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Nausea Fuel / Literature

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  • Ren Zha Fan Pai Zi Jiu Xi Tong: QingSi. Plants literally grow through the skin of the person affected by it. Shen Yuan's entire arm ends up covered with plants growing out of it. It can only be cured by burning the plants off with a hot coal several times a day.
  • Bird Box: Malorie and her children go on a trek towards safety hopefully in a boat. River water sloshes in the bottom of the boat until Girl decides she needs to pee and the river water in the boat is soon mixed with pee and blood (from when Malorie got injured by a wolf) which seeps over into Malorie’s shoes and splashes against her ankles. The trauma of the situation as well as the increasingly unsanitary conditions of their expedition causes Malorie to vomit on herself and after she comes to after passing out she smells pee and vomit on herself.
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  • In the sixth book in the Captain Underpants series, the narrator describes the disgusting Bionic Booger Boy until George tells the narrator to knock it off because everyone in class was getting sick.
  • The book Totally Wicked! has worm-like monsters that suck out the insides of both humans and animals. It's even worse when the main characters find the skin of a dog floating in the wind.
  • Speaking of the other Wicked, it has several examples, the most prominent of which being that not only is Elphaba born green, she is also born with vicious teeth. She likes biting, and has to be restrained to stop her hurting herself, and can't be breastfed.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: A Death Eater getting his head aged backwards into that of a baby and Ron screaming as he's being attacked by tentacled brains that Mind Rape him and leave deep lesions where they touch him.
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    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Ron's unfortunate "splinching", where a chunk of his arm is missing.
    • "Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans", some of which taste like boogers, vomit, or even earwax. Their real-life counterpart (made by Jelly Belly), contain regular flavors as well as grosser ones like Spinach, Spaghetti, Grass and yes, Boogers, Vomit and Earwax. They're actually pretty spot on.
  • The Hunger Games has vivid and disgusting descriptions of injuries that POV character Katniss Everdeen is either experiencing or witnessing. One of the worst is Katniss describing the horrible disfiguring Glimmer suffered after being repeatedly stung by genetically modified wasps, and then Katniss struggling to take out Glimmer's bow and arrow, which involves disintegrating skin and Katniss grabbing ahold of the bones of Glimmer's ribcage.
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  • The description in Making Money of Cosmo Lavish's gangrenous, rotting finger (thanks to wearing a much-too-small signet ring described as cutting off his circulation entirely, because he desperately wants to imitate Vetinari) complete with the descriptions of the rotting stench of his hand stewing in its glove and his erratic behaviour as it appears to poison him.
  • Speaking of Pratchett, in Wyrd Sisters, when Duke Felmet keeps trying to wash the blood off his hands, eventually grating them until they're nearly completely gone and have to be continually bandaged. To wit — when we say wash, we really mean "ground off to a bloody stump".
  • In Breaking Dawn, the part where Bella's vampire Death Baby is being born: it breaks her spine and ribs, and then Edward performs a Vampiric C-Section with his teeth, and chows down on the afterbirth.
  • Chuck Palahniuk: Haunted (2005):
    • Guts.
    • The sequence in which one character is believed to be dead, so the others cut off pieces of her flesh to cook. She isn't dead after all, and winds up eating some of her own flesh before she does die.
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien falls into this through brutal honesty, going so far as to tell the reader that if you would censor the word "shit," you would censor the truth. That doesn't mean the death of Kiowa is any less disgusting — he drowns in excrement.
  • K.A. Applegate's REMNANTS series was full of this. From the first book with the horrible fungus-filled cryopods of character's family members, to the live flesh-eating worms, to the guy with all his skin painstaking burned off and replaced with a clear coating...
  • Animorphs:
    • Elfangor getting eaten alive.
    • "The Sickness", where Marco is discribing the various terms for "throwing up". Power of suggestion.
  • David Ingrove's Chung Kuo series, combining racism, xenophobia, Dystopia, and Squick in one nauseating series. Such as gouging out your enemy's eyeballs, filling the sockets with maggots, and then sewing the eyelids shut.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Turn Coat has the scene where Harry is describing sensing Shagnasty with his Sight activated.
