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Saddest/Most Depressing Novel You've Ever Read

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by Deleted member 6550, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Sybarite

    Sybarite New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    'Iron Kingdom' by Christopher Clark
    The most depressing book I've read in recent years has to be George Orwell's 1984 – not for the obvious reasons (although the theme is certainly depressing), but because it's such a miserable, over-rated book. If Winston Smith was a remotely engaging character, then you might empathise with him, but he's not. Frankly, I found him irritating and didn't care what happened to him.

    So it's difficult to feel that the book has any power, because if I don't care about a character on any level, why should I care what happens to them?
     
  2. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    That's an interesting point of view. '1984' happens to be one of my favourite novels, I have read it several times, and it never fails to impress. I can't imagine how it can be seen as over-rated. Winston, I agree, is not a particularly 'likeable' character (I don't think he's meant to be), but the power of the book is overwhelming for me - and the scariest thing about it is not the obvious stuff (Thought Police, telescreens everywhere, Room 101, etc) but the concept of a docile, unquestioning population - for 'Victory gin', cheap mass-produced novels and crappy films read 'White Lightning', 'Chat' magazine and (the oh-so ironically named) 'Big Brother'?
     
  3. Sybarite

    Sybarite New Member

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    I think Orwell had a lot of things right – although obviously not in the way that he imagined. What we have in the UK today is a great deal more subtle than his vision.

    I think it's quite a different discussion to consider how accurate Orwell's predictions were, but for me, as a novel, it fails to engage and, if anything, actively alienates me.
     
  4. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    One of the things that most impresses me about Orwell's writing for '1984' is that he never steps far outside the boundaries of his time - he must have known, in 1948/9, that by the time 1984 really came around there would be all sorts of fancy new technology available. But look how the Party manages its revisionism of history - armies of clerks using very 1940's technology. One of the ironies of the modern age is that that sort of revisionism is virtually impossible; there are too many sources of information and too many ways of disseminating it for anyone to have a hope in hell of re-writing every instance of a particular item.
     
  5. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon kickbox

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    Fox Girl. It was a good read, but I found it too depressing to read a second time. I'm glad that I finished it though.
     
  6. nnicc

    nnicc New Member

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    crying

    of the many books i've read only a few have made me cry,and two of them have been mentioned already
    the lovely bones
    the road
    and
    cold mountain
    the road....ehhh,despair?perhaps.the end of a great experience?perhaps

    the road and cold mountain i both reread the next day
    bones was a library book at someones distant house one weekend
     
  7. dovener's cape

    dovener's cape New Member

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    we the living -Ayn Rand

    this book is supposed to show what soviet russia was like and i did enjoy reading it but afterwards i never wanted to read another Ayn Rand book again. something about the pointlessness of life for her main character just bothered me after a while
     
  8. hellow212

    hellow212 New Member

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    Mine would be Feed, by M.T. Anderson. It's a really weird book, but it is really good. It's about a girl who has a... disease of sorts, and she knows it's going to make her brain dead, and the guy who is torn between liking her and moving on with his life.
     
  9. Imane

    Imane New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The wonder spot by Melissa Bank
    One of the most depressing book I've read (and kind of scary) is Barbarian Wedding of Yann Quéfellec...
     
  10. Oana

    Oana New Member

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    the saddest books I have ever read belong to the same author: Antoine de Saint Exupery. I found myself crying like a baby after reading "The little Prince", and i must tell You I do not cry easy. And "The Wisdom of the Sands" depressed me for over a month. even now, if i am in the mood for something really sad, I pick up this book and a few pages are enough to make me feel gloomy.
     
  11. SpoonInSpoon

    SpoonInSpoon New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    What Is The What - Dave Eggers
    The Road is a pretty sad book. Native Son by Richard Wright was also a tough one to get through for me. It was a great book, but some parts made me cringe.
     
  12. Flor

    Flor New Member

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    I think of sad and depressing as two different states of mind, sadness being more temporary and thus more easily influenced by reading. Let's see, The Remains of the Day is exquisitely sad, but not depressing. The Road is sad, too, but bracing in its way. A Farewell to Arms is sad. Lots of very great sadness in literature, but I just don't find depression there. Now, to be trapped on an island with nothing but chick lit or another empty genre, that would be depressing! :p
     
  13. ADAMREADS

    ADAMREADS New Member

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    I recently read 'Suicide Junkie' by S.Westwood- an autobiography. As the title suggests it is a harrowing read but very rewarding in the end. It really takes you into the dark world of someone suffering from depression and body dysmorphic disorder. I would reccomend it.
     
  14. BorealBloom

    BorealBloom New Member

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    I found Time Traveler's Wife to be sad and depressing.

    nickupton- the children's story you're thinking of by Oscar Wilde is called The Happy Prince. [/I][/I][/I]Sad indeed, but IMO, a valuable story that all kids (and adults) should read.
     
  15. Ember

    Ember New Member

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    Depressing books:

    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

    Birds Without Wings by Louis de berniers

    Tear Jerker books:

    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

    Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon
     
  16. The Doogster

    The Doogster New Member

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    Does The Davinci Code by Dan Brown count as a sad book? I found it both depressing and sad that such arse-dribble got published in the first place, let alone how is sold 958 billion copies.
     
  17. lenny nero

    lenny nero New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    'Watch You Bleed' by Stephen Davis
    The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
     
  18. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Ahhhhh, but that is entirely what communism was about, crushing the soul under the pretense of it being for your own good. You must read Atlas Shrugged, it'll change your life.
     
  19. dovener's cape

    dovener's cape New Member

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    Atlas Shrugged is still on my list to read and I did enjoy the experience of reading We The Living, I think what i reacted to most was the feeling of being drained when I was finished with the book.
     
  20. SFG75

    SFG75 Well-Known Member

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    Currently Reading:
    The Road to Character; David Brooks

    To me, her works have give you an excruciating feeling of unfairness on the part of the lead characters. You have bright, entrepreneurial folks who want to start businesses and thrive, yet, they are mocked by the incompetent government knaves and even their own relatives for being "greedy." She does for fiction, what Milton Friedman did for economics(and non-fiction in that area subsequently) She doesn't get a lot of good press from lit professors, guess where their bias is?:D
     

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