• Don't Read: A Novel of Extreme Horror, Sex, and Gore

  • By: Matt Shaw
  • Narrated by: Chris Barnes
  • Length: 3 hrs and 10 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Matt Shaw comes the story of a new breed of serial killer - a stranger who travels the country kidnapping his victims before torturing them and discarding them in a field, dressed up as scarecrows.

One of the UK's most extreme horror authors, Matt Shaw pulls no punches with his vivid descriptions of torture, sex, and violence within throughout this grisly novel.

Warning: This is an extreme horror novel. There is gore. There is bad language. There are scenes of a sexual nature. But hidden underneath it all is also a chilling story. If you are easily shocked, disgusted, or offended, this book is not for you.

©2014 Matt Shaw (P)2015 Matt Shaw Publications

What listeners say about Don't Read: A Novel of Extreme Horror, Sex, and Gore

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Good build up, rushed climax, poor sub characters

What did you like best about Don't Read: A Novel of Extreme Horror, Sex, and Gore? What did you like least?

What I liked best about the novel was the build up to the finale. There was definitely a well defined antagonist with no true intentions, which made this sick person a bit more realistic. I also enjoyed the no holds barred approach the author took on, most books are very sugar coated now-a-days, definitely no worries here.

What I disliked was the overall structure of the book and the sub characters. There seemed to be no well thought out start or ending to this story. The story begins in a diner, but it seems like the reader is thrust in the middle of the story. There's a big buildup for a climax, but when we get there it seems rushed and only takes up a few pages. There was absolutely no protagonist in this book which kinda made me feel a bit robbed. A good anti-hero could have gone far in this one. Also, the victims were pretty much worthless. I kept expecting one of the victims, Emma, to become the anti-hero, but nothing ever manifested.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not sure yet.

What three words best describe Chris Barnes’s voice?

Difficult to understand

Could you see Don't Read: A Novel of Extreme Horror, Sex, and Gore being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I could definitely see the book being made into a horror movie, however serious work would be needed to enhance the story. Add a protagonist, give a little more attention to the victims, etc.

Any additional comments?

There was an interesting plot, but there seemed to be a real lack of creative writing basics. Often times, adverbs were used repeatedly in the same paragraph. The victims seemed to have mixed identities with similar voice. This book has a lot of potential to be better if a few changes were made. I will say though, when it comes to disturbing disgusting violence, this author is certainly notable.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

insane

a lot of cringe worthy moments.in a sick and twisted way. great narrator too. loved it

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I threw up in my mouth, twice

Warning: If you you find extreme violence to, and torture scenes of women or graphic sex disturbing or distasteful. Don’t Read or listen to this book or at least think twice before you get this or any book audio or otherwise by Matt Shaw.

I swear Show is one sick and twisted individual. There is seriously something wrong with him. How else could he continuously come up with all these “extreme horror” stories?

Surprisingly enough Don’t Read is the tamest one to date. It is the story a psychopath named Chris. Who just wants to torture and kill women, in particular, in the most gruesome way possible. All while recording every detail in his notebook, with “Don’t Read” scribed on the cover, for prosperity. He thinks that doing this will make their lives mean something in the end.

Right off bat we are introduced to Chris who was eating some of the most fabulous eggs he has ever eaten. While telling the waitress just how amazing the eggs were. Her boss shows his true colors. Chris asks the waitress if she would like her boss dead. She replies “yes”. And we are off.

Chris is a lorry diver, err, um, semi truck driver (I had to look this one up). Who has a custom build sound proof trailer with hidden compartments or cells within. He know that the police are looking for him, yet doesn’t care. He know that it will all come to an end eventually and I think he is quite surprised that he hasn’t been caught yet.

I cannot say much more without giving everything away. Just know this. I threw up in my mouth, twice, while listening to the disturbingly disgusting tale.

I have listened to a number of pairing between Matt Shaw and Chris Barnes in the past. These two are now in my favorite narrator author couples and I will be listening to more. I cannot think of another voice performer who could breath so much life and creepiness into this story. I am happy to report that it sounds like Barnes has been practicing his female and other character voices as these are some of his best. He primarily reads horror, this is quite apparent by his flawless delivery and subtle innuendos.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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21 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Waste of money.

