My Top 5 Transgressive Novels

Definition: Transgressive literature is a genre that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual and/or illicit ways.

Here are my Top 5 Transgressive Novels:

Fight Club


Chuck Palahniuk’s seminal work is about a nameless narrator, who starts a fight club with a charismatic anarchist by the name of Tyler Durden. Their fight club concept becomes very popular and spreads across the nation.

My Review: The protagonist, who remains nameless, is an insomniac leading a bland corporate existence, investigating accidents for a car company, whose only concern is profit.  Unable to find meaning in a faceless consumerist society, he instead seeks solace in… (More)


American Psycho

American PsychoAmerican Psycho is a satire of the yuppies culture of the 1980s that caused outrage when it was published due to its explicit violent and sexual content. It went on to become a cult classic.

My Review: American Psycho is a highly controversial novel that brought its young author Bret Easton Ellis instant fame.  The book is written from the perspective of a young Wall Street financier, Patrick Bateman… (More)




Junky is a sardonic, dark and humorous semi-autobiographical account of William S. Burroughs’s years spent using heroin. Its protagonist Bill Lee struggles to escape a cycle of drug dependency whilst trying to find meaning in his life.

My Review: Set in 1950s America and Mexico, Junky is a confessional novella about drug addiction. Its protagonist Bill Lee chronicles his drug-centred existence, which entails searching for his daily fix, scoring, and intravenous drug consumption …(More)


Post Office

Post Office

Post Office is a darkly humorous, semi-autobiographical work about Charles Bukowski’s years spent working for the United States Postal Service. It describes the banality, dehumanisation and hardship of unskilled drudgery.

My Review: Henry Chinaski is a heavy drinking, womanising, race track frequenting low-life, who works at the post office.  The story follows his menial existence of twelve-hour night shifts, sorting post, delivering mail, observing his fellow colleagues and facing countless disciplinary measures… (More)




Necropolis is a satirical black comedy about a sociopath called Dyson, who works for the burial and cemeteries department in his local council. Okay, so I might have left myself open to accusations of hubris in including my own book alongside these four iconic texts…

Review: ‘The book is full of razor-sharp satire. No politically correct madness escapes unscathed, and no sacred cow remains un-butchered and served up in freezer packs.’ (More)


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