Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Book that Makes Me Sad

Some books, alas, make readers teary. Anne of Green Gables had a great riff on this; the red-headed orphan's saddest story was called "My Graves."

But in the real world some fiction is so gritty and realistic, or so poignant that it brings me to the point of Mush when I read it. After the last page of A Thousand Splendid Suns, for example, I had to go and hug my four-year old daughter. HAD TO. By the way, it was two in the morning, since the book was so good I couldn't stop reading. Couldn't stop sniffling, either. Mush Factor - 3 out of 5. 

Another was The Road. This dystopian chiller is beautifully written. It was a compelling read - I had to find out what happened. The last few paragraphs are the most lyrical, and they are also the saddest. I have never seen the movie, and I don't know if I want to - the book was bad enough. Mush Factor - 4 out of 5.

But the saddest book I've read yet was The God of Small Things, which earns a perfect 5 out of 5 Mush Factor points. What happens is so bad, for so many people, and yet again - the language and descriptions are really lovely and lyrical, and I could not put it down.

So I suppose the last is my true choice for a book that makes me sad. I call the three books above "The greatest books I'll never read again."

As for my Indie choice, I'd have to pick Losing Beauty. What happens is certainly sad, although again it has that compelling factor that drove me to my Kindle in the wee hours to read "only a few more pages." And the writing is lovely - and there is a bit more hope in this one than in the others. 

If you enjoy a good, sniffly read, I'd certainly recommend any of the above. But if you want at  thehint of possible happiness, I'd offer the last.


Hart Johnson said...

I haven't read The Road, but the rest of those made me cry too. Then again, in Deathly Hallows I started crying when Dudley told Harry he wasn't a waste of space and pretty much never stopped. I'm a major sap. I can cry for a good commercial or greeting card...

Language-wise, I think The God of Small Things is one of the most beautiful I've read.

Catherine Stine said...

I'll have to check out Losing Beauty. I like to cry when I read, and it doesn't happen often. I have not yet read The Road, but Cormac McCarthy is a fave of mine. His Child of God knocked the breath out of me. He is the master of describing setting, for one.

Alison DeLuca said...

I will def. have to read Child of God, then. I love the way McCarthy writes.

As for Much Points, I have to read my kid a book about Santa every year that makes me cry as I read aloud, and my husband always gives me this LOOK. I'm in the middl of it now ... it's coming, and I can't escape....

Kitten of Doom said...

I just ordered The God of Small Things about ten seconds after reading this.