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(Short List)   The 40 most gruesome deaths in literature. Stand up Bateman, take a bow   (shortlist.com) divider line 57
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12197 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 02 Dec 2012 at 9:27 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-02 03:15:21 AM  
4 votes:
Yeah, Piggy's death in Lord of the Flies has always freaked me out. My 7th (8th?) grade teacher made me read it out loud in class. Pretty graphic death, and especially horrible when it happens to a schoolkid just like you.
2012-12-02 12:38:26 PM  
3 votes:
Pfft, they chose Dumbledore's death as gruesome? What about poor Snape? Guy gets savaged by a huge fark-off snake and is left to die, bleeding, a slow, agonising death.
2012-12-02 11:29:25 AM  
3 votes:
The 40 most gruesome noteworthy violent deaths in literature. Stand up Bateman, take a bow
2012-12-02 02:42:18 PM  
2 votes:

dahmers love zombie: Yeah, somebody's never read The 120 Days of Sodom by de Sade. I haven't ever finished it. Got to the part with the "Hell Libertine" and said nope.


It's a list on the internets. I surprised it mentioned anything written before 1980.
2012-12-02 01:57:31 PM  
2 votes:
Yeah, somebody's never read The 120 Days of Sodom by de Sade. I haven't ever finished it. Got to the part with the "Hell Libertine" and said nope.
2012-12-02 01:12:02 PM  
2 votes:

AdmirableSnackbar: Of all the options for a Stephen King entry, they chose an undead character? Should have been Randall Flagg. That was uncomfortable to read.


Should have been Tad. A little kid dying from dehydration inside a sweltering hot broken down Ford Pinto because a rabid St Bernard prevented his escape deserves to be on this list.
2012-12-02 12:39:00 PM  
2 votes:
Dude...Dennis Nedry got freaking disemboweled by a dinosaur and even HE ranks under Dumbledore?

Lack of this and previously mentioned Catch 22 death makes this list less than satisfactory.
2012-12-02 12:25:07 PM  
2 votes:
There's a Kafka short called The Penal Colony. A prisoner is strapped down flat below a huge machine. This machine has a sharp, fine metal point that very slowly writes the guilty party's crime into his back. Lightly at first, then gradually deeper. He dies over the course of hours.

A bit like Pit and the Pendulum. Kafka was the man. Weird and deep.
2012-12-02 12:17:01 PM  
2 votes:
I'm surprised that one guy from Upton Sinclair's The Jungle didn't make it. He slipped and fell into a rendering cauldron at a rendering plant and was cooked to death in boiling pig fat.
2012-12-02 11:53:46 AM  
2 votes:

AdmirableSnackbar: Of all the options for a Stephen King entry, they chose an undead character? Should have been Randall Flagg. That was uncomfortable to read.


ladyfingers they taste like ladyfingers
2012-12-02 11:46:24 AM  
2 votes:

dickfreckle: I confess that Easton-Ellis is a guilty pleasure of mine. But that scene with the rodent and the PVC is just...man that was just disturbing.


I own two of his books but never read them. Whenever I see the titles all I can think of is Easton-Ellis as a bitter old queen banging twinks a dozen at a time and trolling twitter. Which kind of ruins any possible enjoyment I would get out of the books.
2012-12-02 11:46:14 AM  
2 votes:

SlothB77: no entombed alive? fail. that is a horrible death to suffer.


That's bad but if you're in a coffin you'd suffocate within about 25 minutes according to what I've heard. It would be a panicky, desperate 25 minutes but there a lot more painful ways to go. Being walled up Edgar Allen Poe style would be a little longer.
2012-12-02 10:36:29 AM  
2 votes:
No love for anyone killed by Reavers? If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing - and if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order
2012-12-02 10:36:03 AM  
2 votes:
MagSeven: I would put little Stanislovas' death from The Jungle (Upton Sinclair). Poor kid passed out from sickness/hunger on the floor of the factory and was eaten by rats. That freaked me out as a 4th grader.

I'm more freaked out by the idea of you reading The Jungle in the 4th grade.
2012-12-02 10:18:26 AM  
2 votes:
Moriarty falling down a waterfall was gruesome? I'm sure it wasn't pleasant for Moriarty but "gruesome" is a bit much.
2012-12-02 10:15:16 AM  
2 votes:
More like a list of deaths that someone remembered from a bunch of books someone read. Literature is big.
2012-12-02 10:09:07 AM  
2 votes:
A Thousand Deaths

// Sweet dreams
2012-12-02 09:46:11 AM  
2 votes:
Wow, a lot of crappy ones on that list. Somehow they think Dumbledore and Gollum' deaths were gruesome. I would consider those pretty clean, even for a young reader.

