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The most depressing book(s) you've read



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  #1  
Old October 19th, 2012, 8:55 pm
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The most depressing book(s) you've read

What is/are the most depressing book(s) you've ever read?

For me, there is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I found the situation the main characters are in, and their resignation to their fate, profoundly depressing.

Another book that depressed me is The Boat by Nam Lê. That book got an award from Australia, I can't remember the name of the award. It's a collection of short stories, one more depressing than the next. The characters are all in impossible situations, emotional or physical environment, with no hope to get out of them. Or when there's hope, it's dashed almost immediately.

IMO, read only if you want to feel like jumping in the lake or putting a gun to your head. Or if you like depressing books or movies. Some people do.



Last edited by LyannaS; November 18th, 2012 at 12:08 am. Reason: Edit title
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  #2  
Old October 20th, 2012, 1:18 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

I'm afraid for me it's Germinal by Emile Zola. My husband loved Zola and got me to read it. I ended up feeling awful. Not a bit of joy or humour in the whole thing. Utterly depressing.


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Old October 20th, 2012, 2:21 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure was pretty depressing to me. Poor working class man who dreams of being a scholar and rising above his class. Needless to say... that's not what happened.

Edit: I just realized I should have added I really liked the book, even though it was depressing and not likely to inspire feelings of confidence in the ability to overcome all obstacles in life. Not exactly motivational.


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Old October 20th, 2012, 2:48 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

I tend to avoid depressing novels because I really hate having to end a book feeling all gloomy. So I can't really think of a book that I've read that was depressing in it's entirety but one book that did leave me feeling really upset would be That Was Than, This Is Now by S.E Hinton. The ending was so... hopeless.
But after I'd gotten over the ending, I managed to re-read the novel and didn't feel as sad as I had the first time. So that's good.


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Old October 20th, 2012, 3:12 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

The Road - by Cormac McCarthy
It was a really good book but so depressing. It made me think that I really don't want to live through a nuclear winter.


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  #6  
Old October 20th, 2012, 5:13 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
The Road - by Cormac McCarthy
It was a really good book but so depressing. It made me think that I really don't want to live through a nuclear winter.
This is my next pick-up to read. The only one I can think of at the moment is The Perks of Being A Wallflower. It's actually one of my favorite books, the main character is obviously depressed as he goes through adolescence and he reminds me so much if myself which is why I think I love it do much. I've found a character who's like me and who has endured almost as much as I have.


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Old October 20th, 2012, 10:48 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek is heart-wrenching in its depiction of a woman completely destroyed by her psychotic mother and a thoroughly hostile society, plus the unforgiving critique of a deeply patriarchal social order which mercilessly mocks and treads on any woman who fails at being the prescribed ideal of a beautiful, desired, mystical, feminine woman. It's quite discouraging to read but then you remember it got her the Nobel prize and it gets more hopeful.


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Old October 20th, 2012, 10:42 pm
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

I try to avoid depressing books, too, but the worst one I remember is a book I can't remember the title, or the writer, just the basic plot.

Years ago when my eldest daughter was about 12 she began reading a series of novels called "Point Books". Maybe some of you remember them, they were mystery/horror/supernatural stories for teenagers. I read them as well and we would talk about them. What we liked, what we didn't.
Then she borrowed this particular book from the library. All I remember is that it involved this girl, who in the first part, had no memories of her past and was attracted to a certain teenage boy, and the story outlined their building relationship.
Then, something triggers her memories and we learn she is from the future, about 50 years, and in her time there is a war with these Android type creatures who were created from dying humans to save their lives. Now these Androids are destroying all the humans left, and she was chosen to be sent into the past and kill the man who created the Androids, before he was at the stage of life to do the creating. Yes it was this teenage boy she was attracted to. To twist things even further, he was her grandfather, and by killing him she would erase her family and herself from history.

At this stage I was so depressed at that thought, I gave up reading it.


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Old October 21st, 2012, 1:42 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

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Originally Posted by snugglepot View Post
I try to avoid depressing books, too, but the worst one I remember is a book I can't remember the title, or the writer, just the basic plot.

Years ago when my eldest daughter was about 12 she began reading a series of novels called "Point Books". Maybe some of you remember them, they were mystery/horror/supernatural stories for teenagers. I read them as well and we would talk about them. What we liked, what we didn't.
Then she borrowed this particular book from the library. All I remember is that it involved this girl, who in the first part, had no memories of her past and was attracted to a certain teenage boy, and the story outlined their building relationship.
Then, something triggers her memories and we learn she is from the future, about 50 years, and in her time there is a war with these Android type creatures who were created from dying humans to save their lives. Now these Androids are destroying all the humans left, and she was chosen to be sent into the past and kill the man who created the Androids, before he was at the stage of life to do the creating. Yes it was this teenage boy she was attracted to. To twist things even further, he was her grandfather, and by killing him she would erase her family and herself from history.

