It struck me today that, although I read quite a lot of fiction - more and more not of the contemporary variety (but that's another story) - despite the dozens or even hundreds of novels I've read, I can only think of two where I have been genuinely shocked, quite physically jolted, by something they contained.
The two novels that come to mind are Still Life by AS Byatt and A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes. I won't tell you how they jolted me - they are both so worth reading that I wouldn't dream of spoiling them.
There is a third novel I can think of that delivered if not quite a jolt then certainly a shocking surprise in its final pages. It is the exquisite Paul Street Boys by Ferenc Molnar. The really clever thing about Molnar's little jolt is that when you race back and look at the book's beginning you realise that the late surprise ought not to have been one at all.
Can anyone recommend literary jolts other than the examples cited above?