And how can they pick the clean death in a car accident of the antagonist in the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, rather than the horrific rape/murders he committed?

It's been a long time since I've read American Psycho, so I can't remember, does he kill the woman he tortures with the rat? Because that was pretty much the most horrific thing I've ever read. Definitely worse than the axe to the head they used as an example. But if she somehow survived, I guess it wouldn't count.
2012-12-02 09:43:32 AM  
2 votes:
I would put little Stanislovas' death from The Jungle (Upton Sinclair). Poor kid passed out from sickness/hunger on the floor of the factory and was eaten by rats. That freaked me out as a 4th grader.

I suppose Jesus got it pretty bad in The Bible (various authors) as well.
2012-12-02 05:51:45 AM  
2 votes:
I confess that Easton-Ellis is a guilty pleasure of mine. But that scene with the rodent and the PVC is just...man that was just disturbing.
2012-12-03 02:54:33 PM  
1 votes:
Snape went out way worse than Dumbledore.
2012-12-03 08:20:31 AM  
1 votes:
Not sure if Peter Benchley is considered literature, but being eaten by a great white shark wouldn't be a pleasant death.
2012-12-02 09:53:17 PM  
1 votes:
So, uh, who else is making a list of all the "list fails without" titles and adding them to their "to-read" file? Anyone?

/gonna start with The Painted Bird
2012-12-02 07:24:36 PM  
1 votes:

Uncle Tractor: I wouldn't call it over-rated, but IMHO the gore distracted from what I saw as the real theme in the book, which was a guy who was so numbed to humanity that he only saw people in terms of what they wore or owned. That's what I'm left with, anyway.


The real theme of the book is desensitization. It's written in a deliberate, straight-forward, amoral, utterly soulless style to turn you, the reader, into a psychopath. The repetition of what everyone's wearing, the graphic depictions of violence and rape, the lack of any emotion of imagery or color in the writing, and the obsession with minutiae and the details of specific music in the 80s, is intentional. At first it shocks you, then it wears on you, and by the end of the book where every page is just a scathing account of mutulation and carnage, it ceases to have any more effect on you. The book's first-person narrative has turned you into him.

The movie is a good, complimentary companion to the book but conveys none of the book's depth and depravity. The book could never be made in full -- it would literally be 2 hours of x-rated torture porn.
2012-12-02 06:47:12 PM  
1 votes:

rjakobi: Dude...Dennis Nedry got freaking disemboweled by a dinosaur and even HE ranks under Dumbledore?


Came here to say pretty much this.
Fun fact: The Dilophosaurus in the book was much larger than the pansy-ass one in the movie.
/last thing he feels is its jaws clamping onto him as it picks him up by the head
2012-12-02 05:58:56 PM  
1 votes:
Waste of time.
2012-12-02 05:25:14 PM  
1 votes:
How was the death in The Stranger gruesome?

He shoots a guy. Its a rather sparse description of the event aswell... Gruesome conveys an air of emotional shock upon witnessing, but the whole deal with the book is that the main character is relatively devoid of emotion. Atleast for the first half.

Btw -- The Stranger is the best book i have ever read. Its just... horrifying yet familiar and relatable.
2012-12-02 04:44:07 PM  
1 votes:

devilskware: NO The Painted Bird? If I recall correctly, a prostitute gets a glass bottle full of manure shoved into her vagina and then gets her pelvis stomped on.


Ugh... yep. Jerzy Kosiński must have been a f#cking monster, with some of the stuff he came up with.
2012-12-02 04:42:26 PM  
1 votes:

Richard Roma: dahmers love zombie: Yeah, somebody's never read The 120 Days of Sodom by de Sade. I haven't ever finished it. Got to the part with the "Hell Libertine" and said nope.

Does it even quality as a novel? I used to work shipping/receiving in a bookstore and one of our ongoing jokes was to, whenever we got a copy of that book in, open it at random and read the first sentence our eyes fell on. It doesn't appear to be anything other than nonstop descriptions of sexual sadism. I've written grocery lists with more of a plot.


Seriously. A better literary death, if you must go de Sade, would be the play Marat/Sade and the description of the execution, which is too horrible to reprint here. Possibly the most grisly depiction of death ever committed to print.
2012-12-02 04:23:09 PM  
1 votes:

dahmers love zombie: Yeah, somebody's never read The 120 Days of Sodom by de Sade. I haven't ever finished it. Got to the part with the "Hell Libertine" and said nope.