At this stage I was so depressed at that thought, I gave up reading it.
Aw that book does sound a bit depressing but it kind of reminds me of the movie Terminator.
When you mentioned the "Point Books" it reminded me of another book series that really made me depressed when I first read it so I haven't touch a single book since than: Chicken Soup for the [fill-in-the-blank] soul. The version I'd read was Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. I know a lot of people love this series because its supposed to be inspiring and stuff but for me a lot of the stories were depressing, even if they had a hopeful or coming-of-age ending, especially when I read a bunch of stories in one go. I did try to read Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul later on but it was still too gloomy for me so after that I stopped.


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Old October 21st, 2012, 3:12 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

I try not to read depressing books, but there was one that I read in middle school called The Silver Kiss. It was a short book, and I can barely remember any of it, but I do remember the ending being sad.


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Old October 21st, 2012, 5:32 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

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Originally Posted by asdfasdf17 View Post
Aw that book does sound a bit depressing but it kind of reminds me of the movie Terminator.
When you mentioned the "Point Books" it reminded me of another book series that really made me depressed when I first read it so I haven't touch a single book since than: Chicken Soup for the [fill-in-the-blank] soul. The version I'd read was Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul. I know a lot of people love this series because its supposed to be inspiring and stuff but for me a lot of the stories were depressing, even if they had a hopeful or coming-of-age ending, especially when I read a bunch of stories in one go. I did try to read Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul later on but it was still too gloomy for me so after that I stopped.
Oh wow I remember these, they used to be everywhere. I haven't seen them as much as I used to. I read the Preteen Soul one too and yeah it was very depressing. That's the only one of that series I had ever read because I had heard that most of them were like that.


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Old October 23rd, 2012, 9:42 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

Gulliver's Travels. I don't remember having ever read a more bitter book. By the end of it, you feel disturbed, depressed, and thinking that humankind is absolutely despicable.

I was about 13 when I read it, so perhaps I'd change my mind if I reread it today, but honestly, I don't feel like trying. By the way, who was the "genius" that first thought this was a children's book?


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Old October 23rd, 2012, 7:15 pm
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

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Originally Posted by RikuStark View Post
I try not to read depressing books, but there was one that I read in middle school called The Silver Kiss. It was a short book, and I can barely remember any of it, but I do remember the ending being sad.
I read the plot-summary/synopsis for that book in middle school and I got the feeling that it might be a sad book which is why I decided not to read it.


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Old November 17th, 2012, 8:05 am
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment.

Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

Oliver Todd's Cruel April



Last edited by LyannaS; November 17th, 2012 at 8:09 am. Reason: Addition
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  #15  
Old November 23rd, 2012, 8:19 am
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Re: The most depressing book(s) you've read

Indecent Interval by Frank Snepp

That's actually not fiction, but it's certainly depressing.


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Old November 30th, 2012, 6:09 am
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Re: The most depressing book(s) you've read

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I finished it and for about 3-4 days afterwards I was just horribly depressed.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (this one sometimes shocks people)...I read it every year or every other year, and am just melancholy for the next couple weeks. I know the ending is supposed to be happy, but I find no happiness in it.


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Old April 5th, 2014, 11:41 pm
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Re: The most depressing book you've read

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Originally Posted by SusanBones View Post
The Road - by Cormac McCarthy
It was a really good book but so depressing. It made me think that I really don't want to live through a nuclear winter.
I was going to say the same book.


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Old May 3rd, 2014, 11:46 pm
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Re: The most depressing book(s) you've read

Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Because now a days, especially... the world is A LOT like what the book goes into.

Spoiler: show
Some of the animals become just like the humans they were trying to rebel from... and end up being cruel 'humans' as well. And they originally try to use simple phrases to get people to follow them... which sounds an awful lot like what the Republicans try to do.


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Old May 9th, 2014, 10:06 am
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Re: The most depressing book(s) you've read

The Hunger Angel by Herta Muller is extremely depressing. It shows the worst of human beings' capability of being cruel to each other, and all the ways in which one can be forced to lose one's human dignity or even one's humaneness altogether.


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Old May 13th, 2014, 3:13 am
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Re: The most depressing book(s) you've read

One Day by David Nicholls
I sincerely regretted reading this book when I got to the end of it. Seriously depressing all the way through.

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.


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