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10 Novels That Will Disturb Even the Coldest of Hearts

The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade

Let us give this synopsis the old college try: Four rich white dudes imprison a whole bunch of teenagers in a castle in order to rape and torture them, which they end up doing a lot of in de Sade’s first major work. Simone de Beauvoir has a different take on the novel. In the introduction, she writes, “By becoming real, any crime proves to be possible and ordinary.” She continues, “It was not murder that fulfilled Sade’s erotic nature: it was literature.”