Banned Books Week Hop

Hosted by I am a Reader, Not a WriterI Read Banned Books

Giveaway is opened 9/27 – 10/7

I was so estatic when this hop came up so that I can offer one of my followers their choice of one of four books that are either frequently banned or challenged in the Horror genre.  I’ve never been one to like censorship.  I was making my mom buy the craziest books for me when I was younger.  I think the worst was Johnny The Homicidal Maniac by Jhonen Vasquez, which was a graphic novel featuring a teenager that killed lots of people.  My mom bought me any book I wanted – no matter what.  It’s because of her that I was allowed to experience all the taboo and scares in the Horror genre.

I’ve read both Carrie and Cujo and I think they’re some of Stephen King’s greatest novels.  The ending of Cujo haunted me for weeks.  The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty I have arriving in the mail soon (I won it in a giveaway!) and it is THE only series of books that I haven’t read by Anne Rice yet.  She was my absolute favorite author growing up so I’m psyched to read this finally.  The last choice is American Psycho, which I haven’t read.  I’ve only seen the movie.  I’m hoping to buy a copy soon because I hear that it is definitely one of the most scary and disturbing horror novels of all time.

Carrie by Stephen King:  A modern classic, “Carrie” introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.  Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…”Carrie”

Why is it on the list?  Carrie was considered trash that was harmful for younger girls.  It was challenged by Clark High School library, Las Vegas, Nevada in 1975. In 1978 Placed on special closed shelf in Union High School library, Vergennes, Vermont.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis:  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.

Why is it on the list?  The book was originally to have been published by Simon & Schuster in March 1991, but the company withdrew from the project because of “aesthetic differences.” Vintage Books purchased the rights to the novel and published the book after the customary editing process. The book was never published in hardcover in the United States (although a deluxe paperback was eventually offered) until 2012, when a limited hardcover edition was published by Centipede Press. Ellis received numerous death threats and hate mail after the publication of American Psycho.”  In Germany, the book was deemed “harmful to minors,” and its sales and marketing were severely restricted from 1995 to 2000. In Australia, the book is sold shrink-wrapped and is classified “R18” under national censorship legislation. The book may not be sold to those under 18 years of age. Along with other Category 1 publications, its sale is theoretically banned in the state of Queensland and it may only be purchased shrink-wrapped. In Brisbane, the novel is available to those over 18 from all public libraries and can still be ordered and purchased (shrink-wrapped) from many book stores despite this prohibition.  Bret Easton Ellis has commented on this, saying “I think it’s adorable, I think it’s cute, I love it.”  In New Zealand, the Government’s Office of Film & Literature Classification has rated the book as R18. The book may not be sold or lent in libraries to those under 18 years of age. American Psycho is generally sold shrink wrapped in bookstores. In Canada, the book generated renewed controversy during the trial of serial killer Paul Bernardo after it was discovered that Bernardo owned a copy of the book and had “read it as his ‘bible’.”

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem was among those opposed to the release of Ellis’ book because of its portrayal of violence toward women. Steinem is also the stepmother of Christian Bale, who played Bateman in the film. This coincidence is mentioned in Ellis’ mock memoir Lunar Park.

Cujo by Stephen King:  A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave–and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind…

Why is it on the list? Cujo is cited as having profanity and strong sexual content cited as reasons for opposition. It was banned by Washington County, Alabama, Board of Education, 1985; challenged by Rankin County, Mississippi, School District, 1984; removed from Bradford, New York, school library, 1985; rejected for purchase by Hayward, California, school trustees, 1985.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice:  From bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquleaure. In the traditional folktale of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind’s unconscious. Now Anne Rice’s retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.

Why is it on the list?  The trilogy [Sleeping Beauty] was a commercial success, outearning Interview with the Vampire and gaining a significant cult following. Anne Rice was able to secure the publishing contract for her next erotic novel Exit to Eden (1985) with an advance of US$35,000 from Arbor House. There have been allegations that Rice is a dominatrix in real life since the trilogy deals with the BDSM practice so exclusively, but her husband Stan Rice replied that “she’s no more sadomasochistic than she’s a vampire.” The trilogy is read by many among those involved in the BDSM community, but Anne Rice told her biographer that she refused the offer to meet with its practitioners face-to-face, and in fact her brief encounters with “those people” resulted in the discontinuation of the Sleeping Beauty series after the third book, because of moral revulsion she felt when she was confronted with the actuality of the practice. However, when the director of the Columbus Metropolitan Library declared the trilogy “hardcore pornography” and removed all print and audiocassette copies from the library shelves in 1996, Rice intervened to object the director’s accusations, arguing that the trilogy was “elegantly sensual” and harmless to readers. The trilogy is included in the American Library Association’s list of “100 most frequently challenged books” of the 1990s, with the term “challenge” defined in American literature as “an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group”.

Professor Linda Badley of Middle Tennessee State University wrote in her 1996 book Writing Horror and the Body on the trilogy that rewriting the myth of Sleeping Beauty as sadomasochistic fantasies enabled Anne Rice to explore “liminal areas of experience that could not be articulated in conventional literature, extant pornography, or politically correct discourse.”  Sandra Michaelson, the author of Love Smart: Transforming the Emotional Patterns That Sabotage Relationships, claimed that while the trilogy may provide erotic stimulation, it is “extraordinarily unhealthy” as a model for everyday living.


This giveaway is opened INT for one of these books in ebook format.  US residents can opt for the book in paperback format instead.  Winners have 48 hours to respond by email before another person is selected.

Sources (so I don’t get sue for plagiarism!):  

By Lizzy's Dark Fiction Posted in giveaway

8 comments on “Banned Books Week Hop

  1. Pingback: Banned Books Week Hop « Lost Generation Reader

  2. Pingback: Giveaways | Lizzy's Dark Fiction

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