Does it even quality as a novel? I used to work shipping/receiving in a bookstore and one of our ongoing jokes was to, whenever we got a copy of that book in, open it at random and read the first sentence our eyes fell on. It doesn't appear to be anything other than nonstop descriptions of sexual sadism. I've written grocery lists with more of a plot.
2012-12-02 04:09:21 PM  
1 votes:
Les Mis -- Javert's death was not particularly gruesome as it was a suicide and pales in comparison to Fantine's fate.

In Cold Blood -- The deaths of Hickok and Smith was a gruesome death? Compared to the slaughter they inflicted on the Clutters? I think not.
2012-12-02 03:49:12 PM  
1 votes:

Miss Stein: How about the original Snow White? At Snow White's wedding, the wicked stepmother queen is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and dance in them till she drops dead.


Some of those old fairytales were hardcore!
2012-12-02 03:40:30 PM  
1 votes:

Wasn't Looking at his Neck: I'll just say that *Spoiler*....

Rubin's in Where the Red Ferns Grows was a migraine inducing yet wonderful passage to read while I was 8 to 10. Don't remember precise age


Came here to say this. Blood bubble bursting was particualrly fascinating yet disturbing to 4th grade me
2012-12-02 03:34:30 PM  
1 votes:

gingerjet: I own two of his books but never read them. Whenever I see the titles all I can think of is Easton-Ellis as a bitter old queen banging twinks a dozen at a time and trolling twitter. Which kind of ruins any possible enjoyment I would get out of the books.


Well, if that's the standard, there's all manner of books I should hate because of the author's well-known assholery. Or songs. Or my favorite athletes scoring a touchdown.

I say give him a try. The writing can be flawed at times (depending on one's definition of 'flawed'), but I've always enjoyed him. Particularly his short stories.
2012-12-02 02:39:39 PM  
1 votes:
Technically not a death, nor literature, but Aaron Dembski-Bowden's The First Heretic has a pretty gruesome depiction of possession. I mean, yeah, there are gruesome deaths (exsanguination, getting raped to death by daemons, etc) but it's the way Argal Tal, the protagonist, re-enacts the book of Job that's disturbing.
2012-12-02 01:40:41 PM  
1 votes:
How about the original Snow White? At Snow White's wedding, the wicked stepmother queen is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and dance in them till she drops dead.
2012-12-02 01:34:34 PM  
1 votes:
Haven't yet read the listed but posting about the Bateman reference... Prior to reading Easton-Ellis book, i had seen most every horror movie, read every Stephen King book,... did not consider myself squeamish in the slightest... That probably was the most shocking and shudder-worthy thing i had ever read... i felt disturbed... Its funny, after already being exposed to it, i'm now desensitized to it... (i wouldn't bat an eye if i reread the book), and for all the author's otherwise pretensions, that book is probably in my top 10 of favorite alltime books.
2012-12-02 12:54:01 PM  
1 votes:
Surprised they picked Dumbledore and left out anything from The Hunger Games.
2012-12-02 12:44:09 PM  
1 votes:

TofuTheAlmighty: Basically every death in Infinite Jest was more gruesome than the majority of those on the list. David Foster Wallace was a weird (but brilliant) dude.


I'm currently reading it for the first time (or at least trying... it's like wading through wet cement) and there's only been one death so far, but it really creeped me out. A guy with a horrible head cold gets tied up and gagged and slowly suffocates to death, tearing all his abdominal muscles in the process as he tries to force the snot out of his nose. I'm already seeing why Wallace committed suicide... I think he really understood how cruel life could be.
2012-12-02 12:21:18 PM  
1 votes:

Khazar-Khum: Lenny's death in Of Mice & Men was quick & clean.
Pa Finn--same thing(Huckleberry Finn).
Where's Edward II?


Pa Finn's death was never shown. Jim just discovered his body.
2012-12-02 12:07:57 PM  
1 votes:
For me, it's the scene in Catch 22, where the low flying plane's propellor hits Hungry Joe and only his legs are still standing for a moment.
2012-12-02 12:05:49 PM  
1 votes:

SlothB77: no entombed alive? fail. that is a horrible death to suffer.


At least he was drunk on Amontillado.
2012-12-02 11:39:02 AM  
1 votes:
2012-12-02 10:59:47 AM  
1 votes:
Anna Karenina on there? Yes? OK, I approve of this list.
2012-12-02 10:55:51 AM  
1 votes:

Uncle Tractor: Madbassist1: The gore is the only thing worth reading in that over-rated piece of shiat.