    "Try to imagine the stench of rotten meat. Imagine the languid, arrhythmic pulsing of a corpse filled with maggots. Imagine the scent of stale body odor mixed with mildew, the sound of nails screeching across a chalkboard, the taste of rotten milk, and the flavor of spoiled fruit."
    • The rampage of the loup-garou in Fool Moon is one of the most explicitly violent scenes in the series. It seems as if everyone in the station is horribly killed or traumatised for life.
  • From a Buick 8 by Stephen King has a good bit of nausea fuel, particularly the dissection scene.
  • Misery:
    • Annie crushes a rat to death with her bare hand, poking her fingers into its body in the process. And then she licks her fingers. Paul wasn't the only one that felt ill. Also, sometime during the later half of the book, Annie cuts off one of Paul's thumbs. And then puts it on a birthday cake and serves it to him, making a not-so subtle threat to force him to eat it.
    • The part where she forces him to drink her filthy cleaning water. As well as the part where she hacks his foot off with an axe and then cauterizes the wound with a blowtorch. Sounds awful, turns out to be far, far worse.
  • Night Shift:
    • In "Gray Matter," we have the charming tale of a man who is transformed into a fungoid blob caused by a bit of gray slimy guck infesting one of his nightly cans of beer. Later, we hear his son's story of seeing what's become of his father eating the bloated, putrefying, maggot-ridden corpse of a cat.
    • In "The Lawnmower Man," the title character's self-driving machine runs over a mole (an analogue of an earlier scene where the same thing happens to a cat, albeit with a different mower). The man, following close behind, eats the body of the mole just as he has been eating the expelled grass clippings.
    • "The Mangler." Imagining a person crushed and folded by an industrial laundry's steam ironer (and having their remains taken out in a basket) is enough to make someone ill.
  • "Survivor Type" in King's Skeleton Crew has our main character, a disgraced surgeon, stranded by a shipwreck on a barren lick of rock in the middle of the ocean. When he breaks his ankle chasing a wounded seagull, he is forced to amputate it. Guess what he does? And it doesn't stop with just his foot....
  • American Gods has Laura, the main character Shadow's undead wife who slowly rots over the course of the story. It starts with Shadow french-kissing her dry formaliny mouth and ends up with her coughing up gobs of maggots. Complete with description of how that feels to her. Thanks for that Neil! The same book also features a man-eating vagina. Quit sniggering.
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Readers at the time were so disgusted by the descriptions of the meat factory that they overlooked the anti-capitalism message Sinclair was trying to tell in the first place.
  • Filth by Irvine Welsh features a disgusting detective who has a tapeworm living in his guts. It has some horrendous, graphically written scenes of the tapeworm coming out for a visit. Also, the guy himself does some pretty vile things throughout the book.
  • Friday The 13th: Church Of The Divine Psychopath spends an inordinate amount of time describing how horribly mangled and infected a character's foot has become. It goes From Bad to Worse when he tries running from Jason, and steps on a really pointy stick, then Jason impales him, rips the machete out, lifts him up, and jams his hand into the machete wound and starts pulling stuff out.
  • Princeps' Fury, the fifth book of Codex Alera, briefly features a Taken grass lion rotting alive, complete with description of maggots squirming under its flesh.
  • Any edition of the Guinness World Records released since circa 2000. It was around then that it seemed to turn into Guinness Book of Gross-Out Records, with as many disgusting images they could manage per page.
  • American Psycho, sticking a tube with a rat in it up a woman's vagina then chainsawing her in half, and using a wide drill bit to gouge a woman's mouth open, skull-fuck her, then pull her throat out through her mouth. Or where he nails his ex-girlfriend to a plank of wood and destroys her body while she is still alive.
  • In The Naming of the Beasts, Felix Castor attempts hand-to-hand combat with the demon Asmodeus.
    He kicked something across the floor at me - something red and wet that looked as though it belonged in the little plastic bag you find up a chicken's arse and throw away before you cook it. Part of my jawbone; I could tell by the fact that it still had three teeth embedded in it.
  • Le Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre. Pretty much coined the term "Existential Nausea".
    Antoine : The Nausea spreads at the bottom of the viscous puddle, at the bottom of our time—the time of purple suspenders and broken chair seats; it is made of wide, soft instants, spreading at the edge, like an oil stain.
