocaust was and how it has lasting effects even today."
  8. 15



    Pygmy is a satirical novel written by the famous writer Chuck Palahniuk, author of the famous novel Fight Club. It is also a romantic comedy that blends elements from the Manchurian Candidate and South Park.


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    Zachary Russell
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "Operation Havoc"
  9. 14

    #12Haunted: A Novel

    Haunted: A Novel

    Haunted: A Novel is a horror black, comedy, satire and fiction story compilation novel written by Chuck Palahniuk. It was published April 11, 2006 by Anchor. It is composed of 23 stories.


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    Arthur Knight
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I love a challenging read, so I actually went on a hunt for an intense book that is difficult to finish. This one was suggested to me. They were right. It was difficult to finish, but it was a great read nonetheless."
  10. 11



    Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities is written by Flora Rheta Schreiber based on the true story of Sybil Dorsett, who survived a terrible childhood abuse and suffers sudden and mysterious blackouts. 


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    Helen Clark
    Written on April 17, 2018
    "I thought this book, Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities by Flora Rheta Schreiber, was very interesting, if intense. It was hard for me to read, given the abuse suffered by Sybil. The way her mental illness manifests is fascinating and the reasons, horrifying. It was a difficult book to read, but worth it."


Best What are the best intense books that are difficult to finish
1American PsychoBooks 29 Paid
2Jude the ObscureBooks 27 Paid
3SteppenwolfBooks 25 Paid
4FilthBooks 23 Paid
5The ShiningBooks 22 Paid
6In Cold BloodBooks 21 Paid
7The God of Small ThingsBooks 19 Paid
8Requiem for a DreamBooks 19 Paid
9The RoadBooks 17 Paid
10NightBooks 16 Paid

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