Easily one of the most brutal books I have read. I did read the version that was unbutchered by the editors. The pace was fast and easily read in a day. I do not cringe at gore and in some books I feel gore is placed just for the shock value and does not add to the pleasure of the story. I do not feel that was the case here. I feel that the brutality envisioned was necessary to explain the intense circumstances these people were placed in. The story does place doubt in my mind to whether I will stop to help a lone kid on an empty country road!