Shallow, vapid, predictable, puerile. Matt Shaw is the Beavis & Butthead of literature, and these are the talentless scrawlings of a tumescent, acne-ridden junior high school boy failing at being “edgy”. See, you can write stories about wildly fantastic gore and sex and violence and still do it with some nuance, but Matt Shaw has no genius for the sandbox he has set out, so unremarkably, to play in. For example, Cormac McCarthy treats subjects just as gory and fantastical in his work (e.g., graphic incest, skewered and rotisserie-roasted babies, people flayed alive), but the difference is that McCarthy does it well because he is a real author. The level of nuance and grace on offer here is on par with a developmentally-challenged baboon battering a typewriter with a mallet. Not helped at all by the incredibly poor narration, this book sounds like an eighth grade creative writing project handed in by the “angsty” guy who sits in the back row smelling like pot and wearing black nail polish and a Marilyn Manson t-shirt, and whose impossibly attractive mother picks him up in a minivan after school because the jocks he’s jealous of always make fun of him on the bus. Matt Shaw’s work isn’t sick, it’s just devoid of talent and skill. This book is a waste of money, a waste of three hours of your life. Follow the advice in the title and don’t read it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Do not disregard the warnings

This book is extreme in every way, it goes in hard and fast and doesn't let up until the very last line and it delivers everything the title promises, it's relatively short so you can listen in one go and I think I'd probably recommend doing so, just get over with. I do recommend this book overall though, if extreme is what you're looking for, extreme is what you'll get with this one

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Hollow

Don't Read is about visions of extreme, pointless violence with a little sex as an afterthought. Surprisingly, the prose is not bad and the narration is good. There is no real plot and the ending doesn't seem appropriate.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Oh My God!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would certainly recommend this audiobook to any friend who loves extreme horror.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I had the pleasure of reading this book when it came out and was thrilled to hear it was being made into an audiobook. I thought it was disturbing and disgusting when I read it, but reading it doesn't even come close to the emotions brought forth while listening to the audiobook. The plot is riveting and the narration is absolutely flawless.

Have you listened to any of Chris Barnes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to all of Chris Barnes's other performances and I have to say that he has spoiled me. Barnes doesn't just read these books, he performs them. He provides an intensity that most other narrators don't come close to matching, and I get the feeling that most other narrators don't even try. He gets into the characters' heads and brings them to life in a way others can't. He is my absolute favorite narrator and when he teams up with author Matt Shaw, the results are incredible.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Don't Read is only about 3 hours long, so I did listen to it in one sitting, Between the story and the narration, this is one book you won't want to put down.

Any additional comments?

Don't Read is one of the most disgusting book I have ever read or listened to, so take heed of the warning on the cover. It is not for the faint of heart, but if you love extreme horror you will love this book.

2 people found this helpful

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don't buy this don't listen

this book is i really bad i wouldnt recommend it and I certainly wouldn't tell anyone to buy it the only I wish I could do now was remove It from my library which audible doesn't let you do

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

horrifying but not in a good way

I hate giving bad reviews because I know this is someone's hard work but this was a rough read. it was disgusting and horrific but not in any kind of rewarding way. the ending was very disappointing and I only finished because I almost never leave a book unfinished.

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awesome sauce

I loved it, I loved the story the narration the explicitly detailed scenes. I am a fan

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  • Nos Llew-Blaidd
  • 06-25-22

Do not look for depth only brief moments

Bored of the usual mainstream horror fare I wanted to listen to something that would be more graphic and possibly disgust me.

This story had the potential for greatness but for me at least fizzled at the end.

The story is fairly surface level but there are moments where it hits the right notes, shame the ending was not one of them.

I do recommend it though as it was close enough to what I was originally looking for, I guess I will have to keep searching.

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  • Nayeth
  • 06-09-16

Not good

The story was far too basic. Zero character development and no explanation of any motivations. The point of view changes were inconsistent and irritating and the narrator's performance seemed a little amateurish compared to other audio books. Quite disappointing overall.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-13-16

Don't read

Cover says it all really and I'd wished I'd listened. Pure rubbish. I like a good graphic novel but prefer something different to what I could have written. Killings a bit samey with no imagination or flare.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Brian Jenkinson
  • 02-07-16

inside the head of the serial killer

So to start, not so much sex, but full on horror and gore. imagine the writting the thoughts of serial killer as he plans, executes and reviews his conquests. Engaging from the start, visualising the thought process and then a twist at the end.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Adilah Y.
  • 06-09-20

Its ok

Narrator reads at inconsistent volumes, most terrifying part of story at beginning then becomes meh