  • A Japanese folktale tells of a certain prince who was insulted that a certain highly intelligent princess refused to see him. After she scares him with a mechanical snake he steals her chamber pot to prove she isn't perfect. After inspecting the pot thouroughly he drinks its contents — the princess had filled the (presumably brand-new) pot with golden tea and fragrent herbs.
  • A Japanese folktale has a monk who has "relations" with his young acolyte, who turns out to be a woman, who is really the goddess Kanon. When she goes away she leaves a giant nugget of gold (the monk thought his lover was pregnant), as well as a bucket of all the sperm from their relationship.
  • Michael Gira's short story collection The Consumer is loaded to the brim with this, often in conjunction with massive amounts of horror. Take, for example, the opening story, "Empathy", which may be the most uncomfortable tale of Brother–Sister Incest ever written. Or "The Whore Boy", which is just... the curious can read it themselves.
  • Jeremy Robert Johnson's short story compilation Angeldust Apocalypse, in which a character takes horse tranquilizers and begins to cut disembowel himself with a scalpal, pulling out his intestines while his parents watch in horror. And that may be one of the tamer stories in the book.
  • The original French version of Frédéric Beigbeder's award-winning novel, Windows On The World features one of the squickiest sex scenes in literature. An adulterous couple on one of the upper floors of the South Tower of the World Trade Center having sex is probably questionable enough. The author, however, decides to turn up the squick by having the lovers surrounded by poisonous smoke (they're called "asbestos lovers" at one point during the scene), purple corpses of their former co-workers, and water levels reaching up to their thighs. The scene was so unsettling that it was removed in the American translation of the Novel.
  • Someone Else's War: Matteo finds out that children who try to escape the Lord's Resistance Army are first killed, then cut into pieces, then served to the rest of the children along with their dinner.
  • In Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Gregor-turned cockroach Samsa is described as being covered in wet dust, having a rotting apple stuck to him, and leaving a trail of slime on the floor. And he eats garbage. Eww.
  • Some of the Body Horror in Galaxy of Fear, particularly The Planet Plague's loving details of a man infected with The Virus being turned into a Blob Monster.
  • Children of the Lamp has a spell that causes whatever a person would least like to eat to come out of their mouth. Luckily the protagonist we see get hit with it REALLY hates vegetables, so that's all we see, but the djinn who used the spell on him says that for other people, it's been things like frogs or bugs. And the description causes the reader to ponder what it would be for them...
  • Brightheart from Warrior Cats is brutally mauled by dogs, leaving her with only one eye and parts of her skull still showing after she recovers.
  • In Robin Jarvis' Thomas, a prequel to his Deptford Mice trilogy, followers of a Religion of Evil called the Scale dip their weapons in the poisonous blood of their god. Just one prick on the skin dooms the victim to a horrific death where they literally melt into a pile of steaming black sludge. Certain characters' deaths in this manner are described in all their disgusting detail.
    • In Jarvis’s novel The Final Reckoning, two antagonist rats are killed and Jarvis describes in loving detail how one of their heads is put on a spike and ‘wags above the crowd’ while they trample the blood and guts of the second rat into the snow until it resembles ‘pink slush’. What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?!
  • In the second Survivors book A Hidden Enemy, Lucky is blackmailed into demoting Mulch down a rank. To do this, he must get strands of the dog's fur and put it on a deer carcass. Dogs can be pretty unsanitary already since they use their mouths for everything, but this is especially so. Lucky has a hard time getting the fur out of his mouth so he slobbers all over the deer.
  • The Wasp Factory has several but the worst is probably the description of maggots crawling in a disabled child's brain. No wonder the book — Iain Banks's debut — was thrashed by several critics, whose sensitivity was offended.
  • The Killing Star: As Johnathan Waville, one of the last two people on earth in the wake of an alien R-bombing, explores the ruins of what used to be Long Beach, New York, he's hit by a burst of hot air from the eye wall of a hurricane. Among the scents carried by the wind, he catches something that smells just like sweet Chinese pork, then immediately starts gagging and running back to his companion's submarine when he realizes what it is. It's the smell of hundreds of millions of carbonized human beings.

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