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Thread: Saddest/Most Depressing Novel You've Ever Read

  1. #61
    Registered User Jordon's Avatar
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    Arrow

    The only correct answer to this question is "Journey to the End of the Night" by L.F. Celine. Well, ok. It might not be the ONLY correct answer, but the fact that it hasn't been mentioned yet and we're on page four of the thread is nothing short of cardinal sin.

    A distant second would be "Miss Lonelyhearts" by Nathaniel West.

    Yup.

  2. #62
    Registered User Cailin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Interesting. Read this one only two weeks ago and thought it was one of the worst books I had ever read. It was full of cliches, banking highly on readers' feelings of sympathy and the characters were lacking depth. It was a very, very, very poor read for me!
    I second that. If I were a cynical person, I might suggest that one of the reasons that book was ever published was because Cecilia Ahern is the daughter of our former Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern.

    My vote for biggest tearjerker is Jude the Obscure and most recently, Half of a Yellow Sun's poignancy brought tears to my eyes.

  3. #63
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    Hardy books generally make me sad:

    "Jude the Obscure" - several scenes are hard to take.
    "The Woodlanders" - I always cry actual tears and for the film version.
    "The Mayor of Casterbridge" - the ending simply tears me appart no matter how many times I revisit it. I cry at that point in the minseries and I recall crying while reading the novel. It is mostly the ending that upsets me so.

    "Sophie's Choice" and "Remains of the Day" I have only seen in film versions, but both I find to be so totally depressing. The first depresses me the most, but the second makes me cry bucketfulls.

    I love both these books but find them totally depressing:
    "Wuthering Heights"
    "The Scarlet Letter"

    I read:
    "Grapes of Wrath" in high school and felt that was pretty depressing also.

    I agree with one poster who said that "Othello" is depressing. I think that ending also touches me more than the other plays, although I am a big "Hamlet" fan and I have to say that I find the whole of "King Lear" training and depressing. "MacBeth" is depressing to me as well. Of course, I have seen the film verion, done by Orson Wells, and it is a very dark and depressing film indeed and left me with that lasting impression. The play is pretty depressing though, with all the people being killed, even the children; you have to admit that is downright depressing and lacks any mirth.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  4. #64
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    I would have to say "Geek Love". The entire story is quite depressing just from the subject manner and the tragedy of the character's existance. I actually stopped and started reading it several times before finishing it because it always made me so down while reading it.

  5. #65
    Cellar Door Cellar Door's Avatar
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    A Tale of Two Cities... it came close to making me cry... I was affected.

    A far second is A Thousand Splendid Suns (K. Hossieni) It was just depressing, made me angry, filled me with indignation, and I was deeply saddened. I think it is a must read out of most newer books.
    Carving lucky charms out of these hard luck bones

  6. #66
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Every time this thread pops up I'm always reminded of The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford. The opnning sentence is "This is the saddest story I have ever heard." This is a great novel by the way and has nothing to do with war or soldiers. I highly recommend it. Actually here's the openning paragraph:

    THIS IS THE SADDEST STORY I have ever heard. We had known the
    Ashburnhams for nine seasons of the town of Nauheim with an
    extreme intimacy—or, rather with an acquaintanceship as loose
    and easy and yet as close as a good glove’s with your hand. My wife
    and I knew Captain and Mrs Ashburnham as well as it was possible
    to know anybody, and yet, in another sense, we knew nothing at all
    about them. This is, I believe, a state of things only possible with
    English people of whom, till today, when I sit down to puzzle out
    what I know of this sad affair, I knew nothing whatever. Six months
    ago I had never been to England, and, certainly, I had never sounded
    the depths of an English heart. I had known the shallows.
    I don’t mean to say that we were not acquainted with many English
    people. Living, as we perforce lived, in Europe, and being, as
    we perforce were, leisured Americans, which is as much as to say
    that we were un-American, we were thrown very much into the
    society of the nicer English. Paris, you see, was our home. Somewhere
    between Nice and Bordighera provided yearly winter quarters
    for us, and Nauheim always received us from July to September.
    You will gather from this statement that one of us had, as the
    saying is, a “heart”, and, from the statement that my wife is dead,
    that she was the sufferer.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  7. #67
    Two Gun Kid Idril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordon View Post
    The only correct answer to this question is "Journey to the End of the Night" by L.F. Celine. Well, ok. It might not be the ONLY correct answer, but the fact that it hasn't been mentioned yet and we're on page four of the thread is nothing short of cardinal sin.
    I just started that book. I'm only on page 50 or something so it hasn't been too bad, I mean, it's war and it's horribly bleak but I don't think I have been hit with the full force yet.

    Virgil, I really loved that book, The Good Soldier and I've always thought I should get more books by that author.
    the luminous grass of the prairie hides
    feet lovely and still as sleeping doves,
    porcelain bones strong enough to carry a life,
    but weighty and unmovable
    As black Dakota hills.
    ~ Riesa

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Jordon View Post
    The only correct answer to this question is "Journey to the End of the Night" by L.F. Celine. Well, ok. It might not be the ONLY correct answer, but the fact that it hasn't been mentioned yet and we're on page four of the thread is nothing short of cardinal sin.

    A distant second would be "Miss Lonelyhearts" by Nathaniel West.

    Yup.
    Oh yes I agree, Journey to the End of the Night, is simply, crushing.

  9. #69
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    someone surely has to say steinbeck's "of mice and men"!

    there...i just did....

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    I have just finished reading " The House of Mirth" by Edith Wharton. I think it is one of the sad movie which reflect the materialistic society during the roaring twenties. Lily Bart is considered one of the girl who is obsessed with the materialism but equally important is she is like a decorative object of men that time. Sadly, she has to face the failure when she must work like the labourer in the millinery although she used to despise those who are in the working class. Finally, she is dead because of overdosing because of the insomnia.
    In my opinion,from the beginning to the end,Lily hardly finds happiness in her life. For example, she is orphan and adopted by her aunt who barely leaves her property, then she is disappointed in her love.
    Everybody who has read this novel,what do you think about it ?

  11. #71
    Registered User Jordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idril View Post
    I just started that book. I'm only on page 50 or something so it hasn't been too bad, I mean, it's war and it's horribly bleak but I don't think I have been hit with the full force yet.
    The main thing about it is that it just never lets you up for air. four to five hundred pages of bad experiences with humanity, non stop, no rays of sunshine. As DeadAsDreams put it, the book is simply "crushing".
    Currently Reading:

    Harlot's Ghost by Norman Mailer

  12. #72
    Registered User kelby_lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    Every time this thread pops up I'm always reminded of The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford. The opnning sentence is "This is the saddest story I have ever heard." This is a great novel by the way and has nothing to do with war or soldiers. I highly recommend it. Actually here's the openning paragraph:
    I know, I just finished it. Great, isn't it? Seems more recent than 1910s.

  13. #73
    Our wee Olympic swimmer Janine's Avatar
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    "Night" by Eli Weisel - devastating, although hopeful in some respect.
    "It's so mysterious, the land of tears."

    Chapter 7, The Little Prince ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  14. #74
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelby_lake View Post
    I know, I just finished it. Great, isn't it? Seems more recent than 1910s.
    Yes. I wish we could read it here on lit net as a book forum read.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  15. #75
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    Boll's The Silent Angel and Harrison's Signs of Life are respectively the two saddest and most depressing novels I've personally ever read.

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