I wouldn't call it over-rated, but IMHO the gore distracted from what I saw as the real theme in the book, which was a guy who was so numbed to humanity that he only saw people in terms of what they wore or owned. That's what I'm left with, anyway.


I thought American Psycho was way all over the place. I thought its commentary was interesting, but I would agree that it was too often concealed by its violence. I also thought the nebulous "Was it Fantasy?" ending* was extremely half-assed and felt more like the author didn't know how to end the story. Also the use of italics in the book was just odd; it emphasised every other word and it made me read the character as if they were talking like Napoleon Dynamite characters.


*though I should add that I think the movie was generally done better and that the ending feels a bit more concrete, albeit still somewhat half-assed, in that Patrick did kill those people, but the crimes were covered up as some kind of half-assed metaphor for preferential treatment among the Wall Street elite, or something...
2012-12-02 10:52:30 AM  
1 votes:
For the love of God, Montresor!

Not gruesome but possibly my favourite.
2012-12-02 10:43:59 AM  
1 votes:

Barricaded Gunman: MagSeven: I would put little Stanislovas' death from The Jungle (Upton Sinclair). Poor kid passed out from sickness/hunger on the floor of the factory and was eaten by rats. That freaked me out as a 4th grader.

I'm more freaked out by the idea of you reading The Jungle in the 4th grade.


I remember getting a big list of around 100 books and we had to read and write a report on 4 of them before the end of the year. The Jungle was my second pick. It took me about a month to read and it was nothing like I expected it to be. I was expecting, you know, a jungle! Looking back I know I didn't really understand the political themes, just that bad things were happening to good people. That's what my report was mainly about.
2012-12-02 10:22:08 AM  
1 votes:

The Slush: Also, where is Lovecraft?


This. A short list compiled from memory:
Herbert West - Reanimator - title character is torn apart by zombies
The Rats in the Walls - Narrator eats his friend
The Color out of Space - People are literally dissolved by a sentient beam of light
Cool Air - Doctors body rapidly decomposes when his air conditioning cuts out

and so on
2012-12-02 10:09:21 AM  
1 votes:

stoli n coke: The Slush: That is a pretty weak list. I haven't read American Psycho, but I'm pretty sure axe to the face isn't the worst in that book.

Not even close. However, if I had to do it over again, I'd have skipped the book. It just kept bouncing from unrelentingly gruesome to mind-numbingly boring.

It's one of the few instances where I thought the movie was much better than the book.


She really really really really really liked reading American Psycho (video SFW, but you should use headphones or close the door)
2012-12-02 10:07:12 AM  
1 votes:

Madbassist1: The gore is the only thing worth reading in that over-rated piece of shiat.


I wouldn't call it over-rated, but IMHO the gore distracted from what I saw as the real theme in the book, which was a guy who was so numbed to humanity that he only saw people in terms of what they wore or owned. That's what I'm left with, anyway.
2012-12-02 10:05:14 AM  
1 votes:
Basically every death in Infinite Jest was more gruesome than the majority of those on the list. David Foster Wallace was a weird (but brilliant) dude.
2012-12-02 10:03:42 AM  
1 votes:
I was disappointed to not see Book Of Negroes on that list. The entire riot scene on the slave ship with the babies being torn in half, was one of the most disturbing things I've ever read.
2012-12-02 09:47:42 AM  
1 votes:

The Slush: That is a pretty weak list. I haven't read American Psycho, but I'm pretty sure axe to the face isn't the worst in that book.


Not even close. However, if I had to do it over again, I'd have skipped the book. It just kept bouncing from unrelentingly gruesome to mind-numbingly boring.

It's one of the few instances where I thought the movie was much better than the book.
2012-12-02 09:46:02 AM  
1 votes:
I always skimmed through the gore when I read American Psycho. After reading the first bit of blood and guts I decided I didn't want that stuff knocking around in my head.
2012-12-02 09:45:07 AM  
1 votes:
Quite a lot of sad-but-not-really-gruesome deaths in there.
2012-12-02 09:43:55 AM  
1 votes:
That is a pretty weak list. I haven't read American Psycho, but I'm pretty sure axe to the face isn't the worst in that book.

Also, where is Lovecraft?
2012-12-02 03:29:11 AM  
1 votes:
Clearly, someone hasn't read Steven Erikson.

You could put together a top forty list just from the Malazan Books of the Fallen.
 
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